Shinano Railway Line
Shinano Railway logo
A 115 series train at Sakaki Station, March 2008
Native nameしなの鉄道線
OwnerShinano Railway
LocaleNagano Prefecture
TypeCommuter rail
Rolling stock115 series, SR1 series
Opened1 October 1997
Line length65.1 km (40.5 mi)
Number of tracks2
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Minimum radius400 m (1,300 ft)
Electrification1,500 V DC, overhead catenary
Operating speed100 km/h (60 mph)
Route map
Shinetsu Main Line abandoned in 1997
0.0 Karuizawa
Kusakaru Electric Railway
Nagano Shinkansen
4.0 Naka-Karuizawa
7.2 Shinano-Oiwake
13.2 Miyota
18.3 Hirahara
22.0 Komoro
Nunobiki Electric Railway
27.9 Shigeno
31.3 Tanaka
34.7 Ōya
Ueda Maruko Electric Railway:
Maruko Line
37.1 Shinano-Kokubunji
Maruko Line
Nagano Shinkansen
40.0 Ueda
44.4 Nishi-Ueda
47.9 Tekuno-Sakaki
50.4 Sakaki
54.9 Togura
57.1 Chikuma
59.9 Yashiro
61.8 Yashiro-kōkō-mae
Shinano (Chikuma) River
Shinano Railway Line
Shinetsu Main Line
Sai River
Shinetsu Main Line

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.[1] 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
Karuizawa 軽井沢
Hokuriku Shinkansen
Naka-Karuizawa 中軽井沢
Shinano-Oiwake 信濃追分
Miyota 御代田 Miyota
Hirahara 平原 Komoro
Komoro 小諸 Koumi Line
Shigeno 滋野 Tōmi
Tanaka 田中
Ōya 大屋 Ueda
Shinano-Kokubunji 信濃国分寺
Ueda 上田
Nishi-Ueda 西上田
Tekuno-Sakaki テクノさかき Sakaki
Sakaki 坂城
Togura 戸倉 Chikuma
Chikuma 千曲
Yashiro 屋代
Yashiro-kōkō-mae 屋代高校前
Shinonoi 篠ノ井 Shinonoi Line Nagano
Shinetsu Main Line (Shinonoi – Nagano)
Imai 今井 Nagano
Kawanakajima 川中島
Amori 安茂里
Nagano 長野

Rolling stock

Former Rolling stock

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.[3] This was extended south from Ueda to Karuizawa in December 1888.[3] The line was electrified using a 1,500 V DC overhead wire system from June 1963.[3]

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.[3]

Driver only operation was introduced on some services from 5 January 2004.[3]

Former connecting lines

A train on the Kusakaru Electric Railway
A train on the Kusakaru Electric Railway

(Note - Prior to 1997, the stations below were part of the Shinetsu Main Line.)

See also


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

  1. ^ Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (ed.). Tetsudō Tōkei Nenpō 鉄道統計年報 [Annual of Railway Statistics] (in Japanese).
  2. ^ しなの鉄道 SR1系 営業運転(2020年7月4日~). 鉄道コム. 19 June 2020. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Terada, Hirokazu (19 January 2013). データブック日本の私鉄 [Databook: Japan's Private Railways]. Japan: Neko Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 978-4-7770-1336-4.