Although 8620 has been made operational again, there is a distinct lack of passengers for it. Sotetsu and Hachiroku try to remedy this issue by taking pictures of the train during its daily operations and publishing them in the “Engineer Room Report”. The publication is a success, and they receive the stove passenger cars of the Nishi-Tsugaru Railway. Per Sotetsu’s suggestion, they renovate the cars into a restaurant of sorts to create the “BBQ Train Puff-Puff Hachiroku”, which becomes a huge hit among tourists. As the number of passengers and ride-counts increase, however, the hidden wear and tear of 8620, its renovations, and the increased load weight bring to light a fatal issue with the frame’s integrity. As Hachiroku slips into a state of despondency as a result of this, Sotetsu is forced to make a decision; ultimately, he and Hachiroku choose to join hands and stand up together in order to heal old scars and move forward.
To lighten Paulette’s workload, who works as both the town mayor and president of the railway company, Sotetsu begins helping outline and set policies. He tackles the “rehabilitation of tourism via railway” issue—an issue for which Paulette has consistently campaigned—by finding ways to take advantage of the abandoned Jutsusen Coal Mine. He conducts a press conference highlighting how they could do this, focusing on two key methods: coal mining, and using said-excavated coal as fuel for trains. He informs his audience that he would then like to use the abandoned mine for renovation purposes so as to turn it into a theme park, which he would call the “Ohitoyo Mine Treasure”. With Paulette focusing on her duties as mayor, Sotetsu takes Kiha-07s and its exclusive Raillord, Reina, to locomotive-operation training. There, he notices suspension issues with Kiha-07s and fears they could lead to a catastrophic derailment at some point in the future, affecting lives and the town’s tourism project as a whole. Paulette is concerned that the repair of Kiha-07s will change things in unknown ways for Reina and herself. But she and Sotetsu decide that together they can surmount any obstacles that come their way.
To address the true concerns of Ohitoyo’s citizenry, Hibiki and Sotetsu set out to experience the general population’s way of life. Amidst this, they find out that signboard-drawing and mapping are among some of the activities denizens enjoy most. Contrarily, Paulette’s workload as both mayor and president has increased beyond manageability, to the point that she is unable to fulfill her obligations, and resigns as mayor. Her resignation, though, means the finalization of building citizen-opposed factories in town—which she fought against—and, subsequently, the long-term decline of Ohitoyo. Knowing that Hibiki is the best candidate to fill the vacancy, Sotetsu nominates her in the mayoral race. Hibiki enters, wanting to live up to her brother’s expecatations. However, she is eventually overwhelmed by the pressure that comes with such an endeavor. In turn, she loses sight of her original goal: building a brighter future for Ohitoyo. Thankfully, Sotetsu sees his sister’s struggles and acts as the beacon of hope she had lost in the commotion. From this, Hibiki realizes that the very tenets of her goal the are smiles of the people she wishes to serve.
The victim of a railway accident that left him orphaned—which occurred near the end of the age of rail closures—he set out to repay the family that adopted him, after pulling out of a state of depression that sapped his will to live. Often emotionally despondent, he is viewed by some as being very logical, and by others as lacking humanity. He left his adoptive hometown of Ohitoyo to go to college but has returned upon hearing that there are plans to build an aircra factory there. He awakens Hachiroku by accident and is then forced to confront his past with the railways that took his family.
“In 3/18 of 1914 AD, I was completed one month prior to the manufacture of the 8620 top model.”
Former Imperial Railway 8620-type locomotive top number, exclusive Raillord. Before the dismantling of the Imperial Railway, she was purchased together with 8620 and brought to Ohitoyo. Her abilities were fitting for the top locomotive: knowledge, intelligence, culture, and refinement—the epitome of Japanese beauty. But her abilities have severely deteriorated upon awakening, causing her much grief. She never shows any weakness, except to Sotetsu, and maintains a dignified look wherever she goes. She is an able Raillord that continues to produce results.
“My birthday is on 10/25. I actually share that with a really amazing painter. Who? Umm… look it up yourself, please.”
Migita Sotetsu’s adoptive sister who is a lover of the arts and employed drawing signboards and maps of Ohitoyo. Always earnest and optimistic, she is the kind of person who can find the silver lining of a situation without fail. She lives in the shadow of her older sister, however, which causes her to hide her love of art. Sotetsu convinces her that it’s not wrong to love what she does, which earns him her respect and is made all the more pronounced by the budding feelings she has for him that go beyond mere admiration. Unfortunately, she is too embarrassed to admit this and refuses to be honest with him.
“My birthday? 12/18… Yes, that’s it! It’s that red brick building! My birthday is the same as the Imperial Station; the pride of Japan!”
Succeeding her late father’s will, this young Ohitoyo mayor and president of the Ohitoyo Railway leads the movement against the building of the aircra factory. She is also the engineer for the Kiha-07s train and is close to the Raillord for said train, Reina. She loves railways and can’t stop talking about them when given the chance. Her sense of responsibility and integrity is profound to the point of abatement, sometimes crushing her under its weight. But with Reina’s easygoing personality, she is able to maintain her sanity. She feels that Sotetsu can be relied upon, but she tries not to do so. Due to her natural proclivities, she is regularly taken advantage of.
“Reina’s birthday? Hehe. It’s 3/26. I was made on the same day as the train.”
Ohitoyo Railway train Kiha-07s exclusive Raillord. She is smaller than other Raillords and is laid back by nature, but becomes indispensable for the mine railway later on. She possesses much life experience as she has seen the rise and fall of the coal mines with her own eyes. There is nothing in this world she dislikes and, as a result treats everything positively. She’s also naturally good at getting people to spoil her. Being well-liked by animals and babies, some go so far as to say she’s actually communicating with them at times.