Hanshin Main Line

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Main Line
Overview
Native name 阪神本線
Type Commuter rail
Locale Osaka and Hyogo Prefectures, Japan
Termini Umeda
Motomachi
Stations 33
Operation
Opening April 12, 1905
Operator(s) Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd.
Depot(s) Amagasaki
Technical
Line length 32.1 km (19.9 mi)
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 1,500 V DC, overhead lines
Operating speed 106 km/h (66 mph)

The Hanshin Main Line (阪神電気鉄道本線 Hanshin Denki Tetsudō Honsen?) is a railway line operated by the private railway company Hanshin Electric Railway in Japan. It connects the two cities of Osaka and Kobe, between Umeda and Kobe-Sannomiya stations respectively.

Outline[edit]

The Main Line of Hanshin is the southernmost railway of the three to connect Osaka and Kobe, with more stations through the earliest inhabited area. The others are Hankyu Corporation's Kobe Main Line in northernmost, and in the midst the Tōkaidō Main Line of present West Japan Railway Company (JR West).

Although the Tōkaidō Main Line has connected the cities earlier as a part of the national railway network, but had been less significant in the interurban connection of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area. Privatized West Japan Railway Company (JR West) has focused the area as its "Urban Network", and has become competitive with private railways.

For nearly a century, the line or the company had competed with the Hankyū Kobe Main Line with numerous stories, tales and talks, however, in 2006 Hanshin and Hankyū were subsidiarized under a single share holding company, Hankyu Hanshin Holdings.

History[edit]

Mikage station in 1910

The Main Line started operation on April 12, 1905, by the company. It is one of the oldest interurban railways in Japan, which found a solution to construct a competing line with a governmental line using the Tram Act which first intended to provide supplementary ways of road traffic. Among the followers are Keihan Electric Railway, Minoo Arima Electric Tramway (present Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc.), Osaka Electric Tramway (present Kintetsu), Keihin Electric Railway (present Keihin Electric Express Railway).

The rivaling Hankyū (then Hanshin Kyuko Railway) Kobe Main Line opened in 1920, and tramways like Hanshin built new tracks to abandon tracks partly laid on road, and introduced express trains.

In 1968 Kobe Rapid Railway opened its Tōzai Line, and Hanshin began through operations to Sumaura-Kōen of Sanyo Electric Railway via Kobe Rapid (And Sanyo trains to Ōishi of Hanshin and Rokkō of Hankyū).

Through limited express trains to Sanyo Himeji were introduced in 2001. Then, the Hanshin Namba Line was extended to Namba, a major junction in southern Osaka. The company announced through trains from Kobe-Sannomiya to Kintetsu Nara in Nara on Kintetsu Nara Line would be operated.

Former connecting lines[edit]

Operation[edit]

Some trains run through the Sanyō Railway Main Line to Sanyō Himeji Station in Himeji, Hyōgo beyond Motomachi terminal via Kobe Rapid Railway.

The Main Line operates eight types of trains, one of the most types among Japanese railways. This is in some part to equalize the load of each train especially in the morning for Osaka (Umeda station) with short length of EMU length and with few (only double) tracks. For the extension of the Hanshin Namba Line, from Nishikujo to Osaka Namba, on March 20, 2009, the diagrams of the Hanshin Railway were revised.[1]

Abbreviations are tentative for this article.
Local (普通 Futsū?) (L)
Trains stop all stations, farthest down to Shinkaichi in the rush hour, and Kosoku Kobe in the off-peak hour.
Express (急行 Kyūkō?) (Ex)
Trains are operated between Umeda and Nishinomiya or between Umeda and Amagasaki.
Morning Express (区間急行 Kukan Kyūkō?) (ME)
Trains are operated between Kōshien for Umeda in the morning on weekdays.
Rapid Express (快速急行 Kaisoku Kyūkō?) (RE)
Trains are through trains to and from the Hanshin Namba Line and the Kintetsu Nara Line. They also stop at Mukogawa Station in the non-rush hour on weekdays, and at Mukogawa and Imazu Stations all day on weekends and Holidays. In addition to trains returning at Kobe-Sannomiya every day, there are also 3 trains from Shinkaichi on the Kobe Kosoku Line to Kintetsu Nara on weekends and Holidays.
Hanshin Limited Express (特急 Tokkyū?) (HL)
Trains are operated down to Sumaura-kōen in the day and late night on weekdays and after day hours on holidays.
Hanshin-Sanyō Through Limited Express (直通特急 Chokutsū Tokkyū?) (SL)
Trains are operated between Umeda and Sanyō Himeji. Eastbound trains for Umeda pass Koshien in the morning on weekdays.
Morning Limited Express (区間特急 Kukan Tokkyū?) (ML)
Trains are operated only from Ogi to Umeda in the morning on weekdays.

Stations[edit]

The Main Line, having 33 stations, is noted for its "high density" of stations. In comparison, Kobe-Sannomiya Station is the 16th station on the Hankyū Kobe Main Line from Umeda Station and Motomachi Station is the 15th station on the JR Kobe Line from Osaka Station.

For connections and distances, see the route diagram.

  • S: trains stop
  • s: limited stop
  • ^: only in one direction
No. Station L ME Ex RE ML HL SL Location
Main Line
HS 01 Umeda S S S Hanshin
Namba
Line
S^ S S Kita-ku, Osaka Osaka Prefecture
HS 02 Fukushima S S Fukushima-ku, Osaka
HS 03 Noda S S S S^
HS 04 Yodogawa S
HS 05 Himejima S Nishiyodogawa-ku, Osaka
HS 06 Chibune S S
HS 07 Kuise S Amagasaki Hyōgo Prefecture
HS 08 Daimotsu S
HS 09 Amagasaki S S S S S S
HS 10 Deyashiki S
HS 11 Amagasaki Center Pool-mae S s s
HS 12 Mukogawa S S S s
HS 13 Naruo S S Nishinomiya
HS 14 Kōshien S S S S S^ S s
HS 15 Kusugawa S
HS 16 Imazu S S s S^
HS 17 Nishinomiya S S S S S
HS 18 Kōroen S S^
HS 19 Uchide S S^ Ashiya
HS 20 Ashiya S S S^ S S
HS 21 Fukae S S^ Higashinada-ku, Kobe
HS 22 Ōgi S S^
HS 23 Uozaki S S S S
HS 24 Sumiyoshi S
HS 25 Mikage S S S
HS 26 Ishiyagawa S
HS 27 Shinzaike S Nada-ku, Kobe
HS 28 Ōishi S
HS 29 Nishi-Nada S
HS 30 Iwaya
(Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art)
S
HS 31 Kasuganomichi S Chūō-ku, Kobe
HS 32 Kobe-Sannomiya S S S S
HS 33 Motomachi S S^ S S
Kobe Kosoku Line
HS 34 Nishi-Motomachi S S^ S s Chūō-ku, Kobe Hyōgo Prefecture
HS 35 Kōsoku Kobe S S^ S S
HS 36 Shinkaichi S S^ S S Hyōgo-ku, Kobe
HS 37 Daikai S s
HS 38 Kōsoku Nagata S S Nagata-ku, Kobe
HS 39
SY 01
Nishidai S s

References[edit]

  1. ^ Press release on January 16, 2009 - Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd.