Katamachi Line

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Katamachi Line
JRW series207 Gakken.jpg
207 series EMU on a Local service
Other name(s)Gakkentoshi Line
Native name片町線
TypeHeavy rail
SystemUrban Network
LocaleOsaka Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture
OwnerJR West
Operator(s)JR West
JR Freight
Rolling stock207 series EMU
321 series EMU
Line length55.4 km (34.4 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC, overhead line
Operating speed110 km/h (70 mph)

The Katamachi Line (片町線, Katamachi-sen), officially nicknamed the Gakkentoshi Line (学研都市線, Gakkentoshi-sen), is a commuter rail line and service in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area of Japan, owned and operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West). The line connects Kizu Station in Kyoto Prefecture and Kyōbashi Station in Osaka.

The common name "Gakkentoshi Line", literally "Research City Line", comes from the Kansai Science City, which is located along the line around the border of Osaka and Nara prefectures.

Basic data[edit]

Route and operation[edit]

The line is connected via the JR Tōzai Line in downtown Osaka, at Amagasaki, to the Tōkaidō Main Line (JR Kobe Line) and Fukuchiyama Line (JR Takarazuka Line). This link enables trains operated from Nara to the west, as Kobe, Himeji, and Sanda.

Rapid services of several types of stops, with no surcharge, are also provided. Abbreviations are tentative for this article.

Local (普通, Futsū) (Lo)
Operated all day, most trains between Matsuiyamate and Nishi-Akashi on Sanyō Main (JR Kobe) Line. Some in busy hours to Fukuchiyama Line (JR Takarazuka Line), some terminate at Kyōbashi.
Regional Rapid (区間快速, Kukan Kaisoku) (RR)
Operated in early morning, late night, and busy hours only. Some from/to Nara, most from/to Dōshishamae or Kyōtanabe. Through to Nishiakashi or Shin-Sanda.
Rapid (快速, Kaisoku) (Ra)
Mostly through to Shin-Sanda or Sasayamaguchi on Fukuchiyama (JR Takarazuka) Line. One per 15 minutes per direction.
Direct Rapid (直通快速, Chokutsū Kaisoku) (DR)
Through trains from Osaka Higashi Line, only between Hanaten and Kyōbashi in this line. Four trains to Amagasaki from Nara in the morning, 4 vice versa in the evening.


No. Station Japanese Stops Transfers Location
Through service to/from Kansai Main Line (Yamatoji Line)
JR-H18 Kizu 木津 RR Ra    Kizugawa Kyoto
JR-H19 Nishi-Kizu 西木津 RR Ra     
JR-H20 Hōsono 祝園 RR Ra     B  Kyoto Line (B21: Shin-Hōsono Station) Seika, Sōraku
JR-H21 Shimokoma 下狛 RR Ra     
JR-H22 JR Miyamaki JR三山木 RR Ra    Kyōtanabe
JR-H23 Dōshisha-mae 同志社前 RR Ra     
JR-H24 Kyōtanabe 京田辺 RR Ra     B  Kyoto Line (B16: Shin-Tanabe Station)
JR-H25 Ōsumi 大住 RR Ra     
JR-H26 Matsuiyamate 松井山手 RR Ra     
JR-H27 Nagao 長尾 RR Ra      Hirakata Osaka
JR-H28 Fujisaka 藤阪 RR        
JR-H29 Tsuda 津田 RR        
JR-H30 Kawachi-Iwafune 河内磐船 RR Ra    Number prefix Keihan lines.png Keihan Katano Line (KH66: Kawachi-Mori Station) Katano
JR-H31 Hoshida 星田 RR Ra     
JR-H32 Higashi-Neyagawa 東寝屋川 RR         Neyagawa
JR-H33 Shinobugaoka 忍ケ丘 RR         Shijōnawate
JR-H34 Shijōnawate 四条畷 RR Ra      Daitō
JR-H35 Nozaki 野崎    
JR-H36 Suminodō 住道 RR Ra     
JR-H37 Kōnoikeshinden 鴻池新田     Higashiosaka
JR-H38 Tokuan 徳庵    
JR-H39 Hanaten 放出 RR Ra DR  F  Osaka Higashi Line Tsurumi, Osaka
JR-H40 Shigino 鴫野     Jōtō, Osaka
JR-H41 Kyōbashi 京橋 RR Ra DR
Through service to/from JR Tōzai Line, further to/from Tōkaidō Main Line (JR Kobe Line) and Fukuchiyama Line (JR Takarazuka Line)

Rolling stock[edit]

All trains are based at Aboshi Depot.



The line was originally built and operated by the Naniwa Railway (浪速鉄道, Naniwa Tetsudō) between Katamachi and Shijōnawate in 1895. Two years later, the Kansai Railway bought the line in order to have its own trunk line to Osaka from Nagoya, combined with constructing the section between Shijōnawate and Kizu. Katamachi Station was unable to be expanded, thus Amijima terminus was constructed. However Kansai Railway bought the Osaka Railway (I, ja) line from Nara via Ōji to Minatomachi (present JR Namba) in downtown Osaka, and shifted its main line to the ex-Naniwa Railway line. Thereafter, the Katamachi Line became a branch of the railway network of Osaka.

The Shigino to Hanaten section was duplicated in 1927, with the Katamachi to Shigino section double-tracked in 1955, the Hanaten to Shijonawate section in 1969, extended to Nagao in 1979, to Matsuiyamate in 1989, and the balance of the section to Kyobashi double-tracked between 2007 and 2009.[citation needed]

The section between Katamachi and Shijōnawate became the first Japan Governmental Railways electrified line in Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area in 1932, with electrification extended to Nagao in 1950.[citation needed] After privatization of the then Japanese National Railways (JNR), the line became part of the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) system, and the Kizu to Nagao section was electrified in 1989.[citation needed]

In 1997, the JR Tōzai Line was opened and connected to Katamachi Line at Kyōbashi, and Katamachi Station was closed (with Ōsakajō-kitazume Station becoming the replacement station). Most trains began operating through to the Fukuchiyama Line (JR Takarazuka Line).

Converted from a freight branch to a passenger route, the Osaka Higashi Line began service in 2008. Trains from Nara via Kansai Main (Yamatoji) Line are operated to Amagasaki Station.

Military use[edit]

Entrance to the Kin-ya Ammunition Dump in January 2008

Three military/weapons-related facilities used during the early 20th century were serviced by spurs located between Fujisaka and Tsuda Stations (Kin-ya Ammunition Dump, where two explosions occurred in 1909 and 1939), between Kawachi-Iwafune and Hoshida Stations (Uji Weapon Kori Factory), and the Osaka Army Arsenal warehouse between Hanaten and Shigino Stations.[citation needed]