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Tomica World Station
#1
You never know where a simple thought is going to lead you, sometimes days later…...

Take for example this basic station building:

[Image: DSC05435.jpg]

Its only appearances in any form outside of Plarail itself, that I know about, were as part of two Tomica World sets, the 1998 Mega Set 7422 (with 1987 Fuji Blue Train EF65) and the 1999 Super Spiral Set 7429 (with 1998 red Fresh Hitachi). Intriguingly, the picture on the box of Tomy-Express set 03 no.4261 also includes it, but it’s not in the set itself!
 
[Image: 7422f.jpg] [Image: DSC05437.jpg] [Image: Tomy-Express-03-transform.jpg]

What, I wondered, were its Plarail origins?

A search through the catalogues that I have available shows this model of station making its first appearance in 1986, as こうか駅 (Elevated Station). Although not billed as ‘new’ here, I don’t see it in 1985.

[Image: 1986-04-ext.jpg]

You’ll notice that there appears to be a sticker attached to the front of the platform itself. We’ll come back to that later. In the 1988 catalogue scenic items have been given ‘J’ numbers for the first time. This station becomes J-22.

[Image: 1988-cat-extract.jpg]

A Google search for プラレールJ-22こうか駅 produces no relevant results, and there’s no picture of it as yet in the new Plarail Museum. The last catalogue in which J-22 appears is 1992.

The same station appeared in a number of sets, starting with the 1988 2スピード新幹線セット(2-speed Shinkansen set), and making a final appearance in the 1996-1997 catalogue with the 2スピードつばさ号セット (2-speed Tsubasa set) and 人形あそびはじめてのセット (Doll Play Starter Set).
 
[Image: 2-speed-shinkansen-set-b.jpg] [Image: 2-speed-shinkansen-set-a.jpg] [Image: 96-97-cat-extract.jpg]

So we can say that this station had been discontinued by Plarail both as an individual item and as part of a set by 1997, but that it re-appeared in Tomica World in 1998.

One question that immediately arises is why it was called an Elevated Station, despite the fact that in every set it is shown sitting firmly at ground-level? There’s a clue in that sticker on the front of the platform:

[Image: stick.jpg]

The text is ゆめがおか駅 (Yumegaoka Station). Further investigation shows that Yumegaoka Station was an elevated single-island-platform station on the Sagami Railway Izumino Line, but that the current Yumegaoka station with its modern glass dome was opened in 1999. I haven’t yet found any picture of its predecessor. Incidentally, a search for プラレール ゆめがおか駅 is far more productive than was the search for J-22, but it still doesn’t produce a picture of J-22 in its original packaging.

One further twist is to be found in a picture of a station that has mysteriously gained two further stickers, the text of which is おかやま駅 (Okayama Station). Okayama is the starting point for all trains connecting the islands of Honshu and Shikoku via the Great Seto Bridge, and the set in which it appears, the 1988 近郊電車(ブルーライン) デラックスレールロードセット (Suburban Train (Blue Line) DX Rail Road set), includes a bridge that is clearly modelled on it.
 
[Image: Suburban-train-Blue-Line-DX-rail-road-set-1988.jpg] [Image: DX-railroad-box.jpg] [Image: Shimotsui-Seto-Bridge.jpg]

Maybe the Okayama Station stickers were included in that set as an alternative? I don’t know.

Is this the only map of Tomica World in existence? It looks like a busy place.
 
[Image: DSC05436.jpg]
[-] The following 4 users Like chrisjo's post:
  • Mister No, Vio, Tharazero1, Super
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#2
駅・ホーム (1979-1987) is the roots of ゆめがおか駅. Don't you feel that these 2 stations look similar?
こうか駅 was actually manufactured in 1985-1993 as a single item with the J-22 number, the same time as J-16 ブロックビル.
This is actually J-22 although it is not as visible. Please pay special attention to Block Building.
Also note the ST mark on both the old header of Block Building and new header of Yumegaoka Station, you are actually questioning one of the biggest mysteries of Plarail: "When was the new header released? It seems that the old header and the new header had a generation overlap.". It is known that the old header lasted until 1987 before the new header was released in 1988. This goes back to questioning why the Furano Express set is using the old logo when it was manufactured during 1988, the new logo era.

[Image: Untitled.png][Image: Untitled.png]

Also, the Furano Express Set (1988) and the mysterious Sotetsu 300 Series Shinkansen Set (1991) has the Yumegaoka Station.

[Image: furano-EXP-inside.jpg][Image: Em9-Bi7-UUAAty5-Q.jpg]

The point of it being "Elevated station" is because you can fit the station on top of the block building. This explains why Yumegaoka Station and Block Building were released at the same time.

[Image: 20190824020837.png]

I hope I answered the Japanese side of the story. You can proceed from here I suppose.
[-] The following 3 users Like Vio's post:
  • chrisjo, Tharazero1, Super
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#3
Yes, I looked at 駅・ホーム (Station Platform), they are indeed very similar, and the one seems to take over from the other, though there is an overlap, as per my picture from 1986. Your picture of Yumegaoka Station on top of the Block Building is a revelation! Thank you very much for that insight.
[-] The following 2 users Like chrisjo's post:
  • Vio, Super
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#4
The J-16 version of block building is extremely rare compared to the old header of block building so I don't know if the instructions behind the packaging mentioned that the station can be stacked on the block building. In the old header version, there were no mention of the station so I don't think the station was manufactured during this time of manufacture. Unfortunately, MS-nn, N-nn, TT-nn manufacture number is not found on all the packaging I looked for so I can't determine the year this specific package was manufactured.

[Image: f150444578-2.jpg]
[-] The following 2 users Like Vio's post:
  • chrisjo, Super
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#5
Wow, and I to thank you Vio for the revelation that the Station Platforms were made to fit atop the Block Building sections. I have 3 of those Block Building sets which is 12 individual sections plus 3 roofs which should make a few elevated platforms.

The Block Building sections must fit perfectly tight under the platform as the middle section does not fall out. It also looks like a roadway could be set up to run under it or, if high enough, a train.

[Image: 20190824020837.jpg]
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Super's post:
  • Vio
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#6
Looks like it. If you have the station in the future, you can help me confirm if that is the case.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Vio's post:
  • Super
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#7
Will do Vio, just have to figure out which bin I have the Block Buildings in Dodgy
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Super's post:
  • Vio
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