Yunoyama Line

Last updated
Yunoyama Line
KT number-K.svg
Kintetsu Yunoyama Local.jpg
Local bound for Yunoyama
Overview
Locale Mie Prefecture
YokkaichiKomono
Termini Kintetsu-Yokkaichi
Yunoyama-Onsen
Stations10
Service
Type Commuter rail
Operator(s) Kintetsu Railway
History
OpenedSeptember 24, 1913
Technical
Line length15.4 km (9.6 mi)
Number of tracks1
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification Overhead, 1500 V DC
Operating speed80 km/h (50 mph)
Route map
All lines are Kintetsu unless otherwise noted

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Nagoya
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Arrow Blue Left 001.svgYunoyama Line
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0.0 Kintetsu Yokkaichi
(Suwa)
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Arrow Blue Right 001.svg Nagoya Line
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Arrow Blue Left 001.svg Yunoyama-Utsube link - Closed 1964
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1.7 Nakagawara
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2.8 Ise-Matsumoto
(Matsumotomura)
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5.3 Ise-Kawashima
(Kawashimamura)
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6.7 Takatsuno
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8.7 Sakura
(Sakuramura)
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11.3 Komono
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12.6 Naka-Komono
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13.5 Ōbane-en
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15.4 Yunoyama-Onsen
(Yunoyama)

The Yunoyama Line (湯の山線, Yunoyama-sen) is a railway line of the Japanese private railway company Kintetsu Railway, connecting Kintetsu-Yokkaichi Station (Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture) and Yunoyama-Onsen Station (Komono, Mie Prefecture) in Japan.

Contents

The line connects with the Nagoya Line and Yokkaichi Asunarou Railway Utsube Line at Kintetsu-Yokkaichi Station.

History

Yokkaichi Railway

The Yunoyama Line was originally conceived and built by Yokkaichi Railway (四日市鉄道, Yokkaichi Tetsudō)) in the 1910s. It was constructed with the purposes of providing access in the city of Yokkaichi and providing tourists access to the Yunoyama area. The line was completed in 1913 and in 1916 an extension from the line's origin, Kintetsu-Yokkaichi (at that time called Suwa Station and located slightly to the east), to JR Yokkaichi was added. However, this extension had a relatively short life as part of the Yunoyama Line as it was sold to Ise Electric Railway (Iseden) in 1927, who used it for the extension of their main line from Yokkaichi to Kuwana. This made Suwa Station, a hub between three private railways and the biggest station in Yokkaichi, the origin again. Steam engines originally ran on the tracks; in the 1920s the line was electrified, following a trend of many railways in the area.

Ownership of the line has shifted. Yokkaichi Railway created the line. It was absorbed by Mie Railway (Santetsu) in 1931, who built and operated the nearby Utsube Line which also originated from Suwa Station at that time. Then in 1944, Santetsu, with six other companies, merged to form Mie Transport (Sanco). Twenty years later, the railway department of Sanco split off to become a separate company called Mie Electric Railway (Sanden). This organization was short-lived as it was bought up by railway giant Kinki Nippon Railway (Kintetsu) the following year, and thus in 1965 the line came under its current name and ownership.

Renovation

In 1954 the beginning of the route received a significant re-routing at the hands of Sanco, the owner. The Nagoya Line suffered from many sharp curves on its way through Yokkaichi to Suwa Station. Kintetsu developed a plan to straighten the line as well as enlarge Suwa Station, which would be moved about a kilometer to the west. Construction began in 1952 and took a few years to be completed. In accordance with this plan, Sanco altered its own Yokkaichi-area railways in 1956 to use the new location of Suwa Station, which was renamed to Kintetsu-Yokkaichi Station. From Nakagawara Station, the track that ran to the old Suwa Station was closed and a new track was built to Kintetsu-Yokkaichi. After this new section was completed, the Yunoyama Line originated from the part of Kintetsu-Yokkaichi Station where the Utsube Line still originates today; the two lines had the same track gauge at that time and connected directly with each other.

About 10 years later, in 1964, when Sanden took over the railway, more improvements were carried out even though Sanden only owned the line for about one year. Yokkaichi Railway constructed the line with an especially narrow gauge of 762 mm (2 ft 6 in). In the interest of direct connection with the Kintetsu Nagoya Line, the technical specs of the line were altered to match those of the Nagoya Line; the Yunoyama Line gauge was widened to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge and the voltage was increased to 1500 V. These changes severed the direct connection with the Utsube Line, however, direct connection with the Nagoya Line, a major railway trunk line, was seen as more beneficial.

When Kintetsu acquired the line the following year, it was relatively painless to tie the two lines together and it soon began offering limited express service directly from Uehommachi in Osaka and Nagoya to Yunoyama, aimed at attracting tourists to the onsen and nearby Mount Gozaisho. This service was offered for over 30 years but was ceased in 1998 due to insufficient ridership. Limited express trains that originated at Kintetsu-Yokkaichi continued to run the length of the Yunoyama Line for a few more years, but this service was ended in 2004. The Yunoyama Line is notable because it is the only one of Kintetsu's many small branch lines to have offered limited express service.

Timeline

Service

Local (普通 futsū)

Arrow Blue Up 001.jpeg For Yokkaichi
Arrow Blue Down 001.jpeg For Yunoyama-Onsen
Locals stop at every station.
All trains offer conductor-less (one man) service.
Trains run twice per hour during the day, three or four times per hour in the mornings and evenings.

Limited express service on the Yunoyama Line ended in 2004.

2008 limited express service

Direct limited express service to and from Nagoya will be temporarily resumed on weekends and holidays in late July and early August 2008 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Gozaisho Ropeway as well as the 40th anniversary of Suzuka National Park. These trains will run once a day in each direction. [1] Limited express trains on the Yunoyama Line will go from Kintetsu-Yokkaichi to Yunoyama-Onsen without stopping.

Stations

No.StationDistance
(km)
ConnectionsLocation
 K21  Kintetsu-Yokkaichi 近鉄四日市0.0 Nagoya Line
Yokkaichi Asunarou Railway Utsube Line
Yokkaichi Mie
Prefecture
 K22  Nakagawara 中川原1.7
 K23  Ise-Matsumoto 伊勢松本2.8
 K24  Ise-Kawashima 伊勢川島5.3
 K25  Takatsuno 高角6.7
 K26  Sakura 8.7
 K27  Komono 菰野11.3 Komono
 K28  Naka-Komono 中菰野12.6
 K29  Ōbane-en 大羽根園13.5
 K30  Yunoyama-Onsen 湯の山温泉15.4

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References

Footnotes