The Yomiuri ShimbunSHIZUOKA — Oigawa Railway Co. in Shizuoka Prefecture launched a special service featuring a steam train in the guise of Thomas the Tank Engine for the Christmas season on Saturday.
Many families and railway fans gathered at stations along the route and at the sides of the railroad to see the locomotive, which is based on the titular character from British TV series “Thomas and Friends.”
The company is operating lookalikes of both Thomas the Tank Engine, who is blue, and another train character from the series for the limited service, which runs through Dec. 25.
On Saturday, the Thomas train — sporting a red Santa Claus hat on its chimney and bearing a decorative Christmas plate — was at full capacity, carrying 560 passengers along a 37-kilometer section from Shinkanaya Station in Shimada to Senzu Station in Kawanehoncho. The service will be conducted for seven days, mainly on weekends.