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Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010

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Out of service: A British steam locomotive and streetcar at Museum Meiji-Mura in Aichi Prefecture make their final runs Friday before being shut down for an indefinite period Sunday. KYODO PHOTO

Museum forced to halt aging locomotives

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Museum Meiji-Mura in Aichi Prefecture halted operations of its popular steam locomotives and streetcars Sunday for an indefinite period after around 40 years of service there.

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The museum in Inuyama preserves architecture from the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Officials there say the two steam locomotives and two trams are in need of maintenance.

The British engine was imported in 1874, while the American engine was brought over in 1912. The former ran between Tokyo and Yokohama, then was used by Nagoya Railroad Co. until 1957. The latter worked a Kanagawa Prefecture iron mill until 1966.

The streetcars, around 100 years old, plied the streets of the city of Kyoto until 1961.

"Many visitors came here looking forward to riding on the trains. We don't know when it will be, but we hope to resume services," streetcar conductor Mitsuru Fukuta said.

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