Kato DE10

Kato’s DE10 freight locomotive isn’t new; they came out a year ago. But they promptly sold out, and I hadn’t been able to get one until just recently. There are two versions, a “warm region” model and a “cold region” model that adds circular windshield wipers and a small snowplow. Both versions operate in the Tōkyō region.

Subway First Run

Sunday, 13 June 2010 was an historic day for Sumida Crossing. After the track was all cleaned and re-installed, and the wiring completed, it was time for the trains to take a run. The actual first loop was done by a “maintenance of way” train (actually an old Atlas B23 I was willing to sacrifice if I’d made some horrible wiring error). That done, I broke out the East-i E Inspection Train, and had it take a run to check out the pantograph clearance and general track usability. And I recorded it and made a short video.

Inspection Train

One of the reasons I like to collect Japanese trains is that they have such a variety of forms. Although a few models, such as the E231 commuter trains, are commonplace, a plethora of different-looking trains can be seen in and around Tōkyō on a daily basis.

One of the more distinctive trains out there is known as “Doctor Yellow”, a bright-yellow Shinkansen (bullet train) used to inspect the high-speed lines. There are actually two Doctor Yellows in existence at present. These could be seen in Tōkyō, inspecting the Tōkaidō Shinkansen line. JR East also has it’s own inspection train, (although it is white rather than yellow, and is called “East-i”), which is used on the lines running north and north-west from Tōkyō. JR East’s train is based on the E3 Mini-Shinkansen, allowing it to inspect both Shinkansen and conventional lines converted to standard-gauge.