Railway Museum (Saitama)

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Railway Museum
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Location of the museum
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Railway Museum (Saitama) (Japan)
Established14 October 2007
Location Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Coordinates 35°55′16″N139°37′05″E / 35.92111°N 139.61806°E / 35.92111; 139.61806 Coordinates: 35°55′16″N139°37′05″E / 35.92111°N 139.61806°E / 35.92111; 139.61806
Type Railway museum
Public transit access Tetsudō-Hakubutsukan Station
Website www.railway-museum.jp

The Railway Museum (鉄道博物館, Tetsudō Hakubutsukan) is a railway museum in Saitama, Saitama, Japan, which opened on 14 October 2007. It was built and is operated by the East Japan Railway Culture Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It consists of a 19,800 m² building on a site covering 42,500 m², with a display area 9,500 m² in size.


The museum features about 30 railway cars, train cab simulators, railway model dioramas, mini trains, storage for artifacts and books, video booths, a multi-purpose hall, a gallery balcony, a cafeteria, a museum shop, and a research room.


Main exhibition hall Main hall of the Railway Museum in Saitama January 2019.jpg
Main exhibition hall

The museum places emphasis on learning through interactive experiences and is mainly divided into two zones: the history zone and the learning zone. The history zone recounts the history of railway technology with the help of trains that were in service in the past. In the learning zone, visitors can gain knowledge of the principles and mechanisms of railway with the use of actual parts and models. The tour of the museum takes roughly two hours with extra time for interactive exhibits. [1]

A library room, known as the "Teppaku Reading Room" opened on 21 July 2012 in the remodelled North Wing of the museum. [2]


The former Transportation Museum in Tokyo, which closed in 2006 Kotsu hakubutsukan.jpg
The former Transportation Museum in Tokyo, which closed in 2006

The present Railway Museum is the successor to the Transportation Museum (交通博物館, Kōtsū Hakubutsukan) in Chiyoda, Tokyo. This museum also opened as the Railway Museum under the elevated railway track near Tokyo Station celebrating the beginning of the 50th year of the railways in Japan on 14 October 1921. In 1936, the Railway Museum was relocated to the new facility built in the place of former building of Manseibashi Station, which station continued to operate until 1943 as an accessory of the museum. The museum was renamed the Transportation Museum in 1948 to cover various means of transportation. On 14 May 2006, the museum was closed pending a move to the new Railway Museum in Saitama.

In November 2012, it was announced that the Railway Museum would form a sister-museum alliance with the National Railway Museum in York, UK. [3]

Driving simulators

The museum features driving simulators that allow visitors to experience being drivers of a D51 steam locomotive, a Shinkansen train, and trains on the Tokaido Line, the Keihin Tohoku Line, and the Yamanote Line. [4] Simulators require a reservation obtained via reservation terminals installed in the museum and cost 500 yen. The D51 simulator is appropriate for junior high school students and older, the other simulators allow elementary school students as well.


The following full-size vehicles are on display.


Smokebox of D51 steam locomotive Model D51 in Railway Museum.jpg
Smokebox of D51 steam locomotive

Electric railcars

Diesel railcars

KiHa 11 DMU Model KIHA11 of JNR.jpg
KiHa 11 DMU

Passenger carriages

Imperial carriages

Freight vehicles

The English class names of the cars and locomotives listed above are largely based on the English version of Floor Guide of the museum as of October 2007.


The museum is located adjacent to Tetsudō-Hakubutsukan Station on the New Shuttle people mover, one stop from Ōmiya Station, a hub station of the JR East system. The museum has a limited number of parking spaces.


3-47 Ōnari-chō, Ōmiya-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama-ken 330-0852


A new four-storey extension south building opened in summer 2018. [7] Originally planned to be a five-storey structure opening in autumn 2017, the plans were revised and scaled down in 2016 to reduce excessive costs. [7]

See also

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  1. Official website. Retrieved on 5 September 2008. (in Japanese)
  2. 「てっぱく図書室」2012年夏オープン [Teppaku Reading Room opens summer 2012](PDF). The Railway Museum (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  3. "Railway Museum to tie up with British counterpart". Daily Yomiuri Online. Japan: The Yomiuri Shimbun. 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-02-18. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  4. Mainichi Daily News, "Out and about: Exploring the Railway Museum -- a mecca for train buffs" (24 October 2008) Archived 26 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 25 October 2008.
  5. 鉄道博物館EF55 1に「ご紋章」と日章旗 [EF55 1 at Railway Museum adorned with crest and flags]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  6. Japan Railfan Magazine: "鉄道博物館 0系新幹線(21-2)の一般公開を開始" (21 October 2009). Retrieved on 24 October 2009 (in Japanese)
  7. 1 2 鉄道博物館本館リニューアルおよび新館建設計画の変更について [Refurbishment of Railway Museum main hall and changes to new building construction plans]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.