Sagano Scenic Railway

Last updated
Sagano Scenic Railway
Sagano scenic railway hotsukyo.jpg
The line viewed from Torokko Hozukyō Station in May 2016
Overview
Native name嵯峨野観光鉄道
StatusOperational
Locale Kyoto
TerminiTorokko Saga
Torokko Kameoka
Stations4
Technical
Line length7.3 km (4.5 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification None
Route map

Contents

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Sagano Scenic Railway
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km
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Saga-Arashiyama
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Randen-Saga
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Torokko Saga
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Atagoyama Railway
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Arashiyama
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1.0
Torokko Arashiyama
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3.4
Torokko Hozukyō
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Hozukyō
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7.3
Torokko Kameoka
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Umahori
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The train of this line Sagano Romantic Train.jpg
The train of this line

The Sagano Scenic Railway (嵯峨野観光鉄道, Sagano Kankō Tetsudō) or Sagano Sightseeing Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of West Japan Railway Company (JR West) that operates the Sagano Scenic Line (嵯峨野観光線, Sagano Kankō-sen), Sagano Sight-seeing Line, or Sagano Romantic Train (嵯峨野トロッコ列車, Sagano Torokko Ressha) in Kyoto.

The line uses superseded tracks of the Sagano Line (officially a portion of the San'in Main Line) of JR West, from Torokko Saga in Arashiyama, and passes a gorge offering a scenic view along the Hozu River, then enters and terminates in the basin of Kameoka. It is closed on Wednesdays and in the winter.

The line is locally known as "Torokko in Hozu gorge". Torokko is a Japanese word derived from the English "truck" once used for mining cars hauling ore, but presently means rail carriages basic accommodation and open sides.

Description

Company

Line

History

Construction of the line

The line was originally a part of the main line of the Kyoto Railway (京都鉄道, Kyōto Tetsudō) opened in 1899, to connect Kyoto to the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture, or the old province of Tanba. The company adopted the relatively level route through the gorge, avoiding Oinosaka (老の坂) pass which would have required a steep grade. The company was nationalized in 1907. The line became a part of the San'in Main Line.

Bypass

JR West, succeeding the Japanese National Railways (JNR), built a new, shorter, straighter, electrified double-tracked section of the Sanin Main Line between Saga (present Saga-Arashiyama) and Umahori which opened in 1989, bypassing the original winding route with narrow tunnels.

Success

JR West utilised the original line for tourism under a subsidiary founded in 1990. JR West used old rolling stock for this purpose; four semi-open coaches hauled by a diesel locomotive.

By 1991, the line was more popular than expected (there had been speculation that the venture would be unsuccessful). As a result, a fifth carriage, nicknamed "The Rich" (ザ・リッチ), was introduced. The car is contrary to its name, converted from an old gondola of JR West to fully open carriage, even the floor and the sides are of fine grills and offers a rough ride.

Combined with rafting on the Hozu River, it is a major tourist attraction in Arashiyama and Sagano.

Operation

All trains are operated between Torokko Saga and Torokko Kameoka stations. All seats are reserved, and tickets (JPY 620 for adult and JPY 310 for child, as of 2019) are on sale one month prior to the operation with some exceptions. Some are sold on the day, but travel in "The Rich" is not available on rainy days. Down (for Kameoka) trains cater for a return journey via the Hozu River boat ride to Arashiyama, thus up trains are generally less patronised.

Stations

Hozukyo station Truck-hozukyo-station dec2006.jpg
Hozukyo station

Except Torokko Kameoka is in Kameoka, all stations are in Kyoto.

Rolling stock

As mentioned above, all are JR West origin. Daily and minor maintenance is carried out at Torokko Saga, while heavy maintenances in JR West facility.

Liveried in red, yellow and black, explained as a typical colour set to infer Kyoto.

See also

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Torokko Kameoka Station Railway station in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

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References

This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia.