Subscribe via RSS

Chuo Line, Aichi/Nagano – May, 2023

After an awesome day at the Tokyo Freight Terminal the day before, Hayato-san offered to take me on a tour into the wilderness, north-east of Nagoya. The plan was to head from Tajimi Station, north-east until we intercepted a Nagoya-bound freighter. From there, we'd chase it back and check out the local offerings on the way.


First up was Dachi, a small town south-east of Tokishi, that had a branch line running to support the local pottery factories. As with most other tiny freight branches, this one faded into non-existence, running the last service back in 1972 due to the washaway of a bridge during heavy rain and closing entirely in 1974. Before Dachi, we followed the old alignment, stopping at Yamagami Station first.

Continuing, you end up in Dachi town. The freight yard was located in the middle, using an area with the most-level gradient. The track then continued further to the factories, but this area was used as a station and a switch-back!

Everything has been removed... except for a 5 metre section of track in the old workshop shed and the odd overheard wire hook. There's still some interesting stuff to see, but do mind the roped-off areas... it's still private property!

The area is now actually used as a Bus Terminus, but not for much longer. Anyway, the goal was the Chuo line, so we headed back down the mountain... but on the way we checked out a tunnel on the old Dachi Line.

It's really something out of Sentou-no-chihiro!

Quite a hike down and back to the portal. The other end is filled in as they used the alignment for the road.

Suhara, Okuwa, Kiso District, Nagano

What a title. I have no idea of the exact name of this place, but it's even famous on google maps as a spotters point. And it didn't disappoint. There was even another spotter already camped-out. I hope we didn't disturb his capturing.

And then the whole reason for the road trip...

A bit dark on that last shot... boo hoo...

Just North of Sakashita

This spot on a winding mountain lane was fantastic. I can't really explain it... but the photos will.

I've recently forgotten the essence of right-time-right-place, but taking that last shot, and getting the camera settings correct... and having my a6000 actually focus when I asked it to... was golden.

Oh and, a passenger snuck past not long after the freight.

Kiso Akasawa Forest Railway

Ok ok, this beautiful mountain narrow-gauge logging railway probably deserves a post on its own, but I'm lazy. Instead, I'm just going to dump the photos for your perusal, whomever you might be.

We boarded and were off!

The train trundled along the rails to the end station. It then ran around and returned with the other passengers.

We chose to alight, hoping to see the consist run it's final trip up and down the line a while later.

There's a cute rotten-row up the far end with some old passenger cars and even an engine.

Unfortunately, there were no other passengers, so instead they packed the consist away. So we just wandered around, down the footpath back along the line snakes through the woods and over the river.

As we were driving back to the mainline, Hayato-san pointed out some of the old alignment.

There's also a stuffed-and-mounted consist to see at Agematsu Station.

But nothing on the rails.

Shinrin Railway's Kiso River Bridge

This rusting monstrosity of a bridge still stands over the Kiso River. It was formerly part of the Shinrin Logging Railway, another in the Kiso Valley very similar to the Kiso Akasawa.

The bridge is totally off-limits, but you can get close enough to enjoy it's splendour.

Nojiri Station

Further down the line, we stopped at Nojiri Station to watch a limited express, or two, bolt through.

This station had a lumber yard across from it, which trucks serviced... and it's easy to imagine the railway once doing the job in the past. In fact, this was where the Shinrin Railway brought the lumber to.

A Shinano passed in either direction and we continued on our way. Note that JR Central is on a replacement-spree for these diesel limited express trains. The Nanki and Hida are already HC85s! The Shinano should be replaced by 2026.

SL Park Nagaiso

This park has a D51 mounted on the previous railway alignment. The line was railed through a tunnel and they left a few remnants behind to create the park.

This stuffed-and-mounted giant-of-the-rails would've been majestic to watch back in the steam era.

The old alignment is now a footpath to walk between the new station and the SL park.

There's also a great view of the valley from the park's perch on the mountain-side.

What a day! Thank you Hayato-san!

Filed under: JPN Leave a comment
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment


No trackbacks yet.