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Atomsk

U.S. Army operated trains in occupied Japan.

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Does anyone know where I can find pictures of the passenger equipment that ran on trains operated by the U.S. Army, during the occupation of Japan (1945 - 1952)?

 

I've seen lists of the cars used in these operations, but can't find any pictures.

 

 

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Maybe if you share the lists someone could help more easily. Personally i've only seen us marked cars in normal commuter stock and standard prewar passenger cars in special trains.

 

Since Europe had usatc locomotives and stock, it's possible that there were unique cars or locomotives in Japan too.

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There are a few non-US names sprinkled through the list as a reminder that other countries were involved in the occupation.  I was surprised to see combine 2530 'Toowoomba'. I wonder how many American service men were left wondering if it was some southwestern indian name?

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Posted (edited)

There are a few non-US names sprinkled through the list as a reminder that other countries were involved in the occupation.  I was surprised to see combine 2530 'Toowoomba'. I wonder how many American service men were left wondering if it was some southwestern indian name?

Probably the same number of Imperial/Commonwealth troops wondered where in Africa the names Poughkeepsie (1429), Schenectady (23159), or Passaic (2512) came from.  (These are all Algonquin names, from the American North East :)

 

Still, with names like Baltimore, Birmingham and Cambridge (1402, 4, 5) it might confuse both sides as to which city they were named after in the first place.

Edited by Atomsk

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Hello,

 

I was at the Kyoto Railway Museum a few weeks ago and took the following:

 

post-1976-0-90564700-1483508425_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-42357800-1483508426_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-90006200-1483508426_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-34643900-1483508427_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-62480600-1483508445_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-09058200-1483508446_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-53893700-1483508446_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-96619800-1483508446_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-44229400-1483508447_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-92714700-1483508447_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-99402500-1483508424_thumb.jpgpost-1976-0-43211800-1483508425_thumb.jpg

 

The car photos were taken from a video slide show in the Sleeper Trains special exhibit.  The green drumhead (tailmark) was also in that exhibit.  The red drumhead was in one of the regular history exhibits.

 

If you haven't already done so, you may want to contact the U S Army Transportation Museum for further information.  I suspect the above car photos came from U S sources.

 

http://www.transportation.army.mil/museum/transportation%20museum/research.htm

 

Good luck,

 

Chuck Amstein

 

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

 

I was at the Kyoto Railway Museum a few weeks ago and took the following:

...

Good luck,

 

Chuck Amstein

These are great.  The best images if this equipment I've seen so far.

 

Thanks

Edited by Atomsk

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Yes, the US Army Transportation Corps brought eight 44-tonner type locos into the country. They were the narrow-gauge variants with articulated bogies that also carried the drawgear. They were originally numbered as the 8500 series. When ownership was transferred to JNR they were reclassified DD12.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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If you haven't already done so, you may want to contact the U S Army Transportation Museum for further information.  I suspect the above car photos came from U S sources.

They appear to be the same photos that appear in this publication:

 

gallery_22_66_728871.jpg

 

gallery_22_66_1416775.jpg

 

My copy of this book is a reprint and I don't know where it originated from, but I think your suggestion about the US Army Transportation Museum is probably the way to go.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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Maybe if you share the lists someone could help more easily. Personally i've only seen us marked cars in normal commuter stock and standard prewar passenger cars in special trains.

Since Europe had usatc locomotives and stock, it's possible that there were unique cars or locomotives in Japan too.

As far as I know the only USATC locos in Japan were the GE's mentioned previously. Otherwise they simply used existing Japanese locos and stock. To assist with that they published detailed lists of equipment to familiarise US personnel with what was available:

 

gallery_22_66_447570.jpg

 

gallery_22_66_277042.jpg

 

gallery_22_66_670485.jpg

 

gallery_22_66_181141.jpg

 

The list makes very interesting reading.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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That's a very interesting find, but I'm somewhat dubious of the Army shipping over a half-century old wooden car.

 

I should think it more likely that it was done privately - for whatever reason.

 

It's not surprising that an employee of the car lot doesn't know the history, but I suspect someone in the Funabashi neighborhood knows something - perhaps the owner of the business.

 

Or, perhaps an older member of the Japanese railfan community.

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Well - I like mysteries / research projects, and this seemed like a good one.

 

I contacted a D&RG guy I found on the web, and he wrote:

 

"I have the book RIO GRANDE CAR PLANS and there is no car shown matching the window pattern so it is hard to say whether or not it is actually a DRGW car... just don't know what to tell you off hand..."

 

However, this is clearly a standard gauge car, so would not have been associated with the D&RGW narrow gauge operations.  One difficulty is that is it often not clear just which railroad is being referred to - as can be seen by the title of the book he references.

 

While still not knowing when or why the car got to Japan, we do have proof of its existence in the US:

 

http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15330coll22/id/29918

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I don't have more info but i did see info on one old standard gauge hungarian steam locomotive that ended up in Japan in the early 1980ies. It was purchased in running condition and 3 decades later ended up at a used equipment/scrap dealership along with afaik a japanese standard gauge emu.

 

The bogies under the american car looks to be modified american style japanese freight bogies from the 50-60ies, so they could come from anywhere. I wonder if the car is still around as the photo report is 20 years old. Btw. older narrow profile standard gauge cars could run on the japanese cape gauge network.

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I don't have more info but i did see info on one old standard gauge hungarian steam locomotive that ended up in Japan in the early 1980ies. It was purchased in running condition and 3 decades later ended up at a used equipment/scrap dealership along with afaik a japanese standard gauge emu.

 

The bogies under the american car looks to be modified american style japanese freight bogies from the 50-60ies, so they could come from anywhere. I wonder if the car is still around as the photo report is 20 years old. Btw. older narrow profile standard gauge cars could run on the japanese cape gauge network.

I did a Google map search of the neighborhood described in the JRS piece and couldn't find it on the only used car lot in the neighborhood.  There is a railroad car size empty patch of dirt next door, but that's probably just coincidence.  I suspect that the Frederick is long gone now.

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I did a search too and after the 2nd dozen of used car shops, auto parts shops, scrapyards and more empty patches of farmland with cars just stored tightly on them, i gave up. The ex farm area east of the tracks is just a big scrapyard. Some of the stored cars on unlabeled and unfenced patches visible on streetview look like the previous owner hasn't even cleared out his/her personal stuff.

 

Maybe asking the writer of the original article for up to date information might work.

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I might see if I can do a model of the Toowoomba​ in time for the Toowoomba model train show this year.  A Kato スロニ30 should be a close enough stand in for a スロニ31.  I'm assuming the stripe below the windows was white.

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On the subject of American rollingsock in Japan I took these photos through a knot hole in a side door of the roundhouse at the railway museum in Otaru last September.  I have as yet been able to find out anything about it and have only found one photo online that shows it in the distance but I assume it could be a replica that they run behind their 2-6-0 in the museum grounds.

post-182-0-65117400-1484116924_thumb.jpgpost-182-0-59107400-1484116925_thumb.jpg

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Maybe asking the writer of the original article for up to date information might work.

 

Hiroshi Naito, the author, is the fellow who the JRS guy says he forwarded my message to.

 

I had asked him to enquire about any knowledge of the current status.

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On the subject of American rollingsock in Japan I took these photos through a knot hole in a side door of the roundhouse at the railway museum in Otaru last September.  I have as yet been able to find out anything about it and have only found one photo online that shows it in the distance but I assume it could be a replica that they run behind their 2-6-0 in the museum grounds.

attachicon.gif20160912_134029.jpgattachicon.gif20160912_134045.jpg

 

I'm not sure it's a replica, as I don't know why they would bother to add a fictitious maintenance (?) date.

 

It definitely looks narrow gauge to me, as it seems to be sitting quite low to the ground.

 

I checked for railroads around Hinckley, MN and there are some SG lines.  However, there were a good number of NG logging lines in the region.

 

I can't decide if that's O.A.R.K. or G.A.R.K.  In any event, I didn't get any hits for it in MN.

 

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I did a search too and after the 2nd dozen of used car shops, auto parts shops, scrapyards and more empty patches of farmland with cars just stored tightly on them, i gave up.

 

I wonder if the city has some sort of historical society?

 

Surely someone must know something about it.

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I might see if I can do a model of the Toowoomba​ in time for the Toowoomba model train show this year.  A Kato スロニ30 should be a close enough stand in for a スロニ31.  I'm assuming the stripe below the windows was white.

I've got a book with a couple of colour photos showing cars like these, and yes, the stripes are white.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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I did a search too and after the 2nd dozen of used car shops, auto parts shops, scrapyards and more empty patches of farmland with cars just stored tightly on them, i gave up. The ex farm area east of the tracks is just a big scrapyard. Some of the stored cars on unlabeled and unfenced patches visible on streetview look like the previous owner hasn't even cleared out his/her personal stuff.

 

Maybe asking the writer of the original article for up to date information might work.

 

I heard from Hiroshi Naito, who wrote the article, today and he says:

 

"I checked the plot where the car was located on Google Earth and was easily able to  identify the plot.

But, unfortunately, the plot appeared to be vacant now. Not only the car but also the used car shop itself were gone."

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