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2006.07.04

JR札沼線新十津川駅

 なぜか、今日は一日北海道にいた。

 所用は午前中で終わり、夕方まで時間があった。そこで、札幌から旭川行きの列車に乗り、滝川で降りてみた。 10年ぶりの滝川駅前はずいぶんと寂れ、開いている店がほとんど見あたらない。駅前から、タクシーで新十津川に向かった。

 新十津川は、滝川市とは石狩川を隔てた対岸にある町だ。特に栄えているわけではないが、目につく民家は、どれも新しいく現代的。大型のコンビニや、立派な「温泉病院」もある。

h2002

 さて、僕が、滝川からタクシーで新十津川を訪れた目的は、その温泉病院の隣にあった。

h2003

 見えるだろうか。右端の空き地に見える、小さな古い小屋。これは、なんだろう。

h2004

 駅である。JR札沼線の終着駅、新十津川駅だ。

h2005

 この駅に は、列車は1日3本しか来ない。新十津川町の片隅に、こんな、時代に取り残されたような駅が残っている。これが、僕が新十津川にやってきた目的だ。

 札沼線は、札幌(正確には一駅隣りの桑園)と新十津川を結ぶ路線だ。かつては留萌本線石狩沼田駅まで通じていたが、 1972年に新十津川-石狩沼田間が廃止され、現在の姿になった。しかし、今の新十津川駅を見ていると、どうしてこの駅を残したのか、理解に苦しむ。新十津川に来るには、函館本線の滝川駅からバスで来た方がはるかに便利で、普段新十津川駅を利用する人は皆無に近いからだ。

 駅の周辺をしばらくぶらぶらしていると、今日2本目の列車がやってきた。降りる人そして乗る人も、ひとりもいない。

h2006

 国鉄時代のディーゼルカー、キハ40に乗り込むと、無人の車内には冷房がなかった。これはいい。窓をいっぱいに開けて、風に当たりながら汽車の旅を楽しめる。

「めずらしいね。どこから来たの?」

 発車間際、何かの用事で巡回に来たらしいJR社員に話しかけられた。

「あちこち、乗って回ってるんでしょ? ここも何回か来たんじゃない?」

 敬語抜きの、なれなれしい口調だが、不思議と不快には感じない。ゆっくりと、ディーゼルカーが動き始めたので、手短に汽車の旅が好きなことや、半日時間ができたので乗りに来てみたことを話した。

「そうですか、最近ね、鉄道マニアじゃなくても、これ乗りに来る人多いんですよ。駅だけ見に来る家族連れなんかもいてね。楽しんできてください。ありがとうございます」

 そこまで聞いたところで、列車は小さなホームを離れた。

 眠いので、後は略。気が向いたら書き足そう。ひとことだけ言うなら、やっぱり窓が開く汽車はいい。

 それにしても、この札沼線。新十津川からしばらくは、

h2007

 こんなのどかなローカル線なのに、

 札幌市内に入ると、

h2009

 こうなってしまう。同じ路線とは、とても思えない。

 なかなかすてきなギャップを味わえるので、札幌で一日時間のある人は、ぜひどうぞ。

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Comments

ご苦労様でした。ご機嫌だったでしょうか。

Posted by: のぼ | 2006.07.04 at 10:15

素敵な時間の過ごし方ですね。(特に鉄なヒトには)

時間に追われている現代人こそ
体験するべき なんでしょうね。
自分の住む伊豆半島は 伊東線 伊豆急線
共に単線なので 待ち時間が非常にながく
通勤などには非常に不快ですが、旅の小道具としては 都会人にとって 異空間的感覚を
味わえるとあって、人気のようです。

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