There are many steam locomotive trains in Japan. But this train, SL Banetsu Monogatari is only SL train that has Green seat. And it also has observation car, cafeteria and kids play space. I have received many nice photos of this train from one of my frequent reader, James. I would like to share the information of this train with you.
I would like to thank you, James for your photos.
If you use Japan Rail Pass or JR East Pass, this train is fully covered by these passes. If you use single ticket, you can take this train by base fare and reserved seat fee at 510 yen. This train has reserved seat only. This reserved seat fee is mandatory.
This train is Rapid train and not express or limited express. Therefore you don’t need to pay any express surcharge. But if you get on Green car, you have to pay Green seat fee beside base fare.
Route, schedule and trip time
SL Banetsu Monogatari is operated between Niigata and Aizu-Wakamatsu. Travel time is approximately 3.5 hours.
This train is operated as seasonal train. It usually runs from April to November on weekend and holidays. You can find more updated schedule at Category:Season trains schedule.
Timetables (As of fall, 2013)
SL Banetsu Monogatari is operated by renovated 12 series passengers car that is pulled by C57 steam locomotive. 12 series used to be most common passengers car before. But now most of this series were scrapped. This 12 series for SL Banetsu was renovated and add many features. In this past season, upgraded Green car was added. 2+1 seat layout and lots of leg space gives you more comfortable experience. This Green car has the observation space just for Green car’s passengers. If you take ordinary seat, you can enjoy panoramic view at the observation car in the middle of the formations.
*James Chuang has copyright for all images in this post.
*R=Reserved seat G=Green seat O=Observation car S=Shop
Smoking is not allowed on this train.