Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad
The Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad Co., Ltd. (高松琴平電気鉄道株式会社 Takamatsu-Kotohira Denki Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha?) (or Kotoden) is a transportation company in Kagawa Prefecture, which is on the island of Shikoku, Japan. With headquarters in Takamatsu, the company operates three passenger railway lines, as well as bus subsidiaries. It was established on November 1, 1943. In 2005, it reported sales of ¥3,694,000,000 with a capitalization of ¥250,000,000.
Kotoden was established by the wartime merger of rail lines in the Takamatsu area. Immediately after its establishment, it absorbed the bus transportation operations in the vicinity.
Aerial bombing destroyed some lines during the war. After the war, the company extended its line to Takamatsu Chikkō Station, a few minutes' walk from JR Takamatsu Station. Its network took its present form in the early 1950s.
In the 1970s, the company built a new station building at Kawaramachi, the nexus of its lines. It opened a department store in the building. During the following decade, it allied with Sogo. However, the bursting of the Japanese asset price bubble and the downfall of Sogo led Kotoden to restructuring under the courts in accordance with the bankruptcy laws. It emerged from this restructuring in March 2006.
The company traces its origins to 1909, when the Takamatsu Electric Railway was founded. This would later merge with other companies. One of those was the Kotohira Electric Railway, established in 1924. The third group of companies that became Kotoden began in 1910, and eventually through mergers became the Sanuki Electric Railroad.
The 1943 merger of these three companies resulted in Kotoden. A month later, it absorbed 16 bus companies as well as the bus operations of another railroad.
In 1997, the railroad was the first to introduce new track safety precautions in order to combat the rising number of suicides committed by jumping in front of a train. In the first year after new measures were implemented, the number of train suicides linked to Kotoden fell by 40%.
In 2011, celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Kotoden operates three lines:
- The Kotohira Line, at 32.9 km, is the longest, opening 1926/27 as an electrified line. Its terminals are Takamatsu Chikkō Station in the center of the city, and Kotoden-Kotohira Station in the town of Kotohira. The line passes through Kawaramachi Station in the heart of Takamatsu. In all, there are 21 stations. The line has a track gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge. The downtown section from Takamatsu Chikko Station to Ritsurin Station is double-tracked. The line operates at 1500 VDC.
- The 14.6 km long Nagao Line opened in 1912 as a 1067mm gauge line. In 1945 it was regauged to 1435mm and electrified at 600 VDC, this being increased to 1500 VDC in 1976. It connects Kawaramachi Station and Nagao Station in the city of Sanuki. It links 16 stations, including its terminals, with a single 1,435 mm gauge track.
- The shortest of the three, the Shido Line, opened 1911/17 as a 600 VDC line, this being increased to 1500 VDC in 1966. It links Kawaramachi Station and Kotoden-Shido Station in Sanuki with 12.5 km of track. It also has 16 stations and a single 1,435 mm track.
Former connecting lines
A 16km 1435mm gauge line from Butsushozen (on the Kotohira line) to Shionoe operated 1929-41.
Ritsurin Koen Station is on the Kotohira Line. Tourists visiting Ritsurin Garden are among the travellers using this station.
As of April, 2006, Kotoden had 85 passenger cars. Of these, 43 were in use on the Kotohira Line, 22 on the Nagao Line, and 20 on the Shido Line. It also had two more cars.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
- (Japanese) Official site
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