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Kansai Main Line
KiHa 120 diesel car on a rural section in March 2007
Overview
Other name(s)Yamatoji Line (Kamo - JR Namba)
Native name関西本線
StatusIn operation
OwnerJR Central
JR West
Locale
Termini
Stations52
Service
TypeHeavy rail
Operator(s)JR Central, JR West
History
Opened1889; 135 years ago (1889)
Technical
Line length179.6 km (111.6 mi)
CharacterBoth urban and rural
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC, overhead line
(Nagoya–Kameyama, Kamo–JR Namba)
Operating speed120 km/h (75 mph) (Nagoya–Kawarada, Nara–Tennoji)
95 km/h (59 mph)
(Kawarada–Nara, Tennoji–JR Namba)
Old Nara Station building in March 2007
A Kasuga express train in a rural section. The photo was taken in March 2006, shortly before the service was discontinued.

The Kansai Main Line (関西本線, Kansai-honsen, also called the "Kansai Line") is a railway line in Japan, which connects Nagoya Station with JR Namba Station in Osaka. It is jointly run by the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West), with the boundary between both companies being located at Kameyama Station in Kameyama, Mie.

The section from Kamo Station west to JR Namba Station is electrified and a part of the JR West "Urban Network", and is nicknamed the Yamatoji Line. The JR Central section from Nagoya to Kameyama is also electrified.

Despite its name, for much of its length it is a very local line with mainly single track sections and no regular express services. The line was originally built in the 1890s by Kansai Railway (later under the Japanese Government Railways and Japanese National Railways) as an alternate route from south Osaka to Nara and Nagoya, but competition from the Kintetsu lines and declining ridership forced the line to operationally become two electric suburban lines for Osaka and Nagoya respectively, with a less-used unelectrified rural section in the middle.

Formerly a Kasuga express train ran from Nagoya to Nara, but this service was discontinued in March 2006.

History

The Osaka Railway Co. opened the Minatomachi (now JR Namba) to Nara section between 1889 and 1892. The company merged with the Kansai Railway Co. in 1900.

The Nara Railway Co. opened the Nara to Kizu section in 1896. It merged with the Kansai Railway Co. in 1905.

The Kansai Railway Co. opened the Nagoya to Kizu section between 1890 and 1897, completing the line. The company was nationalised in 1907.

Duplication

The Minatomachi to Tennoji section was duplicated in 1903 and extended to Kashiwara in 1908. The Nara to Kizu section was duplicated in 1914, and the Kashiwara to Nara section between 1923 and 1926. In 1944 the Oji to Nara section was returned to single track and the materials recycled for the Japanese war effort. The section was re-duplicated in 1961.

The Tomita to Kuwana section (except for the bridge over the Inabe River) was duplicated in 1973, and the Kuwana to Yatomi section between 1977 and 1980. The Yokkaichi to Tomidahama section was duplicated in 1993.

Electrification

The Minatomachi to Nara section was electrified in 1973, extended to Kizu in 1984, and to Kamo in 1988.

The Nagoya - Hatta section was electrified in 1979, and extended to Kameyama in 1982.

Other matters of note

CTC signalling was commissioned between Kizu and Kameyama in 1983, and extended to Nagoya in 2001.

Freight services ceased in 1987, and in 1994 Minatomachi Station was renamed JR Namba to coincide with the opening of the Kansai Airport Line to Kansai Airport. In 1996 Namba Station and the approach line were relocated underground to eliminate a number of level crossings. There are plans to extend the line from Namba to Osaka Station, with construction to begin within the next few years. (See Naniwasuji Line for information.)

Former connecting lines

Stations

JR Central (Nagoya–Kameyama)

No. Station Japanese Semi Rapid Rapid Rapid Mie Transfers Location
CJ00 Nagoya 名古屋 S S S Nakamura-ku, Nagoya Aichi Prefecture
CJ01 Hatta 八田 | | |
CJ02 Haruta 春田 | | | Nakagawa-ku, Nagoya
CJ03 Kanie 蟹江 S | | Kanie, Ama District
CJ04 Eiwa 永和 | | | Aisai
CJ05 Yatomi 弥富 S | | Yatomi
CJ06 Nagashima 長島 | | | Kuwana Mie Prefecture
CJ07 Kuwana 桑名 S S S
CJ08 Asahi 朝日 S | | Asahi, Mie District
CJ09 Tomida 富田 S | | Yokkaichi
CJ10 Tomidahama 富田浜 S | |
CJ11 Yokkaichi 四日市 S S S
CJ12 Minami-Yokkaichi 南四日市 S S |
CJ13 Kawarada 河原田 S S |
CJ14 Kawano 河曲 S S Ise Railway Ise Line Suzuka
CJ15 Kasado 加佐登 S S
CJ16 Idagawa 井田川 S S Kameyama
CJ17 Kameyama 亀山 S S

JR West (Kameyama–Kamo)

All stations between Kameyama and Kamo featured passing double tracks.

Station Japanese Transfers Location
Kameyama 亀山 JR Central: Kameyama Mie Prefecture
Seki
Kabuto 加太
Tsuge 柘植 Kusatsu Line Iga
Shindō 新堂
Sanagu 佐那具
Iga-Ueno 伊賀上野 Iga Railway Iga Line (Ninja Line)
Shimagahara 島ヶ原
Tsukigaseguchi 月ケ瀬口 Minamiyamashiro, Soraku District Kyoto Prefecture
Ōkawara 大河原
Kasagi 笠置 Kasagi, Soraku District
Kamo 加茂 ( Q39  Yamatoji Line) Kizugawa

JR West (Kamo–JR Namba)

See the Yamatoji Line article for the train types and stopping patterns on this section.
Stations on this section

Rolling stock

JR Central

EMU

DMU

JR West

EMU

Main article: Yamatoji Line

DMU

Former

In popular culture

The Kansai Main Line is the home course of Takumi Fujiwara in Densha de D, a parody of Initial D where the main characters race with trains instead of cars.

References