Mikuni Awara Line

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Echizen Railway
Mikuni Awara Line
Mikuni-minato sta01n4592.jpg
Echizen Railway MC2201 series train at Mikuni-Minato Station
Overview
Type Heavy rail
Locale Fukui Prefecture
Termini Fukuiguchi
Mikuni-Minato
Stations 22
Operation
Opening 1928
Owner Echizen Railway
Technical
Line length 25.2 km
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 600 V DC, overhead catenary

The Mikuni Awara Line (三国芦原線 Mikuni-awara-sen?) is a railway line operated by Echizen Railway in Fukui Prefecture. The line stretches 27.8 km from the city of Fukui to Sakai with a total of 22 stations. It was operated by Keifuku Electric Railway until 2001; Echizen Railway took over the line in 2003.

Service[edit]

Although the line technically begins at Fukuiguchi Station, all trains run through and terminate at Fukui Station. Trains run twice per hour during the day in order to connect with Hokuriku Main Line limited express trains. During morning peak hours between 7:00 and 9:00, three trains run per hour. There is a single Fukui-bound rapid train each morning, as well as a local "Mezamashi Train" (lit. "wake-up train") departing Mikuni-Minato at 5:16 every Monday morning that connects with Osaka and Nagoya-bound JR West limited express trains departing from Fukui Station.[1]

All trains run under driver-only operation, but on-board female attendants sell and collect tickets, make station announcements, and assist passengers boarding and alighting. Doors are operated by the driver.

History[edit]

Mikuni Awara Electric Railway began operating the line in 1928 between Fukuiguchi Station and Awara Station (now Awara-Yunomachi Station). A year later the line was extended to Mikunichō (now Mikuni), and through service began on the Kyōto Dentō Echizen Main Line to Fukui Station.[2] The line became a part of Keifuku Electric Railway in 1942. Two accidents in 2000 and 2001 on the Echizen Main Line forced Keifuku to cease operation on both it and the Mikuni Awara Line in 2001. The line was eventually transferred to Echizen Railway in 2003.[2][3]

Chronology[edit]

  • December 30, 1928: Mikuni Awara Electric Railway begins operations between Fukuiguchi — Awara (now Awara-Yunomachi) stations.
  • January 31, 1929: Awara — Mikunichō (now Mikuni) section opens.
  • February 10, 1929: Mikunichō Station renamed Densha-Mikuni Station.
  • June 1, 1929: Nakatsuno Station opens.
  • October 10, 1929: Through operation on the Kyōto Dentō Echizen Main Line to Fukui Station begins.
  • December 1, 1929: Nishi-Betsuin Station opens.
  • July 1, 1930: Mikuni-Jinja Station opens.
  • April 1, 1937: Tawaramachi Station opens.
  • May 28, 1937: Densha-Mikuni — Tōjinbōguchi section opens.
  • August 1, 1942: Mikuni Awara Electric Railway merges with Keifuku Electric Railway.
  • January 11, 1944: Operation halted between Densha-Mikuni — Tōjinbōguchi.
  • April 20, 1944: Tawaramachi, Yatsushima, Tarōmaru, Mikuni-Jinja Stations closes.
  • October 11, 1944: Former JNR Mikuni Line electrified; Mikuni — Mikuni-Minato section opens. Densha-Mikuni and JNR Mikuni stations merge.
  • April 5, 1945: Tarōmaru, Mikuni-Jinja stations reopen.
  • August 15, 1946: Mikuni-Jinja Station closes.
  • June 1, 1950: Mikuni-Jinja Station reopen.
  • November 27, 1950: Tawaramachi Station reopens. Connecting service with Fukui Railway begins.
  • March 21, 1968: Mikuni — Tōjinbōguchi section abolished.
  • March 1, 1971: Freight operations end.
  • March 1, 1972: Awara Station renamed Awara-Yumachi Station.
  • April 20, 1989: Driver-only operation initiated during non-peak hours.
  • March 20, 1990: Driver-only operation initiated throughout the day.
  • September 10, 1992: Jin'ai Ground-Mae Station opens temporarily.
  • June 25, 2001: Due to accidents on the Echizen Main Line, service halted on the Mikuni Awara Line.
  • February 1, 2003: Line transferred to Echizen Railway.
  • July 20, 2003: Fukuiguchi — Nishi-Nagata section operation restarts. Nishi-Fukui Station renamed Fukudaimae-Nishi-Fukui Station; Awara-Yumachi Station renamed Awara-Yunomachi Station.
  • August 10, 2003: Nishi-Nagata — Mikuni-Minato section operation restarts.
  • September 1, 2007: Nikkakagakumae, Yatsushima stations open.

Rolling stock[edit]

Echizen Railway uses twenty-five cars total in its entire railway. The main type active is the MC6101 with twelve cars, followed by MC2101 with eight cars, MC6001 with two cars, and three other types with one car each.[4]

Stations[edit]

Station Japanese Distance (km) Rapid Transfers Location
Katsuyama Eiheiji Line
Fukui 福井駅 1.5 JR West: Hokuriku Main Line
Fukui Railway: Fukubu Line (Fukui-Ekimae)
Fukui
Shin-Fukui 新福井駅 1.0  
Mikuni Awara Line
Fukuiguchi 福井口駅 0.0 Echizen Railway: Katsuyama Eiheiji Line Fukui
Nishi-Betsuin 西別院駅 1.6  
Tawaramachi 田原町駅 2.1 Fukui Railway: Fukubu Line
Fukudaimae-Nishi-Fukui 福大前西福井駅 2.8  
Nikkakagaku-Mae 日華化学前駅 3.6  
Yatsushima 八ツ島駅 4.2  
Nittazuka 新田塚駅 4.9  
Nakatsuno 中角駅 5.9  
Jin'ai-Ground-Mae (temporary) 仁愛グランド前駅 -  
Washizuka-Haribara 鷲塚針原駅 8.1  
Tarōmaru 太郎丸駅 9.2   Sakai
Nishi-Harue 西春江駅 10.1  
Nishi-Nagata 西長田駅 11.7  
Shimo-Hyōgo 下兵庫駅 13.6  
Ōzeki 大関駅 15.4  
Honjō 本荘駅 17.4   Awara
Banden 番田駅 18.3  
Awara-Yunomachi あわら湯のまち駅 20.0  
Mizui 水居駅 22.0   Sakai
Mikuni-Jinja 三国神社駅 23.4  
Mikuni 三国駅 24.2  
Mikuni-Minato 三国港駅 25.2  
  • All stations are located in Fukui Prefecture.
  • Rapid trains: ● - rapid and local trains stop, | - rapid trains pass
  • Stations marked with a ※ are staffed.

References[edit]