Kyushu’s sole steam locomotive to be discontinued at next fiscal year’s end

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A photo of SL Hitoyoshi taken in October 2017

Kyushu Railway Co. announced that it will end operation of SL Hitoyoshi, Kyushu’s only steam locomotive-driven sightseeing train, at the end of fical 2023.

The train’s steam locomotive is the oldest one in operation in the country, and it has become difficult to procure the parts and engineers needed for repairs.

The locomotive was built in 1922 and ran in various parts of Kyushu until 1975, when it was taken out of service. It was later revived as SL Aso BOY, running in Kumamoto Prefecture from 1988 to 2005.

In 2009, it began operating between Kumamoto and Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture, as SL Hitoyoshi, serving tourists.