Shinano Railway Line
|Shinano Railway Line|
169 series EMU at Nagano
|Line length||65.1 kilometres (40.5 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1500 V DC|
|Shinano Railway Line|
The Shinano Railway Line (しなの鉄道線 Shinano Tetsudō-sen?) is a 65.1 km private railway line operated by the Shinano Railway (しなの鉄道 Shinano Tetsudō?) in Nagano Prefecture, Japan between Karuizawa Station, Karuizawa and Shinonoi Station, Nagano. This is the only railway line the company operates.
Before 1997, the right-of-way currently belonging to the Shinano Railway was a part of the Shin'etsu Main Line of East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and served as the main train route connecting Nagano and Tokyo. Upon completion of the Nagano Shinkansen in 1997, JR East transferred all long distance operations to the shinkansen, and control of the Shin'etsu Main Line between Karuizawa and Shinonoi was handed over to the newly formed Shinano Railway, which is majority owned by the Nagano Prefectural Government. Today, the line is a vital commuter transport route for communities in the east and north of Nagano Prefecture.
The line is electrified and double-tracked with a track gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) for its entire length. The speed limit is 100 km/h (reduced from 120 km/h as the Shin'etsu Main Line).
Like many railways in rural parts of Japan, the line faces problems concerning decreased ridership and revenue. In recent years, additional stations have been opened at Tekuno-Sakaki, Yashiro-kōkō-mae, and Shinano-Kokubunji in order to increase passenger numbers. Also, driver-only operation has been introduced to most of the line in order to reduce personnel costs.
Current rolling stock
- 115 series EMU - 11 three-car sets
- 169 series EMU - 4 three-car sets
Shinano Railway uses trainsets that were inherited from JR East when the line was transferred. Since then, the trains have been painted with Shinano Railway's livery and have been renovated. Many of the trains have video screens above the doors which feature commercials and other information.
In general, the 115 series is used for local services, while the 169 series is for rapid and liner trains.
Shinano Railway Line trains use the right-of-way of the Shin'etsu Main Line between Shinonoi and Nagano. All trains terminate at Nagano, not Shinonoi.
As of April 2008, 4 round trains are operated as Rapids from Nagano. One in the morning from Komoro to Nagano, and two in the evening from Nagano to Ueda are named as "Shinano Sunrise" and "Shinano Sunset", require surcharge between Nagano and Ueda. Passengers using only between Komoro and Ueda is free for surcharge.
R for Rapid (unnamed) and S for "Shinano Sunset / Shinano Sunrise". Lower case shows some trains stop, while upper case for all trains.
|JR-E: Shin'etsu Main Line|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shinano Railway.|
- Shinano Railway official website (Japanese)