Chūō Main Line
|Chūō Main Line|
|Locale||Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Aichi prefectures|
|Operator(s)||JR East, JR Central|
|Line length||424.6 km (263.8 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC overhead catenary|
|Operating speed||130 km/h (80 mph)|
The Chūō Main Line (中央本線 Chūō-honsen?), commonly called the Chūō Line, is one of the major trunk railway lines in Japan. It connects Tokyo and Nagoya, although it is the slowest direct railway connection between the two cities; the coastal Tōkaidō Main Line is slightly faster, and the Tōkaidō Shinkansen is the fastest rail link between the cities.
The eastern portion, the Chūō East Line (中央東線 Chūō-tōsen?), is operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), while the western portion, the Chūō West Line (中央西線 Chūō-saisen?), is operated by the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central). The dividing point between the two companies is Shiojiri Station, where express trains from both operators continue to the Shinonoi Line towards the cities of Matsumoto and Nagano. Compared to the huge urban areas at either end of the Chūō Line, its central portion is very lightly traveled; the Shiojiri-Nakatsugawa corridor is only served by twice-hourly local and hourly limited express trains.
The Chūō Main Line passes through the mountainous center of Honshū. Its highest point (near Fujimi Station) is about 900 meters above sea level and much of the line has a gradient of 25 per mil (2.5% or 1 in 40). Along the Chūō East Line section, peaks of the Akaishi and Kiso as well as Mount Yatsugatake can be seen from trains. The Chūō West Line parallels the old Nakasendō highway (famous for the preserved post towns of Tsumago-juku and Magome-juku) and the steep Kiso Valley.
- 1 Routes
- 2 Stations and services
- 3 Rolling stock
- 4 History
- 5 References
- 6 External links
- Entire Route (Tokyo - Nagoya including branch): 424.6 km
- East Line (Tokyo - Shiojiri): 222.1 km
- East Line - Tatsuno branch line (Okaya - Tatsuno - Shiojiri): 27.7 km
- West Line (Shiojiri - Nagoya): 174.8 km
- Shiojiri - Kanayama: 171.5 km
- Kanayama - Nagoya: 3.3 km (alongside Tōkaidō Main Line)
Stations and services
This section lists all stations on the Chūō Main Line and generally explains regional services on the line. In addition, there are limited express services connecting major cities along the line, namely Azusa, Super Azusa, Kaiji, Hamakaiji, Narita Express and Shinano. For details of the limited express trains, see the relevant articles.
Tokyo - Mitaka
The section between Tokyo and Mitaka is grade-separated, with no level crossings. Between Ochanomizu and Mitaka, the Chūō Main Line has four tracks; two of them are local tracks (緩行線 kankō-sen?) with platforms at every station; the other two are rapid tracks (快速線 kaisoku-sen?) with some stations without platforms. The local tracks are used by the main line local trains (operated only in early morning and late night) and the Chūō-Sōbu Line local trains, while the rapid tracks carry rapid service and express trains. The Tokyo-Mitaka portion is a vital cross-city rail link, and also the city's best-known suicide location due to the high speed and cramped schedule of the trains.
The commuter services on the rapid tracks are collectively called the Chūō Rapid Line (中央快速線 Chūō-kaisoku-sen?) or the Chūō Line (Rapid) (中央線快速 Chūō-sen-kaisoku?) in comparison with the Chūō Line (Local) (中央線各停 Chūō-sen-kakutei?) or the Chūō-Sōbu Line on the local tracks. The former is usually referred to simply as the Chūō Line and the latter the Sōbu Line. Separate groups of trainsets are used for these two groups of services: cars with an orange belt for the rapid service trains and cars with a yellow belt for the local service trains, with the exception of early morning and late night local service trains which use cars with an orange belt. Signs at stations also use these colors to indicate the services.
This section is located entirely within Tokyo.
Legends for the table
- Local trains:
- S: Chūō-Sōbu Line local trains
- L: Local trains from/to Tokyo operating during early morning and late night hours using rapid train cars
- T: Local trains through to Tōzai Line
- Rapid trains (Chūō Rapid Line):
- Trains pass stations marked with a vertical bar.
(See legends above)
- 1: Tōzai Line through trains stop at the Tōzai Line (Tokyo Metro) section of Iidabashi Station. They run on the Tōzai Line instead of the Chūō Line east of Nakano.
- 2: Chūō Special Rapid service down trains started from Shinjuku don't stop Nakano.
- 3: Rapid trains pass these stations on weekends.
Mitaka - Takao
The four-track section ends at Mitaka. Currently, construction is underway between Mitaka and Tachikawa to elevate the tracks and eliminate level crossings; this section of the line was notorious for its level crossings which can be shut for upwards of an hour during rush hour. Plans have been proposed to add another two tracks as far as Tachikawa, but were not included in the track elevation, which was completed between 2008-2011, with further modifications in 2012.
This section is also all in Tokyo. For legends on train types, see the preceding section.
|Musashi-Sakai||25.7||S||L||R|||||||||||Seibu Tamagawa Line||Musashino|
|Takao||53.1||L||R||C||S||T||Keiō Takao Line|
Takao - Shiojiri
Most of the rapid service trains from Tokyo terminate at Takao where the line exits the large urban area of Tokyo. The section between Takao and Ōtsuki still carries some commuter trains as well as long distance local trains and Limited Express trains. The Kaiji limited express terminates at Kōfu, the capital of Yamanashi Prefecture, while the Azusa and Super Azusa continue beyond Shiojiri to Matsumoto via the Shinonoi Line.
Okaya – Shiojiri
The Okaya-Shiojiri branch is an old route of the Chūō Main Line. It carries a small number of shuttle trains and trains from/to the Iida Line, which branches off at Tatsuno.
|Okaya||210.4||Chūō Line (for Kami-Suwa, Midoriko)||Okaya||Nagano|
Prior to the opening of the new route between Okaya and Shiojiri, there was a junction (Higashi-Shiojiri Junction (東塩尻信号場?)) between Ono and Shiojiri stations. It had a reversing layout. The signal station was closed on October 12, 1983.
Shiojiri - Nakatsugawa
Shiojiri is the dividing point of the East Line and the West Line; no train continues from one to the other. The Shinano limited express is the main service for the rural Shiojiri-Nakatsugawa section.
|Nakatsugawa||317.0||Chūō Line (for Tajimi, Nagoya)|
Nakatsugawa - Nagoya
Local and rapid service trains run on the line from Nakatsugawa to Nagoya. This section carries urban traffic for the Greater Nagoya Area.
- R: Rapid
- CL: Central Liner
- HL: Home Liner (Only some Home Liner trains stop at stations marked with an asterisk.)
|Ena||328.6||R||CL||HL||Akechi Railroad Akechi Line||Ena|
JR Freight Nagoyaminato Branch
Signals and junctions
- Fumonji Junction (普門寺信号場 Fumonji Shingōjō?) is a junction between Chino and Kami-Suwa stations in Suwa, Nagano. It entered into use on September 2, 1970.
- Sannō Junction (山王信号場 Sannō Shingōjō?) is a junction that diverts freight traffic from the Chūō Main Line to the Tōkaidō Line freight branch between Kanayama and Nagoya stations in Nagoya. It entered into use on October 10, 1962.
Chūō East Line (JR East)
New E233 series trains entered service on Tokyo-area commuter services from December 26, 2006. These trains are a development of the E231 series used on other commuter lines in the Tokyo area, and replaced the aging 201 series rolling stock introduced on the line in 1981.
- Chūō Rapid Line
- Chūō-Sōbu Line
- Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line
- Local trains
- Limited Express
- Seasonal services
Chūō West Line (JR Central)
- Local Trains
- Limited Express
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2014)|
The Kinoe Takeshi Railway Co. opened the initial section of the Chūō Line from Shinjuku Station to Tachikawa Station in 1889. The company then extended the line both westward and eastward (towards Tokyo) until it was nationalised in 1906. The Japanese Government Railways (JGR) then continued to extend the line, reaching Shiojiri the same year, and Tokyo (at the Shoheibashi station) in 1908. The JGR also built the line from Nagoya, the first section opening in 1900, with the lines connecting in 1911. The Table below gives the section opening dates.
In 1904, the section between Iidamachi Station (formerly located between Suidōbashi Station and Iidabashi Station) and Nakano Station was the first urban electric railway in Japan using 600 V DC. Electrification was extended in 1919 and 1922, was increased to 1,200 V DC when extended to Tokyo in 1927, boosted again to 1,500 V DC in 1929, and reached Kofu in 1931. Electrification from the Nagano end was commissioned in sections from 1966, and the entire line was electrified by 1973.
The initial section double-tracked was from Shinjuku to Nakano in 1906, extending to Asakawa by 1939. Double-tracking from Nagano commenced in 1962, with 85% of the line double-tracked when work ceased in 1983.
CTC signalling was commissioned between Shiojiri - Nakatsu between 1973 and 1974, and extended to Nagoya in 1992.
(See note below)
- The section between Okaya Station and Shiojiri Station is the new route that replaced the old route opened on June 11, 1906 by JGR.
- Station names in parentheses are original names.
- Stations marked † are now closed.
- Prior to the connection of the East Line and the West Line in 1911, the section between Shiojiri Station and Miyanokoshi Station belonged to the East Line.
Former connecting lines
- Sakashita Station: The 11km 762mm gauge Sakagawa line was opened to Maruno by the Hisaka River Railway Co. in 1926. A passenger service was operated 8 km to Okuya. The Forest Service opened a 9 km line connecting at Maruno the same year, and a 2km branch from Okuya that operated from 1933 until 1958. In 1944 the Forest Service took over the Sakagawa line, operating it until 1961, when the entire 20 km line closed.
- Nakatsugawa Sstation: The Kitaena Railway Co. operated the 23 km Enaden line to Tsukechi, electrified at 600 V DC, from 1924 until 1978. At Tsukechi, it transshipped timber from a 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge forest railway with an 18 km "main line" and a 14 km and two 5 km branch lines operated from 1932 until 1959.
On September 12, 1997, a Super Azusa limited express bound for Matsumoto collided with a 201 series local train that failed to stop at a red signal while passing through Ōtsuki Station.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
- "ＪＲ東日本 富士山観光見込み、中央線特急に新型車両" [JR East to introduce new trains on Chuo Line limited express services, eying Mt Fuji tourism]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Japan: Sports Nippon Newspapers. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.