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Kominato and Isumi Railways in Chiba Prov.


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To the south of Tokyo is the Boso Peninsular, Chiba Prov.

JR lines run around the perimeter of this peninsular, but there is also an interesting cross-country connection, made up of two private railways, the Kominato Railway and the Isumi Railway.

The Kominato starts from Goi, on the JR Ichibo Line and runs for about 50 km or so to a connection with the Isumi Rly. at Kazusa-Nakano, where the Isumi line begins, about 30 km., and this runs to JR Ohara on the Sotobo Line.

The Kominato is of interest in a couple of ways, it runs a fleet of DMUs all of the old JNR KiHa 200 class, in the classic red and cream livery.

Isumi has a more varied roster, and more modern DMU cars.

The second point of interest for Kominato is that they run, on weekends only, a Torokko (Truck) train, for the tourists, called the Satoyama Trolley.

Four four wheeled cars, two open sided, with glazed roofs.

The motive power for this train is a fake steam loco (Diesel powered).

Kominato had steam locos  early on, one of which was an Orenstein and Koppel 0-6-0 tank engine.

The fake steamer is, above the running plates, a good representation of the O&k 0-6-0 tank, below, whilst it does have six wheels, these are disc, and are neither coupled nor connected to the cylinders.

It has a smoke generator fitted, and an air operated whistle, and from a distance, the effect is convincing, providing that the sun is high enough to throw the wheels into shadow..

Of course, the ordinary tourists don't worry too much about this anomaly, the train provides a fun run through pleasant scenery , between the stations of Kazusa-Ushikiku and Yori-Keikoku. Along the way, the locals turn out with food stalls on the platforms.

Scenery. Isumi, largely rural, Kominato, from Goi it is heavy industry trailing off into rural.

Could be a somewhat leisurely all day round trip from Tokyo, which would allow some lineside photography.

For the 'steamer' one would have to check its times on the Kaminato web site.

If one isn't doing the Trolley run, there is a through ticket available which allows travel along both railways from Ohara to Goi and V.V.

Services, not terribly frequent, possibly every 30 min. during off-peaks.

Isumi is sometimes given as Izumi.











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