Railway History Park in Saijo

The Railway History Park in Saijo, Ehime 鉄道歴史パーク

Jake Davies

The Saijo Railway History Park is a small but interesting train museum located right next to Iyo-Saijo Station on the Yosan Line near the north coast of Ehime on Shikoku.

Saijo Railway History Park
The North Hall of the Saijo Railway History Park in Ehime
Saijo Railway History Park
One of the first Shinkansen and a DF50 diesel engine in Saijo Railway History Park

The two parts of the museum are on either side of the railway line and connected by pedestrian bridge.

The North Hall, closest to the main entrance of the station, contains two trains, a Type 0 Shinkansen, the first Bullet Train, and it's claimed that this is the actual one that ran the debut journey from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka on October 1st, 1964.

With it is the only operational DF50 type diesel locomotive that was retired in 1983. The cabs of both trains can be entered. Other displays cover historical railway paraphernalia including the human, and sometimes gasoline, powered  2-man carts called "Rail Star" which are used to patrol the rail lines. On Sundays and holidays you can have a go yourself.

The South Hall is larger and out in front of it is an unusual train, the experimental Free Gauge Train, GCT01-201. With adjustable wheel bases that can switch between the shinkansen lines' 1435mm track and the regular 1067mm track, the idea was that passengers would not need to change trains. It was tested in Kyushu and also here on Shikoku, but was not put into production.

Inside the South Hall are a further three locomotives, a C57 Class Steam Engine, built in 1938 and retired in 1975, a KiH65 diesel express train built around 1970 and retired in 2008, and a DE10 diesel primarily used for shunting, a couple of which are still in service. There are displays of Shikoku railway history, a replica of an early 20th century station platform, a large, working model railway, and a collection of historical model trains.

Saijo Railway History Park
The driver's cab of a 0 series shinkansen from 1964
Saijo Railway History Park
A selection of historical uniforms and eki bento station lunch boxes at Saijo Railway History Park

Saijo Railway History Park Access

Saijo Railway History Park
798-1 Omachi, Saijo-shi, Ehime 793-0030
Tel: 0897 47 -3575

Hours: Saijo Railway History Park is open from 9am - 6pm. Closed Wednesdays or next day if Wednesday is a holiday.
Admission: High School and older: 300 yen
Kids: 100 yen

Saijo Railway History Park is two minutes from Iyo Saijo Station. The quickest express trains from JR Matsuyama Station in Matsuyama take an hour to Iyo Saijo Station. From Takamatsu the journey time is 90 minutes.

Saijo Railway History Park, Shikoku.
Experimental Free Gauge Train GCT01-201
Saijo Railway History Park, Shikoku.
C57 Steam locomotive and a KiH65 diesel at Saijo Railway History Park

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