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Hiroshima Trams


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After watching the Japan Railway Journal episode on the Hiroshima Electric Railway "Hiroden," I became more interested in this amazing tram system. As a result, I started trying to get more of the models, which are mostly made by Tomytec. I picked up ones currently in stock, then I read up on Yahoo Japan Auctions (YJA) and the Buyee bidding and forwarding service. As it turned out, all of the remaining models I was interested in, except one, were being offered, at what I thought were decent prices. Most on YJA had gone through a cycle with no bids or had no bids currently. I ended up accessing YJA through Buyee, so I could use their translation to English and their search engine, but I used Model Trains Plus to bid for me. I felt more comfortable with Nariichi at MTP, and it turned out that the one missing tram that I wanted he happened to have in stock in his store (but not on his website).



Three of the Tomytec trams were special limited-distribution ones, shown above: The Green Mover LEX, the PICCOLO (not the PICCOLA), and conventional tram 651. I know the LEX and PICCOLO are scheduled for production by Kato, but I wanted the Tomytec ones because they look good and I trust the running mechanism. (While the lights and interior on the Kato models are enticing, I find interior lighting on models to always be too bright. You shouldn't be able to see them in "daylight." Having said that, I will probably get a Kato LEX, anyway.) My timing was good, because I thought others might be selling their Tomytec versions in anticipation of buying the Kato ones, and that seemed to be the case. My purchases were relatively large, but that helped to spread out the higher shipping costs in this COVID-19 era.


Here's another view on my TNOS-operated tabletop setup layout:



Finally, here's my Hiroden fleet in the yard:


It's now up to 13 different trams. One is the Kato 2-axle "Hannover" tram (at far left), while the Green Mover next to it is a Hoedl-made model, not the Modemo version that doesn't straighten out after leaving a curve. I wish someone would make the Green Mover MAX...


Rich K.

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