Introduction of the streetcar of Hiroshima
Link-page by classmate Mr.Yamane
Recovery from the A-bombing. “Driving
Igie Aratani (HIP member)
Good morning. Welcome to Hiroshima. Welcome to the streetcar of Hiroshima.
Is there a streetcar system in your home town?
Taking this opportunity, I would like to explain about the streetcar of Hiroshima.
The streetcar systems had been used in many cities in Japan by 1960’.
Because of the influence of motorization, main cities including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe had abolished the service. At the present moment, only 20 cities in Japan continue the streetcar service. The total length of service is 300 kilometers (or 187 miles).
It is only 1/10 of that of the golden age.
However, the value of the streetcar system has been reviewed recently.
Particularly, the streetcar of Hiroshima is active and has been paid attention to by the whole
The streetcar system of Hiroshima started in 1912. Among the 90 years of history, there were
two big events.
The first one was destruction by the A-bomb on August 6, 1945. 120 streetcars among total
123 was destroyed or damaged, and 176 drivers and conductors were killed and 266 were injured. Those crew included female students. Approx. 6,000 passengers were killed or injured.
Particularly, 20 cars which were driven in the center of the city were completely destroyed,
and most of the passengers in these cars were killed.
But the employees who survived tried hard to recover day and night with the cooperation of the
telegraphic engineer soldiers from Tokyo. Three days after the bombing, the streetcar system
was partially recovered. Even though it was a partial recovery, it encouraged the people in
Among the exposed streetcars to the A-Bomb, four cars are still driven today. Those cars are single cars (not the coupled cars), and the car numbers are 651, 652, 653 and 654.
Please try to find those cars when you see the streetcars.
Another big event was---the streetcar of Hiroshima could survive the abolition of streetcars in the main cities in Japan by the big wave of motorization in 1960’.
Many streetcars were transported to Hiroshima from the cities which abolished the streetcar.
Furthermore, German streetcars from Dortmund and Hanover were transported to Hiroshima.
Those various streetcars are still driven while maintaining their original appearance.
Thus, it is called “Driving Streetcar Museum” and became famous across the country.
Recently, the streetcar has been reviewed as the effective mass-transportation of a middle-sized city. Particularly in Hiroshima, since the service area covers Hiroshima city and the opposite bank of Miyajima Island, there are many passengers. The streetcars became an indispensable transportation for commuting and sightseeing. The number of cars is 250, the total service areas are 34.9 kilometers (or 22 miles), and the number of passengers per day is approx. 160,000.
On the other hand, new types of streetcars have been globally researched and developed for the
revival of the streetcars. Thus, rapid and efficient vehicles have been developed.
These vehicles are called, LRV (Light Rail Vehicle), and the system is called,
LRT (LightRail Transit).
In Hiroshima, various LRV including those made in Japan and Germany have been used.
Please enjoy the streetcar of Hiroshima.
* (Remarks) This article was wrote down in September 2002. At the point of 2007,
the cars No. 653 & 654 were retired and were displayed in Hiroshima
Transportation Museum. In near future,all of survived cars will be retired
to the Museum.