KiHa 189 series DMU on a Hamakaze limited express service
|Rolling stock||103 series EMU, 221 series EMU, 223-6000 series EMU, KiHa 40/41 DMU, KiHa 189 series DMU|
|Line length||65.7 km (40.8 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC, overhead lines (Himeji–Teramae)|
|Operating speed||95 km/h (60 mph) (Himeji–Fukusaki, Teramae–Wadayama)
110 km/h (70 mph) (Fukusaki–Teramae)
The Bantan Line (播但線 Bantan-sen?) is a railway line that runs between Himeji and Wadayama station in Asago City, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The line is operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and serves as a connector between the Sanyo Main Line and the Sanin Main Line. The name refers to the ancient provinces of Harima (播磨) and Tajima (但馬), which the line connects.
The line is 65.7 kilometres (40.8 mi) long, with 18 stations.
Local train operation is divided into the electrified section between Himeji and Teramae, and the non-electrified section between Teramae and Wadayama. All local trains makes every stop on the line, and no local train runs the entire length of the line.
- 103 series EMUs (since 1998)
- 221 series EMUs (since 2003, sometimes substituted by 223-6000 series)
- KiHa 40 series DMUs
- KiHa 189 series DMUs (Hamakaze limited express, since 2010)
- 113 series EMUs (from 2006 until 2007)
- KiHa 10 series DMUs
- KiHa 58 series DMUs (Tajima express)
- KiHa 80 series DMUs (Hamakaze limited express, until 1982)
- KiHa 181 series DMUs (Hamakaze limited express, from 1982 until 2010)
- 50 series coaches hauled by JNR Class DD51 or JNR Class DE10 locomotive (until 1992)
The 29.6km section from Himeji north to Teramae was constructed by the private Bantan Railway (播但鉄道 Bantan Tetsudō?) company and opened in 1894, with the 6.3km section to Hase opening in January the following year, and the 7.7km section to Ikuno three months later. The 8.3km section to Nii opened in 1901. The Bantan Railway was purchased by the Sanyō Railway (山陽鉄道 Sanyō Tetsudō?) in 1903, which extended the line 13.8km to Wadayama, opening in April 1906, 8 months before the company was nationalised.
The line was named the Bantan Line in anticipation of the Sanyo Railway company being purchased by the Japanese government under the Railway Nationalisation Act of 1906.
The Bantan Railway company also built a ~15.7km line from Himeji east to Shikama-Kou (near Kakogawa), opened in 1895 and closed in 1986.
Bantan Railway (north of Himeji)
- July 26, 1894 Himeji - Teramae opens.
- January 15, 1895 Teramae - Hase opens.
- April 17, 1895 Hase - Ikuno opens.
- August 19, 1896 Nibuno Station opens.
- February 20, 1898 Kyoguchi Station opens.
- March 28, 1898 Mizoguchi Station opens.
- August 29, 1901 Ikuno - Nii opens.
- June 1, 1903 Sanyō Railway purchased Bantan Railway.
- April 1, 1906 Nii - Wadayama opens.
- October 12, 1906 Line renamed Bantan Line.
- December 1, 1906 Sanyō Railway company nationalised.
- October 15, 1925 Tofu-Machi Station closed.
- August 10, 1934 Aokura Station opens.
- November 20, 1935 Tohori Station opens.
- October 15, 1951 Niino Station opens.
- April 1, 1987 Japanese National Railways (JNR) was privatised and regionalised, with the line transferring to the West Japan Railway Company (JR West).
- March 14, 1998 Himeji - Teramae electrified.
Bantan Railway (east of Himeji)
- April 17, 1895 Himeji - Shikama Station (later Shikama-Kou Station) opened.
- November 20, 1897 Tenjin Station (later Shikama Station) opened.
- September 21, 1915 Shikama Station was renamed Shikama-Kou Station, and Tenjin Station was renamed Shikama Station.
- November 1, 1986 Himeji - Shikama-Kou closed.