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marknewton

Early Showa period Kitakyushu tram

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marknewton

A good friend of mine who is an avid collector of old postcards recently bought this card. He emailed me a scan, and asked if I knew anything about the tram pictured.

 

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This was my reply, which I hope is of interest to the forum members.

 

"G'Day Dave, 

 

You're right, the postcard is from the city now known as Kitakyushu, which was formed in 1963 by the amalgamation of five adjoining towns - Moji, Kokura, Tobata, Yahata and Wakamatsu.

The car belongs to the standard gauge Kyushu Electric Tramway Co which opened its first line in 1911 between Moji and Kokura, a distance of 18.1 km. During the government-mandated mergers of WW2 the KETCo became part of the Nishi Nippon Railway.

Tram No. 36 was built in 1914 by Kawasaki Shipbuilding as a wooden 4-motor car on Brill 27G trucks. There were a total of 65 cars in the class, some of which were dismantled to provide parts for a later group of steel cars. The remaining wooden cars eventually wound up running in Fukuoka. All but one had their roofs modified from the clerestory style to monitor roofs.

Two of these cars survive. 13 trams of the class were sold on to Nagasaki where they ran as their 160 class. No.162 was withdrawn for static display, and No.168 was restored in 1985 as part of NETCo's 70th anniversary celebrations. It remains in service in 2014."

 

All the best,

 

Mark.
 

Edited by marknewton
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bikkuri bahn

Interesting picture postcard.  Dated 1933 (Showa 8).

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Sacto1985

My guess is that because it has a pole-type pickup for overhead electrical power, don't expect the top speed of this tram to be very high--probably around 50 km/h at best.

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miyakoji

I wonder if Shiraishi grocery store had S&B curry blocks... that reminds me, what's for dinner...

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Kitayama

Additional info: In 1933, Moji railway station was the present Mojiko station. The name change occured in 1942.

In Mojiko, there is an ex-Kitakyushu tram on display.

http://bae.se/kitayama/photos/k_en_kyushu_9.htm

Edited by Kitayama

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Sacto1985

I wonder if Shiraishi grocery store had S&B curry blocks... that reminds me, what's for dinner...

 

Nope. Solid blocks of curry roux wasn't invented by S&B until 1956. It's likely that the grocery store shown in that post card dated 1933 could have sold curry in powder form from both House Foods and the imported Crosse & Blackwell sources.

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Nick_Burman

My guess is that because it has a pole-type pickup for overhead electrical power, don't expect the top speed of this tram to be very high--probably around 50 km/h at best.

 

Don't equate trolley poles with low speeds - many US interurban ran 60mph+ schedules with trolley poles, in the case of the North Shore one of the Electroliners almost hit 100mph using them. In Japan street railways are restricted to 40kph/25mph by law on street sections, although the cars themselves can go much faster.

 

Cheers NB

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katoftw

 

My guess is that because it has a pole-type pickup for overhead electrical power, don't expect the top speed of this tram to be very high--probably around 50 km/h at best.

50kph in the 1930s was fast.

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Sacto1985

Those military maps are amazing!

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/ams/japan_city_plans/

 

Those maps are definitely worth looking at. It's amazing to see much of the modern JR Group and private railway network was already in place even as those maps were drawn up in the middle 1940's. I'm looking at the Utsunomiya maps as I type this and you can see why Tōbu built that line into the center of Utsunomiya--back then, the Tōbu Utsunomiya Station was literally right at the center of town (based on the physical shape of the city at the time).

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kvp

It's amazing to see much of the modern JR Group and private railway network was already in place even as those maps were drawn up in the middle 1940's.

I just checked the Tokyo station area and even the yamanote/keihin tohoku flyover was there. I just wonder what happened with all those channels that are now streets. Did they fill them or just cover them?

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Densha

On the back of Tokyo station I can also spot a switching yard. Is that space now used for the Shinkansen?

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stevenh

egad... I just found the Kyoto Shiden Tram Network. Now it clicks what the tram is outside Umekoji.

Edited by stevenh

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kvp

On the back of Tokyo station I can also spot a switching yard. Is that space now used for the Shinkansen?

Yes and by several highrise buildings around the shinkansen terminal.

Edited by kvp

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