Ainokaze Toyama Railway

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Coordinates: 36°42′9.3″N 137°12′47.2″E / 36.702583°N 137.213111°E / 36.702583; 137.213111

Ainokaze Toyama Railway
Native name
TypeThird sector
GenreRail transport
Founded24 July 2012
Area served
Toyama Prefecture
ServicesPassenger railway
Number of employees
155 (as of January 2015)

The Ainokaze Toyama Railway (あいの風とやま鉄道株式会社, Ainokaze Toyama Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese third-sector railway operating company established in 2012 to operate passenger railway services on the section of the JR West Hokuriku Main Line within Toyama Prefecture when it was separated from the JR West network in March 2015, coinciding with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension from Nagano to Kanazawa. The company was founded on 24 July 2012, and has its headquarters in Toyama (city) in Toyama Prefecture.[1]


As of 2013, Toyama Prefecture is the main shareholder, owning 63% of the company's shares, 27% is owned by municipalities within Toyama Prefecture, and 10% is owned by private-sector businesses.[1]

Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line[edit]

Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line
Native nameあいの風とやま鉄道線
OwnerAinokaze Toyama Railway
LocaleIshikawa Prefecture
Toyama Prefecture
Niigata Prefecture
TypeRegional rail
Rolling stock413 series/521 series EMUs
Line length100.1 km (62.2 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification20 kV AC (60 Hz)
Route map
IR Ishikawa Railway Line
0.0 Kurikara
Kurikara Tunnel
Hokuriku Shinkansen
4.6 Anrakuji (Signal Box)
Until 1962
Kaetsunō Railway Kaetsu Line
6.8 Isurugi
Oyabe River
14.0 Fukuoka
17.5 Nishi-Takaoka
20.3 Tenpogawa (Signal Box)
Until 1965
West JR Jōhana Line
22.8 Takaoka
BSicon TRAM.svg (Takaoka Station)
JR West Himi Line
Shō River
26.5 Etchū-Daimon
For Denki Kagaku Kogyo
Hokuriku Shinkansen
30.2 Kosugi
36.8 Kureha
Kureha Tunnel
Former Line
Takayama Main Line
Toyama Chihō Railway Imizu Line
40.2 Dakariya (Signal Box)
Until 1956
40.9 Toyama
Until 1908
Jinzū River
Toyama Port Line
41.6 Toyama
BSicon TRAM.svg
Toyama Station/(Toyama Station Nord)
Toyama Light Rail Toyamakō Line
Chitetsu (Toyamaguchi)
Toyama Rail Yard
Former Toyama Light Rail Toyamakō Line
44.4 Toyama Freight Terminal
Toyama Light Rail Toyamakō Line
48.2 Higashi-Toyama
Jōganji River
53.1 Mizuhashi
56.1 Kamiichigawa (Signal Box)
Until 1966
Chitetsu Main Line
58.6 Namerikawa
62.1 Higashi-Namerikawa
64.4 Kadokawa (Signal Box) (Until 1968)
For Japan Carbide Industries
67.1 Uozu
69.7 Katakai (Signal Box)
Until 1969
73.4 Kurobe
Former TER Ishida Line
Former ER Kurobe Branchline
Ishida (Signal Box)
ER Main Line
Dentetsu Kurobe
77.4 Ikuji
Kurobe River
81.6 Nishi-Nyūzen
85.5 Nyūzen
88.1 Ogawa (Signal Box)
Until 1967
90.7 Tomari
Miyazaki Tunnel
95.4 Etchū-Miyazaki
100.1 Ichiburi
ETR Nihonkai Hisui Line

From 14 March 2015, the Ainokaze Toyama Railway took over control of local passenger operations on the 100.1 km section JR West Hokuriku Main Line between Ichiburi in neighbouring Niigata Prefecture and Kurikara in neighbouring Ishikawa Prefecture, with a total of 23 stations.[2]

Service outline[edit]

While the Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line officially stretches from Kurikara in the west to Ichiburi in the east, most services terminate at Tomari to the east, with a same-platform transfer provided to Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line services.[2] Some through services continue over the Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line to and from Itoigawa.[2] To the west, most services continue to and from Kanazawa over the IR Ishikawa Railway Line.[2] In addition to all-stations "Local" (普通, futsū) services, limited-stop "Rapid" services named Ainokaze Liner (あいの風ライナー) operate between Tomari and Toyama or Kanazawa during the weekday morning and evening peaks. A supplementary liner fare of 300 yen is required to board these services, and all seats are reserved.[2]

ICOCA and other compatible IC farecards can be used on the line since 26 March 2015.[2]


Station Japanese Liner Transfers Location
Kurikara 倶利伽羅 | IR Ishikawa Railway Line Tsubata, Kahoku Ishikawa Prefecture
Isurugi 石動 O   Oyabe Toyama Prefecture
Fukuoka 福岡 | Takaoka
Nishi-Takaoka 西高岡 |
Takaoka-Yabunami 高岡やぶなみ |
Takaoka 高岡 O Jōhana Line
Himi Line
Manyōsen Takaoka Kidō Line (Takaoka Station)
Etchū-Daimon 越中大門 |   Imizu
Kosugi 小杉 O
Kureha 呉羽 | Toyama
Toyama 富山 O Toyama Chihō Railway Toyamakō Line (Toyama-Eki)
Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line (Dentetsu-Toyama), Toyama City Tram Line (Toyama-Eki)
Hokuriku Shinkansen
Takayama Main Line
Shin-Toyamaguchi 新富山口 |
Higashi-Toyama 東富山 |
Mizuhashi 水橋 |
Namerikawa 滑川 O Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line Namerikawa
Higashi-Namerikawa 東滑川 |
Uozu 魚津 O Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line (Shin-Uozu) Uozu
Kurobe 黒部 O   Kurobe
Ikuji 生地 |
Nishi-Nyūzen 西入善 | Nyūzen, Shimoniikawa
Nyūzen 入善 O
Tomari O Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line Asahi
Etchū-Miyazaki 越中宮崎    
Ichiburi 市振 Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line Itoigawa Niigata Prefecture

Rolling stock[edit]

Services on the line use a fleet of 16 two-car 521 series (2nd-batch type) electric multiple unit (EMU) trains and five three-car 413 series EMUs (former sets B01 to B03, B07, and B10) acquired from JR West.[3] The 521 series trains will receive a new livery with a blue wave design on the seaward (north) side and a green wave design on the landward (south) side.[2] While both the Ainokaze Toyama Railway and neighbouring IR Ishikawa Railway operate similar 521 series trains, the respective operators' trains do not run coupled together.[2]

As of 1 October 2017, the 521 series and 413 series fleets are as follows.[4]

521 series[edit]

Set No. Former JR West set No. Manufacturer Delivery date
AK01 G06 Kinki Sharyo 27 October 2009
AK02 G07 Kinki Sharyo 27 October 2009
AK03 G08 Kinki Sharyo 22 December 2009
AK04 G09 Kinki Sharyo 22 December 2009
AK05 G11 Kinki Sharyo 15 February 2010
AK06 G12 Kinki Sharyo 15 February 2010
AK07 G13 Kinki Sharyo 2 March 2010
AK08 G15 Kinki Sharyo 2 March 2010
AK09 G16 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 18 December 2010
AK10 G17 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 18 December 2010
AK11 G18 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 18 December 2010
AK12 G21 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 12 January 2011
AK13 G23 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 26 January 2011
AK14 G24 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 26 January 2011
AK15 G31 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 24 February 2011
AK16 G32 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 24 February 2011

413 series[edit]

JR West 413 series EMU set B03
Set No. Former JR West set No. Livery
AM01 B01   Hokuriku white/blue
AM02 B02   Hokuriku white/blue
AM03 B03   Black (Toyama Emaki special event train)
AM04 B07   All-over blue No. 1
AM05 B10   All-over blue No. 1

Set AM03 was modified for use as a special-event train, named Toyama Emaki (とやま絵巻) with new seat covers and a new external livery, returning to service on 28 August 2016.[4] This train is also used to provide additional capacity on regular services during the peak periods.[5]

Future developments[edit]

From the first half of fiscal 2018, a 413 series set will be rebuilt as a tourist train, returning to service on the line in the second half of fiscal 2018.[5]

Five new 521-1000 series two-car sets are scheduled to be introduced over a period of six years, with the first set delivered in December 2017.[6] These sets will replace the ageing 413 series EMUs.[6]


The company was founded on 24 July 2012.[1] The company name "Ainokaze Toyama Railway" was announced on 30 May 2013.[7] Ainokaze refers to a north-easterly breeze that blows in the region in spring and summer, and is mentioned in the Man'yōshū collection of Japanese poetry.[7]

The company was formally granted a railway operating license by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 28 February 2014.[8]

Future developments[edit]

New stations are planned to be built between Takaoka and Nishi-Takaoka, and between Toyama and Higashi-Toyama.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "" 会社概要 [Company overview] (in Japanese). Japan: Ainokaze Toyama Railway. 2013. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Osano, Kagetoshi (March 2015). 北陸新幹線並行在来線各社の姿 [Guide to companies operating conventional lines alongside the Hokuriku Shinkansen]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 44, no. 371. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. pp. 28–33.
  3. ^ Terada, Hirokazu (June 2015). 北陸新幹線長野ー金沢間開業 並行在来線4社5路線を訪ねて(1) [Visiting the 5 parallel conventional lines of 4 companies following the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Nagano and Kanazawa]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 55, no. 650. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. pp. 42–47.
  4. ^ a b Jr電車編成表 2018冬 JR電車編成表 2018冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2018] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 15 November 2017. p. 142. ISBN 978-4-330-84117-5.
  5. ^ a b 観光列車の整備について [Tourist train details] (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan: Ainokaze Toyama Railway. 16 November 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b あいの風とやま鉄道521系1000番台2両が甲種輸送される [Ainokaze Toyama Railway 521-1000 series 2-car set delivered]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 13 December 2017. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b c 富山県の北陸新幹線並行在来線、新社名は「あいの風とやま鉄道」に内定! [New company name "Ainokaze Toyama Railway" chosen for old line running parallel to Hokuriku Shinkansen in Toyama Prefecture]. Mynavi News (in Japanese). Japan: Mynavi Corporation. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  8. ^ しなの鉄道(株)、えちごトキめき鉄道(株)、あいの風とやま鉄道(株)及びIRいしかわ鉄道(株)申請の第一種鉄道事業許可について [Details of railway business approval for Shinano Railway, Echigo Tokimeki Railway Company, Ainokaze Toyama Railway, and IR Ishikawa Railway]. News release (in Japanese). Japan: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.

External links[edit]