Sekihoku Main Line
|Sekihoku Main Line|
|Operator(s)||JR Hokkaido, JR Freight|
|Rolling stock||KiHa 50, 183 Series, KiHa 54|
|Line length||257.8 km (160.2 mi)|
|Track length||257.8 km (160.2 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Operating speed||110 km/h (70 mph)|
Sekihoku Main Line (石北本線 Sekihoku-honsen?) is a Japanese railway line in Hokkaido, operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) between Shin-Asahikawa in Asahikawa and Abashiri Station in Abashiri. The name comes from Ishikari Province (石狩国?) and Kitami Province (北見国?), names of ancient provinces along the line.
- Operators, distances
- Signal boxes: 4
- Track: single
- Block system: Automatic
The Okhotsk limited express train, named after the Sea of Okhotsk, runs from Sapporo to Abashiri four times a day in summer, six times a day in winter. The limited rapid train Kitami operates between Asahikawa and Kitami, with one return service daily.
As for the local service, the line is roughly divided into three segments. In the segment between Asahikawa and Kamikawa, the line functions as a commuter rail of Asahikawa City. There is one local train service per one to two hours. The segment between Kamikawa and Engaru is a sparsely populated area. Between Kakikawa and Shirataki, a local train runs one lap per day. For the segment between Engaru and Abashiri, there is one local train service per one to two hours.
- LE: Limited Express
- R: Rapid
- All the trains stop at stations signed "+". Some trains stop at "*". No trains (other than local) stop at "-".
|Sōya Main Line|
■ Sekihoku Main Line
|Sekihoku Main Line|
The principle route between Sapporo and Okhotsk Subprefecture has changed several times. Originally, the route was the Hakodate Main Line to Asahikawa, then the southbound Nemuro Main Line and then the northbound line from Ikeda, via the Abashiri Main Line (網走本線 Abashiri-honsen?) to Kitami. The route shortened by 53.5km when the section between Takikawa and Furano on the Nemuro Main Line opened in 1913.
A third route was a shortcut between Asahikawa and Engaru, straight through the Kitami Pass. The Sekihoku Line (石北線 Sekihoku-sen?), completed in 1932, finally completed the main route still used today.
The current Sekihoku Main Line consists of the remnants of these three lines. The section between Shin-Asahikawa and Engaru is from the Sekihoku Line, the section between Engaru and Kitami from the Yūbetsu Line, and the section between Kitami and Abashiri from the Abashiri Main Line.
The first of the abovementioned sections to open was from Abashiri to Kitami in 1912. The Kitami - Engaru line was opened between 1912-15 as a 762mm (2'6") gauge line, but was converted to 1067mm (3'6") gauge in 1916.
The Asahikawa - Kamikawa section opened in 1922-23, and the Engaru - Shiritaki section in 1927-29. The final section, including the Ishikita tunnel, opened in 1932.
Former connecting lines
- Kitami station - The abovementioned 140km line to Ikeda was transferred to private operation in 1989, and closed in 2006.
- Bihoro station - A 37km line to Kitami Aioi opened 1924/25, and closed in 1985. A 22km logging tramway operated from Tsubetsu station on this line 1927-63.
- Abashiri station - The 90km Yumo line to Nakayubestsu on the Naroyo line, opened in sections 1935-53 and closed in 1987.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
- JTB Timetable, February 2011 issue