Iyo Railway

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610 series trainset
Type MoHa 2100 tramcar
Matsuyamashi Station, built with Iyotetsu Takashimaya Department Store

The Iyo Railway (伊予鉄道 Iyo Tetsudō?) is a transportation company in Matsuyama, Japan. The company or its lines are commonly known as Iyotetsu (伊予鉄?). The private company operates railway, tram, and bus lines, and is a core company of Iyotetsu Group, which also operates other business such as department stores and travel agencies.


The company was founded on September 14, 1887, and its railway line, the first one in Shikoku, was opened on October 28, 1888. "Not only was it the first railway in Shikoku but it was also the third private railway in Japan."[1] The line was electrified in 1911.[2]

The company currently operates tram and conventional railway lines in 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge, although in the past it did use narrow 762 mm gauge and standard gauge (1,435 mm gauge).

From August 2005, its lines introduced the IC e-card, a smart card ticketing system.


Railway lines[edit]

Iyotetsu operates the following train lines:

Takahama Line (高浜線): Takahama — Matsuyamashi
Yokogawara Line (横河原線): Matsuyamashi — Yokogawara
Gunchū Line (郡中線): Matsuyamashi — Gunchūkō

Takahama Line and Ōtemachi Line are known to have one of the few surviving level junctions crossing each other.

Tram lines[edit]

Iyotetsu operates the Matsuyama City Lines (松山市内線 Matsuyama Shinai-sen?), a system of five interconnected tram (市内電車 shinai-densha?) lines.

Development of the tram and train network in Matsuyama (incl. JR Shikoku Yosan Line and Matsuyamajō Ropeway)
  • Lines:, there are officially five lines.

Diagram of the tram network, illustrating the various routes

Loop Line (Route 1; 環状線): Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Komachi — Kami-Ichiman — Minami-Horibata — Matsuyamashi-Ekimae (Only operates in this direction.)
Loop Line (Route 2; 環状線): Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Komachi — Minami-Horibata — Matsuyamashi-Ekimae (Only operates in this direction.)
Shieki Line (Route 3; 市駅線): Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen
JR Line (Route 5; JR線): Matsuyama-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen
Honmachi Line (Route 6; 本町線): Honmachi-Rokuchōme — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen

Bus lines[edit]

The company operates highway buses linking Matsuyama and the major cities of Japan, including Tokyo, Ōsaka, Fukuyama, Takamatsu, Tokushima, Kōchi and others. It also operates a local network in and around the city.

Rolling stock[edit]


MoHa 2000 tramcar
  • MoHa 50 (since 1951)
  • MoHa 2000 (since 1964)
  • MoHa 2100 (since 2002)


  • 700 series (since 1987, converted from former Keio 5000 series trains)
  • 610 series (since 1995)
  • 3000 series (since 2009, converted from former Keio 3000 series trains)

"Botchan Ressha"[edit]

Botchan Ressha turning at Matsuyama City Station

Iyo Railway also operates the Botchan Ressha, diesel-powered replicas of the original Iyotetsu locomotives, well-known from Natsume Sōseki's famous 1906 novel, Botchan. The current Botchan Ressha, operating on two of the city lines since 2001, reproduces the atmosphere of early train travel in Matsuyama.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yuichiro Kishi, "Railway Operators in Japan 13: Shikoku Region", Japan Railway & Transport Review 39 (2004): 44.
  2. ^ Brown, Colin (2007). "Tramway Opening and Closure Dates". Bullet-In Issue 61, p.25

External links[edit]