Friday, 14 September 2018

Satoyama Torocco Train in Chiba Prefecture

Kominato Railway's Satoyama Torocco train

"Satoyama" is a unique landscape in Japan. It is a mountain close to a living area. Local people gather firewood and edible wild plants in satoyama. It also functions as a windbreak for the living area. Satoyama has a secondary natural environment that cannot exist without the moderate intervention of human beings. Satoyama should be taken care of by people.

We can see a typical satoyama landscape in Boso peninsula of Chiba Prefecture. It consists of villages, rice fields and green mountains. Satoyama Torocco train, which is operated by a small local private railway company, is a convenient way to see satoyama landscape. Satoyama Torocco train was launched in 2015 by Kominato Railway using a light railway-style locomotive and 4-car coaches. It is similar with those of Kurobe Kyokoku Railway in Toyama Prefecture, Akasawa Forest Railway in Nagano Prefecture and Sherpa-kun in Gumma Prefecture.

The locomotive is named the Class DB4. It is a diesel locomotive made to resemble the Koppel steam locomotive in the 1920's. Its body length is 8.45 meters. The DB4 has a diesel engine, which was made by Volvo, with 256 kW output. The coaches have special roofs made of ultra-violet ray protection glass.

The operating section of Satoyama Torocco train is between Kazusa-Ushiku and Yoro-keikoku (18.5 kilometers). Satoyama Torocco train travels slowly on the track, so that the passengers can be relaxed and enjoy the one hour travel in the countryside.

Satoyama Torocco tour would be a journey to landscape in the original state in Japan.

Side view of the Class DB4 diesel locomotive, not a steam locomotive

Official information about  Satoyama Torocco train: