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Nemuro Main Line

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Nemuro Main Line

Nemuro Line
A KiHa 283 series DMU between Shakubetsu and Ombetsu
Overview
Type Regional rail
Locale Hokkaido
Termini Takikawa
Nemuro
Stations 68
Operation
Opened 1901
Owner JR Hokkaido
Technical
Line length 443.8 km (275.8 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification None
Route map

Nemuro Main Line (根室本線 Nemuro Honsen) is a railway line in Hokkaido operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido), connecting Takikawa Station in Takikawa and Nemuro Station in Nemuro, including Obihiro and Kushiro. Higashi-Nemuro is the most easterly situated station on the Japanese rail system.

Contents

  • Services 1
  • Stations 2
  • History 3
    • Former connecting lines 3.1
      • Ashibetsu area 3.1.1
      • Shintoku area 3.1.2
      • Obihiro area 3.1.3
      • Shakubetsu - Higashi-Kushiro section 3.1.4
      • Hamanaka - Nemuro section 3.1.5
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Services

Super Ōzora limited express train
A KiHa 40-700 DMU on a local service

The line is roughly divided into three segments. The segment between Takikawa and Shintoku is now a quiet local line. The rapid train Karikachi (狩勝) runs twice a day, and there is one local train service every 1 to 2 hours.

The segment between Shintoku and Kushiro remains a part of the important trunk route between Sapporo and eastern Hokkaido. The limited express train Super Ozora runs between Sapporo and Kushiro six times a day, while the Super Tokachi runs twice a day, Tokachi four times a day, both between Sapporo and Obihiro. There is one local train service every 1 to 2 hours.

The segment between Kushiro and Nemuro is again a quiet local line. This segment has the official nickname Hanasaki Line (花咲線 Hanasaki-sen). There are two rapid trains Nosappu (ノサップ) and Hanasaki (はなさき) which run once a day each. Other than that, there is one local train service every 2 to 3 hours.

Stations

LE: Limited express
R: Rapid
All trains stop at stations signed "+". Some trains stop at "*". No trains (other than local) stop at "-".
No. Station name Japanese Distance (km) LE R Transfers Location (all in Hokkaido)
A21 Takikawa 滝川 0.0 +  Hakodate Main Line Takikawa
T22 Higashi-Takikawa 東滝川 7.2 -
T23 Akabira 赤平 13.7 + Akabira
T24 Moshiri 茂尻 17.2 *
T25 Hiragishi 平岸 20.7 -
T26 Ashibetsu 芦別 26.6 + Ashibetsu
T27 Kami-Ashibetsu 上芦別 30.5 *
T28 Nokanan 野花南 35.2 *
T29 Shimanoshita 島ノ下 49.1 - Furano
T30 Furano 富良野 54.6 + JR:  Furano Line
T31 Nunobe 布部 60.9 *
T32 Yamabe 山部 66.7 +
T33 Shimo-Kanayama 下金山 74.7 * Minamifurano, Sorachi
T34 Kanayama 金山 81.6 *
T35 Higashi-Shikagoe 東鹿越 94.8 *
T36 Ikutora 幾寅 98.8 +
T37 Ochiai 落合 108.2 *
Kami-Ochiai Junction 上落合(信) 112.2 -
K23 Shintoku 新得 136.3 + +  Sekishō Line Shintoku, Kamikawa
K24 Tokachi-Shimizu 十勝清水 145.4 * + Shimizu, Kamikawa
K25 Haobi 羽帯 152.9 - -
K26 Mikage 御影 155.9 - *
K27 Memuro 芽室 166.5 * + Memuro, Kasai
K28 Taisei 大成 168.6 - -
K29 Nishi-Obihiro 西帯広 173.4 - * Obihiro
K30 Hakurindai 柏林台 176.6 - -
K31 Obihiro 帯広 180.1 + +
K32 Satsunai 札内 184.9 - Makubetsu, Nakagawa
K33 Inashibetsu 稲士別 188.5 -
K34 Makubetsu 幕別 194.3 -
K35 Toshibetsu 利別 200.8 - Ikeda, Nakagawa
K36 Ikeda 池田 204.3 +
K37 Tōfutsu 十弗 212.8 - Toyokoro, Nakagawa
K38 Toyokoro 豊頃 218.2 -
K39 Shin-Yoshino 新吉野 225.3 - Urahoro, Tokachi
K40 Urahoro 浦幌 231.7 *
K41 Kami-Atsunai 上厚内 243.5 -
K42 Atsunai 厚内 250.1 -
K43 Chokubetsu 直別 257.3 - Kushiro
K44 Shakubetsu 尺別 261.3 -
K45 Onbetsu 音別 265.1 -
K46 Furuse 古瀬 274.8 - Shiranuka, Shiranuka
K47 Shiranuka 白糠 281.1 *
K48 Nishi-Shoro 西庶路 286.5 -
K49 Shoro 庶路 288.6 -
K50 Otanoshike 大楽毛 299.0 - Kushiro
K51 Shin-Otanoshike 新大楽毛 300.8 -
K52 Shin-Fuji 新富士 305.7 -
K53 Kushiro 釧路 308.4 + +
B54 Higashi-Kushiro 東釧路 311.3 *  Senmō Main Line
Musa 武佐 312.5 *
Beppo 別保 317.0 * Kushiro Town, Kushiro
Kami-Oboro 上尾幌 331.7 * Akkeshi, Akkeshi
Oboro 尾幌 340.9 -
Monshizu 門静 350.1 -
Akkeshi 厚岸 355.0 +
Itoizawa 糸魚沢 365.6 -
Chanai 茶内 375.2 + Hamanaka, Akkeshi
Hamanaka 浜中 382.2 +
Anebetsu 姉別 392.3 -
Attoko 厚床 398.9 + Nemuro
Hattaushi 初田牛 406.0 -
Bettoga 別当賀 414.5 -
Ochiishi 落石 424.8 *
Konbumori 昆布盛 428.8 -
Nishi-Wada 西和田 433.6 -
Hanasaki 花咲 438.2 -
Higashi-Nemuro 東根室 442.3 -
Nemuro 根室 443.8 +

History

The line was built as a link line between central and eastern Hokkaido, by Hokkaido Government Railway (北海道官設鉄道 Hokkaidō Kansetsu Tetsudō). The first section originally included as part of the Nemuro Line become classified as the Furano Line in 1913.

The first section of the current Nemuro Line was opened between Kushiro - Shiranuka in 1901. The line was extended westward, reaching Furano in 1907. In 1913 the Furano - Takikawa section opened, shortening the route by 53.5 km.

In 1911, 1st class sleeping accommodation was included on the Hakodate to Kushiro train, and a dining car was added from 1916.

The first section of the line east of Kushiro opened in 1917, reaching Nemuro in 1921.

In 1966, two major deviations opened, the first, east of Kanayama, associated with the construction of the Kanayama Dam, and the second between Ochiai and Shintoku, including the 5,790 m Shinkarikachi tunnel allowing the line to bypass the 1907 Karikachi tunnel and associated 1 in 40 (2.5%) grades.

In 1971, a refrigerated container train was introduced between Kushiro and Tokyo.

In 1981, the Sekishō Line opened between Shin-Yubari and Shintoku, becoming the main route between central and southeastern Hokkaido and shortening the distance for stations east of Shintoku to Sapporo by 43.4 km.

In 1990, a new tunnel and associated alignment opened near Atsunai, and a deviation near Shimanoshita associated with the construction of the Takisato Dam was opened in 1991.

Former connecting lines

Taushubetsu bridge on the former Tokachi Mitsuma line

Ashibetsu area

  • Ashibetsu station - The Mitsui Mining Co. opened a 10km line to Tamagawa in 1940/45. A 3 car DMU provided a passenger service 1958-72. The line closed in 1989.
  • Kamiashibetsu station -

The Mitsubishi Mining Co. opened an 8km line to Penke Sanko in 1949, and a 1km branch to the Yuya mine in 1954. Both closed with the mine in 1964.

A 762 mm (2'6") gauge logging tramway was operated from Kamiashibetsu commencing 1934. By 1954 it had a 31km 'main line' and 5 branches totalling 44km. The lines closed 1961 when log trucks replaced the tramway.

Shintoku area

Wagon used on the Kamishihoro line
  • Shintoku station - A private 54km line operated to Kamishihoro, where it connected to the JR Shihoro line (see below). Opened 1928/31, it closed beyond Urimaku in 1949. The remaining 29km section closed 1968. The Tokachi - Bandaibashi line (see below) crossed the line twice.
  • Tokachi station - A 29km 762mm line built to haul sugar beets operated to Bandaibashi opened between 1925 and 1928, with 4 branches totalling 28km. The lines closed in 1951.

Obihiro area

Former Chihoku line, 2006
  • Obihiro station -

The 78km Shihoro line to Tokachi Mitsuma opened in sections between 1925 and 1939. An 18km deviation built in association with the Nukabira Dam opened in 1955. The line closed in 1987.

The 84km Hiroo line opened between 1929 & 1932 and was closed in 1987. A proposal to extend the line to Samani and connect to the Hidaka Main Line did not eventuate.

A 4km private 1067mm (3'6") line connected a sugar beet factory to Obihiro. The sugar beets were transported to the factory by a 3 line 762mm gauge network totalling 59km, which operated 1924-77.

  • Ikeda station - The 140km Chihoku line was the original line to Abashiri and connected to the Sekihoku Main Line at Kitami, opening 1910/12. It was transferred to private operation in 1989, and closed 2006.

Shakubetsu - Higashi-Kushiro section

Shimokita Susumu station in winter
  • Shakubetsu station - The Mitsubishi Mining Co. opened an 11km 762mm gauge line to Sumiyama in 1920. The line was re-gauged to 1067mm in 1942 and closed with the mine in 1970.
  • Shiranuka station - A 25km line to Kamicharo opened in 1964, and was extended 8km to Shimokita Susumu in 1972. The line closed in 1983.
  • Shinfuji station - A 29km 762mm gauge horse-drawn tramway was opened to Nakasetsuri in 1929. A charcoal gas powered locomotive was introduced in 1941, and a 19km branch to Shinhororo opened in 1943. The lines closed in 1967/68.
  • Kushiro station - The Mitsubishi Mining Co. also operated a 44km line from Kushiro - Yubetsu Sumiyama, opened 1923/26 and closed with the mine in 1970. It also connected to the Nemuro line at Shinfuji, where a 2km line connecting to a wharf operated 1951-84, ownership of it transferring to the Kushiro Port Co in 1970.
  • Higashi Kushiro station - The Pacific Ocean Coal Co. opened a 6km line from a coal mine at Harutori to Irifune-cho wharf in 1926/27, with a 3km line connecting the mine to Higashi-Kushiro opening in 1928. Passenger services ceased in 1963, and the line was truncated 2km in 1966 when a new coal loading wharf opened. The Higashi-Kushiro - Harutori section closed in 1986, with the remaining 4km Taiheiyo line continuing to operate as the only remaining colliery line in Japan.

Hamanaka - Nemuro section

1963 railcar from the Shibetsu development lines
  • Hanamaka station - The Hanamanka Prefectural Government operated a 762mm gauge network of 3 lines totalling 27km opened between 1929 and 1932, closing 1972.
  • Attoko station - In 1925 a horse drawn 762mm tramway opened to Nakashibetsu, being replaced by a 1067mm line in 1933, which closed in 1989. It connected to a branch from Shibecha (on the Senmo Main Line) to Shibetsu which operated between 1936 and 1989, the two branches being known collectively as the Shibetsu Line. A total of 9 separate 762mm gauge development lines connected to stations long the Shibetsu Line were built between 1930 and 1963, the last closing in 1971.
  • Nemuro - A 15km 762mm gauge line operated to Habomai between 1929 and 1959 to transport kelp to the Nemuro port (located about 1km from the Nemuro JR station), being the most easterly railway in Japan. A proposed 7km extension to Cape Nosappu was not built.

See also

References

This article incorporates material from the corresponding page in the Japanese WorldHeritage

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