Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lonesome Whistle

I was out doing some fieldwork in Chiba City on the 29th January - a lovely day, real 'shirt sleeves weather' with bright sunshine. Somewhere near the level crossing at Tsuga I heard a lonesome whistle and thought "Wow! That sounds just like a steam locomotive!"

That whistle was blowing far away off and on for nearly thirty minutes. Impossible that it could have been a steam locomotive of course, there hasn't been one in Chiba for thirty years. It had to be a crane down in the JFE steel works somewhere but it was VERY convincing - so convincing that I hung aorund that level crosssing for half and hour.

Two days later - I heard from a student I know that it HAD been a steam locomotive. East Japan Railways preserved D51 498 was down from Tohoku and headed through town to run some special trains around Tateyama over two weekends in February. But it had taken the other route south out of the city. I'd been THAT close to seeing a D51 in steam in Chiba!

Here's D51 498 in more familiar country, on the Joetsu line up in the mountains of Tohoku. Beautiful eh?

Nice to be back here after some very difficult family times and a trip to Europe. I hope I'll be writing here regularly again but probably only around once a week for now


At 10:36 AM, March 11, 2007, Blogger Tony said...

Good to see you back on Railway Roundabout Iain. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to you.

At 4:56 PM, March 12, 2007, Blogger Eddie said...

Welcome back Iain!
Thats the spirit lad!
Your first new posting is absolutely wonderful. Steam has always been a favorite railway subject of mine, especially winter steam train photographs.

The railfan community missed You.


At 6:57 PM, March 15, 2007, Blogger lapstrake said...

Good to see you're back.


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