It would be no exaggeration to state that the railway industry in Japan helped shape the country into the nation it is today. In the 1950s, it was the expansion of infrastructure that helped employ a generation, and at the forefront of this huge investment was the cutting edge high-speed trains, whose efficiency, safety and sleek design are now synonymous with Japanese culture. From early passenger trains to the newest Superconducting Magnetically Levitated Vehicles (SCMAGLEV), the museum is a celebration and showcase of these beautiful machines and what impact they had on Japan.
As soon as you enter the museum, you'll see three stunning vehicles, each of which held the world speed record in their time. The Class C62 is a beautiful steam train, and the C62 17 even smashed the world speed record in 1954 when it topped out at 129 km/h. In 1996, the Class 955 Experimental Shinkansen (300X) was built with the aim of becoming the “the most advanced and superior high-speed railway system.” This hit a stunning 443 km/h in 1996. The last of the three is a Superconducting Maglev called the MLX01-1, which reached 581 km/h in 2003. All three machines are in pristine condition, gleaming at anyone who comes to the museum.
Inside the museum proper, there are a further six main areas, including the Great Rolling Stock Hall, which houses 32 different kinds of trains, each considered the most advanced of their time. Next, there is a huge diorama, depicting your average day at a Japanese railway station, with the model mimicking the bustling Nagoya station.
Anyone with a passion for trains and transport will obviously adore the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, but it is also a great place for families with young children, who will no doubt stare in wonder at every single mechanical wonder the museum has on show.
- 3 Chome 2-2 Kinjofuto Minato Ward Nagoya 455-0848
- Take the Aonami Line to Kinjofuto Station and it is a short walk from there