Kitakyu 8000 series train (between Momoyamadai Station and Senri-Chūō Station)
The Kita-Osaka Kyūkō Railway(北大阪急行電鉄,Kita Ōsaka Kyūkō Dentetsu?) is a railway operator of Osaka, Japan. The sole line named Namboku Line (南北線,Namboku sen?) is actually an extension of the Midōsuji LineOsaka Municipal Subway. Kitakyū, as it is often abbreviated, also owns various commercial and residential properties along the line.
Kita-Osaka Kyuko Railway Co., Ltd. (北大阪急行電鉄株式会社,Kita Ōsaka Kyūkō Dentetsu Kabushiki Kaisha?) was founded on December 11, 1967. It is a subsidiary of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc. and is headquartered at 2-4-1, Terauchi, Toyonaka, Osaka.
The line was opened on February 24, 1970, to connect the then northern terminus of the Midōsuji Line, Esaka Station, with the grounds of the Expo '70. The Expo link was closed on September 14, and the line was redirected to a new underground terminal of Senri-Chūō Station.
Takeo Miki, then Minister of International Trade and Industry, brokered the deal creating the railway as a joint venture between the City of Osaka and Hankyu Railway. Although the line was originally envisioned as a straightforward extension of the Midosuji Line, the city government was unable to independently complete the extension because it went beyond municipal boundaries, thus raising issues of expropriation and financing.
The tracks between Senri-Chuo and the Expo Park were removed following the Expo, and the right-of-way repurposed as part of the Chugoku Expressway.
Since the late 1980s there has been a plan to extend the line 2.5 km northward from Senri-Chuo to a new station in the city of Minoh. The Minoh municipal government exchanged a letter of confirmation with Hankyu and Kitakyu regarding studies of the extension in 2011, and the government of Osaka Prefecture joined a four-party memorandum of understanding in 2012. The extension is not yet finalized or funded.