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Have you ever seen a subway train driving on the street? One of our Tokyo-based reporters did and it was the first time he’d ever seen anything like it. It all started on the night of November 26…

Our reporter was out for the night in Shinjuku and missed the last train. For many of you Tokyoites, you know that there are only a few options once the last train has departed from the station: Spend the night in a 24-hour McDonald’s, walk, or take a taxi. Not keen on doing the former and too far away to walk home, our reporter decided to take a taxi.

As he sat in the backseat, head still abuzz from the night’s festivities, our reporter saw something strange coming down the road. It resembled the Ginza Line he had come to know quite well from years of taking the Tokyo Metro, but it couldn’t be…was he just hallucinating, wishing he had caught the train instead of having to take a cab? But no, the taxi driver saw it too. Hurriedly, our reporter rolled down the window and began filming with his iPhone.

In all of his thirty years of living in Tokyo, our reporter had never seen anything that came close to resembling what he had just witnessed and neither had his taxi driver. After going home, he hopped on his computer to see if anyone else had seen a train driving down the road, but there wasn’t really any information regarding the peculiar sight. It made him think that he had a very valuable movie on his hands.

The next day, our reporter decided to email the Tokyo Metro and they graciously responded with the following message:

What you witnessed on the night of November 26 on Yamanote Street was the Ginza Line 01 series. As confirmed by the person in charge that night, it was on its way to be disassembled. Currently, the Ginza Line uses the newest model of subway cars (1000 series) and we are in the process of decommissioning and replacing the 01 series cars.

So it seems our reporter may be one of the last people to witness the old 01 series train car. After reading the Tokyo Metro’s response, he was overcome with a sudden sadness. “They still look good enough to use,” he thought to himself as he rewatched his video.
[ Read in Japanese ]