A JNR EF64-1000 heads north through Omiya with an intermodal train. The weather was far from ideal but the interesting narrow-gauge Bo-Bo-Bo locomotive more than made up for it.
With the exception of the last half-handful of 'Blue [sleeper] trains' and some excursions there is a dearth of locomotives on passenger trains. If you want to see some of the fascinating locomotives in Japan you really need to focus your attention on it's freight services. These however are not always easy to find among the busy and frequent commuter train services. While planning my trip I also discovered precious little information on the internet. I hope therefore that if you are planning a trip to Japan and want to spend a little time indulging in its railways (as plenty of Japanese do) you might find this guide useful.
|Kawasaki built EF64 1016 heads north through Urawa. Many stations are full|
of so much clutter that good photographs are almost impossible! Many
commuter lines also pass through providing entertainment between freights.
|There is a clear view looking north from Nishi-Kokubunji.|
This train with a pair of EF65's and the first production class
EH200 received plenty of local attention.
|Looking the other way from Nishi-Kokobunji with Kawasaki built EF66-120 hauling a short tank train. There is a good clear view without too many poles!|
|Twin unit Toshiba built EH500-15 heads north through Omiya.|
|Another freight through Omiya- this time hauled by a modern|
Kawasaki built EF210-150
These three locations are by no means the only places where freight is visible in Tokyo- nor do I claim that they are necessarily the best locations to visit- however they are at worst reasonable and do all definitely see some freight action. On a network which is so busy, and to a foreigner often confusing they certainly offer somewhere to start. If you are of to Japan- I hope you find this useful!