After the Earthquake and Tsunami that hit Northeastern Japan, and while the entire nation struggles to change its mood and to struggle to continue and recover, many programs were started to bring Japan, as a nation, to a more positive mood. One such way of doing this was to inaugurate the return of the famous Japanese express steam locomotive from the postwar era–the C61. In February 2011, it was brought out from its short amusement park and museum locale, to begin test runs. From March through June, the C61 began its special excursion runs to motivate Japan. The C61, was one of the express passenger locomotives, to be built during the US Occupation of Japan, when new steam locomotives were NOT ALLOWED to be built in Japan, per Occupation orders. So Japanese officials built the C61 and C62 from the bodies and parts of older freight locomotives D51 and “Pacific type” passenger locomotive C57, with some modifications to fit the speed and smoothness, as well as power necessary for pulling passenger locomotives, resulting in the Hudson type C61.
In 1935, the London and Northeastern Railway of the UK, had Nigel Gresley design streamlined locomotives. They were fast and recognizable. The “Mallard” 4468 still holds the world’s speed record for fastest steam in the world.
Of over 30 built in those days, 6 remain today, three of which are fully operational.
60007 Sir Nigel Gresley
60009 Union of South Africa
The famous 60022 Mallard is on static display in Shildon.
The 60010 Dominion of Canada is on static display in the Canadian Railway Museum in Canada.
The 60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower is on display in Wisconsin, USA.
Karl Gölsdorf (1861-1916) of Austria, was one of the world’s most foremost designers of the steam locomotive in the early 20th century. What was considered his masterpiece is the most famous locomotive: Class 310 which he built in 1911. It was known for its tremendous speed and power, along with ELEGANCE in aesthetics at its time. Today, it is still one of the most popular steam locomotives for fans of European steam and history.
Older Video of 310 glory:
Part 1 and 2 of a segment of the April 2011 Run after rebuild:
Japan’s steam locomotive designs originally began with the first imports from Great Britain. Later, it became familiar with Dutch designs but were not known for nothing other than imitations of the Pacific and Mikado locomotives, and others.
The C62 became Japan’s most internationally famous for its Hudson design, but with a few original design techniques, as well as its amalgam of Dutch, British, American and Japanese sensibilities. Today, one C62 remains in operation in short runs in a part. It ran longer excursions into the early 2000 but was retired. Japan, however, prides itself in its history and the locomotives as a part of it and will most likely run the C62 at a later time, for longer excursions. The D51, the C57, C58, and C11 locomotives, other of the most famous and representative of Japanese steam locomotive designs, are still running in many excursions and specials year-round. Stations are usually packed by fans and photographers. The Japanese public, in general, are lovers of the steam locomotive, as part of their past.
Photos from photographers at Rail Picture Archives.net & Rail Pictures.net
01.1066 Starting Power
01.1066 on July 13, 2009
01.1066 in Romanshorn, Germany May 2010