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  1. In December of 2022 I made first trip to Japan and fell in love with its rail network and history. I even went to the KATO stores in Tokyo and Kyoto and bought my first N scale and first Japanese model trains. Even made a stop at the Kyoto Railway museum. Fast forward to May of 2023 I had purchased more trains, track, and accessories to begin building a new layout. It took about two months to build and detail, but for my first layout since I was a kid, I’m happy with it. below, you see how it was built from ply board and foam. My initial track planning and laying, and later detailing.
  2. The history of rail freight in Nagoya is an interesting topic. The never-completed Nanpo Freight Line, the West Nagoya Port freight line which became the passenger Aonami Line, and the active, but not as big as it was, Nagoya Rinkai Railway which interchanges with JR at Kasadera. I have wanted to write this post for a long time. Only in the last several months have some very interesting videos been made by the cmesgx YouTube channel which illustrate what otherwise requires a lot of google mapping. Additionally, and unfortunately, JR Freight has announced that the Nagoya Port Line will be shutdown in 2024. Nagoya Port Line The Nagoya Port Line is I believe the earliest dedicated freight line, opening on May 1, 1911. Starting as a Japanese Government Railways line, it passed on to JNR and is now a JR Freight property from Sanno junction, just northwest of JR Central's Otobashi Station, down to what's left of the port infrastructure. Most available YouTube videos of activity on this line, made in the last 10 to 15 years, appear to be movement of new rails on flatcars or JR Central KIYA 97 rail carriers, which while basically DMUs, are usually behind a DE10 or DD200. Perhaps JR Central crews are not qualified on this line. https://plus.chunichi.co.jp/blog/ito/article/264/3870/ However, in an age before the ubiquitousness of 4k smartphones, this line had a lot going on. The Shirotori Line was a short spur that diverged southeast to a log pond (not sure the correct term here as it was man made, not natural) along the Hori River which had freight barges and floating timber. This was Shirotori Station, although there were no passenger operations. Whether these trees were for lumber or paper industries I don't know, but aerial photos of Nagoya up to the mid 1980s seem to show a lot of trees stored in the rivers and canals. This spur began operation in 1916. Immediately north of Shirotori Station, the Nagoya Wholesale Market opened in the mid 1940s and sidings were added to service it. These operations continued until 1978, and the spur itself was formally closed in 1982. The Nagoya Congress Center, a convention center not a government building, and Shirotori Gardens are now in place of the former station/yard. Further south, there would have been a connection to the Nanpo Freight Line, sidings to service the Toho Gas Works, and ultimately a sprawling port with numerous sidings, spurs, and a drawbridge. The excellent YouTube channel cmesgx has been animating old aerial map from the 1970s and 1980s to highlight rail infrastructure. These show Japan's rail network at its peak. First example: Aerial photography from October 1977. 0:46 Sanno Junction. Otobashi station would be built just southeast of this point in 1995. 1:08 Yawata Junction, beginning of Shirotori Line. Light blue lines are the Tokaido Shinkansen. 1:25 Although now filled with buildings, this right of way is still obvious on maps. 1:31 Hibino Station of Nagoya Municpal Subway Meiko Line opened in 1971 under this intersection. 1:40 Shirotori Station log ponds. 1:55 Nagoya Wholesale Market, which still exists but has no rail connection. 2:25 Crossing national route 1, the old Tokai-do (original path?) connecting Edo and Nagoya/Kyoto/Osaka, for which the mainline and shinkansen were named. 2:33 Crossing under the Nanpo Freight Line, with connector line following. I believe construction on this freight bypass would have been suspended by the time these aerial photos were taken. Unbelievable how much they built only to cancel it. 2:45 Toho Gas Works. This is gone now, with a large mall on the east side of the line, and the plot on the west side under development. 3:05 Nagoya Municipal Subway Meiko Yard. This and the immediately following JR Freight Nagoya-minato Station (nothing much to see) are now the end of the line. 3:51 Horikawa Drawbridge. All this track is gone but the bridge is still there and is a registered tangible cultural property of Japan. Continuing on from this point is Horikawa-guchi Freight Station. Additionally, there is a blog Tsushima Keibendo with photos of the port rail operations. 1969 and 1971: http://tsushima-keibendo.a.la9.jp/rinkou/rinkou1.html mostly 1982/3, including the drawbridge: http://tsushima-keibendo.a.la9.jp/rinkou/rinkou2.html. At the bottom of the page, older photos of the Shirotori Line level street/tram crossing in the vicinity of Hibino subway station. I actually lived along this street, north of this point, about 20 years ago. There are still signs designating it the Egawa-sen, which I believe was a nickname of the municipal 08 tram line. On September 19, 2023, JR Freight announced that the line's last day of operation will be March 31, 2024. West Nagoya Port Line and Nanpo Freight Line Planning for the West Nagoya Port Line began in 1947, and construction started a year later. In 1950, 12.6 kilometers of track opened between Sasajima and West Nagoya Port. There were steam operations on the line until 1971. Nagoya Freight Terminal opened October 1, 1980. From October 10th to the 12th 1986, in the twilight of JNR, a passenger excursion called the Omoshiro Ressha Katatsumuri-go (fun train snail service?) was operated on the line. With top-and-tail DD51s (engines 819 and 820), it started at Nagoya Station, went up to Gifu, and then came back down to Nagoya West Port Station. The route was then retraced in reverse. Sasajima Freight Station was closed on November 1st. With the dissolution of JNR, JR Central became the class 1 operator of this line, and JR Freight the class 2 operator. This is what Japanese Wikipedia says, I don't understand the detail or business/operational implications. Seems like an obvious JR Freight property to me. The Nagoya Rinkai Rapid Transit company was established in December 1997 (this is not the same as the Nagoya Rinkai Railway [Meirin] which operates industrial lines running west from Kasadera Station). The West Nagoya Port Line was only electrified in 1998, and only down to the Terminal. The line south of the Terminal ceased operation in 2001, while the construction of the elevated line proceeded. The passenger Aonami Line opened October 6, 2004. Aerial photography from December 1982 0:34 Sasajima Freight Station. This is the northern terminus of the Nagagawa Canal. The Aonami Line, the passengerization of the West Nagoya Port freight line, has Sasajima Raibu (Live) Station here. 0:50 The dark blue lines at the right of the video are the Meitetsu Main Line. The light blue lines are the Tokaido Shinkansen, and the red lines in between are the Tokaido and Chuo Main Lines. The dark blue lines northwest of the yard are the Kintetsu Nagoya Line an associated sidings. 0:57 Most of this yard is gone, but some still exists as a depot and shops for DMUs. 1:12 The West Nagoya Port Line diverges. To the west you can see what was going to be another connector, part of the Nanpo Freight Line plan. This is still visible in aerial maps. 1:20 On the west side of the track, Takabata yard for Nagoya Municipal Subway Higashiyama Line. 1:35 Nagoya Freight Terminal. This still exists. 2:04. What a mess. The factory on the east side of the track is the Chubu Kohan, aka Chubu Steel Plate. They're still there. On the northwest side of their plant are viaducts that I guess were going to serve it when the rest of the elevated line was completed. There is YT video of these structures, they're still standing. The part running off to the right was the Nanpo Freight Line. More later. 2:25 At the right of the video, the Nagoya Horse Racetrack. Just recently closed in favor of a new track out in Yatomi. 3:25 West Nagoya Port 3:55 Back to Nagoya Freight Terminal for the tour of the Nanpo Freight Line. Something like 90% completed by 1975, it was canceled and never carried a single train. 4:29 Crossing over the Nakagawa Canal. 4:34 Passing the connector with and then crossing over the Nagoya Port Line 4:50 Running along side the Tokaido Shinkansen, which it mostly follows all the way to Kasadera Station. 5:08 Crossing the Meitetsu Tokoname Line 5:25 Converging with Tokaido Main Line north of Kasadera. 5:37 Kasadera Station with Nagoya Rinkai yard to its west. There is unused space on the west side of the Tokaido Main Line from Kasadera almost all the way down to Obu. This would have been part of the Nanpo Freight Line. Two more pages of photos on the Tsushima Keibendo blog, here showing the West Port Line. Again from 1969, 1971, and 1983. http://tsushima-keibendo.a.la9.jp/rinkou/rinkou3.html http://tsushima-keibendo.a.la9.jp/rinkou/rinkou4.html Katatsumuri passenger excursion photos: https://hekiden.web.fc2.com/arcives/3rd-spc/3rd-spc-22.htm At an 'open day' in November 2019 at Nagoya Freight Terminal, DE10 1597 wearing the headmark. Whoever has been in charge of the archives over the years, they did a great job. https://twitter.com/ecopower0157/status/1328701141027209217/photo/1 Five pictures at the bottom of the blog: http://b1hanabusa.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2012/01/post-9b06.html Nagoya Rinkai Railway (Meirin) The Nagoya Rinkai Railway operates a freight network that interchanges with JR at Kasadera, and also has a physical connection with the Nagoya Railway (Meitetsu) via their Chikko Line. The current Meirin company only dates from January 1965, but parts of the system were prefectural lines dating back to the 1930s. Some parts of their network do not currently see active service, but the company designates these as suspended, not abandoned. The company provides service in the large industrial area of southern Nagoya City, which stretches down through the cities of Tokai and Chita. Additionally, they are involved with switching operations at Nagoya Port, West Nagoya Port, Tajimi, Kasugai, and Yokkaichi. They also own some automobile parking (some of the suspended lines are paved over), have scrapped retired railcars and locomotives for JNR, and grew kiwis at one point. Another cmesgx video tracing the Meirin network: Aerial photography from October 1977. 0:00 - the Toko Line, starting at JR Kasadera 0:45 - cross the Meitetsu Tokoname Line 1:07 - Toko Freight Station 1:25 - Showa-machi Line 2:20 - Shiomi-cho Line 2:47 - Funami-cho Freight Station 3:20 - Shiomi-cho Freight Station 4:45 - Tochiku Line 5:13 - diamond crossing with Meitetsu 5:30 - Nanko Line 6:58 - sidings for what is now Nippon Steel Nagoya Works. Immediately after this, the video shows blue lines which are the plant's industrial lines 7:55 - Nagoya Minami Freight Station 9:00 - Chita Freight Station and sidings for Toa Chemical and Nisshin Flour Former Plans Lastly, I have read a few times about a sort of freight outer loop for Nagoya. In the 1960s, JNR's freight trains were made up of 2-axle cars which were limited to speeds lower than that of passenger trains. The Tokaido and Sanyo Lines in Kanto and Kansai had been quadruple tracked prior to the Second World War, but the Tokaido Line through greater Nagoya was still double track. It was concieved that there should be a way to bypass this busy, exclusively double track section of the line. The Seto Line, now the Aichi Loop Railway, diverges from the Tokaido Main Line at Okazaki Station. Imagining it from the direction of Tokyo, it runs roughly north to Kozoji on the Chuo Line, merging with it heading west. JR Kachigawa is only 3 stations ahead, and just northwest of the station is the physical end of the Tokai Transport Johoku Line and their Kachigawa Staton. Well, if you look at JR Kachigawa, it has two island platforms but only the outer tracks exist. The inner track paths are empty, and you can see how this aligns with the end of the Johoku Line. Had this connection been completed, a west bound train would come off the Johoku Line and merge with the Tokaido Main Line just north of Biwajima, heading south. A freight train from Tokyo would proceed south through Nagoya Station, follow the Kansai Main Line west for a short distance, then turn south on the West Nagoya Port Line to go down to Nagoya Freight Terminal. There would have been a delta where the West Nagoya Port Line diverges, so a train coming from the west (Osaka) could enter the West Nagoya Port Line without a reverse movement. There was also a consideration for a line paralell to the Tokaido to its west, but as this was all developed land, construction costs would have been too great. Links of interest and map references Nanpo Freight Line Wikipedia article (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanpō_Freight_Line Nagoya Rinkai Wikipedia article (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagoya_Rinkai_Railway Port of Nagoya Wikipedia article (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Nagoya Google map centered between JR Central Kachigawa and TKT Kachigawa: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2286956,136.9541445,642m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en&entry=ttu Google map centered on planned delta junction of Kansai Main Line and West Nagoya Port LIne: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.1502254,136.8598929,17.68z?hl=en&entry=ttu Google map centered on Nagoya Port Line where Nanpo Freight Line crossed. Freight Line structure is visible to the east; no trace of connector in the southwest corner of the junction, it's now a Konan home DIY store: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.1181888,136.8828309,97m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en&entry=ttu Corrections and additions welcome!
  3. I've always admired the brightly polished brass number plates on steam locos and the bright numerals of plates on diesels and electrics in Japan as well. All locomotives in Japan usually had four number plates in all on each side. Correct me if I'm wrong, but instead of number plates American locomotives usually just had their numbers painted on. They are pieces of railwayana that easily distinguish which railway a locomotive belonged to because of their distinctive design (much like how identifiable plates from British or South African locomotives are). Maker's plates I've always liked too, and there are numerous design based on the several different locomotive manufacturers who've supplied Japan with its locomotives throughout its rail history. I have just a cardboard replica of locomotive 58654's number plate in given to me by a Japanese friend who equally loves the SL Hitoyoshi. Does anyone on this forum collect full-sized replicas made of brass or indeed original Japanese locomotive number plates themselves? I'm not planning on collecting any (so far) but I'd like to hear from others. Also, why were some Japanese SL number plates red, green, blue, brown etc.? Why the difference?
  4. Last autumn season for the 381 series. Very nice videography on the Hakubi Line, with various liveries of the Limited Express Yakumo. At 4:45 one of the four daily container freights that use this line, headed by an EF64. *As an aside I will do a round trip on the Yakumo service later this month (Okayama-Izumo-shi) on an all-day out and back excursion by using the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen (Nozomi) to get to Okayama from Shin-Yokohama. Will be my last ride on these iconic trainsets.
  5. I've asked small queries about smaller but still interesting railway materials and apparatus, such as tablets and numberplates, but one thing I've always like about Japanese diesels and electric locomotives (DL and EL, as I like to call them), is their supposedly unique tendency to sport air whistles that make a nice, spine-chilling shriek instead of air horns that sound like a goose with a bad frog in its throat. A classic air whistle of choice for JNR diesels and most electrics seems to be the AW-2, which is my favorite, as it's used by the DE10, including the ones owned by JR Kyushu. Did any other countries use similar warning signs on their modern locomotives? I can't think of any.
  6. Scenes in the summer of 1985, the twilight of JNR on the Tohoku Main Line, somewhere near Kurihashi Station. Partially airconditioned 115 series units, unremarkable (back then!) 185 series- glory in the roar of their mt54 traction motors, 583 series on long distance services to Aomori, blue trains...later a selection of freight, including a mixed freight, capped by an ef58 pulling a rake of old coaches on a special train. Check out other vids by this user for similar mid-eighties content.
  7. I appreciate the value of YT when it comes to hosting obscure stuff like this. Construction of the western part of the Keiyo Line. The look and sound of the video seems early 80s, but the Tokyo to Shin-Kiba section opened in March 1990. Much newer than I had guessed. Be advised, there are dudes wearing only fundoshi around 9:00. Other interesting videos on the channel as well. JRTT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Railway_Construction,_Transport_and_Technology_Agency Keiyo Line: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keiyō_Line
  8. JR East announced Tuesday, in conjunction with Railway 150 year anniversary celebrations, that one E2 trainset will get the original Tohoku/Joetsu Shinkansen livery. Operation will begin in July with a special rinji ressha. The trainset will also be operated on regularly scheduled services on the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines. The trainset will also revive the "furusato chime" jingles which were instituted with the opening of the Tohoku Shinkansen as far as Ueno Station. https://tetsudo-ch.com/12402639.html
  9. OHK (Okayama Broadcasting) has posted some interesting archival footage of the Kibi Line (Okayama-Soja) and around Okayama Station from the 70s and 80s. 1:30 - Bizen Mikado Station. Tickets were available from the shop in front of the station, Nagahara Shoten. 2:20 - Kiha 10 or related type arrives. Students at Kanzei and Okayama Joshi high schools use the station a lot. 2:45 - Bitchu Takamatsu Station. Saijo Inari Gate is immediately northeast of the station, and the Saijo Inari temple complex is a few kilometers up the road. 3:50 - Soja Station. You can see the outline of the former lettering. Once upon a time, Soja was West Soja, and present day East Soja was Soja. 4:30 - Slightly west of Okayama Station, an at-grade crossing causes a lot of backups. Someone in a small white car is in a big hurry. Later in the video we'll see the work to elevate this section of the line. 5:05 - Okayama station, June 1978. A shiny new Kiha 47 arrives at the platform. 5:50 - Higashi (east) Soja. Renewal of the station is complete. I used this station during 2003, this is how I remember it. Based on Google Street View, it's still like this. 6:15 - A Kiha58/28 comes in. I used to go to Okayama City for Japanese class, rolling stock was Kiha 40s 99% of the time, but on a few occasions these were used. I remember riding a bright yellow one with white stripes, and a purple/teal paint job, possibly the Kyuko Notoji and Sakkyu liveries. 6:40 - A statue of Sesshu Toyo is unveiled in the Soja ekimae rotary. 7:10 - Bizen Ichinomiya. If I understand the narration, she is a maybe a contract employee of JNR? She looks like she's in charge. 7:40 - Prelude to the elevetion of the section of track shown at 4:30 8:10 - September 1986, the twilight of JNR. The elevated track is cut in and all is well. 9:00 - December 1988, Bitchu Takamatsu again. A Kiha 40, now with the JR logo, arrives. A new north gate is planned for the station for the convenience of those en route to Saijo Inari. The large gate is shown at 9:25 9:40 - C56 160 is motive power for Kibiji-go excursions for only 3 days during golden week. At the end there's some talk of converting this line to LRT. I've been reading about that before I even lived there, still nothing doing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibi_Line https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesshū_Tōyō
  10. Video by Saikyo Memories Very interesting in that the schedule is pretty full, there are named services that don't exist anymore, and there are some long haul locals. A few things stood out to me: the first train and the first long distance local, a 5:20 departure for Nagoya. Several more plus one or two for Ogaki. at 8:54 the unusually named First Izu Express (daiichi Izu kyuko) for Izukyu-Shimoda/Shuzenji. The video says that at this time, there were 2 expresses and 8 semi-expresses (junkyu) daily, the expresses being named Oku-Izu and First Ideyu (daiichi Ideyu) 11:00 departure for Kagoshima, the night express Kirishima arriving at 13:35 the next day! similarly, the 14:35 Takachiho for Nishi Kagoshima arriving at 19:53 the next day. I hope it was comfortable. The 20:10 Sanuki night express arriving at 9:10 the next day in Uno, Okayama. I don't think the train was actually put on the Uko train ferry, but as Uno was the Honshu side for the Uko ferry and Sanuki was the old name of Kagawa, I assume this made a good connection with the ship. Another one for Uno, the 21:00 Seto This channel has a few other videos like this including one for trains north out of Ueno in 1980, which looks like an utterly packed timetable.
  11. Here's a news segment from JNN on November 29, 1985. In the early hours of that day, there were attacks on signal cables and boxes, transformers, and stations, ultimately totaling 33. Carried out by Chukaku-ha in support of Doro Chiba, this was in opposition to the privatization of JNR which as we all know went ahead on April 1, 1987. I will avoid political commentary but you can check out the Wikipedia links below 😁. By 1 PM, Asahi News reported the 33 incidents as summarized by the NPA: Saitama - 3 cables cut Chiba - 1 cable cut Tokyo 15 cables cut Arson at Asakusabashi Station Kanagawa - 3 cables cut Kyoto - arson at one transformer Osaka 2 cables damaged by arson arson at 2 signal boxes arson at 2 transformers Okayama - 1 cable cut Hiroshima 1 cable cut 1 case of arson, undefined The video thumbnail below is Shinagawa Depot, probably not usually full during daytime hours. Other points of interest in the video: 1:15 - Reporter Hoshino at JNR Headquarters 2:00 - Interior condition of Asakusabashi Station around 5PM 2:30 - First image of several of signal crews working on cut cables. This is around Nakano on the Chuo Line. 6:37 - Tobacco-equipped Osakan 8:38 - Signal guys looking at a diagram of the cable cross section. Best of luck, gentlemen. 8:55 - Shin-Osaka Substation in Suita 9:19 - Alcohol-equipped Tokyoite 9:30 - Asakusabashi Station around 6:45 AM 10:50 - JNR passengers taking their business to Keisei at Tsudanuma Station 12:52 - Doro Chiba meeting(?), guy with binoculars. 14:10 - Takaya Sugiura, the last director of JNR 20:55 - Police entering Chukaku-ha office 21:10 - apparently archival footage of Mr. Kamata, of some role at Chukaku-ha, then under arrest 21:20 - Chukaku-ha demonstration near Tsudanuma 21:35 - January 1984 arson attack on the Police Science Institute 21:50 - anti Narita Airport riot 23:20 - Police at Doro Chiba office 25:50 - CTC room full of guys probably not having a good time Interesting. Unlike the Japan I think of, perhaps it goes to show that societies do change. Chukaku-ha - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Communist_League,_National_Committee Doro Chiba - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Railway_Chiba_Motive_Power_Union Doro, from which Doro Chiba split in 1979 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Railway_Locomotive_Engineers'_Union Kokuro - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Railway_Workers'_Union
  12. MBS news report of the 50th anniversary of the start of special rapid service trains in the Kansai region. Sun TV report of same, plus information on A seat service, headmark:
  13. A week ago Bill posted another video by jitensya37 about Musashino Yard (link below), this one covers now and then aerial images of 31 yards from Goryokaku in Hokkaido to Kumamoto in Kyushu. Hmmm the forum software makes an image out of that list... anywho... It's very interesting how some have been preserved as 'freight terminals' losing only some of their tracks to paved areas for the container and lifts, while others are completely gone.
  14. Nice layout which is a very nice representation of Saga Station in 1967. The station model as per the prototype at the time is a ground level layout, arranged in the standard JNR style of three platform faces (1 ban sen to 3 ban sen) as well a bay platform (0 ban sen). Most excellently the platform length seems to be near scale prototype length, and there is a telfer gantry for parcels traffic modelled. Very much the atmosphere of a provincial city JNR station is conveyed. Also modelled are prototypical passenger train consists, most notably the numerous loco-hauled long distance expresses/sleeper expresses, which are some of the most interesting trains of the JNR era. Note the adjacent large yard is taken from a separate location and added to the model scene, the protoype was in a more restricted location.
  15. Filmed in 1972 but set on the Nayoro Main Line of 1935, this is a dramatization of a Class 9600 trying to climb the Tempoku Pass. This section existed between Kami-Okoppe and Ichinohashi, and had a maximum grade of 25 permil. According to the notes at the beginning of the video, engine 49672 was scrapped after filming. Seven hundred seventy of this type were built between 1913 and 1926. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, then called Kawasaki Zosenjo (shipbuilding), built the most by far, 686. The locomotive shown here was one of 73 from 1920. Following Kawasaki, Kisha Seizo built 69, and JGR Kokura Works built 15. The last of the type was retired at the beginning of March 1976. The video was posted by tyokutoku (https://www.youtube.com/user/tyokutoku/videos), have a look at his channel for more great historical films. Some pictures taken between 1970 and 1972 of Class 9600 locos used on this line: http://home.a00.itscom.net/yosan/jyoki/nayoro/nayoro.html
  16. Hi, I just got myself a 103 series kit from Greenmax. I also got 4 sets of bogies and a set of pantographs, as specified by the manufacturer. Everything went well when I assembled the kit. However, I ran into a problem while trying to attach the bogie to the car itself. There appears to be no way to connect the bogie and the car, and I wasn't able to find answers to my problem online. Attached below are the pictures of the bogie and the car. Thank you for reading this, and any advice or help would be appreciated. This is my first time using a forum, so I apologize for any mistake that o may have made. Cheers, kokutetsu103
  17. Continuing my personal reflections on the models currently available in Japanese Z I turn to the electric outline locos available. Now it was never my intention to buy any Electric locos and certainly I don't intend to put any catenary up (not after last time!) but Alison at Contikits had bought a collection of Japanese Z and was offering it at very reasonable prices. So I indulged in a Rokuhan EF 66 and a PRMloco EF 64 The EF66 in Early version livery is in the foreground with the 64 in JRF Blue and white behind. Compared to the rolling stock the PRMloco EF64 is very nicely painted and its performance was very good indeed with one small quibble which you will see on the video The pair together outside the loco maintenance shed on 'Shasta' In the video I test the locos on a variety of my layouts including young Brooklyn's Alpine layout with its evil curves and gradients and Republic Steel and most of my Japanese stock getting let off the leash on my big 'Shasta' layout. This had been out in full length form at the recent Derby model railway exhibition in Union Pacific/Southern guise This show was set in the spectacular surroundings of the original Midland Railway 'Derby' roundhouse with its unusual timber roof and crane gantries set over the turntable (Still in situ) which is now part of Derby College Link to video in a minute Kev
  18. C12 at Tanigawa Station area, junction between the Kakogawa Line and the Fukuchiyama Line: Miki Line C12 and Takasago Line C11:
  19. Here's a very interesting video, estimated by the uploader to be 1987, soon after the privatization of JNR. This is a ride on an 8-car formation of 12 series coaches behind DD51 1190 between Kyoto and Umahori. There's a lot of interesting things to be seen; the old San'in platforms at the old Kyoto Station with an escape track(?), sidings and trackside structures that no longer exist, the original Nijo station building, the section between Saga Arashiyama and Umahori that still uses what's now the Sagano Scenic Railway, and some views of the construction of the tunnels that bypass it. The uploader is 旅一郎, perhaps Tabitaro based on his blog URL http://ameblo.jp/tabitaro1234/ although I had guessed Tabi Ichiro. His YT channel has several other mid/late '80s era videos, check 'em out.
  20. Lately I have been looking into modelling (parts of) the Suigun Line. In recent days, there have been plenty of runs with steam locomotives of the C11, C56, C58 and C61 series. However, I am having trouble finding information about what steam locomotives exactly ran on this railway line back in the days when steam trains still ran in actual service. The Japanese Wikipedia article on the Suigun Line mentions that until 1960 the 8700 type and 8620 type steam locomotives towed both passenger and freight trains on this line after which they were replaced by DD13 type diesels. Since I am much more interested in C series steam locomotives, especially the C11 and C56, I am wondering whether these ran on this line as well back in the day. I have been looking all over the Japanese internet, but I just can't seem to find affirmation that they did, if they did at all. Does any of you have better Google search skills or a better view on this subject?
  21. While trying to figure out these prefixes and suffixes in the nomenclature thread (http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/667-kuha-saha-moha-kiha-japanese-rail-car-nomenclature/page-3?do=findComment&comment=152634), I came across these pictures of a ReTe12000 JNR refrigerator car by Adachi. I see Mark has mentioned the manufacturer before, but otherwise there isn't much, so... http://poppo.plala.jp/new_page_682.htm http://www.jmra.gr.jp/adachi/ Now, what does Te mean...
  22. While i was looking for something completly different, i found a few nice pictures: Shinagawa station, aerial photo looking south: http://marutetsu.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2011/12/post-1c3b.html (i didn't know that the old shinkansen yard was there) Yoyogi, Tokyo, with interesting train at the crossing: http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2143253141127899601/2143374700589184403 (i would be interested in the exact location too if someone could recognize it) and an english page, Shinjuku station histroy: http://www.shinjukustation.com/shinjuku-station-history i really like this photo from the page above: (from the 1970ies) http://netmobius.global.ssl.fastly.net/images-stn-shinjuku/1-Shinjuku_History-3.jpg (imho it's a pretty nice and compact enterance for a large station)
  23. While staying in Japan during the early 1960s, I had a large number of colleagues and friends who regularly rode the trains. Two stand out as real rail-fans. A fellow by the name of McDougal, regularly visited local hobby shops and every payday, twice a month, for a period of four years he purchased an HO scale brass locomotive. He liked old steam and mostly purchased brass produced by the Tenshodo company. It is an interesting story: Tenshodo was a major watch and jewelry store located on an expensive parcel of land on the Ginza, in Tokyo. After the disastrous end of the war, the economy was in shambles and no one could afford to buy jewelry or watches. Tenshodo had an abundance of skilled jewelry craftsman and the capability to manufacture in metal. Someone at the company had the bright idea of producing high quality HO brass model trains for the Occupation troops and later to the American military personal who were stationed in Japan. The venture succeeded and Tenshodo survived the economic downturn. Once Japan recovered, and especially during the boom years of the 1960s, the company returned to its root business of selling high quality imported and domestic watches, as well as manufacturing jewelry. The brass model business was slowly phased out; first it was outsourced to Korea, later production runs became fewer and prices rose with inflation. While in the early 1960s a Tenshodo brass engine retailed for US$ 10 to 15, by the lathe 1970s prices increased over the $100 mark. The store itself was rebuilt into a narrow high rise with the Omega watch company's symbol on the top floor. The Green Max company, manufacturers of Japanese plastic structure kits, reproduced the building and it was on sale in the 1980s. The Ginza Tenshodo store maintained its hobby shop on the top floor of their building and it remained a popular destination for model railroad hobbyists, both local and foreign visitors. Another railroad nut friend, his name was Jerry Day, loved looking at working trains. Near the U.S. Air Force base of Yokota in Western Tokyo, was the small town of Haijima. It was a relatively small local station on the Ome-line that connected Tachikawa to Okutama. Haijima was also the terminal point for the Itsukaichi-line. In addition, there was a small yard with a highway overpass right by over the yard throat. Jerry used to spend his Saturday mornings sitting on the highway embankment and watch a little steam kettle of a switch engine work the yard. Since he was also a trained photographer, he also accumulated a collection of pictures of the various engines and cars that populated the yard. Most freight cars were of the old style LCL type covered wagons, but by the mid-1960s the first green JNR 20' containers appeared. There were also smaller containers, but can't recall their size. Fork lifts could put the containers on and off from little trucks that could maneuver the narrow Japanese roads. Some of these little trucks were three wheelers and enter areas where a normal size rig would not fit. I also recall that the Yokota Base had a hobby and recreational center with a fairly large room dedicated to the model railroaders. A large HO gauge layout was a work in progress, but I can't recall what prototype was followed. The base hobbyshop also carried model railroad equipment, mostly locally sourced, and it was the least expensive source for brass locomotives and rolling stock in Japan or anywhere else for that matter. I wish I had bought and saved some myself, even though I could not be using them now as this was way before the popularity of N scale. More later.
  24. This is GOLD! http://116.81.4.156/tecs/meisai/meisai.html Detailed operation manuals of ED75 , EF71 , 453 series, 103 series and many more. Including electrical circuits diagrams!
  25. Some good color film of action on the Kansai Main Line between Kabuto and Tsuge, a Mecca of steam action in the twilight years. The 25 permil gradient in the Kabuto area (nicknamed "Kabuto goe", or "over the Kabuto summit"), attracted many rail fans. This particular series is good because you can see some of the consists of the freight trains, which now in 2016 are just as interesting, or perhaps more so, than the steam locomotives themselves. Valuable visual record for the prototype modeler.
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