Gantoku Line

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Gantoku Line
Type Regional rail
Locale Yamaguchi Prefecture
Termini Iwakuni
Stations 15
Owner JR West
Line length 43.7 km (27.2 mi)
Number of tracks 1
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification None

The Gantoku Line (岩徳線 Gantoku-sen?) is a 43.7 km (27.2 mi) railway line operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) in western Japan, connecting Iwakuni Station in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, and Kushigahama Station in Shūnan, Yamaguchi. The line was originally built as a more direct route between its termini that the original Sanyo Main Line (see History section below) and the Sanyō Shinkansen is more closely aligned to this line than the Sanyō Main Line in this section.


Trains operating on this line continue from Kushigahama Station to Tokuyama Station on the Sanyo Main Line.


Station name Japanese Distance (km) Transfers Location
Iwakuni 岩国 0.0 Sanyō Main Line Iwakuni
Nishi-Iwakuni 西岩国 3.7  
Kawanishi 川西 5.6 Nishikigawa Seiryū Line
Hashirano 柱野 8.5  
Kinmeiji 欽明路 15.2  
Kuga 玖珂 17.1  
Suō-Takamori 周防高森 20.6  
Yonekawa 米川 24.4  
Takamizu 高水 28.8   Shūnan
Katsuma 勝間 31.1  
Ōkawachi 大河内 33.3  
Suō-Kubo 周防久保 34.7   Kudamatsu
Ikunoya 生野屋 38.0  
Suō-Hanaoka 周防花岡 39.8  
Kushigahama 櫛ヶ浜 43.7 Sanyō Main Line (toward Yanai) Shūnan
Tokuyama 徳山 47.1 Sanyō Shinkansen, Sanyō Main Line (toward Hōfu and Shin-Yamaguchi)

Morigahara Junction[edit]

Morigahara Junction

Morigahara Junction (森ヶ原信号場 Morigahara Shingōjō?) between Kawanishi and Hashirano Stations is the point where the Nishikigawa Seiryū Line diverges from the Gantoku Line. Between this junction and Kawanishi Station, the two lines share the same track.


A morning Gantoku Line train at Iwakuni Station, headed by a class DE10 diesel locomotive, circa 1976

The line was originally built to shorten the Sanyō Main Line along the old San'yōdō. The 3.7km Iwakuni - Marifu (now Nishi-Iwakuni) section opened in 1929, and the 3.9km Kushigahama - Suo-Hanaoka section opened in 1932. The remaining 36km section, including the 3149m Kinmeiji tunnel (and 6 others) opened in 1934, at which time the line became part of the Sanyō Main Line, at that time being the only remaining single line section. Plans to duplicate the section were reconsidered following the difficulty that had been encountered in building the line, especially the geological conditions encountered during tunnel excavation works.

In 1944 the original Sanyō alignment via Yanai was duplicated and reinstated as the Sanyō Main Line, at which time this line became formally known as the Gantoku Line.

Freight services ceased in 1974, and CTC signalling was commissioned on the entire line in 1982.

Former connecting lines[edit]

Iwakuni station - The Iwakuni Electric Railway Co. opened a 6km line to Shinmachi, electrified at 600 VDC, between 1909 and 1912. The line closed in 1929 when the parallel Gantoku Line opened.


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