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Sagami Railway Co., Ltd
Native name
Company typePublic KK (Sotetsu Holdings)
TYO: 9003 (Sotetsu Holdings)
GenreRail transport
FoundedNovember 1964
2-9-14 Kitasaiwai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama
Area served
Key people
Hideyuki Takizawa [jp] (President)[1]
ServicesPassenger railway
OwnerOdakyu Electric Railway Co. (4.38%)
Obayashi Corporation (1.31%)
T&D Holdings (0.65%)
Keikyu (0.54%)
Takashimaya (0.54%)
Keio Corporation (0.10%)
Tokyu Construction (0.01%)
Number of employees
1,117 (As of September 16, 2009)
ParentSotetsu Holdings, Inc.

The Sagami Railway Company, Ltd. (相模鉄道株式会社, Sagami tetsudō Kabushikigaisha), or Sōtetsu[a] (相鉄), is a private railway company operating three lines in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of holding company Sōtetsu Holdings, Inc. Sōtetsu Holdings is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange; 6.58% of it is owned by the Odakyu Electric Railway Company.


Sagami Railway is one of the core companies of the Sōtetsu group. Sōtetsu focuses on railway operations, although formerly it had a more diversified set of holdings, such as bus lines and supermarkets. Sōtetsu is the smallest company of the "Big 15" private railways in Japan, as it has only short lines, but it succeeded in developing towns along its lines in the 1960s and 1970s, with many passengers ride this line. In May 1990, Sōtetsu joined the major railways. In 2010 it had a daily ridership of 623,500[2]


Sōtetsu Lines (dark blue) in the railway network around Yokohama

The company operates three passenger (commuter) lines and a freight-only line. All lines are electrified. All the railroads owned or operated by Sōtetsu are entirely within Kanagawa Prefecture, but through services with other rail operators allow Sōtetsu trains to travel into Tokyo Metropolis and Saitama Prefecture.



Rolling stock

As of 1 April 2016, Sōtetsu operates the following electric multiple unit (EMU) train types.[3]

Further 20000 series trains will be delivered ahead of the start of inter-running services to and from Tokyu Corporation lines scheduled to commence in late fiscal 2022.[5]




Preserved fleet

Some withdrawn rolling stock is preserved at Kashiwadai depot.


The Sagami Railway was established in Chigasaki, Kanagawa, in January 1917, to transport gravel along the Sagami River valley. The first section, between Chigasaki and Samukawa, was opened in 1919, and the line was gradually extended to Hashimoto in 1931.[6] Sagami Railway started direct operation to Hachiōji, but performance was sluggish during the economic depression, and an outflow disaster of Sagami River severely damaged its gravel pits in 1941. This led to Sagami Railway eventual decision to become a subsidiary of Tōkyū in 1941.[7]

The Jinchū Railway (神中鉄道) was established in Seya village (now, Seya-ku, Yokohama) in 1917 and opened its first section from Futamata-gawa to Atsugi in May 1926. Jinchū Railway extended to Yokohama Station in 1933, but its management faced financial difficulties, so the company also became a subsidiary of Tōkyū in 1939, prior to Sagami Railway.[8] The two companies' rail lines were connected at Atsugi Station.[9]

In April 1943, acknowledged by Tōkyū, Sagami Railway took over Jinchū Railway and named the two lines "Sagami Line" (original section) and "Jinchū Line" (acquired section).[10] However, in June 1944 during World War II, the Sagami Line and its Nishi-Samukawa branch line were forcefully acquired by the government to use as a bypass between the Hachikō Line and Chūō Main Line in anticipation of airstrikes on heavy industrial facilities around the area. Sagami Line would never return to the hands of Sagami Railway.[11] At the same time, Imperial Japanese Navy Atsugi Airport was opened, so the ridership and freight traffic increased sharply. As a result, Sagami Railway released all management and delegated it to Tōkyū. Under Tōkyū, the line gained electrification to increase the carrying capacity, and in 1944, all passenger lines were electrified.[7]

In June 1947, Sagami Railway employees bought their own shares from Tōkyū and resolved the commission of the Jinchū Line (renamed as the "Tōkyū Atsugi Line" during Tōkyū's operation).[12] Sagami Railway continued to develop the Jinchū/Atsugi Line, which became what is known today as the Sōtetsu Main Line. The whole line was fully double-tracked in 1951.[13] In 1968, Sagami Railway began the construction of the Izumino Line.[14] After completing the first extension of the Izumino Line in 1990, Sagami Railway was recognized as one of the "major private railway companies" (大手私鉄) in Japan by the Japan Private Railway Association [ja], which gives Sagami Railway the qualification to participate in cabinet meetings and parliamentary hearings regarding public transportation policies.[15]

In 1952, Sagami Railway purchased the 25,000 m2 of land around Yokohama Station's west entrance from Esso, and began to develop to attract department stores.[citation needed]

Through services to JR and Tōkyū

See also: Eastern Kanagawa Rail Link and Sōtetsu Shin-yokohama Line

The Sōtetsu Shin-yokohama Line is an approximately 6 km link, which is constructed from Nishiya via Hazawa yokohama-kokudai to Shin-yokohama. This line enables through services between the JR East Saikyō Line and the Sōtetsu Main Line by late 2019, as well as between the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line, the Tōkyū Meguro Line and the Sōtetsu Main Line by March 2023. This project created a 12.7-kilometre (7.9 mi) railroad which allows residents and commuters alongside the Sōtetsu railway lines to better access the Tokyo Metropolis as well as Tokaido Shinkansen by interchanging at Shin-yokohama.

One analyst believes that the opening of the Eastern Kanagawa Rail Link will diminish the importance of the section between Nishiya and Yokohama of the Main Line, but the convenient through services provided by the new line will attract more passengers and investments to the areas downbound from Nishiya.[16]


  1. ^ Official English documents and signage generally drop the long vowel diacritic, so "Sōtetsu" is instead spelled "Sotetsu". This article uses the diacritic for pronunciation clarity.



  1. ^ "Message from the President". Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  2. ^ レポート 2010年度1日平均乗降人員・通過人員 相模鉄道 (PDF) (in Japanese), 関東交通広告協議会, retrieved 2023-03-30
  3. ^ 私鉄車両編成表 2016 [Private Railway Rolling Stock Formations - 2016] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 25 July 2016. pp. 82–83. ISBN 978-4-330-70116-5.
  4. ^ 相鉄20000系,2月11日から営業運転を開始 [Sōtetsu 20000 series to enter revenue service from 11 February]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 22 December 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ 都心直通用新型車両「20000系」を導入 [New 20000 series trains to be introduced on Tokyo through-running services] (PDF). News letter (in Japanese). Japan: Sotetsu. 5 June 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  6. ^ Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 1.1, p. 24.
  7. ^ a b Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 1.1, p. 30.
  8. ^ Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 1.1, p. 29.
  9. ^ Sugiyama Junichi 2022, p. 2.
  10. ^ Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 1.1, p. 31.
  11. ^ Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 1.1, p. 36.
  12. ^ Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 1.2, p. 41.
  13. ^ Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 1.4, p. 100.
  14. ^ Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 1.4, p. 96.
  15. ^ Sōtetsu 100-year Chronicles 2.1, p. 174.
  16. ^ Sugiyama Junichi 2022, p. 1.