Saturday, March 29, 2008

Went to Obinata outdoor hot spring

Went to Obinata outdoor hot spring after a long interval. This one is buried deep in the snow in winter, so not available then. I was only person who got in the onsen when I went there this time. A little bit too cold to enjoy outdoor hot spring here in Hakuba at this time of the year, it still snowed a bit :o. But maybe good chance to relax because the hot spring was just for me!

Some bunch of snow were still left in the onsen as well. Spring has not come here in Hakuba yet. Maybe we need one more month for it.

Hayaokidori website

Verb for perfume

Japanese people don't use perfume too much. Or I can say "seldom". Not sure why. Maybe we have not found so many materials for perfume. Been wondering what is the correct English verb for perfume. I expected "use" ? "put" ? Hmmm...
Wear !
I happened to hear somebody said
What perfume do you wear?
OMG, does wear work for that? Hmmm... "wear" sounds as if we wear some clothes. Never expected it would work in this case. Hard to find this kind of phrases in any dictionaries and textbooks. Perhaps this does not work to take an English examination in school though I am not young enough to take any in school lol...

Hayaokidori website

Is this also a "push-pull" train?

Usually we call it a "push-pull" train in Japan if a train has at least 2 locomotives ( 1 at the head, another 1 at the end ) here in Japan. But wonder if this below is also called a "push-pull" train or not :-)

A locomotive is located at the middle of a train!
Can never find this in Japan.
Basically I feel it's a bit vague which is a "locomotive", which is a "passenger car " and which is an "electric passenger car" there in Switzerland. For example an electric passenger car has 4 big motors and pulls other 9 passenger cars ( totally 10 passenger cars ). I think it must be an electric locomotive if it's in Japan. But things go different there.
Actually they don't need to replace the locomotive even when they need to do that if locomotives can be located at the middle of a train like that. My point is why we can not find this way in Japan? Maybe because some restrictions for safety or what?

 By the way, you can find a train for cars around 0mins 50 seconds of this clip above. I think that is a car train which takes cars, buses, trucks through the European Alps to the opposite side because in some points there are no tunnels for cars while there is a tunnel for railway. Maybe ancient people might have guessed someday in the future people need to control to exhaust CO2 :-)

Hayaokidori website

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hakuba tainscope vol.2

Train scope car following another train, looks as if they competed.

When I was a small kid, I enjoyed it when this happaned in some what we Japanese call "fuku-fuku sen" (4 tracks line, 2 in each direction ). What do you say it in English? I don't find the word for it in my dictionaries. Anyone?

Hayaokidori website

Hakuba trainscope vol.1

Successed to take clips into computer from a trainscope. Now I share it to everyone :-)

With the analogue ( not with DCC ), I charged the battery of this train scope by putting the freight car on a track to which maximum electricity was provided for hours because when it goes slow, sometimes the clip does not see good. Does this look good?

Hayaokidori website

Monday, March 24, 2008

Replacing a signboard

As the old one was a little bit tough to stay longer, so I replaced it. It's getting warmer and warmer day by day after a long winter,everything shows up badly when snow melts.

Hayaokidori website

Obasute vol.2: EH200 pulling a freight train.

When I moved my car to Haneo direction from Obasute station, I heard an unique noise of some motors which were definately locomotive ones. I set my camera expecting some EF64 were coming.

EH200 super electrick locomotive going a 2.5 % uphill pulling 13 cement freight cars. Wonder how many cement freight cars can a EH200 pull on this steep uphill.

Hayaokidori website

Friday, March 21, 2008

47 years old Japanese inn master skiing Hakuba 47 in March 08

Finally I got a chance to ski for the first time this season when it's March. Wish I could make it earlier in January or February, but a lot often tough to do that.
Anyway, I visited the Hakuba Goryu & Hakube 47 ski slopes which are my home ground with my guests. One of them seemed to take a movie clip, I didn't know he did that.

It seemed I skiied a bit too fast, no one followed me (^^;;
What a bastard inn master when his customer tried to take a clip!
I should have known it!!
Once again he took another one and I was informed he would.

It was very warm today, the temperture was going up and up and up, very slashy there. Even hard to turn correctly. It was a past story for me to ski very fast, I am getting older and maturer, don't ski that fast any more but would like to handle any situation - powder or wet snow, fast or slow skiing to be a good veteran old fart skier :-)
Thanks for my customers, they made my day!

Found this kind of stuff at the Hakuba Goryu Escal plaza.
ski/snowboard cleaner Air guns which take snow off from snowboards and skis. It seems some compressers were hid in the wall besides them, tough to hide that kind of stuffs from train fans while trains have some compressers to open/close the doors. We are used to the noise, so we know what's inside the wall! :) Seems very convenient to skiers, snowboarders.

Hayaokidori website

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hakuba today

Took some walk after a long interval. It's nice to do this sometimes especially if you usually miss the chance and only ride on a car. The symbolic Hakuba 3 mountains were so beautiful in the sky.
Hakuba Goryu ski slope holds their ski festival tonight.

Hayaokidori website

Obasute switchback

Maybe some people noticed when they were keen enough to read the previous post about Shinonoi locomotive base, I visited Obasute as well. Obasute is a 2 next stop from Shinonoi, it was main 3 famous train scenery spot in Japan as well as Karikachi summit in Hokkaido, Okoba loop in Kyusyu.

Obasute is a dead-end station. Now local trains stop here are usually 3 trains car short with 115-1000 series. but the tracks are a lot longer perhaps because some longer freight trains needed to get in here to escape. Luckily local trains for both directions were meeting there when I arrived to escape from Shinano limited express train.

Obasute station house. Probably it was more interesting if I visited here earlier ( perhaps before it was renovated. )

Tracks are located like this. No double crossing is used here. There are other switchbacks in both side of Obasute station at which double crossings are used.

Time for a local train for Nagano to leave Obasute.

It slowly runs across the main track to get in an escaping track at the opposite side, then turn the direction forward Nagano and gets in the main track.
It's interesting that when the train gets in the escaping track, the tail lights are on at the front and the main lights are on at the back.

The main track and escaping tracks. You'll find how steep it is here.

Opposite side.

View of Zenkoji daira hollow from Obasute station. You can click it to see the thumbnail. Since it was a bit misty, the visibility was not so good. :( I would like to ride on a train here to see the scenery.

Hayaokidori website

Thursday, March 13, 2008

EF64 at Shinonoi locomotive base

I went to Nagano city area today and found many locomotives so I sneaked up to them:)

EH200(left) and DE10? (right)

First time for me to see some real EH200. Very different from EH10. Feels as if I were living in a quite different age.

Lots of EF64!

A local train for Nagano just passed by the locomotive base. I met someone in the same hobby and talked about this and that. I thought this Shinonoi locomotive base was for trains went up and down the Ubasute but he told me this was a sub-base of Shiojiri main base. I guess perhaps Shiojiri was the base for trains went steep up/down hill at Chuo line. If I remember right, there used to be loco bases at Kamisuwa and Kiso-Fukushima as well. Probably there were more loco bases around a steep up/down hills lines than flat lines. Now Shiojiri locomotive base does not exist any more, so this Shinonoi locomotive base is an independent one. I found only one that had a yellow door at the front.

This yellow door at the front is unique enough to express that it was renewed in Hiroshima factory. The dark blue line at the bottom is also drawn lower than others. I even didn't notice that until when he told it to me. He also told me this loco belonged to Aichi base and only one that regularly pulls freight trains all the way here to Nagano.

Some of EF64 locomotives were just there doing nothing. Maybe their destiny is to be scrapped as the guy said?


Do electric locomotives also need some sand to avoid slipping at uphills? What is the stuff like a hose just beside the wheel and rail.

A EF64 holds 3 boggies, so wheels are located like B-B-B ( 2-2-2)
The side boggies have 2 springs each.

One thick and bigger spring at the middle boggie.



Says "built in 1973" 35 years old! It's in one's prime if they were human beings!


It's how it goes old stuff retire when newbies show up. EF64 was born in more than 40 years ago in J.N.R (Japan National Railways) era to push/pull trains at the Itaya summit of Ouu main line before it was switched from Direct current to Alternate current. But now life is cruel, the last time gets close to them.........

Hayaokidori website

DVD converter?

I asked someone if there's something that enables to see the scenery from train scope in a laptop PC and got an answer.
I installed it OK and went ahead. But when a wizzard showed up to went ahead, it said something like " This might cause a problem for this computer system" so I just avoided it by clicking cancellation button. I am not sure if that caused another problem - Nothing visible at my laptop PC even if I connect this stuff and my laptop.
A lot often software packages say "Very easy to do" but not at all for me! lol....
I always have hard time to handle new softwares. Probably I am too old fashioned guy, better go to bed earlier as well :p

Hayaokidori website

Replaced the train scope

I replaced the train scope from Kuha165 to this freight car Toki. This is a lot open than kuha165, the antenna of the train scope works better than inside of the kuha 165. I expected the noise would be decreased a lot does not go like that.
I had to insulate some at this freight car Toki to replace the scope there. For some reasons, it also does not seem to go right :(
When something does not go good, I don't think about it too much, just go to bed earlier to take enough rest :)

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cutting clothes

I found some time today and cut clothes for cleaning rails of my model train layout.
Usually a square is long and slender but this one is just like a square. Convenient when you cut some clothes.

Done. Cut one roughly in 2.5cms x 6cms big. One is fixed around the bad below a cleaning car to clean the rails. Have to do this sometimes when I have some time to spare.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Been cold, brrrr

Early in the morning on March 7th 2008. Everything got some new fallen snow in the previous night. After it had been warmer than usual until the second half of the previous January, it suddenly got cold and feels colder than usual here.

Ice candle covers also got some snow on top of them. It seems that it will have been still cold for a while, brrrr.....

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Building the train scope and... :)

Started to set the train scope. Had to choose a train car for it and I choose kuha165 for it.

Needed to unscrew the train car body from its floor. Found an electric board. I needed to do some sensitive work there - wiring and soldering something which is a kind of annoying thing for me because my fingers are a little bit thick to do this kind of sensitive work :(

A small lamp works to express 2 tail lights. There is a tiny cover at the ceiling side of this lamp, I needed to put the scope on the cover to make it work.

Have to be careful not to hurt anything. I used a pair of wood chopsticks to slide the scope deep inside of the train car to fix it. I needed to put a 4mms thick tiny board inbetween the scope and the cover.

Done! Do you find the scope? It's at the middle window - the black stuff with a tiny hole for scope at the middle.

I decided to let ED70 ( the red loco )push the scope car. It seems that the battery for this train scope is charged only if the electric voltage gets more than 5V. I really would like to enjoy slow driving, so I tried to let EF58 push them but then the battery was not charged :( After that I put Moha 164 inbetween the 2 train cars to make a normal order. But a Moha 164 has 2 vertical motors with inside gear system which is too powerful to enjoy slow driving. That's why I choose this ED70. It has 1 vertical motor with inside gear system which is not too powerful to enjoy what I like.
Actually this ED70 is an Alternating Current loco and the 165 series train car ( orange and green ones ) are Direct Current ones so this combination never happened in real world though. But it's just toy, anything goes! :)

It does not look good maybe because the battery was not charged enough. My laptop PC does not have an input plug for movies, so wonder if it had one, maybe I can take the clip from this train scope and edit it?

Hayaokidori website

A train scope arrived!

Finally a set of train scope arrived. All the contents in the pack. I am not good at electric stuff and making something lol... Anyone can help!?

The explanation note says I have to solder the two black wires at the right end of this picture to the electricity board at the floor of a train car. Hmm it means I am to fix the scope at a certain train car. The customers who showed me this stuff some days back enjoyed replacing the scope here and there though. I should have observed it more :(

Hayaokidori website

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kintetsu trains running around the layout

At the previous weekends, a party of guests brought some of their Kintetsu train cars to enjoy our layout.

A couple of limited express train cars going 2.1% uphill. It's not easy to take pictures of moving things by fitting their speed.

800 series. The former JNR (Japan National Railways)released 70/80 series train cars for middle/long distance semi express train in the early 1950's and that series got very popular and affected other private railway companies as well as Kintetsu. So, new designed train cars at that time often had this kind of front mask.

As Kintetsu has perchased or done mergers some local train companies, there has been a lot of unique train cars there. This white and blue one also belonged to a local company which was purchased by Kintetsu.

After the Kintetsu got the company, this train car was painted in Kintetsu color. Though this one pulls some 2 boggies freight cars in the picture, actually it was before this one belonged to the former company when this was painted in blue and white as in the previous picture.

"Aozora"(Blue sky) train only for school trips. All double decked cars - the lower floor at the middle car is a machinery room. 3 train cars constitute a unit. I got on this car when I was 12 y/o for a school trip.

An old train cars for limited express train specially from Nagoya to Toba direction. Built around mid 1950's. Tobu 1700 series is one of in the same era. The left front window seems to be closed, they say it's a toilet room. Have never seen one with toilet room just besides the control room. Drivers can not see the right side, can they?

This one is painted very unique. They say it is in service at Iga line at the moment. Nowadays this kind of uniquely painted trains are in service everywhere in Japan.

Hayaokidori website

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pudding cookies

An American guest gave me some cookies she made. It was so yummy with excellent vanilla flavor. I asked her if she had used some vanilla beans and she answered that she had used some vanilla puddings.

She gave me the receipt on her checking out date.
I was surprised to find "Vanilla pudding".


I imagined to add some vanilla puddings to other mixtures which was kinda stupid lol... I asked it to her again then she told me it was just like some powder. If I remember right, there was some instant pudding powder available. I went shopping to get some.

Because of the difference as to measuring stuff, sometimes I need to convert gallons to cc, lbs to grams but this time it is described by "cups", so it was easier. I need to convert only about 375 F into Celsis ( 190C ).

Preparing everything. When you cook dessert, you can not fix the taste latter, so you need to measure everything accurately in advance.

Mixing butter , sugar and brown sugar.

Adding powders gradually after adding eggs.

I was getting a bit nervous because in proportion to get the powder, it was getting much harder and harder than expected. Finally I decided to adjust some - I added some milk to soften it.

Done! Hmmm... looks different from the first picture lol.....
Probably because I added some milk to soften the cookies before grilling.
I should have done as described :(

I glued the receipt at my receipt book so that I can check it whenever I need.

Hayaokidori website