The Red List of Trains in Japan

JGR Class C62

A static display at SCMaglev and Railway Park, Nagoya.

Data (as of 16 Jan 2022)

Status: Preserved
Constructed in: 1944-45
Rebuilt in: 1948-49
Number rebuilt: 49
Registered: 1


The Class C62 is a type of 4-6-4 steam locomotive developed by the Ministry of Railways (Japanese Government Railways), which was converted from Class D52. The Class D52 was a type of 2-8-2 steam locomotive during the Second World War so that it was designed for hauling heavy and long freight trains. After the War, the Ministry had to deal with skyrocketing demand for passenger trains, but Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers was reluctant to allow introducing new trains. Both parties finally agreed with converting redundant D52 locomotives instead.

The Class C62 was designed for Limited Express and Express trains on major lines. It had the biggest driving wheels among all steam locomotives in Japan. It was one of the first two steam locomotives having mechanical stoker, which provides coal automatically. Staffs of Japanese National Railways have suffered from poor reliability in the 1940s and early-50s, but they were soon refurbished.

The Class C62 was introduced to Tokaido Main, San-yo Main, Tohoku Main, Joban and Hakodate Main Lines, all of which have been regarded as the most important railways in the country. Their notable works in the 1950s and 60s were Limited Express trains Hato (Tokyo - Osaka, hauled by the C62 between Hamamatsu and Osaka), Hatsukari (Ueno - Sendai via Joban Line) and Express Niseko (Sapporo - Hakodate via Otaru). They also hauled Sleeper Limited Express Asakaze (Tokyo - Hakata) and Sakura (Tokyo - Nagasaki) between Himeji and Shimonoseki. All C62s retired by 1973, two years before JNR abolished all steam trains.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

JR West preserves one at Kyoto Railway Museum, which sometimes hauls a few coaches. It is registered on the list but cannot run outside the Museum by herself, as its mainline certificate has been expired since the late-1970s. However, it ran mainlines hauled by an electric locomotive to display them at other places in the 1990s.

(Updated: 16 Jan 2022)

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