Hiroshima has a lot of rivers, it was hard to construct subways, and the streetcar system became well-developed.

At 8:15am on August 6, 1945, a flash ran across the skies of Hiroshima. 90% of the trains were destroyed, and many lives were lost. However, the streetcars started running just 3 days after the atomic bombing. These are the "bombed trains" that are still running today.


Source: Wikipedia

Hiroshima was reduced to a burnt field of rubble in an instant. Of the 123 streetcars in use, 108 were destroyed, and the tracks were seriously damaged. It seemed impossible to get the streetcars running again, but the engineers at Hiroshima Electric Railway started working on repairs right away.

However, most of the young men were at war. They say that many of the conductors were women. It's easy to imagine how disastrous the situation was. Even so, the streetcars began running again in just 3 days of repair work.


Source: Wikipedia

"The trains are running again, and everyone has risen up to begin rebuilding Hiroshima." The sight of the streetcars running gave hope to the people, who were in the deepest despair after the bombing.

The "bombed trains" ran through the Hiroshima streets that were so full of sadness and cheered people up, becoming a symbol for the rebuilding of Hiroshima. Even now, 2 bombed streetcars are in use in Hiroshima. Car #651, which was near city hall when it was half-burned by the bomb, and car #652, which was near Hiroshima port both run during weekday rush hours. They also run every year on August 6th.

However because the cars have aged, their top speed is only 35km/h. It seems they are preparing to preserve the cars permanently after they are retired. We hope the "bombed trains", which inspire the people of Hiroshima, will continue to run for as long as possible.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.