Sekihoku Main Line

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Sekihoku Main Line
Okhotsk Limited Express Train.jpg
Okhotsk limited express train from Sapporo to Abashiri
Overview
Native name 石北本線
Type Heavy rail
Status In operation
Locale Hokkaido
Termini Shin-Asahikawa
Abashiri
Stations 40
Operation
Owner JR Hokkaido
Operator(s) JR Hokkaido, JR Freight
Rolling stock KiHa 50, 183 Series, KiHa 54
Technical
Line length 257.8 km (160.2 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification None
Operating speed 110 km/h (70 mph)
Route map
Sekihoku line map

Sekihoku Main Line (石北本線 Sekihoku-honsen?) is a Japanese railway line in Hokkaido, Japan, operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) between Shin-Asahikawa in Asahikawa and Abashiri Station in Abashiri. The name comes from Ishikari Province (狩国?) and Kitami Province (見国?), names of ancient provinces along the line.[1]

On 19 November 2016, JR Hokkaido's President announced plans to rationalise the network by up to 1,237 km, or ~50% of the current network,[2] including the proposed conversion to Third Sector operation of the Sekihoku Main Line, but if local governments are not agreeable, the line will face closure.

Basic data[edit]

Services[edit]

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.[3] The limited rapid train Kitami operates between Asahikawa and Kitami, with one return service daily.

Local services along the line are 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.

Stations[edit]

Nishi-Rubeshibe station platform
LE: Limited Express
R: Rapid
All trains stop at stations marked +. Some trains stop at those marked *. No trains (other than local) stop at those marked -.
Station Distance
(km)
LE R Transfers Location
Sōya Main Line
A28 Asahikawa 旭川 -3.7 + +

 Furano Line
 Hakodate Main Line

Asahikawa
A29 Asahikawa-Yojō 旭川四条 -1.9 - -
A30 Shin-Asahikawa 新旭川 0.0 - -

 Sekihoku Main Line

Sekihoku Main Line
A31 Minami-Nagayama 南永山 2.5 - - Asahikawa
A32 Higashi-Asahikawa 東旭川 5.2 - -
A33 Kita-Hinode 北日ノ出 7.3 - -
A34 Sakuraoka 桜岡 10.2 - -
A35 Tōma 当麻 13.9 - +   Tōma, Kamikawa
A36 Shōgunzan 将軍山 17.4 - -
A37 Ikaushi 伊香牛 19.5 - -
A38 Aibetsu 愛別 25.9 - -   Aibetsu, Kamikawa
A39 Naka-Aibetsu 中愛別 32.0 - -
A40 Aizan 愛山 36.0 - -
A41 Antaroma 安足間 38.0 - -
A42 Tōun 東雲 40.4 - -   Kamikawa, Kamikawa
A43 Kamikawa 上川 44.9 + +
A44 Kami-Shirataki 上白滝 78.9 closed   Engaru, Monbetsu
A45 Shirataki 白滝 82.2 * +
A46 Kyū-Shirataki 旧白滝 88.3 closed
A47 Shimo-Shirataki 下白滝 92.7 closed
A48 Maruseppu 丸瀬布 101.9 * +
A49 Setose 瀬戸瀬 109.7 - -
A50 Engaru 遠軽 120.8 + +
A51 Yasukuni 安国 128.8 - +
A52 Ikuno 生野 132.7 - -
A53 Ikutahara 生田原 137.7 + +
A54 Kanehana 金華 152.7 closed  

Kitami

A55 Nishi-Rubeshibe 西留辺蘂 156.2 - -
A56 Rubeshibe 留辺蘂 158.2 + +
A57 Ainonai 相内 169.1 - +
A58 Higashi-Ainonai 東相内 173.7 - +
A59 Nishi-Kitami 西北見 176.3 - +
A60 Kitami 北見 181.0 + +
A61 Hakuyō 柏陽 183.7 -  
A62 Itoshino 愛し野 185.9 -  
A63 Tanno 端野 187.3 -  
A64 Hiushinai 緋牛内 194.6 -  
A65 Bihoro 美幌 206.1 +     Bihoro, Abashiri
A66 Nishi-Memambetsu 西女満別 213.1 -     Ōzora, Abashiri
A67 Memambetsu 女満別 218.1 +  
A68 Yobito 呼人 225.9 -     Abashiri
A69 Abashiri 網走 234.0 +  

 Senmō Main Line

History[edit]

The principal 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 53.5 km when the section between Takikawa and Furano on the Nemuro Main Line opened in 1913.[citation needed]

Another route, northbound from Asahikawa to Nayoro, then southeast to Kitami was completed as the Nayoro Main Line (名寄本線 Nayoro-honsen?) and Yūbetsu Line (湧別線 Yūbetsu-sen?) in 1921.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

The first of the abovementioned sections to open was from Abashiri to Kitami in 1912. The Kitami to Engaru line was opened between 1912 and 1915 as a 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge line, but was converted to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge in 1916.[citation needed]

The Asahikawa to Kamikawa section opened between 1922 and 1923, and the Engaru to Shiritaki section between 1927 and 1929. The final section, including the Ishikita tunnel, opened in 1932.[citation needed]

In July 2015, JR Hokkaido announced that it would be closing four stations line (Shimo-Shirataki Station, Kyu-Shirataki Station, Kami-Shirataki Station, and Kanehana Station) in March 2016, due to low passenger usage.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]