The Modern Transportation Museum is conveniently located in the highly accessible western subcenter of Osaka, near Osaka harbor. The museum was opened by the Japanese National Railways in 1962 as sister facility of the Transportation Museum in Tokyo, to commemorate the opening of the JR Osaka Loop Line. The Tokyo "Transportation Museum" was already very popular, but was too far away for the people of western Japan. The Modern Transportation Museum was then founded in response to a call for a similar facility in the Osaka area.
The "Transportation Museum " in Tokyo collects and exhibits materials covering air, land and water transportation from mainly an historical perspective. While both museums focus on transportation through the railway, the display at newly constructed Osaka facility were designed to offer visitors an introduction to the new technologies in land, water and air transportation. This reflects the technological advancement that had been made in the railway, such as moving to diesel and electric power, and the goal of the museum was to became a place where youth could find their dreams. This museum was named the Modern?@Transportation Hall, and the new facility featuring displays with a somewhat different theme than the Transportation Museum of Tokyo was born. ln 1987, after more than a century of operation by the Japanese National Railways, the nation's rail system was divided into six sections for the purpose of fulfilling new goals for the railway. The railways went under private management, and the operation of the Modern Transportation Museum and the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Preservation Hall was handed over to the West Japan Railway company. At West Japan Railway Company, keeping in mind the transformations we will be seeing in the railways of the future, we decided to make the museum into one that would preserve the history and culture of the railway over it first one hundred years. We poured our efforts into collecting invaluable historical materials about the railway that had been scattered and lost through over the years. These materials were then investigated and researched, and their display at the museum started us on a new theme in the museum's management. In 1990, we began the renovation of all the old exhibit rooms, the Auditorium, the Collection Storage Room, the Library and Reference Room as well as the exhibits themselves. The addition of a computer to the Library and Reference Room in 1990 has helped to speed up material searches, and has proven exceptionally convenient in assisting outside investigative researchers. In 1992, while keeping the railway the main focus of the museum, we adopted the new theme of " Discovering the Dreams and Romance of Our Forefathers in Transportation." We renovated the existing exhibits, and worked to clearly and accurately relate the history and culture of transportation and the railway. With this renovation, our image as the Modern Transportation Museum became even stronger, and we are happy to welcome an ever growing number of visitors. 1994 welcomes the opening of the new Kansai International Airport in Osaka. The further internationalization of Osaka brings with it a growing number of international visitors, and the Modern Transportation Museum is ready for its new mission of telling the history of the Japanese railway to the international community.