Steam Locomotive
Class 150

No. 1

(Photo credit to Railway Museum)

The No.1 engine was manufactured at the Vulcan Foundry Ltd, It's manufactured number was 614.
The design plan mentioned "Oct 16th 1870". This probably was the date that it's design was completed.
Seen here is the only remaining photograph from the manufacturer and if compared to present day photos, there is a major gap in appearance in engines seen today.
According to Christy, "No.1 was manufactured at the Vulcan Foundry. But it's present condition is very bad. I tried repairing it, but I'm quite disqualified to do so if used for passenger trains." ..... So, it would appear that No.1 engine's performance was not particularly satisfactory.

Vulcan Foundrys
Engine builders plate.

No.1 was moved to the Osaka area from the Tokyo area during November 1880. In those days, there was an opening between Kobe and Otsu as part of the Tokaido line, but in reality, what exact sections saw its service remains unclear.
During July 1884 to June 1885, No.1 received a makeover at the Kobe works. This fundamental reconstruction probably overcame some of the original flaws. It was then that its appearance changed.
After that, No.1 was moved to Handa (Near Nagoya, Taketoyo line ), and was used for Chuo line construction. After completion of work on the Chuo and Tokaido line, No.1 was continuously used on the Taketoyo line, and was later moved for yard works in the Osaka area.
Later, No.1 was renamed to class 150, when class names were revised during 1906.

During the 1st of April 1911, No.150 was retired from the government-railway, and was sold to the newly opened Shimabara Railway Co. and it's number was changed to Shimabara's No.1. (Shimabara Railway Co. was opened during June 20 1911)
During Shimabara's Railway time, No.1 was exhibited in Fukuoka during the 50th anniversary of railroading in 1922.
No.1 was gradually accepted as being historically worthwhile, accordingly, No.1 was given back to the government-railway.
During June 1930, No.1 was exchanged with an another engine (Class 600 No.656) and given back to the government-railway. During this time, Shimabara Railway's president placed a plate " Farewell with fondness of our hearts " and it is still there on No.1's main frame.

Shimabara Railway placed this plate.

" Farewell with fondness of our hearts.
June 1930. Shimabara Railway Co. President Gentaro Ueki"

Shimabara Railway years
during 1911-1930.
(Photo credit to Shimabara Railway Co.)

Biographic Data Chart

Feb 1871 : Manufactured
Vulcan Foundry SN-614
Oct 1872 : First railway opened
1872 - 1880 : Service, Tokyo - Yokohama area
1880 - 1885 : Service, Kobe area
1885 - ? : Service, Handa Nagoya area
? : Service, Ofuna - Yokosuka area
Around 1892 - : Service, Osaka - Kobe area
1894 : Class renamed ; Class E No.1
1898 : Class renamed ; Class A1 No.1
1909 : Class renamed ; Class 150 No.150
Apr 1911 : Sold to Shimabara Railway,
named No.1
Jun 1930 : Back to government railway
Safekeeping at Omiya works
Apr 1936 : Exhibited, Manseibashi Tokyo
Railway Museum
Oct 1958 : Designated
as a "Railway Monument"
Apr 1997 : Designated
as a "Important Cultural Properties"
Oct 2007 : Moved to Omiya from museum relocation

Configuration 2-4-0 Dimensions Length (mm) 3569
Engine Weight (Operating tons) 23.45 Driver size (mm diameter) 1321
Boiler pressure (Kg/cm2) 9.84

Finally, No.1 closed down her active service from Shimabara Railway. It arrived at Tokyo's Shinagawa port during 12 July 1911. No.1 was exhibited at the Omiya works Museum after being repaired.

During April 1936, a new Railway Museum was built in Manseibashi Tokyo. The exhibition was moved from the old Gofukubashi museum to Manseibashi. With the new museums opening, No.1 was exhibited in the new museum.

According to a 22 April 1936 newspaper, Government Railway's first engine departed from the Omiya works Museum at 3 AM, being pulled by a tractor. After 8 hours and 28 Kms, at 11AM on the 21st, it arrived at Manseibashi's new Railway Museum.
The new Railway Museum was opened on the 26th of April 1936. (The Railway Museum was renamed ...... The Transportation Museum during 1948)

No.1 has been exhibited for over 70 years at Manseibashi's Transportation Museum.
But during October 2007, the Museum was moved to Saitama. At that time No.1 was also moved to Saitama together with other exhibited engines. No.1 is now on exhibit at the Saitama Railway Museum.

Railway Museum, Omiya Saitama
Apr 2009

Transportation Museum, Kanda Tokyo
Feb 2006

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