Hokuetsu Express Hokuhoku Line
|Line length||59.5 km (37.0 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC overhead catenary|
|Operating speed||160 km/h (100 mph)|
The Hokuhoku Line (ほくほく線 Hokuhoku-sen ) is a Japanese railway line in Niigata Prefecture, between Muikamachi in Minamiuonuma and Saigata in Jōetsu. This is the only railway line Hokuetsu Express (北越急行 Hokuetsu Kyūkō ) operates. Construction began in 1968 was begun by the Japanese National Railways (JNR), and was finally completed as a third sector line in 1997.
Unlike most other third sector company lines, the line is steadily making profits. This is because the shortest rail link between Kantō and Hokuriku is to use Jōetsu Shinkansen, stop at Echigo-Yuzawa, and transfer to the Hakutaka express service on the Hokuhoku Line. However, most of these users are expected to use the Hokuriku Shinkansen when it is extended to Kanazawa in 2014. The maximum line speed of 160 km/h (100 mph) is the fastest non shinkansen JR service in the country. Keisei also operates Skyliner services to Narita Airport at 160 km/h.
There are three passing loops on the Hokuhoku Line. Each has one bi-directional through road with straight track to allow full line speed.
Between Uonumakyūryō and Misashima in Tōkamachi, Niigata. It is in Akakura tunnel.
Between Tōkamachi and Matsudai in Tōkamachi, Niigata. It is in Yakushitōge tunnel.
Between Matsudai and Hokuhoku-Ōshima in Tōkamachi, Niigata. It is in Nabetaniyama tunnel.
The Hokuhoku line is entirely in Niigata Prefecture.
- Stopping patterns:
- ● Stop
- ∥: Double-track section
- ◇: Passing track in single-track section
- ｜: Single-track section
- ∨: Double-track section ends
- ∧: Double-track section begins
|Line name||Station||Japanese||Distance from
|Echigo-Yuzawa||越後湯沢||17.6||●||Jōetsu Shinkansen, Jōetsu Line (for Takasaki, Gala-Yuzawa)||∥||Yuzawa, Minamiuonuma District|
|Muikamachi||六日町||0.0||●||Jōetsu Line (for Miyauchi)||∨|
|Saigata||犀潟||59.5||●||Shinetsu Main Line (for Niigata)||∧|
|Shinetsu Main Line|
|Naoetsu||直江津||66.6||●||Shinetsu Main Line (for Nagano)
Hokuriku Main Line
- Not served by Hokuhoku Line services.
- Open during the winter skiing season only.
- Some services do not stop.