A thrilling locomotive driving experience at Kosaka Railway Rail Park (2015 Tohoku Sightseeing Topic)
In the spring of 2014, ‘Kosaka Railway Rail Park’ opened in Kosaka town as a theme park that utilizes the station and the train that used to operate on the coalmine railway. The trains from Taisho to early Showa period are on display. Kosaka Railway Rail Park is the only place in Japan where visitors can experience driving diesel locomotives and snow removal vehicles with the instruction of former drivers.
Visitors can experience driving a diesel locomotive that weighs 55 tons with the length of 14 meters. Former drivers and track maintenance workers restored the locomotive as it was in 2009 when the railroad was discontinued.
There are two courses with different difficulty levels for the activity.
With the ‘Try-out Course’ (limited to 5 participants per day, fee \8,000), you can drive the locomotive approximately 100 meters within the confines of the station. After experiencing ‘The Road to the Locomotive Driver Course’ (limited to 15 participants per day, fee for the first time \35,000), where you can drive two rounds on the railroad approximately 500 meters long after a classroom lecture, you can apply for an opportunity to drive an interlocked locomotive. Each course is available for persons over 18 years old, excluding high school students at the age of 18, and requires a reservation. There are many new things to discover through the activity, such as the sound of the diesel engine and the heaviness of the locomotive when it drives off. It is also nice that you get lectures from drivers who used to operate locomotives on the same railroad.
Furthermore, the station office is restored as it was in 1909 when it opened, and the railroad crossing with barrier which was controlled only in fixed hours is in the park. Take a ride on a rail-bicycle. You can have a wonderful view of a town that used to prosper with its coalmines.
From the summer of 2015, ‘Akebono’, an overnight sleeper train that was actively used for JR East Japan, is going to be displayed. ‘Akebono’ will be used as a hotel as well.
The park opens from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. and closes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (Close on the day after if Tuesday or Wednesday is a bank holiday).
|Contact||Phone Number 0186-25-8890.|
|Reference||Kosaka Railway Rail Park Official Website