Iida Line's Special "Torroko Family"

By Hiroshi Naito

The Iida Line operates a special train dubbed "Torroko Family" as an weekend attraction during busy tourist seasons, especially in spring and summer. The train consists of two Oha 12 coaches followed by two open coaches, which are supposed to be the "Trokko" that might derive from "Trolley." Its motive power is a Shizuoka-based handsome vintage electric locomotive, EF58157; type EF58, which used to be the most common electric engine on the Tokaido Main Line before the EMU days in the 50s and 60s. The train runs about 68km from Toyohashi on the Tokaido Main Line to Chubu-Tenryu, offering two hours and fifteen minutes open coach riding.

The Iida Line originates from Toyohashi on the Tokaido Main Line, about 300 km southwest of Tokyo and 70 km east of Nagoya, ending at Tatsuno on the Chuo Line. Its close to 200 km long trackage mostly goes across rugged mountainou surroundings. Especially on the northern half segment, the line runs along the bottom of the sharp gorge of the Tenryu River, encountering many tunnels and trestles.

The origin of the Iida line goes back to four electrified regional private railways which comprised the current Toyohashi to Tatsuno trackage. The four railways were nationalized in 1943 and turned out to be the JNR Iida Line. There are 93 intermediate stations on the line serving small villages and towns including some cities scattered along the route. Iida city is the largest city on the line, and the line's name was taken from this city.

Electric Locomotive EF58157

The motive power of the "Trokko Family" is a 1958-Mitsubishi-made EF58.

Landscape of the Iiida Line

The train rolls through a rural landscape.

Meeting 119

A series 119 met at a loop en route. The Iida line is served with a fleet of series 119s.

Insede the open coach

The open coach is fully loaded with family groups.

Entering a tunnel

Tunnels are frequently encountered. The number of tunnels on the Iida Line accounts for about 170.

The rear of the Trroko Family

The rear of the "Torokko Family," at Chubu-Tenryu

At Chubu-Tenryu station

A Toyohashi-bound regular train pulling into Chubu-Tenryu station.

An unusual visitor of sieries 117

Series 117 is an unusual visitor to the Iida Line in special limited express service.

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