Shigaraki Kōgen Railway
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The railway operates the Shigaraki Line, a former JR West line that was transferred to the third sector in 1987. The Shigaraki Line connects Kibukawa on the JR West Kusatsu Line and Shigaraki. The original plan proposed the extension of the line to Kamo on the Kansai Main Line. A current proposal is for the line to be extended to Osaka (see below).
- Operating Company:
- Shigaraki Kōgen Railway Co.
- Kibukawa — Shigaraki: 14.7km
- Gauge: 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
- Stations: 6
- Double-tracking: None
- Electrification: Not electrified
- Railway safeworking:
- Ordinary staff
- Kibukawa Station
- Shigarakigūshi Station
- Kumoi Station
- Chokushi Station
- Gyokukeijimae Station
- Shigaraki Station
The company was established on February 10, 1987 and started the railway operation on July 13, 1987 following the end of the operation by JR West the day before. Originally the company owned the railway facilities, but on April 1, 2013 the asset was transferred to the city of Kōka for 10-year free lease to the company as a part of the restructuring.
The line has an unfortunate record in this regard, with services suspended between 1943 and 1947 due to it being deemed non-essential during the World War II and the track was removed. The citizens' volunteer work contributed to the reopening of the line on July 25, 1947.
A bridge was washed out in 1953, and the line was out of service for a year whilst it was rebuilt.
The 1991 collision (see below) resulted in the suspension of services for six months.
A current proposal calls for the Shiragaki Line to be part of a single-line connection from Maibara to suburban Osaka; the proposal consists of a direct connection from the Ohmi Railway Main Line to the Shigaraki Line at Kibukawa, infrastructure upgrades on the Shigaraki Line, and a new line from Shiragaki and connecting with the Gakkentoshi Line in southern Kyoto Prefecture.
- "会社沿革". Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- "信楽高原鐵道、4月から「上下分離」経営に" [Shigaraki Kogen Railway Management to be Owner-Operator Separated from April]. March 15, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- Kusamachi, Yoshikazu (August 22, 2014). "信楽高原鐵道、11月29日に再開へ…昨秋の台風で不通" [Shigaraki Kogen Railway to Resume on November 29, Suspended Due to Typhoon of Last Fall]. Response. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- "信楽鉄道再開待つ秋…台風１８号１年" [Fall to Wait Resumption of Shigaraki Railway, One Year from Typhoon No. 18]. Yomiuri Shimbun. September 15, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- 小川勝也, 和野康宏 (December 13, 2014). "赤字・大事故・豪雨被害、それでも立ち上がった“幸運な鉄道”…住民らが支えた苦難の８０年" [Despite Deficit, Disaster, Flood the Lucky Railway Rises—Residents Supported 80 Years of Hardship]. Sankei West. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
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