Senmō Main Line

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Senmo line near Lake Tōro

The Senmō Main Line (釧網本線 Senmō-honsen?) is a Japanese railway line in Hokkaido, operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido), between Higashi-Kushiro Station in Kushiro and Abashiri Station in Abashiri. The name comes from Kushiro (釧路?) and Abashiri (網走?). In 2008, a dual-mode transit vehicle was tested on parts of the line.

Basic data[edit]

  • Operators, distances
  • Stations: 27
  • Gauge: 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  • Track: single
  • Traction: Diesel
  • Block system: automatic (special); a simplified automatic system.

Stations[edit]

Kitahama station in winter
No. Station Distance (km) Transfers Location
A69 Abashiri 網走 0.0 Sekihoku Main Line Abashiri Hokkaido
B79 Katsuradai 桂台 1.4  
B78 Masuura 鱒浦 6.2  
B77 Mokoto 藻琴 8.7  
B76 Kitahama 北浜 11.5  
B75 Genseikaen
(Seasonal operation)
原生花園 16.9   Koshimizu
B74 Hama-Koshimizu 浜小清水 20.1  
B73 Yamubetsu 止別 25.8  
B72 Shiretoko-Shari 知床斜里 37.3   Shari
B71 Naka-Shari 中斜里 41.9  
B70 Minami-Shari 南斜里 44.1  
B69 Kiyosatochō 清里町 49.2   Kiyosato
B68 Sattsuru 札弦 57.0  
B67 Midori 65.3  
B66 Kawayu-Onsen 川湯温泉 79.8   Teshikaga
B65 Biruwa 美留和 87.0  
B64 Mashū 摩周 95.7  
B63 Minami-Teshikaga 南弟子屈 103.9  
B62 Isobunnai 磯分内 110.4   Shibecha
B61 Shibecha 標茶 121.0  
B60 Gojikkoku 五十石 129.5  
B59 Kayanuma 茅沼 134.9  
B58 Tōro 塘路 141.9  
B57 Hosooka 細岡 149.1   Kushiro (town)
B56 Kushiro-Shitsugen 釧路湿原 151.5  
B55 Tōya 遠矢 158.8  
B54 Higashi-Kushiro 東釧路 166.2 Nemuro Main Line Kushiro (city)

History[edit]

In 1887 a private 41 km 1067mm gauge line was opened from a sulphur mine at Atsanobori to a refinery at Shibecha, 48 km north of Kushiro. Known as the Kushiro Railway, it closed 9 years later when the sulphur was mined out. 35 years after it closed the 17 km section of the Senmo line between Mashu - Shibecha was built on the formation of the Kushiro Railway.

Construction of the Senmo line started from both Asashiri and Kushiro, with the northern portion opening to Satsutsuru in sections between 1924 and 1929, and the southern portion opening in sections to Kawayu between 1927 and 1930. The Satsutsuru - Kawayu section opened in 1931, completing the line.

Freight services on the line ceased in 2002.

Former connecting lines[edit]

Nakashibetsu station, 1986
Bridge from the Shibecha development lines remaining 40 years after closure
  • Abashiri station - The Yumo Line to Nakayubetsu opened in sections between 1935 & 1952 and closed in 1987.
  • Mokoto station - A 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge line operated to Yamazono (25 km) from 1935 to 1965. A 7 km branch line to Toyo Sawa operated from 1949 to 1962.
  • Hamakoshimizu station - Another 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge line extended 18 km east to service the sugar beet industry between 1941 and 1953.
  • Yamubetsu station - A 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) private railway operated to Koshimizu (9 km) from 1930 to 1939.
  • Shari station - In 1938, fears of Russian naval activity resulted in the decision to build a line to Shibubetsu through the Konpokutoge Pass for defence purposes. Construction was suspended in 1941 following the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact. Construction recommenced in 1957 to service forestry activity, but was suspended again when the highway was upgraded. The line was opened 12.8 km to Koshikawa, servicing the local community until closure in 1970. A substantial brick arch bridge was built south of Koshikawa before construction was abandoned.
  • Shibecha station -

A 39 km 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge line opened to Nakashibetsu in 1932. In 1936 it was replaced by a 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) line, which was extended 40 km to Shibetsu, operating until 1989. A branch from Nakashibetsu connected to the Nemuro Main Line at Attoko between 1933 and 1989, the two branches being known collectively as the Shibetsu Line. A total of 9 separate 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge development lines connected to stations long the Shibetsu Line were built between 1930 and 1963, the last closing in 1971.

Another 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge system connected the Numahoro District to Shibecha, consisting of a 23 km 'main line' opened 1955, and a 6 km branch opened 1966. Both closed in 1971.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]