Banetsu Monogatari
C57 180 on an SL Banetsu Monogatari service in July 2015
Service typeJoyful Train
First service29 April 1999
Current operator(s)JR East
On-board services
Class(es)Standard + Green
Seating arrangements2+2 (standard), 2+1 (Green)
Observation facilitiesCars 1 and 7
Rolling stock12 series coaches
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The Banetsu Monogatari (ばんえつ物語, Ban'etsu Monogatari) is a locomotive-hauled set of "Joyful Train" railway coaches operated in Japan by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), normally between Niigata and Aizu-Wakamatsu.


The Banetsu Monogatari trainset is normally used on SL Banetsu Monogatari excursion services between Niigata and Aizu-Wakamatsu, hauled by the JNR Class C57 steam locomotive C57 180. It is also occasionally used on other excursion services.


The dedicated trainset consists of seven 12 series passenger coaches converted from regular day coaches.[1] Car number SuRoFu 12 102 is a Green (first class) observation car converted in 2013 from the former SuHaFu 12 102 standard-class seating car. It has 2+1 unidirectional seating and an observation space at the end of the car, and is finished in a new maroon and black livery.[2]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Numbering SuHaFu 12 101 OHa 12 313 OHa 12 314 OHa 12 1701 OHa 12 316 OHa 12 315 SuRoFu 12 102
Facilities Observation car, children's play area, WC WC WC Lounge Sales counter, WC WC Green observation car, WC
SuRoFu 12 102
SuRoFu 12 102, April 2013
In service1999–
Operator(s)JR East
Car body constructionSteel
Car length21,300 mm (69 ft 11 in)
Width2,900 mm (9 ft 6 in)
Height4,079 mm (13 ft 4.6 in)
Weight36.6 t
Power supplyDM82 generator
Braking system(s)Air brakes, hand brake
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

SuRoFu 12 102

The "Green" (first class) observation car SuRoFu 12 102 was rebuilt in 2013 from the original standard class car SuHaFu 12 102.[3] The car was rebuilt with new 2+1 reclining seating with a seating pitch of 1,150 mm (45 in), and observation area at the end of the car, and finished in a new livery of black and sienna.[3] The train end of the car includes a conductor's office and general-purpose room.[3]


The Banetsu Monogatari trainset in its original livery, April 2005
The Banetsu Monogatari trainset in blue and cream livery, June 2012

The Banetsu Monogatari trainset entered service on 29 April 1999, originally painted in a livery of chocolate and cream.[4]

In late 2000, a lounge car with observation windows, OHa 12 1701, converted from SuHaFu 12 160, was inserted into the train, extending it to seven cars.[4]

In 2007, the set was refurbished and repainted in a new blue and cream livery intended to evoke the colour scheme of the Orient Express.[1] A sales counter was also added in car OHa 12 315 at the same time.[1]

From 6 April 2013, SL Banetsu Monogatari services resumed with a new Green (first class) observation car, SuRoFu 12 102, as car 7, modified from the former SuHaFu 12 102.[5]

In 2014, the SL Banetsu Monogatari train set was refurbished, with all cars repainted in the same black and sienna livery as the "Green" car SuRoFu 12 102. Car 1 was rebuilt with observation end windows, and the main saloon area became a children's play area called the "Stoat Room" (オコジョルーム, Okojo Rūmu). The rebuilt train returned to service from 5 April 2014.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c JR全車輌ハンドブック2009 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2009]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2009. p. 504. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0.
  2. ^ 「SLばんえつ物語」にグリーン車新登場! [New Green car to be introduced on "SL Banetsu Monogatari"] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company Niigata Branch. 24 January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c ""SLばんえつ物語"用グリーン車 スロフ12 102" [SL Banetsu Monogatari Green car SuRoFu 12 102]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 53, no. 626. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. June 2013. pp. 54–55.
  4. ^ a b JR全車輛ハンドブック2001 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2001]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2001. p. 441. ISBN 4-87366-723-2.
  5. ^ ""SLばんえつ物語"号,2013年の運転開始" [SL Banetsu Monogatari 2013 operations start]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  6. ^ 楽しい列車の旅を提供します! [Offering fun train journeys!] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company Niigata Division. 24 January 2014. pp. 5–6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014.