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Densha

Suigun Line steam locomotives

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Densha

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?

Edited by Densha

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Kiha66

I was looking for a similar information for the sasebo line, and what I found worked best is if you can figure out where the roundhouse/engine shed is for the line, then searching that instead will give you more historic pictures.  The terms seem to be translated to something like ___ district authority, or ___ agency district. 

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Densha

You mean the '水戸機関区' (Mito locomotive district) that Wikipedia article talks about? According to this website, C12, C50 and D51 steam locomotives were also used in that area, but I haven't found any evidence of them actually also being used on the Suigun Line. Considering that there is a C12 at display at Hitachi-Daigo, however, I think we can now assume that at least C12s have been used on the line.

 

Still nothing on C11 or C56 though...

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Pashina12

Re the C56, two points to consider: does traffic on the Suigun Line require a bigger locomotive than the C12? And, can the C56 "fit" on the line? Both C11 and C58 were assigned to Aizu-Wakamatsu depot, but only the C11s ran on the line... I'd need to check my notes but if I remember right the C58 is too long to fit on the turntable at Aizu-Takinohara/Aizukogen-Ozeguchi. Might be something to look at to help narrow it down, if there's a lack of more direct information.

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Densha

I think you're right on the heavy haul steam locomotives. Just like how DF50 and DD51 didn't run on the Suigun Line, I don't think long steam locomotives did either during JNR days. Apart from that, it looks really strange as well and doesn't fit the atmosphere.

 

The Wikipedia article on the C56 mentions that these have run on just a few lines, not including the Suigun Line. I'm not sure how accurate the article is, but considering how there is no mention of the C56 at all when looking into the Suigun Line, I think we can assume that also these didn't run there either.

 

I'll continue my ramblings about modelling choices in another topic.

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marknewton

The C56s were the smallest and lightest of the standard JNR 2-6-0s, so there'd be no problem with them "fitting" on the Suigun line. And no problem with running them tender first, either.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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Densha

I think the C56 fits quite well on a line such as the Suigun Line. For exactly recreating prototypical operations it's probably not really suitable though.

 

I've also been looking for info on transition-era operations on the Suigun Line, but it looks like steam locomotives were simply replaced by DD13s in the early 60s. Not that interesting, although steam generator cars were used for heating passenger carriages because DD13s weren't able to produce steam. Even if I get a C12, it looks like I cannot prototypically run exactly on this line what I want from that era, which is early 1970s mixed steam and diesel locos with some KiHa's.

 

Alternatively, I could just go the excursion train route, because C11 and C56 have run these kind of services on the Suigun Line since the 90s. Especially the 2007 situation is interesting, with KiHa 110, KiHa E130, DE10 + HoKi 800 for ballast trains and C class steam locomotives with excursion trains. Another interesting era are the 80s with plenty of JNR KiHa's to choose from and DD13 or DE10 towing freight or passenger trains, but no C class steam locos.

 

I've noticed it to be really difficult to find a line where prototypically exactly the rolling stock I like has run. Maybe I should give up on that and just get rolling stock I like.Then I could build a generic rural branch line layout and do running sessions with trains from a certain era or region. Although in a way that does give me too much freedom to randomly get trains from all over Japan. Or I'll just get back into my Shikoku zairaisen hole.

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Densha

Well, I now have the confirmation that C12s have actually properly run on the Suigun Line. The information plaque placed in front of C12 187 that is preserved at Hitachi-Daigo says that in 1967 (at least one) C12 was assigned to the Mito locomotive district and ran on the Suigun Line until the complete abolition of steam traction on the Suigun Line in March 1970. That steam traction was used until 1970 is also a good thing, because that means more possibilities for combined steam and diesel traction.

 

Source: http://cappuccino4623.blog93.fc2.com/blog-entry-655.html (click the first 'non-working' image for the working image)

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