Steam engines took to the rails again in Japan on Saturday (14 October) as thousands of enthusiasts helped the Japan National Railways to celebrate its centenary.
LV CU Steam train in station (3 shots)
SV Flowers presented to train crew by girl
Decorations and confetti fall out
SV Cameramen film as Mr. Iwasaki cuts ribbon (2 shots)
CU Train crew aboard
SV Crowd watch as steam train leaves station (3 shots)
SV INT Passengers wave from carriage
SV Women and children watching
SV Linear motor test train along rails
SV & CU Magnets on track
SV PAN Modern rail car on test run
Initials BB/1715 GM/MR/BB/1731
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Background: Steam engines took to the rails again in Japan on Saturday (14 October) as thousands of enthusiasts helped the Japan National Railways to celebrate its centenary.
In central Tokyo, hundreds of steam enthusiasts and amateur photographers crammed Shiodome Station to farewell a C-577 engine of 1935 vintage at a re-enactment of Japan's first rail service--from nearby Shimbashi to the port city of Yokohama.
Train crews dressed in the uniforms of the era added to the atmosphere of the ceremony.
The first train took one hour for the 29 kilometre (17-mile) journey 100 years ago. The re-enactment ran alongside tracks which carry Japan's super express train over the same distance in less than 10 minutes.
By way of contrast, the Railways also held the first public displays of its new linear induction motor which it predicts will be in use by the 1980's travelling at speeds of up to 500 kilometres per hour (310 mph).
Powered by a reaction between magnets aboard the test vehicle and coils embedded in the rails, the linear motor provides a noiseless, frictionless and vibration-free ride. Japan's test track is 480 metres long.
The experiment has been so successful that Japan Railways says that in 1974 it will build a test track 7 kilometres long and try to top the 500 kph mark with a half-size train.
SYNOPSIS: A 1935 vintage steam engine, fired up especially to help Japan National Railways to celebrate its centenary. In central Tokyo's Shiodome station, hundreds of enthusiasts saw the train's crew--dressed in the uniforms of the era--prepare the train for a re-enactment of Japan's first rail service--from nearby Shimbasi to the port of Yokohama.
The train was sent on its way by Mr. Iwasaki, the president of japan Railways. The first train took one hour for the twenty-nine kilometre journey one-hundred years ago. The re-enactment ran alongside tracks which now carry Japan's super expresses over the same distance in less than ten minutes. The train and stations along the route were crammed with enthusiasts and amateur photographers. It was an amazing display of affection for the old steam engine, retained in spite of technology.
By way of contrast, in western Tokyo Japan Railways was unveiling for the first time the very latest and the likely future of rail travel...the linear induction motor. Still in the experimental state, the train is powered by a reaction between magnets aboard coils embedded in the rails. The resulting electro-magnetic force provides a noiseless, frictionless and vibration-free ride.
The test track is only 480 metres long, but a seven-kilometres track will be built in 1974 on which it's hoped a half-size test train will reach five-hundred kilometres per hour.