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).
*Online seat reservation will be available from Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 beginning at 5:30AM (JST)
In April 2014, car number one was remodeled into two parts, the "Okojo Room" as a playroom for children and the "Okojo Observation Room" for adults to enjoy. Come and enjoy the Okojo Observation Car with the whole family. The train staff organizes games and other fun events, including rock-paper-scissors contests.
Car no. 7: Green Car
Carrying the nostalgic feel of the Taisho period, the SL Banetsu Monogatari has the grace of the C57-180 (Kifujin) model, and in 2013, a Green Car was brought on board to bring a new level of comfort and pleasure to travelers. Enjoy the scenery outbound and the power of the SL on the way home.
Car no. 7: Green Car seats
The front end of the Green Car has a sense of spaciousness with a panoramic observation room. Just in front of the observation room on the return journey is the powerful SL locomotive.
Car no. 7: Panorama observation room
Seating 30 people, the Green Car has reclining seats that rotate. The layout of each row is three seats, with one seat on one side of the aisle and two on the other, and each row is comfortably separated from the others on par with the standard Green Car arrangement.
* The above information is current as of January 24, 2020.
* The stops and times may be subject to change.
* The SL Relay rapid-service train (all non-reserved seating) operates between Niigata Station and Niitsu Station to link up with the steam locomotive. * Passengers can transfer from the SL Relay to the Aizu-Wakamatsu bound SL Banetsu Monogatari at Niitsu Station without changing platforms.
Days marked with colored circles indicate the days this train service is in operation.
If you click on a date the train is in operation, you can search for empty seats and make a ticket reservation. * You need to have registered with JR-EAST Train Reservation.