Three the UK built and two domestic engines in exhibition

Exhibited in two rows are three locomotives imported from the UK in the late 19th century and two domestic standard engines built in the early 20th century.

Locomotives in Ome Railway Park

By Hiroshi Naito

There are fine steam locomotives preserved in a park located in a suburb of Tokyo, 30 km northwest of downtown Tokyo. This is Ome Railway Park opened in 1962 in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of railway operation in Japan. The locomotives are all on static display, but they are precious relics that tell the history of equipment once in every day use on rail in Japan. The park's collection includes nine steam locomotives and one electric engine, along with one bullet train (a cab control car of the first generation zero series).

Name Type Builder Year Built
Steam Locomotives
110 110 Yorkshier, UK 1871
2221 2120 Dubs & Co, UK 1905
5540 5500 Beyer Peacock, UK 1897
8620 8620 Kisha, Japan 1911
9608 9600 Kawasaki, Japan 1913
C111 C11 Kisha, Japan 1932
C515 C51 JNR Hamamatsu Manufactory 1920
D51452 D51 Kisha, Japan 1939
E102 E10 Kisha, Japan 1948
Electric Locomotives
ED161 ED16 Mitsubishi, Japan 1936
Bullet Train
22-75 0-22 Kisha, Japan 1969

Steam locomotive #110110, 2-4 tank, 22.3 tons, 7.188 m. One of ten locomotives imported from the UK for the Japan's first railway, opened in 1872, between Shimbashi/Tokyo and Yokohama. They were numbered #1 to #10 (this engine is #3, but was renamed type 110 upon the 1907 nationalization). After long term working on main line services and subsequent shunting (switching) duties, this engine was put into storage at the national railway's Omiya workshop, and was finally brought to this park.

Steam locomotive #22212221, 0-6-2 tank, 49.2 tons, 10.439 m. One of the most common steam locomotives around the turn of the century in Japan. This type, developed by R.F. Trevithick, was imported from the UK in preparation for the 1889 full opening of the Tokaido Main Line between Tokyo and Kobe. Due to its good traction performance based on reliable design, this type was favorably used on main lines and secondary lines all over Japan. The total production number of this type reached 528, which was about a quarter of the total number of the steam engines in those days. The builders were from not only the UK but also Germany and America. This engine received a numbered type, 2120, but it was originally named B6, which was carried over to later days as a nickname. After the emergence of the powerful 9600 and D50 types, the B6s' duties declined on the main lines, and they moved on to shunting work. However, their powerful characteristics and capability of intense work were favored as a shunting engine, and were seen in small-scale operations in stations and yards all over Japan. Their long term work exceeded 70 years, and more than a half of them survived World War 2. It was 1961 when the last one was withdrawn from operation. It is well known that during the Japan-Russia War many of this type were transferred to the continent to work on war supply transportation.

Steam locomotive #55405540 Beyer Peacock, type 5500, 4-4, 29.4 tons, 14.021 m. The type 5500 was one of the most typical locomotives used for passenger train haulage on main lines around the turn of the century. 72 5500s were imported from the UK in six years from 1893. As it looked speedy with sloping cylinders below the sloping running boards, this type made rapid runs on main line express passenger service. The type's last withdrawal from the national railway was in 1961. A number of this type were transferred to private railways, and some of them can be still seen at some rail museums on display.

Steam locomotive #8620The first member of type 8620, 2-6, 46.8 tons, 16.929 m. Type 8620 was the national railway's first domestic standard steam locomotive and was successfully mass-produced. This type was competitive enough in performance of speed and traction power against imported passenger steam engines. 687 8620s were built in the 17 years from 1914 and were used nation-wide on secondary lines for passenger service and on country lines for both passenger and freight service. Because of its prevalence, it was said that Hachi-roku (nickname of the type, eight-six in Japanese) could be seen anywhere as long as rail continued. Some of them survived in shunting work until the end of steam days in 1974. There is a member of this type in working order in Kyushu. This is 58654 that hauls a steam excursion train, Aso Boy, on the Hohi Line.

Steam locomotive #96409608, type 9600, 2-8, 60.4 tons, 16.662 m. This type also became the national railway's domestic standard steam locomotives and was regarded as the 8620's counterpart in freight haulage. As opposed to 8620's Hachi-roku (eight-six), this type was dubbed Kyu-roku (nine-six). The 9600's most nortable feature was its boiler arranged at a higher position that allowed a widened firebox put above the traction wheels, which was effective in reinforcing traction power. With its powerful haulage performance, this type greatly contributed to dealing with the increasing demands of freight transportation in those days. 770 of this type were built through mass-production with the first batch started in 1913 and they were seen all over Japan in freight service. This type was also used in Taiwan and Sakhalin. An interesting fact is that Taiwan's 17 9600s were produced by Alco in the US, because domestic manufacturers were busy with orders made by national railways. This is the only locomotive type designed by a Japanese railway and produced in a foreign country.

Steam locomotive C515C51 5, type C51, 4-6-2 Pacific, 69.6 tons, 19.2 m. This type was the national railway's second-generation domestic standard steam locomotive following the 8620 and 9600. The C51 was developed to respond to the demands for more powerful passenger locomotives under the situation of increasing passenger traffic resulting from the booming economy just after World War 1. The C51 5 was built in 1919 at the national railway's Hamamatsu Workshops. 289 C51s were produced by 1928. In contrast to the first Pacific, type 8900, imported from the US, the C51 was superior in every aspect of performance. Meanwhile, this type superseded all the 8900s on the Tokaido Main Line in express passenger work. The most remarkable feature of the C51 was its 1,750 mm traction wheels, which could be favorably compared to locomotives on standard gauge.

Steam locomotive E102E10 2, type E10, 2-10 tank, 102.1 tons, 14.5 m. This is the last steam engine developed and the heaviest in Japan. Five E10s were built in 1948 for banking work on the Ou Main Line's 3.3% grading segment between Fukushima and Yonezawa. The segment was electrified one year later, and they were transferred to Kyushu island to work on a similar duty on the Hisatsu Line. The E10 was not particularly powerful compared to the popular D51, so they were transferred to banking work on the Hokuriku Main Line across the Kurikara Pass near Kanazawa. The gradient along the Pass was soon improved by track reconstruction, so they lost their job again, and were finally put to use on short connection work between Maibara and Tamura on the Hokuriku Main Line, which linked DC and AC electrification. They ended their unluckily short lives in 1967. Interestingly, the E10 utilised flangeless wheels on the third and forth axles to make it possible to round a sharp curve.

Electric Locomotive ED161ED161, type ED16, 1-Bo-Bo-1. This is the first domestically made electric locomotive as a standard mid-sized engine. This type of locomotive was mainly used on the Chuo Line and Joetsu Line. They were all withdrawn by the mid-1980s.

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