Freight Locomotives and Trains

I’ve written about my model freight trains before, but that was nearly two years ago, and I think it’s time for an update. This time I’m going to talk about the trains, as well as the locomotives. As usual, the focus of my collecting is the area around Tōkyō, and thus the trains found there are what I am writing about.

Freight locomotives in the Tōkyō area tend to be electric. There are exceptions: in addition to switching duties, the diesel-hydraulic DE10 can sometimes be found moving short trains. One example of this is the coal train I’ll describe further down below. But for the most part these trains are operating over lines already electrified for passenger trains, and so it makes more sense to use electric locomotives. Read More...

Freight Trains of Sumida Crossing

My model railroad is primarily a passenger railroad. That’s not because there is no freight in Japan, or even in Tōkyō, but freight is definitely second to passenger service in a nation where most of the population lives close to ports, and trains have to compete with both trucks and ships. As a result, freight in Japan largely means containerized cargo and bulk products such as petroleum, although boxcars and other general-freight cars are still in use. Freight trains in Japan tend to be relatively short, often just a dozen or two cars, or even just a few.