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Pashina12

Planning Aizu

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It'll be a few months yet before I can actually start building anything, but I figured it's not too early to start planning a layout!

 

 

So, the intention, basically, is to model JNR's Aizu line as it was in the early 70s, with DMUs doing the passenger service, and C11s pulling freight... and occasionally swap the steam out for a DE10 and say it's 1976 instead of 1973.

 

I do have a preference for modelling real places in a recognisable way, but I don't go to quite the extreme as some, who model sidewalk litter accurately (if there's a Pepsi can by the fireplug in the picture, there's one on the model, too, sort of thing). My take on "location modelling" is that I don't need it to be that accurate - just enough so that someone who is familiar with the area could look at my representation and say, "yeah, that looks like XYZ". So for me that means reasonably accurate track plans (of course, within the expected restrictions, I mean, in 1:150 scale 1 km would be 6.667 metres, who has that sort of space?), and to get the major railway-related structures right (stations, bridges, etc).

 

My interest in railways started out more as regards their role in the social and economic development of the places they serve, the whys of their location, that sort of thing, though over the years I've grown an interest in the trains themselves, too. But basically, the railway in its role as an integral part of a place's history. I point that out right now just as a bit of background for my thinking; to me, representing a place at a moment in time is more important than just seeing trains run... I'm also more interested in operations than running - switching, timetable ops and the like. I've operated on a few layouts where the trains were running on timetables, and I found it quite enjoyable, and switching puzzles are entertaining, too.

 

Anyways, getting back to the Aizu Line. My intention is to take a modular approach to designing and building the layout, for three main reasons. One, I rent, and regardless of how long I might live somewhere, it doesn't have the permanence I'd like to have before I invest in building something that can't be moved. Two, mobility - I'd like to be able to take it out to meets and the like. And three, expandability - theoretically I could end up modelling the entire line, adding bits a module at a time, and not have to cut anything up, even if I were to start out just building the two end points.

 

I don't know about building the *entire* line, but as I'm seeing it right now, eventually I want to have modules of:

 

* Aizu-Takinohara (the terminus) - http://senrohaisenzu.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2008/11/1979720-3512.html  -- This is actually the spot that sold me on this line, as I loved the photos on this link here; the atmosphere of it just grabbed me, and I love the way the line just went into the grass there at the end.

 

* the Sannōgawa bridge between Takinohara and Itozawa - https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/山王川橋梁_(会津鉄道会津線)  --  little to say other than it's a pretty bridge

 

* Aizu-Tajima - http://senrohaisenzu.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2008/04/197988_ae52.html  --  this was as far as freight trains went, there's steam facilities here, and again great atmosphere. There's some switching work here, but I might take some modeller's licence here and add a bit more (or I might instead do that at Takinohara; or, conversely, I might vary things by having LCL be a thing at the stations I do build. Or some combination of these...)

 

* Yunokami - http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/hiroh7h/6686154.html  --  just incredibly picturesque, and a "bookend" for the stretch of bridge-tunnel-bridge

 

* the Ōgawa bridges - http://drfc-ob.com/wp/archives/53322  --  there were five of these in a rather long bridge-tunnel-bridge-tunnel stretch between Yunokami and Kuwabara. *Maybe* a long way down the road I'll build all five, but for the "current long-term plan" is to have #1 and #2 bridges - the last three photos above the map in the link

 

* Kuwabara - http://myoldsteamers.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-1676.html and the fourth from last picture (colour) at http://www.geocities.jp/aidusl/aizutetsu.html  -- this station is gone, flooded by the reservoir of the Ōgawa Dam. But it's the starting point for the Ōgawa bridges section, and the end point of a steep (2.5%) run down from Kamimiyori, with a tank for watering up the steamers after the uphill run. I *think* this is as far as the helper engines ran - sometimes they added a second C11 at the end of heavier trains to make the run from Kamimiyori to Kuwabara.

 

* Kuragawa Bridge between Kamimiyori and Funako (towards Kuwabara) - https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/闇川橋梁 and see http://library.jsce.or.jp/jscelib/committee/2003/bridge/Draw/T5-129.jpg (from http://library.jsce.or.jp/jscelib/committee/2003/bridge/T5-129.htm). This is a very interesting bridge even in and of itself, built off-centre with a counterweight at one side because of the depth of the ravine... but then look at http://www5.plala.or.jp/stmlo9600/sl/sl217.html and see the arch bridge for the highway adjacent? This is IMO one of the prettiest locations on a very pretty line.

 

* Kamimiyori - http://kabutogoe.web.fc2.com/aidu/aidu.html#21 and some on http://kemurinimakarete.moo.jp/z1205takinohara.html showing the uphill  --  so this starts the big grade to Kuwabara, and per my thinking this is going to be the first properly scenicked/built location in my representation of the line, as I can't decide if I should have Nishi-Wakamatsu just as a staging module, or if I should make that at least a partial representation of the station.

 

Yes I know that's a lot - that's why it's my "first long-term plan"! :P I want to start with Aizu-Takinohara and the Kuragawa bridge modules first. After that... whatever strikes my fancy at the time. No point in making a plan of "1. This. 2. That. 3. That one there." because I'll likely end up changing it 69 times between now and then. I think the Kuragawa bridge module will be the more straightforward, mostly that'll just involve drawing up the plans for the bridges and building them.

 

More involved is gonna be Takinohara... I'll have to figure out how far I can compress things, where to put the joints between sections (I'm thinking it might be too big a chunk to build on a single module), that sort of thing, aside of course from drawing/building the station, scouring to see if Kato or Tomix or Greenmax or whoever have water towers/turntables/coaling "towers" that are close in appearance or if I'll have to build those, too, etc...

 

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Wow! That's a really interesting project! Will be fun to follow. Do you know where to start or you plan to model several places at once?

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Well, at the moment I'm thinking I'm going to start with Aizu-Takinohara, and the Kuragawa bridge. The only downside of that is that there wouldn't be much to do operationally with just those two... so it occurs to me just now that it might be worth considering starting with Aizu-Tajima first (and the bridge)...

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I just went through all the photos I've collected so far of C11s pulling freight trains on the Aizu line (except for pics at Nishi-Wakamatsu, because whatever's there might well be Tadami line freight), to take a closer look at what the freight car assortment is... and at a rough guess it's about 50-50 between WaMu and ToRa. Of the ToRa, about 70-30 ratio of those with "cages" and those without. I can't really tell what the ones with the cages are carrying, but I'd say a good half or more of the ones without are carrying wood/logs. Of the others without a cage that were loaded, couldn't tell what the load was because they're covered with tarps.

 

In all the pictures (I didn't count, but upwards of 50), I could identify only two cars that weren't a WaMu or a ToRa - a TsuMu 1000 class ventilated box, and a Re/ReMu of some sort.

 

As an aside, there was one interesting train composed of C11, 4x Yo, 4x WaMu, 1x ToRa. This somewhat surprised me, as Yo seem fairly rare in comparison to the much more frequent WaFu.

 

So. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of variety of *types* of freight car on the line, though the variety in subtypes of WaMu is pretty extensive; less so with the ToRa. The WaMu are easy enough to deal with in terms of modelling, can just drop them at the freight dock of any station. I'll have to try and find out what was at Aizu-Tajima that needed so many gons.

 

I'm kinda okay with this as I do love boxcars, but it does give some motivation to consider at least a partial representation of Aizu-Wakamatsu, as at the side of the station where the Aizu Line starts out, there are also a number of tracks with numerous tank cars (which I like even more than boxcars). I mean, even if they're just sitting there in a static display sort of thing, I'd have an excuse to buy a bunch of tank cars!

 

Another possibility of course is to add some industry that needs other cars; I'd need to do some digging to see what happens/happened in the area in terms of industry. I'm not sure how keen on this option I am, though, as I worry a bit how much it'd affect the atmosphere of the line, but it's something to consider at least. Perhaps a meat or vegetable packer could be an option, based on the photos with the reefer and the vent car. I've also started to think about perhaps fudging reality a bit and having freight go all the way to Takinohara, by adding a freight dock at the station, and maybe a (small!) fuel/oil distributor there too, to allow me to run tank cars. So, plenty to think about on this particular subject. Passenger trains can't really be made to be super interesting from a model-operations perspective, just go-stop-go-stop, really, but running wayfreights is definitely fun (at least to me!), so I'm not too averse to tweaking reality a little bit to add a bit more for the wayfreights to do.

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You might want to find out what the removed tracks at the terminus was used for. There seemed to be at least one freight platform and the stub track seemed to be a platformless runaround/storage track.

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As I understand it, the track wasn't really removed so much as it was supposed to continue on (as it does today), they just never got around to building it further. Notice the house adjacent (partly hidden by trees), with the Japanese flag there, and the wooden walkway to the switch stand... I wonder who lived there? Stationmaster?

 

The platform there is exactly where I was thinking about adding the freight shed. Could go either by adding another track there for it in addition to the stub track, or - and this would be a step towards necessary compression - could move the platform to the stub track.

 

How was that coal tower loaded, I wonder? Shovelled out of a gondola?

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I was talking about the stub track, that seemed to be a full runaround and were truncated to a stub later. The old tracks are still visible on some of the 1979 photos. Also there seemed to be another track next to the freight platform. This would mean you could have 4 tracks, one loading track, one runaround track and the two passenger tracks around the passenger platform. The loading track was either a stub or a full track like the others.

 

Also found some info on the freight. Some of the outbound freight seemed to be logs, cut up wood and wood chips. The caged and the caged+covered tora cars were mostly used for various cut up wood products and wood chips. This seems logical and indicate a sawmill somewhere nearby. For incoming freight some of the refrigerator cars on the older photos were used exclusively for fish and some for other meat products.

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I was talking about the stub track, that seemed to be a full runaround and were truncated to a stub later. The old tracks are still visible on some of the 1979 photos. Also there seemed to be another track next to the freight platform. This would mean you could have 4 tracks, one loading track, one runaround track and the two passenger tracks around the passenger platform. The loading track was either a stub or a full track like the others.

 

Also found some info on the freight. Some of the outbound freight seemed to be logs, cut up wood and wood chips. The caged and the caged+covered tora cars were mostly used for various cut up wood products and wood chips. This seems logical and indicate a sawmill somewhere nearby. For incoming freight some of the refrigerator cars on the older photos were used exclusively for fish and some for other meat products.

 

Ahh, okay, sorry - I misunderstood what you were referring to.

 

So I see 3 possibilities:

 

post-7682-0-97331800-1489339812_thumb.png

post-7682-0-41125600-1489339812_thumb.png

post-7682-0-81958500-1489339811_thumb.png

 

 

The first two would be easiest operationally, I think, with the first one being more compact. The third one... well, as I look at it right now I realise this arrangement wouldn't work very well, as the stub at the end of the line isn't long enough to fit the engine and car(s), so it'd have to be the other way around - the switch is at the left side, with the track ending at the right end of the freight platform. It'd be a bit more involved an operation dropping cars off and picking them up - train pulls onto the through track, uncouples, runs over to turn around, grabs the car(s) to be dropped off from the other end, backs in to drop them off. Easy to grab them again when leaving.

 

Gets a bit more complex if there are also cars to pick up. But would that be done by the same trip? Or might the upwards train make an empty run from Tajima down to Takinohara to grab car(s) needing picked up, and the downwards train making an empty run back to tie up at Tajima? If freight is inbound-only (and any outbound is just LCL), if it arrives in the morning, then the engine crew could just go grab some ramen for lunch and then chill whilst the cars are unloaded, then take the empties away in the afternoon/evening. Hmmm. Now considering this further, with keeping in mind that the engine shed etc are in Tajima.

 

How long would it take to unload a couple WaMus? I don't expect it should really take much longer than a couple hours. So I could see the day's work starting at Tajima, putting together the upbound train of ToRas loaded with woodstuffs and setting empty ToRas out for loading, then running down to Takinohara with the loaded car or two that came in on the previous day's downbound from Nishi-Wakamatsu (unless of course it's perishables, then it'd be delivered same day?), having lunch whilst those are unloaded/loaded; grabbing those then, then heading up to Tajima to grab the previously-assembled train and heading up the line to Wakamatsu (and doing whatever necessary work along the way). I don't really know what I'm talking about here, just musing off the top of my head as to how to make this work. :)

 

And unrelatedly, I just discovered another thing to motivate at least a partial representation of Nishi-Wakamatsu: long-nosed 485系 on the "Aizu" limited express...

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And unrelatedly, I just discovered another thing to motivate at least a partial representation of Nishi-Wakamatsu: long-nosed 485系 on the "Aizu" limited express...

 

...or not. :( I just realised now that although the Ban'etsu West Line goes through Aizu-Wakamatsu and is electrified, and *that* is where the 485s were at. Oh well. I might get a set eventually anyways, if I can get it with the "Aizu" name board.

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Sorry about the non-possibility for EMU operations. If you consider your layout after 1986, you use Tobu EMU at Aizukōgen-ozeguchi... But then no freight and certainly no steamers...

 

Anyway, somehow I have the feeling the setup for Aizu-takinohara was more like this:

 

post-188-0-91579200-1489359867_thumb.png

 

With the freight track being a stub, rather than a runaround option. It's more common to see these kind of setups, as it saves a point to maintain. The trees on the north side of the station (second picture) would also suggest that there was no track on that side.

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While I do really like electrics... nnnah, I don't think post-1986 is an option for me here. Partly because of the steamers and the freight, partly because after 1986 it's the new line, fewer Ōgawa bridges, and and no Kuwabara. I'll live. ;)

 

Good point about the trees (and the cost savings!). I think I'll file that diagram as the one to go with.

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Thanks to the author of a Minami Aizu blog, I've found this link: http://kraken.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2014/05/post-22fb.html on which there are some scans of JNR diagrams of a hand-powered turntable that appears to be of the same size and design as the one at Aizukōgen-ozeguchi/Aizu-Takinohara. It's a little difficult to read, but it should prove helpful when it comes to building the turntable. I don't know yet how I'll go about that, but I'm thinking I might buy a turntable of appropriate size and kitbash it.

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I agree with Toni - his version of the track diagram is a typical arrangement for branch terminals in the JNR era. That would make shunting the goods shed easy, as it could all be done as trailing point moves, and if needed, they can take the peg and use the mainline as a long headshunt.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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And now I've made a very interesting discovery - a couple of trains that I'm going to want to reproduce, so I'd love some input on the cars in the trains (all these pics are from http://blog.livedoor.jp/forever_sl/tag/%E4%BC%9A%E6%B4%A5%E7%B7%9A)...

 

Firstly,

http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/forever_sl/imgs/3/0/30a4b05e.jpg

http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/forever_sl/imgs/7/5/75371614.jpg

 

A lime green Yo5000! That will really stand out, and I've never seen such a thing before. So I have to model this train:

- C11 204,

- the lime green Yo5004,

- the next car looks to me like a WaRa1 or a WaMu60000? Not WaMu70000 because round roof and the ribs on the end are different, I think

- I'm even less sure about the second boxcar. Certainly not a WaMu50000 because no diagonal ribs, and not a WaMu21000 based on the door being different than I've seen on the 21000s (also, though the photo of the train isn't clear by that point, I can't make out any horizontal seam line on the sides). So the two options I see are Wa10000 or Wa12000?

- I really can't tell what the last three are, but I'm guessing they're ToRa with cages - 90000s, at a guess, but I'm really uncertain... something about them seems wrong somehow.

 

And secondly,

http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/forever_sl/imgs/5/5/552db26c.jpg

http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/forever_sl/imgs/b/d/bd53f50c.jpg

 

These are either two separate trains, or maybe the same cars on two trips...

 

- C11 254,

- WaFu with two windows, so not a 21000 or 22000; so maybe 29000, 29500 or 35000. Looking at that protrusion above the windows - on the 29000s I've seen on photos, such a protrusion is above and to the right of the second window (the one closer to the door), and on the 29500s it's above and to the left of the first window, right by the corner at the platform end, whereas on the one in these photos, the protrusion is above and *between* the two windows... 35000s seem to have them in varying places, but I have a photo of WaFu35048 taken on the Aizu Line, which has that protruding thing above/between the windows, so I'm going to guess that that's a 35000 - maybe even 35048 specifically.

- I haven't seen hoppers like those two - are those MoW/ballast hoppers (my guess is based on the spouts opening on the side)?

- three ToRa90000s with cages, I think

- and the other car(s; one in the first pic, two in the second) - ToRa70000, based on the pressed-steel ends and vertical ribs on the side panels

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I'm not at home, so I can't refer to any references, but from memory the No.6 light green livery was introduced in the late 1950s for brake vans used on an all-container express freight working - I think it was called Takara?

 

The hopper wagons are Hoki 800 ballast wagons.

 

There was a thread ages ago where we discussed the "protrusions" you mention on the brake vans. No firm conclusions were reached, but I'm fairly certain that they're holders for flares/fusees.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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Thanks for that info! Interesting about the green van - the train in the photo doesn't really look like an all-container express to me...

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From the wiki it looks like the container express was started in 1959, so the original vans may have been surplus by the time they were found on aizu line.  Kato made a set of the whole train a while back, but it looks like tomix made a stand alone model, and Hobby search has the van available! http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10415984

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Sweeet! Next question... are there black number decals available to renumber the model to 5004? :D

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Thanks for that info! Interesting about the green van - the train in the photo doesn't really look like an all-container express to me...

No, it doesn't to me, either. :)

 

I reckon they suffered the usual fate of vehicles built or painted for specific or limited services, they got cascaded into pool or common user service later in life.

 

But that's good, because it gives me a reason to repaint one of my Yo5000s in the Takara livery.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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Afaik fast container trains were upgraded in speed by the introduction of bogie flatcars instead of the earlier two axle designs. This also meant the two axle conductor's cars became unfit for the service and this is how the flatcars with the conductor's cabin on one end came to be as a dedicated bogie car would have been too large and was not required. Cascading without repainting is something the JNR did a lot, especially with the mixed paint DMU-s, having express and local painted cars in the same consist. (running together peacefully)

 

Btw. this line especially looks like it was using whatever equipment was at hand, so back then, probably you could see a different consist every time a freight train rolled by.

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The "Takara" express container train used two-axle Yo5000 brakevans from its inception until the late 1960s. Some were modified from Yo3500s, others built new. They had double-link spring hangers and were rated for 85kmhr running.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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Posted (edited)

Pashina,

 

You might find this website a useful introduction to JNR freight cars of the late 1970s:

 

http://tekkenweb.sakura.ne.jp/railways70/70fc/70fc511.html

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

 

Thanks for the link, though I've already given that site a thorough scouring! I was also pleasantly surprised at the thoroughness of ja.wiki on the subject of freight cars, though I haven't yet given those a devoted reading, just scanned through them with my brain-knowledge of kanji/hanzi (which is usually, even if not always, enough to get the gist of a thing). This site is also nice, but I've only just scratched at it yet: http://www.geocities.co.jp/MotorCity-Rally/3264/photoindex01.html

 

Hi, my name is Xenia, and I'm an addict - freight cars are my drug of choice. LOL. Does it make me weird that in general terms I'm more interested in those than in locomotives? :D

 

Whatever the answer to that question may be, I've reached a point where I felt confident enough to do a bit of a more detailed study of freight cars in the Aizu Line photos I've collected so far. In part because I think it's an interesting thing to find out just in and of itself, and in part because it will help inform my decisions when it comes to buying freight car models, but beyond that general idea I'm not yet sure what I'll do with this information; perhaps nothing really. But it's interesting anyways, at least for someone like me, who is both keenly interested in freight cars, and who wants to reproduce the atmosphere of a given place at a given time; I realise that this level of nitpickery isn't everyone's cuppa, though (and yet I don't go near as far with it as some do!)

 

So these data come from 116 photos in which freight cars are visible; I've done my best to avoid duplication - where it seemed pretty obvious that two photos were of the same train, I didn't count the visible cars twice.

 

In the 116 photos, of the 745 freight cars visible, there are 150 two-axle boxcars, 1 reefer, 1 ventilated boxcar, 337 two-axle gondolas, 10 four-axle gons, 6 hoppers and 90 brake vans. No tank cars of any sort were visible (discounting those at Nishi-Wakamatsu), and - this was surprising to me - no obvious flatcars. The caveat with this last observation is that in some of the lower-res photos, what I could note down only as "two-axle gon of some sort" *may* in a few cases be a Chi of some sort; no ChiKis, though. I did, however, note flatcars loaded with logs in photos taken Nishi-Wakamatsu, and since wood including logs was probably the primary outbound commodity generated on the Aizu Line, some of those may well have come from there; for my modelling purposes, I'm probably going to assume that was the case, for the sake of a bit of variety.

 

So my next broad observation is that my previous estimate of a roughly 1:1 ratio of boxcars to gons was rather far off the mark - it's over 2:1 in favour of gondolas.

 

If we wanted further evidence that woodchips are the main outbound cargo, the fact that of the 337 two-axle gondolas 189 are ToRa90000s with cages should be enough. If we take those away, then the ratio falls to just about 1:1 - 148 two-axle gons to 150 boxcars. Of all the ToRa90000, I was only able to make out the numbers of two: 90596 and 91293.

 

Let's now look at the 148 two-axle gons that aren't ToRa90000 with cage. Of these, I'm confident of the class-identity of 75: 6 ToMu60000, 7 ToRa25000, 12 ToRa35000 (354xx), 8 ToRa40000 (43x64, 4x196), 3 ToRa45000, 10 ToRa 55000, and 29 ToRa70000 (74274, 74288). Of another 64 I'm not certain enough to assert anything, but confident enough to call them possibles: 7 ToRa40000, 6 ToRa70000, and 1 ToMu60000, and 50 which could be ToRa25000, ToRa45000 or ToRa55000 - the three are close enough in appearance to make them difficult (for me yet, anyways) to discern in low-resolution photos or off in the background somewhere. Lastly, there are another 9 cars that I got only as far with as "2-axle gon with wooden sides".

 

To translate this into numbers I can use for building my freight car fleet, I'm going to assume that my "possibles" are in fact as I've guessed them. This gives us 7 ToMu60000, 12 ToRa35000, 15 ToRa40000, and 35 ToRa70000, leaving us with the 25/45/55s.

 

To break those down, I'm going to look at these types by number produced. According to ja.wiki, there were 500 ToRa25000s, 8,174 ToRa45000s, and 3,205 ToRa70000s built. This gives roughly a 1:16:6 ratio; if we double those numbers the total is 46. That's four shy of the 50 I'm uncertain of which type they are, and those four I'll just assign as 1:2:1, which when added to those I'm confident of, gives me 10 ToRa25000, 37 ToRa45000, and 23 ToRa55000.

 

The nine gons I could only tell that they had wooden sides could be any of ToMu60000, ToRa25000, 35000, 40000, 45000 or 55000 (I'm guessing either earlier-built ones had wood sides, or that some were later rebuilt with steel sides, as I've found photos of 55000s of both varieties); however, I'm just going to dispense with these, as they're not really going to add or subtract enough to make a difference in what I'm doing here.

 

This brings me to these numbers: 7 ToMu60000, 10 ToRa25000, 12 ToRa35000, 15 ToRa40000, 37 ToRa45000, 23 ToRa55000, and 35 ToRa 55000s - 139 cars. Taken as percentages, we have 5.0% ToMu60000, 7.2% ToRa25000, 8.6% ToRa35000, 10.8% ToRa40000, 26.6% ToRa45000, 16.6% ToRa55000, and 25.2% ToRa70000. I'll come back to these later.

 

I only noted 10 4-axle gons, and of these ten, I was only able to maybe identify three by type: a ToKi15000 (possibly 15452), one ToKi21000 and one ToKi25000; the other seven could be anything. From a model fleet-building perspective, I'll just leave this one to chance: whatever happens to be available when I decide to buy a 4-axle gon.

 

All six hoppers were HoKi800s, and those being ballast cars I imagine they're non-revenue equipment, which I can leave out of consideration for my freight car pool, just get two or three to make the occasional appearance on the line as a work train.

 

The brake vans also don't count as revenue equipment for this, so I'll look at those later, and just move on to the last group - boxcars (and other house cars). There are 152 of these in the photos: 150 two-axle boxcars, 1 reefer (a probable Re5000), and 1 ventilated boxcar (TsuMu2408). 32 of these were too indistinct to identify any further than "closed car (probably) with 2 axles". I'm going to take a bit of a liberty here and just say these 32 are made up of 16 TsuMu2000s and 16 Re5000s, which leaves us with 118 boxcars.

 

Again I look at the ones I'm certain of first, which number 34: 1 WaMu20000, 1 WaMu21000, 11 WaMu60000 (61xxx, 61502), 7 WaMu70000 (7xx72), 8 WaMu80000, 1 WaMu90000 (94283) and 5 WaRa1 (3749).

 

 

Then, there are the uncertain-but-probable/possibles, which vary in how (un)certain I am of their identity. I'm fairly confident that of these,

* 10 are probably WaMu70000;

* 24 are Wa10000, Wa12000, Wa22000 third variant, WaMu23000, or WaMu90000;

* 48 are WaMu60000 or WaRa1;

* 2 that were very indistinct, and I couldn't get any further than believing they're some early type of car (like Wa10000, Wa12000, WaMu20000, WaMu21000, WaMu23000, WaMu50000 or suchlike).

 

Of the second group here, I can't get any further than that, so I'll resort to the number-built approach again. Again looking at ja.wiki, we see totals of 15,305 WaMu23000, 19,007 WaMu90000, 500 Wa10000, 500 Wa12000, and 6437 Wa22000 - but of these only the third variant, ワ27753-ワ28385, matter, of which there 633 built (because this is the only variant of the Wa22000s that have the same doors and ends as the other types I've listed here... of the variants I've seen so far... BUT gonna draw the line here, in the subtype-research for this. So anyways: breaking this down into ratios too, for 15,305 WaMu23000, 19007 WaMu90000, 500 Wa10000, 5000 Wa12000, and 633 Wa20000MkIII, we have roughly 30:38:1:1:1. So, for these I'll settle on the 24 being divided as 10 WaMu23000, 13 WaMu90000, and 1 Wa-whatever.

 

I can break the third group down further. Of those 48, I'm kinda confident that 29 are WaMu60000 and 14 are WaRa1, based on how well I could make out the roof lines; on the remaining five it was much too indistinct to tell. With 17,367 WaRa1s built and 8,580 WaMu60000s, I'll just assign these as 3 WaRa1s and 2 WaMu60000s.

 

The last group of two, I'm just going to call them WaMu50000s, because I really like their appearance.

 

So this leads us to: 1 Wa10/12/22, 1 WaMu20000, 1 WaMu21000, 10 WaMu 23000, 2 WaMu50000, 42 WaMu60000, 17 WaMu70000, 8 WaMu80000, 14 WaMu90000, and 22 WaRa1 - this adds up to 118, good. Or, by percentage: 0.9% Wa10/12/22, 0.9% WaMu20000, 0.9%WaMu21000, 8.5% WaMu23000, 1.7% WaMu50000, 35.6% WaMu60000, 14.4% WaMu70000, 6.8% WaMu80000, 11.9% WaMu90000, and 18.6% WaRa1.

 

So now we're at 189 ToRa90000s, 139 other 2-axle gons, 10 4-axle gons, 118 2-axle boxcars, 16 TsuMu2000s and 16 Re5000s, for a total of 488. By percentage: 38.7% ToRa90000, 28.5% other 2-axle gons, 2.0% 4-axle gons, 24.2% 2-axle boxcars, 3.3% TsuMu2000 and 3.3% Re5000.

 

 

I'm preordering a set of Kato's upcoming 8-car set of ToRa90000s and hopefully a second later, which will give me 16 of them. So to keep things more or less in proportion, I'll need 12 other 2-axle gons, one 4-axle gon, 10 boxcars, and 2 each of TsuMu2000 and Re5000 (well, 1.36, but I'd rather round up than down).

 

So here's where the previous percentages come in. Based on the previous calculations, I'll need to get 3 ToRa45000, 3 ToRa70000, 2 ToRa55000 and one each ToMu60000, ToRa25000, ToRa35000 and ToRa40000 for my twelve other gons, and 3 WaMu 60000, 2 WaRa1, and one each WaMu21000, WaMu50000, WaMu70000, WaMu80000 and WaMu90000 (fudging the numbers a bit; strictly speaking I should round the 3.56 WaMu60000s to 4, but I'm giving that .56 to the WaMu50000.

 

 

So this ends me up with a fleet of 43 freight cars which, taken as a group, *should* theoretically be representative of what one would see on the Aizu Line at any given moment between 1964 and 1974 (the majority of the photos I've found fall into that range). Now, actual train formation will be a different matter, which I'll have to study the pictures again.

 

And so we get to the brake vans. 90 out of 745 total freight cars are brake vans; put another way, there are 90 vans to 649 freight cars (leaving out the ballast hoppers) - a ratio of 1:7.21. Applied to a fleet of 43 freight cars, that means I need 5.96 brake vans. So, six.

 

Of all the brake vans, 17 (18.9%) were Yo and 73 (81.1%) were WaFu of varying types - breaking down to two Yo and four WaFus for my model fleet, however, I'm going to fudge this a bit, to three and five. Beyond these collective numbers, I'm going to discard everything except for those vans that I could identify by number in the photos - even though this skews things a bit, because although I could identify six WaFu35000s by type, I could read the numbers of only three, or for five WaFu21000s I could read the number of only one, whereas all seven of the WaFu22000s I saw, I could read the number. And of the 16 vans I'm fairly confident are either 29000s or 29500s (along with four that could be one of those two or 35000s), I could discern the number of only one. So I'll adjust for that.

 

Of the 17 Yo vans I could identify for sure that four were Yo6000 and eleven were Yo2000, 3500 or 5000. Given I need only three, I'll go with two 5000s and a 6000s. The two 5000s that I could identify were Yo13514 in black and Yo5004 in lime green, and there was Yo6048, so these will be my three Yo type vans.

 

Of the 73 WaFus, I could identify 58 beyond the fact that they're not Yos. Of these 58, 32 had the sliding door right at the end of the car, making them 21000s or 22000s. The remaining 26 were 29000, 29500 or 35000. I'm going to split this up as 3 and 2, in terms of the models for my fleet.

 

Of the 32 side-door-at-end vans, I'm comfortable enough in IDing 12 of them by type - five 21000s and seven 22000s. But, of these I have numbers for only WaFu21575 of the 21000s, but for all seven of the 22000s (22174 22286 22542 22758 22797 2244(3?) 22482). So, in my model fleet I'll include 21575, and whatever two of the seven 22000s I have a number for.

 

Of the others, of all 26, I have numbers for only four: 297x7, 35048, 35447 and 35837. Since I only need two of these, easy enough to say 297x7 and one of the three 35000s.

So that's my analysis of freight cars on the Aizu Line so far. Over time I'm sure I'll refine this more as I see other pictures/information, but that'll just be essentially for academic purposes only; barring any unexpected discoveries that majorly change the equation (such as a photo of a train of tank cars going over the Sannougawa Bridge), I'm satisfied enough with my analysis as representative, to feel comfortable using it to build my freight car fleet.

 

Interestingly, of all the photos I've seen so far, I've found only one of a DE10 on the Aizu Line - DE10 89 pulling a string of ToRa90000s past the platform at Aizu-Nagano.

 

DMUs are a more difficult thing, as I don't feel quite as comfortable in identifying them as accurately as I feel with freight cars already. But I know enough to say that on 29 photos there were the following: 7 of (to me) entirely indeterminate type in red/cream (arrangement of roof features, if this is a sufficiently distinctive feature, would help with some of these); one KiHa10 (specifically, KiHa10 1) in red/cream; 10 KiHa16/17/18 in red/cream; 22 KiHa23/45/etc in red/cream (of which KiHa23 503 and 507 I know numbers for); 3 KiHa23/45/etc in red; 2 KiHa25 in red/cream and 1 KiHa25 in red; 7 possibly KiHa25 (or relative) in red/cream and one in red; 4 KiHa26 in red/cream; 1 KiHa28 in red/cream; 2 KiHa40/47/48 in red; 4 KiHaYuNi26 in red and 3 in red/cream. This is variety sufficient for me to comfortably buy whatever of these types in whatever proportion, mostly red/cream with the occasional solid red one thrown in (of course eventually I'll want to have models of the three specifically identified by number, just because).

 

On some older photos there are locomotive-hauled passenger trains, but I've made no attempt at all to identify the passenger cars.

Edited by Pashina12
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This scene http://www5.plala.or.jp/stmlo9600/sl/sl217.html is going to make for a pretty spectacular model, if I can pull it off... patience is key, and not to let myself get frustrated and discouraged when my thumb doesn't cooperate with me!

 

Anyways, I was mentioning this project to a friend yesterday at the train show, and showed him amongst others this picture: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:Aizu_Railway_AT-500_series_DMU_012.JPG He's an N scaler too, models the Great Northern in Washington state in Proto:160, makes his own scale wheels everything etc, fantastic modeller. Anyways in looking at this photo he gave me a great suggestion, to check out Central Valley Model Works' N scale bridge stuff, said he's used them and that they look good. So I did just that this morning, and found a nice array of parts I can get from them to simplify construction of the bridge:

 

http://www.shop.cvmw.com/N-Scale-150-foot-Bridge-Ties-Stringers-1812.htm - 150' ties and stringers

http://www.shop.cvmw.com/N-Scale-150-ft-Walkway-Kit-1811.htm - 150' deck and walkway

http://www.shop.cvmw.com/N-Scale-Steel-Lace-and-Gussets-1813.htm - steel lace and gussets

http://www.shop.cvmw.com/N-Scale-Truss-Crossbearers-1814.htm - truss crossbearers

 

I also looked in the HO parts section, and found:

 

http://www.shop.cvmw.com/Standard-24-inch-gusseted-box-girders-19065.htm - the smaller girders in this package are 0.168" across the face and 0.138" deep, which translates to 25" x 21" in 1:150, which looks like it should work well for  the diagonal girder in the middle of the picture, and

http://www.shop.cvmw.com/BoxGirders-5-19025.htm - the smaller girders in this package are 0.161" x 0.138" - 24" x 21", so I think those should work for the vertical ones, while the large ones might work for the ones that form the bottom "curve" of the bridge.

 

He said a local shop carries these, so I'll go down when my schedule allows and check them out; I was not looking forward to trying to build all that lace piece by piece out of strip styrene!

 

The one issue is the length of the N scale stringers is 150 scale feet, which maths out to 11.25", which in 1:150 translates to 140' 7.5" or 42.8625 m. If you look at the diagram on the first link I posted here, you can see the total length of the bridge is 51.6 m or 169' 3.5" - 2.32" longer than the parts. Do I want to buy two sets, just for the extra couple inches? I think yes - because I'll be able to use those for *other* bridges I'll need to be building eventually.

 

For the piers, my friend suggested to me the ones by Micro Engineering. I'll take a look at those too, but as this: http://www.mcor-nmra.org/Publications/Articles/Scratchbuilding%20Concrete%20Bridge%20Piers.pdf shows, scratchbuilding them is super straightforward and pennies on the dollar in comparison to buying them. The only issue I have on this front is that *none* of the photos I've found give me any clue of how the pier or the end piers (abutments?) look, because they're so overgrown with vegetation! This actually might be a self-solving problem, because it means I can just build something and not worry about it... but with my luck, the week after I finish it, I'll find great photos of them from the time they were built. :P But no, I'm not going to worry about those at all. It looks how it looks, the metal part of the bridge is far more important IMO!

 

 

Over the next few days I'll start sketching out construction planning diagrams for myself. If I get lucky and time proves sufficient, I might even be able to start building something by the end of the month! :)

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