A visit to the Kyoto Railway Museum, Japan, in 2018.
Back in March 2018 we published an article from Arline and Peter Wilson about their trip to Japan. Here are some more photos showing a visit to the Kyoto Railway Museum on the same trip.
Over to Arline and Peter:
This museum is similar to the National Railway Museum in York, holding examples of many locomotives from the history of Japanese railways. The site has a turntable and roundhouse with 20 tracks, each occupied by a retired steam loco. In addition there are several other locos and coaches in the main building, the upper floors of which include some interactive displays, models and items such as uniforms, mock-ups of old carriage interiors etc. Luckily almost all exhibits have information in both Japanese and English!
The Japanese railway system was originally built to 3ft 6in gauge and still has over 13,000 miles of track at this gauge used for most services. In addition there are some 2,600 miles of 4ft 8.5in “standard gauge”, mainly used for the “Shinkasen” (Bullet trains), some suburban lines and subways.
Picture 1: JGR class 1070 (4-4-2) no. 1080 – Built 1901 by Dubs & Co (Glasgow) originally as a tender locomotive for local passenger services. In 1926 it was converted into a tank engine at Hamamatsu locomotive works and used by various mine railways before being retired in 1979.
Picture 2: JGR class 230 (2-4-2) no 233. Built 1903 by Kisha Seizo locomotive works this class were based upon designs produced by Dubs & Co, Nasmyth Wilson and Vulcan Foundry. The locomotive was retired in the 1960s
Picture 3: Class 151 Limited Express “Kodama” (“Echo” ) EMU. This was a pre-cursor to the Shinkasen bullet trains. Starting in November 1958 these were the fastest trains on the Japanese network at the time, running between Tokyo and Osaka (250 miles) in under 7 hours. (The current Shinkasen service completes this route in under 3 hours.)
Running on the 3ft 6in gauge lines a class 151 set the world record for a “narrow gauge” train of 163km/hour (101mph) in July 1959. The service ran until 1964 when it was replaced by the Shinkasen.
Picture 4: A view of the workshop where preservation work was continuing on a class C62 (4-6-4) express passenger locomotive built at the end of the 1940’s. Capable of reaching speeds of 80mph they also ran on the Tokyo to Osaka route and were finally retired in 1973. (Apologies for the quality of the photo which was taken through a window.)
Picture 5: A line up of express trains in the main building.
Picture 6: A display of models of various bullet trains.
Picture 7: Working model of a lifting bridge
Picture 8: An interactive mock-up of a control room.
Picture 9: Hopefully this model needs no introduction!
Picture 10: For the youngsters (and the Stafford contingent), a drive-it-yourself layout. Note the camera on the loco, feeding back a “driver’s eye view” to the operator.