Mikuni Awara Line

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Echizen Railway
Mikuni Awara Line
Mikuni-minato sta01n4592.jpg
Echizen Railway MC2201 series train at Mikuni-Minato Station
Overview
TypeHeavy rail
LocaleFukui Prefecture
TerminiFukuiguchi
Mikuni-Minato
Stations23
Operation
Opened1928
OwnerEchizen Railway
Technical
Line length25.2 km (15.7 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification600 V DC, overhead catenary

The Mikuni Awara Line (三国芦原線, Mikuni-awara-sen) is a railway line operated by Echizen Railway in Fukui Prefecture. The line extends 27.8 km from the city of Fukui to Mikuni-Minato station at Sakai with a total of 22 stations. It was operated by Keifuku Electric Railway until 2001; Echizen Railway took over the line in 2003.

Service[edit]

Although the line technically begins at Fukuiguchi Station, all trains run through and terminate at Fukui Station. Trains run twice per hour during the day in order to connect with Hokuriku Main Line limited express trains. During morning peak hours between 7:00 and 9:00, three trains run per hour. There is a single Fukui-bound rapid train each morning, as well as a local "Mezamashi Train" (lit. "wake-up train") departing Mikuni-Minato at 5:16 every Monday morning that connects with Osaka and Nagoya-bound JR West limited express trains departing from Fukui Station.[1]

All trains run under driver-only operation, but on-board female attendants sell and collect tickets, make station announcements, and assist passengers boarding and alighting. Doors are operated by the driver.

History[edit]

Mikuni Awara Electric Railway began operating the line in 1928 between Fukuiguchi Station and Awara Station (now Awara-Yunomachi Station). A year later the line was extended to Mikunichō (now Mikuni), and through service began on the Kyōto Dentō Echizen Main Line to Fukui Station.[2] The line became a part of Keifuku Electric Railway in 1942. Two accidents in 2000 and 2001 on the Echizen Main Line forced Keifuku to cease operation on both it and the Mikuni Awara Line in 2001. The line was eventually transferred to Echizen Railway in 2003.[2][3]

Chronology[edit]

  • December 30, 1928: Mikuni Awara Electric Railway begins operations between Fukuiguchi — Awara (now Awara-Yunomachi) stations.
  • January 31, 1929: Awara — Mikunichō (now Mikuni) section opens.
  • February 10, 1929: Mikunichō Station renamed Densha-Mikuni Station.
  • June 1, 1929: Nakatsuno Station opens.
  • October 10, 1929: Through operation on the Kyōto Dentō Echizen Main Line to Fukui Station begins.
  • December 1, 1929: Nishi-Betsuin Station opens.
  • July 1, 1930: Mikuni-Jinja Station opens.
  • April 1, 1937: Tawaramachi Station opens.
  • May 28, 1937: Densha-Mikuni — Tōjinbōguchi section opens.
  • August 1, 1942: Mikuni Awara Electric Railway merges with Keifuku Electric Railway.
  • January 11, 1944: Operation halted between Densha-Mikuni — Tōjinbōguchi.
  • April 20, 1944: Tawaramachi, Yatsushima, Tarōmaru, Mikuni-Jinja Stations closes.
  • October 11, 1944: Former JNR Mikuni Line electrified; Mikuni — Mikuni-Minato section opens. Densha-Mikuni and JNR Mikuni stations merge.
  • April 5, 1945: Tarōmaru, Mikuni-Jinja stations reopen.
  • August 15, 1946: Mikuni-Jinja Station closes.
  • June 1, 1950: Mikuni-Jinja Station reopen.
  • November 27, 1950: Tawaramachi Station reopens. Connecting service with Fukui Railway begins.
  • March 21, 1968: Mikuni — Tōjinbōguchi section abolished.
  • March 1, 1971: Freight operations end.
  • March 1, 1972: Awara Station renamed Awara-Yumachi Station.
  • April 20, 1989: Driver-only operation initiated during non-peak hours.
  • March 20, 1990: Driver-only operation initiated throughout the day.
  • September 10, 1992: Jin'ai Ground-Mae Station opens temporarily.
  • June 25, 2001: Due to accidents on the Echizen Main Line, service halted on the Mikuni Awara Line.
  • February 1, 2003: Line transferred to Echizen Railway.
  • July 20, 2003: Fukuiguchi — Nishi-Nagata section operation restarts. Nishi-Fukui Station renamed Fukudaimae-Nishi-Fukui Station; Awara-Yumachi Station renamed Awara-Yunomachi Station.
  • August 10, 2003: Nishi-Nagata — Mikuni-Minato section operation restarts.
  • September 1, 2007: Nikkakagakumae, Yatsushima stations open.
  • September 27, 2015: Matsumoto Machiya station opens.[4]
  • March 25, 2017: Tarōmaru, Nishi-Harue, Nishi-Nagata and Shimo-Hyōgo stations renamed as Taromaru Angelland, Nishiharue Heartpia, Nishinagata Yurinosato and Shimohyogo Kofuku.[5]

Former connecting lines[edit]

  • Nishi Nagata Station: The Maruoka Railway opened a 4 km 762 mm gauge line to Shin-Maruoka in 1915. In 1930, it was regauged to 1,067 mm and electrified at 600 V DC in conjunction with the opening of the Eiheiji Line to Shin-Maruoka from Arawa Onsen. The following year, a 3 km electrified line was opened from Shin-Maruoka to Maruoka on the Hokuriku Main Line. The company merged with the Keifuku Railway in 1944, and the entire 7 km line closed in 1968.
  • Mikuni Station - An 8 km line to Arawa Onsen on the Hokuriku Main Line operated between 1911 and 1972.

Rolling stock[edit]

Echizen Railway uses twenty-five cars total in its entire railway. The main type active is the MC6101 with twelve cars, followed by MC2101 with eight cars, MC6001 with two cars, and three other types with one car each.[6]

Stations[edit]

No. Station Japanese Distance (km) Express Rapid Transfers Location
Katsuyama Eiheiji Line
E1 Fukui* 福井駅 1.5   JR West: Hokuriku Main Line
Fukui Railway: Fukubu Line (Fukui-eki)
Fukui
E2 Shin-Fukui 新福井駅 1.0    
Mikuni Awara Line
E3 Fukuiguchi* 福井口駅 0.0   Echizen Railway: Katsuyama Eiheiji Line Fukui
E24 Matsumoto Machiya まつもと町屋駅 1.0    
E25 Nishi-Betsuin* 西別院駅 1.6    
E26 Tawaramachi* 田原町駅 2.1 Fukui Railway: Fukubu Line (Some direct)
E27 Fukudaimae-Nishi-Fukui* 福大前西福井駅 2.8  
E28 Nikkakagaku-Mae 日華化学前駅 3.6  
E29 Yatsushima 八ツ島駅 4.2  
E30 Nittazuka* 新田塚駅 4.9  
E31 Nakatsuno 中角駅 5.9  
N/A Jin'ai-Ground-Mae (temporary) 仁愛グランド前駅 -  
E32 Washizuka-Haribara 鷲塚針原駅 8.1  
E33 Taromaru Angelland 太郎丸エンゼルランド駅 9.2     Sakai
E34 Nishiharue Heartpia 西春江ハートピア駅 10.1    
E35 Nishinagata Yurinosato* 西長田ゆりの里駅 11.7    
E36 Shimohyogo Kofuku 下兵庫こうふく駅 13.6    
E37 Ōzeki 大関駅 15.4    
E38 Honjō 本荘駅 17.4     Awara
E39 Banden 番田駅 18.3    
E40 Awara-Yunomachi* あわら湯のまち駅 20.0    
E41 Mizui 水居駅 22.0     Sakai
E42 Mikuni-Jinja 三国神社駅 23.4    
E43 Mikuni* 三国駅 24.2    
E44 Mikuni-Minato 三国港駅 25.2    
  • All stations are located in Fukui Prefecture.
  • Rapid and Express trains: ● - rapid and express and local trains stop, | - rapid trains pass
  • Stations marked with an asterisk (*) are staffed.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ Schedule Archived 2007-10-29 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b History of Mikuni Awara Line
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ 村山豪 (September 28, 2015). "えちぜん鉄道:「まつもと町屋駅」開業 新幹線高架利用開始" [Echizen Railway opens Matsumoto Machiya Station, starts operation on Shinkansen viaduct]. Mainichi Shimbun. Fukui Regional Edition (in Japanese). Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Fukui Railway; Echizen Railway (February 22, 2017). "平成29年春ダイヤ改正等の概要について" [Outline of Spring 2017 Timetable Revisions] (PDF) (in Japanese). Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  6. ^ Information of the company Archived 2007-09-12 at the Wayback Machine