Akō Line

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       A   Akō Line
JRW-213 001 JPN.JPG
213 series EMU on an Akō Line local service at Osafune Station
Overview
Type Passenger/freight
System Urban Network (Aioi - Banshū-Akō)
Locale Hyogo Prefecture and Okayama Prefecture
Termini Aioi
Higashi-Okayama
Stations 19
Operation
Opening 1951
Owner JR West
Operator(s) JR West
JR Freight
Rolling stock 113 series EMU
115 series EMU
117 series EMU
213 series EMU
221 series EMU
223-1000 series EMU
223-2000 series EMU
223-6000 series EMU
225-0 series EMU
Technical
Line length 57.4 km (35.7 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC, overhead line
Operating speed 85 km/h (55 mph)

Akō Line (赤穂線 Akō-sen?) is a railway line owned by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) between Aioi, Hyōgo to Okayama, Okayama in Japan. A loop line off the Sanyō Main Line, the Akō Line commences at Aioi, is situated south of the main line approximately paralleling the Seto Inland Sea, and rejoins the main line at Higashi-Okayama.

The entire 57.4-kilometre (35.7 mi) line is single track. Only one train runs the entire length of the line, with service divided at Banshū-Akō, and no trains terminate at either of the official terminals. Trains from the east continue from Himeji on the Sanyō Main Line and terminate at Akō, while westbound services originating from Akō continue past Higashi-Okayama and continue on the Sanyō Main Line to Okayama and beyond. "Rapid" and "Special Rapid" trains from Kyoto and beyond make local stops between Aioi and Akō, and the segment of the line is part of JR West's Kinki region Urban Network.

Stations[edit]

Station Japanese Distance
(km)
Transfers Location
City Prefecture
Sanyō Main Line
Himeji 姫路 Sanyō Shinkansen, JR Kobe Line, Bantan Line, Kishin Line Himeji Hyōgo
Agaho 英賀保
Harima-Katsuhara はりま勝原
Aboshi 網干
Tatsuno 竜野 Tatsuno
Akō Line
Aioi 相生 0.0 Sanyō Shinkansen, Sanyō Main Line Aioi Hyōgo
Nishi-Aioi 西相生 3.0
Sakoshi 坂越 7.8 Ako
Banshū-Akō 播州赤穂 10.5
Tenwa 天和 14.5
Bizen-Fukukawa 備前福河 16.4
Sōgo 寒河 19.6 Bizen Okayama
Hinase 日生 22.1
Iri 伊里 27.7
Bizen-Katakami 備前片上 31.0
Nishi-Katakami 西片上 32.3
Inbe 伊部 34.5
Kagato 香登 38.5
Osafune 長船 42.3 Setouchi
Oku 邑久 45.9
Odomi 大富 48.0
Saidaiji 西大寺 51.2 Okayama
Ōdara 大多羅 54.1
Higashi-Okayama 東岡山 57.4
Sanyō Main Line
Takashima 高島 Okayama Okayama
Nishigawara 西川原
Okayama 岡山 Sanyō Shinkansen, Sanyō Main Line, Tsuyama Line, Seto Ohashi Line (Uno Line), Kibi Line
Okayama Electric Tramway Higashiyama Main Line

History[edit]

Opening ceremony for the Ako Railway at Banshu-Ako station, 14 April 1921
Dowa Mining Co. diesel rail car

The initial section between Aioi and Banshu-Ako opened in 1951, and the line was opened progressively, to Hinase in 1955, Inbe in 1958, and Higashi-Okayama in 1962. The Aioi - Banshu-Ako section was electrified in 1961, and the rest of the line in 1969.

CTC signalling was commissioned between Higashi-Okayama and Banshu-Ako in 1983.

Former connecting lines[edit]

  • Banshu-Ako Station: The Ako Railway operated a 13 km 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge line to Une on the Sanyo Main Line between 1921 and 1951.
  • Nishi-Katakami Station: The Dowa Mining Co. opened a 34 km line to Yanahara, to haul iron sulphide ore, between 1923 and 1931. The line also connected to Wake station on the Sanyo Main Line. Passenger services commenced in 1931, freight services ceased in 1988 and the line closed in 1991.

See also[edit]

Main line alternate routes

References[edit]