A Nambu Line E233-8000 series EMU in October 2014
|Locale||Tokyo, Kanagawa prefectures|
|Stations||26 (main line), 3 (branch line)|
|Rolling stock||205 series, 209 series, E233-8000 series|
|Line length||45.0 km (28.0 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC overhead catenary|
The Nambu Line (南武線? Nanbu-sen) is a Japanese railway line which connects Tachikawa Station in Tachikawa, Tokyo and Kawasaki Station in Kawasaki, Kanagawa. For most of its length, it parallels the Tama River, the natural border between Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures. It lies along the Tama Hills. It is part of the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) network. The line forms part of what JR East refers to as the "Tokyo Mega Loop" (東京メガループ?) around Tokyo, consisting of the Keiyo Line, Musashino Line, Nambu Line, and Yokohama Line. The name refers to the southern (南? nan) part of the ancient province of Musashi (武蔵?) (now Tokyo and northern Kanagawa prefectures), through which the Nambu Line runs.
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- Operators, distances:
- Total: 45.0 km (28.0 mi)
- Passenger: 39.6 km (24.6 mi)
- Freight: 39.4 km (24.5 mi)
- East Japan Railway Company (JR East) (Services and tracks)
- Kawasaki – Tachikawa: 35.5 km (22.1 mi)
- Shitte – Hama-Kawasaki: 4.1 km (2.5 mi)
- Shitte – Shin-Tsurumi Signal Station – Tsurumi: 5.4 km (3.4 mi) (no regular service)
- Japan Freight Railway Company (JR Freight) (Services only)
- Shitte – Tachikawa: 33.8 km (21.0 mi)
- Shitte – Hama-Kawasaki: 4.1 km (2.5 mi)
- Shitte – Shin-Tsurumi Signal Station: 1.5 km (0.9 mi)
- Total: 45.0 km (28.0 mi)
- Stations: 29
- Main line: 26
- Branch line: 3
- Double-tracking: Kawasaki – Tachikawa
- Railway signalling: Automatic Block System
"Rapid" service trains (two trains per hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m) do not stop at Shitte, Yakō, Hirama, Mukaigawara, Tsudayama, Kuji, Shukugawara, Nakanoshima, or Yanokuchi. All other trains except for some seasonal services are "Local" services, stopping at all stations. From the start of the revised timetable introduced on March 14, 2015, "Rapid" services will no longer stop at Minami-Tama, Nishifu, Yaho, Yagawa, or Nishi-Kunitachi.
Nambu Branch Line
- All stations are located in Kanagawa Prefecture.
- Trains can pass each other only at Kawasaki-Shinmachi.
|Shitte||尻手||-||0.0||Nambu Line (main line), Nambu Line (freight branch)||Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki|
|Hatchōnawate||八丁畷||1.1||1.1||Keikyu Main Line
Tokaido Main Line freight branch (for Tsurumi)
|Hama-Kawasaki||浜川崎||1.4||4.1||Tsurumi Line, Tokaido Main Line freight branch (for Kawasaki Freight Terminal)|
The "Shitte crossover" (尻手短絡線? Shitte-tanraku-sen) connects Shitte Station and Shin-Tsurumi Yard on the Tōkaidō Main Line (Hinkaku Line) and the Musashino Line. Freight trains operating between Tokyo Freight Terminal and northern Japan operate on both branch lines.
- 209-2200 series 1 x 6-car EMU (since 2010)
- 205-1000 series 3 x 2-car EMUs (Nambu Branch Line services, since August 2002)
- E233-8000 series 35 x 6-car EMUs (since 4 October 2014)
From 15 March 2017, the last remaining 209 series trainset, set 53, is scheduled to be replaced by a six-car Ome Line and Itsukaichi Line E233-0 series set 670 modified and renumbered to become E233-8500 series set N36.
- 72/73 series 4/6-car EMUs (from 1963 until 1978)
- 101 series 4/6-car EMUs (from 1969 until January 1991)
- 103 series 6-car EMUs (from 1982 until December 2004)
- 101 series 2-car EMUs (Nambu Branchline services, until November 2003)
- 205-0 series 6-car EMUs from (March 1989 until December 2015)
- 205-1200 series 6-car EMUs (from 2004 until January 2016)
- 209-0 series 6-car EMUs (from April 1993 until February 2015)
The private Nambu Railway opened the line in five stages between 1927 and 1930 (freight branches are omitted):
- March 27, 1927: Kawasaki – Noborito
- November 1, 1927: Noborito – Ōmaru (near Minami-Tama)
- December 11, 1928: Ōmaru – Bubaigawara (then called Yashikibun)
- December 11, 1929: Bubaigawara – Tachikawa
- March 25, 1930: Shitte – Hama-Kawasaki
Passenger trains utilised electric multiple units (EMUs) from the beginning. Freight initially consisted primarily of gravel hauled from the Tama River. When the railway reached Tachikawa and made connection with the Ōme Electric Railway, limestone became one of the main freight commodities. The railway was controlled by Asano zaibatsu, which enabled the transport of limestone from its own quarry in Western Tokyo to its cement plant in Kawasaki without using the government railways.
On April 1, 1944, the railway was nationalised by the imperial government and became the Nambu Line of Japanese Government Railways. After the end of World War II, there were several calls for the privatisation of the line, but the line remained a part of the Japanese National Railways (JNR) until its privatization in 1987.
The postwar growth of the Tokyo urban area resulted in the conversion of most of the farmlands along the Nambu Line into residential areas and increased the passenger traffic on the line. Freight traffic reduced after the opening of the Musashino Line (parallel to the Nambu Line) in 1976 and the discontinuance of the limestone freight in 1998, except for the Nambu Branchline, which remains a major freight route.
Limited-stop "Rapid" services between Kawasaki and Noborito with stops at Musashi-Kosugi and Musashi-Mizonokuchi started on December 15, 1969, but were discontinued by the timetable revision on October 2, 1978. After 33 years, Rapid services between Kawasaki and Tachikawa with more stops started on April 9, 2011, postponed from the originally scheduled March 12 due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Construction of a new station on the Nambu Branch Line is under consideration by JR East in conjunction with the city of Kawasaki. Provisionally named Odasakae-Shin Station (小田栄新駅?), the new low-cost station is planned to be built between Kawasaki-Shinmachi and Hama-Kawasaki, with opening scheduled for the end of fiscal year 2015.
- Saka, Masayuki (August 2014). 東京メガループ 車両・路線の沿革と現況 [Tokyo Megaloop: History and current situation of trains and line]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 43 no. 364. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. pp. 28–39.
- "川崎－立川 快速 4009F". JR East Timetable. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
- JR電車編成表 2017冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2017] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 16 November 2016. p. 91-93. ISBN 978-4-330-73716-4.
- 南武線（川崎～立川間）E233系車輌導入完了へ [Introduction of E233 series on Nambu Line to be completed]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 27 January 2017. Archived from the original on 27 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- 205系ナハ39編成が国府津車両センターへ [205 series set 39 moved to Kozu Depot]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- 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). II. Tokyo: JTB Corporation. pp. 65–69. ISBN 4533029809.
- Harada, Katsumasa (1999). Nanbu-sen Ima Mukashi (in Japanese). Kawasaki: Tamagawa Shinbunsha. ISBN 4-924882-28-3.
- 南武線に33年ぶりの「快速」 (in Japanese). Town News. October 1, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- "ＪＲ南武線快速ようやく運行スタート、旧国鉄時代以来３３年ぶり". Kanagawa Shinbun. April 9, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- 南武支線に新駅設置を検討 [New station under consideration for Nambu Branch Line]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nambu Line.|
- Stations of the Nambu Line (JR East) (Japanese)