Biwako Line

Last updated
Biwako Line
JRW kinki-A.svg
JRW series223 Biwako.jpg
Biwako Line
Overview
Native name琵琶湖線
Owner JR West
Locale Kyoto Prefecture and Shiga Prefecture
TerminiMaibara
Kyoto (Tōkaidō Line)
Nagahama (Hokuriku Line)
Stations23
Service
TypeHeavy rail
SystemUrban Network
Operator(s)JR West
JR Freight
History
OpenedMay 1, 1882 (as part of Tōkaidō Main Line)
March 13, 1988 (renamed as Biwako Line)
Technical
Line length75.4 km (46.9 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead line
Operating speed130 km/h (81 mph)
Route map

Contents

BSicon LSTR.svg
BSicon eABZg+l.svg
BSicon exSTRq.svg
Tōkaidō Main Line
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7.7
Nagahama
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4.7
Tamura
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2.4
Sakata
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon KBHFa.svg
0.0
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon LSTR.svg
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon STR+GRZq.svg
BSicon ABZg+l.svg
BSicon STRr.svg
BSicon LDER.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
BSicon KHSTa.svg
445.9
0.0
Maibara
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon LSTR.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
BSicon HST.svg
451.9
6.0
Hikone
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon STRl.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
455.2
9.3
Minami-Hikone
BSicon BHF.svg
458.3
12.4
Kawase
BSicon BHF.svg
462.0
16.1
Inae
BSicon BHF.svg
465.7
19.8
Notogawa
BSicon TUNNEL1.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
470.8
24.9
Azuchi
BSicon eABZg+l.svg
BSicon xABZq+l.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
BSicon KHSTe.svg
474.3
28.4
Ōmi-Hachiman
BSicon BHF.svg
478.3
32.4
Shinohara
BSicon BHF.svg
483.9
38.0
Yasu
BSicon hKRZWae.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
487.0
41.1
Moriyama
BSicon BHF.svg
489.1
43.2
Rittō
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BSicon STRq.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
491.4
45.5
Kusatsu
BSicon KRZWu.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
493.9
48.0
Minami-Kusatsu
BSicon BHF.svg
496.6
50.7
Seta
BSicon hKRZWae.svg
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon STR+l.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
BSicon HST.svg
499.1
53.2
Ishiyama
BSicon STR+l.svg
BSicon KRZu.svg
BSicon STRr.svg
BSicon LSTR.svg
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
501.9
56.0
Zeze
BSicon eABZg+l.svg
BSicon eABZgr.svg
BSicon LSTR.svg
BSicon eABZgl.svg
BSicon exSTR+r.svg
BSicon exSTR+l.svg
BSicon eABZgr.svg
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon exSTR.svg
BSicon exKBHFe.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon exSTR.svg
BSicon BOOT.svg
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
BSicon exSTR.svg
503.6
57.7
Ōtsu
Ōtsu Port
BSicon ABZgl.svg
BSicon KRZu.svg
BSicon xKRZo.svg
BSicon STR+r.svg
BSicon STRr.svg
BSicon tSTRa.svg
BSicon exSTR.svg
BSicon STR.svg
Ishiyama Sakamoto Line
BSicon tSTR.svg
BSicon exTUNNEL1.svg
BSicon TUNNEL1.svg
Ōsakayama Tunnel
BSicon tSTR+l.svg
BSicon tSTRr.svg
BSicon exBHF.svg
BSicon HST.svg
Ōtani
BSicon tSTR+r.svg
BSicon tSTR.svg
BSicon exSTR.svg
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon tSTRe.svg
BSicon tSTRe.svg
BSicon STR+l.svg
BSicon xKRZu.svg
BSicon STRr.svg
BSicon STR+GRZq.svg
BSicon STR+GRZq.svg
BSicon LSTR.svg
BSicon exSTR+GRZq.svg
Shiga/Kyoto border
BSicon STRl.svg
BSicon ABZg+r.svg
BSicon LSTR.svg
BSicon exSTRl.svg
BSicon exSTR+r.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
BSicon HST.svg
BSicon exSTR.svg
508.1
62.2
Yamashina
BSicon tABZg+l.svg
BSicon KRZo.svg
BSicon STRr.svg
BSicon exBHF.svg
(old) Yamashina
BSicon tSTRa.svg
BSicon exSTR.svg
Higashiyama Tunnel
BSicon tSTR.svg
BSicon xABZg+l.svg
to Kizu
BSicon tSTRe.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
Inari
BSicon KRZo.svg
BSicon STRq.svg
BSicon HSTq.svg
BSicon KRZu.svg
left to Sanjō
BSicon STR.svg
BSicon STR+l.svg
BSicon BHFq.svg
BSicon STRr.svg
BSicon hKRZWae.svg
BSicon hKRZWae.svg
BSicon ABZg+l.svg
BSicon STRr.svg
BSicon BHF.svg
BSicon LDER.svg
513.6
67.7
Kyoto
BSicon ABZgr.svg
to Hatabu
BSicon LSTR.svg
To Osaka

The Biwako Line (琵琶湖線, Biwako-sen) is the nickname used by the operator of the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) to refer to the portion of the Tōkaidō Main Line (between Maibara Station and Kyoto Station) and the Hokuriku Main Line (between Maibara Station and Nagahama Station). The section, along with JR Kyoto Line and JR Kobe Line, forms a contiguous service that is the main trunk of JR West's "Urban Network" commuter rail network in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area.

Overview

The line is named after Lake Biwa (琵琶湖, Biwa-ko), which the route runs along. Line nicknames were introduced when the newly privatized JR West intended to use "familiar" names over official line names, such as Tōkaidō Main Line and Fukuchiyama Line. Biwako Line did not appear on the first list, and instead The JR Kyoto Line was to be called up to Maibara. A move in Shiga Prefecture opposed the name, claiming that the name of Kyoto Line in Shiga sounds like an auxiliary, requiring its own name in the prefecture. Biwako Line was thus made to refer to the section between Maibara and Kyoto.

The section of the name was extended to Nagahama, on the alteration of electric supply from 20 kV AC to 1,500 V DC, which enabled through operation to Kyoto and Osaka.

Although the "Biwako Line" nickname is used by the operator JR West for passenger announcements, the official status of Tōkaidō Main Line has not been changed or discussed. The counterpart for the line, Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) uses its official name "Tōkaidō Main Line" for the section of JR West, at the connections of Kyoto and Maibara. The "Biwako Line" nickname appears in some local newspapers and real estate advertisements. Frequent passengers understand that the Biwako, JR Kyoto, JR Kobe lines are in fact one line, however, public recognition of the name is still in question, especially among non-users along the line.

Trains

Stations

Stations are listed from east to west. The distance of Tokyo – Maibara is 445.9 km, and that of Tokyo – Kyoto is 513.6 km. Historically, the Tōkaidō Main Line continued from Tokyo to Kyoto and beyond, through Maibara. In the Japanese timetable books, the distances from Tokyo are still shown in the table, although the Biwako Line's officially begins at Maibara.

Official line nameNo.StationJapaneseStopTransfersLocation
Local
(Commuter)
Local
(Suburban)
Special RapidWard, CityPrefecture
Through service from/to Hokuriku Main Line
Hokuriku Main Line  A09  Nagahama 長浜 JRW kinki-A.svg Hokuriku Main Line for Ōmi-Shiotsu and Tsuruga Nagahama Shiga
 A10  Tamura 田村
 A11  Sakata 坂田 Maibara
 A12  Maibara 米原 JR Central:

Ohmi Railway Main Line

Tōkaidō Main Line
 A13  Hikone 彦根 Ohmi Railway Main Line Hikone
 A14  Minami-Hikone 南彦根|
 A15  Kawase 河瀬|
 A16  Inae 稲枝|
 A17  Notogawa 能登川 Higashiōmi
 A18  Azuchi 安土| Ōmihachiman
 A19  Ōmi-Hachiman 近江八幡 Ohmi Railway Yōkaichi Line
 A20  Shinohara 篠原|
 A21  Yasu 野洲 Yasu
 A22  Moriyama 守山 Moriyama
 A23  Rittō 栗東| Rittō
 A24  Kusatsu 草津 JRW kinki-C.svg Kusatsu Line Kusatsu
 A25  Minami-Kusatsu 南草津
 A26  Seta 瀬田| Ōtsu
 A27  Ishiyama 石山 Number prefix Otsu lines.png Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line (OT03: Keihan Ishiyama Station)
 A28  Zeze 膳所| Number prefix Otsu lines.png Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line (OT09: Keihan Zeze Station)
 A29  Ōtsu 大津
 A30  Yamashina 山科 JRW kinki-B.svg Kosei Line (JR-B30)
Subway KyotoTozai.png Kyoto Municipal Subway Tōzai Line (T07)
Number prefix Otsu lines.png Keihan Keishin Line (OT31: Keihan Yamashina Station)
Yamashina-ku, Kyoto Kyoto
 A31  Kyoto 京都 Shinkansen jrc.svg Tōkaidō Shinkansen
JRW kinki-A.svg JR Kyoto Line
JRW kinki-D.svg Nara Line (JR-D01)
JRW kinki-E.svg Sagano Line (Sanin Main Line) (JR-E01)
 B  Kintetsu Kyoto Line (B01)
Subway KyotoKarasuma.png Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line (K11)
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Through service from/to JR Kyoto Line
Within JR Kyoto Line:Local

(Northbound only)

RapidSpecial Rapid

Rolling stock

Local

Special Rapid and Local

Limited Express

Former

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