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Space Beaver

The little 'private' railway

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Space Beaver
Posted (edited)

These minor lines, there is just something about them... something vanished from many other first world countries, where you would hardly find such systems in existence any more, let alone as independent companies, let alone sometimes hauling freight.


In the UK I knew many people who love to research, model and even invent obscure minor railways, but all had to turn back the clock over half a century. The modern 'preserved' railways that some of these lines became are nothing like. Yet in Japan, I discovered, some live on, and may even be able to expect to carry on living.


If freight is to be on the list, the options seem to be either hauling limestone from mountain quarries down to cement works on the nearest seashore or other open place, or working mostly container trains between a seaside industrial park and the nearest JR main line. I figure it is possible to cheat a bit and have both. The line can run down a river valley from the mountains to the sea, meeting an inland JR main line in between. Of course the valley is very pretty, so there are special tourist trains using fancied up kihas or even loco haulage.


Imagine a mixture of Chichibu and Mizushima and so on.


To have interesting operation in a small space, a focus on one station with fiddle yards feeding it.


I have towards this objective a fair amount of small radius track and two diesel shunters. The amazing new Kato DD16 recieved as a present is a perfect runner, equal to an HO model. Maintenance advice appreciated. The old second hand Tomix DE10 is a very noisy runner and the lights don't work in one direction. I hear that Tomix sell spare gear sets?


Edited by Space Beaver
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Wonderful. You need is some torokko for the sightseeing train.

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