Steam Locomotive Train Returns to Service North of Tokyo

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Fans greet the SL Moka steam locomotive in Ichikai, Tochigi Prefecture, on Saturday.

MOKA, Tochigi — The SL Moka steam locomotive is back in service in Tochigi Prefecture.

The Moka Railway train resumed regular operations Saturday after undergoing scheduled maintenance from Jan. 16.

The SL Moka will run every weekend and during the Golden Week holidays from the end of April through early May.

The weather Saturday was sunny and warm as about 20 amateur photographers waited for the SL Moka from a spot beside a curve near Tatara Station in Ichikai, Tochigi Prefecture. The dark gray smoke from the locomotive set against the blue sky made for striking photos.

“I was excited as I haven’t taken photos of an SL in a long time,” said a man in his 80s from Utsunomiya who said he has taken steam locomotive photos for many years. “The smoke was superb.”