History of Chichibu Railway

002-18 Chichibu Cement (now Taiheiyo Cement) started the line in 1899 as Joubu Railway Company to transport limestone produced from Mt.
In 1930, the entire line (71.7km) between Hanyu and Mibuguchi Station was opened to traffic.
In 1979, the Mikajiri Line, a dedicated freight line,  Mukawa Station – Kumagaya Freight Terminal (7.6km)” is opened.
In 1988, the SL train “Paleo Express” started operation.
In 1989, Chichibu Railway Vehicle Park was opened at Mibuguchi Station as a part of Chichibu Railway’s 90th anniversary project.
008s-39 Chichibu Railway is a single-track, electrified line [ 1,067mm gauge] that connects a 71.7km section with 37 stations (including origin and terminus stations and freight stations).
The line was serviced by trains from JR East Takasaki Line and Tobu Tojo Line (until 1992), but currently only direct service from Seibu Railway (from 1989 to Mibuguchi and Nagatoro) is provided. (The left center of the left photo is Seibu 4000 Series)


Chichibu Railway Operating Vehiclesspace1

001-22 The original cars (100 type, 300 type, 500 type) were used until 1960’s. After that, the cars were transferred from other companies and Odakyu Electric Railway 1800 type (renamed to 800 series), JNR 101 series (renamed to 1000 series), Tokyu Electric Railway 7000 series (renamed to 2000 series), and JNR 165 series (renamed to 3000 series) were in service. The electric locomotive dexterity is the same as that of the electric locomotive of the freight transport etc. Electric locomotive Deki1 class and JNR ED38 class were also used for freight transportation.
The steam locomotive of the C58 class and the passenger car of Series 12 and the electric locomotive Deki 100 class, 200 class, 300 class, and 500 class of the C58 class arein operation now. The left photograph is a JNR 101 series.
The left photograph is JNR Series 101 renamed Series 1000. (Already out of operation)
Between Hirose Wild Bird Forest Station and Ohasao Station, there is Hirose Kawahara Rail Yard, where all the rolling stock of Chichibu Railways belongs.
During the Paleo Express season, steam locomotive C58 class 363 also belongs to the yard and the turntable is in operation.
This steam locomotive is heavily maintained by JR East Takasaki rolling stock center.


001s-39 002s-35 003s-33 012s-44
5000 series 6000 series 7000 series 7800 series


Tobu Railway’s class A train transportation

069s-18 Tobu Railway does not connect the Tojo Line and the Isesaki Line with their own lines.
So, Tobu Railway’s newly built cars and cars transferred from Tobu Tojo Line and Tobu Isezaki Line are transported by class A trains in Chichibu Railway line.
JR Freight transports new cars to Kumagaya freight terminal, and transports them via Mikajiri line to Yorii station connecting line to Tobu Tojo line, and Hanyu station connecting line to Tobu Isesaki line to Morinokoen (Tojo line) and Minami Kuribashi (Isesaki line) where the rail yard is located.
017-6 It was pulled and transported by electric locomotive “Deki 100” etc. in Chichibu Railway line.
On 28th September 2020, the coal transportation on Chichibu Railway Mikajiri Line, which connects Chichibu Railway and JR Line, was terminated and a part of the line was closed down, so the “Class A transportation” via Mikajiri Line, which carries new type of rolling stock of other companies, also came to an end. Chichibu Railway Mikajiri line is 7.6km freight line between Mukawa station and Kumagaya freight terminal station. The line was opened on October 1, 1979, and was converted from a dedicated line to the Kumagaya Plant of Chichibu Cement (now Taiheiyo Cement Co., Ltd.). Limestone, the raw material for cement, was transported from Kagemori Station to Mikajiri Station, and coal, the fuel, was transported from Kumagaya Freight Terminal Station to Mikajiri Station.

SL Paleo Expressspace1

C58-363 (Shigohachi Sanroksan) is an SL that once worked for the former Japanese National Railways (now JR) in the Tohoku region and other areas. After retiring from active service in 1972, it spent the rest of its life in the schoolyard of Fukiage Elementary School in Fukiage Town with elementary school students, but in time for the Saitama Expo (held in Kumagaya City from March 19 to May 29, 1988), there were calls for “SL operation! C58-363 was selected for the major role. The registry was restored in 1987. It was born as SL Paleo Express of Chichibu Road in 1988. SL Paleo Express (C58-363) is the only C58 type running in the 21st century, although SLs have been revived in many places in Japan.
The SL Paleo Express is not in regular operation, so please be sure to check the schedule.
Please click here for the schedule, how to ride, fare, etc. Click here for the route map.
The SL Paleo Express makes a round trip between Kumagaya and Mibuguchi Stations. Stops and the approximate time required are as follows.




Chichibu Railway Vehicle Parkspace1

004s-44 005s-38 006s-37 007s-39
KUHANI-29 being declared the winner of a bout ED38-1 (car) turntable

Chichibu Railway Rolling Stock Park, located next to Mibuguchi Station, was opened in 1989 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Chichibu Railway. The rolling stock used in the past of Chichibu Railway is exhibited, and the turntable remains in a movable state.
The exhibits are Deha100(Deha107), Kuhani20(Kuhani29), Deki1(Deki1), ED38(ED38-1), and freight cars.

●Chichibu Railroad Car Park
Access: Get off at Mibuguchi Station on the Chichibu Railway Line and cross the railroad crossing at the parking lot.
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed: Open all year round
Admission fee: Free
Photos and videos were taken at this location.space2space1

Contact with other companies’ linesspace1

station name interline communication field (e.g. of study) remarks
downy mildew (disease) Tobu Isezaki Line Tatebayashi, Ikebukuro, Shibuya Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line
bear valley JR East Takasaki Line, Joetsu Nagano Shinkansen Ueno, Shinjuku, Tokyo Shonan Shinjuku Line
dwelling place of a god (usu. in reference to a large building) JR East Hachiko Line and Tobu Tojo Line Hachioji, Kawagoe, Ikebukuro, Shibuya Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
Ohanabatake (Shiba-zakura) Seibu Chichibu Line Ikebukuro, Seibu Shinjuku Direct driving is available.
Train derailment accident at Higuchi No.3 level crossing [ November 1, 2011].
On November 1, 2011, a three-car regular train No. 1528, bound for Hanyu Station from Mibuguchi Station, departed from Nogami Station one minute later than the scheduled time (11:12 a.m.) in a one-man operation. The driver of the train was coasting at a speed of about 78 km/h when, at about 11:14, he spotted a large freight car stopped on the Higuchi No. 3 level crossing about 200 meters before the crossing. The train came to a halt about 30 meters past the crossing. About 40 passengers and the driver were on board the train, and four passengers and the driver were injured. The driver of the car had alighted from the train and was not injured. The first car of the train was damaged in the front and underfloor equipment, etc., and the car was wrecked, but there was no fire.


Train derailment accident at Hirosegawara rail yard [ August 6, 2012].
C58 class No.363 derailed to the right when it passed through the rutters. According to Chichibu Railway, the cause of the derailment was a staff member’s mistake. No one was injured, but the derailment caused damage to C58 Type 363, including broken axles and distorted wheels, and it will take about six months to repair the damage.


Higashi Gyoda Class 4 level crossing accident[ January 18, 2013]
At around 4:25 p.m. on January 18, a fifth grader at a Chichibu Railway crossing in Sakura-machi 2-chome, Gyoda City, Saitama Prefecture, was hit and killed by a three-car train from Kagemori to Hanyu. According to the Gyoda Police Department, the crossing is a “class 4 crossing” without an alarm or circuit breaker, and the width is 2.1 meters, so cars cannot pass through. The front right side of the lead car was damaged, and it appears that the train was dragged for about 40 meters. According to Chichibu Railway, there have been seven accidents at the Class 4 level crossing since 2008, including this one, in which four people were killed.