JOYFUL TRAINS

SL Gunma
(D51 498/C61 20)

Service interval: Joetsu Line, Shinetsu Main Line, other

  • SL Gunma (D51 498/C61 20)
  • SL Gunma (D51 498/C61 20)

The SL Gunma Minakami and the SL Gunma Yokokawa are powerful trains that travel through the wild country of Gunma thanks to the D51 498 and the C61 20 steam locomotives.

The D51 498 was originally used for pulling freight cars, and the C61 20 was built as a locomotive for pulling passenger cars. Because they were designed for different purposes, the drive wheels are different in size and number.

The D51 498 has four smaller drive wheel axles, and the C61 20 has three larger wheel axles. When the drive wheels are small, the train gains in ability to handle hills, and when the drive wheels are large, the ride is more comfortable with less vibration. When you ride the trains, you will probably be able to tell the difference. Try them both out and compare.

*Online seat reservation will be available from Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 beginning at 5:30AM (JST) Online booking makes it easy! JR-EAST Train Reservation

Go inside with Google Street View

Go inside with Google Street View

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

The structure of the C61 steam locomotive

The structure of the C61 steam locomotive

The structure of the C61 steam locomotive

The C61 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. A variety of skills are also needed to handle weather conditions, rail grade, the load being pulled, quirks in the individual locomotive and team coordination.

The C61 cab

The C61 cab

Regular stops

Regular stops

Timetables

Route & Timetables

SL Gunma Minakami

Stops Outbound Inbound
Takasaki 9:56 (dep.) 17:13 (arr.)
Shim-Maebashi 10:14 (dep.) 16:55 (arr.)
Shibukawa 10:34 (arr.)
10:55 (dep.)
16:35 (dep.)
16:21 (arr.)
Numata 11:24 (arr.) 15:52 (dep.)
Gokan 11:43 (arr.) 15:39 (dep.)
Minakami 12:03 (arr.) 15:20 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound

SL Gunma Yokokawa (until November 23rd)

Stops Outbound Inbound
Takasaki 9:47 (dep.) 16:18 (arr.)
Annaka 10:12 (dep.) 15:51 (arr.)
Isobe 10:25 (arr.) 15:36 (dep.)
Yokokawa 10:49 (arr.) 15:15 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound

SL Gunma Yokokawa (on and after December 7th)

Stops Outbound Inbound
Takasaki 9:47 (dep.) 15:18 (arr.)
Annaka 10:04 AM (arr.)
10:12 AM (dep.)
2:59 PM (dep.)
2:51 PM (arr.)
Isobe 10:25 (arr.)
10:26 (dep.
14:36 (dep.)
14:35 (arr.)
Yokokawa 10:49 (arr.) 14:15 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound

SL YOGISHA Yokokawa

Stops Outbound Inbound
Takasaki 16:08 (dep.) 18:38 (arr.)
Annaka 16:25 (arr.)
16:33 (dep.)
18:19 (dep.)
18:11 (arr.)
Isobe 16:46 (arr.)
16:47 (dep.)
17:56 (dep.)
17:55 (arr.)
Yokokawa 17:10 (arr.) 17:35 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound
* The times and stops listed above may be subject to change.
* Reserved seats are available from 10:00 one month before the departure date at the ticket offices (Midori-no-madoguchi) of key stations.
* There may be changes to the locomotive and passenger cars in operation.

Calendar

Green circle Brown circle Days marked with colored circles indicate the days this train service is in operation.

Green circle SL Gunma Minakami Brown circle SL Gunma Yokokawa

August 2019
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

This train service is in operation on the following days in August 2019.

● SL Gunma Minakami
3rd, 10th, 12th, 18th, 24th, 31st
● SL Gunma Yokokawa
4th, 11th, 17th, 25th

September 2019
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          

This train service is in operation on the following days in September 2019.

● SL Gunma Minakami
7th, 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, 28tht
● SL Gunma Yokokawa
1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th

October 2019
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

This train service is in operation on the following days in October 2019.

● SL Gunma Minakami
26th
● SL Gunma Yokokawa
28th
* In operation as SL Gunma Kenmin-no-Hi on the 28th.

November 2019
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

This train service is in operation on the following days in November 2019.

● SL Gunma Minakami
2nd, 9th, 16th, 24th, 30th
● SL Gunma Yokokawa
3rd, 10th, 17th, 23rd

December 2019
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

This train service is in operation on the following days in December 2019.

● SL Gunma Minakami
Not in operation.
● SL Gunma Yokokawa
7th, 14th, 21st
In operation as SL YOGISHA Yokokawa on the 21st. Please note that the timetable is different.

January 2020
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

This train service is in operation on the following days in January 2020.

● SL Gunma MinakamiNot in operation.
● SL Gunma Yokokawa
4th, 11th

February 2020
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

This train service is in operation on the following days in February 2020.

● SL Gunma MinakamiNot in operation.
● SL Gunma Yokokawa
1st, 8th, 22nd

March 2020
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

This train service is in operation on the following days in March 2020.

● SL Gunma Minakami
20th
● SL Gunma Yokokawa
7th, 14th, 21st

  • * Service dates may be subject to change.

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.

Online seat reservation

*Online seat reservation will be available from Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 beginning at 5:30AM (JST)

Online booking makes it easy! JR-EAST Train Reservation