Keifuku Electric Railroad

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Randen tram car under cherry blossoms.
Randen tram car at Kōryūji Station, in front of Kōryū-ji Temple.

Keifuku Electric Railroad Co., Ltd. (京福電気鉄道株式会社 Keifuku Denki Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha?) is a railroad company based in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (but with offices in Fukui Prefecture) in operation since March 2, 1942.[1] It is a parent company of Keifuku Bus, and an affiliated company of Keihan Electric Railway,[2] which owns 42.89% of the company stock. The company's stock is traded on the second section of the Osaka Stock Exchange.

Lines[edit]

This railway[3] started service in 1910, operated at that time by Arashiyama Electric Tram Railway (嵐山電車軌道 Arashiyama Densha Kidō?). It was transferred to the Kyoto-based electric power generation company Kyoto Dento (京都電燈 Kyōto Dentō?). Later it built the Kitano Line.:[4]

  • Randen (嵐電) tram lines
    • Arashiyama Main Line (嵐山本線), 7.2 km
    • Kitano Line (北野線), 3.8 km
  • Eizan Cable (叡山鋼索線), 1.3 km (Funicular)
  • Eizan Ropeway (叡山ロープウェイ), 0.5 km (Aerial tramway)

The Main Line connects Kyoto's city center (Shijo-Omiya terminal) and scenic Arashiyama area in the western suburb. The Kitano Line is from Kitano Hakubaicho Station near Kitano Tenman-gū to Katabiranotsuji Station in the midst of Main Line. The cable and ropeway lines are for visitors to Mount Hiei on the northeastern edge of the city, together with Eizan Electric Railway's Eizan Main Line.

Formerly the company operated several railway lines in Fukui Prefecture. Some of them are now operated by Echizen Railway.[5]

The Eizan Electric Railway also belonged to Keifuku until 1985.

History[edit]

  • Arashiyama Main Line - The Arashiyama Tram Co. opened the line in 1910, 1435mm electrified at 600 VDC. The Kyoto Electric Light Co. acquired the line in 1918, and duplicated the track between 1925 and 1928. Keifuku acquired the line in 1942.
  • Kitano Line - The Kyoto Electric Light Co. opened the line between 1925 and 1926, and duplicated the Tokiwa - Narutaki section in 1930. Plans to duplicate the balance of the line were abandoned as a result of the economic depression. Keifuku acquired the line in 1942.

Former connecting lines[edit]

  • Arashiyama station - A 3km line, 1435mm gauge electrified at 600VDC and dual track except for the Kiyotaki tunnel operated to Kiyitaki between 1929 and 1944. It connected to a 2km 1067mm gauge cable incline that climbed 638m to Kosaku which operated for the same period. Closed due to war time austerity measures, efforts to re-establish the incline in the 1950s were unsuccessful.

Etymology[edit]

"Keifuku" is composed of two characters "京" and "福", the former denoting Kyoto and the latter Fukui. As the Kyoto Dento lines used to be in Fukui, the hydraulic source, and in Kyoto, the company took the name "Keifuku." It is often thought that the company has or had a plan to connect their lines in the two prefectures, but that is not the case.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia

  1. ^ 会社概要:京福電気鉄道 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  2. ^ 会社案内:京阪グループネットワーク (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  3. ^ JTB Timetable No. 975 (April 2007) (in Japanese). Tokyo: JTB Corporation. pp. 836, 839. 
  4. ^ Wakuda, Yasuo (和久田康雄) (1993). Shitetsushi Handobukku (私鉄史ハンドブック) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Denkisha Kenkyūkai (電気車研究会). p. 127. ISBN 4-88548-065-5. 
  5. ^ Kokudo Kōtsū Shō Tetsudō Kyoku (2003). Tetsudō Yōran (Heisei 15 Nendo) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Denkisha Kenkyūkai. ISBN 4-88548-103-1. 

External links[edit]