Shigaraki Kohgen Railway

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Shigaraki Kohgen Railway Co., Ltd.
Headquarters adjacent to Shigaraki Station
Main region(s)Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Stations called at6
Parent companyKōka 55.1%)
Shiga Prefecture (34.5%)
Ohmi Railway (5.3%)
Kōka City Mayor Liaison Council Shigaraki Area Mayor Association (2.9%)
Shiga Bank (1.0%)
As of 31 March 2019
Dates of operationFebruary 10, 1987 (1987-02-10)–present
PredecessorJapanese National Railways (JNR)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrificationnot electrified
Length14.7 km (9.1 mi)
Route map

Ohmi Railway Main LineUp arrow
Kibukawa (貴生川) Left arrowKusatsu LineRight arrow
Shigarakigūshi (紫香楽宮跡)
Kumoi (雲井)
Chokushi (勅旨)
Gyokukeijimae (玉桂寺前)
Shigaraki (信楽)

Shigaraki Kohgen Railway Co., Ltd. (信楽高原鐵道株式会社, Shigaraki Kōgen Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese third-sector railway company funded by Shiga Prefecture and the city of Koka.

The railway operates the Shigaraki Line, a former JR West line that was transferred to the third sector in 1987. The Shigaraki Line connects Kibukawa on the JR West Kusatsu Line with Shigaraki.

Route data[edit]

  • Operating Company:
    • Shigaraki Kohgen Railway Co.
  • Distance:
    • Kibukawa — Shigaraki: 14.7 km
  • Gauge: 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  • Stations: 6
  • Double-track: None
  • Electrification: Not electrified


An image of Shigaraki Kohgen Railway network.
Shigaraki Kohgen Railway network.
Station Japanese Distance (km) Transfers Location
Between stations Total
Kibukawa 貴生川 - 0.0 JR West Kusatsu Line
Ohmi Railway Main Line
Kōka Shiga
Shigarakigūshi 紫香楽宮跡 9.6 9.6
Kumoi 雲井 0.6 10.2
Chokushi 勅旨 2.2 12.4
Gyokukeijimae 玉桂寺前 1.0 13.4
Shigaraki 信楽 1.3 14.7

Rolling stock[edit]

  • SKR310 series (since 2001)
  • SKR400 series (since 2015)
  • SKR500 series (since 5 February 2017)

As of February 2017, the company operates a fleet of four diesel railcars: SKR310 series cars SKR311 and SKR312, SKR400 series car SKR401, and SKR500 series car SKR501.[1] The two SKR310 series diesel railcars were introduced in 2001, based on the earlier SKR300 series design but with more powerful engines.[2] SKR400 series diesel railcar SKR401 was delivered to the line in September 2015. This replaced car SKR301, which was withdrawn from service on 3 October 2015.[3] New SKR500 series diesel railcar SKR501 entered revenue service on the line from 5 February 2017.[4] This replaced SKR205, which made its last run on 4 February 2017.[5] While similar in design to the earlier SKR400 series car SKR401, SKR501 has transverse seating, whereas SKR401 has longitudinal bench seating.[6]

Former rolling stock[edit]

  • SKR200 series (x5, from 1987 until February 2017)
  • SKR300 series (x1, from 1995 until October 2015)

Five SKR200 series railcars were introduced between 1987 and 1992.[2] One SKR300 series car was introduced in 1995.[2]


A pair of SKR200 series diesel railcars in 1988

The line was opened by the Japanese Government Railways on May 8, 1933.[7] Freight services ceased in 1982.[citation needed]

The company was established on February 10, 1987, and started the railway operation on July 13, 1987, following the end of the operation by JR West the day before.[7] Originally the company owned the railway facilities, but on April 1, 2013, the asset was transferred to the city of Kōka for 10-year free lease to the company as a part of the restructuring.[8]

Service disruptions[edit]

The line has an unfortunate record in this regard, with services suspended between 1943 and 1947 due to it being deemed non-essential during World War II and the track was removed. The citizens' volunteer work contributed to the reopening of the line on July 25, 1947.[7]

A bridge was washed out in 1953, and the line was out of service for a year whilst it was rebuilt.[citation needed]

The 1991 collision (see below) resulted in the suspension of services for six months.[7]

The line was out of service from September 16, 2013, to November 29, 2014, as a result of another bridge washout caused by Typhoon Man-yi.[9][10][11]


A train passing the memorial at the site of the 1991 crash

The Shigaraki train disaster happened on the line in May 1991, when a through train from JR West collided head-on with a Shigaraki Kohgen Railway train, killing 42 people.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 私鉄車両編成表 2016 [Private Railway Rolling Stock Formations - 2016] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 25 July 2016. p. 116. ISBN 978-4-330-70116-5.
  2. ^ a b c Takai, Kunpei (30 June 2014). Morokawa, Hisashi; Hattori, Akihiro (eds.). 全国私鉄超決定版電車・機関車・気動車1700 [Nationwide Private Railway Ultimate Edition: 1700 EMUs, Locomotives, and DMUs] (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Sekaibunka-sha. p. 224. ISBN 978-4-418-14219-4.
  3. ^ 信楽高原鐵道,SKR401を導入 [Shigaraki Kogen Railway introduces SKR401]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 22 September 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  4. ^ 信楽高原鐵道SKR501が営業運転を開始 [Shigaraki Kohgen Railway SKR501 enters revenue service]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 6 February 2017. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  5. ^ 信楽高原鐵道 SKR205 さよならHM掲出 [Shigaraki Kohgen Railway SKR205 carried "Sayonara" headboard]. RM News (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 31 January 2017. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  6. ^ 信楽高原鐵道SKR500形 [Shigaraki Kohgen Railway SKR500 series]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 57, no. 672. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. April 2017. p. 79.
  7. ^ a b c d "会社沿革". Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "信楽高原鐵道、4月から「上下分離」経営に" [Shigaraki Kogen Railway Management to be Owner-Operator Separated from April]. March 15, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Kusamachi, Yoshikazu (August 22, 2014). "信楽高原鐵道、11月29日に再開へ…昨秋の台風で不通" [Shigaraki Kogen Railway to Resume on November 29, Suspended Due to Typhoon of Last Fall]. Response. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "信楽鉄道再開待つ秋…台風18号1年" [Fall to Wait Resumption of Shigaraki Railway, One Year from Typhoon No. 18]. Yomiuri Shimbun. September 15, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  11. ^ 小川勝也; 和野康宏 (December 13, 2014). 赤字・大事故・豪雨被害、それでも立ち上がった"幸運な鉄道"…住民らが支えた苦難の80年 [Despite Deficit, Disaster, Flood the Lucky Railway Rises—Residents Supported 80 Years of Hardship]. Sankei West. Retrieved December 14, 2014.

External links[edit]