10th February 2020 · ‘ A Taste of Japan’

Presenter: Gordon Davies

I don’t know if it was the aftermath of Storm Ciara but the attendance was very poor for the excellent presentation ‘A Taste of Japan’ by our Society Chairman, Gordon Davies on our second afternoon meeting on 10 February. We are used to seeing Gordon in North America so this was a complete departure from his normal stamping ground!

Japanese Railways consist of 100 private companies and it was great to see a railway where punctuality is paramount with no graffiti or litter and superbly turned out trains. We visited the impressive Tokyo Railway Museum which was opened in 2007 with its massive array of electric and steam locos, some of which were of UK origin – Manning Wardle, Vulcan Foundry et al.

We saw Tokyo’s rubber tyred trams with no tracks, the world’s longest monorail and Tokyo’s excellent subway with its 189 miles of track.

We also saw wheel tappers, some unusual working practices and ticket barriers which were open but closed if the traveller didn’t have the correct ticket!

Also visited was the Piano Museum in Osaka – plenty of steam but no pianos.

A superb presentation, a pity there weren’t more members to witness it.

Our delayed AGM followed and we were pleased to report that the Branch was to carry on for another year.