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 YOGISHA Minakami

Stops Outbound Inbound 
Takasaki 16:50 (dep.) 22:38 (arr.)
Shim-Maebashi 17:08 (dep.) 22:25 (arr.)
Shibukawa 17:30 (arr.)
17:41 (dep.)
22:05 (dep.)
21:44 (arr.)
Numata 18:10 (arr.) 21:16 (dep.)
Gokan 18:31 (arr.) 21:00 (dep.)
Minakami 18:52 (arr.) 20:41 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound 

Gunma DC Opening and Double SL Gunma (only in operation on April 4th)

Stops Gunma DC Opening Double SL Gunma
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 Gunma DC Opening Double SL Gunma
  • * The above information is current as of January 24, 2020.
  • * The stops and times 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.

SL Gunma Yokokawa (up until March)

Stops Outbound Inbound 
Takasaki 9:47 (dep.) 15:18 (arr.)
Annaka 10:04 (arr.)
10:12 (dep.)
14:59 (dep.)
14:51 (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 Gunma Yokokawa (from April onwards)

Stops Outbound Inbound 
Takasaki 9:47 (dep.) 16:18 (arr.)
Annaka 10:04 (arr.)
10:12 (dep.)
15:59 (dep.)
15:51 (arr.)
Isobe 10:25 (arr.)
10:26 (dep.)
15:36 (dep.)
15:35 (arr.)
Yokokawa 10:49 (arr.) 15:15 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound 

SL YOGISHA Yokokawa

Stops Outbound Inbound 
Takasaki 17:38 (dep.) 20:43 (arr.)
Annaka 17:55 (arr.)
18:03 (dep.)
20:24 (dep.)
20:16 (arr.)
Isobe 18:16 (arr.)
18:17 (dep.)
20:01 (dep.)
20:00 (arr.)
Yokokawa 18:40 (arr.) 19:40 (dep.)
Stops Outbound Inbound 

Saitama x Gunma (only in operation on April 5th)

Stops Saitama x Gunma EL Gunma Yokokawa
Kumagaya 11:42 (dep.)
Fukaya 11:55 (dep.)
Honjō 12:06 (dep.)
Takasaki 12:25 (arr.)
12:50 (dep.)
16:18 (arr.)
Annaka 13:07 (arr.)
13:15 (dep.)
15:59 (dep.)
15:51 (arr.)
Isobe 13:28 (arr.)
13:29 (dep.)
15:36 (dep.)
15:35 (arr.)
Yokokawa 13:50 (arr.) 15:15 (dep.)
Stops Saitama x Gunma EL Gunma Yokokawa
  • * The above information is current as of January 24, 2020.
  • * The stops and times 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.

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.

Click here to register

Green circle SL Gunma Minakami Brown circleSL Gunma Yokokawa

January 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
      1 2 3
5 6 7 8 9 10
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 Minakami
Not in operation.
▍SL Gunma Yokokawa
4th, 11th
February 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
           
2 3 4 5 6 7
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

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

▍SL Gunma Minakami
Not in operation.
▍SL Gunma Yokokawa
1st, 8th, 22nd
March 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
1 2 3 4 5 6
8 9 10 11 12 13
15 16 17 18 19
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
April 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10
13 14 15 16 17
20 21 22 23 24
26 27 28 30    

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

▍SL Gunma Minakami
11th, 19th, 29th
▍SL Gunma Yokokawa
12th, 18th, 25th*
* In operation on the 4th as Gunma DC Opening on the outbound journey and as Double SL Gunma on the inbound journey. Please note that the timetable is different.
* In operation as Saitama x Gunma on the outbound journey on the 5th, when it will depart for Yokokawa from Kumagaya. Please note that the timetable is different.
* In operation as SL YOGISHA Yokokawa on the 25th. Please note that the timetable is different.
May 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
          1
6 7 8
11 12 13 14 15 16
18 19 20 21 22
24 25 26 27 28 29
           

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

▍SL Gunma Minakami
2nd, 4th, 9th, 17th, 30th, 31st
▍SL Gunma Yokokawa
3rd, 5th, 10th, 23rd
June 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
  1 2 3 4 5
8 9 10 11 12
15 16 17 18 19
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

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

▍SL Gunma Minakami
6th, 14th, 20th*
▍SL Gunma Yokokawa
7th, 13th
* In operation as SL YOGISHA Minakami on the 20th. Please note that the timetable is different.
July 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
      1 2 3
5 6 7 8 9 10
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 24
26 27 28 29 30 31  

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

▍SL Gunma Minakami
4th, 23rd
▍SL Gunma Yokokawa
11th, 25th
* In operation as SL YOGISHA Minakami on the 4th. Please note that the timetable is different.
* In operation as SL YOGISHA Yokokawa on the 25th. Please note that the timetable is different.
August 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14
17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28
31          

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

▍SL Gunma Minakami
16th, 29th
▍SL Gunma Yokokawa
15th, 30th
September 2020 Calendar
Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11
14 15 16 17 18
22 23 24 25
27 28 29 30      

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

▍SL Gunma Minakami
12th, 19th, 21st
▍SL Gunma Yokokawa
13th, 20th, 26th
  • * The above information is current as of January 24, 2020.
  • * 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