Hakodate Main Line

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Hakodate Main Line
Hakodate Line Near Asari.jpg
A local train running along the coast, near Asari Station in Otaru
Overview
Type Regional rail
Locale Hokkaido
Termini Hakodate
Asahikawa
Operation
Owner JR Hokkaido
Technical
Line length 423.1 km (262.9 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 20 kV AC
Operating speed 130 km/h (80 mph)
Route map
Route map
A Super Kamui limited express train

The Hakodate Main Line (函館本線 Hakodate-honsen?) is a railway line connecting the cities of Hakodate and Asahikawa via Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan. It is one of the trunk lines operated by the Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido). The Sawara line, a 35 km loop line from Onuma to Mori opened in 1945, is included as part of the Hakodate Main Line.

The Sapporo - Minami (translates as South) Otaru section was the first railway line opened in Hokkaido (including the Minami-Otaru - Temiya Line to the Otaru Port). The line was extended as the first to connect to Hakodate, though today all Sapporo - Hakodate direct passenger and freight services travel via the Chitose and Muroran lines until rejoining the Hakodate line at Oshamambe Station.

The Hokkaido Shinkansen route north of Shin-Hakodate approximately parallels the route of the Hakodate Main Line, with stations proposed to be built at Shin-Yakumo, Oshamambe, Kutchan, Shin-Otaru and Sapporo.

Train services[edit]

Rapid[edit]

Iris
Hakodate - Oshamambe
Niseko Liner
Rankoshi/Kutchan - Sapporo
Home Liner
Otaru/Teine - Sapporo
Ishikari Liner
Otaru - Ebetsu/Iwamizawa/Takikawa
Airport
Otaru/Hoshimi/Teine/Sapporo - Shiroishi - New Chitose Airport
Some Airport change into (or from) Super Kamui limited express services at Sapporo

Limited express[edit]

Super Hokuto, Hokuto
Hakodate - Oshamambe - Higashi-Muroran - (Shiroishi) - Sapporo
Super Kamui
Sapporo - Asahikawa
Super Sōya, Sarobetsu
Sapporo - Asahikawa - Wakkanai
Okhotsk
Sapporo - Asahikawa - Abashiri

Overnight express[edit]

Hokutosei, Cassiopeia
Ueno - (Goryōkaku) - Hakodate - Oshamambe - Higashi-Muroran - (Shiroishi) - Sapporo
Twilight Express
Osaka - (Goryōkaku) - Oshamambe - Higashi-Muroran - (Shiroishi) - Sapporo
Hamanasu
Aomori - (Goryōkaku) - Hakodate - Oshamambe - Higashi-Muroran - (Shiroishi) - Sapporo

Stations[edit]

R: Rapid
S: Sectional Rapid
Trains stop at stations marked "+", skip at stations marked "-".
Station Distance
(km)
R S Transfers Location
Main line
H75 Hakodate 函館 0.0 + Hakodate
H74 Goryōkaku 五稜郭 3.4 +
  • Esashi Line (Tsugaru-Kaikyō Line)
H73 Kikyō 桔梗 8.3 +
H72 Ōnakayama 大中山 10.4 + Nanae, Kameda
H71 Nanae 七飯 13.8 +
H70 Oshima-Ōno 渡島大野 17.9 - Hokuto
H69 Niyama 仁山 21.2 - Nanae, Kameda
H68 Ōnuma 大沼 27.0 -

 Hakodate Main Line (Sawara Line)

H67 Ōnuma-Kōen 大沼公園 28.0 +
H66 Akaigawa 赤井川 31.7 - Mori, Kayabe
H65 Komagatake 駒ヶ岳 36.5 -
H64 Higashiyama 東山 40.1 -
H63 Himekawa 姫川 44.2 -
H62 Mori 49.5 +

 Hakodate Main Line (Sawara Line)

H61 Katsuragawa 桂川 52.2 -
H60 Ishiya 石谷 56.1 -
H59 Hon-Ishikura 本石倉 60.0 -
H58 Ishikura 石倉 62.1 -
H57 Otoshibe 落部 66.1 + Yakumo, Futami
H56 Nodaoi 野田生 71.4 -
H55 Yamakoshi 山越 76.6 -
H54 Yakumo 八雲 81.1 +
H53 Washinosu 鷲ノ巣 84.2 -
H52 Yamasaki 山崎 88.3 +
H51 Kuroiwa 黒岩 94.4 +
H50 Kita-Toyotsu 北豊津 98.2 - Oshamambe, Yamakoshi
H49 Kunnui 国縫 102.8 +
H48 Nakanosawa 中ノ沢 107.7 +
H47 Oshamambe 長万部 112.3 +

 Muroran Main Line

S32 Futamata 二股 120.9
S31 Warabitai 蕨岱 126.9
S30 Kuromatsunai 黒松内 132.3 Kuromatsunai, Suttsu
S29 Neppu 熱郛 140.4
S28 Mena 目名 155.8 Rankoshi, Isoya
S27 Rankoshi 蘭越 163.4 +
S26 Konbu 昆布 170.3 +
S25 Niseko ニセコ 179.6 + Niseko, Abuta
S24 Hirafu 比羅夫 186.6 + Kutchan, Abuta
S23 Kutchan 倶知安 193.3 +
S22 Kozawa 小沢 203.6 + Kyōwa, Iwanai
S21 Ginzan 銀山 213.4 + Niki, Yoichi
S20 Shikaribetsu 然別 224.1 +
S19 Niki 仁木 228.2 +
S18 Yoichi 余市 232.6 + Yoichi, Yoichi
S17 Ranshima 蘭島 237.9 + Otaru
S16 Shioya 塩谷 244.8 +
S15 Otaru 小樽 252.5 + +
S14 Minami-Otaru 南小樽 254.1 + +
S13 Otaru-Chikkō 小樽築港 256.2 + +
S12 Asari 朝里 259.3 - +
S11 Zenibako 銭函 268.1 - +
S10 Hoshimi ほしみ 271.0 - + Teine-ku, Sapporo
S09 Hoshioki 星置 272.6 - +
S08 Inaho 稲穂 273.7 - +
S07 Teine 手稲 275.7 + +
S06 Inazumi-Kōen 稲積公園 277.0 - -
S05 Hassamu 発寒 279.2 - - Nishi-ku, Sapporo
S04 Hassamu-Chūō 発寒中央 281.0 - -
S03 Kotoni 琴似 282.5 + +
S02 Sōen 桑園 284.7 - - Chūō-ku, Sapporo
01 Sapporo 札幌 286.3 + + Kita-ku, Sapporo
H02 Naebo 苗穂 288.5 - -

 Chitose Line

Chūō, Sapporo
H03 Shiroishi 白石 292.1 - -

 Chitose Line

Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo
A04 Atsubetsu 厚別 296.5 - Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo
A05 Shinrin-Kōen 森林公園 298.5 -
A06 Ōasa 大麻 300.8 + Ebetsu
A07 Nopporo 野幌 304.2 +
A08 Takasago 高砂 305.5 -
A09 Ebetsu 江別 307.3 +
A10 Toyohoro 豊幌 313.5 +
A11 Horomui 幌向 316.7 + Iwamizawa
A12 Kami-Horomui 上幌向 322.6 +
A13 Iwamizawa 岩見沢 326.9 +

Muroran Main Line

A14 Minenobu 峰延 335.3 + Bibai
A15 Kōshunai 光珠内 339.8 +
A16 Bibai 美唄 343.7 +
A17 Chashinai 茶志内 348.1 +
A18 Naie 奈井江 354.3 + Naie, Sorachi
A19 Toyonuma 豊沼 359.0 + Sunagawa
A20 Sunagawa 砂川 362.2 +
A21 Takikawa 滝川 369.8 +

 Nemuro Main Line

Takikawa
A22 Ebeotsu 江部乙 378.2
A23 Moseushi 妹背牛 358.7 Moseushi, Uryū
A24 Fukagawa 深川 392.9

Rumoi Main Line

Fukagawa
A25 Osamunai 納内 400.3
A26 Inō 伊納 413.0 Asahikawa
A27 Chikabumi 近文 419.1
A28 Asahikawa 旭川 423.1
"Sawara branch line"
H68 Ōnuma 大沼 0.0

 Hakodate Main Line (Main Line)

Nanae, Kameda
N71 Ikedaen 池田園 3.4
N70 Nagareyama Onsen 流山温泉 5.6
N69 Chōshiguchi 銚子口 6.8
N68 Shikabe 鹿部 14.6 Shikabe, Kayabe
N67 Oshima-Mumajiri 渡島沼尻 20.0 Mori, Kayabe
N66 Oshima-Sawara 渡島砂原 25.3
N65 Kakarima 掛澗 29.0
N64 Oshironai 尾白内 31.9
N63 Higashi-Mori 東森 33.5
H62 Mori 35.3

 Hakodate Main Line (Main Line)

History[edit]

Construction of the line by the Japanese Government began with the 32 km Minami-Otaru - Sapporo section in 1880, with the 41 km Sapporo - Iwamizawa section opened in 1882 to provide a link from the significant coalmines near Iwamizawa to the Otaru Port.

The line was sold to the Hokkaido Coal Co in 1889, which extended the line 35 km from Iwamizawa to Sunagawa in 1891, and a further 61 km to Asahikawa in 1898.

The Japanese Government built the 224 km Hakodate - Shikaribetsu section, opened in 1902, with the remaining 28 km section to Otaru opening the following year.

In 1905 a 1.6km line was built from Otaru - Minami-Otaru to connect the Hokkaido Coal Co owned line to the Hakodate line, and the Government nationalised the Hokkaido Coal Co in 1906.

Doubling of the line between Minami-Otaru and Iwamizawa opened 1909-11, and was extended to Sunagawa 1924-26, to Takikawa in 1956 and to Asahikawa 1964-68. The Otaru - Minami-Otaru section was duplicated in 1965.

The line from Hakodate was duplicated for 8 km to Kikyo 1941-44, with the 9 km Ishikura - Nodaoi section double-tracked in 1945. The 5 km Kikyo - Nanae section was double-tracked in 1962, and the doubling effectively extended 13 km to Onuma in 1966 with the construction of a new alignment for northbound trains to avoid the 1 in 50 (2%) grades between Oshima-Ono and Onuma.

Doubling of the 41 km section between Nodaoi and Oshamambe (excluding two gaps totalling 8 km) was undertaken in sections between 1965 and 1984, with the 13 km Mori - Ishikura section doubled between 1974 and 1979. Although the Sawara Line provides an alternative route from Onuma - Mori, it is operated as a local line, with all express passenger and freight trains travelling via Onuma-Koen.

The Otaru - Sapporo - Takikawa section was electrified in 1968, and extended to Asahikawa the following year with the opening of the 4523m Kamuikotan tunnel and associated deviation.

The 3 km Hakodate - Goryokaku section was electrified in conjunction with the Seikan Tunnel project in 1988. The 15 km Goryokaku - Oshima-Ono section is currently being electrified in conjunction with the construction of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, with the latter station to be renamed Shin-Hakodate.

Former connecting lines[edit]

Hakodate-Otaru section[edit]

  • Two private railways near Hakodate were affected by the opening of the Sawara branch line between Onuma and Mori in 1945 -

The 17km Onuma Koen - Shikabe line opened in 1929, and had the misfortune to be affected by a volcanic eruption just six months later, which closed it for two months. It closed in 1945 when the Shikabe station on the Sawara line opened, but as the new station was some distance from the township, locals agitated for re-establishment of services to the original station. This occurred in 1948 when the last 11km of the line from Choshiguchi was reopened by the local government, but competition from bus services resulted in the line being permanently closed in 1952.

A line was built from Mori 9.4km south to Sunahara in 1928. The first 3.1km of that line was rebuilt as part of the Sawara line, and the remaining 6.3km closed when the parallel JR line opened.

  • Nakanosawa station - The 48km line to Setana opened in 1929/32, closing in 1987.
  • Kuromatsunai station - The local government built the line to the port of Suttsu (17km) in 1920. It introduced the first diesel locomotive used in Hokkaido in 1952, and was closed as a result of flood damage in 1968.
  • Kutchan station - In 1919 a 13km line opened to Kyogoku, where it connected to the private Japan Steel Works 7km line to a mine at Wakikata. The JR line was extended 11km to Kimobetsu in 1928, and a further 60km to Date Monbetsu on the Muroran Main Line in 1940/41. The Wakikata branch closed in 1970 when the mine closed, and the JR line closed in 1986.
  • Ozawa station - A 762mm (2'6") gauge horse drawn tramway opened to the port at Iwanai in 1905. In 1912 it was replaced by a 1067mm (3'6") gauge line, which closed in 1985. Near Iwanai the first tramway in Hokkaido, and possibly Japan, opened in 1869 as a 2.8km gravity line linking a coal mine to the port of Kayanuma. It used timber rails and a ~1050mm gauge, with brakemen riding the loaded wagons, and horses and cattle hauling the empty wagon back to the mine. In 1881 the line was rebuilt to 762mm gauge with iron rails, and steam locomotives were introduced in 1927. In 1931 the tramway was replaced by a 10km cableway linking the mine to Iwanai port, which in 1946 was replaced by a 6.3km 1067mm gauge line. A bridge on the new line collapsed during a typhoon in 1962, and the line was closed, with the coal mine closing two years later.
  • Yoichi station - The local government operated a 2.8km line to the waterfront from 1933-43.

Sapporo area[edit]

  • Teine station - An 8km 762mm gauge line to Ban'naguro operated 1922-40. A proposed 10km extension to the Ishikari river was not built.
  • Sapporo station - A horse drawn 762mm gauge 11km line operated north west to Kawabata, opening 1911/17 and crossing the Sassho Line near Shinkotoni. Petrol locomotives were introduced in 1922. The line was replaced by buses in 1943.
  • Shiraishi station - An electrified (1.5Kv DC) private 27km line opened to Jozankei in 1918 for passenger service. In 1939 two branch lines totalling 8.3km opened to link a silver/zinc/lead mine with a refinery. The ore traffic was lost to road transport in 1963, and the passenger service was replaced by buses in 1969.
  • Nopporo station - The private 57km Yubari line was operated by the Hokkaido Colliery & Steamship Co. The initial 34km line from Kuriyama on the Muroran Main Line (including a bridge over that line) to Yubari opened in 1926, including a switch-back (or zig-zag) section at Nishikisawa. A 23 km extension opened from Kuriyama - Nopporo in 1930. At its peak in 1965 the line carried annual tonnage of 1.5M tonnes of coal and another 0.5M tonnes of general freight, as well as 2M passengers. The entire line closed in 1975 after the closure of the mine in 1972. A 4.7km branch to the Tsunoda mine operated 1927-70.
  • Ebetsu station - An 11km 762mm gauge line operated to Tobetsu, on the Sassho Line, although at each terminus the 762mm gauge stations were on the opposite banks of the Ishikarigawa and Tobetsugawa rivers (respectively) to the JR stations.

Iwamizawa-Asahikawa section[edit]

Utashinai station, 1986
Bridge built on the uncompleted Shumarinai to Chikubetsu line
  • Iwamizawa station - in 1882 the Hokkaido government opened an 11km line to Mikasa. In 1888 a 7km extension to Ikushunbetsu and ~3km branch line from Mikasa to the Horonai coal mine opened, and the line was sold to the Hokkiaod Coal Co. in 1889. The line was nationalised in 1906, and closed in 1987.
  • Bibai station -

The 3km branch to Minami-Bibai opened in 1931 to service a coal mine, closing in 1973. Passenger services operated 1944-71.

The Mitsubishi Mining Co. (MMC) opened an 8km line to Sumiyama mine in 1914, extending the line 3 km to Tokiwadai in 1924. The line closed when the mine closed in 1972. The MMC also operated a 2km line from Chashinai station to a coal mine 1952-67.

  • Naie station - The Mitsui Mining Co. operated a 5km line to Higashi Naie 1949/51 to 1968.
  • Sunagawa station -

The Mitsui Mining Co. also opened the 7.3km branch to Kamisunagawa in 1918. The line was nationalised in 1926, with passenger services introduced the same year. The line closed in 1994.

A 15km branch to Utashinai, opened by the Hokkaido Coal Co. in 1891, nationalised in 1906 and closed in 1988.

  • Fukagawa station - The first section of the Shinmei line to Nayoro on the Soya Line opened in 1924, opening to Nayoro in 1941 and closing in 1995. A 51.2km line was proposed from Shumarinai on that line to Chikubetsu on the Hoboro line north of Rumoi with construction commencing in 1959. A substantial steel truss bridge was constructed before work was abandoned in 1962.

Accidents[edit]

In August 2013, three cars of a 20-car freight train derailed on the line near Yakumo after striking a two-meter piece of wood that obstructed the tracks. Although there were no injuries, the line was temporarily closed, impacting rail service to and from Hakodate Station.[1]

References[edit]

This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia

  1. ^ "JR函館線で貨物列車脱線 帰省の足に影響、けが人なし". 共同通信. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.