IR Ishikawa Railway

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IR Ishikawa Railway
Native name
Company typeThird sector
GenreRail transport
Founded28 August 2012
Area served
Ishikawa Prefecture
ServicesPassenger railway

The IR Ishikawa Railway (IRいしかわ鉄道株式会社, IR Ishikawa Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese third-sector railway company established in 2012 to operate passenger railway services on the section of the JR West Hokuriku Main Line within Ishikawa Prefecture. The main line was separated from the JR West network on 14 March 2015, coinciding with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension from Nagano to Kanazawa. The company was founded on 28 August 2012 and has its headquarters in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.[1]


Shares in the company are owned by Ishikawa Prefecture, the city of Kanazawa, the town of Tsubata, and private-sector businesses.[1]

IR Ishikawa Railway Line[edit]

IR Ishikawa Railway Line
A 521 series at Tsubata Station
Native nameIRいしかわ鉄道線
OwnerIR Ishikawa Railway
LocaleIshikawa Prefecture
TypeRegional rail
Rolling stock521 series EMUs
Opened1 November 1898
Line length17.8 km (11.1 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification20 kV AC (60 Hz)
Route map

Hokuriku Main Line
Nakabashi/Hokutetsu Kanaiwa Line
Hokutetsu Kanazawa City Line
(Kanazawa Station)
Hokuriku Railroad Asanogawa Line
Kanazawa Depot
Until 2002
Kanazawa Freight Terminal
(Higashikanazawa Station)
Hanazono (Signal Box)
Until 1938
JR West Nanao Line
Hokuriku Shinkansen
Ainokaze Toyama Railway

From 14 March 2015, the IR Ishikawa Railway took over control of local passenger operations on the 17.8 km (11.1 mi) section JR West Hokuriku Main Line between Kanazawa and Kurikara, with five stations (although Kanazawa Station remains under the control of JR West).[2]

Service outline[edit]

All services inter-run either to and from the Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line (and Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line) to the east or over the JR West Nanao Line branching off at Tsubata and the rest of the Hokuriku Main Line operated by JR West to the west of Kanazawa.[2] Limited-stop "Rapid" services named Ainokaze Liner (あいの風ライナー) are operated between Kanazawa and Tomari by Ainokaze Toyama Railway during the weekday morning and evening peaks, but these do not serve any IR Ishikawa Railway stations other than Kanazawa.[2] Noto Kagaribi (Kanazawa - Wakura-Onsen) and Thunderbird (Osaka - Wakura-Onsen) limited express services also operate over the section of the line between Kanazawa and Tsubata, with some services calling at Tsubata.[2]


All stations are in Ishikawa Prefecture.


● - All Ainokaze liner trains stop
| - All Ainokaze liner trains pass

Station Japanese Distance
Liner Transfers Location
Kanazawa 金沢 0.0 Hokuriku Main Line
Hokuriku Shinkansen
Hokuriku Railroad Asanogawa Line (Hokutetsu-Kanazawa)
Higashi-Kanazawa 東金沢 2.6 |
Morimoto 森本 5.4 |
Tsubata 津幡 11.5 | Nanao Line Tsubata
Kurikara 倶利伽羅 17.8 | Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line

Rolling stock[edit]

The company operates a fleet of five two-car 521 series EMU trains; three second-batch sets (10, 14, and 30) were transferred from JR West, and two third-batch sets (55 and 56) were newly built. The two new sets were initially delivered in February 2015 in standard JR West livery but were repainted into the IR Ishikawa Railway livery before entering service.[3] Trains are normally operated as two- or four-car formations.[3]

As of 1 April 2015, the 521 series fleet is as follows.[4]

Set no. Former set no. Manufacturer Delivery date Livery accent colour
521-0 series
IR01 10 Kinki Sharyo 22 December 2009 Light green
IR02 14 Kinki Sharyo 2 March 2010 Purple
IR03 30 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 15 February 2011 Indigo
IR04 55 Kinki Sharyo 6 February 2015 Ochre
IR05 56 Kinki Sharyo 6 February 2015 Maroon
521-100 series
IR06 - Kinki Sharyo 3 December 2020 -
IR07 - Kinki Sharyo 3 December 2020 -
IR08 - Kinki Sharyo 3 December 2020 -


The line eastward from Kanazawa was opened on 1 November 1898 on the Hokuriku Main Line.[5] With the privatization of JNR on 1 April 1987, the line came under the control of JR West.[5]

The new third-sector operating company was founded on 28 August 2012[1] and was renamed IR Ishikawa Railway from 1 August 2013.[6] The company was formally granted a railway operating license by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 28 February 2014.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 会社概要 [Company overview] (in Japanese). Japan: IR Ishikawa Railway. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d 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. ^ a b 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. ^ JR電車編成表 2015夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2015] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 20 May 2015. p. 142. ISBN 978-4-330-56915-4.
  5. ^ a b Ishino, Tetsu, ed. (1998). 停車場変遷大事典: 国鉄・jr編 停車場変遷大辞典 国鉄・JR編 [Station Transition Directory - JNR/JR] (in Japanese). Vol. II. Japan: JTB. p. 137. ISBN 978-4-533-02980-6.
  6. ^ IRいしかわ鉄道 始動並行在来線三セク会社 看板掲げ準備本格化 [IR Ishikawa Railway: Preparation starts in earnest for third-sector company]. 47 News (in Japanese). Japan: Press Net Japan Co., Ltd. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  7. ^ 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]