Built in 1946, the SL Banetsu Monogatari has long been loved by passengers, earning the nickname of "Kifujin" (Noble Lady) for its graceful appearance with the large driving wheels and narrow boiler. The number 180 was retired to a quiet life at Niitsu Station, an important railway location, but was then pulled out of retirement in 1999 due to popular demand. It was revived as the SL Banetsu Monogatari, running seasonally on the Ban-etsu-West Line. The 12 series rolling stock was modified for the passenger cars. Wood patterns and soft colors create an old-style atmosphere evocative of the beloved Taisho era (1912–1926).