1928-built Meitetsu veteran car 755, at Tanigumi, by Anthony Robuns, February 2000.
By Anthony Robins
Time is running out to take the veteran tramcars running north-west
Gifu on the lines beyond Kurono to Hon-Ibi and Tanigumi. Both lines are
expected to close in September 2001 and the number of workings by the
vintage, traditional cars in the Meitetsu fleet is falling.
The line to Tanigumi, originally opened in April 1926 by the
Railway became part of Meitetsu in 1944, while the line to Hon-Ibi was
originally a Mino Railway line which opened in December 1929.
Connection through to Gifu occurred with the link-up of systems at
Chusetsu in December 1954.
Older types have diminished, including the type 2320 trailers used
1997, but among the veteran cars still running is 755 featured here in
archetypal Meitetsu red, dating from November 1928 and converted for
one-man operation in 1984. 755 is very noticeably heavier, higher, and
larger than its new counterparts, the two-car type 770 and single car
780. 755 features on the cover of Meitetsu's 2000 timetable and
continues, at least for now, to operate alongside 751 and 754, as well
as the three handsome red and white 510s (512, 513 and 514). The 510s
survive from 1926, the last year of the Taisho period.
Operation of the lines is ending and time to see them is running
Hon-Ibi is seven kilometres and nine minutes from Kurono, with two
intermediate stops en route, while Tanigumi takes twenty two minutes
for the fourteen kilometres, with seven intermediate stops. Frequency
in both cases is basically hourly, increasing to half-hourly (Hon-Ibi)
and every fifty minutes (Tanigumi) in the morning and afternoon peak
755 waiting for next operation at lonely Tanigumi station, by Anthony Robins, February 2000.
755 with its new counterpart 787, type 780, at Kurono, by Anthony Robins, February 2000, by Anthony Robins, March 2000.
784 parking at Hon-Ibi, seven kilometres and nine minutes from Kurono, by Anthony Robins, February 2000.
Scenery viewed from Hon-Ibi station. The track stretches all the way to Kurono by single track, by Anthony Robins, February 2000.
781 street running in Gifu city, by Hiroshi Naito, March 1999.