Senseki Line

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Senseki Line
Senseki 205-3100 Tagajo 20060729.JPG
Senseki Line 205-3100 series train at Tagajō Station
Overview
Native name 仙石線
Type Heavy rail
System JR East
Status Operating
Locale Miyagi Prefecture
Termini Aoba-dōri Station
Ishinomaki Station
Stations 31
Operation
Opening June 5, 1925
Owner JR East
Operator(s) JR East, JR Freight
Rolling stock 205 series
Technical
Track length 50.2 km (31.2 mi)
No. of tracks 2 (Aoba-dōri — Higashi-Shiogama), 1 (Higashi-Shiogama — Ishinomaki)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC
Operating speed 95 km/h (59 mph)
Route map
JR Senseki Line Map.svg

The Senseki Line (仙石線 Senseki-sen?) is a railway line in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, owned and operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It connects Aoba-dōri Station in Sendai to Ishinomaki Station in Ishinomaki, and provides access to the central coast areas of Miyagi Prefecture, significantly the Matsushima area. It connects with the Sendai Subway Nanboku Line at Aoba-dōri Station; the Tōhoku Shinkansen, the Tōhoku Main Line and the Senzan Line at Sendai Station; and the Ishinomaki Line in Ishinomaki. The name Senseki (仙石) comes from the combination of the first kanji of Sendai (仙台) and Ishinomaki (石巻), the two cities that the Senseki Line connects.

Basic data[edit]

  • Operators, distances:
  • Stations:
    • Passenger stations: 31
    • Freight terminals: 1 (Ishinomaki-Minato)
  • Tracks:
    • Double-track: Aoba-dōri — Higashi-Shiogama
    • Single-track: Higashi-Shiogama — Ishinomaki
  • Electrification: Whole line (1,500 V DC)
  • Railway signalling:
    • Aoba-dōri — Ishinomaki: ATS-Ps
  • CTC center: Miyagino Operation Control Center

Services[edit]

"Mangattan Liner" 205 series train, July 2006
"Mangattan Liner II" 205 series train, January 2009

Prior to the partial suspension of services by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, all trains originated from Aoba-dōri Station, with most running to Tagajō or Higashi-Shiogama. Local trains and rapid service trains that ran the entire length of the line operated at 30-minute intervals. When the line was fully recovered in 2015, rapid services were switched to the route via the Senseki-Tōhoku Line. Therefore, under the 2015 timetable, the section between Aoba-dōri and Takagimachi is served only by local trains.

At Sendai Station, the line crosses under the Tōhoku Main Line and its platforms, similar to the situation with the Keiyō Line in Tokyo and the Chikuhi Line in Hakata (which connects via the Fukuoka Airport Subway Line).

The segment from Aoba-dōri to Higashi-Shiogama is a key part of Sendai's transportation system, and becomes very crowded during peak periods, and headways are as short as 4 minutes. During non-peak times 3-5 trains run per hour. Between Higashi-Shiogama and Ishinomaki two trains run per hour.

In addition to all-stations "local" trains, there are limited-stop "rapid" and "special rapid" services on the Senseki Line section between Takagimachi and Ishinomaki. Between Sendai and Takagimachi, the "rapid" and "special rapid" services operate on the Senseki-Tōhoku Line. The special rapid services make only stop at Yamoto in the Senseki Line section, while the rapid services also stop at Nobiru, Rikuzen-Ono, Rikuzen-Akai, Hebita and Rikuzen-Yamashita.

A "Mangattan Train" operates on the Senseki Line, with a livery featuring Ishinomori Manga characters.

Disaster and reconstruction, 2011—2015[edit]

Service was halted since the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, as several trains, stations, and sections of the line were destroyed, heavily damaged, or flooded. Service for the first 16 miles of the line from Sendai was expected to be restored by the end of May 2011.[1] By mid-July, the Sendai – Matsushima-Kaigan and Yamoto – Ishinomaki sections had service restored, although the latter segment was with diesel trains due to the loss of the power substation.[2] As the remainder of the line between Matsushima-Kaigan and Yamoto was virtually obliterated by the tsunami.[2]

From March October 2012, services resumed on all but the Takagimachi to Rikuzen-Ono section,[3] with services on that section restored on 30 May 2015, and a new 400m link is also due to be constructed from between Shiogama Station and Matsushima Station on the Tohoku Main Line to a point between Matsushima-Kaigan Station and Takagimachi Station on the Senseki Line. Costing approximately 2 billion yen to build, the new link will allow through-running services from the Tohoku Main Line to the Senseki Line, and cut approximately 10 minutes off the journey time between Sendai and Ishinomaki.[4]

Stations[edit]

Name Japanese Station (km) Distance (km) Rapid
Service
Special
Rapid
Sercice
Transfers Location
Aoba-dōri あおば通 0.0 Sendai Subway Nanboku Line Aoba-ku, Sendai
Sendai 仙台 0.5 0.5 Tohoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Tohoku Main Line, Senzan Line, Joban Line, Sendai Subway Nanboku Line Miyagino-ku, Sendai
Tsutsujigaoka 榴ヶ岡 0.8 1.3 Via Senseki-Tōhoku Line
Miyaginohara 宮城野原 1.1 2.4
Rikuzen-Haranomachi 陸前原ノ町 0.8 3.2
Nigatake 苦竹 0.8 4.0
Kozurushinden 小鶴新田 1.6 5.6
Fukudamachi 福田町 2.1 7.7
Rikuzen-Takasago 陸前高砂 0.9 8.6
Nakanosakae 中野栄 1.7 10.3
Tagajō 多賀城 2.3 12.6 Tagajo, Miyagi
Geba 下馬 1.8 14.4
Nishi-Shiogama 西塩釜 0.8 15.2 approx. 1 km from Tohoku Main Line Shiogama Station. Shiogama, Miyagi
Hon-Shiogama 本塩釜 0.8 16.0
Higashi-Shiogama 東塩釜 1.2 17.2
Rikuzen-Hamada 陸前浜田 3.1 20.3 Rifu, Miyagi
Matsushima-Kaigan 松島海岸 2.9 23.2 approx. 2 km from Tohoku Main Line Matsushima Station. Matsushima, Miyagi
Takagimachi 高城町 2.3 25.5 approx. 1 km from Tohoku Main Line Matsushima Station.
Tetaru 手樽 1.8 27.3 | |
Rikuzen-Tomiyama 陸前富山 1.3 28.6 | |
Rikuzen-Ōtsuka 陸前大塚 2.2 30.8 | | Higashimatsushima, Miyagi
Tōna 東名 1.4 32.2 | |
Nobiru 野蒜 1.2 33.4 |
Rikuzen-Ono 陸前小野 2.6 36.0 |
Kazuma 鹿妻 1.6 37.6 | |
Yamoto 矢本 2.6 40.2
Higashi-Yamoto 東矢本 1.4 41.6 | |
Rikuzen-Akai 陸前赤井 1.5 43.1 |
Hebita 蛇田 3.5 46.6 | Ishinomaki, Miyagi
Rikuzen-Yamashita 陸前山下 1.0 47.6 |
Ishinomaki 石巻 1.4 49.0 Ishinomaki Line

The distances shown above are as of May 30, 2015 following the rerouting of the section between Rikuzen-Ōtsuka and Rikuzen-Ono, by which the section was shorten by 1.2 kilometers.[5]

Rolling stock[edit]

New HB-E210 series 2-car hybrid diesel multiple unit (DMU) trains are scheduled to be introduced on the line from 30 May 2015 between Takagimachi and Ishinomaki following the start of new Senseki-Tohoku Line services using a newly built link connecting with the Tohoku Main Line at Shiogama.[6]

History[edit]

The Miyagi Electric Railway opened the line in sections between 1925 and 1928. Individual opening dates are given in the timeline section below. The Rikuzen-Haranomachi to Nishi-Shiogama section was double-tracked between 1968 and 1969, and extended to Higashi-Shiogama in 1981.

In 2000, the surface section between Rikuzen-Haranomachi and Sendai was replaced by a double-track underground line, with a new section to Aoba-dori to connect to the Sendai subway.

Parts of the line were extensively damaged by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and whilst service was restored on the majority of the line by March 2012, the Takagimachi - Rikuzen-Ono section was returned to service on 30 May 2015.

Timeline[edit]

Senseki Line 205 series EMU damaged by tsunami, March 2011

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ Slavin, Erik, "U.S. troops restore a train station, one dirt pile at a time", Stars and Stripes, 25 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b 津波被害のJR仙石線が部分開通 全線は見通し立たず [Partial reopening of tsunami-hit JR Senseki Line; No timeline for full restoration]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  3. ^ JR Timetable October 2012 issue, P.9
  4. ^ 東北本線と仙石線を接続、直通運転へ [Tohoku Main Line and Senseki Line to be linked with through-running]. Tetsudo.com (in Japanese). Japan: Asahi Interactive Inc. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Sendai Branch, East Japan Railway Company (January 29, 2015). "石巻線および仙石線の全線運転再開と仙石東北ライン開業に伴う営業キロの変更及び運賃の適用等について" (PDF) (in Japanese). Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  6. ^ "JR東日本に新型車両2形式 - E129系とディーゼルハイブリッド車両HB-E210系" [Two new train types for JR East: E129 series and diesel hybrid HB-210 series]. Mynavi News (in Japanese). Japan: Mynavi Corporation. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "JR East news release" (PDF) (in Japanese). Tokyo. 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  8. ^ "Japanese Passenger Train Unaccounted for After Powerful Earthquake". Nobiru, Japan: Fox News. 2011-03-11.