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Modeling Japanese industry?


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Some Showa-era examples:














Other photos I've got in books or magazines show goods shed platforms with overhead on the Nagoya Railway, Fujikyu Railway and Hokuriku Railway.





Thanks mark.  This I would presume is a more modern part of the Showa era.


Note the overheads go right up to the loading zone within a couple of meters.  This is how all the current multi container koki era at freight depots I have seen have been set up.


So in this case a diesel shunter would not be required.

Edited by katoftw
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I'm pretty sure this is the Taiheiyo Kamiiso Cement Plant on Hokkaido (Google satellite view), the what looks like an island opposite is actually Hakodate. If so, it had its own plant railway, apparently until 1989.


And quite an interesting one, too... http://tsushima-keibendo.a.la9.jp/kamiiso/kamiiso1.html


Cheers NB

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Das Steinkopf

Some Showa-era examples:







Do you have any more photos or links of Chubu Tenryu station, I am after some shots of what the goods yard was like prior to freight services ending on the Iida line.

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Related to the discussion on electromagnets, I just saw this on an O-scale forum:


"I was a crane hook-up boy for a summer or so at Weirton Steel.  Cranes in the Tin Mill were hoisting 40,000-60,000 lbs coils.  I think (been 40 years now!) they were anywhere from 125 to 250 ton capacity.  I also worked with them in the Blooming Mill and Strip Steel.


Watched a ****ed-off crane operator on the night shift hookup the magnet, grab a coffee vending machine and dump it in the scrap bin for ripping him off.    Yeah, he wasn't a happy camper."




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As a kid I use to watch the scrap crane load trucks all the time. The crane operator grabbed one guys pickup truck (he had left in the main yard in the usual path of the scrap trucks) by the bed and set it up on top of a bus in the scrap yard! Guy came out yelling his truck was stolen with everyone howling, took him a few minutes to find it and a longer time to get it back down!


It was fun living next to the scrap yard! I would just head in with a bag of hand tools and tear things apart...


I did more than once think of trying to start the crane up, it was never locked and I use to sit in it and pretend, but figured the trouble I would get into would be just too much...



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Mudkip Orange

Finally got a chance to dig through this entire thread.
No one mentioned sea freight, so I'll bite. Water has always been cheaper than rail for non-time-sensitive freight. In the US, you have vast reaches of the country that aren't anywhere near a navigable waterway, hence the mega freight trains. In Europe you have better sea access (via canals and rivers) and in Japan you have excellent sea access because 95% of the urbanization is in a narrow strip between the mountains and the sea.
Here's the U.S. freight flows map. In terms of rail tonnage the Powder River basin dominates. On routes without substantial coal traffic you see a lot more tonnage west of the MIssissippi, because that's where the dry land is. For water, the Mississippi system only really runs North to South.
Here's the European canals map, color-coded by loading gauge. The network is almost as extensive as the US Class I's.

I still don't think this isn't achievable with the products available.  Engines shed can be turned into anything.  Greenmax and Tomytec both offer industrial kits.  Greenmax has their factory which is similar to their maintenence shed.  All component as well.  Lots of pipes.  Tomytec has the stuff exampled earlier and also 2 other large gas tanks and chinneys available.
If you cannot make a industrial wasteland from those.  I'd be shocked.

American passenger rail modelers have been repurposing European kits since basically forever. Many a Deutschland trainshed has been hand labeled "Toledo." So, it doesn't seem "off" to me that someone wanting to seriously model Japanese industry would make use of the extensive U.S. kits. Some of them aren't useful (the ubiquitous Northern Light and Power only works in a culture which puts Greco-Roman arches everywhere), but corrugated steel is corrugated steel and likewise concrete.
In particular, if you want to do refinery pipe sprawl Plastruct is your go-to brand.

Big industrial customers away from urban areas were often served by dedicated trip trains, such as the well-known Ashidachi limestone trains:

The zero-building-line construction typical of Japanese industry/business/residential/everything lends itself to modeling a lot better than sprawlier Euro and American forms. Note how the wooden structures are placed so close to the stone retaining wall that a person could not walk around the outside without falling.

*here is one of those aerial pictures, of the town of Osamunai, on the Hakodate Main Line, taken in 1977.

Great picture.

It looks like the freight shed track also doubles as a bay platform for any passenger trains that might want to terminate at that station. It also seems like the Japanese were a bit more informal than the Americans about driving trucks right up to the train cars. Usually even the weediest Midwestern team track has a concrete platform sitting there.

I don't really follow a specific prototype but was able to fit 2 container yards (albeit small ones and only one is a run-through yard), an oil refinery (combination of the Walthers kit, the Tomy gas refinery, and some various other N scale industrial buildings) that serves a small LPG dealer, heating oiling dealer, and runs JP-8 tank cars to an 'airbase'. Both container yards also have a spur for Wamus and I shift them back and forth. I have a small lumber mill/yard that I serve by boxcar even though in reality this is impratical. Probably going to add a cement plant so I have somewhere for my cement cars and open hoppers to go but I need to figure out the space first. Also have a few Kirin covered hoppers but no brewery...

As for container cranes I just use forklifts. Also always wondered if these yard are electrified or not? Seems like that would be a disaster waiting to happen.

I also have a bunch of Showa era cars I let my D51 or Type 9600 pull around occaisionally, funny seeing that running next to an E-6 or E-7.

That sounds awesome. I would be very interested in seeing pics (and a track plan) of your layout.

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I like lots of stuff, but tend not to be a "me too" sort of guy, so often don't mention it.


Being a mismatcher, I'm more likely to mention what doesn't work for me.

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While this isn't Japanese and it's HO scale, katoftw's post made me think of it.  It's the ultimate industrial pizza.  I've also seen photos of a British copy cat version.  I may see if I can track it down - unless one of the Brits here knows it and finds it first. 






There is info on it here:



This particular edition of Carl's Scrapbook - while corrupted by the "new" owner of his former site, also has several other spectacular layouts.


and a video here:


I believe the Brits call this a tail-chaser.


While looking for the above video, I ran across this very well done shelf layout for those who enjoy traction action:


I actually prefer the first version of the layout, which can be seen in the following video.

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Das Steinkopf

Another interesting find, this time an oil terminal in Mie Prefecture, notice how they have placed old sleepers in front of the end of line buffers to mitigate the chances of sparks being generated from a metal on metal contact.



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Here's some pictures as requested. First one is looking down toward the station and interchange tracks. Second one is the air base, I still have to build the control tower (using the Tomy Gimix kit) and a Pikestuff warehouse that I'm using as an unloading facility. Also have to get the 'LNG' off of the storage tanks. Third one is of the larger container yard, only have space to unload 2 or 3 kokis but can pull them through. Fourth one is the propane dealer, lumber yard, and future site of the heating oil distributor (by the shed at the end of the right track). Fifth is the second container yard and freight/trucking warehouse. Finally the oil refinery with a EF-210 pulling a container freight passing by.


As you can tell I still have a lot of scenery work to do but I wanted to get trains running as soon as possible.


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Every time I shunt the line of takis in there I always wonder what real world public outcry there would be if JP-8 was shunted through a passenger station...

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Originally not much, then in 1967 a jet fuel carrying train blew up at Shinjuku and since then, it's less common to see highly explosive stuff near the platforms, but it still happens, at least there are a few not too old youtube videos showing this practice.


btw: i can't really understand the logic behind the passenger platforms. You have the space for two perfect island platforms on the right of the photo on the double track line, but instead of placing them there, you have a one and a half long platform on the left, that is also used for shunting freight. There must be a logic behind it, i just can't find it without some help.

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The short answer to why the station is where it is I never really put thought into moving it. The picture shows the 'original' arrangement of the area (I decided to de-spaghetti it) and I really didn't have much space with this track plan. Another reason I kept it there is so I can 'park' a passenger train there (I only run them on the outside usually) as a freight comes through to drop off/pick up kokis at the bottom yard.


I've seen more than a few somewhat recent videos too of the green Eneos takis going past passenger platforms so even though jet fuel is way different I don't think it out of the question (especially if they do it at night...).


I've often wondered how many turnout control boxes you can attach to a power pack....


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You can attach them until the voltage drop is too much to reliably throw the turnout connected to the last one. An Y splitter and arranging them in double rows helps in that case... (just don't throw them at the same time) Adding the ones that don't need auxiliary power to the end also helps a bit. (usually the track power switches are like that)

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Having modeled US layout (before switching to japanese, in ROme I still have a US layout "ready to run") I feel the lack on my actual layout of a real shunting area, thus I added a "Y" line inside the two (Kato V11) "running rings". This line joins two industrial plants and - sort of - small loco shed. The actual (well mimiched) goods/merchandise traffic takes place  "on rubber".


Att he moment on this line runs a Tomix Portram (joining the two plants) but, sooner or later, I'll add a small shunting loco and two/three small wagons. OK it's NOT like having an actual shunting activity but at least add a bit of realism and - to me at least - makes sense. ;).


Buildings, and the rest, are Kato, Tomix, GreenMax. The loco-shed (Pic C) is scratch-built.








Edited by FastFranz
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Rethought the spur to the air base and came up with this today. Comes off of the mainline behind the refinery:


And then goes behind the seaside town into the air base the other way:


I have no idea why it's deciding to flip my photos sideways either...

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