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Bridge Zammai >> "Visiting bridges": Sobu L. Sumida R. B.
Page first written 22 April 2001
Last updated 8 August 2011

Sobu Line Sumida River Bridge

"Visiting bridges"


This page contains photos of JR Sobu Line Sumida River Bridge.

The bridge is the first railway bridge in Japan with so-called "Langer girder" (arch stiffened plate girder) structure. The portion of Sobu Line between Ryogoku and Ochanomizu stations, where this bridge is located, was inaugurated in 1932; the link was part of the revival project of Tokyo after it was severely damaged by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. Many new technologies were introduced in the construction of the link, which made it one of the major epoch in the history of railways in Japan.

Not only new technologies, but the design concepts were also superior. The greatest one can be seen in the design of Ochanomizu Station --- two narrow platforms can handle hundreds of thousands of passengers per day, thanks to the layout of tracks with two cubic crossings and station building design that let passengers flow smoothly.

The railway infrastructures built in postwar period when Japan had been enjoying the high economic growth have only inferior concepts. However, the time has changed. I think that the railway operators in and around Tokyo will make considerable change in the services they provide, possibly by modifying their installations. The modifications that might happen will not be large-scale, but with many new concepts and ideas as is seen here.

JR Sobu Line Ryogoku Station

Sobu Line Sumida River Bridge

Sobu Line Sumida River Bridge -- with an

Sobu Line Sumida River Bridge -- with the

Matsuzumicho Viaduct, JR Sobu Line, in central Tokyo

JR Sobu Line Kanda River Bridge and Chuo Line train

Simplified track layout at Ochanomizu Station
Fig. 7.


  1. Name in Japanese: Sumida-gawa Kyoryo (Sumida River Bridge)
  2. Between: Asakusabashi and Ryogoku stations, Sobu Line, JR East
  3. Construction began: February 1931
  4. Completed: March 1932
  5. Inaugurated: July 1932
  6. Goes over: Sumida River, Tokyo
  7. Bridge length: 170.80m
  8. Track: double track
  9. Spans and length: (1) 1 x (38.0m + 96.0m + 38.0m)
  10. Bridge type: (1) through arch-stiffened girder
Quoted from:
  • Naruse ed.: "Iron Bridges 100 -- Landmarks of modern Japan" (in Japanese), Tokyo-do Shuppan, Tokyo, Japan (1994). ISBN 4-490-20250-4

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