East Japan Railway Company
D51-498 was manufactured at the Ministry of Railways Takatori works serial No. 26,
during November 1940.|
After its inception, D51-498 was deployed to Okayama, Suita, Taira ..... and transferred to the Nagaoka depot during October 1963. Later, she worked at Nagaoka, Niigata area's Uetsu, Shinetsu and Hokuriku lines .....
During March 1972, D51-498 was transferred to Sakamachi depot, and was retired from regular service when Uetsu line electrification took place on the 5th of August 1972.
A special steam event train was planned by JNR for the ceremony of its 100 year anniversary of that Railway during October 1972. D51-498 was transferred to the Takasaki depot, and pulled that event train on the Hachiko line.
Afterward, she was crossed off her registration on the 1st of December 1972. She was transferred to Tsukiyono town, Gunma prefecture (currently Minakami town), and D51-498 was preserved in front of Gokan station on the Jyoetsu line.
During October 1987, JR-East decided on a restored steam train. JR-East looked for an engine in good condition, and decided to restore D51-498. D51-498 entered the Omiya works and restoration was completed on the 25th of November 1988. And her restored steam train service was started on the 23rd of December 1988.
During December 2008, she badly damaged her boiler, as indicated in the following news report. After her ten months of repair, D51-498 went back to regular service from October 2009.
JR-East Takasaki branch office D51498 website. (Japanese)
17 Dec 2008|
According to news reports, a D51-498 boiler was badly damaged in an accident, during a test run on the East-Rikuu line on the14th of Dec 2008.
JR-East said that, because of the severe damage, restoration will take a considerable amount of time, perhaps, even one year.
Therefore plans for the 20-21st Dec 2008 East-Rikuu line's steam train service was cancelled by short notice, and will take place with Moka Railway's C11-325.
This may be an obstacle for future steam train service schedules.
27 Aug 2009
According to a media report on the 27th of August 2009, on the 26th of August, JR-East opened the D51-498 repairing scene to the media at the Omiya Rolling Stock Center. JR-East said that the repair went well, and it will be completed soon. As a result, she will return to work as the SL-Minakami on the 3rd of October. The repair cost was 100 million yen. (About one million US$)
Left Photo ; D51-498 her active service time during 1972.|
Right Photo ; Sakamachi depot during Nov 1970. In the photo, left D51-1005 and right D51-498.
After Uetsu line electrification, surviving D51s at the Sakamachi depot, numbered six engines, No. 421, 498, 547, 1005, 1100 and 1154. In Uetsu line's D51s, additionally, 28 engines were deployed to the Sakata depot, 24 were at the Niitsu depot, during 1972. They were almost all scrapped during Uetsu line's electrification.