JOYFUL TRAINS

D51 498

Service interval: Joetsu Line, Shinetsu Main Line, other

  • SL Banetsu Monogatari
  • SL Banetsu Monogatari

Production of the D51 began in 1936, and 1115 of the steam locomotives were produced in all. Originally intended for cargo, the D51 was also used for passenger travel on steep railroad grades because of its powerful pulling force. A favorite model, the locomotive has come to be known as the "Degoichi," a nickname that is now used to refer to steam locomotives in general.

After retirement in 1972, the D51 498 sat quietly at Gokan Station on the Joetsu Line. After undergoing repairs and restoration work at the Omiya workshop in 1988, the D51 became active as a special-use and event train, particularly on the Joetsu and Shinetsu Main Lines.

Car interior

The structure of the D51 steam locomotive

The structure of the D51 steam locomotive

The structure of the D51 steam locomotive

The D51 cab

The D51 cab

The cab, also known as the driver's compartment, is equipped with a number of control devices. Operation of a steam locomotive requires an engineer and two assistants. Operating a steam locomotive requires a variety of skills to handle weather conditions, rail grade, the load being pulled, quirks in the individual locomotive and team coordination.

The D51 cab

The D51 cab

How to purchase

Tickets for the D51 498 are not available for sale outside of Japan. There are multiple ways to purchase tickets as follows.

Passes:
Purchase a pass that is for foreign visitors to Japan and covers the travel area. Recommended passes when visiting Japan

Note: Not all services are available on certain trains when boarding with a pass or a ticket.