Kansai Main Line

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Kansai Main Line
JR West Kiha 120 DMU 005.JPG
KiHa 120 diesel car on a rural section
Type Heavy rail
Locale Aichi Prefecture
Mie Prefecture
Kyoto Prefecture
Nara Prefecture
Osaka Prefecture
Termini Nagoya
JR Namba
Stations 52
Opened 1889
Owner JR Central
JR West
Line length 179.6 km (111.6 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC, overhead line
(Nagoya–Kameyama, Kamo–JR Namba)
Operating speed 120 km/h (75 mph)
(Nagoya–Kawarada, Nara–Tennoji)
95 km/h (59 mph)
(Kawarada–Nara, Tennoji–JR Namba)
Old Nara Station building
A Kasuga limited express train in a rural section. The photo was taken in March 2006, shortly before the service was canceled.

The Kansai Main Line (関西本線?, Kansai-honsen, also called the "Kansai Line") is a railway line in Japan, which connects Nagoya Station with JR Namba Station in Osaka. It is jointly run by the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West), with the boundary between both companies being located at Kameyama Station in Kameyama, Mie.

The section from Kamo Station west to JR Namba Station is electrified and a part of the JR West "Urban Network", and is nicknamed the Yamatoji Line. The JR Central section from Nagoya to Kameyama is also electrified.

Despite its name, for much of its length it is a very local line with mainly single track sections and no regular express services. The line was originally built in the 1890s by Kansai Railway (later under the Japanese Government Railways and Japanese National Railways) as an alternate route from south Osaka to Nara and Nagoya, but competition from the Kintetsu lines and declining ridership forced the line to become two commuter lines to Osaka and Nagoya respectively, with a less-used section in the middle.

Formerly a Kasuga limited express train went the whole of the Kansai Main Line, but this service was discontinued in March 2006.


The Osaka Railway Co. opened the Minato-Machi (now Namba) - Nara section between 1889 and 1892. The company merged with the Kansai Railway Co. in 1900.

The Nara Railway Co. opened the Nara - Kizu section in 1896. It merged with the Kansai Railway Co. in 1905.

The Kansai Railway Co. opened the Nagoya - Kizu section between 1890 and 1897, completing the line. The company was nationalised in 1907.


The Minato-Machi - Tennoji section was duplicated in 1903 and extended to Kashiwabara in 1908. The Nara - Kizu section was duplicated in 1914, and the Kashiwabara - Nara section between 1923 and 1926. In 1944 the Oji - Nara section was returned to single track and the materials recycled for the Japanese war effort. The section was re-duplicated in 1961.

The Tomita - Kuwana section (except for the bridge over the Inabegawa) was duplicated in 1973, and the Kuwana - Yatomi section between 1977 and 1980. The Yokkaichi - Tomidahama section was duplicated in 1993.


The Minato-Machi - Nara section was electrified in 1973, and extended to Kizu in 1984, and Kamo in 1988.

The Nagoya - Hatta section was electrified in 1979, and extended to Kameyama in 1982.

Other matters of note[edit]

CTC signalling was commissioned between Kizu and Kameyama in 1983, and extended to Nagoya in 2001.

Freight services ceased in 1987, and in 1994 Minato-Machi station was renamed JR Namba to coincide with the opening of the JR line to Kansai Airport. In 1996 Namba station and the approach line were relocated underground to eliminate a number of level crossings. Plans to extend the line from Namba to Osaka station have not eventuated as yet.

Former connecting lines[edit]

  • Kamo station - In 1898 the Kansai Railway Co. opened an 8 km branch to a station beside the Daibutsu (Great Buddha), and in 1899 extended the line 2 km to Nara. Following the nationalisation of the Kansai Railway Co. in 1907, the 10 km line was closed.
  • Horyuji station - The 4 km 1435mm gauge Kintetsu line to Hirahata operated between 1915 and 1945.
  • Kyuhoji station - A branchline to serve the Taisho airfield opened in 1942, and was extended to Sugimotocho station on the Hanwa Line in 1952 to provide an electrified (1500 VDC) freight bypass between Wakayama and Nagoya. Passenger services were introduced in 1965 but ceased two years later, and the line closed in 2009 after being out of service for five years.
  • Tennoji station - The 2.4 km Nankai line to Tengachaya, electrified at 1500 VDC, operated between 1901 and 1993.


JR Central (Nagoya - Kameyama)[edit]

  • S: Trains stop
  • |: Trains pass
  • Local trains stop at all stations.
Station Japanese Semi Rapid Rapid Rapid Mie Transfers Location
Nagoya 名古屋 S S S Nakamura-ku, Nagoya Aichi Prefecture
Hatta 八田 | | |
Haruta 春田 | | | Nakagawa-ku, Nagoya
Kanie 蟹江 S | | Kanie, Ama District
Eiwa 永和 | | | Aisai
Yatomi 弥富 S | | Yatomi
Nagashima 長島 | | | Kuwana Mie Prefecture
Kuwana 桑名 S S S
Asahi 朝日 S | | Asahi, Mie District
Tomida 富田 S | | Yokkaichi
Tomidahama 富田浜 S | |
Yokkaichi 四日市 S S S
Minami-Yokkaichi 南四日市 S S |
Kawarada 河原田 S S |
Kawano 河曲 S S Ise Railway Ise Line Suzuka
Kasado 加佐登 S S
Idagawa 井田川 S S Kameyama
Kameyama 亀山 S S

JR West (Kameyama - Kamo)[edit]

All stations between Kameyama and Kamo featured passing double tracks.

Station Japanese Transfers Location
Kameyama 亀山 JR Central Kansai Main Line (for Nagoya), Kisei Main Line Kameyama Mie Prefecture
Kabuto 加太
Tsuge 柘植  C Kusatsu Line Iga
Shindō 新堂
Sanagu 佐那具
Iga-Ueno 伊賀上野 Iga Railway Iga Line
Shimagahara 島ヶ原
Tsukigaseguchi 月ケ瀬口 Minamiyamashiro, Soraku District Kyoto Prefecture
Ōkawara 大河原
Kasagi 笠置 Kasagi, Soraku District
Kamo 加茂  Q JR West Kansai Main Line (Yamatoji Line) Kizugawa

JR West (Kamo - JR Namba)[edit]

See the Yamatoji Line article for the train types and stopping patterns on this section.
Stations on this section

Rolling stock[edit]

JR Central[edit]



JR West[edit]





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