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D51 steam locomotive

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D51 steam locomotive

Class D51
JR East's D51 498 on the Joetsu Line, December 2008
Specifications
Power type Steam
Designer Hideo Shima
Builder Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company etc
Build date 1936-1951
Configuration 2-8-2 Mikado
Gauge
Length 19,730 mm (64 ft 9 in)
Locomotive weight 76.8 t[1]
Locomotive and tender
combined weight
123.0 t
Top speed 85 km/h (55 mph)
Tractive effort 184.3 kN
Career
Retired 24 December 1975

The Class D51 (D51形?) is a type of 2-8-2 steam locomotive built by the Japanese Government Railways, the Japanese National Railways and various manufacturers from 1936 to 1945.[2] The name consists of a "D" for the four sets of driving wheels and the class number 51 for tender locomotives that the numbers 50 through 99 were assigned to under the 1928 locomotive classification rule.

The design of Class D51 was based on the earlier Class D50, which was introduced in 1923. Wartime production featured some substitution of wood for steel parts like running boards, smoke deflectors and tender coal bunkers. A total of 1,115 D51 locomotives were built,[2] the largest number of locomotives in a single class in Japan. Early D51s built were known as "Namekuji type" (or "slug"). The Class D51 is popularly called "Degoichi" in Japanese.

The specially built D51s that were left on Sakhalin (formerly Karafuto) by the retreating Japanese at the end of World War II were used until 1979 by Soviet Railways. One was left outside Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk railway station, and one is in running condition and is kept at the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk railway station. Additionally two wrecks were left to the north of the city.[3]

Preserved examples

Over 170 Class D51 locomotives have been preserved in Japan. D51 498 has been restored by JR East and hauls special event trains on JR East lines.[4]

The following is a partial list of preserved locomotives.

Russian Class D51

  • D51-1: Niigata Prefecture
  • D51-2: Hokkaido
  • D51-4: Sakhalin (Working order, but faces uncertain future due to re-gauging of the Sakhalin Railways to the Russian gauge)
  • D51-22: Sakhalin (Plinthed outside Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk railway station)
  • D51-23: Hokkaido
  • D51-25: Hokkaido
  • D51-26: Hokkaido
  • D51-27: Hokkaido
  • D51-28: Sakhalin (Dumped at Tomari)
  • D51 ? : Sakhalin (2 D51s Dumped north of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk at Dalny)

In fiction

In the television series Thomas & Friends, the character Hiro is based on the Class D51, and carries the number "51" on his tender.

See also

References

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