A short narrative in regard to ....

The Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum

(Currently called Kyoto Railway Museum)


My story .... behind the story

The Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum is the biggest
exclusive steam locomotives museum in Japan.
It was opened after the centennial anniversary
of Japanese railroads on 10 October 1972.

Part 1
.... from Umekoji Depot

About 40 years ago, around 1969, a rumor was spread from Japanese Rail-fan's that, JNR (Japanese National Railways) was planning to restore steam museums in celebration of Japanese Railroad's 100th anniversary.
The prime candidate site was Oyama depot. (about 50 miles North of Tokyo) Oyama depot at those times had switching operational steam class C50s. The main idea mentioned in the rumor was that if a museum was established at Oyama, special steam trains would run during the holidays on neighboring lines, such as, Ryomo, Mito and Nikko lines. I remember that plan when it was formally announced during the summer of 1970.

But a later formal announcement said, " ...... the decided site was to be Umekoji depot (Kyoto)". Tokyo's Kanto area rail-fans were greatly disappointed to hear that.
It was also announced what the restored candidate engines would be. The candidate engines were the same as previously decided, but with the addition of C50-154 and C62-1.
In the end, the plan received the "Go sign" and it was good news for all of us. I dreamed of the scene where restored big engines like C53, C59, C62, were running on the Tokaido and Sanyo arterious lines again. I waited, counting the days on my fingers, when those operating days would begin.

Candidated site Oyama depot
Mar 1969




C50-154, was left out of the selection
Later she was moved to Kameyama depot, and retired during 1973.
Oyama depot 1968


Umekoji depot


Before it became a museum, the last few years were very quiet at Umekoji depot. It was not the big depot, anymore, as it was on arterial lines.
I took these Umekoji depot photos during 1968-1970, during it's active period. Before Umekoji museum was established, it had only a few steam engines. They were switching operations with class C11s No.96, class 8620's No. 28698, 48677 and 88638, and for Sanin line passenger train operation's class C57, No.5, 15, 39, 89, 127 and 190, a total of 10 engines were enrolled. Once in a while, class C58 and D51s, from Nara and Fukuchiyama could be seen at Umekoji depot.



C57127
Later she was moved to Kyushu.


C11-96 was switcher in Umekoji yard.
She was preserved in Shingu city after retirement.

Class 8620, No.28698


Occasional visitor diesel loco DD54
Made in Germany, the DD54's were all retired
at their early stage because of poor engine design
during 1978.


Fukuchiyama depot's D51-463



Left 88638 and C11-96

28698



Still many of the active steam trains were serviced on nearby lines during the year.




Near Nijyo, Sanin line D51-1018.


Uji station, Nara line D51-1120




Part 2



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