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  1. I recently purchased a Tomytec Hiroden 3000 series articulated tram and it wasn't until I started digging into these cars on Japanese wikipedia that I realized these were part of larger fleet once operated in Kyushu by Nishitetsu in Kitakyushu and Fukuoka. Links to Japanese Wikipedia articles are included. The oldest of these cars date back to 1953 and could be applied to any era since then. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/西鉄1000形電車_(軌道) Today the Nishitetsu tram lines in Kitakyushu and Fukuoka are gone, but these trams continue to run in Kumamoto, on the
  2. One of my favorite railway scenes is the mid route turnback operation, typically done by a local train that doesn't traverse the whole route, but rather only serves the most heavily patronized portion. On the the heavily trafficked, heavily built up routes, typically a pair of pocket tracks is provided, and thus is not as interesting. What is interesting is when a portion of the down mainline is used for the turnback, with a bit of wrong way running before the crossover is traversed. Last week I was on the Nishitetsu Omuta Line, and observed such a movement at Futsukaichi Station. Unfo
  3. Just back from a two day sidetrip to Fukuoka. One of my objectives was to pick up a string diagram of the Nishitetsu Omuta Line. These are available free to the public. Afaik Nishitetsu is the only railway in Japan, and quite possibly the world that offers this type of timetable to the public. Quite remarkable and fascinating to examine, though the pocket size requires a magnifying glass to read.
  4. The venerable Nishitetsu 313 type, operating on the Kaizuka Line, is destined for retirement this January. It is a historically significant type, as it was the first monocoque body train built in Japan (1952), and was apparently built with the aid/backup of the government railway research institute. It was the precursor of later rolling stock developments during the rapid growth period. This April, it was repainted in the original Omuta Line era colors. Video of the repainted train:
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