The Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad Co., Ltd. (高松琴平電気鉄道株式会社, Takamatsu-Kotohira Denki Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) (or Kotoden) is a transportation company in Kagawa Prefecture, which is on the island of Shikoku, Japan. With headquarters in Takamatsu, the company operates three passenger railway lines, as well as bus subsidiaries. It was established on November 1, 1943. In 2005, it reported sales of ¥3,694,000,000 with a capitalization of ¥250,000,000.
Kotoden was established by the wartime merger of rail lines in the Takamatsu area. Immediately after its establishment, it absorbed the bus transportation operations in the vicinity.
Aerial bombing destroyed some lines during the war. After the war, the company extended its line to Takamatsu Chikkō Station, a few minutes' walk from JR Shikoku's Takamatsu Station. Its network took its present form in the early 1950s.
The company introduced IruCa, a smart card ticketing system in February 2005.
The company traces its origins to 1909, when the Takamatsu Electric Railway was founded. This would later merge with other companies. One of those was the Kotohira Electric Railway, established in 1924. The third group of companies that became Kotoden began in 1910, and eventually through mergers became the Sanuki Electric Railroad.
The 1943 merger of these three companies resulted in Kotoden. A month later, it absorbed 16 bus companies as well as the bus operations of another railroad.
In 1997, the railroad was the first to introduce new track safety precautions in order to combat the rising number of suicides committed by jumping in front of a train. In the first year after new measures were implemented, the number of train suicides linked to Kotoden fell by 40%.
In 2011, the line celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Kotoden operates three lines:
A 16 km 1435mm gauge line from Butsushozen (on the Kotohira line) to Shionoe operated 1929-41.
As of April, 2006, Kotoden had 85 passenger cars. Of these, 43 were in use on the Kotohira Line, 22 on the Nagao Line, and 20 on the Shido Line. It also had two more cars.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia