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Narita Line

Narita Line
211-3000 series EMU on a Narita Line service, October 2006
Type Heavy rail
Locale Chiba Prefecture
Opened 1897
Owner JR East
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead
Route map

The Narita Line (成田線 Narita-sen) is the name for a combination of three railway lines located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

The main line connects Sakura Station and Matsugishi Station (as an alternate route to the Sōbu Main Line), and is sometimes referred to as the Samatsu Line (佐松線 Samatsu-sen). A branch line from Abiko Station to Narita Station is often called the Abiko Line (我孫子線 Abiko-sen), and a second branch, known as the Airport Line (空港線 Kūkō-sen) connects Narita to Narita Airport Station. The first two lines are owned and operated by JR East; the Airport Line is owned by a separate company, Narita Airport Rapid Railway, which allows JR East and Keisei Railway to use the line for passenger services.


  • Stations 1
    • Main line 1.1
    • Abiko branch line 1.2
    • Airport branch line 1.3
  • Services 2
    • Main line and Airport branch line 2.1
    • Abiko branch line 2.2
  • Rolling stock 3
    • Past 3.1
  • History 4
    • Former connecting lines 4.1
  • Accidents 5
  • References 6


Main line

Name Japanese Distance (km) Stops Transfers Location
(including Airport Narita)
Commuter Rapid
(through service to Sobu Main Line)
Town/city Prefecture
Sakura 佐倉 0.0

(from/to Tokyo)

(from/to Tokyo)
Sōbu Main Line (through service from Chiba, Tokyo, and Yokosuka Line (Limited Express and Rapid only) Sakura Chiba
Shisui 酒々井 6.4
Narita 成田 13.1
Keisei Main Line, Keisei Higashi-Narita Line (Keisei Narita Station) Narita
Kuzumi 久住 20.0 (Airport Narita runs through from/to Narita Airport via Airport branch line) (terminus)
Namegawa 滑河 25.5
Shimōsa-Kōzaki 下総神崎 31.6 Kozaki
Ōto 大戸 36.1 Katori
Sawara 佐原 40.0 Kashima Line
Katori 香取 43.6 Kashima Line
Suigo 水郷 47.5
Omigawa 小見川 52.7
Sasagawa 笹川 57.7 Tonosho
Shimōsa-Tachibana 下総橘 62.9
Shimōsa-Toyosato 下総豊里 66.2 Chōshi
Shiishiba 椎柴 71.0
Matsugishi 松岸 75.4 Sōbu Main Line
Chōshi 銚子 78.6 Chōshi Electric Railway Line

Abiko branch line

Narita Station, May 2005
Name Japanese Distance
Transfers Location
Town/city Prefecture
Abiko 我孫子 0.0 Jōban Line
(through service to Ueno Station, as rapid)
Abiko Chiba
Higashi-Abiko 東我孫子 3.4
Kohoku 湖北 6.3
Araki 新木 8.9
Fusa 布佐 12.1
Kioroshi 木下 14.0 Inzai
Kobayashi 小林 18.3
Ajiki 安食 23.2 Sakae
Shimōsa-Manzaki 下総松崎 27.3 Narita
Narita 成田 32.9 Narita Line (Main line, Airport branch line)
Keisei Lines (Keisei-Narita, as above)

Airport branch line

The Airport branch line (left) running alongside the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge Keisei Sky Access Line (right), July 2010
Name Japanese Distance
(Airport Narita)
Transfers Location
Narita 成田 0.0
Narita Line (Main Line, Abiko branch line)
Keisei Lines (Keisei-Narita, as above)
Narita, Chiba
Airport Terminal 2 空港第2ビル 9.8
Keisei Main Line
Narita Airport 成田空港 10.8
Keisei Main Line


Main line and Airport branch line

Narita Express trains travel on the Narita Line but stop only at Airport Terminal 2 and Narita Airport stations, except during morning and evening rush hours when some trains stop at Narita Station.

Ayame limited express services run between Tokyo and Chōshi, or Kashima-Jingū on the Kashima Line. They stop at Sakura, Narita, Namegawa, Sawara, and all stations past Sawara as local trains.

Rapid commuter trains run between Tokyo and Narita Airport, stopping at all stations between Tsuga and Narita Airport.

Abiko branch line

Rapid service trains on the Abiko branch line stop at all stations.

Rolling stock


  • 103 series EMUs (Abiko branch line services until March 2006)
  • 113 series EMUs (until September 2011)
  • 183 series EMUs (Ayame limited express services)
  • 253 series EMUs (Narita Express limited express services until June 2010)


The Sakura - Narita - Namegawa section of the line was opened on 19 January 1897, by Sobu Railway Co., extended to Sawara the following year. The Narita - Abiko branch opened in 1901. The company was nationalised in 1920, and the Sawara - Matsugishi section opened between 1931 and 1933.

The Sakura - Narita section was electrified (at 1,500 V DC overhead) in 1968, with automatic signalling commissioned at the same time. CTC signalling was commissioned between Narita and Katori in 1970, and the Abiko branch was electrified from 1 October 1973.[2] The Natira - Matsugishi section was electrified in 1974, and freight services ceased between 1984 and 1986.

The Sakura - Narita section was duplicated in 1986, and the Airport branch opened in 1991 as an electrified, CTC-signalled line.

Former connecting lines

  • Narita station -

The Narita Electric Railway Co. operated a 5km 1372mm gauge line electrified at 600 VDC from Fudoson (adjacent to the Narita temple) to Sogo between 1910 and 1944 that connected at this station.

In 1911 the Narita Railway Co. opened a 21km, 600mm (~1'11.5") gauge line to Tako. The line closed in 1918. In 1917 the company opened a 14km, 600mm gauge line from Sanrizuka (9km from Narita) to Yachimata on the Sobu Main Line. Between 1926 and 1928 the Narita Railway Co. reopened the Tako line, converted it to 1067mm gauge, and extended it 9km to Youkaichiba, also on the Sobu Main Line. The line to Yachimata was also converted to 1067mm gauge in 1928, and closed in 1940. The Tako line closed in 1944.


Derailed wagons near Namegawa Station, March 2011

In the early hours of 10 March 2011, a freight train carrying ethylene oxide derailed and overturned on the Narita Line near Namegawa Station.[3]


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

  1. ^ "10/21, 房総211系, 営業運転開始" [Boso 211 series enter service].  
  2. ^ Segawa, Yutaka (October 1973). 成田線・東金線ならびに関西本線の電化開業について [Electrification of Narita, Togane, and Kansai Main lines]. The Railway Pictorial (in Japanese) (Japan: Denkisha Kenkyūkai) (284): p.11–13. 
  3. ^ 貨物列車:JR成田線滑河駅近くで横転 けが人いない模様 [Freight train overturns on JR Narita Line near Namegawa Station]. (in Japanese). Japan: The Mainichi Newspapers. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 

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