Kiso Forest Railway

The Kiso Forest Railway (木曽森林鉄道, Kiso-shinrin-tetsudō) was a network of 400 km of 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) narrow gauge light (keiben (軽便)) railway lines that operated in the Kiso Valley in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Rail trail-Kiso shinrin-Railway,木曾森林鉄道廃線跡.JPG

The railway was used to support the logging of cedar forests in the region. The Kiso Forest had historically been the possession of a local lord, but at the time of the Meiji Restoration had become the property of the Imperial family. In 1901, a railway was laid into the forests and was initially worked by hand or animals. The first 0-4-2T locomotives built by Baldwin Locomotive Works were introduced in 1907. Further locomotives were obtained from Baldwin, as well as a Shay locomotive that was transferred to the Alishan Forest Railway in Taiwan when that line opened. The railway was extensively rebuilt in 1920, with steel bridges and 24 tunnels.[1]

The railway was abolished in stages between 1966 and 1976.


  1. ^ Small, Charles S. (1986). Far Wheels II. Canton Ohio: Railhead Publications.