Sōya Main Line
|Sōya Main Line|
Super Sōya limited express train
|Line length||259.4 km (161.2 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
The Sōya Main Line (宗谷本線 Sōya-honsen?) is a Japanese railway line operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) in Hokkaido. The line runs between Asahikawa Station in Asahikawa and Wakkanai Station in Wakkanai, and is the northernmost railway line in Japan. The name comes from Sōya Subprefecture.
Two Super Sōya limited express services each way operate between Sapporo and Wakkanai daily, and one Sarobetsu service each way also operates between Sapporo and Wakkanai daily. The latter service does not include Green car (first class) accommodation.
All-stations "Local" train services operate between Asahikawa and Nayoro, at approximately 1 to 2 hour intervals. All-stations "Local" train services operate between Nayoro and Wakkanai, at approximately 3 to 4 hour intervals. Four Nayoro Rapid services operate in each direction daily.
- L: Limited Express (Super Sōya/Sarobetsu)
- R: All Rapids
- r: Some Rapids
|A28||Asahikawa[* 1]||旭川||0.0||L R||Furano Line
Hakodate Main Line
|A30||Shin-Asahikawa||新旭川||3.7||Sekihoku Main Line|
|Kita-Asahikawa Freight Terminal||北旭川(貨)||6.6|
|W31||Nagayama[* 1][* 2]||永山||9.3||R|
|W37||Shiokari[* 2]||塩狩||28.4||Wassamu, Kamikawa|
|W38||Wassamu[* 2]||和寒||36.3||L R|
|W42||Shibetsu[* 1][* 2]||士別||53.9||L R||Shibetsu|
|W48||Nayoro[* 1][* 2]||名寄||76.2||L R|
|W54||Bifuka[* 1][* 2]||美深||98.3||L|
|W61||Otoineppu[* 1][* 2]||音威子府||129.3||L|
|W63||Saku[* 2]||佐久||153.6||Nakagawa, Nakagawa|
|W72||Horonobe[* 1][* 2]||幌延||199.4||L|
|W74||Toyotomi[* 2]||豊富||215.9||L||Toyotomi, Teshio|
|W79||Minami-Wakkanai[* 1][* 2]||南稚内||256.7||L|
- Staffed station
- Station with passing loop
The line was originally built as a link line between mainland Japan and the then Japanese northern frontier Karafuto (southern half of Sakhalin Island). From Wakkanai Port, ferry to then Ōdomari (present Korsakov) served until the end of World War II.
The first segment of the line from Asahigawa (present Asahikawa) to Nagayama was built by the Hokkaido Government Railway in 1898. The line eventually extended to Nayoro in 1903, and a railway to Wakkanai was completed in 1922 along the route of the later Tempoku Line (天北線 Tenpoku-sen?) via Hamatombetsu. The present route via Horonobe was first made as the Teshio Line (天塩線 Teshio-sen?).
After Japan's defeat in the war, the line lost its function as a link to Sakhalin, but remained important as a trunk line into the northern part of Hokkaido. The Sōya Main Line gradually lost all of its branch lines, and presently constitutes a long branch from the Hakodate Main Line.
- August 12, 1898: Opened as Teshio Line (天塩線 Teshio-sen?) (I) of Hokkaido Government Railway, between Asahigawa (present Asahikawa) and Nagayama
- November 25, 1898: Extended to Ranru
- November 15, 1899: Extended to Wassamu
- August 5, 1900: Extended to Shibetsu
- September 3, 1900: Extended to Nayoro
- April 1, 1905: Transferred to Imperial Japanese Government Railways
- November 3, 1911: Extended to Onnenai
- September 21, 1912: Renamed Sōya Line (宗谷線 Sōya-sen?)
- November 5, 1912: Extended to Otoineppu
- October 20, 1919: Renamed Sōya Main Line (宗谷本線 Sōya Honsen?)
- October 5, 1921: Renamed Sōya Line
- November 1, 1922: Completed to Wakkanai (present Minami-Wakkanai) via later Tempoku Line
- November 4, 1922: Renamed back to Sōya Main Line
- November 8, 1922: Teshio Line (II) between Otoineppu and Pompira (present Teshio-Nakagawa)
- May 1, 1923: Chihaku Ferry (稚泊連絡船 Chihaku Renrakusen?) commenced Wakkanai - Ōdomari
- November 10, 1923: Extended to Toikambetsu
- June 25, 1924: Teshio North Line (天塩北線 Teshio-hokusen?) opened Wakkanai - Kabutonuma. Teshio Line renamed Teshio South Line (天塩南線 Teshio-nansen?)
- July 20, 1925: Teshio South Line extended to Horonobe
- September 25, 1926: Teshio South and North lines connected, renamed to Teshio Line (天塩線 Teshio-sen?) (II), Otoineppu - Wakkanai
- December 26, 1928: Extended to Wakkanaikō (present Wakkanai).
- April 1, 1930: Entire stretch of the Teshio Line became a part of Sōya Main Line. The section Otoineppu - Hamatombetsu - Wakkanai separated as Kitami Line (北見線 Kitami-sen?), later Tempoku Line (天北線 Tempoku-sen?).
- June 30, 1935: Teshio Line (III), later Haboro Line (羽幌線 Haboro-sen?) from Horonobe opened.
- August 25, 1945: Chihaku Ferry ceased operation when all of Sakhalin becomes part of the Soviet Union.
- November 10, 1984: Automated block system introduced, ticketing of most (29) stations unstaffed
- November 1, 1986: CTC implemented, above noted stations completely unstaffed.
- April 1, 1987: Japanese National Railways privatized, Hokkaido Railway Company succeeded the entire line as Category 1, Japan Freight Railway Company as Category 2 between Asahikawa and Nayoro. All the temporary stations were reclassified as regular stations
- 1995: The ferry between Wakkanai and Korsakov "resumed" after 50 years, although not directly connected to the railway.
- March 2000: Tracks of Asahikawa - Nayoro upgraded for faster operation. The Super Sōya limited express train commenced.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sōya Main Line.|
- JR Timetable, April 2011 issue