|Locale||Tokyo, Chiba, Ibaraki, Fukushima, Miyagi prefectures|
|Operator(s)||JR East, JR Freight|
|Track length||368.0 km (228.7 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC & 20 kV AC 50 Hz overhead catenary|
The Jōban Line (常磐線 Jōban-sen?) is a railway line in Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It begins at Nippori Station in Taitō, Tokyo and follows the Pacific coasts of Chiba, Ibaraki, and Fukushima Prefectures before the line officially ends at Iwanuma Station in Iwanuma, Miyagi. However, most trains originate at Ueno rather than Nippori; likewise, many trains continue past Iwanuma onto the Tōhoku Main Line tracks to Sendai.
As of August 2014[update], two segments of the Joban Line are closed in the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The segment between Tatsuta and Haranomachi, which runs through the exclusion zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, is closed indefinitely, while the segment between Hamayoshida and Sōma is under reconstruction and served by an interim bus service. JR East is currently inspecting the segments between Hirono and Tomioka and between Namie and Haranomachi in preparation for the surrounding areas being cleared for re-settlement, and plans to reconstruct the track and stations between Hamayoshida and Komagamine in new positions located farther inland, targeting completion by 2017. As of January 31, 2015, sections between Tatsuta and Haranomachi are replaced by a bus service.
- Operators, distances:
- East Japan Railway Company (JR East) (Services and tracks)
- Nippori – Haranomachi – Iwanuma: 343.1 km (213.2 mi)
- Mikawashima – Sumidagawa – Minami-Senju (Sumidagawa freight branch): 5.7 km (3.5 mi)
- Mikawashima – Tabata (Tabata freight branch): 1.6 km (1.0 mi)
- Japan Freight Railway Company (JR Freight) (Services)
- Mikawashima – Haranomachi – Iwanuma: 341.9 km (212.4 mi)
- Mikawashima – Sumidagawa – Minami-Senju (Sumidagawa freight branch): 5.7 km (3.5 mi)
- Mikawashima – Tabata (Tabata freight branch): 1.6 km (1.0 mi)
- East Japan Railway Company (JR East) (Services and tracks)
- Double/quadruple tracking:
- Quadruple: Ayase – Toride
- Double: Nippori – Ayase, Toride – Yotsukura, Hirono – Kido, Ōno – Futaba
- 1,500 V DC: Nippori – Toride, Mikawashima – Sumidagawa – Minami-Senju, Mikawashima – Tabata
- 20 kV AC, 50 Hz: Fujishiro – Iwanuma
- The dead section is located between Toride and Fujishiro
- Railway signalling:
The Jōban Line connects Tokyo and the Tōhoku region. After the opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen in 1982, the Jōban Line was split into two parts at Iwaki: south of Iwaki is double track, and north of Iwaki is single track.
From 2007, until the Fukushima disaster in 2011, the Jōban Line was typically split into four parts for operational purposes.
- Ueno – Toride: local and rapid services
- Toride – Iwaki: suburban and intercity service beyond Toride
- Iwaki – Haranomachi: few trains travelling beyond Iwaki from either direction
- Haranomachi – Sendai: Greater Sendai area.
- Selected Super Hitachi limited express services which operated between Ueno and Sendai/Haranomachi.
- Before 2007, there were local trains which connected Iwaki and Ueno/Sendai directly.
- Trains stop at stations marked "●" and pass those marked "｜".
- Stations marked "∥" are double-tracked; those marked "◇" are single-tracked and allow trains to pass.
- Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster sections closed since the March 2011
|Official line name||Station||Japanese||Distance (km)||Local||Rapid||Special Rapid||Transfers||Tracks||Location||Prefecture|
|Total (from Nippori)||Jōban Kankō||Other (medium
|Tōhoku Main Line||Ueno||上野||–||2.2||to/from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line[* 1]||●||●||●||Tōhoku Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Jōetsu Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen, Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Takasaki Line, Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line)
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-16), Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-17)
Keisei Main Line (Keisei-Ueno)
|Nippori||日暮里||2.2||0.0||●||●||●||Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Keisei Main Line
Nippori-Toneri Liner (01)
|Minami-Senju||南千住||2.2||3.4||●||●||｜||Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-20)
Tsukuba Express (04)
|Kita-Senju||北千住||1.8||5.2||●||●||●||●||Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-18), Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-21)
Tobu Skytree Line
Tsukuba Express (05)
|Ayase||綾瀬||2.5||7.7||●||｜||｜||｜||Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-19, Kita-Ayase branch)||Four|
|Kanamachi||金町||1.9||11.8||●||｜||｜||｜||Keisei Kanamachi Line|
Nagareyama Line (Kōya)
|Kashiwa||柏||2.4||26.9||●||●||●||●||Tobu: Urban Park Line|
|Abiko||我孫子||2.2||31.3||●||●||●[* 2]||｜||Narita Line (Abiko Branch Line through service for Chiba)||Abiko|
|Toride||取手||3.4||37.4||○[* 3]||●||●||●||Jōsō Line||Toride||Ibaraki|
|Tomobe||友部||6.9||98.8||●||Mito Line (some trains through to Mito)|
Kashima Rinkai Railway Ōarai Kashima Line
|Tōkai||東海||4.7||130.0||●||Tōkai, Naka District|
|Iwaki||いわき||4.4||209.4||●||Banetsu East Line||∥|
|Hirono||広野||4.8||232.4||●||^||Hirono, Futaba District|
|Kido||木戸||5.4||237.8||●||v||Naraha, Futaba District|
|Tomioka||富岡||6.9||247.8||●||◇||Tomioka, Futaba District|
|Ōno||大野||4.9||257.9||●||^||Ōkuma, Futaba District|
|Futaba||双葉||5.8||263.7||●||v||Futaba, Futaba District|
|Namie||浪江||4.9||268.6||●||◇||Namie, Futaba District|
|Komagamine||駒ヶ嶺||4.4||311.4||●||◇||Shinchi, Sōma District|
|Sakamoto||坂元||5.4||321.2||●||◇||Yamamoto, Watari District||Miyagi|
|Hamayoshida||浜吉田||3.9||329.6||●||◇||Watari, Watari District|
|Iwanuma||岩沼||5.3||343.1||●||Tōhoku Main Line (for Fukushima)||^||Iwanuma|
|Tōhoku Main Line|
|Natori||名取||3.5||350.3||●||Sendai Airport Line|
|Sendai||仙台||4.5||360.7||●||Tōhoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Tōhoku Main Line (for Ichinoseki and Rifu), Senzan Line, Senseki Line
- All trains through to/from Yoyogi-Uehara; some trains continue through on the Odakyu Odawara Line to/from Hon-Atsugi and the Odakyu Tama Line to/from Karakida
- Some rapid trains run between Ueno and Narita via Abiko
- Only mornings and evenings between Abiko and Toride
- Daytime Mito-bound trains stop here only during the Japanese plum blossom season
- 209–1000 series 10-car EMUs (x2) (from December 1999) (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line through-running services, emerald green stripe)
- E231 series 10+5-car EMUs (emerald green/light green stripe) (from March 2002)
- E501 series 10+5-car EMUs (emerald green/white stripe) (from December 1995)
- E233-2000 series 10-car EMUs (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line through-running services, emerald green stripe) (from September 2009)
Outer suburban stock
- 415–1500 series 4-car EMUs (blue stripe) (from 1986)
- E531 series 10+5-car EMUs (blue stripe) (from July 2005)
Limited express stock
- 651 series 7+4-car EMUs (x9) (Super Hitachi services) (from March 1989)
- E657 series 10-car EMUs (Super Hitachi services) (from 17 March 2012)
- 80 series DMUs (Hitachi services) (from October 1969 until October 1972)
- 401 series EMUs (cream with blue stripe) (from June 1961 until 1987)
- 485 series EMUs (Hitachi services) (from October 1972 until December 1998)
- 103 series 10+5-car EMUs (emerald green livery) (from December 1967 until March 2006)
- 403 series/415 series 7+4+4-car EMUs (cream with blue stripe) (from 1965 until March 2007)
- 207–900 series 10-car EMU (x1) (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line through-running services, emerald green stripe) (from 1986 until December 2009)
- 203 series 10-car EMUs (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line through-running services, emerald green stripe) (from 1982 until 26 September 2011)
- E653 series 7+4-car EMUs (Fresh Hitachi services) (from October 1997 until March 2013)
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
The Mito Railway Co. opened the line in sections between 1889 and 1905. The dates of the individual section openings are given below. After the line was nationalised in 1906, a program of double-tracking commenced in 1910, with the 219 km section between Nippori and Yotsukura completed in 1925. The Hirono - Kido and Ono - Futaba sections were double-tracked in 1976.
The first section electrified was Nippori - Matsudo (at 1,500 V DC) in 1936, and extended to Toride in 1949. The Toride - Kusano section was electrified at 20 kV AC between 1961 and 1963, and extended to Iwanumi in 1967.
The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami caused severe disruption to the line, with services to Iwaki disrupted for a month, services to Yotsukura disrupted for two months, and services to Hirono disrupted for six months. Services on the isolated Haranomachi - Soma section were restored 9 months after the disaster, and services from Iwanuma to Hamayoshida took two years to be restored. Services on the Hirono - Tatsuta section returned on 1 June 2014. The Hamayoshida - Soma section is being rebuilt at a higher, tsumani-proof level, and is scheduled to be reopened in March 2017. It is not known when the Haranomachi - Tatsuta section will be reopened, as it is largely within the exclusion zone declared following the meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power-station, with the Ono - Futaba section of the line within approximately 2 km of the epicentre of the meltdown.
- January 16, 1889: Mito Railway (Mito — Oyama) begins operation.
- November 26, 1890: Mito Railway Freight Line (Mito — Nakagawa) begins operation.
- March 1, 1892: Mito Railway becomes part of the Nippon Railway.
- November 4, 1895: Nippon Railway Tsuchiura Line (Tsuchiura — Tomobe) begins operation.
- December 1, 1895: Hatori Station opens.
- December 25, 1896: Tsuchiura Line (Tabata — Tsuchiura), Sumidagawa Line (Tabata — Sumidagawa) begin operation.
- February 25, 1897: Iwaki Line (Mito — Taira [present-day Iwaki]) begins operation.
- May 17, 1897: Tsuchiura Line Kameari Station opens.
- August 29, 1897: Iwaki Line (Taira — Kunohama) begins operation.
- November 10, 1897: Iwaki Line (Nakamura [present-day Sōma] — Iwanuma) begins operation.
- December 27, 1897: Tsuchiura Line Kanamachi Station opens.
- January 1898: Kitasenju — Sumidagawa connection opens.
- April 1, 1898: Ishigami Station opens.
- April 3, 1898: Iwaki Line (Haranomachi — Nakamura) begins operation.
- May 11, 1898: Iwaki Line (Odaka — Haranomachi) begins operation.
- August 6, 1898: Tsuchiura Line Mabashi Station opens.
- August 23, 1898: Iwaki Line (Kunohama — Odaka) begins operation, connecting Tabata and Iwanuma. Tsuchiura Line and Mito Line (Tomobe — Mito) and Iwaki Line are collectively renamed the Kaigan Line.
- December 1, 1898: Taka Station is renamed Iwaki-Ōta Station.
- August 4, 1900: Sanuki Station opens.
- November 22, 1904: Ōno Station opens.
- April 1, 1905: With the completion of Mikawashima — Nippori connection, the present-day route is finished. Nippori and Mikawashima Stations open. Service from Ueno to Tabata and back is abolished.
- November 1, 1906: Nippon Railway is nationalized.
- March 25, 1909: Tatsuta Station opens.
- October 12, 1909: Kaigan Line split and renamed: Jōban Line (Nippori — Iwanuma) and Sumidagawa Line (Tabata — Sumidagawa). Jōban Line also handles freight services.
- February 16, 1910: Minami-Nakagō Station opens.
- March 18, 1910: Katsuta and Ogitsu Stations open.
- May 1, 1911: Kita-Kogane Station opens.
- May 5, 1911: Sumidagawa Line is merged into the Jōban Line.
- June 1, 1915: Yoshida Station is renamed Hamayoshida Station.
- March 15, 1921: Yonomori Station opens.
- August 15, 1922: Nittaki Station opens.
- February 2, 1925: Kōen-Shimo Station opens, but only operates during the ume blossom-viewing season.
- October 28, 1925: Nippori — Taira connection finished (joined with northern tracks in 1965).
- December 11, 1936: Nippori — Matsudo tracks are electrified.
- October 1, 1939: Shimomago Station is renamed Hitachi-Taga Station.
- October 20, 1939: Sukegawa Station is renamed Hitachi Station.
- February 15, 1944: Momouchi signal box is built between Namie and Odaka.
- February 20, 1944: Suetsugi signal box is built between Kunohama and Hirono.
- June 1, 1947: Suetsugi signal box becomes Suetsugi Station.
- August 10, 1948: Momouchi signal box becomes Momouchi Station.
- May 10, 1949: Shimoyama Station opens.
- June 1, 1949: Matsudo — Toride tracks are electrified.
- July 6, 1949: In what is known as the Shimoyama incident, JNR president at the time, Shimoyama Sadanori, is mysteriously found dead between Kita-Senju and Ayase Stations.
- May 10, 1950: Sekimoto Station is renamed Ōtsukō Station.
- May 1, 1952: Kita-Matsudo Station opens.
- July 10, 1952: Komagamine Station opens.
- October 1, 1953: Minami-Kashiwa Station opens.
- December 20, 1956: Tsuzura Station is renamed Uchigō Station.
- April 1, 1957: Ishigami Station is renamed Tōkai Station.
- June 1, 1958: Semi-express Tokiwa begins operation.
- October 10, 1958: The Limited express Hatsukari begins operation (Ueno — Aomori). It stops at Ueno, Mito, Taira, and Sendai Stations when it runs on the Jōban Line tracks.
- October 1, 1959: Nagatsuka Station is renamed Futaba Station.
- October 1, 1960: Kanayama signal box is built between Tatsuta and Tomioka. Ōkuma signal box is built between Watari and Iwanuma.
- March 20, 1961: Nakamura Station is renamed Sōma Station.
- June 1, 1961: Toride — Katsuta tracks are electrified.
- May 3, 1962: The Mikawashima Rail Crash occurs between Mikawashima and Minami-Senju when an Iwaki-bound passenger train crashes into the wreckage of a crash between an Ueno-bound passenger train and an Ueno-bound freight train. 160 people die and 296 are injured in the incident.
- October 1, 1962: Katsuta — Takahagi tracks are electrified.
- May 1, 1963: Takahagi — Taira tracks are electrified.
- April 20, 1963: Takahira signal box is built between Haranomachi and Kashima.
- September 30, 1963: Taira — Kusano tracks are electrified.
- March 5, 1966: Tokiwa semi-express becomes an express.
- February 1, 1967: Kōen-Shimo Station is renamed Kairakuen Station.
- August 20, 1967: With the electrification of the Kusano — Iwanuma tracks, the entire Jōban Line becomes electrified.
- October 1, 1968: Hatsukari express is rerouted to the Tōhoku Main Line.
- October 1, 1969: Kairakuen Station becomes a temporary station. Seasonal Hitachi express begins operation.
- April 10, 1970: Freight line Kita-Kashiwa Station opens.
- October 1, 1970: Hitachi operates as a regular express.
- April 20, 1971: Construction of the Kita-Senju — Abiko Jōban Local Line is finished and runs through service to the Eidan Subway Chiyoda Line (present-day Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line). (The Chiyoda Line only ran as far as Kasumigaseki at the time). Tennōdai Station opens and Kita-Kashiwa Station is open to passengers.
- April 1, 1973: Shin-Matsudo Station opens.
- March 31, 1978: With the extension of its tracks to Yoyogi-Uehara Station, the Chiyoda Line shares tracks with the Odakyu Odawara Line up to Hon-Atsugi Station. 203 series trains are introduced to run through service to the Chiyoda Line.
- November 15, 1982: Jōban Local Line extended from Abiko — Toride.
- February 1, 1984: Mito — Nakagawa freight line is closed.
- March 14, 1985: Bampaku-Chūō Station is temporarily opened (until September 16) for the Tsukuba Expo '85. The Uchigō-System-ku is abolished. The Tokiwa express is discontinued.
- April 1, 1987: With the split of JNR, the Jōban Line becomes part of JR East.
- August 2, 1988: Ōkuma signal box becomes Ōkuma Station.
- March 11, 1989: 651 series Super Hitachi limited-express EMUs enter service.
- February 1, 1993: Kanayama signal box is abolished.
- February 10, 1993: Takahira signal box is abolished.
- December 3, 1994: Taira Station is renamed Iwaki Station.
- December 1, 1995: E501 series begins service between Ueno and Tsuchiura.
- October 1, 1997: E653 series Fresh Hitachi limited-express EMUs enter service.
- March 14, 1998: Hitachino-Ushiku Station opens where Bampaku-Chūō Station used to stand.
- December 7, 1998: 485 series Hitachi limited-express EMUs are retired.
- March 3, 2002: New E231 series EMUs introduced on commuter services.
- March 13, 2004: Kawajiri Station is renamed Jūō Station. Regular trains begin making stops at Mikawashima and Minami-Senju Stations throughout the day.
- October 16, 2004: Medium-distance trains are called rapid trains for the section between Ueno and Toride.
- July 9, 2005: New E531 series dual-voltage EMUs enter service on line. Special Rapid Service begins between Ueno — Tsuchiura. Commuter Rapid service from Ueno ends. One Commuter Rapid service still runs from Mito to Ueno.
- March 17, 2006: All Commuter Rapid Service ends.
- May 15, 2006: Women-only cars introduced on Jōban Local Line trains [7:10 – 9:30 AM measured by the time the trains pass through Ayase station] from Toride running through to Yoyogi-Uehara on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.
- January 6, 2007: Double-deck Green cars are phased in on E531 series EMUs running between Ueno and Takahagi. No Green car supplement required until start of new timetable on 2007-03-18.
- February 21, 2007: E501 series EMUs removed from Ueno – Tsuchiura services.
- March 18, 2007: Full Green car service commences on E531 series EMUs running between Ueno and Takahagi; E501 series EMUs reassigned to Mito Line and Jōban services north of Tsuchiura become 10-car or 5-car formations only
- March 15, 2008: Suica use extended to stations between Hitachi and Takahagi
- March 14, 2009: Suica use extended to Takahagi – Iwaki and Haranomachi – Yamashita sections
- September 9, 2009: E233 series 10-car EMUs introduced on Chiyoda Line through services
- March 11, 2011: During the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a 4-car train on the line was picked up off the tracks by the tsunami surge and overturned at Shinchi and Tomioka stations. All passengers from the train were evacuated before the tsunami came ashore. Tomioka was affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and was prohibited entrance without legal permission.
- January 8, 2014: Thales is selected to design Japan's first communications-based train control system (CBTC) on the line.
- May 2014: Test-running commenced on the section of the line between Hirono and Tatsuta stations closed since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, with the intention of resuming passenger services on this section from 1 June.
- June 1, 2014: Train operations were resumed Sunday on a section of the Joban Line that had been suspended due to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear crisis.
Former connecting lines
- Tsuchiura station -
The Tsukura Railway Co. opened a 40 km line to Iwase on the Mito Line in 1918. Freight services ceased in 1981, and the line closed in 1987.
A 5 km line to Ami, electrified at 600 VDC, was operated by the Southern Electric Railway Co. between 1926/28 and 1938.
- Mito station -
The Mito Seashore Electric Railway Co. opened a line eventually extending 21 km between Kamimito and Nakaminato-Cho, electrified at 600 VDC, between 1922 and 1930. It closed in sections between 1953 and 1966. At Onuki station (12 km from Mito) on this line the Kashima Light Railway Co. operated a 17 km 762mm gauge line between 1926 and 1930 to Hokota (see next entry below).
The Mito Electric Railway Co. operated an 11 km line to Okunotani (not electrified, despite the company name) between 1929 and 1936.
- Ishioka station - The Kashima Sangu Railway Co. opened a 27 km line to Hokota between 1924 and 1929. Freight services ceased in 2002 and the line closed in 2007.
- Akatsuka station - A 25 km line to Gozenyama was opened by the Ibaraki Railway Co. in 1926/27. In 1944/45 the first 4 km of the line to Minami Hakamatsuka was electrified. The line closed in sections between 1965 and 1971.
- Tokai station - The Ibaraki Prefectural Government operated a 4 km 762mm (2'6") gauge line to Muramutsu between 1926 and 1933.
- Omika station - An 11 km line to Johoku Ota (now Hitachi-Ota on the Suigun Line) was opened by the Johoku Electric Railway in 1928/29. In 1944 the company merged with the Hitachi Electric Railway, and a 7 km line to Akukawa was opened in 1947. Both lines were electrified at 600 VDC from opening. CTC signalling was commissioned in 1969, and in 1971 the lines became the first electric railway in Japan converted to one-person operation. Both lines closed in 2005.
- Izumi station - The Onahama Horse tram opened a 762mm gauge line 5 km to its namesake town in 1907, and extended the line a further 5 km to Ena in 1916. The Onahama - Ena section closed in 1936, the company renamed itself the Onahama Port Railway in 1939, and converted the line to 1067mm gauge in 1941. The Ena Railway Co. rebuilt the Onahama - Ena section as 1067mm gauge in 1953. In 1965 a typhoon caused the collapse of a retaining wall, and the Onahama - Ena section formally closed in 1967. The passenger service on the Izumi - Onahama section ceased in 1972, the line is now freight-only operated by the Fukushima Rinkai Railway.
- Yumoto station -
The 10 km 762mm gauge Iwaki Coalmine Railway operated to Onahama between 1905 and 1944.
A 6 km 762mm gauge line to Nagahashi was operated by the Iwaki City Council between 1914 and 1929.
- Uchigo station - The Furukawa Co. built a 7 km 762mm gauge line to the Kita-Yoshima coal mine in 1905. In 1908 the line was rebuilt to 1067mm gauge and shortened by 1 km. The mine and line closed in 1969.
- Iwaki station - The Yoshima and Akai local railways connected here, details of these lines are not currently available.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
- JR East press release: http://www.jrmito.com/press/111214/20111214_press03.pdf
- Hongo, Jun, "A year on, Tohoku stuck in limbo", Japan Times, 11 March 2012, p. 1.
- 203系が営業運転から離脱 [203 series withdrawn from revenue service]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
- Briginshaw, David (January 8, 2014). "JR East selects Thales to design first Japanese CBTC". hollandco.com. Holland. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- ＪＲ常磐線、広野―竜田で試運転を開始 [Test-running starts on JR Joban Line between Hirono and Tatsuta]. Asahi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). Japan: The Asahi Shimbun Company. 2014-05-11. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- "Train services resume in evacuation zone". The Japan news. Japan: The Yomiuri Shimbun Company. 2014-06-01. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jōban Line.|
- Stations of the Jōban Line (JR East) (Japanese)