Welcome to our blog!
We are a trio of third-year students taking a class on “English for Tourrism” at Tokoha University.
We are on an internship at Local Travel Partners.
Our role is to introduce recommended activities in Shizuoka through writing blog posts in English.
We would like to introduce attractions of the Oigawa Railway through 2 posts.
This is part 1:We introduce the unique history of cars.
In part 2: We introduce our own trip experience by Oigawa Railway in May 2022.
The members are Takuro, Ryunosuke and Yudai.
First of all, here is information about the railroads you can see on Oigawa Railroad Sightseeing.
The most popular attraction on the Oigawa Railway is the steam locomotive.
Especially “Thomas-go” which is a famous collaboration with “Thomas the Locomotive” is famous.
Not only Thomas, but also Percy, James, Hiro, Rusty, Bertie, and other friends of Thomas can be seen.
But what we want to present is not a steam locomotive, but a regular train.
The trains used on the Oigawa Railway were purchased when they were disposed of after being used in various parts of Japan.
The 16000 series
The 16000 series that we rode this time was manufactured by Kintetsu in Osaka and was built in 1966.
Since this train was originally a toll express, the seats have a wide pitch and can recline.
It is not possible to ride on this train without paying an express fare except for Oigawa Railway.
Next is the 21000 series.
This train comes from Nankai Electric Railway, which used to run in Osaka, Nara, and Wakayama.
It is a very old train, manufactured in 1958. However, it is still running very well. It looks very cute and lovely.
The last one is 7200 series.
Manufactured in 1968.
It was originally a train of Tokyu Corporation (Tokyo and Kanagawa area), and moved to Towada Kanko Electric Railway in Aomori Prefecture in 2002.
The two cars were transported by a trailer over a distance of 850 km in 6 days from Tokyo to Aomori Prefecture and were installed after upgrading the one-man system, ATS, and barrier-free accessibility.
Later, these cars were purchased by Oigawa Railway.
They have a driver’s cab at both ends of each car, allowing it to be operated as a single car.
In principle, the trains are operated in two-car formation, but they may be operated in one-car formation during special train operations or events.
These cars are operating from Kanaya Station to Senzu Station.
Beyond Senzu Station, it is run as Ikawa Line of Oigawa Railway.
The trains on the Ikawa Line are pulled by electric locomotives (DD20 type) with passenger cars (Kuha 600 series and Slof 300 series) that look like trolley cars.
The most distinctive feature of the line is that it is the only one in Japan with an apt-type electric locomotive (ED90 class).
The apt system is a type of railroad system (rack railroad) invented by Carl Roman Apt, which is used to go up steep grades.
The rack railroad system began to be put into practical use in Switzerland and the U.S. around 1869 and spread around the world, and now Swiss tourist railroads are world-famous.
Currently, the Southern Alps Apt Line of the Oigawa Railway is the only train in Japan where you can ride this type of train.
The apt-type locomotives are equipped with a gear called a “rack wheel pinion” that is specially designed for slopes, and it goes up and down slopes by meshing with a tooth-shaped rail called a “rack rail” that is laid in the middle of the track.
You can experience an apt train between Apto-Ichishiro Station and Nagashima Dam Station.
Thank you for reading our post.
In our next post, we will show you our own trip by Oigawa Railway in May 2022.