Tobu Museum from Tokyo Railway Museum by Tobu Railway

Tobu Museum 001

The Tobu Museum is the closest railway museum to central Tokyo, just 2 stations away from Tokyo Skytree by the Tobu Skytree Line. Operated by Tobu Railway, the museum focuses mainly on the said company. Having tried out their services to Kinugawa-Onsen and Nikko a few days back, I had some background experiences with Tobu Railway to properly appreciate the museum better.

Tobu Museum 002

Admission to the Tobu Museum is rather cheap, at only ¥200 (~S$2.52) for adults.

Tobu Museum 003

Heading into the Tobu Museum.

Tobu Museum 004

The welcome lobby of the Tobu Museum.

Tobu Museum 005

Tickets for the Tobu Museum can be purchased from the ticket vending machine.

Tobu Museum 006

Once you have your tickets, a Tobu staff will come up and punch you in.

Tobu Museum 007

The first sight of the interior of the Tobu Museum.

Tobu Museum 009

There is a small diorama on the side, but it’s negligible as it isn’t very accurate based on rolling stock and scenery. It’s a mix of Germany and Japan.

Tobu Museum 011Tobu Museum 022

The B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5 (5号蒸気機関車(SL B1形5号)) is the first artifact to be seen as you enter the Tobu Museum.

Tobu Museum 010

In front of it, is the DeHa 1 Class No. 5 electric railcar (デハ1形5号電車).

Tobu Museum 012

The destination sign for an Asakusa – Nishiarai service on the then-Tobu Isesaki Line (now Tobu Skytree Line).

Tobu Museum 023

The interior of the DeHa1 railcar.

Tobu Museum 024Tobu Museum 025

The rear cab of the DeHa1 railcar with the driving and brake handle absent.

Tobu Museum 026Tobu Museum 027

The front cab of the DeHa1 railcar with the driving and brake handle present.

Tobu Museum 013

Some model Tobu trains outside the DeHa1 railcar.

Tobu Museum 014

A 1/20 scale model of the Tobu 100 series SPACIA EMU complete with interior.

Tobu Museum 015Tobu Museum 021

Heading into the information part of the museum.

Tobu Museum 016

More smaller scale model trains.

Tobu Museum 017

The rolling stock history of Tobu Railway.

Tobu Museum 018

The cast manufacturer plates of Beyer, Peacock and Company from the B1 Class Steam Locomotives.

Tobu Museum 019

A photo taking area with the Tobu Railway map and EMU faces.

Tobu Museum 020

The evolution of Tobu Railway lines.

Tobu Museum 032

There is also a mock-up of the SPACIA Compartment.

Tobu Museum 028Tobu Museum 029Tobu Museum 030Tobu Museum 031

The mock-up seems pretty accurate as compared with my visit of the real thing a few days ago.

Tobu Museum 033

A 1/20 scale model of the maintenance vehicle which I spotted at Shimo-Imaichi a few days ago.

Tobu Museum 134

The various maintenance vehicles that Tobu Railway uses.

Tobu Museum 034

An exhibit of trackside equipment to show how point switching is made.

Tobu Museum 057

There is a button for you to press to switch the points.

Tobu Museum 058

The point mechanism is covered in acrylic boxes.

Tobu Museum 059

The signals will change according to the direction of the point.

Tobu Museum 056

A Toki Type 1 Freight Car and a preserved bogie of the Shimonoseki Electric Railway DeHa 103.

Tobu Museum 052

There is also a motorised bogie which you can control and view up close and personal.

Tobu Museum 053

There are proper throttle and brake levers for you to play with the bogie.

Tobu Museum 054Tobu Museum 055

The pantograph of the 8000 Series EMU. No playing with this pantograph since there’s no catenary wire, and also not to electrocute everyone nearby it.

Tobu Museum 035

An older relay signalling equipment set for the public to try out.

Tobu Museum 036

The head of a 5700 series EMU used on the former Limited Express Kegon service (now known as the SPACIA Nikko or Revaty Kegon).

Tobu Museum 037Tobu Museum 040

The bigger 1/45 scale model layout allows you to learn how Automatic Train Stop (ATS) assists in train driving, and you can give driving a model train a go too, though ATS is pretty boring to drive on.

Tobu Museum 041

The layout of ATS simulation.

Tobu Museum 042

The number on the console corresponds to the train and line number on the layout.

Tobu Museum 038Tobu Museum 039

The linear track up front allows you to control the signalling on a single-track line instead.

Tobu Museum 043

There are train simulators of the Tobu Main Lines and Tobu Tojo Line too.

Tobu Museum 051

The train for the Tobu Tojo Line is the 50050 Series EMU, while the Tobu Main Lines is the 8000 Series EMU. These are all free of charge.

Tobu Museum 044Tobu Museum 164

There is also a 10030 Series EMU simulator complete with cab mock-up.

Tobu Museum 161Tobu Museum 162

The two simulator route maps specially created for the train simulator area.

Tobu Museum 163

The super accurate driving cab of the 10030 Series EMU simulator.

Tobu Museum 045Tobu Museum 050

A preserved Fuji Heavy Industries (Nissan engine) Cab Over Type Bus. This is a TN714 Type, No. 1625, Registration Number 東2-58277.

Tobu Museum 145

The bus driving cab of the TN714 Type bus.

Tobu Museum 146

The overall interior of the of the TN714 Type bus.

Tobu Museum 046

An ED5010 series electric locomotive No. ED5015 (ED5015号電気機関車) also preserved in the Tobu Museum.

Tobu Museum 144

A preserved gondola of Akechidaira Ropeway (明智平ロープウェイ) from 1950.

Tobu Museum 049

There is also a Tobu Bus simulator for you to try driving on the road.

Tobu Museum 095

Boarding the bus simulator.

Tobu Museum 096

The driving cab of the bus simulator.

Tobu Museum 097

Unfortunately, the bus simulator was just playing a video of Tobu Bus. Or maybe I didn’t know how to activate the simulator.

Tobu Museum 048

Disembarking from the Tobu Bus simulator.

Tobu Museum 060

There is also a preserved Nikko Tramway 200 Type No. 203 train (200型203号(201~206号)).

Tobu Museum 071

Boarding the Nikko Tramway 200 Type No. 203 train, which steps are below an extended floor from the museum building.

Tobu Museum 061

Facing the front of the train from the entrance.

Tobu Museum 062

It’s pretty easy to identify the front of Japanese trains as older trains only have 1 brake handle per train set, so the driver has to carry it around when switching cabs. Wherever the brake handle is, is the facing direction of the train.

Tobu Museum 063

The train is not going anywhere now though.

Tobu Museum 064

The line timetable of the defunct Nikko Tramway.

Tobu Museum 065

The overall interior of the Nikko Tramway 200 Type.

Tobu Museum 066

The train is parked outside the museum building facing the main road alongside the station.

Tobu Museum 067

The now-rear cab of the Nikko Tramway 200 Type train.

Tobu Museum 068

The route map of the Nikko Tramway 200 Type.

Tobu Museum 069

This would have been so convenient to explore Nikko if this tramway was still in operation.

Tobu Museum 070

The connection between the Nikko Tramway and the Tobu and JR lines at Tobu-Nikko and Nikko respectively, including connections to Kinugawa-Onsen. Looks like there was ever a through Nikko – Ueno JR train before.

Tobu Museum 047

Heading back into the museum building, it was just in time for the Panorama Show.

Tobu Museum 072

The big diorama in the Tobu Museum features sceneries of Kanto where the Tobu Railway travels.

Tobu Museum 073

The lights are dimmed as the Panorama Show starts.

Tobu Museum 074

The Panorama Show reflects a day in the life of the Tobu Railway.

Tobu Museum 075

Tokyo waking up in the morning.

Tobu Museum 076Tobu Museum 077

Morning commuter trains running.

Tobu Museum 078

The Limited Express SPACIA heading off to Nikko.

Tobu Museum 079

The SL Taiju running along the countryside on its own dedicated track in the diorama.

Tobu Museum 080Tobu Museum 081

The coupling between the Revaty Kegon and Revaty Aizu.

Tobu Museum 082Tobu Museum 083Tobu Museum 084

The Revaty Kegon and Revaty Aizu heading off to Shimo-Imaichi.

Tobu Museum 085Tobu Museum 086

Sunset in Tokyo over the Tokyo Skytree.

Tobu Museum 087

Commuter trains heading off service one by one back to the depot.

Tobu Museum 088Tobu Museum 089

Tokyo sleeping for the night after all trains have returned to the depot.

Tobu Museum 090

After the show, the lights come on again to see the full diorama fleet stabling in the depot.

Tobu Museum 091

The main diorama depot in front of the gallery seats.

Tobu Museum 092

SL Taiju stabling on its own dedicated track in the distance.

Tobu Museum 093

The Sumida River behind the Tokyo Skytree.

Tobu Museum 094

Tobu Asakusa Station with tracks heading out of the rear of the building in this diorama.

Tobu Museum 098

The exhibits continue upstairs through the slope around the diorama.

Tobu Museum 099

The view of the diorama from the slope up.

Tobu Museum 100

The view of the ED5015 from the second floor of the Tobu Museum.

The upper level features more about the off-track workings of Tobu Railway.

Tobu Museum 103

Heading through an open ticket gate to the station workings exhibits.

Tobu Museum 104Tobu Museum 106

The ticket gate is encased in a transparent acrylic cover so you can see what goes on to validate your ticket in the machine.

Tobu Museum 105

The exit out of the ticket gate.

Tobu Museum 107

Oh, I think I know very well what these are.

Tobu Museum 108

A model showing how the token system works.

Tobu Museum 109

Old ticket selling equipment for coin counting and station stamps for tickets.

Tobu Museum 110

A collection of kid-sized staff uniforms, a messenger bag, (possibly) a token machine and handheld signalling equipment.

Tobu Museum 111

Signal flags and lamp used by the station master and train conductor, along with a hand-drawn line timetable.

Tobu Museum 112

A newer interlocking system progressing from the token system.

Tobu Museum 113

Old stations signs on display.

Tobu Museum 114

The staff side of an old ticket counter layout. The old then-modern ticketing system looks like a periodic table.

Tobu Museum 115

Old validating machines for tickets.

Tobu Museum 116

The mechanisms of newer ticket machines after the individual dating method.

Tobu Museum 117

The passenger side of the ticket machines.

Tobu Museum 118

The fare chart from Higashi-Mukojima Station.

Tobu Museum 119

The exterior of the ticket counter. This shows very well that what looks simple to the passenger had a lot of thought put in to the overall design and workings.

Tobu Museum 120

The view of the diorama from the upper level.

Tobu Museum 101

The exhibition moves on to Tobu Bus.

Tobu Museum 102

Tobu Bus seats used in a video gallery about Tobu Bus.

Tobu Museum 121Tobu Museum 122

Various Tobu Bus models on display complete with interior.

Tobu Museum 123

There are some vending machines for drinks and snacks for a break here.

Tobu Museum 124

After this, there are some displays of Mukojima Hyakkaen Gardens and some local art and literature.

Tobu Museum 125Tobu Museum 126

There are some benches laid out like a commuter train to rest on, simulating the interior of an 8000 series.

Tobu Museum 127Tobu Museum 128

The gallery of Mukojima Hyakkaen Gardens and some local art and literature is behind the mock-up 8000 series.

Tobu Museum 129Tobu Museum 130

Looking down at the static exhibits.

Tobu Museum 131Tobu Museum 132

More local stuff.

Tobu Museum 133

There is also a rest area for groups.

Tobu Museum 135

Heading to the outdoor exhibit, there are two preserved vehicles there. The first is the ED101, Tobu Railway’s first electric locomotive.

Tobu Museum 137

The cast locomotive number plate of ED101.

Tobu Museum 138

The manufacturing plate of Dick, Kerr Works Preston, formerly owned by Dick, Kerr & Co. of Preston acquired by The English Electric Company Limited, the predecessor of General Electric.

Tobu Museum 139

The builder plate of The English Electric Company Limited, the predecessor of General Electric.

Tobu Museum 136Tobu Museum 143

The other train is the 5700 series EMU No. 5701 (5700系5701号電車) bearing the Express Kegon headplate.

Tobu Museum 140

The interior of the 5700 series EMU with full transverse seating.

Tobu Museum 141

Seats can be flipped over according to the direction of travel or to make bays of 4 seats.

Tobu Museum 142

The driving cab of the 5700 series EMU without the brake handle.

Tobu Museum 147

Once done, it was back in to the museum building for the next and last show of the day, the Steam Locomotive Show at the B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5 (5号蒸気機関車(SL B1形5号)).

Tobu Museum 148

During the Steam Locomotive Show, the B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5 is driven by a retired staff of Tobu Railway as a museum volunteer.

Tobu Museum 149

The semaphore changes signals before the train moves.

Tobu Museum 150Tobu Museum 151

The wheels of the B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5 actually turn like in real operations, though it sounds a bit electric.

Tobu Museum 152

This is probably why – there are electric motors below the rails turning the locomotive’s wheels rather than the locomotive actually operating.

Tobu Museum 153

Passengers are allowed to get close to the locomotive though it can be quite loud.

Tobu Museum 154

The builder plate of Beyer, Peacock and Company Limited, Manchester.

Tobu Museum 155

The manufacturing plate of Beyer, Peacock and Company from their factory in Gorton Foundry, Manchester.

Tobu Museum 156

The steam locomotive driver operating the B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5.

Tobu Museum 157

The two types of coal needed to fire up the B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5.

Tobu Museum 158

Heading to the elevated platform explore the B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5 a little bit.

Tobu Museum 159

The cab of the B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5. Notice the buttons on the left console. Oh well.

Tobu Museum 160

B1 Class Steam Locomotive No. 5 and her personal semaphore.

Tobu Museum 165

There is a stamp rally going on for visits to the Tokyu Train and Bus Museum, Tokyo Metro Museum and Tobu Museum. Unfortunately I only had time for one museum visit on this trip so I had only 1 stamp out of 3.

Tobu Museum 008

Heading out of the Tobu Museum, as the museum closes shortly after the last Steam Locomotive Show, there is a Tobu souvenir shop.

Tobu Museum 166

Plarail models of SL Taiju, Revaty and unrelated Thomas sets.

Tobu Museum 167

Some picture sheets and jigsaw puzzles of Tobu trains. That Revaty looks nice as a watch. Actually it might even look nicer as a watch than a train. Sorry Tobu.

Tobu Museum 168

Some SL Taiju biscuits, train DVDs, Tobu books and limited edition collectibles.

Tobu Museum 169

Samples of the Plarail SL Taiju and Revaty on the counter.

Overall, a surprisingly pleasant experience at the Tobu Museum. Despite the cheap entrance fee, the value of the exhibits, information and experience far exceeded the cost of the admission. Totally no complains about it though. In fact, despite this super long post about the Tobu Museum, it’s still a rather summarised form of my experience and I actually missed three parts of the museum: the Watching Promenade to get up close and personal with train bogies on the main line, another gallery of old stuff and parts of the 8000 series EMU.

I guess I have to make another visit to the Tobu Museum with more time planned next time.

One comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.