Sunday, 18 August 2013

Old Baldwin in the Forest

Baldwin 60874 is preserved in Forest Railway Museum on the Akasawa Forest Railway
After enjoying the "torokko train" on the Akasawa Forest Railway, we visited the Forest Railway Museum adjacent to the railway station.

The main exhibit in the museum is an old steam locomotive, Baldwin 60874 imported from the USA. It was manufactured by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia City in 1929. A total of ten locomotives were manufactured for the forest railways; however, only the 60874 has been preserved to display in the museum. The 60874 is a small locomotive with a 0-4-2T configuration. The total length is 19 feet 12 inches, while the weight is 25,000 pounds. A large smokestack to recover fire sparks is an external character. The metallic roundel nameplate of the locomotive is still spanking clean.

Local people had been calling the American locomotives "Keiben (light transit)" and loved them. But, they couldn't compete with time. The 60874 was retired in 1959 to be replaced by a diesel locomotive. It had been operated on a total of 420,000km. Unfortunately, it doesn't have an opportunity to be operated again. In the mornings of every weekend, the 60874 is pulled out from the depot by a diesel locomotive, and displayed as a precious preserved locomotive to the museum visitors. It still looks in good condition. I hope that the 60874 will be come back to the forest railway track someday in the future.

The old American Baldwin suits the deep green forest in Japan.

Nameplate of the steam locomotive