There are plenty of private railway companies in Japan. Some of them are rather small operating only one or two lines on rails less than a hundred kilometer. Usually each of them runs their own types of trains. Therefore, you can see that wide variation of trains running around in Japan. That‘s really great when you are into trains or like traveling by them. It’s a hidden gem for train fans.
A great example of such a small private railway company is Sangi Tetsudo in Mie Prefecture. It operates just two lines but runs edgy yellow trains which really stand out of their surrounding.
Sangi Tetsudo (三岐鉄道) was founded in 1928. By then it was running the Sangi Line as its initial line. The line functions first as a freight line. Later passenger services where introduced. In recent years the line became an important commuter line for the Yokkaichi region.
A second line, Hokusei Line, has been overtaking from Kintetsu just in 2003. The two lines are not connected and the rails are different gauges.
The special thing about Sangi Tetsudo are their edgy yellow trains. Some of them are really old and vintage. Even the one newly acquired remained in the yellow color. Those trains really stand out by their color and a fun to look when they are running throug the city or country side.
The Sangi Line starts at the Kintetsu-Tomida station in Yokkaichi and runs to Nishi-Fujiwara. The whole trip takes 50 minutes and has 14 stops.
After leaving the city of Yokkaichi the line runs through rural areas which invite a stop at taking a walk around. At Nishi-Fujiwara there is a small railway museum integrated in the station. Three old locomotives are displayed there. Also small railway for kids is running there. It‘s operated on volunteer base by students from a school and runs only ones a month.
The Hokusei Line starts at Nishi-Kuwana right next to the Kintetsu Kuwana station. It runs in about 50 minutes and 12 stops to Ageki.
From Nagoya the Kintetsu line takes 25 minutes by limited express to Kuwana. Also expresses and locals are running taking some minutes more.
Some express trains are stopping directly at Kintetsu-Tomida station. Such services is the fastest access from Nagoya in approximately 32 minutes. Other options are taking the limited express to Kuwana or Yokkaichi and a local service to Kintetsu-Tomida
Official Side (Japanese) https://www.sangirail.co.jp/
Railway Museum in Nishi-Fujiwara: https://www.sangirail.co.jp/contents/annai/sangisen/nishifuji/nishifuji1.html