KiHa 100 DMU at Kesennuma Station, October 2006
|Line length||105.7 km (65.7 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
The Ōfunato Line (大船渡線 Ōfunato-sen?) is a local rail line in Iwate Prefecture, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It originally connected Ichinoseki Station in Ichinoseki to Sakari Station in Ōfunato, on the Tohoku coast.
The eastern section of the line was significantly damaged by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. In January 2012, services resumed on the western 62.0 km portion of the route between Ichinoseki and Kesennuma. The eastern section between Kesennuma and Sakari remains closed, and in February 2012, JR East officially proposed that this section of the line be scrapped and the right-of-way used as a bus rapid transit (BRT) route.
The Ishinoseki - Kesennuma section opened in stages between 1925 and 1929, with the Kesennuma - Sakari section opening between 1932 and 1935.
Freight services ceased in 1983/4.
Following the 2011 disaster, services resumed on the Ishinoseki - Kesennuma section on 1 April, but were suspended again between 7 - 18 April due to aftershocks.
The first section of the busway replacing the Kesennuma - Sakari section opened in March 2013.
Former connecting lines
- Sakari station - The Iwate Development Railway Co. started construction of a 6km line to Hikoroichi in 1941, but work was suspended as a result of the Pacific War. Work recommenced after the war and the line opened in 1950, and was extended 4km to Iwate-Ishibashi in 1960. A 2km freight-only line to Akasaki opened in 1957. The passenger service ceased in 1992, and the lines are now freight-only.
In April 2005, there were 27 services daily using this line (14 eastbound, 13 westbound).
Following the 2011 disaster, operations were reduced to ten eastbound local trains and one Super Dragon rapid service, with westbound services consisting of nine local trains and one rapid. In March 2013 the rapid services were withdrawn.
On 22 December 2012, a special Pokemon With You train began running on the line.
Stations in greyed out cells have been closed since the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
from previous station (km)
|Distance from Ichinoseki (km)||Super Dragon (Rapid)||Transfers||Location|
|Ichinoseki||一ノ関||-||0.0||●||Tōhoku Main Line, Tōhoku Shinkansen||Ichinoseki, Iwate|
|Kesennuma||気仙沼||6.7||62.0||●||Kesennuma Line||Kesennuma, Miyagi|
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
- 被災２路線、廃止しバス専用道提案へ ＪＲ東、岩手県に [JR East proposes to scrap two lines and convert to bus routes]. The Asahi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). Japan: The Asahi Shimbun Company. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
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