Sangi Railway Hokusei Line

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Hokusei Line
A train bound for Ageki
Type Commuter rail
Locale Mie Prefecture
Termini Nishi-Kuwana
Stations 13
Opened 5 April 1914
Operator(s) Sangi Railway
Line length 20.4 km (12.7 mi)
Number of tracks 1
Track gauge 762 mm (2 ft 6 in)
Electrification Overhead, 750 V DC
Operating speed 45 km/h (28 mph)

The Hokusei Line (北勢線 Hokusei sen?), commonly known as the Sangi Hokusei Line, is a 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) narrow gauge railway line owned and operated by the Sangi Railway (三岐鉄道 Sangi tetsudō?), a Japanese private railway company. The line connects Nishi-Kuwana Station in Kuwana, Mie with Ageki Station in Inabe, Mie, in Japan. For many years the line was owned by major railway operator Kintetsu but control was transferred to Sangi in April 2003.

The name Hokusei (北勢) means "northern Mie". It is a kanji abbreviation of "north" (北) and "Ise" (伊勢). Ise (as opposed to "Mie") is used in the name because the northern and central parts of present-day Mie Prefecture were called Ise Province during the Edo era before the modern prefecture system was established.


All services are classified "Local" (普通 futsū?), stopping at every station, and are wanman driver-only operation. Two services per hour operate during the day, increased to three per hour in the morning and evening peaks.


Station Distance (km) Transfers Location
Nishi-Kuwana 西桑名 0.0 Kansai Main Line (Kuwana)
Kintetsu Nagoya Line (Kuwana)
Yōrō Railway Yōrō Line (Kuwana)
Kuwana Mie Prefecture
Umamichi 馬道 1.1
Nishibessho 西別所 2.0
Rengeji 蓮花寺 3.3
Ariyoshi 在良 4.1
Hoshikawa 星川 5.5
Nanawa 七和 6.9
Anoh 穴太 8.0 Tōin
Tōin 東員 9.7
Ōizumi 大泉 12.4 Inabe
Sohara 楚原 14.4
Ohda 麻生田 18.1
Ageki 阿下喜 20.4

At Kuwana Station, a short walk from Nishi-Kuwana Station, passengers can transfer to the Kansai Main Line, the Nagoya Line, and the Yōrō Line.


The section of the line between Ōyamada Station (大山田駅?) (present-day Nishi-Kuwana Station) and Sohara was opened on 5 April 1914 by the Hokusei Railway, with services operated using steam haulage.[1] The line was extended to Ageki on 8 July 1931 and electrified at 600 V DC.[1] On 11 February 1944, the line became part of Mie Kotsu (三重交通?),[1] and in 1954, the line voltage was increased to 750 V DC.[citation needed]

Kintetsu acquired the line on 1 April 1965, and from 1 April 2003, it was operated by the Sangi Railway.[1]

Narrow gauge[edit]

The track gauge is especially narrow. In the early 20th century many of Japan's local railway lines were built using this gauge, however the vast majority of them were widened in the mid 20th century. Today, there are only four 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge train lines in operation in Japan, of which the Hokusei Line is the longest. This rarity makes the Hokusei Line (as well as the other 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge lines) popular with Japanese and other railway enthusiasts.

762 mm gauge railways of Japan[edit]


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

  1. ^ a b c d Terada, Hirokazu (19 January 2013). データブック日本の私鉄 [Databook: Japan's Private Railways]. Japan: Neko Publishing. p. 118. ISBN 978-4-7770-1336-4.