SL that carried coal restored for first time in 47 years in Saitama prefecture

A steam locomotive (SL) that once carried coal and other materials on the Yubetsu Railway, which connected the city of Kushiro and the Yubetsu Coalmine in Akan-cho, Kushiro, has been restored for the first time in 47 years by Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. The restored train was coupled to two other steam locomotives in a ‘triple heading’ operation display at an event held in Saitama Prefecture on June 19.

The restored ‘C11-type No. 123’ locomotive was originally built in 1947 and, from 1957, hauled freight on the Yubetsu Railway and Kushiro Development Wharf. The locomotive had been stored in a warehouse in the city of Ebetsu after it was withdrawn from service in 1975. Tobu Railway Co., Ltd., which operates steam locomotive sightseeing trains in Tochigi Prefecture, purchased it in 2018 to increase its fleet. The restoration work took a long time due to severe damage, but was completed in April this year.

At the event held in the city of Kuki, Saitama Prefecture, the locomotive was coupled with two other C11-type locomotives owned by the company, and pulled five passenger carriages on an 800-meter-long training route at a speed of approximately 30 km/h. About 350 SL enthusiasts enjoyed riding on and photographing the trains. Brothers visiting from the city of Sagamihara captured the scene on video, saying, “We have ridden SLs in Hakodate, Niigata, and many other places, but it was a new experience to ride a triple header.” The train will begin operating from July 18.

The ‘No. 123’ locomotive, which once hauled coal on the Yubetsu Railway, triple heading with the ‘No. 207’ and ‘No. 325’ locomotives in a dynamic display at the event. The afternoon of June 19, Kuki City, Saitama Prefecture


City of Kuki, Saitama