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Japan railway fans abuzz over diesel locomotive on sale for $19K, but there's a catch

The diesel locomotive DD502, which is currently on sale, is seen in the Kanto Railway's Mitsukaido rail car base in the city of Joso, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Nov. 3, 2020. (Mainichi/Shigemi Niwaki)

TSUCHIURA, Ibaraki -- A railway firm's social media post about selling an old diesel locomotive for 2 million yen (about $19,280) has gone viral among railway fans, but transport costs for the engine could be considerably higher.

    Kanto Railway Co., based in the city of Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, has already received numerous inquiries surrounding its Twitter post stating that it will sell the engine.

    According to the company, the diesel locomotive DD502 for sale is 11 meters long, some 3.8 meters tall, 2.7 meters wide, and weighs 33.7 metric tons. The locomotive is no longer able to run unless it undergoes maintenance, and the engine does not even start. Joso Tsukuba Railway, the predecessor of Kanto Railway, bought the now on sale locomotive, which was manufactured in 1956 and operated it until 2007.

    If an agreement is reached with a buyer, the locomotive is scheduled to be handed over at the Mitsukaido rail car base in the city of Joso, Ibaraki Prefecture. But the shipping fee is estimated to be around 3.5 million yen (about $33,740) if the delivery is made within the prefecture and road conditions are favorable. An additional cost of 1 million yen (about $9,640) is estimated if a railway track with a length of 13 meters is also set up for the engine to stand on.

    A company representative commented, "We posted this just on Twitter as we didn't think that it would gather much attention. I'm surprised at the scale of the response we've received."

    For more inquiries, call Kanto Railway's rail carriage section at 029-822-3718 (available on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.)

    (Japanese original by Shigemi Niwaki, Tsuchiura Local Bureau)

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