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An English- and Mandarin-language programme about railways

Started by Matthew, May 23, 2019, 06:20:23 PM

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If you play Simutrans, then you might be interested to know that there is an English-language programme called Japan Railway Journal, which is now also available dubbed into Mandarin. It's made by the Japanese public broadcaster NHK. If you have access to its international channel, NHK World, then the show is broadcast on Thursdays or Fridays (depending on your time zone); the programmes are also available on demand in both languages via the Web or the NHK World TV apps (

I guess that many users of this forum will be familiar with the BBC's long-running series Great Railway Journeys, most recently presented by Michael Portillo. Those programmes are not really about the railway itself though: they use the railway journey as a MacGuffin for a general travelogue about the people and places that the railway serves.

By contrast, Japan Railway Journal really is about railways. The shows divide into two types. About half of them are designed to encourage tourists to use a particular railway line, often tied into NHK's regular seasons promoting a particular prefecture to its international audience. The other half cover recent developments in Japanese railways. Simutrans players might like to begin with a recent episode about the Tokyo Metro, which features behind-the-scenes footage from the control room. They only make a couple of new programmes each month and the rest are repeats.

The presentation style is very Japanese, and specifically very NHK, which may seem quaint to cynical Western viewers. But personally, I like it because it makes for a very relaxing programme. It could not be more different from the vociferous arguments of the average news channel. I think it fits very well with ethos of Simutrans.
(Signature being tested) If you enjoy playing Simutrans, then you might also enjoy watching Japan Railway Journal
Available in English and simplified Chinese