Exhibition GuidePRINT

There is one main exhibit in this building, the history zone, which occupies about half of the entire space. This is where the history and transitions in train technology and train systems are introduced by theme and time period from the start of Japanese railways in the early Meiji era through to the present.
35 real train cars, including the six-car Imperial train form the primary exhibit. There are also displays of important historical materials, and elaborately made miniature models of trains. The exhibits also feature scene reconstruction based on photographs and materials of the railway scenery in days past to give a better feeling of the way the railway looked in different eras.

History Zone 1F Map

Press the button below for an explanation of the trains of that era. Click on the train number above the diagram for an article describing that train.

  • 1.Dawn of Railways in Japan
  • 2.Nationwide Railway Network
  • 3.Start of Limited Express Services and Commuter Transport
  • 4.Mass Transportation and Electrification
  • 5.Nationwide Limited Express Network
  • 6.Birth of Shinkansen
  • 7.Freight Transportation by Rail

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1.Dawn of Railways in Japan

On exhibit are locomotives active in Meiji era. Among these are Locomotive No. 1 (class 150) that served between Shimbashi and Yokohama from the start of railways in Japan, Zenko Steam Locomotive (class 1290) used in construction of Saitama's first railway, and more. Also at the Locomotive No.1 exhibit, part of Shimbashi station at the time when operation started is reproduced.

photo of Locomotive No.1
Locomotive No. 1 (Class 150)Japan
Japan's first locomotive (British-built) used on Shimbashi''Yokohama line in 1872
Government-designated important cultural property (1997) and Railway Monument (1958)
Number: 150
Year manufactured: 1871
photo of Zenko Steam Locomotive (Class 1290)
Zenko Steam Locomotive (Class 1290)
Used by Nippon Railway for construction work between Ueno and Kumagaya
Nicknamed Zenko because offloaded at Arakawa River dock near Zenkoji in today's Kawaguchi City in Saitama Prefecture
Designated Railway Monument (1959)
Number: 1292
Year manufactured: 1881
photo of Benkei Steam Locomotive
Benkei Steam Locomotive (Class 7100)
First steam locomotive on Horonai Railway in Hokkaido (opened 1880)
Designated Railway Monument (1958)
Number: 7107
Year manufactured: 1880
photo of Kaitakushi Passenger Carriage (Class Kotoku 5010)
Kaitakushi Passenger Carriage (Class Kotoku 5010)
American-built, special passenger car for high-ranking officials of Hokkaido Kaitakushi (Hokkaido Colonization Office) riding Horonai Railway in Hokkaido (opened 1880)
Designated Railway Monument (1961)
Number: Kotoku 5010
Year manufactured: 1880
photo of Locomotive No.1
Early Passenger Carriage
Full-scale mock-up of passenger carriage used in early days based on Period Blueprint of Oldest Passenger Train listed in History of Japanese Railways Part 1, published by Ministry of Railways (1921)

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2.Nationwide Railway Network

On exhibit are carriages which were active from the end of the Meiji era through the Taisho era, when the railway network expanded throughout the country. Among the exhibits, you can see carriages powered in a variety of ways including a locomotive used at dicult stages in trunk line transport, trains used heavily for urban transportation, and diesel trains used to streamline feeder lines. A partial reproduction of Taisho era Manseibashi Station and early Showa era Omiya factory are also on display.

photo of Hanifu 1 Passenger and Luggage Carriage (Formerly Class De 963 Electric Railcar)
Hanifu 1 Passenger and Luggage Carriage (Formerly Class De 963 Electric Railcar)
Used by Kobu Railway between Iidamachi and Nakano (currently part of Tokyo's Chuo Line)
Government railways' first electric railcar after 1906-07 railway nationalization
Number: Hanifu 1 (De 968)
Year manufactured: 1904
photo of Class Nade 6110 Electric Railcar
Class Nade 6110 Electric Railcar
Main commuter train on Tokyo's Yamanote Line and Chuo Line
Designated Railway Monument (1972)
Number: Nade 6141
Year manufactured: 1914
photo of Class 9850 Mallet Steam Locomotive
Class 9850 Mallet Steam Locomotive
Used on steeply graded Hakone section of Tokaido Main Line near Gotemba
Number: 9856
Year manufactured: 1913
photo of Class ED40 Abt Rack-and-Pinion Electric Locomotive
Class ED40 Abt Rack-and-Pinion Electric Locomotive
First Japanese-built electric locomotive used on 66.7% Usui Pass of government
railways' Shinetsu Main Line
Number: ED40 10
Year manufactured: 1919
photo of Class ED17 Electric Locomotive
Class ED17 Electric Locomotive
Class ED17 Electric Locomotive
British-built locomotive used to haul passenger trains on electrified Tokaido Main Line between Tokyo and Kozu
Number: ED17 1
Year manufactured: 1923
photo of Class Kiha 41300 Railcar
Class Kiha 41300 Railcar
First government railways' mass-produced gasoline railcar used on various local, non-electrified lines
Number: Kiha 41307
Year manufactured: 1934

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3.Start of Limited Express Services and Commuter Transport

On exhibit are carriages used during the golden age of railroad in the pre-World WarII Showa era. Among these are observation carriages which were symbolic of limited express trains, steam locomotives which pulled limited express and urban commuter trains when first trains started to get crowded. Partial reproductions of Tokyo and Ochanomizu Stations where people departed for overseas travel at that time are displayed.

photo of Class C51 Steam Locomotive
Class C51 Steam Locomotive
First Japanese-built high-speed passenger locomotive used for express services on most important lines such as Tokaido Main Line and later on regional trunk lines
Number: C51 5
Year manufactured: 1920
photo of Class C57 Steam Locomotive
Class C57 Steam Locomotive
JNR's Last steam locomotive (1975) used to haul regular passenger trains on Muroran Main Line between Iwamizawa and Muroran in Hokkaido
Number: C57 135
Year manufactured: 1940
photo of Class Maite 39 Passenger Carriage
Class Maite 39 Passenger Carriage
First-class observation car coupled to Tokyo-Shimonoseki Fuji limited express and typifying golden age of railways before World War II
Number: Maite 39 11
Year manufactured: 1930
photo of Class Kumoha 40 Electric Railcar
Class Kumoha 40 Electric Railcar
First government railways' 20-meter electric railcar used for carrying commuters on Tokyo's Chuo Line
Number: Kumoha 40 074
Year manufactured: 1936
photo of Class Oha 31 Passenger Carriage
Class Oha 31 Passenger Carriage
Class Oha 31 Passenger Carriage
First government railways' half-steel carriage used on private Tsugaru Railway (N. Honshu) in later years
Number: Oha 31 26
Year manufactured: 1927

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4.Mass Transportation and Electrification

Japan's railway system underwent further technical innovation during and after World WarII. Many local lines began to be electried; and carriages and facilities were further modernized with the distribution of power transmission to each carriage on electric and diesel trains instead of using the conventional method of pulling passenger carriages and freight cars with a single locomotive. Exhibited here are a Series 101 Electric Multiple Unit which established the foundation of commuter trains, a Series 181, improved model of Series 151 that made electric trains the mainstay, and a Series 20 known as hotels on the move from their superior service.

photo of Class EF58 Electric Locomotive
Class EF58 Electric Locomotive
Used for passenger operations in 1956 between Tokyo and Osaka on Tokaido Main Line after full electrification, making long-distance transport without frequent locomotive changes possible
Alongside Class EF15 freight locomotive; both used roller bearings on driving axles, enabling long-distance running without frequent inspection
Number: EF58 89
Year manufactured: 1956
photo of Class Nahanefu 22 Sleeping Car
Class Nahanefu 22 Sleeping Car
First permanently coupled night train with generator car for carriage cooling, heating, etc.
Used for Asakaze limited express between Tokyo and Hakata
Number: Nahanefu 22 1
Year manufactured: 1964
photo of Class Kumoha 101 Electric Railcar (Series 101 Electric Multiple Unit)
Class Kumoha 101 Electric Railcar (Series 101 Electric Multiple Unit)
First JNR EMU with new high performance that debuted in 1957 on Chuo Line
Number: Kumoha 101 902
Year manufactured: 1957
photo of Class Kuha 181 Electric Railcar (Series 181 Electric Multiple Unit)
Class Kuha 181 Electric Railcar (Series 181 Electric Multiple Unit)
First JNR limited express EMU with maximum speed of 110 km/h and travel time of 6.5 hours between Tokyo and Osaka
Number: Kuha 181 45
Year manufactured: 1965

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5.Nationwide Limited Express Network

The advancement of AC electric technology established in the late 50s spread electried railroads nationwide. With it came the development of trains capable of running on both AC and DC currents; and as a result, express and limited express train service became available nationwide. Exhibited here are a Series 485 Electric Multiple Unit operated as limited express nationwide and ED75 Electric Locomotive which became the standard model of electric locomotive. A partial reproduction of busy Ueno station as the starting station of long distance special express trains bound for areas across East Japan is displayed.

photo of Class Kuha 481 Electric Railcar (Series 485 Electric Multiple Unit)
Class Kuha 481 Electric Railcar (Series 485 Electric Multiple Unit)
First AC/DC limited express EMU for through services between DC and AC electrified sections in both east (50 Hz) and west (60 Hz) Japan
Number: Kuha 481 26
Year manufactured: 1965
photo of Class Moha 484 Electric Railcar (Series 485 Electric Multiple Unit)
Class Moha 484 Electric Railcar (Series 485 Electric Multiple Unit)
Number: Moha 484 61
Year manufactured: 1972
photo of Class Kumoha 455 Electric Railcar (Series 455 Electric Multiple Unit)
Class Kumoha 455 Electric Railcar (Series 455 Electric Multiple Unit)
Express train used for through services between 50-Hz AC electrified sections and DC sections on Tohoku Main Line, Joban Line, etc.
Number: Kumoha 455 1
Year manufactured: 1965
photo of Class ED75 Electric Locomotive
Class ED75 Electric Locomotive
Standardized AC electric locomotive used as cold and snow resistant 700 series on Uetsu Main Line, Ou Main Line, etc.
Number: ED75 775
Year manufactured: 1975

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6.Birth of Shinkansen

The Tokaido Shinkansen was the culmination of various technologies accumulated since the Meiji era to overcome the constraints of narrow-gauge; and it was launched to solve the transportation capacity problems of the Tokaido Main Line which was reaching its limits. On exhibit is the front of the rst carriage of the Tokaido Shinkansen Series 0, which was a combination of highly reliable technology including AC electrication and the electric train propulsion method that enabled it to reach speeds of 200 km/h, a world record at the time, as well as a Series 200 model used on the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen.

photo of Series 0 Shinkansen
Series 0 Shinkansen
First Generation of Tokaido Shinkansen
Number: 21 25
Year manufactured: 1964
photo of Series 200 Shinkansen
Series 200 Shinkansen
First generation of Tohoku and Joetsu shinkansen with cold and snow countermeasures for running through regions with heavy snowfall
Later fitted with automatic couplers to couple Series 400 and Series E3 train sets on Yamagata and Akita shinkansen
Number: 222 35
Year manufactured: 1982

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7.Freight Transportation by Rail

Since its commencement in Meiji era, the railway system has greatly contributed to domestic distribution by carrying not only passengers, but also handling cargo. Introduced here are the history of rail freight transport and current environment friendly aspects of that. A Class EF66 Electronic Locomotive which claims the highest engine output among Japan National Railway trains,a Class Koki 50000 Container Wagon which played an active role in container transportation, and a Class Remufu 10000 that delivered fresh sh are exhibited.

photo of Class EF66 Electric Locomotive
Class EF66 Electric Locomotive
JNR's most powerful high-performance DC locomotive for hauling high-speed express freight trains and later all-sleeping-car limited expresses between Tokyo and Shimonoseki
Number: EF66 11
Year manufactured: 1968
photo of Class Remufu 10000 Refrigerator Wagon
Class Remufu 10000 Refrigerator Wagon
Refrigerated high-speed wagon with train guard's compartment in Series 10000 high-speed freight wagons for express unit train transporting fresh fish on Tokaido and Sanyo main lines
Number: Remufu 10000
Year manufactured: 1966
photo of Class Koki 50000 Container Wagon
Class Koki 50000 Container Wagon
Main high-speed container freight wagon for freightliner services on Tokaido and Sanyo main lines
Number: Koki 50000
Year manufactured: 1971
photo of Class DD13 Diesel Locomotive
Class DD13 Diesel Locomotive
First mass-produced diesel locomotive to replace steam locomotives in shunting yards
Number: DD13 1
Year manufactured: 1958
Copyright East Japan Railway Culture Foundation / East Japan Railway Company All Rights Reserved.
Locomotive No. 1 (Class 150) Zenko Steam Locomotive (Class 1290) Benkei Steam Locomotive (Class 7100) Kaitakushi Passenger Carriage (Class Kotoku 5010) Early Passenger Carriage Hanifu 1 Passenger and Luggage Carriage (Formerly Class De 963 Electric Railcar) Class Nade 6110 Electric Railcar Class 9850 Mallet Steam Locomotive Class ED40 Abt Rack-and-Pinion Electric Locomotive Class ED17 Electric Locomotive Class Kiha 41300 Railcar Class C51 Steam Locomotive Class C57 Steam Locomotive Class Maite 39 Passenger Carriage Class Kumoha 40 Electric Railcar Class Oha 31 Passenger Carriage Class EF58 Electric Locomotive Class Nahanefu 22 Sleeping Car Class Kumoha 101 Electric Railcar (Series 101 Electric Multiple Unit) Class Kuha 181 Electric Railcar (Series 181 Electric Multiple Unit) Class Kuha 481 Electric Railcar (Series 485 Electric Multiple Unit) Class Moha 484 Electric Railcar (Series 485 Electric Multiple Unit) Class Kumoha 455 Electric Railcar (Series 455 Electric Multiple Unit) Class ED75 Electric Locomotive Series 0 Shinkansen Series 200 Shinkansen Class EF66 Electric Locomotive Class Remufu 10000 Refrigerator Wagon Class Koki 50000 Container Wagon Class DD13 Diesel Locomotive