Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 60 (Back cover)

New Japanese Railway Scenery 20
JR West Ome Line

The JR East 37.2-km Ome Line connects Tachikawa City and mountainous Okutama area in western Tokyo. It was opened by two railway companies—Ome Electric Railway and Okutama Electric Railway to allow efficient connections to Kobu Railway (now the JR East Chuo Line) and transport of silk, timber, and limestone from the Ome and Okutama areas. Sections between Ome and Hinatawada opened for passenger service on 10 March 1898. The line was nationalized in 1944 and fully opened in the same year. With its easy connection to Nambu Line (also nationalized in 1944), the line played an important role in carrying limestone from Okutama to Kawasaki on Tokyo Bay where heavy industrial plants were located. Today, the line mainly serves as a commuter line from western suburbs to central Tokyo, and a tourist line into mountain areas.

Ome Railway Park

Ome Railway Park was opened by Japanese National Railways (JNR) in 1962 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of railways in Japan and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the park’s opening. JR East inherited the park in 1987 following the JNR division and privatization and assigned its operation to East Japan Railway Culture Foundation in 2009. The park has unique displays, such as 11 rolling-stock including Class 110 steam locomotive, one of 10 British-built engines for the first railway in Japan. The attractive exhibits and reasonable admission fees make the park a popular destination. It is about a 15-minute walk from Ome Station. See http://www.ejrcf.or.jp/ome/english/index.html for more information.

Photo: Present-day Ome Station built in 1924 as headquarters for Ome Railway (EJRCF)
Visitors taking tour of Series 0 shinkansen at park (EJRCF)