Tobu Kinugawa Line

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Tobu Kinugawa Line
TypeHeavy rail
LocaleTochigi Prefecture
OwnerTobu Railway
Line length16.2 km (10.1 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC, overhead catenary

The Tobu Kinugawa Line (東武鬼怒川線, Tōbu Kinugawa-sen) is a 16.2 km long Japanese railway line from Shimo-Imaichi Station to Shin-Fujiwara Station in Nikkō, Tochigi. It is owned and operated by the private railway operator Tobu Railway.[1]

At Shimo-Imaichi Station it connects with the Tobu Nikko Line. At Shin-Fujiwara Station it connects with the Yagan Railway Aizu Kinugawa Line. Some trains goes beyond the Aizu Kinugawa Line terminus at Aizu-Kōgen Oze-guchi Station onto the Aizu Railway Aizu Line.

The line runs surcharged, reserved-seat limited express services from and to Asakusa and Shinjuku in Tokyo.

The whole line is electrified at 1,500 V DC, but it is single tracked except for a 0.8 km double-tracked section at Kinugawa-Onsen Station.


No. Station Japanese Distance (km) Transfers Location
TN-23 Shimo-Imaichi 下今市 - 0.0 Tobu Nikko Line Nikkō, Tochigi
TN-51 Daiya-Mukō 大谷向 0.8 0.8  
TN-52 Ōkuwa 大桑 4.0 4.8  
TN-53 Shin-Takatoku 新高徳 2.5 7.3  
TN-54 Kosagoe 小佐越 2.6 9.9  
TN-55 Tobu World Square 東武ワールドスクウェア 0.7 10.6  
TN-56 Kinugawa-Onsen 鬼怒川温泉 1.8 12.4  
TN-57 Kinugawa-Kōen 鬼怒川公園 2.1 14.5  
TN-58 Shin-Fujiwara 新藤原 1.7 16.2 Yagan Railway Aizu Kinugawa Line
Route map of the Kinugawa Line


  • 1915: Fujiwara Tramway (藤原軌道株式会社, Fujiwara Kidō Kabushiki-gaisha) was licensed to build a 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge steam-hauled tramway. It was renamed Shimotsuke Tramway (下野軌道株式会社, Shimotsuke Kidō Kabushiki-gaisha) in the same year.
  • 2 January 1917: A 3.6-mile (5.8 km) section from Daiya-gawa Hokugan Station to Kinugawa Nangan Station was opened. The line was extended a further 2.5 miles (4.0 km) the same year.
  • March 1919: Ōhara Station to Shimotaki Station section was opened.
  • October 1919: Daiya Mukō Imaichi Station to Shin-Imaichi Station section was opened.
  • 1 January 1920: Shimotaki Station to Fujiwara Station section was open to complete the whole 10.9-mile (17.5 km) line.
  • 6 June 1921: The company name was renamed Shimotsuke Electric Railway Co., Ltd. (下野電気鉄道株式会社, Shimotsuke Denki Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha).
  • 9 March 1922: The whole line was electrified at 600 V DC.
  • April 1927: The corporate headquarters was relocated to the Tobu Railway headquarters in Tokyo.
  • 22 October 1929: 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge operation began on all the line.
  • 1931: The voltage was raised to 1,500 V.
  • 1 May 1943: Shimotsuke Electric Railway was bought out by Tobu Railway. The line became Tobu Kinugawa Line.
  • 9 October 1986: Yagan Railway Aizu Kinugawa Line through service began.
  • 12 October 1990: Aizu Railway Aizu Line through service to Aizu Tajima Station began.
  • 18 March 2006: New Kinugawa services to/from Shinjuku commence.[2]

From 17 March 2012, station numbering was introduced on all Tobu lines, with Tobu Kinugawa Line stations adopting the prefix "TN" in orange.[3]

A new station, called Tobu World Square Station, opened between Kosagoe and Kinugawa-Onsen on 22 July 2017 to serve the nearby Tobu World Square theme park.[4] From this date, Tobu World Square Station was numbered "TN-55", and the station numbers for Kinugawa-Onsen to Shin-Fujiwara were adjusted on 21 April 2017, ahead of the opening.[4]

Future developments[edit]

Steam-hauled services[edit]

C11 207 at Tobu's Minami-Kurihashi Depot in December 2016

Tobu has leased former JNR Class C11 steam locomotive C11 207 from JR Hokkaido for use on the 12.4 km section of the Kinugawa Line between Shimo-Imaichi and Kinugawa-Onsen stations from 10 August 2017.[5] Turntables will also be installed at Shimo-Imaichi and Kinugawa-Onsen to turn the locomotive in service.[5] A two-stall engine shed is also being constructed for the steam loco at Shimo-Imaichi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Terada, Hirokazu (July 2002). データブック日本の私鉄 [Databook: Japan's Private Railways]. Japan: Neko Publishing. p. 199. ISBN 4-87366-874-3.
  2. ^ JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 76. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6.
  3. ^ 「東武スカイツリーライン」誕生! あわせて駅ナンバリングを導入し、よりわかりやすくご案内します [Tobu Sky Tree Line created! Station numbering to be introduced at same time] (pdf). Tobu News (in Japanese). Tobu Railway. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b 東武鬼怒川線新駅「東武ワールドスクウェア」の開業日を7月22日(土)に決定しました! [New Tobu World Square Station on Tobu Kinugawa Line to open on 22 July 2017] (pdf). News release (in Japanese). Japan: Tobu Railway. 28 February 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b 東武鬼怒川線で復活するSL「大樹」の営業運転開始日を2017年8月10日(木)に決定! ["Taiju" steam locomotive on Tobu Kinugawa Line to enter service on Thursday 10 August 2017] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: Tobu Railway. 18 January 2017. Archived from the original (pdf) on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.