Saturday, 21 February 2015

C11 245: Preserved SL in Fujisawa City

Steam locomotive C11 245 is preserved in Fujisawa City in Kanagawa Prefecture

I visited Fujisawa City in Kanagawa Prefecture last week, as something came up. After finishing my meeting, I stopped at a public park in the city to see a preserved steam locomotive (SL), ex-JGR (Japanese Government Railways) C11 245.

The SL, Class C11, was launched in 1932 to reinforce the transportation capacity on the local lines throughout Japan. It is a 2-6-4 type (Whyte notation) small tank locomotive. A total of 381 units have been manufactured over 18 years. Unit number 245, namely C11 245, was manufactured in 1943 by Nippon Sharyo, and had been used for passengers and freight transportation in the northern part of Japan. After its retirement from the track, C11 245 was moved to Fujisawa City in 1975 to be preserved.

Since then, C11 245 has been carefully maintained. It still has a good shine. Who looks after this SL? The answer is the local children's group, called Fujisawa SL Children's Association. According to their website, this association has 25 members consisting of primary and junior high pupils. They not only maintain the SL, but also operate a mini railway in the park. One year training is required to become a "driver" of the mini trains. It is indeed hard work, isn't it?

For your information, a sister SL of C11 245, namely C11 292, is also preserved in front of Shimbashi Station on the Tokaido Main Line.
Side view of C11 245