Thursday, 1 February 2018

Class ED72: Preserved EL on Kyushu Island

Electric locomotive, ED72 1 is exhibited in the Kyushu Railway History Museum

Although a long time has passed since I introduced the Kyushu Railway History Museum for the first time, I will show you the other treasure in the museum today.

"ED72 1" is a precious exhibition in the Kyushu Railway Museum. It is an electric locomotive (EL) built in 1961 as the prototype of the Class ED72. The ED72 was introduced when the section between Mojiko and Kurume on the Kagoshima Main Line was electrified. Its electric system is 20,000 V alternate current (AC) and 60 Hz overhead. A total of 22 units of the ED72 ELs were built by Toshiba, but all units have already been retired from the tracks. Currently, only ED72 1 is preserved in this museum. The ED72 has a red-colored dogleg-shaped body. It is the biggest feature of this EL. The axis arrangement is Bo-2-Bo in UIC notation, which means that the ED72 has a middle truck to decrease its axle load (16,000 kilograms). It has four MT103 DC motors, and the rated output is 2,050 kW.

The ED72 was commissioned as both passenger and freight trains on the AC tracks in the western part of Japan. Specifically, it was famous as the EL towing the overnight sleeper train "Naha", which was operated between Shin-Osaka and Nishi-Kagoshima (present Kagoshima-chuo) to transport passengers from the Osaka area to Kyushu and the Okinawan islands. Naha is the name of the capital city of Okinawa Prefecture. The ED72 traveled for about 14 hours from Shin-Osaka to Nishi-Kagoshima (911 kilometers).

Close up of the front part, ED72 1