Iyo Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo of Iyo Railway (Iyotetsu)
610 series trainset
Type MoHa 2100 tramcar
Matsuyamashi Station, built with Iyotetsu Takashimaya Department Store

The Iyo Railway (伊予鉄道 Iyo Tetsudō?) is a transportation company in Matsuyama, Japan. The company or its lines are commonly known as Iyotetsu (伊予鉄?). The private company operates railway, tram, and bus lines, and is a core company of Iyotetsu Group, which also operates other business such as department stores and travel agencies.


The company was founded on September 14, 1887, and its Takahama railway line, the first in Shikoku, was opened on October 28, 1888. "Not only was it the first railway in Shikoku but it was also the third private railway in Japan."[1] The first tramline was electrified in 1911, and the tram system was regauged from 1435mm to 1067mm in 1923.[2]

The company currently operates tram and conventional railway lines in 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge, although in the past it did use narrow 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge and 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge.

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


Railway lines[edit]

Iyotetsu operates the following train lines:

Takahama Line (高浜線): Takahama — Matsuyamashi

This 9.4km line opened as 762mm (2'6") gauge in 1888/92 and was regauged to 1067mm (3'6"), duplicated to Baishinji (8.2km) 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.

Yokogawara Line (横河原線): Matsuyamashi — Yokogawara

This 13.2km line opened as 762mm gauge in 1893/99, and was regauged to 1067mm in 1931. Steam locomotives were replaced by Diesel in 1954, and the line was electrified at 750 V DC in 1967. Through services to/from the Takahama line commenced in 1981.

Gunchū Line (郡中線): Matsuyamashi — Gunchūko

The initial 10.7km line opened as 762mm gauge in 1900, being regauged to 1067mm in 1937. In 1939 a 600m 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, this being increased to 750 V DC in 1976.

CTC signalling was introduced on the rail system in 1993.

Former connecting lines[edit]

A 4.4km 762mm gauge line opened from Iyo Tachibana (on the Takahama line) to Morimatsu in 1896, the line being regauged to 1067mm in 1931. The line closed in 1965.

Tram lines[edit]

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

Development of the tram and train network in Matsuyama (incl. JR Shikoku Yosan Line and Matsuyamajō Ropeway)
  • Lines:, there are officially five lines.

Diagram of the tram network, illustrating the various routes

Loop Line (Route 1; 環状線): Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Komachi — Kami-Ichiman — Minami-Horibata — Matsuyamashi-Ekimae (Only operates in this direction.)
Loop Line (Route 2; 環状線): Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Komachi — Minami-Horibata — Matsuyamashi-Ekimae (Only operates in this direction.)
Shieki Line (Route 3; 市駅線): Matsuyamashi-Ekimae — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen
JR Line (Route 5; JR線): Matsuyama-Ekimae — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen
Honmachi Line (Route 6; 本町線): Honmachi-Rokuchōme — Minami-Horibata — Kami-Ichiman — Dōgo-Onsen

Bus lines[edit]

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

Rolling stock[edit]


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


  • 700 series (since 1987, converted from former Keio 5000 series trains)
  • 610 series (since 1995)
  • 3000 series (since 2009, converted from former Keio 3000 series trains)

"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]