Ōu Main Line

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Ōu Main Line
Ou Honsen to Yamagata Jo 2005-12.jpg
along the moat of Yamagata Castle Site
left: Narrow gauge right:Standard gauge
Overview
Type Main line
System JR East
Status Operating
Termini Fukushima
Aomori
Stations 102
Operation
Owner JR East
Operator(s) JR East
Character Elevated, rural
Technical
Track length 486.3 km (302.2 mi)
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 20 kV AC, 50 Hz
Route map
Red indicates standard gauge tracks

The Ōu Main Line (奥羽本線 Ōu-honsen?) is a railway line in Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It runs from Fukushima Station through Akita Station to Aomori Station. Since the opening of the Yamagata Shinkansen on July 1, 1992, the Fukushima–Yamagata section (as well as the Yamagata–Shinjō section since 1999) is sometimes referred to as the Yamagata Line. The name of the line as a whole refers to the ancient provinces of Mutsu (陸) and Dewa (出), as it connects both ends of Mutsu by passing north-south through Dewa.

Route data[edit]

  • East Japan Railway Company
  • Total distance: 486.3 km (Fukushima–Aomori, Tsuchizaki–Akitakō)
    • East Japan Railway Company
      • 484.5 km (Fukushima–Aomori)
    • Japan Freight Railway Company
      • 1.8 km (Tsuchizaki–Akitakō)
      • 256.2 km (Yokote–Aomori)
      • 4.8 km (Aomori–Aomori Stoplight Station)
  • Rail Gauge:
    • 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
      • Shinjō–Ōmagari
      • Akita–Aomori
    • 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
      • Fukushima–Yamagata
      • Uzen-Chitose–Shinjō
    • Both (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in))
      • Yamagata–Uzen-Chitose
      • Ōmagari–Akita
  • Stations: 102 (including freight stations)
  • Tracks:
    • Dual-track
      • Fukushima–Sekine
      • Akayu–Akayu Stoplight Station
      • Uzen-Nakayama–Uzen-Chitose
      • Ashisawa–Funagata
      • Nozoki–Innai
      • Ōmagari–Oiwake
      • Ugo-Iizuka–Hachirōgata
      • Kado–Moritake
      • Tsurugata–Maeyama
      • Takanosu–Hayaguchi
      • Ōdate–Nagamine
      • Ishikawa–Kawabe
    • Single-track
      • Sekine–Akayu
      • Akayu Stoplight Station–Uzen-Nakayama
      • Uzen-Chitose–Ashisawa
      • Funagata–Nozoki
      • Innai– Ōmagari
      • Oiwake–Ugo-Iizuka
      • Hachirōgata–Kado
      • Moritake–Tsurugata
      • Maeyama–Takanosu
      • Hayaguchi–Ōdate
      • Nagamine–Ishikawa
      • Kawabe–Aomori
  • Electrification: All (alternating current 20,000 V 50 Hz)
  • Block system: Automatic block system (except Tsuchizaki–Akitakō section (gearing block system))
  • Depots: Yamagata, Akita
  • (The Jingūji–Mineyoshikawa section consists of two 1435mm tracks and one dual-gauge track)

Services[edit]

The Ōu Main Line is split into the following four sections. Due to the differences in the tracks of these sections, there are no trains that go through more than one (with the exception of an Akita–Shinjō connection). Local and rapid services on the line are generally operated by 701 series (entire line) and 719 series (Fukushima - Shinjō only) electric multiple unit trains.

Fukushima–Shinjō (148.6 km)[edit]

On this section, the Ōu Main Line shares the tracks with the Yamagata Shinkansen. The rail gauge is 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) to allow the Yamagata Shinkansen to run on it. The Ōu Main Line is known as the Yamagata Line on this section.

Shinjō–Ōmagari (98.4 km)[edit]

Crossing the Yamagata-Akita border, there is little demand in this section, and all trains except one limited-stop "Rapid" train run as all-stations "Local" trains.

Ōmagari–Akita (51.7 km)[edit]

On this section, the Ōu Main Line shares the tracks with the Akita Shinkansen. Because the Ōu Main Line occasionally runs from Akita to Shinjō as a local train, this section contains one standard gauge track and two narrow gauge tracks. Also, the few Komachi trains running on this section have the priority.

Akita–Aomori (185.8 km)[edit]

Together with the Kosei Line, Hokuriku Main Line, Shinetsu Main Line, Hakushin Line, and the Uetsu Main Line, the Ōu Main Line is one of the express lines and freight lines that make up the Nihonkai Jūkan-sen (Sea of Japan Trans-Japan Line).

Station list[edit]

Station Japanese Distance
(km)
Transfers Location
Fukushima 福島 0.0 Tōhoku Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Tōhoku Main Line, Abukuma Express Line, Fukushima Kōtsū Iizaka Line Fukushima Fukushima Prefecture
Sasakino 笹木野 3.8
Niwasaka 庭坂 6.9
Akaiwa 赤岩 14.6
Itaya 板谷 21.2 Yonezawa Yamagata
Prefecture
Tōge 24.5
Ōsawa 大沢 28.8
Sekine 関根 34.8
Yonezawa 米沢 40.1 Yamagata Shinkansen, Yonesaka Line
Oitama 置賜 45.6
Takahata 高畠 49.9 Yamagata Shinkansen Takahata
Akayu 赤湯 56.1 Yamagata Shinkansen, Flower Nagai Line Nanyō
Nakagawa 中川 64.4
Uzen-Nakayama 羽前中山 68.3 Kaminoyama
Kaminoyama Onsen かみのやま温泉 75.0 Yamagata Shinkansen
Mokichi Kinenkan-mae 茂吉記念館前 77.8
Zaō 蔵王 81.8 Yamagata
Yamagata 山形 87.1 Yamagata Shinkansen, Senzan Line, Aterazawa Line
Kita-Yamagata 北山形 89.0 Senzan Line, Aterazawa Line
Uzen-Chitose 羽前千歳 91.9 Senzan Line
Minami-Dewa 南出羽 93.6
Urushiyama 漆山 94.9
Takatama 高擶 97.0 Tendō
Tendō 天童 100.4 Yamagata Shinkansen
Midaregawa 乱川 103.4
Jimmachi 神町 106.3 Higashine
Sakuranbo Higashine さくらんぼ東根 108.1 Yamagata Shinkansen
Higashine 東根 110.6
Murayama 村山 113.5 Yamagata Shinkansen Murayama
Sodesaki 袖崎 121.5
Ōishida 大石田 126.9 Yamagata Shinkansen Ōishida
Kita-Ōishida 北大石田駅 130.8
Ashisawa 芦沢 133.7 Obanazawa
Funagata 舟形 140.3 Funagata
Shinjō 新庄 148.6 Yamagata Shinkansen, Rikuu East Line, Rikuu West Line Shinjō
Izumita 泉田 154.2
Uzen-Toyosato 羽前豊里 161.3 Sakegawa
Mamurogawa 真室川 164.0 Mamurogawa
Kamabuchi 釜淵 173.2
Ōtaki 大滝 180.3
Nozoki 及位 185.8
Innai 院内 194.4 Yuzawa Akita Prefecture
Yokobori 横堀 198.4
Mitsuseki 三関 204.4
Kami-Yuzawa 上湯沢 207.1
Yuzawa 湯沢 210.4
Shimo-Yuzawa 下湯沢 214.5
Jūmonji 十文字 217.8 Jumonji, Hiraka
Daigo 醍醐 221.2 Hiraka, Hiraka
Yanagita 柳田 224.4 Yokote
Yokote 横手 228.3 Kitakami Line
Gosannen 後三年 234.7 Misato
Iizume 飯詰 239.8
Ōmagari 大曲 247.0 Akita Shinkansen, Tazawako Line Daisen
Jingūji 神宮寺 253.0
Kariwano 刈和野 260.6
Mineyoshikawa 峰吉川 265.4
Ugo-Sakai 羽後境 271.9
Ōbarino 大張野 280.0 Akita
Wada 和田 285.4
Yotsugoya 四ツ小屋 292.3
Akita 秋田 298.7 Uetsu Main Line
Tsuchizaki 土崎 305.8
Kami-Iijima 上飯島 308.3
Oiwake 追分 311.7 Oga Line
Ōkubo 大久保 318.9 Katagami
Ugo-Īzuka 羽後飯塚 322.2
Ikawa-Sakura Station 井川さくら 323.6 Ikawa
Hachirōgata 八郎潟 327.5 Hachirōgata
Koikawa 鯉川 333.0 Kotooka
Kado 鹿渡 338.4
Moritake 森岳 345.1 Yamamoto
Kita-Kanaoka 北金岡 349.4
Higashi-Noshiro 東能代 355.4 Gonō Line Noshiro
Tsurugata 鶴形 360.3
Tomine 富根 365.5
Futatsui 二ツ井 372.2
Maeyama 前山 379.5 Kita-Akita
Takanosu 鷹巣 384.9 Akita Nairiku Line
Nukazawa 糠沢 388.1
Hayaguchi 早口 393.5 Ōdate
Shimokawazoi 下川沿 397.7
Ōdate 大館 402.9 Hanawa Line
Shirasawa 白沢 409.4
Jinba 陣場 416.5
Tsugaru-Yunosawa 津軽湯の沢 422.3 Hirakawa Aomori Prefecture
Ikarigaseki 碇ヶ関 427.2
Nagamine 長峰 432.0 Ōwani
Ōwani-Onsen 大鰐温泉 435.3 Kōnan Railway Ōwani Line
Ishikawa 石川 440.7 Hirosaki
Hirosaki 弘前 447.1 Kōnan Railway Kōnan Line
Naijōshi 撫牛子 449.8
Kawabe 川部 453.4 Gonō Line Inakadate
Kita-Tokiwa 北常盤 456.6 Fujisaki
Namioka 浪岡 462.1 Aomori
Daishaka 大釈迦 467.2
Tsurugasaka 鶴ヶ坂 473.4
Tsugaru-Shinjō 津軽新城 478.8
Shin-Aomori 新青森 480.6 Tōhoku Shinkansen
Aomori 青森 484.5 Tsugaru Line (Tsugaru-Kaikyō Line), Aoimori Railway Line

Timeline[edit]

The Ōu North Line began in Aomori, the South Line in Fukushima, and the full line opened in 1905.

Ōu North Line[edit]

  • December 1, 1894: Aomori–Hirosaki
  • October 21, 1895: Hirosaki–Ikarigaseki
  • June 21, 1899: Ikarigaseki–Shirasawa
  • November 15, 1899: Shirasawa–Ōdate
  • October 7, 1900: Ōdate–Takanosu
  • November 1, 1901: Takanosu–Noshiro (present-day Higashi-Noshiro)
  • August 1, 1902: Noshiro–Gojōme (present-day Hachirōgata)
  • October 21, 1902: Gojōme–Akita
  • October 1, 1903: Akita–Wada
  • August 21, 1904: Wada–Jingūji
  • December 21, 1904: Jingūji–Ōmagari
  • June 15, 1905: Ōmagari–Yokote

Ōu South Line[edit]

  • May 15, 1899: Fukushima–Yonezawa
  • April 11, 1901: Yonezawa–Yamagata
  • August 23, 1901: Yamagata–Tateoka (present-day Murayama)
  • October 21, 1901: Tateoka–Ōishida
  • July 21, 1902: Ōishida–Funagata
  • June 11, 1903: Funagata–Shinjō
  • October 21, 1904: Shinjō–Innai
  • July 5, 1905: Innai–Yuzawa
  • September 14, 1905: Yuzawa–Yokote, completion of Fukushima–Aomori connection

Ōu Main Line[edit]

  • April 29, 1949: Fukushima–Yonezawa section changed to direct current electrification
  • November 1, 1960: Yamagata–Uzen-Chitose section changed to direct current electrification
  • September 8, 1968: Yamagata–Uzen-Chitose section changed to alternating current electrification
  • September 22, 1968: Fukushima–Yonezawa section changed to alternating current electrification
  • September 23, 1968: Yonezawa–Yamagata section changed to alternating current electrification
  • August 25, 1971: Akita–Aomori section changed to alternating current electrification
  • October 13, 1975: Uzen-Chitose–Akita section changed to alternating current electrification, entire line becomes electric-powered
  • April 1, 1987: Becomes part of the East Japan Railway Company with the breakup of Japan National Railway
  • September 1, 1991: Fukushima–Yamagata section temporarily ceases operations for construction of Yamagata Shinkansen, switch-back between Akaiwa and Ōsawa is abolished
  • July 1, 1992: Yamagata Shinkansen begins operation, Fukushima–Yamagata section is known as Yamagata Line
  • March 22, 1997: Akita Shinkansen begins operation, Jingūji–Mineyoshikawa section becomes three-track
  • March 12, 1999: Tendō–Shinjō section temporarily ceases operations for further construction of Yamagata Shinkansen, Torigoe Stoplight Station is abolished
  • October 22, 1999: Uzen-Chitose–Shinjō section temporarily ceases operations for further construction of Yamagata Shinkansen
  • December 4, 1999: Yamagata Shinkansen construction finishes, Yamagata–Shinjō section is also known as the Yamagata Line, Kanisawa is renamed Sakurambo-Higashine, Tateoka is renamed Murayama

External links[edit]