Shifting to a sightseeing line
"Shifting to a sightseeing line" is a measure to improve the profit by shifting the mode of operation of the railway line to a tourist route. These are some examples method of shifting to sightseeing routes.
- Running a sightseeing train such as Steam Locomotive train
- Converting conventional vehicles to a sightseeing specifications
- Advertising local attractions and sightseeing spots
- Operation diagram setting for tourists
The merit, is that it will lead to the revitalization of the railway and the local society. Besides the profits of many tourists riding the railway, profits are brought to the local as well as shopping at the local facilities and visiting the local scenic spots. Activating can attract the use of local customers, and there is a great significance for the local revitalization.
The disadvantage of tourism is that it costs a lot of money. Unlike "passive" investment like rationalization measures such as staff reduction, tourism is an "aggressive" investment to greatly improve profit, so a large amount of money will be invested. Therefore, we can fully consider the situation where the company is going to overwhelm, leading to a deterioration by the cash flow of the company. Also, shifting to a sightseeing line does not always lead to the improvement of the convenience of rural transportation. There is a great possibility that the transportation for local residents is not improved anyway, because it is regarded as importance to transportation for tourists and tourism development alone, so it does not lead to the resolution of "traffic refugees".
Actual Cases of "Oigawa Railway"
The successful example of the “sightseeing line-shifting”, is the “Oigawa Railway”.
The Oigawa Railway is a company that operates Oigawa Main Line leading from Kanaya Station in Shimada City, Shizuoka Prefecture to Senzu Station in Kawane Honcho, and Ikawa Line from Senzu Station to Ikawa Station in Shizuoka city. On the company's Oigawa Main Line, we take advantage of the scenic scenery such as tea fields and valleys to operate SL tourist trains.
In addition, because the Ikawa Line diverted the construction route for the dam, there were powerful views of the Apt type line (a special gearwheel line used in climbing railroads, and so on), furthermore rivers and dams, It sells itself as a sightseeing route.
In addition to the SL train and the Ikawa Line train, we can see the ingenuity of tourism also on the ordinary train which are operated by the Oigawa main line. Although the vehicle of the ordinary train operated at the Oigawa Main Line is a used car of a major private railway in the Kinki region and the Kanto region, we operated these vehicles with the same painting as used in the major private railway. They are trying to direct customers and attract customers for railway enthusiasts. As for the SL train, you can see corporate efforts by capital investment, such as decorating the popular character "Thomas" as a model and adopting a new type of railway carriages.
It is hard to say that the area along the Oigawa Railway has big population, that is, there are many users on a daily basis, and many local railways are currently suffering from a serious management crisis due to a decrease in users, that is, a crisis of the collapse of local public transportation by discontinued lines There are similar concerns in the company as well. However, as the result of become a tourists attraction, many visitors for sightseeing purpose visit, and the profit resulting from this is leading to the maintenance of the route, that is, the maintenance of local public transportation facilities. In this way, we can see that tourist attraction is an effective measure also from the viewpoint of maintaining the convenience of local transportation.