KUMAGAYA, Saitama Prefecture—The Chichibu Railway Co. on April 21 celebrated the annual resumption of operations of its "C58-363" steam locomotive.
About 1,000 people attended a ceremony in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, to mark the 25th year that the historic train has chugged into action.
About 80 evacuees from Futaba near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, who are now living in Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, were invited to attend the event. They boarded the vintage train at Kumagaya Station.
The "C58-363" was built in 1944 and decommissioned in 1972, but it was brought back to service in 1988. The locomotive was so decrepit that part of its boiler and wheels had to be replaced.
The steam locomotive travels between Kumagaya Station and Mitsumineguchi Station in Chichibu through Dec. 3, mostly on weekends.
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