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Oigawa Railway
Oigawa Railway website:http://www.oigawa-railway.co.jp/
About Oigawa Railway
  The Oigawa Railway is located in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It was named the Oigawa Railway because it was built along Oigawa. It was constructed to transport equipment for dam and power plant construction. Later on, it was used to carry logs from nearby mountain areas.
Eventually, it became a tourism railway under private operations. This 65km-long railway has two lines: the Main Line (Kanaya-Senzu) and Ikawa Line and passes through 65 tunnels and across 45 bridges.


(1)Main Line

The Main Line running between Kanaya and Senzu is 39.5km in total. There are 19 stations on this line: Kanaya, Shin Kanaya, Daikan Cho, Higiri, Goka, Fukuyo, Kamio, Owada, Ieyama, Nukuri, Kawane Onsen Sasamado, Jina, Shiogo, Shimo Izumi, Tanokuchi, Suruga Tukuyama, Aobe, Sakidaira, and Senzu.
The highest point of the line is 299m in elevation, the maximum slope grade is 22‰, the minimum curve radius is 300m, track gauge is 1.067m, and wagon width is 2.7m. Both steam and electric trains are used on the railway. The travel time for electric train is about one and a quarter hour, and for steam train, it is about one hour and twenty-five minutes. The line began service in December 1931. Electric trains were used on the entire line as of 1949.
Oigawa Railway Company, the maintenance works, and garage are located at "Shin Kanaya Station". For passengers to transit more easily, Oigawa has built a 2.3km railway to link Shin Kanaya and Kanaya stations and a co-construction station with "Tokaido Main Line of the Japan Railway Group at Shin Kanaya Station". It interesting that the relationship between the Kanaya and Shin Kanaya stations of the Oigawa Railway resemble that of Chiayi Station and Beimen Station of the Alishan Forest Railway.
Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan is famous for growing green tea. When taking the Oigawa Railway from Shin Kanaya Station, passengers can see grasslands and tea farms outside the window as the train passes by the "Daikan Cho, Higiri, Goka, Kamio, and Owada" stations. This is the characteristic of this section of the railway. After the "Nukuri station", the train crosses the first bridge of the Oigawa Railway to "Kawane Onsen Sasamado Station". From this point to Jina Station is a continuous uphill section with slope grade at 20‰. To the uphill capability of earlier steam trains, it was difficult to go through this section. As the train goes uphill from Aobe to Senzu Station, it may passes through Oigawa thrice. It is the steepest section of the railway with slope grade at 22‰. Finally, the train arrives at the terminus of the line: Senzu Station.
The famous SL (steam locomotive, meaning steam train) of Japan runs on this section. Pulling vintage passenger cars with the SL is often found on the Oigawa Railway. When travelling across tea farms in Shizuoka Prefecture along the Oigawa Railway, passengers hear the harmonica and folk tunes played and sung by the conductor and watch the beautiful tea farm scene outside the train. The warmth uniquely brought by the wooden compartment is like a cradle taking passengers from one place to another, causing a time slip feeling to passengers. It is a famous tour for the original railway taste in Japan.
Around Senzu Station, passengers can visit the Senzu SL Museum where old photos and old train models of the Oigawa Railway are displayed. There are also a great number of artefacts showing the cooperation and friendship with the Alishan Forest Railway in the museum. Its never-changed friendship for Alishan Forest Railway is touching!

  Scene of a running SL of the Oigawa Railway Green tea farms outside the SL.
Ikawa Line
  The 25.5km long Ikawa Line refers to the line running between Senzu Station and Ikawa Station, including 13 stations: Kawane Ryogoku, Sawama, Domoto, Kawane Koyama, Okuizumi, Aputo Ichishiro, Nagashima Damu, Hirannda, Okuooi Kojou, Sessokyo Onsen, Omori, Kanzou, and Ikawa stations. The highest point is 686m in elevation, maximum slope grade is 90‰, minimum curve radius is 50m, track gauge is 1.067m, and compartment width is 1.84m. The line mainly uses diesel trains, with a travel time about one hour and fifty minutes. The Ikawa Line began operations in August 1959, and only part of it uses electric trains.
As the line was built to carry equipment for the Ikawa Dam, the road condition, compartment, and electrification system are simpler compared to that of the main line. Passengers traveling to Ikawa must transit from Senzu Station, and the manual turntable is still reserved at the station. Overall, as the line lies in the mountain area, the total length of tunnels shares only a third of the line's entire length.
After passing through the crossing in front of Senzu Station, the train ascends northward along Oigawa. The Kawane Ryogoku Station is the garage of the Ikawa Line, and the Sawama Station was the transit station to the Sumatakyo Forest Railway before 1968. The section between Aputo Ichishiro and Nagashima Damu stations is noteworthy. The Aputo Ichishiro Station is the entrance of the rack railway. Inside the station, there are ED901 electric trains standing by for the ABT Line. After minutes after the train stops by for the connection, an electric locomotive approaches and connects to the rear of the train. At this moment, passengers can take photos about how the ED901 electric locomotive is connected to the train. The sign indicated uphill slope grade 90‰ is also erected there. After the connection is completed, the engine starts and the train continue the uphill trip. By matching the center cog on the bogie with the cog rail, the electric locomotive climbs upward.
At this section, passengers can get a whole picture of the Nagashima Dam. After arriving at the Nagashima Damu Station, the ED901 electric locomotive will be detached from the train, which resumes running with the diesel locomotive. The electric locomotive is sued to push and control the train at this uphill and downhill section. In addition, the position of the electric locomotive remains unchanged when the train goes downhill. After the train passes the Nagashima Damu Station and travels near the "Okuooi Kojou Station of Sessokyo Lake", passengers can enjoy the whole view of the dam. This is the classic view of the postcards, posters, and related publicity materials of the Oigawa Railway. Finally, the train arrives at the terminus of the Ikawa Line: Ikawa Station located at 687.6m in elevation.
  The rack route of the Oigawa Railway Cog matches the cog rail