Nippō Main Line

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Nippō Main Line
Oyodo River Railway Bridge.jpg
Kirishima limited express train crossing Ōyodo River, Miyazaki
Overview
Type Heavy rail
Locale Kyushu
Termini Kokura
Kagoshima
Stations 111
Operation
Owner JR Kyushu
Technical
Line length 467.2 km (290.3 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 20 kV AC (60 Hz)
Route map
Nippō Main Line

The Nippō Main Line (日豊本線 Nippō-honsen?) is a railway line in Kyushu, in southern Japan, operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu). The line connects Kokura Station in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, and Kagoshima Station in Kagoshima via the east coast of Kyushu, passing through the prefectural capitals of Ōita and Miyazaki.

Stations[edit]

●: Stops
▲: Rapid service connecting to Hitahikosan Line non-stop,
|: Non-stop
Liner services: Sawayaka Liner, Home Liner
Station Distance
(km)
Rapid Liner Transfers Location
Kokura 0.0     Sanyo Shinkansen
Kagoshima Main Line
Kitakyushu monorail
Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyūshū Fukuoka Prefecture
Nishi Kokura 0.8     Kagoshima Main Line
Minami Kokura 3.5      
Jōno 6.1     Hitahikosan Line Kokuraminami-ku, Kitakyūshū
Abeyama Kōen 8.4      
Shimosone 11.6      
Kusami 15.0      
Kanda 18.6       Kanda
Obase Nishikōdai-mae 22.2     Kanda Minato Line (freight)
Yukuhashi 25.0     Heisei Chikuhō Railway Tagawa Line Yukuhashi
Minami Yukuhashi 26.8      
Shindenbaru 30.2      
Tsuiki 33.9       Chikujō
Shiida 36.9      
Buzen Shōe 41.8       Buzen
Unoshima 45.2      
Mikekado 48.0      
Yoshitomi 50.0       Yoshitomi
Nakatsu 51.8       Nakatsu Ōita Prefecture
Higashi Nakatsu 56.7      
Imazu 60.1      
Amatsu 62.5       Usa
Buzen Zenkōji 65.5      
Yanagigaura 69.1      
Buzen Nagasu 71.0        
Usa 75.8        
Nishi Yashiki 79.4        
Tateishi 85.2         Kitsuki
Naka Yamaga 90.4        
Kitsuki 99.2        
Ōga 103.3         Hiji
Hiji 107.2        
Yōkoku 108.4        
Bungo Toyooka 111.3        
Kamegawa 114.9         Beppu
Beppu Daigaku 117.0        
Beppu 120.8        
Higashi Beppu 122.8        
Nishi Ōita 130.4         Ōita
Ōita 132.9       Kyūdai Main Line
Hōhi Main Line
Maki 136.2        
Takajō 138.0        
Tsurusaki 141.0        
Ōzai 144.3        
Sakanoichi 147.4        
Kōzaki 151.8        
Sashiu 159.0         Usuki
Shitanoe 161.0        
Kumasaki 164.7        
Kami Usuki 167.6        
Usuki 169.2        
Tsukumi 178.9         Tsukumi
Hishiro 184.4        
Azamui 188.2         Saiki
Kariu 192.0        
Kaizaki 194.8        
Saiki 197.8        
Kamioka 202.4        
Naomi 208.8        
Naokawa 213.6        
Shigeoka 224.2        
Sōtarō 231.0        
Ichitana 238.5         Nobeoka Miyazaki Prefecture
Kitagawa 243.2        
Hyūga Nagai 246.7        
Kita Nobeoka 251.3        
Nobeoka 256.2      
Minami Nobeoka 259.6      
Asahigaoka 263.1      
Totoro 265.7      
Kadogawa 270.0       Kadogawa
Hyūgashi 276.6       Hyūga
Zaikōji 278.9      
Minami Hyūga 283.1      
Mimitsu 289.7      
Higashi Tsuno 294.1       Tsuno
Tsuno 298.7      
Kawaminami 305.6       Kawaminami
Takanabe 313.6       Takanabe
Hyūga Shintomi 320.0       Shintomi
Sadowara 326.7       Miyazaki
Hyūga Sumiyoshi 330.9      
Hasugaike 334.7      
Miyazaki Jingū-mae 337.4      
Miyazaki 339.9    
Minami Miyazaki 342.5   Nichinan Line
Kanō 345.1      
Kiyotake 347.8      
Hyūga Kutsukake 352.5      
Tano 358.0      
Aoidake 369.3       Miyakonojō
Yamanokuchi 379.1      
Mochibaru 382.0       Mimata
Mimata 385.6      
Miyakonojō 389.9     Kitto Line Miyakonojō
Nishi Miyakonojō 392.4      
Isoichi 395.2        
Takarabe 399.4         Soo Kagoshima Prefecture
Kitamata 403.0        
Ōsumi Ōkawara 408.1        
Kita Naganoda 413.4         Kirishima
Kirishima Jingū 419.4        
Kokubu 432.1        
Hayato 434.7       Hisatsu Line
Kajiki 441.6         Aira
Kinkō 443.3        
Chōsa 445.5        
Aira 447.1        
Shigetomi 448.7        
Ryūgamizu 455.7         Kagoshima
Kagoshima 462.6       Kagoshima Main Line
Kagoshima City Tram

History[edit]

The Kyushu Railway Co. opened the 6 km Kokura - Jono section in 1895, and the Hōshū Railway Co. opened the 46 km Yukuhashi - Buzen Nagasu section in 1897. The former company acquired the latter in 1901, and was nationalised in 1907. The lines were connected in 1909, and extended south to Usa in the same year, the line reaching Beppu and Oita in 1911, Usuki in 1915 and Shigeoka in 1922.

The section from Kagoshima - Hayato opened as part of the Hisatsu line in 1901.

The original rail connection to Miyazaki (via the Kitto Line) opened in 1916, and the line was extended north to Takanabe in 1920, Bibi Tsu in 1921 and connected to the line from Kokura in 1923. The line west of Miyakonojo opened in sections from 1929, connecting to Hayato in 1932.

The 2.8 km Obase - Yukuhashi section was the first to be duplicated in 1956, and the Kokura - Jono section was double-tracked by 1958, continued to Obase by 1965 and extended south to Tateishi by 1983. The Naka Yamaga - Kisuki section was double-tracked between 1977 and 1978, and the Hiji - Oita section between 1966 and 1987.

The 152 km Kokura - Saizaki section was electrified in 1967, extended 191 km to Minami Miyazaki in 1974, and a further 120 km to Kagoshima in 1979.

Former connecting lines[edit]

The Beppu Daigaku - Sumiyoshi Shrine 'human' powered line, appears to be ~915mm (~3') gauge

A 3km 'Kokura Bypass' line (junctioning 2km north of Kokura on the Kagoshima Main Line) to the Nippo Main Line was opened in 1903, together with another line linking back to the Kagoshima Main Line south of Kokura. The 'Bypass' was built due to the Japanese army expressing concern at the vulnerability of Kokura to enemy naval gunfire. However, following Japan's success in the 1904 Russo-Japanese War, this concern diminished and the Kokura Bypass sections closed in 1911.

  • Jono station - The 4km Nishitetsu Northern Line was built as a 1067mm (3'6") gauge line to Kawaraguchi between 1906/07. It was regauged to 1435mm and electrified at 600 VDC in 1920, and extended from Kawaraguchi to Uomachi (on the Kagoshima Main Line) in 1932. The line closed in 1980.
  • Unoshima station - The Yabakei Railway Co. opened the 762mm (2'6") gauge 17km line to Yabakei in sections between 1914 and 1918 and was replaced by a bus service in 1936.
Yabakei Railway train at Nakatsu, ~1975
Tablet exchange on the Yabakei Railway, ~1975
  • Nakatsu station - The Yabakei Railway Co. also opened the 36km 762mm gauge line to Morizane Onsen in sections between 1913 and 1924. The line was regauged to 1067mm in 1929. In 1944 the line commenced servicing the Nakatsu Steel works, until it closed in 1966. The 26km section beyond Noji closed in 1971, with the remainder closing in 1975.
  • Buzen Zenkoji station - The 16km 762mm gauge line to Buzen Futsukaichi opened in 1914/15, and closed in 1951 as a result of bridge damage caused by Typhoon Ruth.
  • Usa station - The 9km line from Bungotakada to Usa Hachiman, including a connection to and overpass of the Nippo Main line at Usa, opened in 1916, closing in 1965.
  • Kitsuki station - The 30km line to Kunisaki line was opened in sections between 1922 and 1935. A planned extension to Bungotakada was not built. Typhoon damage to bridges in 1961 saw the line formally closed in 1965.
  • Beppu Daigaku station - the Miyazaki Prefectural government built a human powered 1.7km line of unknown gauge to the Sumiyoshi shrine in 1914. It closed in 1929.
  • Nishi Oita station - The 2km freight line to Oita Minato operated 1911-1984.
  • Saizaki station - The Nippon Mining Co. opened a 9km 762mm gauge line to Nikko Saganoseki in 1946. Passenger services commenced in 1948, freight service ceased in 1960 and the line closed in 1963.
Segawa bridge on the Takachiho line
Kuzuhara tunnel at Takachiho on the uncompleted line to Takamori
Kuzuhara tunnel now being used as a sake storage area
  • Nobeoka station - The 50km line to Takachiho was opened to Hinokage (38km) between 1935 and 1939, and to Takachiho in 1957. Construction of the 27km section to the Takamori line continued until 1977, when flooding 2050m into the in the 6500m Takamori tunnel (16km south of Takachiho) resulted in work being suspended. Construction was formally abandoned in 1980, after 30% of the line had been constructed. Freight service ceased in 1974, and in 1982 all service was suspended for four months due to Typhoon damage. In 1989 the line was transferred to the Third Sector Takachiho Railway, which operated until the line was extensively damaged by a typhoon in 2005, formal closure occurring in 2008.
  • Hyuga station - The 3.5km line to Hoso-to Port opened in 1921. Passenger services ceased in 1972 and the line closed in 1993.
  • Sadowara station - The 19km line to Hokita opened in 1922. Freight services ceased in 1972 and the line closed in 1984.
  • Nishi Miyakonojo station - The 39km line to Shibushi opened between 1923 and 1925, connecting to the Nichinan Line. Freight service ended in 1983 and the line closed in 1987.
  • Kokubo station - The 98km line to Shibushi, also connecting to the Nichinan Line, was not completed until 1972. The first section was opened by the Osumi Light Railway Co. as a 762mm gauge line from Funama to Kushira, via a reversing station at Kanoya, between 1915 and 1923. The line was nationalised in 1935, the same year the Shibushi - Higashikushira line was opened by JR. The 1km connection to Kushira opened the following year, and in 1938 the Kushira - Funama section was regauged, with a new station at Kanoya removing the need to reverse direction there. The Funama - Kaigata section opened in 1961 as a passenger only line, and the Kaigata - Kokubu section also opened without freight service. The rest of the line lost freight service in 1982, and the entire line closed in 1987.

Accidents[edit]

On September 17, 2006 at 14:05, the Nichirin Number 9 train on the Nippo Line derailed near Minami-Nobeoka Station, causing some injuries.[citation needed]

References[edit]

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