The Tadami line runs from Aizuwakamatsu in northern Japan to Tadami along a narrow river valley (now dammed in several places) and then through several long tunnels to join the Joetsu line at Koide. These days the normal traffic is passenger dmu only. The line is worked as two separate branches with Tadami being the terminus for both.
In steam days, the line used C11 2-6-4T tank engines on freight and passenger trains. For three years now, JR East has brought back C11 325 (normally on the Moka line) to work a three-coach train from Aizuwakamatsu to Tadami and back. The first year, it had a diesel banker and there was no working turntable at Tadami. For the last two years, it has run without a banker and turns at Tadami.
The C11 is working on 6 days in June 2003. It leaves Aizuwakamatsu at 9:09, arrives Tadami at 12:40, turns, coals and waters and departs Tadami for the return working at 14:00 and arrives back at Aizuwakamatsu at 17:20.
Working days in 2003 are June 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22. It is possible to do a long day trip from Tokyo leaving by shinkansen to either Nagaoka (Joetsu) or Koriyama (Tohoku), connect with the steam run and return by the other shinkansen route. There is a special 'toroko' train (literally 'truck' but actually a train of open carriages) which is diesel hauled and connects Nagaoka via Koide to Tadami to make the round trip possible.
I was there for two days of trial runs on June 4 and 5. The special attraction of these runs were that no headboard was carried.
Here are a selection of pictures of these trial runs.
My Sony Vaio computer is not talking to my Sony Digital Video camera most of the time so this is the best I can do at the moment. Sony suggest I reinstall the OS from the recovery disks but I have better things to do with my time. I have an iMac at work which I used for the top shot and I should be able to get more quality pics off the video to replace these small images later.