Jōban Line

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     Jōban Line
JR East E531.jpg
E531 series EMU between Minami-Kashiwa and Kita-Kogane stations
Overview
Type Heavy rail
Locale Tokyo, Chiba, Ibaraki, Fukushima, Miyagi prefectures
Termini Nippori
Iwanuma
Stations 85
Operation
Opening 1889
Owner JR East
Operator(s) JR East, JR Freight
Technical
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
Route map
JR Joban Line linemap.svg
(video) Riding in a Jōban Line train as another Jōban Line train passes in the other direction

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.

The name "Jōban" is dervied from the names of the former provinces of Hitachi (陸) and Iwaki (城), which the line connects to Tokyo.

The line is due to be extended to Tokyo Station via the Tōhoku Jūkan Line, currently under construction.

As of June 2013, 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 Hirono 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.[1][2][3] 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,[4] and plans to reconstruct the track and stations between Hamayoshida and Komagamine in new positions located farther inland, targeting completion by 2017.[5]

Basic data[edit]

  • 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)
  • Double/quadruple tracking:
    • Quadruple: Ayase – Toride
    • Double: Nippori – Ayase, Toride – Yotsukura, Hirono – Kido, Ōno – Futaba
  • Electrification:
    • 1,500 V DC: Nippori – Toride, Mikawashima – Sumidagawa – Minami-Senju, Mikawashima – Tabata
    • 20 kV AC, 50 Hz: Fujishiro – Iwanuma
    • Dead section: Toride – Fujishiro
  • Railway signalling:

Services[edit]

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.

Exceptions:

  • 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.

Station list[edit]

Legend
  • Trains stop at stations marked "●" and pass those marked "|".
  • Stations marked "∥" are double-tracked; those marked "◇" are single-tracked and allow trains to pass.
  •      sections closed since the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
Official line name Station Japanese Distance (km) Local Rapid Special Rapid Transfers Tracks Location Prefecture
Between
stations
Total (from Nippori) Jōban Kankō Other (medium
distance)
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)
Subway TokyoGinza.pngTokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-16), Subway TokyoHibiya.pngTokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-17)
Keisei Main Line (Keisei-Ueno)
Two Taitō Tokyo
Nippori 日暮里 2.2 0.0 Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Keisei Main Line
Nippori-Toneri Liner (01)
Arakawa
Jōban Line
Mikawashima 三河島 1.2 1.2  
Minami-Senju 南千住 2.2 3.4 Subway TokyoHibiya.pngTokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-20)
Tsukuba Express (04)
Kita-Senju 北千住 1.8 5.2 Subway TokyoChiyoda.pngTokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-18), Subway TokyoHibiya.pngTokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-21)
Tobu Skytree Line
Tsukuba Express (05)
Adachi
Ayase 綾瀬 2.5 7.7 Subway TokyoChiyoda.pngTokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-19, Kita-Ayase branch) Four
Kameari 亀有 2.2 9.9   Katsushika
Kanamachi 金町 1.9 11.8 Keisei Kanamachi Line
Matsudo 松戸 3.9 15.7 Shin-Keisei Line Matsudo Chiba
Kita-Matsudo 北松戸 2.1 17.8  
Mabashi 馬橋 1.3 19.1 Nagareyama Line
Shin-Matsudo 新松戸 1.6 20.7 Musashino Line
Nagareyama Line (Kōya)
Kita-Kogane 北小金 1.3 22.0  
Minami-Kashiwa 南柏 2.5 24.5   Kashiwa
Kashiwa 2.4 26.9 Tōbu: Noda Line
Kita-Kashiwa 北柏 2.3 29.2  
Abiko 我孫子 2.2 31.3 [* 2] Narita Line (Abiko branch) Abiko
Tennōdai 天王台 2.7 34.0  
Toride 取手 3.4 37.4 [* 3] Jōsō Line Toride Ibaraki
Fujishiro 藤代 6.0 43.4       Two
Sanuki 佐貫 2.1 45.5 Ryūgasaki Line Ryūgasaki
Ushiku 牛久 5.1 50.6   Ushiku
Hitachino-Ushiku ひたち野うしく 3.9 54.5  
Arakawaoki 荒川沖 2.7 57.2   Tsuchiura
Tsuchiura 土浦 6.6 63.8  
Kandatsu 神立 6.1 69.9    
Takahama 高浜 6.5 76.4   Ishioka
Ishioka 石岡 3.6 80.0  
Hatori 羽鳥 6.5 86.5   Omitama
Iwama 岩間 5.4 91.9   Kasama
Tomobe 友部 6.9 98.8 Mito Line (some trains through to Mito)
Uchihara 内原 4.7 103.5   Mito
Akatsuka 赤塚 5.8 109.3  
Kairakuen 偕楽園 4.1 113.4 [* 4]  
Mito 水戸 1.9 115.3 Suigun Line
Kashima Rinkai Railway Ōarai Kashima Line
Katsuta 勝田 5.8 121.1 Minato Line Hitachinaka
Sawa 佐和 4.2 125.3  
Tōkai 東海 4.7 130.0   Tōkai, Naka District
Ōmika 大甕 7.4 137.4   Hitachi
Hitachi-Taga 常陸多賀 4.6 142.0  
Hitachi 日立 4.9 146.9  
Ogitsu 小木津 5.5 152.4  
Jūō 十王 4.2 156.6  
Takahagi 高萩 5.9 162.5   Takahagi
Minami-Nakagō 南中郷 4.5 167.0   Kitaibaraki
Isohara 磯原 4.6 171.6  
Ōtsukō 大津港 7.1 178.7  
Nakoso 勿来 4.5 183.2   Iwaki Fukushima
Ueda 植田 4.6 187.8  
Izumi 7.2 195.0  
Yumoto 湯本 6.5 201.5  
Uchigō 内郷 3.5 205.0  
Iwaki いわき 4.4 209.4 Ban'etsu East Line
Kusano 草野 5.4 214.8  
Yotsukura 四ツ倉 4.4 219.2   v
Hisanohama 久ノ浜 4.8 224.0  
Suetsugi 末続 3.6 227.6  
Hirono 広野 4.8 232.4   ^ Hirono, Futaba District
Kido 木戸 5.4 237.8   v Naraha, Futaba District
Tatsuta 竜田 3.1 240.9  
Tomioka 富岡 6.9 247.8   Tomioka, Futaba District
Yonomori 夜ノ森 5.2 253.0  
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
Momouchi 桃内 4.9 273.5   Minamisōma
Odaka 小高 4.0 277.5  
Iwaki-Ōta 磐城太田 4.9 282.4  
Haranomachi 原ノ町 4.5 286.9  
Kashima 鹿島 7.5 294.4  
Nittaki 日立木 6.7 301.1   Sōma
Sōma 相馬 5.9 307.0  
Komagamine 駒ヶ嶺 4.4 311.4   Shinchi, Sōma District
Shinchi 新地 4.4 315.8  
Sakamoto 坂元 5.4 321.2   Yamamoto, Watari District Miyagi
Yamashita 山下 4.5 325.7  
Hamayoshida 浜吉田 3.9 329.6   Watari, Watari District
Watari 亘理 5.0 334.6  
Ōkuma 逢隈 3.2 337.8  
Iwanuma 岩沼 5.3 343.1 Tōhoku Main Line (for Fukushima) ^ Iwanuma
Tōhoku Main Line
Tatekoshi 館腰 3.7 346.8   Two Natori
Natori 名取 3.5 350.3 Sendai Airport Line
Minami-Sendai 南仙台 2.7 353.0   Taihaku-ku, Sendai
Taishidō 太子堂 2.2 355.2  
Nagamachi 長町 1.0 356.2 Nanboku Line
Sendai 仙台 4.5 360.7 Tōhoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Tōhoku Main Line (for Ichinoseki and Rifu), Senzan Line, Senseki Line
Nanboku Line
Aoba-ku, Sendai
  1. ^ All trains through to/from Yoyogi-Uehara; some trains continue through on the Odakyū Odawara Line to/from Hon-Atsugi and the Odakyu Tama Line to/from Karakida
  2. ^ Some rapid trains run between Ueno and Narita via Abiko
  3. ^ Only mornings and evenings between Abiko and Toride
  4. ^ Daytime Mito-bound trains stop here only during the Japanese plum blossom season

Rolling stock[edit]

Commuter stock[edit]

Outer suburban stock[edit]

Limited express stock[edit]

Past[edit]

History[edit]

  • 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 Odakyū 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.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ JR East press release: http://www.jrmito.com/press/111214/20111214_press03.pdf
  2. ^ Hongo, Jun, "A year on, Tohoku stuck in limbo", Japan Times, 11 March 2012, p. 1.
  3. ^ http://www.jrmito.com/eq/index.html
  4. ^ http://www.jreast.co.jp/pdf/damage03.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.jrmito.com/press/120927/20120927_press.pdf
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ Briginshaw, David (January 8, 2014). "JR East selects Thales to design first Japanese CBTC". hollandco.com. Holland. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 

External links[edit]