Yep, that’s an actual train, but aren’t gas stations supposed to be for cars?

If you like cars, a stop at a Japanese gas station is always sort of exciting. Between Japan’s rich automotive legacy and lenient laws regarding imported models, there’s always a chance that pulling up to the pump next to you will be an iconic ‘90s sport coupe, high-performance exotic, or quirky microcar.

But on a recent late-night visit to a branch of Japanese gas station Idemitsu, Twitter user @Asama__37 saw something more incredible than any of those.

Ordinarily when you pull into a gas station, you expect the cars you see to be of the automobile variety. Parked at the Idemitsu branch near the Tomei Expressway in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, though, was a train car.

Specifically, that’s a 6000-Series Nanakai Electric Railway Company carriage, which you’d ordinarily find on the tracks in and around Osaka. So what was it doing several prefectures over, in Aichi?

The time the photos were taken, around midnight on July 14, is a clue. Last October, Nankai began retiring the 6000 Series, which was first introduced 57 years ago. Some cars are being scrapped, but some others which are still in good working condition are being sold off to other rail operators, where they’ll continue to carry passengers.

Shizuoka Prefecture’s Oigawa Railway Company is purchasing two of Nankai’s unwanted 6000-Series train cars, and with Aichi being between Osaka and Shizuoka, it appears that @Asama__37 caught this car in transit to its new home.

With a by-rail transfer either impossible or impractical, the car made the journey on public roads, travelling late at night so as to avoid impeding the flow of regular traffic as much as possible. In addition to being pulled by a truck (which is ostensibly what was getting gas at the station), the train car sits atop an extra-long trailer setup, which has intermediate sections which can be steered independently of the truck’s front tires in order to improve the train’s turning radius.

▼ The specialized shipping process was handled by Osaka-based Yamahiro Transport

In addition to surprising everyone who saw it at the gas station, the train must have also startled anyone else out on the road who saw it from behind, since from that angle the truck is obscured and unless you notice the trailer underneath, it really does look like a train that just got tired of sticking to the tracks and has decided to give life on the open road a try.

As the photos directly above show, @Asama__37 has a knack for photography even when chance trips to the gas station aren’t throwing once-in-a-lifetime situations at him. Still, you never know when Japan is going to throw an unimaginably cool photo op at you, so it’s always a good idea to have your camera close at hand.

Source: Twitter/@Asama__37 via IT Media
Top image: Twitter/@Asama__37
Insert images: Twitter/@Asama__37 (1, 2)
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