Japan Train and Rail Blog

A website about trains and model railways and associated subjects in Japan and other countries.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019   9:49 PM

Layout progress, 2019-12-17

Currently mainly working on the depot area, which consists of five storage sidings and a short headshunt-style spur which will serve as a diesel fuelling point.

Train depot, 2019-12-17

The sheds consist of a pair of Tomix train sheds intended for longer units, and a Tomytec single unit wooden shed, which doesn't look too incongruous next to the modern Tomix ones.

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Friday, October 25, 2019   2:11 AM

Recent random acquisitions (October 2019)

It's amazing sometimes what random overseas stuff pops up on Yahoo Auctions...


Somewhere I have an identical or similar Farish coach, also acquired via Yahoo Auctions (as part of a job lot, if memory serves correctly).

Sunday, September 22, 2019   6:27 PM

Improving the Tomix train shed

The Tomix modern-style two-road train shed (複線機関庫, catalogue number 4212) is one of Tomix's classic N scale structures which has been in production for decades (note it was originally available under catalogue number 4012). Although it's a little on the chunky side, it is a plausible generic representation of the kind of multiple-road sheds commonly seen in Japanese train depots, and is a good basis for kitbashing.

A couple of links with ideas:


Friday, September 20, 2019  10:41 AM

Akihabara junk haul, September 2019

In anticlockwise order:

  • a pair of intermediate 103 series cars to expand a Tomix 4-car Yamanote line basic set
  • an intermediate E353 car to expand a Kato E353 series 4-car basic set
  • some side destination stickers for the Tomix N gauge JR 209-1000 Series (Chuo Line) set
  • a whole bunch of Revolution Factory detailing accessories


The Nonowa station mall at Musashi-Sakai Station on the Chuo Line has been using these promotional flags featuring the "face" of the classic 101 series commuter train (which was first introduced on the Chuo Line).

Advertising for the

In a previous entry, Improving Tomix "Second Generation" mechanisms, I provided a suggestion to improve the mechanism of these models by applying tape to the worm gear case to stop it vibrating against the chassis.

A year older and wiser, I've since discovered that while this mitigates the underlying issue somewhat, it's not a particularly effective solution.

The underlying issue, it turns out, is the interaction between worm gear and worm gear case - without sufficient lubrication, the worm gear will cause the case to vibrate, and sometimes "stick" slightly, causing the car to stutter, and possibly put more strain on the motor/and or cause a higher current draw than it should do.

The solution is simple, effective and obvious: lubricate the interface between worm gear and worm gear case.

Tomix worm gear box lubrication

Using a toothpick/cocktail stick I applied dabs of grease to the "tunnels" on inside of the case (above right) and to the worm gear itself one either end where it rotates against the case. Excess can be remove with the toothpick, and wiped on the exposed part of the worm gear (though this really doesn't need much lubrication).

Before doing that however, it's worth cleaning both worm gear and the case, to remove any existing grease/oil residue, and in the case of the worm gear, remove any built-up fibre which may have ended up wrapped around it (quite common with second-hand stock, and something I evidently missed last time).

Tuesday, July 30, 2019  10:09 PM

Steam locomotives on static display in the Tokyo area

An ad-hoc, incomplete list of preserved steam locomotives on static display within the 23 wards area of Tokyo:


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Saturday, June 29, 2019  11:49 AM

Tomix World to reopen in Tokyo next to Kanda station

It's just been announced that Tomix World, formerly located in Omiya and which closed in early 2019, will be reopening on Saturday July 27th at its new location close to Kanda Station in Tokyo.

The new address is: Kanda IK Building 7F, 2-7-1 Kajimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (東京都千代田区鍛冶町2丁目7-1 神田IKビル7F); Google Street View link.

The Tomix World website contains more details (at the time of writing in Japanese only).


Saturday, June 29, 2019  12:28 AM

BR485 / BR885

Flickr album with a bunch of pictures: DB 485 005 bis 885 709

Model by Roco:

Roco ET85 (BR 485)

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Friday, September 7, 2018  10:53 AM

Overview of JNR ED7x class locomotives


ClassWheel arrangementNo. builtYears in operationRegion of operation
ED70 Bo-Bo 19  1957 ~ 1975  Hokuriku Main Line
ED71 Bo-Bo 55  1959 ~ 1982  Tohoku Main Line
ED72 Bo-2-Bo 22  1961 ~ 1982  Kyushu
ED73 Bo-Bo 22  1962 ~ 1982  Kyushu
ED74 Bo-Bo 6  1962 ~ 1978  Hokuriku Main Line, Kyushu
ED75 Bo-Bo 302  1963 ~ (present)  Kyushu, north-east Japan
ED76 Bo-2-Bo 139  1965 ~ (present)  Kyushu, Hokkaido
ED77 Bo-2-Bo 16  1967 ~ 1993  Ban'etsu-Nishi line
ED78 Bo-2-Bo 14  1967 ~ 2000  Ōu Main Line
ED79 Bo-Bo 34
 1986/87 ~ 2016 [1]
 1989 ~ 2016 [2]
 Seikan Tunnel

[1] date of conversion from ED75

[2] newly constructed batch