@65 days until Hiroshima Summit: A-bombed streetcar

by Yota Baba, Staff Writer

Hiroshima Electric Railway Company located in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, supported the city’s restoration efforts from the ruins, by repairing its greatly-damaged streetcars because of the atomic bombing, and having them rerun on the streets. These four repaired streetcars still belong to the company, and are known familiarly as the A-bombed streetcars, a living witness of the atomic bombing.

According to the company’s history, 185 employees died due to the atomic bombing, including 30 female students who had been serving as streetcar drivers or conductors. As for the streetcars, 108 out of 123 were damaged by the bombing. Streetcar #651 was hit by the bomb blast around “Chuden-mae” station, which was located about 700 meters from the hypocenter, and derailed. (Photo taken by Mitsugi Kishida and provided by Teppei Kishida)

Two of four A-bombed streetcars are still used for operation, playing a key role as chartered vehicles for peace education, too. On August 6 every year, a special timetable is arranged so the two A-bombed streetcars can pass each other in front of the A-bomb Dome at 8:15 a.m.

(Originally published on March 15, 2023)