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International Railroad Discussion > Hakone Tozan MoHa-1 car from the window of a train


Date: 05/22/20 17:38
Hakone Tozan MoHa-1 car from the window of a train
Author: schaffner

This is a picture of Hakone Tozan Railway MoHa-1 class car 107 taken from another train.  Just two weeks later all of the MoHa-1 and MoHa-2 class cars were retired.  I took this shot on July 5, 2019.  I was surprised when I got to Hakone-Yumoto and found signs saying that the last run of these cars was to be on July 19.  There was also a fan trip running with these cars that day and lots of railfans were all over the line taking pictures from everywhere, so I naturally fit right in.  That's one of the otaku on the platform getting a shot.  From what I've been able to determine, these cars were built around 1919 and went through an almost total rebuild in the 1950s.  The line is a standard gauge electric interurban that climbs up a mountain using three switchbacks.  It goes from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora.  It was heavily damaged in a typhoon last November and has been shut down since then.  So I really lucked out when I visited!

Jim Maurer




Date: 05/24/20 19:19
Re: Hakone Tozan MoHa-1 car from the window of a train
Author: cchan006

schaffner Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a picture of Hakone Tozan Railway MoHa-1
> class car 107 taken from another train.  Just two
> weeks later all of the MoHa-1 and MoHa-2 class
> cars were retired.  I took this shot on July 5,
> 2019.  I was surprised when I got to
> Hakone-Yumoto and found signs saying that the last
> run of these cars was to be on July 19.  There
> was also a fan trip running with these cars that
> day and lots of railfans were all over the line
> taking pictures from everywhere, so I naturally
> fit right in. 

Thank you for the report and posting the photo!

The official "last run" events are insanely popular in Japan, emphasis on insane. You were luckier than lucky because you documented the Moha 1 before the actual last run, where platforms and trains become full of people, not just railfans, and good angles are very difficult to get.

I've participated in only one actual last run event, in Kurashiki in 2017, where the crowd was mostly local (away from big cities like Tokyo and Osaka), so it was somewhat manageable. Otherwise, I try to document the train before the last run, for example, the Budd-licensed Tokyu 7000/7700 Series set that were retired in 2018, which I reported here on TO.

> It was heavily damaged in a typhoon last
> November and has been shut down since then.  So I
> really lucked out when I visited!

Play the lottery yet? :-)

I was actually IN Tokyo when Typhoon Hagabis (#19) struck in October, the worst typhoon to hit the region in 60 years. Hakone area had the highest rainfall amount measured in a 12 hour period during the typhoon, 26.8 inches (2.23 inches per hour, although it's silly to measure averages). Hakone Tozan Railway is trying to get the line repaired for their planned opening of the line sometime in the autumn this year.



Date: 05/29/20 20:31
Re: Hakone Tozan MoHa-1 car from the window of a train
Author: schaffner

Well, at least the aerial tramway has been able to reopen since the poison gas levels have gone down.

Jim Maurer



Date: 05/31/20 08:34
Re: Hakone Tozan MoHa-1 car from the window of a train
Author: cchan006

schaffner Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, at least the aerial tramway has been able to
> reopen since the poison gas levels have gone
> down.
>
> Jim Maurer

According to geologists, Mount Hakone was dormant for at least 2000 years, probably longer, before volcanic activities resumed in 2015, which severely impacted tourism and real estate in the area. Until 2015, owning a vacation home (with access to hot springs) was a popular thing for the wealthy in Tokyo.

I rode the aerial tramway decades ago for the first time, and remember "smelling" a volcano for the first time, that pungent sulfuric smell. I've done the popular Hakone "circle trip" several time since, riding the Hakone-Tozan railway, taking the tram, riding the "pirate" ships on Ashinoko (Lake).

Despite the wrath of mother nature, I'm glad to see potential optimism in Hakone. Japanese media and celebrities have been promoting Hakone recently, to shore up the suffering tourism industry.

Off topic, but before I became a full time railfan, I used to do a lot of hiking in Japan, including the volcanoes in Kyushu. One such volcano is no more, as it violently erupted in 2011, taking out the beautiful caldera lake inside. No casualty for this eruption as geologists gave ample warnings to the public (for example, caldera lake changing color from green to brown), but there was a surprise eruption in 2014 of a volcano bordering Nagano and Gifu prefectures, which killed 58 hikers. The grim reminders of the risks living in active volcano (and earthquake) country.



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