Kominato Line

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Kominato Line
A KiHa 200 diesel car on the Kominato Line in March 2020
Native name小湊鉄道線
StatusIn operation
OwnerKominato Railway
Termini Goi
Operator(s)Kominato Railway
Rolling stock KiHa 200 series DMU, KiHa 40 series DMU
Line length34.9 km (21.7 mi)
Number of tracksEntire line single tracked
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification None
Operating speed65 km/h (40 mph)
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Uchibō Line
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0.0 Goi
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2.5 Kazusa-Murakami
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Saihiro Station
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5.4 Amaariki
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7.2 Kazusa-Mitsumata
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8.6 Kazusa-Yamada
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Futsukaichiba Station
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10.6 Kōfūdai
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12.4 Umatate
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Saze Station
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16.4 Kazusa-Ushiku
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18.5 Kazusa-Kawama
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20.0 Kazusa-Tsurumai
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22.0 Kazusa-Kubo
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23.8 Takataki
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25.7 Satomi
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27.5 Itabu
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29.8 Tsukizaki
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32.3 Kazusa-Ōkubo
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34.9 Yorokeikoku
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39.1 Kazusa-Nakano
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The Kominato Line (小湊鉄道線, Kominato Tetsudō sen) is a railway line in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, operated by the private railway operator Kominato Railway (小湊鐵道, Kominato tetsudō). It extends from the west coast of central Bōsō Peninsula (where it connects with the Uchibō Line at Goi) to Yorokeikoku in the town of Ōtaki (where it connects to the Isumi Line). All of its stations with the exception of the Yorokeikoku terminus are within the city of Ichihara. Diesel cars manufactured between 1961 and 1977 run through the scenic hilly areas of Bōsō Peninsula, and the line has many antique station buildings.



Goi 五井0.0 Uchibō Line Ichihara Chiba Prefecture
Kazusa-Murakami 上総村上2.5 
Amaariki 海士有木5.4
Kazusa-Mitsumata 上総三又7.2
Kazusa-Yamada 上総山田8.6
Kōfūdai 光風台10.6
Umatate 馬立12.4
Kazusa-Ushiku 上総牛久16.4
Kazusa-Kawama 上総川間18.5
Kazusa-Tsurumai 上総鶴舞20.0
Kazusa-Kubo 上総久保22.0
Takataki 高滝23.8
Satomi 里見25.7
Itabu 飯給27.5
Tsukizaki 月崎29.8
Kazusa-Ōkubo 上総大久保32.3
Yōrōkeikoku 養老渓谷34.9
Kazusa-Nakano 上総中野39.1 Isumi Line Ōtaki

Rolling stock

As of 1 April 2016, the railway owns and operates a fleet of 14 KiHa 200 series diesel cars, built by Nippon Sharyo between 1961 and 1977, and numbered 201 to 214. [1] All except cars 209 and 210 are air-conditioned. [1]

200 series build histories [2]
NumberManufacturerBuild dateLength (mm)Weight (t)
201Nippon Sharyo196120,00030.0

In 2020, KiHa 40 series (KiHa 40 2021/2026) which was withdrew from JR East Tadami Line [3] [4] [5] was adopted into this railway line. The vehicles, KiHa 40-2021 and KiHa 40-2026 are named KiHa 40-1 and KiHa 40-2 respectively, will replace all of series KiHa 200, [6] have been operated as regular trains since they were operated at the first run as Express "SATOYAMA" in 23 April 2020. [7] [8]

KiHa 40 series build histories
NumberManufacturerBuild dateLength (mm)Weight (t)
40-1 Fuji Heavy Industries 198721,30038.6

From 15 November 2015, a Satoyama Torokko (里山トロッコ) open-sided tourist train hauled by a replica steam locomotive powered by a diesel engine entered service on the line, operating generally at weekends only. [9] The train consists of four coaches, two of which have open sides, with a total capacity of 144 passengers. It is hauled by diesel locomotive number DB4, a replica of a German Orenstein & Koppel-built steam locomotive formerly operated on the line from 1924 until the 1940s, powered by a Volvo diesel engine. [10]


Plans for a railroad bisecting the Bōsō Peninsula were drafted by the Railway Ministry in the Meiji period, with the aim of connecting the town of Kominato (now part of Kamogawa City), a town facing the Pacific and famous as the birthplace of Nichiren, for economic and military reasons. However, due to lack of profitability of other lines in the area, the idea was shelved.[ citation needed ]

The project was revived in 1917 by noted entrepreneur Yasuda Zenjirō, who used the financial resources of the Yasuda zaibatsu to fund over half of the construction costs, and who imported two steam locomotives from the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to run on the new line.[ citation needed ]

The Kominato Railway was founded on 31 May 1917, opening the initial section of the line from Goi to Satomi on 7 May 1925. [2] The line was extended to Tsukizaki on 1 September 1926, and reached its present eastern terminus at Kazusa-Nakano on 16 May 1928. [2] Diesel railcars were introduced on the line from this date. [2] At Kazusa-Nakano, the line connected with the Japanese Government Railways Kihara Line, which provided a route to the eastern shore of the Bōsō Peninsula and so plans to extend the line further to Kominato Town were subsequently abandoned.

In 1942, the line was forced to merge with the Keisei Electric Railway, and remained a subsidiary of that company after the end of World War II. On 21 March 1962, the remaining steam locomotives were retired (and are currently on display at Goi Station). [2] Freight operations were phased out by 1 October 1969. [2] A new ATS was installed in early 1995. On 12 April 2006, heavy rains washed away a portion of the tracks between Kazusa-Nakano and Yōrōkeikoku, leading to a two-month disruption in services.[ citation needed ]

In 2017, the line received a Good Design Award from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion. [11]

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  1. 1 2 私鉄車両編成表 2016[Private Railway Rolling Stock Formations - 2016] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 25 July 2016. p. 22. ISBN   978-4-330-70116-5.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Terada, Hirokazu (October 1999). ローカル私鉄探訪[Exploring Rural Private Railways] (in Japanese). Japan: Shin-Jinbutsuoraisha Co., Ltd. pp. 32–34. ISBN   4-404-02732-X.
  3. "臨時列車運転情報 変更情報". 鉄道ダイヤ情報. 交通新聞社. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  4. キハ40 甲種輸送 - 鉄道コム 2020/5/19
  5. "Kominato Railway. Common people were puzzled by "撮り鉄" who made "密状態" because the rare vehicles were carried. A Kominato Railway's officer said "I understand how their feel, but we were under such situation as COVID-19 was spreading"". Sports Nippon . Sports Nippon. 21 May 2020. Archived from the original on 28 May 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  6. "小湊鉄道新形式車両導入について" (PDF) (Press release) (in Japanese). 小湊鐵道. 29 March 2021. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  7. "急行「さと山」号運転" (PDF) (in Japanese). 小湊鐵道. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  8. "里山の自然とレトロな風情を満喫! 小湊鐵道のトロッコ列車で時空旅". 読むらじる。. NHK. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  9. 小湊鐵道「里山トロッコ」デビュー! 煙を上げ、汽笛鳴らして上総牛久駅発車 [Kominato Railway "Satoyama Torokko" debut!]. Mynavi News (in Japanese). Japan: Mynavi Corporation. 15 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  10. Kanemori, Takayuki (5 September 2015). 小湊鉄道:里山に再生SL ディーゼル化トロッコがけん引 [Kominato Railway to run diesel-hauled open-sided train]. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). Japan: The Mainichi Newspapers. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  11. "Quaint Stations Win Kominato Railway A Good Design Award". Japan Bullet. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2021.