• Japan's Railway History

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by rogerfarnworth
 
Cape Gauge was used in many countries throughout the world. It has been identified primarily with the Cape Colony in South Africa but was used first in the UK on a variety of tramways. Later its use extended into a number of countries in the Far East including New Zealand, Indonesia and in particular Japan.

Cape Gauge was chosen as the 'standard gauge' in Japan. This post provides an introduction to the historic railways of Japan. The story includes a variety of different gauges. The use of different gauges seems at least as complex as the situation in the UK.

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/01/09/j ... cape-gauge" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by george matthews
 
The use of different gauges seems at least as complex as the situation in the UK.
In Britain there were few non=standard gauges and almost entirely on peripheral lines where non-connection to the standard gauge network was not a large problem. The Great Western was the only large example and the Broad gauge was converted eventually. When Japan adopted a narrow gauge it was not yet an important industrial power. They have been aware of the bad effects of choosing a non-standard gauge for decades and have responded by building a SG network, limited though it is.

Ireland was the other example of a disastrous non SG system. If the Irish lines had been standard there would have been train ferries and connection with the British - and now European networks. It is quite likely that more of the Irish system would have been retained if SG freight was available. Australia is still suffering from the failure to adopt a standard gauge for the whole country.
  by rogerfarnworth
 
I hope to produce a short series of short posts over the next little while which look at some of the 2ft 6in track-gauge railway in Japan. This is the first. The Kurobe Gorge Railway is both as tourist railway and a supply line to the hydroelectric power stations along the Kurobe River Gorge.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/01/30/ja ... ge-railway" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by rogerfarnworth
 
The Kiso Forest Railways - Part A

This next post provides an introduction to the Logging Railways in the Kiso Forest. Only a short tourist railway now remains of what was once a very large system of 762mm lines. I am currently working on a short survey of one of the lines which made up the network.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/02/11/ja ... way-part-a" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by David Benton
 
Very interesting,Roger. We have a Otaki River in New Zealand, but alas no railway ike this in it.
  by rogerfarnworth
 
The Kiso Forest Railways - Part C

This next post covers another of the significant 762mm railways in the Kiso Forest. The Ogawa Forest Railway. This railway was connected directly to the Otaki Forest Railway.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/02/21/ja ... st-railway" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by rogerfarnworth
 
The Kiso Forest Railways - Part D

Further South down the Kiso River is the town of Nojiri. There was a significant network of 762mm railways in its immediate vicinity and in the Atera River Valley. The Nojiri Forest Railways are covered in this next post.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/02/25/ja ... st-railway" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by rogerfarnworth
 
The Kiso Forest Railways - Part E

I am indebted to a number of Japanese language websites for many of the photographs in this series of posts. I am glad to say that I have been able to contact the site owners and have full permission to reproduce the photographs from their sites.

You will see that I am particularly grateful for permission from the site owner of 'rintetsu.net' for many of the photos in this next post.

On that site you will find considerably more photographs of the route covered here.

This next post covers the Forest Railway which leaves the JR Chuo Line at Yabuhara in the Kiso Forest area - The Ogiso Forest Railway.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/03/01/ja ... m-yabuhara" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;