D51 2-8-2 locomotive No. D51225
Japanese National Railways D51 2-8-2 locomotive No. D51225
Photo from Steam Locomotives of Japan - Hirota, Naotaka - Kodansha Intl. Ltd (1972)

The D51 Class of Mikado 2-8-2 locomotive was manufactured in Japan during the period of 1936 to 1945, with 1115 units produced. The D51s were well-suited to run on Japan's mountain area railway 3' 6" gauge gradients and were also known to pull passenger trains. A few D51s were equipped with smoke collecting devices due to the many tunnels that had to be traversed along mountainous rail routes. Several D51s became the war booty of invading Soviet forces on Sakhalin Island at the end of World War Two. Over 181 D51s survived into preservation and are one of the most common and popular steam locomotive types seen on Japanese railways today.

Collector's Corner
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