|Hokuriku Main Line|
|Other name(s)||Biwako Line (Maibara - Nagahama)|
|Owner||West Japan Railway Company (JR West)|
|Locale|| Shiga Prefecture |
|Termini|| Maibara |
|Type||Heavy rail, Passenger/freight rail|
Regional rail, Intercity rail
|System||West Japan Railway Company (JR West)|
|Operator(s)||JR West, JR Freight|
|Opened||Stages between 1882-1902|
|Closed||14. 3. 2015: Kanazawa - Naoetsu (Converted to a third sector railway)|
|Line length||176.6 km (109.7 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC, 20 kV/60 Hz AC overhead line|
|Operating speed||130 km/h (81 mph)|
|Hokuriku Main Line|
The Hokuriku Main Line(Japanese : 北陸本線, Japanese pronunciation: [Hokuriku-honsen]) is a 176.6 kilometer railway line owned by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) connecting the Maibara Station in Maibara, Shiga, with the Kanazawa Station in Kanazawa, Ishikawa. It serves the Hokuriku region on the northern central coast of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, as well as offering connections to the regions of Kansai, Tōkai, Kantō, and Tōhoku.
The line is an important transportation artery along the Sea of Japan coast, because the Shinkansen high-speed network has not yet been extended through the Hokuriku region. The Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened on March 14, 2015 between Nagano and Kanazawa, therefore the section between the Kanazawa Station and the Naoetsu Station was transformed from a JR line to a third-sector railway; the remaining Shinkansen segment onward to Kansai region is still in the planning stages. As a result, narrow gauge limited expresses such as the Thunderbird and Shirasagi are common sights along the line.
The Hokuriku Main Line is double tracked and completely electrified: the section from Maibara to Tsuruga use 1,500 V DC power, while the section from Tsuruga to Kanazawa uses 20 kV AC, 60 Hz power.
JR Freight operated a small branch line for freight from Tsuruga Station to a container facility at the port of Tsuruga, but the services ceased in 2009.
|Through service to/from Tōkaidō Main Line, further to/from San'yō Main Line and Ako Line|
|Hokuriku Line (Biwako Line)|
|Maibara||米原||0.0|| JR Central: |
Tōkaidō Main Line
( Biwako Line)
■ Ohmi Railway Main Line
|Ōmi-Shiotsu||近江塩津||31.4||Kosei Line (JR-B10)|
|Tsuruga||敦賀||45.9|| Obama Line |
Hokuriku Line (for Takefu and Kanazawa)
|Electrification||Station||Japanese name||Distance from Maibara|
|DC||Tsuruga||敦賀||45.9||●|| Obama Line |
Hokuriku & Kosei Lines (for Omi-Shiotsu )
|Takefu||武生||81.0||●||Fukui Railway Fukubu Line (Echizen-Takefu)|
|Minami-Fukui Freight Terminal||南福井||98.1||↑|
|Fukui||福井||99.9||●|| Katsuyama Eiheiji Line, Mikuni Awara Line |
Fukui Railway Fukubu Line (Fukui-eki)
|Nishi-Kanazawa||西金沢||172.9||Hokutetsu Ishikawa Line (Shin-Nishi-Kanazawa)||Kanazawa|
|Kanazawa||金沢||176.6|| Hokuriku Shinkansen |
IR Ishikawa Railway Line
Hokutetsu Asanogawa Line (Hokutetsu-Kanazawa )
|Kanazawa Freight Terminal||金沢貨物ターミナル||179.2|
The entire line was built by the Japanese Government Railway, with the first section opened being from Nagahama, on the shore of Lake Biwa to Tsuruga in 1882. The Maibara to Nagahama section opened in 1889, and the line was then opened progressively to Fukui (in 1896), Kanazawa (in 1898), and Toyama (in 1899). The next extension opened to Uozu in 1908, and to Tomari in 1910. At the northeastern end, the Naoetsu to Nadachi section opened in 1911, and was extended to Itoigawa the following year. The final section opened in 1913, completing the line.
On 14 March 2015 the name of Terai Station was changed to Nomineagari Station.
The initial section double-tracked was between Kanazawa and Tsubata in 1938, with the Maibara to Tsuruga section duplicated between 1957 and 1958. The rest of the line was double-tracked in stages between 1960 and 1969.
There have been three major line deviations. The first between Kinomoto and Tsuruga involving the 5,170 m Fukasaka tunnel opened in 1957 as a new line, with the original line remaining in service until the second new line opened in 1965, including the Shin-fukasaka tunnel at 5,173 m and a spiral section partially in tunnels to ease the ruling grade on the climb from Tsuruga to Biwako.
The second major deviation, between Tsuruga and Imajo opened in 1962 as a dual track line including the 13,870 m Hokuriku tunnel, providing a significantly straighter and faster line as well as avoiding numerous coastal sections vulnerable to disruption during severe weather events.
The third major deviation, the 21 km section between Uramoto and Arimagawa stations, was completed in 1969 as a dual track line, including the 11,353 m Kubiki tunnel, being the final section to be duplicated.
The Tsuruga to Tamura section was electrified in 1957 at 20 kV AC. As Maibara was electrified at 1,500 V DC, steam locomotives hauled trains over the 5 km non-electrified section until it was electrified (at 1,500 V DC, with dual-voltage EMUs being used) in 1962, the year the 20 kV AC electrification was extended to Fukui, extending progressively to Kanazawa (in 1963), Toyama (in 1964), and Itoigawa (in 1965).
The Itoigawa to Naoetsu section was electrified at 1,500 V DC in 1969, whilst in 1991, the Tamura to Nagahama section was changed to 1,500 V DC, this change being extended to Tsuruga in 2006.
An 8 km line to Mikuni on the Mikuni Awara Line operated between 1911 and 1972.
The Eiheiji Railway Co. opened a 25 km line to its namesake town in 1929, connecting with the Katsuyama Eiheiji Line at Higashi-Furuichi. The company merged with the Keifuku Electric Railway Co. in 1944. The Arawa Onsen - Higashi-Furuichi section closed in 1969, and the section to Eijeihi closed in 2002 after a fatal head-on collision resulted in services being suspended and subsequently never resumed.
On the western side of the line, the 3 km line to Katayamazu opened in 1914 as a 915 mm gauge horse-drawn tramway. It was converted to 1,067 mm gauge and electrified in 1922, and closed in 1965.
On the eastern side, the 3 km electrified line to Uwano operated between 1911 and 1971.
A 17 km 762 mm gauge line opened to the Ogoya copper mine between 1919 and 1920. The Meitetsu Railway took over management of the line in 1962, renaming the terminus Ogoya Onsen. The copper mine closed in 1971, and the line closed in 1977.
A 6 km horse-drawn tramway opened in 1906 to serve the Yusenji copper mine. Steam locomotion was introduced the following year, and the mine and line closed in 1918. In 1929, the line was regauged to 1,067 mm, electrified and reopened by the Hakusen Electric Railway, but it was declared bankrupt the following year. The Komatsu Electric Railway purchased the line at the receiver's auction in 1935, and merged with the Hokuriku Railway in 1945. Patronage declined from 2,126,000 in 1967 to 623,000 in 1983, and as a result the line closed in 1986.
The Hokuriku Shinkansen extension, from Nagano to Kanazawa, approximately parallels the route of the Hokuriku Main Line. With the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, control of local passenger services on the sections of the Hokuriku Main Line running through Ishikawa, Toyama, and Niigata prefectures was transferred to the following three third-sector operating companies owned by the respective prefectures.
The Tōkaidō Main Line is a major Japanese railway line of the Japan Railways Group network, connecting Tokyo and Kōbe stations. It is 515.4 km (320.3 mi) long, not counting its many freight feeder lines around the major cities. The high-speed Tōkaidō Shinkansen largely parallels the line.
The Thunderbird is a limited express train service operated by the West Japan Railway Company between Osaka and Kanazawa or Wakuraonsen in Japan, using portions of the Tokaido Main Line, Kosei Line, Hokuriku Main Line, IR Ishikawa Railway Line, and Nanao Line.
The Tōhoku Main Line is a 575.7 km long railway line in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company. The line starts from Tokyo Station in Chiyoda, Tokyo and passes through such cities as Saitama, Utsunomiya, Fukushima, and Sendai, before reaching the end of the line in Morioka. The line originally extended to Aomori, but was truncated upon the extension of the Tōhoku Shinkansen beyond Morioka, which mostly parallels the Tōhoku Main Line. A portion of the Tōhoku Main Line is also shared with the Keihin–Tōhoku Line and the Saikyō Line.
The Hokuriku Shinkansen (北陸新幹線) is a high-speed Shinkansen railway line jointly operated by East Japan Railway Company and West Japan Railway Company, connecting Tokyo with Kanazawa in the Hokuriku region of Japan. The first section, between Takasaki and Nagano in Nagano Prefecture, opened on 1 October 1997, originally called the Nagano Shinkansen (長野新幹線). The extension to Toyama in Toyama Prefecture and Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture opened on 14 March 2015. Construction of a further section onward to Fukui and Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture commenced in 2012, with scheduled opening in fiscal 2022. The route of the final section to Shin-Osaka was decided on 20 December 2016 as the Osaka–Kyoto route, with construction expected to begin in 2030 and take 15 years.
The Ōu Main Line is a railway line in Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company. It connects Fukushima Station through Akita Station to Aomori Station. Since the opening of the Yamagata Shinkansen on July 1, 1992, the Fukushima–Yamagata section is sometimes referred to as the Yamagata Line. The name of the line as a whole refers to the ancient provinces of Mutsu (陸奥) and Dewa (出羽), as it connects both ends of Mutsu by passing north–south through Dewa.
Tsuruga Station is a railway station in the city of Tsuruga, Fukui, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company. It is served by the Hokuriku Main Line and the Obama Line. A freight-only branch Line known as the Tsuruga Port Line operated by JR Freight also runs from this station.
The Mikuni Awara Line is a railway line operated by Echizen Railway in Fukui Prefecture. The line extends 27.8 km from the city of Fukui to Mikuni-Minato station at Sakai with a total of 22 stations. It was operated by Keifuku Electric Railway until 2001; Echizen Railway took over the line in 2003.
Naoetsu Station is a railway station in the city of Jōetsu, Niigata, Japan, jointly operated by East Japan Railway Company and the third-sector railway operator Echigo Tokimeki Railway.
The Shinetsu Main Line is a railway line, consisting of three geographically separated sections, operated by the East Japan Railway Company in Japan. It was originally one continuous line connecting Takasaki and Niigata via Nagano. Since the opening and later extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, sections running in parallel have either been abandoned or transferred to third-sector railway companies.
The Iyotetsu Co., Ltd. is the main transport provider in Matsuyama, Ehime, Shikoku, Japan. The company operates railway, tram, and bus lines, and also has many subsidiaries, which include a bank, department stores, travel agencies, and various other businesses.
The Shinano Railway Line is a 65.1 km railway line operated by the third-sector railway operating company Shinano Railway in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It connects Karuizawa Station in Karuizawa with Shinonoi Station in Nagano.
The Nanao Line is a railway line in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company and the Noto Railway. It runs between Tsubata Station in Tsubata and Anamizu Station in Anamizu.
Kagaonsen Station is a railway station on the Hokuriku Main Line in Kaga, Ishikawa, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company.
The Asanogawa Line is a Japanese railway line which connects Kanazawa Station in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture with Uchinada Station in Uchinada, Ishikawa Prefecture. It is owned and operated by Hokuriku Railroad. Due to its history as the former Asanogawa Electric Railway, the line is often referred to as the Asaden (浅電).
The Hokuriku Railroad Ishikawa Line is a railway line owned and operated by Hokuriku Railroad in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. The line extends 13.8 km from the city of Kanazawa to Hakusan with a total of 16 stations.
The Jōhana Line is a railway line operated by West Japan Railway Company in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. It connects Takaoka with Johana.
The Noto (能登) was a seasonal overnight express train service in Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company, which runs between Ueno Station in Tokyo and Kanazawa via the Shinetsu Main Line and Hokuriku Main Line. The journey takes approximately seven hours. The train was operated as a regular daily service by West Japan Railway Company until 13 March 2010, with operations transferred to JR East from this date. While JR East has not formally announced its discontinuation, no services have operated since February 2012.
The 521 series is a dual-voltage AC/DC outer-suburban electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by West Japan Railway Company and the third-sector railway operators IR Ishikawa Railway and Ainokaze Toyama Railway on local services in the Fukui and Kanazawa areas since November 2006.
The Echigo TOKImeki Railway Company (ETR) is a Japanese third-sector railway operating company established in 2010 to operate passenger railway services on the sections of the JR East Shinetsu Main Line and JR West Hokuriku Main Line within Niigata Prefecture when they were separated from the respective JR Group operators in March 2015, coinciding with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension from Nagano to Kanazawa. The main shareholders of the company are Niigata Prefecture, the city of Joetsu, the city of Itoigawa, and the city of Myoko.
The IR Ishikawa Railway is a Japanese third-sector railway company established in 2012 to operate passenger railway services on the section of the JR West Hokuriku Main Line within Ishikawa Prefecture. The main line was separated from the JR West network on 14 March 2015, coinciding with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension from Nagano to Kanazawa. The company was founded on 28 August 2012 and has its headquarters in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia