Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Comp. was
founded in Munich Germany in 1866 by Georg von Krauss. In 1931 Krauss
merged with Maffei and became Krauss-Maffei which was the prime locomotive
builder for the Bavarian State Railways.
The first two Krauss tank locomotives where imported to Japan in 1888 by
the Iyo Railway located in Matsuyama on Shikoku Island in Southwestern
Japan. Two more units were added later and kept in service until 1954.
Several other Railways also purchased Krauss tank locomotives for their
practical design and solid construction.
The Krauss tank engines are known in
Japan as "Bochan train" after a famous novel written by Soseki Natsume
more than 100 years ago. One of the original Krauss engines imported in
1888 is preserved on static display in Umezu-dera park owned by Iyo
Railways (pictured below). In addition, two diesel powered "Bochan trains"
manufactured by a Japanese company are now operating in Matsuyama on a
daily bases pulling passenger coaches. Their popularity has become a
important tourist attraction to the local community.