Friday, October 4, 2013

Steam Locomotive Type 9600 in Kyu-roku-kan Museum

SL 49671 is preserved in SL Kyu-roku-kan Museum in Mooka Station yard on the Mooka Railway

The main exhibit in "SL Kyu-roku-kan Museum" is steam locomotive number 49671 of Type 9600, manufactured in 1920. Type 9600 is a 2-8-0 (Whyte notation) type steam locomotive that has a tender attached. A total of 770 units had been built by Kawasaki Sharyo and other manufacturers since 1913.

The assignment of the 9600 was to pull freight trains. It is particularly notable that Type 9600 pulled a 2,000 ton coal train in Hokkaido Island (the northernmost island in Japan). It was very strong, wasn't it? Some units were sent to China as well during WWII, having converted a narrow gauge (1,067mm) into a standard one (1,435mm).

All of the type 9600s had been retired from tracks by 1976, but more than forty units are still preserved throughout Japan, as they are very popular among rail fans. The "9600" is responsible for the museum's name, "SL Kyu-roku-kan (96 museum)" in Mooka City. Unit number 49671 is still "operated" in front of visitors on the museum site using compressed air. This special event is held three times a day every weekend.

Please look at the top photo. You can see the museum building just behind the locomotive. The design of the building was made in the image of a steam locomotive. It is quite unique.

Mooka is indeed a City of SL (steam locomotive).
 
Side view of unit number 49671 of the Type 9600 steam locomotive