Kyushu Railway

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Kyushu Railway
Locale Kyushu, Japan
Dates of operation 1889–1907
Successor Japanese Government Railways
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Length 442.8 miles (1907)
Headquarters Moji, Fukuoka

Kyushu Railway (九州鉄道, Kyūshū Tetsudō) was a company that built and operated railways in Kyushu, one of four main islands of Japan. Most of its lines came under the control of Japanese Government Railways following nationalization in 1907, and many are now operated by Kyushu Railway Company.


The company was incorporated on August 15, 1888 in Fukuoka, Fukuoka. The first 22 miles (35 km) of the railway, between Hakata Station in Fukuoka and Chitosegawa temporary station in Asahi, Saga (near Kurume, Fukuoka), opened on December 11, 1889 as the first railway in Kyushu.[1]

The company expanded the railway by means of both construction and acquisition of other companies. As of 1907, it operated 442.8 miles (712.6 km) of railways in Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Ōita and Saga prefectures in northern Kyushu.

On July 1, 1907, the entire operation of the company was purchased by the government of Japan under the Railway Nationalization Act. Consequently, the company was dissolved.

List of lines[edit]

Operation of Kyushu Railway as of June 30, 1907
(Present station names in parentheses)
Line names
(designated after nationalization)
Moji (Mojikō) – Yatsushiro 143.4 Kagoshima Main Line via Ōkura
Kokura – Usa (Yanagigaura) 42.6 Nippō Main Line
KokuraKurosaki 8.8 Kagoshima Main Line via Tobata
Wakamatsu – Kami-Yamada 33.3 Chikuhō Main Line, Kami-Yamada Line
HakataSasaguri 7.4 Sasaguri Line
TosuNagasaki 98.6 Nagasaki Main Line, Sasebo Line, Ōmura Line
KubotaNishi-Karatsu 26.8 Karatsu Line
AritaImari 8.1 Matsuura Line
HaikiSasebo 5.5 Sasebo Line
UtoMisumi 15.9 Misumi Line
Yukuhashi – Soeda (Nishi-Soeda) 23.1 Tagawa Line, Hitahikosan Line
Nōgata – Ita (Tagawa-Ita) 9.9 Ita Line
Kotake – Kōbukuro 3.0 Kōbukuro Line
Iizuka – Nagao (Keisen) 3.6 Chikuhō Main Line
Gotōji (Tagawa-Gotōji) – Miyatoko (Itoda) 1.9 Itoda Line
Katsuno – Kirino (Chikuzen-Miyada) 3.2 Miyada Line
Katsuno – Sugamuta 2.7 Tagawa Line Freight
Soeda (Nishi-Soeda) – Shō 0.6 Tagawa Line Freight
Kawara (Magarikane) – Natsuyoshi 1.5 Tagawa Line Freight
Gotōji (Tagawa Gotōji) – Kigyō 0.6 Gotōji Line Freight
Kawasaki (Buzen-Kawasaki) – Daini-Ōtō 1.2 Hitahikosan Line Freight
Azamibaru (Taku) – Yunokibaru 0.8 Karatsu Line Freight
Ōchi junction – Ōchi 0.5 Karatsu Line Freight
Ōshima – Nishi-Karatsu 0.8 Karatsu Line Freight
(Overlap of Hakata – Yoshizuka) (1.0)
Total 442.8

Rolling stock[edit]

Class 4 (No. 11) made by Krauss in Germany

A special coach made by German car manufacturer van der Zypen & Charlier was imported by Kyushu Railway for VIP use in 1891. The coach was improved and designated as the imperial coach in 1902 for use by Emperor Meiji when he visited an army drill in Kumamoto Prefecture. After the nationalization, the coach was called the imperial coach No. 2 but was not used again by the emperor. It was designated a railway heritage (鉄道記念物, tetsudō kinenbutsu) in 1963 and is now exhibited at the Railway Museum in Saitama.[2]

Fleet of Kyushu Railway[3]
Year Steam
Freight cars etc.
Wagons Trucks
1890 3 38 107
1900 159 302 649 3,173
1906 244 392 1,048 5,300

Kyushu Railway History Museum[edit]

Kyushu Railway History Museum, the former headquarters of the company

The Kyushu Railway History Museum was established near Mojikō Station in Kitakyūshū in 2003. The red-brick main building of the museum is the former headquarters of Kyushu Railway.


  • Ishino, Tetsu et al. (eds.) (1998). 停車場変遷大事典 国鉄・JR編 [Station Transition Directory - JNR/JR] (in Japanese). {{{1}}}. Tokyo: JTB Corporation. p. {{{2}}}. ISBN 4533029809. 
  1. ^ Kyushu Railway History Museum. "九州鉄道記念館 九州鉄道の歴史". Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  2. ^ East Japan Railway Culture Foundation. "鉄道博物館 展示資料紹介". Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  3. ^ Wakuda, Yasuo (1993). Shitetsushi Handobukku (in Japanese). Tokyo: Denkisha Kenkyūkai. p. 169. ISBN 978-4-88548-065-2. 

External links[edit]