Issued 30 May, 2020
Welcome to the Institute of Miike Coal Railway Web site.
The theme of this site is the coal conveying railway at Miike Coal Mine, offers many information of railway map, history, electric locomotives and so on.
What is Miike Coal Railway
Located in Omuta-city in Fukuoka and Arao-city in Kumamoto, Miike Coal Mine was one of most famous coal mine in Japan, but it closed down at 1997.
Miike Coal Mine managed by government was transferred to the private company (Mitsui) at 1889, then it really started mining a coal.
Miike Coal Mine has a long history, and its remains are very high historical value.
So Miyanohara Pit, Manda Pit and a part of remains of Miike Coal Railway had been inscribed on the World Cultural Heritage list as part of the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution, at 2015.
On the other hand, the coal conveying railway at Miike Coal Mine opened at 1879 as horse tramway.
At 1890, steam locomotive operation had started, also electric locomotive operation had started at 1912.
The electric locomotive pulling coal cars were lovingly nicknamed “Tankou Densya” by local residents.
Even after Miike Coal Mine closed down at 1997, several electric locomotives and a part of track were utilized as “Mitsui Chemicals Industrial Railway” to convey chemical agents.
However, the Mitsui Chemicals Industrial Railway also disused at 7th May, 2020.
After that, it still has not been decided yet what to do in the future, regarding electronic locomotives, rail and facilities.
Currently, electronic locomotives are being driven in Miyaura station premise about once a week, to remove rust.
So you can see the locomotive driving, even now.
Looking these locomotives driving will be a very valuable experience, because these locomotives was made over 100 years ago.
Background of opening this web site
Omuta-city is my hometown.
Such historical railway was running in my hometown, it is my proud.
I want to pass it onto future generations, and want people around the world to know Miike Coal Railway.
In particular, I want you to see electric locomotives that are still moving, made over 100 years ago.
I wish the electric locomotive will be preserved in a dynamic state, it is my dream.
Having those feelings, I opened this web site.