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Iyo Railway Co., Ltd.
伊予鉄 (Iyotetsu?)
Native name
Industry Transport
Founded September 14, 1887; 129 years ago (1887-09-14) in Takahama, Shikoku, Japan
Headquarters 4-4-1 Minatomachi, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan
Website www.iyotetsu.co.jp

The Iyo Railway Co., Ltd. (伊予鉄道株式会社 Iyo tetsudō kabushiki gaisha?), usually shortened to Iyotetsu (伊予鉄?), is the main transport provider in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. The company operates railway, tram, and bus lines, and also has many subsidiaries, which include a bank, department stores, travel agencies, and various other businesses.


The company was founded on September 14, 1887, and its Takahama railway line, the first in Shikoku, was opened on October 28, 1888. In addition to being the first railway in Shikoku, it was also the third private railway in Japan.[1] It is named for the former Iyo Province. The first tramway was electrified in 1911, whilst the entire tram network was changed from 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge in 1923.[2]

From August 2005, its lines introduced the IC e-card, a smart card ticketing system.[citation needed]



Iyotetsu operates the following railway lines.

Takahama Line[edit]

This 9.4 km line opened as 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge in 1888, and was regauged to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), double-tracked to Baishinji (8.2 km) and electrified at 600 V DC in 1931. The Takahama Line and the Ōtemachi Tramline have one of the few remaining rail/tram level crossing in Japan. This line is still electrified at 600 V DC, not increased to 750 V DC as Yokogawara or Gunchū Lines.[citation needed]

Yokogawara Line[edit]

This 13.2 km line opened as 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge in 1893, and was regauged to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) in 1931. Steam locomotives were replaced by diesel traction in 1954, and the line was electrified at 750 V DC in 1967. Through services to and from the Takahama line commenced in 1981.[citation needed]

Gunchū Line[edit]

The initial 10.7 km line opened as 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge in 1900, being regauged to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) in 1937. In 1939, a 600 m extension opened to Gunchuko, enabling a transfer to JR Iyo station on the Yosan Line. The line was electrified in 1950 at 600 V DC, increased to 750 V DC in 1976.[citation needed]

CTC signalling was introduced on the rail system in 1993.[citation needed]

Former connecting lines[edit]

A 4.4 km 762 mm gauge line opened from Iyo Tachibana (on the Takahama line) to Morimatsu in 1896, the line being regauged to 1,067 mm in 1931. The line closed in 1965.[citation needed]


Iyotetsu operates the Matsuyama City Lines (松山市内線 Matsuyama Shinai-sen?), a system of five interconnected tram (路面電車 romen-densha?) lines.

Development of the tram and train network in Matsuyama (incl. JR Shikoku Yosan Line and Matsuyamajō Ropeway)

Diagram of the tram network, illustrating the various routes


There are officially five lines, as follows.


There are five routes regularly in service by using one or more lines above.

  • Route 1 - Loop Line: Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Komachi — Kami-Ichiman — Minami-Horibata — Matsuyamashi-Ekimae (Only operates in this direction.)
  • Route 2 - Loop Line: Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Komachi — Minami-Horibata — Matsuyamashi-Ekimae (Only operates in this direction.)
  • Route 3 - Shieki Line: Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen
  • Route 5 - JR Line: Matsuyama-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen
  • Route 6 - Honmachi Line: Honmachi-Rokuchōme — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen


Iyotetsu local bus

The company operates highway buses linking Matsuyama and the major cities of Japan, including Tokyo, Ōsaka, Fukuyama, Takamatsu, Tokushima, and Kōchi. It also operates a local network in and around the city.

Rolling stock[edit]

Heavy rail[edit]


  • MoHa 50 (since 1951)
  • MoHa 2000 (since 1964)
  • MoHa 2100 (since 2002)

Former rolling stock[edit]

"Botchan Ressha"[edit]

Botchan Ressha turning at Matsuyama City Station

Iyo Railway also operates the Botchan Ressha, diesel-powered replicas of the original Iyotetsu locomotives, well-known from Natsume Sōseki's famous 1906 novel, Botchan. The current Botchan Ressha, operating on two of the city lines since 2001, reproduces the atmosphere of early train travel in Matsuyama.

See also[edit]


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

  1. ^ Yuichiro Kishi, "Railway Operators in Japan 13: Shikoku Region", Japan Railway & Transport Review 39 (2004): 44.
  2. ^ Brown, Colin (2007). "Tramway Opening and Closure Dates". Bullet-In Issue 61, p.25

External links[edit]