A museum inside an attractive retro red-brick building
A temporary headquarters had been set up initially in Hakata for the first railway company in Kyushu, but in 1891, the Kyushu Railway Headquarters was ultimately constructed at Moji Station (now Mojiko Station). Through mergers and acquisitions, the Kyushu Railway gained a monopoly with its railroad network in the northeastern part of Kyushu and thus became one of the major industries for Japan. The old red-brick headquarters for the railway has become the Kyushu Railway History Museum which provides easy-to-understand displays on the railway’s history and characteristics starting from its old SLs.
A genuine train simulator and a mini-railroad that children can also enjoy
Passenger trains of the Meiji Era with the unique feature of tatami seating (circa 1909) are displayed in the building. The passengers and conductors of those days have been recreated through figures, and the traveling mood is enhanced through sound effects. In the engine simulator, visitors can try driving a Type 811 engine with a screen video showing the landscape of the route between Mojiko and Nishi-Kokura for a simulated operation. At the Kyushu Railway Large Panorama featuring a large-scale railway model, representative trains for JR Kyushu leaving Mojiko and Hakata Stations are introduced on video. Following this performance, there is also time to operate the model from the console using a real master controller, with video displayed through a mounted CCD camera within the panorama so that visitors can enter the world of the model train. In addition, you can also enjoy observing steam engines and popular train models, actual documents, station staff uniforms over the decades, every kind of ticket with its own design, and everything else having to do with railroads from tools to the labels for ekiben (station boxed lunches). Outside, there is the Train Exhibit Area which has a length of 180m where you can see actual trains that had been used in Kyushu over the ages. The most popular exhibit among the children is the Mini-Railroad Park consisting of a track that goes around in 130m and which features replicas of 5 kinds of real trains. The park is fully equipped with real features such as double tracks and signals.