|Shinano Railway Line|
|Rolling stock||115 series, SR1 series|
|Opened||1 October 1997|
|Line length||65.1 km (40.5 mi)|
|Number of tracks||2|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Minimum radius||400 m (1,300 ft)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC, overhead catenary|
|Operating speed||100 km/h (60 mph)|
The Shinano Railway Line (しなの鉄道線, Shinano Tetsudō-sen) is a 65.1 km railway line operated by the third-sector railway operating company Shinano Railway in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It connects Karuizawa Station in Karuizawa with Shinonoi Station in Nagano.
Before October 1997, the right-of-way now belonging to the Shinano Railway was a part of the Shinetsu Main Line of East Japan Railway Company (JR East), and served as the main train route connecting Nagano and Tokyo. Upon completion of the Nagano Shinkansen in October 1997, JR East transferred all long distance operations to the shinkansen, and control of the Shinetsu Main Line between Karuizawa and Shinonoi was handed over to the newly formed Shinano Railway, which is majority owned by the Nagano Prefectural Government. Today, the line is a vital commuter transport route for communities in the east and north of Nagano Prefecture.
The line is electrified and double-tracked with a track gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) for its entire length. The speed limit is 100 km/h (reduced from 120 km/h as the Shinetsu Main Line).
Like many railways in rural parts of Japan, the line faces problems concerning decreased ridership and revenue. In recent years, additional stations have been opened at Tekuno-Sakaki, Yashiro-kōkō-mae, and Shinano-Kokubunji in order to increase passenger numbers. Also, driver-only operation has been introduced on most of the line in order to reduce personnel costs.
Shinano Railway Line trains use the right-of-way of the Shinetsu Main Line between Shinonoi and Nagano. All trains terminate at Nagano, not Shinonoi.
As of April 2008, four round trains are operated as Rapids from Nagano. One in the morning from Komoro to Nagano, and two in the evening from Nagano to Ueda are named Shinano Sunrise and Shinano Sunset, require payment of surcharge between Nagano and Ueda.
|Station||Japanese||Rapid||Rapid Resort Rokumon||Rapid Karuizawa Resort||Rapid Shinano Sunrise||Rapid Shina Sunset||Connections||Location|
|Komoro||小諸||●||●||▲||●||■ Koumi Line|
|Shinonoi||篠ノ井||●||｜||｜||↓||｜||■ Shinonoi Line||Nagano|
|Shinetsu Main Line (Shinonoi – Nagano)|
Shinano Railway uses trainsets that were inherited from JR East when the line was transferred. The trains were subsequently repainted into Shinano Railway's livery and refurbished. Many of the trains have video screens above the doors which feature commercials and other information. In general, the 115 series trains are used for local services, while the 169 series were used for rapid and liner trains.
The line first opened on 15 August 1888 as the 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge steam-operated Naoetsu Line (直江津線) between Nagano and Ueda. This was extended south from Ueda to Karuizawa in December 1888. The line was electrified using a 1,500 V DC overhead wire system from June 1963.
The third-sector operator Shinano Railway was established on 1 May 1996, and operations of the Shinetsu Line between Karuizawa and Shinanoi were transferred from JR East to the Shinano Railway from 1 October 1997.
Driver only operation was introduced on some services from 5 January 2004.
(Note - Prior to 1997, the stations below were part of the Shinetsu Main Line.)
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia.