Meiji Era

Railway Construction
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1872 Jan 1

Railway Construction

Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

On September 12, 1872, the first railway, between Shimbashi (later Shiodome) and Yokohama (present Sakuragichō) opened. (The date is in Tenpō calendar, October 14 in present Gregorian calendar). A one-way trip took 53 minutes in comparison to 40 minutes for a modern electric train. Service started with nine round trips daily.


British engineer Edmund Morel (1841-1871) supervised construction of the first railway on Honshu during the last year of his life, American engineer Joseph U. Crowford (1842-1942) supervised construction of a coal mine railway on Hokkaidō in 1880, and German engineer Herrmann Rumschottel (1844-1918) supervised railway construction on Kyushu beginning in 1887. All three trained Japanese engineers to undertake railway projects.


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Last Updated: : Mon Jan 02 2023