|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2012)|
|Line length||43.7 km (27.2 mi)|
|No. of tracks||1|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
The Gantoku Line (岩徳線 Gantoku-sen?) is a 43.7 km (27.2 mi) railway line operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) in western Japan, connecting Iwakuni Station in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, and Kushigahama Station in Shūnan, Yamaguchi. The line was originally built as a more direct route between its termini that the original Sanyo Main Line (see History section below) and the Sanyō Shinkansen is more closely aligned to this line than the Sanyō Main Line in this section.
|Station name||Japanese||Distance (km)||Transfers||Location|
|Iwakuni||岩国||0.0||Sanyō Main Line||Iwakuni|
|Kawanishi||川西||5.6||Nishikigawa Seiryū Line|
|Kushigahama||櫛ヶ浜||43.7||Sanyō Main Line (toward Yanai)||Shūnan|
|Tokuyama||徳山||47.1||Sanyō Shinkansen, Sanyō Main Line (toward Hōfu and Shin-Yamaguchi)|
Morigahara Junction (森ヶ原信号場 Morigahara Shingōjō?) between Kawanishi and Hashirano Stations is the point where the Nishikigawa Seiryū Line diverges from the Gantoku Line. Between this junction and Kawanishi Station, the two lines share the same track.
The line was originally built to shorten the Sanyō Main Line along the old San'yōdō. The 3.7km Iwakuni - Marifu (now Nishi-Iwakuni) section opened in 1929, and the 3.9km Kushigahama - Suo-Hanaoka section opened in 1932. The remaining 36km section, including the 3149m Kinmeiji tunnel (and 6 others) opened in 1934, at which time the line became part of the Sanyō Main Line, at that time being the only remaining single line section. Plans to duplicate the section were reconsidered following the difficulty that had been encountered in building the line, especially the geological conditions encountered during tunnel excavation works.
In 1944 the original Sanyō alignment via Yanai was duplicated and reinstated as the Sanyō Main Line, at which time this line became formally known as the Gantoku Line.
Freight services ceased in 1974, and CTC signalling was commissioned on the entire line in 1982.
Former connecting lines
Iwakuni station - The Iwakuni Electric Railway Co. opened a 6km line to Shinmachi, electrified at 600 VDC, between 1909 and 1912. The line closed in 1929 when the parallel Gantoku Line opened.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
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