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 Post subject: Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tokyo Railroad
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:12 pm
Posts: 9
Hi,
This little railroad was mentioned over on the NGDF. I tried searching on the internet but mainly came up with referenced to the Guadalcanal battles.
Is there any information about this 26" gauge railroad? track plan, equipment, etc.
It sounds like a WWI trench RR but on the sandy ground at Guadalcanal.
Thanks.
Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tokyo Railroad
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1393
There was a narrow gauge railroad with two gas locomotives and some cars among the Japanese equipment captured on Guadalcanal. However, I do not recall seeing any published photographs of the railroad or its equipment.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tokyo Railroad
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:03 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
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Here's a photo :
http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,205191,205194#msg-205194


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 Post subject: Re: Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tokyo Railroad
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:39 am 
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From the date cited for the referenced article that is linked from the photo page, it looks like the railroad being discussed was built with equipment from the US in late 1943, and that would probably not involve the captured Japanese railroad equipment. The Bougainville invasion began November 1, 1943. The Guadalcanal landings began August 7, 1942.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tokyo Railroad
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:47 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 213
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
I spent a week on Guadalcanal in September, 07. About the only place that I encountered any resistance to visiting was on the actual airport grounds. There was some attempt to change the name away from Henderson Field, but as I understand it, the USMC put a stop to that. In talking with some helpful Aussies that lived there, I was told that there was a 2 ft. gauge construction railroad the the Army used once the island was secured after early 1943. I could see no trace of it when I was there and I did specifically ask.
This is a bit of a stretch, but Guadalcanal does have an operating railroad...the hotel that I stayed at has a funicular ry. to take guests up the steep hillside to the rooms that furnish a good view of Iron Bottom Sound, nearby Savo Island and also
Florida Island about 24 miles across the strait.
As far as Bougainville, don't believe that there was a ry. there. After the USMC landed at Empress Augusta Bay, they ended up with 3 strips, Torokina near the water and Piva North and Piva South a little further inland. They were also referred to as Piva Yoke and Piva Uncle.
I have a friend who flew out of there and he joked about how the Japanese held the remainder of the island, anything that was away from the airfields. They were more of a nuisance than anything and were gradually bypassed as the Allies worked north toward Rabaul.
Hard to picture just how much bloodshed there was on the Canal. The Marines had it bad and the Japanese had it worse. It is however, a most beautiful place with very decent people. I kept a 40 year promise to a Gunny that I met at Pendleton by visiting there in my lifetime and it was one of the best things that I ever did.


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 Post subject: Re: Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tokyo Railroad
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:33 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 911
Concerning WWII, one of the best book series about the Pacific Campaign was W.E.B. Griffin's fictionalized "The Corp" series. I'd never heard about the Nurse who went aboard the USS West Virginia (?) and won the Medal of Honor during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Her real name was Doris.
Thanks to our Military and our railroads for the work they did.
Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tokyo Railroad
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 213
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Dougvv wrote:
Concerning WWII, one of the best book series about the Pacific Campaign was W.E.B. Griffin's fictionalized "The Corp" series. I'd never heard about the Nurse who went aboard the USS West Virginia (?) and won the Medal of Honor during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Her real name was Doris.
Thanks to our Military and our railroads for the work they did.
Doug vV


I certainly agree...I read the entire series in the years before I retired. If you read the series on the Army, also by Griffin, you will likely note his take on service and political differences between the Army and the USMC. He does not hide his preference for the two.
Especially liked his characters, Ken McCoy and the older NCO (Jack Stecker?) who preferred his Springfield over the newer Garand, once the Marines finally were issued them. Hope that my memory was right here, it's been some 15 years!


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 Post subject: Re: Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tokyo Railroad
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:22 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 911
Jack NMI Stecker. I also like the Character Ernie Sage.
I have followed the history of WWII - My Dad wad born in the Dutch East Indies (Java). He ended up as a wing of the USAAF but still in the KNIL. His older Brother was in the Dutch Navy. The younger siblings and his mother ended up in Jap Concentration camps.
I liked his description of 30th street station in Philly excellent. I'd changed trans there many times over the years to get to Harrisburg, PA and Mom's family.

This series just brought the facts and figures I'd learned elsewhere to life.

I recall that Trains Magazine had an article about Mallets of Java c1970 and of the then still running 2-8-8-0's of 3'6" gauge (Assuming I recall correctly). I always wanted to visit Java but have yet to get there.

Doug vV


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