Katamachi Line

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  H   Katamachi Line
(Gakkentoshi Line)
JRW series207 Gakken.jpg
207 series EMU on a Local service
Overview
Type Heavy rail
System Urban Network
Locale Osaka Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture
Termini Kizu
Kyōbashi
Stations 24
Operation
Opening 1895
Owner JR West
Operator(s) JR West
JR Freight
Rolling stock 207 series EMU
321 series EMU
Technical
Line length 55.4 km (34.4 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC, overhead line
Operating speed 110 km/h (68 mph)

The Katamachi Line (片町線 Katamachi-sen?), officially nicknamed the Gakkentoshi Line (学研都市線 Gakkentoshi-sen?), is a commuter rail line and service in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area of Japan, owned and operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West). The line runs between Kizu Station in Kyoto Prefecture and Kyōbashi Station in Osaka.

The common name "Gakkentoshi Line", literally "Research City Line", comes from the Kansai Science City, which is located along the line around the border of Osaka and Nara prefectures.

Basic data[edit]

Route and operation[edit]

The line is connected via the JR Tōzai Line in downtown Osaka, at Amagasaki, to the Tōkaidō Main Line (JR Kobe Line) and Fukuchiyama Line (JR Takarazuka Line). This link enables trains operated from Nara to the west, as Kobe, Himeji, and Sanda.

Rapid services of several types of stops, with no surcharge, are also provided. Abbreviations are tentative for this article.

Local (普通 Futsū?) (Lo)
Operated all day, most trains between Matsuiyamate and Nishi-Akashi on Sanyō Main (JR Kobe) Line. Some in busy hours to Fukuchiyama Line (JR Takarazuka Line), some terminate at Kyōbashi.
Regional Rapid (区間快速 Kukan Kaisoku?) (RR)
Operated in early morning, late night, and busy hours only. Some from/to Nara, most from/to Dōshishamae or Kyōtanabe. Through to Nishiakashi or Shin-Sanda.
Rapid (快速 Kaisoku?) (Ra)
Mostly through to Shin-Sanda or Sasayamaguchi on Fukuchiyama (JR Takarazuka) Line. One per 15 minutes per direction.
Direct Rapid (直通快速 Chokutsū Kaisoku?) (DR)
Through trains from Osaka Higashi Line, only between Hanaten and Kyōbashi in this line. Four trains to Amagasaki from Nara in the morning, 4 vice versa in the evening.

Stations[edit]

Station Stops Location
Kizu RR Ra    Kizugawa Kyoto
Nishi-Kizu RR Ra   
Hōsono RR Ra    Seika, Sōraku
Shimokoma RR Ra   
JR Miyamaki RR Ra    Kyōtanabe
Dōshisha-mae RR Ra   
Kyōtanabe RR Ra   
Ōsumi RR Ra   
Matsuiyamate RR Ra   
Nagao RR Ra    Hirakata Osaka
Fujisaka RR      
Tsuda RR      
Kawachi-Iwafune RR Ra    Katano
Hoshida RR Ra   
Higashi-Neyagawa RR       Neyagawa
Shinobugaoka RR       Shijōnawate
Shijōnawate RR Ra    Daitō
Nozaki  
Suminodō RR Ra   
Kōnoikeshinden   Higashiosaka
Tokuan  
Hanaten RR Ra DR Tsurumi, Osaka
Shigino   Jōtō, Osaka
Kyōbashi RR Ra DR

Rolling stock[edit]

All trains are based at Aboshi Depot.

Former[edit]

History[edit]

The line was originally built and operated by the Naniwa Railway (浪速鉄道 Naniwa Tetsudō?) between Katamachi and Shijōnawate in 1895. Two years later, the Kansai Railway bought the line in order to have its own trunk line to Osaka from Nagoya, together with constructing by itself between Shijōnawate and Kizu. Katamachi was inextendably narrow, thus Amijima terminus was made. But Kansai Railway bought the Osaka Railway (I, ja) line from Nara via Ōji to Minatomachi (present JR Namba) in downtown Osaka, shifted the main line from ex-Naniwa Railway line. Afterwards, the subject line has been a branch of the railway network of Osaka.

Though in 1932 the section between Katamachi and Shijōnawate became the first electrified then Japan Governmental Railways line in Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area and later in 1950 extended to Nagao, the improvement of facility and service was long forgotten. Only after privatization of the then Japanese National Railways (JNR), here the network was taken over by West Japan Railway Company (JR West), electrification in 1989 and gradual operational advancement have been made.

In 1997, JR Tōzai Line was opened and connected to Katamachi Line at Kyōbashi, and Katamachi Station was abandoned (with Ōsakajō-kitazume Station being a replacement for ridership). Most trains began operated through to Fukuchiyama Line (JR Takarazuka Line).

Conversion from a freight branch of the line to a passenger route, Osaka Higashi Line began service in 2008. Trains from Nara via Kansai Main (Yamatoji) Line are operated to Amagasaki Station.

Military use[edit]

Entrance to the Kin-ya Ammunition Dump, January 2008

Three weapons-related facilities used during the early 20th century are accessible by spurs located between Fujisaka and Tsuda Stations (Kin-ya Ammunition Dump, where two explosions occurred in 1909 and 1939), between Kawachi-Iwafune and Hoshida Stations (Uji Weapon Kori Factory), and the Osaka Army Arsenal warehouse between Hanaten and Shigino Stations.