Nara Line (JR West)

Last updated

Nara Line
JRW kinki-D.svg
JRW series221 Nara.jpg
A 221 series EMU on a Miyakoji Rapid service in April 2010
Overview
Owner JR West
Locale Kyoto Prefecture
Termini Nara
Kyoto
Stations21
Service
TypeHeavy rail
SystemUrban Network
Rolling stock 103 series, 221 series
History
Opened1879
Technical
Line length34.7 km (21.6 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead catenary
Operating speed110 km/h (68 mph) (double-track)
95 km/h (59 mph) (single-track)
Route map
1
3: JR Kyoto Line
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0.0
Kyōto
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Nara Line (old route)
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Tōji Temporary Station
Tōji
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1.1
Tōfukuji
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Fushimi
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Keihan Main Line
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2.7
Inari
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Tōkaidō Main Line (old route)
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5.0
JR Fujinomori
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Nara Line (old route)
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7.2
Momoyama
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Rokujizō (Keihan)
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Yamashina River
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9.6
Rokujizō ( T01)
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Uji Gunpowder Works
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 Kohata factory spur
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10.6
Kohata
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12.0
Ōbaku
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Keiji Bypass
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13.9
Ujigawa S.B.
(−1926)
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Uji (Keihan)
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14.9
Uji
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16.3
JR Ogura
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18.1
Shinden
・L: Ōkubo
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20.2
Jōyō
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Kintetsu Kyoto Line
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22.0
Nagaike
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Hase River
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24.0
Yamashiro-Aodani
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Aodani River
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25.3
Yamashiro-Taga
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27.3
Tamamizu
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Tama River
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Tenjin River
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Fudō River
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Tanakura
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33.1
Kamikoma
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Kizu River
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Shin-Kizu (−1911)
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Gakkentoshi Line
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Yamatoji Line
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34.7
Kizu
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37.9
Narayama
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41.7
Nara
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Yamatoji Line

The Nara Line (奈良線, Nara-sen) is a commuter rail line in the Osaka–Kobe–Kyoto metropolitan area, operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West). Its official termini are Kizu Station in Kizugawa and Kyōto Station in Kyoto, within Kyoto Prefecture; however, all trains continue past Kizu on the Yamatoji Line (Kansai Main Line) to Nara Station in Nara, Nara Prefecture.

Contents

Overview

Route map Kyoto-Nara Railway Line Map.svg
Route map
Detail of the Fushimi area in Kyoto Kyoto-Fushimi Railway Line Map.svg
Detail of the Fushimi area in Kyoto

The Nara Line is a part of the JR West "Urban Network" in the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe area. Its primary role is that of an intercity-suburban commuter line, ferrying people to and from work and school in Kyoto and Nara; it is also well-used by tourists holding the Japan Rail Pass, as visiting the historical landmarks of Uji and Nara makes an easy day-trip from Kyoto. At Kyoto, the line connects to the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the Tōkaidō Main Line (Biwako Line / JR Kyoto Line), and the San'in Main Line (Sagano Line), while at Kizu, it connects to the Kansai Main Line (Yamatoji Line) for Kamo, and the Katamachi Line (Gakkentoshi Line) for Kyōbashi Station in Osaka. At Nara, travelers can change trains to continue westward to Hōryūji and JR Namba, or head south on the Sakurai Line (Man'yō Mahoroba Line) toward the many shrines, temples and archaeological sites of Tenri and Sakurai.

As Kintetsu operates a "Nara Line" of its own, the line is often referred to as the "JR Nara Line" ("JNR Nara Line" prior to 1988). Strictly speaking, the Kintetsu Nara Line links Osaka and Nara (a counterpart to the Yamatoji Line), rather than Kyoto and Nara (connected primarily by the Kintetsu Kyoto Line). However, there are many through trains to the Kintetsu Nara Line from Kyōto Station, so "JR" is often appended for clarity. This was aided by the 1988 introduction of the official nicknames "JR Kyoto Line", "JR Kobe Line" (for parts of the Tōkaidō Main Line and San'yō Main Line) and "JR Takarazuka Line" (southern half of the Fukuchiyama Line) within the Urban Network, making the "JR Nara Line" construction a natural parallel, if unofficial, usage.

Since the formation of JR West in 1988, the line has been under the jurisdiction of the Tennoji Railway Operations Office in Osaka, and its trains use the Osaka Branch's rail yards in Nara. On the other hand, the stations themselves (apart from Kizu) are administered by the Kyoto Branch of JR West.

The official line color used on JR West route maps and station guides is brown.

The entirety of the line is part of the Greater Osaka Metropolitan Area. As such, all stations are outfitted with card readers for ICOCA and compatible smart fare-cards; however, NagaikeKamikoma are unmanned, and have only simplified automatic ticket gates. Apart from a few stations, the J-Through Card (a prepaid, single-charge fare card) can be used in lieu of cash to buy passenger tickets.

While Kizu is properly the " up " (上り, nobori) end of the line, the Kansai Main Line's historically greater importance with respect to the Nara Line means that it is treated as "down" (下り, kudari). Thus, trains bound for Nara are "down" trains, and those bound for Kyoto are "up", according to the direction they travel on the Yamatoji Line between Kizu and Nara. Except where noted, this article adheres to the same convention.

Line name

The Nara Line proper runs from Kyōto Station to Kizu Station, and lies entirely within Kyoto Prefecture; it has no trackage whatsoever in Nara Prefecture. However, the line was originally built by Nara Railway between Kyoto Station and Nara Station; it was only later, after merging with Kansai Railway, that the section between Kizu and Nara became a part of the Osaka – Nagoya route and was officially made a separate line.

Nara Line services run between Nara and Kyōto stations, and are treated as such by passenger announcements and route maps. Thus, even while operating on the Kansai Main Line (Yamatoji Line), trains to and from Kyoto are considered as being on the "Nara Line".

Station list

Line nameNo.StationJapaneseDistance (km)Regional Rapid
[* 1]
Rapid
[* 2]
Miyakoji
Rapid

[* 3]
Transfers Location
Between
stations
Total
Nara Line D01  Kyōto JR area KYO.png 京都-0.0 Shimogyō-ku, Kyoto Kyoto
 D02  Tōfukuji JR area KYO.png 東福寺1.11.1 Number prefix Keihan lines.png Keihan Main Line (KH36) Higashiyama, Kyoto
 D03  Inari JR area KYO.png 稲荷1.62.7  Fushimi-ku, Kyoto
 D04  JR Fujinomori JR area KYO.png JR藤森2.35.0 
 D05  Momoyama JR area KYO.png 桃山2.27.2 
 D06  Rokujizō 六地蔵2.49.6
Uji
 D07  Kohata 木幡1.010.6 
 D08  Ōbaku 黄檗1.412.0 Number prefix Keihan lines.png Keihan Uji Line (KH75)
 D09  Uji 宇治2.914.9 
 D10  JR Ogura JR小倉1.416.3 
 D11  Shinden 新田1.818.1 B  Kintetsu Kyoto Line (B12:Ōkubo)
 D12  Jōyō 城陽2.120.2  Jōyō
 D13  Nagaike 長池1.822.0 
 D14  Yamashiro-Aodani 山城青谷2.024.0 
 D15  Yamashiro-Taga 山城多賀1.325.3  Ide, Tsuzuki District
 D16  Tamamizu 玉水2.027.3 
 D17  Tanakura 棚倉3.030.3  Kizugawa
 D18  Kamikoma 上狛2.833.1 
 D19  Kizu 木津1.634.7
Yamatoji Line
 D20  Narayama 平城山3.237.9 [* 5] Nara Nara
 D21  Nara 奈良3.841.7
  • JRW kinki-Q.svg Kansai Main Line (Yamatoji Line) ( Q36 )
  • JRW kinki-U.svg Sakurai Line (Man-yō Mahoroba Line)
  1. 区間快速
  2. 快速
  3. みやこ路快速
  4. The Kosei line's official terminus is Yamashina Station on the Tōkaidō Main Line (Biwako Line), but all trains continue through to Kyoto.
  5. Kansai Main Line (Yamatoji Line) Rapid Service and Yamatoji Rapid stop; Gakkentoshi Line Rapid Service stop

Abandoned sections

Numbers in parentheses are the distance from Kyoto Station. The portion between Kyoto and Fushimi is now part of the Kintetsu Kyoto Line.

Kyoto (0.00 km) – Hachijō Temporary Station (0.80 km) – Tōji Temporary Station (1.13 km) – Fushimi (5.31 km) – Momoyama (7.08 km)

Rolling stock

103-series local train near Inari in April 2009 JRW series103 Nara.jpg
103-series local train near Inari in April 2009

All trains are based at Nara Depot.

Also operated on the Yamatoji Line and Osaka Loop Line, there are 4 and 6-car trainsets. 4 and 6-car trainsets are mainly used for Miyakoji Rapid, Rapid Service, and Regional Rapid services, though on the Nara Line, the majority of trains are formed as 4 car sets.

Start of operation from 18 March 2018. Used for Local trains. [1]

4-car 103 series trains are used as local trains on the Nara Line (and the Yamatoji Line). Some of the cars have been replaced by those transferred from the Morinomiya Depot.

Former rolling stock

Railcars that were used for passenger trains are as follows.

Before electrification

After electrification

History

Abandoned abutments of a bridge on the former route of the Nara Line are under the bridge of the Kintetsu Kyoto Line. Kintetsu Kyoto Line Sosui Bridge.JPG
Abandoned abutments of a bridge on the former route of the Nara Line are under the bridge of the Kintetsu Kyoto Line.

The Nara Line was originally constructed from Kyoto to Nara by Nara Railway, but at the time of its completion, the Kyoto – Momoyama section ran via the route now used by the Kintetsu Kyoto Line. In 1921, on the day that the Tōkaidō Main Line was re-routed from its original path to the new Baba (Zeze) – Kyoto alignment via the Higashiyama Tunnel, the Kyoto – Inari portion of the old route became part of the Nara Line, and new track was laid between Inari and Momoyama. At the same time, the original Kyoto – Fushimi alignment was abandoned, and the Fushimi – Momoyama section became freight-only. Later on, the old right-of-way from Kyoto to Fushimi was sold off to the Kintetsu Kyoto Line's predecessor, Nara Electric Railway.

After the Nara Electric Railway line opened in 1928, its frequency of service and drastically reduced transit time took away much of the demand for through-service between the Tokaido Main Line and the Nara Line. In the 1950s, the Nara Line was among the earliest of the JNR lines to be converted from steam locomotives to diesel multiple unit trainsets, and new stations were opened; after that, however, not much capital was spent on the line, and was not until 1984 that it was finally electrified. In short, it was treated entirely as a local line, rather than as an intercity commuter corridor. The turning point for the Nara Line was only after Japanese National Railways was privatized, and it became part of the JR West network. An article in the Asahi Shimbun from 1991, the same year as JR announced it would be pumping capital into the Nara Line, described the perceived cause for this sudden interest as follows: "During [the previous year's] string of visits by the new Emperor and Empress, their Majesties arrived in Kyoto via JR Central's Tōkaidō Shinkansen, then immediately boarded the Kintetsu line for Nara, ignoring the local JR West trains entirely." [2]

Timeline

Future developments

Double-tracking

Report No. 8 from the 2004 Kinki Transportation Commission, "Projects contributing to the improvement of services through strengthening transport capacity, etc." (輸送力の強化等によるサービス向上に資する事業, Yusōryoku no kyōka nado ni yoru sābisu kōjō ni shi-suru jigyō), included double-tracking on the JR Fujinomori – Uji and Shinden – Kizu sections of the Nara Line. Following the completion of double-tracking work on the Sanin Main Line (Sagano Line) between Kyoto and Sonobe in March 2010, JR West and Kyoto Prefecture began conferring with regards to double-tracking of the Nara Line.

However, due to the financial constraints of these local governments, as well as JR West's own fiscal condition, it was ultimately announced that the line would only be fully double-tracked as far as Jōyō, with an additional double-track section between Yamashiro-Taga and Tamamizu. [8] Pre-construction work began in 2013, and the overall duplication is expected to last approximately 10 years, with completion in 2022–23. The remaining single-track sections will be between Jōyō and Yamashiro-Taga, and between Tamamizu and Kizu.

Related Research Articles

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The Osaka Loop Line is a railway loop line in Japan operated by the West Japan Railway Company. It encircles central Osaka.

Yamatoji Line Railway line in Japan

The Yamatoji Line is the common name of the western portion of the Kansai Main Line. The line is owned and operated by West Japan Railway Company, and starts at Kamo Station in Kyoto Prefecture and ends at JR Namba Station in Naniwa-ku, Osaka.

Kyoto Line (Kintetsu)

The Kyoto Line is a Japanese railway line owned and operated by the Kintetsu Railway, a private railway operator. It connects the cities of Kyoto, Uji, and Nara, and competes with the Nara Line of West Japan Railway Company (JR-West), which also connects those cities.

Tennōji Station is a railway station on the JR West Osaka Loop Line, Hanwa Line, Yamatoji Line, Osaka Metro Midōsuji Line, and Tanimachi Line, located in Tennōji-ku and Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan, and Tennōji-ekimae Station is a railway station on the tram Hankai Uemachi Line in Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan. They are also connected to Ōsaka Abenobashi Station on the Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line.

Katamachi Line Railway line in Japan

The Katamachi Line, officially nicknamed the Gakkentoshi Line, is a commuter rail line and service in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area of Japan, owned and operated by West Japan Railway Company. The line connects Kizu Station in Kyoto Prefecture and Kyōbashi Station in Osaka.

Kansai Main Line Railway line in Japan

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Kosei Line Railway line in Japan

The Kosei Line is a commuter rail line in Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area, operated by West Japan Railway Company. The line was completed in 1974 by the former Japanese National Railways (JNR) to provide faster access from the Kansai region to the Hokuriku region. It originates at Yamashina Station in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto and ends at Ōmi-Shiotsu Station in Nagahama, Shiga.

Nara Station Railway station in Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan

Nara Station is a railway station located in Nara, Japan. Operated by West Japan Railway Company, it is the main stop in the city of Nara on the Kansai Main Line, the terminus for the Sakurai Line, and Nara Line trains for Kyoto begin here and run on the Kansai Line to Kizu before diverging. Also, a limited number of Gakkentoshi Line trains terminate here via Kizu during early mornings and late nights.

Kizu Station (Kyoto) Railway station in Kizugawa, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Kizu Station is a four-way junction station of West Japan Railway Company in Kizugawa, Kyoto, Japan. Although the station is on the junction of three lines: the Nara Line, the Katamachi Line, and Kansai Main Line as of rail infrastructure, it is served by the Nara Line, the Gakkentoshi Line, and the Yamatoji Line in terms of passenger train services. Most of the Gakkentoshi Line train service terminates here, while some of it extends through the Nara Line to Nara Station. It has the station numbers "JR-Q38", "JR-D19" and "JR-H18".

Sakurai Line Railway line in Nara prefecture, Japan

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Kizugawa, Kyoto City in Kansai, Japan

Kizugawa is a city located in southern Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. It is the southernmost city in the prefecture and it is named after the Kizu River, a tributary of the Yodo River, which runs through the city. Kizugawa City is a part of the Kansai Science City project and houses research facilities of several corporations, including Rohto Pharmaceutical and Omron.

Kintetsu Department Store

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Kintetsu-Tambabashi Station Railway station in Kyoto, Japan

Kintetsu-Tambabashi Station is a railway station on Kintetsu Railway's Kyoto Line in Fushimi, Kyoto, Japan. It is closely connected by a sheltered pedestrian bridge to Tambabashi Station on the Keihan Electric Railway Keihan Line.

Fushimi Station (Kyoto) Railway station in Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Station is a railway station on Kintetsu Railway's Kyoto Line located in Fushimi, Kyoto, Japan.

Inari Station Railway station in Kyoto, Japan

Inari Station is a railway station on the Nara Line in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company. The station number is JR-D03. It is the closest station to Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

207 series (JR West) Japanese train type

The 207 series is a DC electric multiple unit (EMU) commuter train type operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) in the Kansai Region of Japan since 1991.

321 series Japanese train type

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References

  1. "205系1000番台,奈良線で営業運転を開始 |鉄道ニュース|18 March 2018 掲載|鉄道ファン・railf.jp". 鉄道ファン・railf.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  2. 「JR奈良線、次々とテコ入れ策 初の快速や増便計画」 (JR Nara Line to be successively shored up; first ever rapid-service, increased runs.) Asahi Shimbun, 1991-01-07, evening edition
  3. 1 2 在来線特急列車などの全席禁煙化ならびに在来線ホームの禁煙化の拡大について Archived 19 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine – JR West press release, 26 March 2009
  4. 大和路線(関西線)の高架切替について(インターネット・アーカイブ)- 西日本旅客鉄道プレスリリース 2008年2月27日
  5. 組織改正などについて Archived 2010-12-04 at the Wayback Machine - 西日本旅客鉄道プレスリリース 2010年11月16日
  6. JR西日本で路線記号の本格使用が始まる - 『鉄道ファン』交友社 railf.jp鉄道ニュース、2014年3月15日。
  7. "~奈良線複線化開業に向けて~ 線路切換工事に伴い、奈良線の城陽~木津駅間で運転を見合せます:JR西日″本". www.westjr.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  8. 『大阪環状線改造プロジェクト』進行中!大阪環状線に新型車両「323系」を投入!安全性とサービス水準を高めた新しい車両が登場します. westjr.co.jp (in Japanese). 8 December 2014.