Tōhoku Main Line

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Tōhoku Main Line
E721 series train pulling into Nagamachi Station on the Tohoku Main Line
E721 series train pulling into Nagamachi Station
Overview
Locale Kantō, Tōhoku
Termini Tokyo
Morioka
Operation
Owner JR East
Technical
Line length 575.7 km (357.7 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC from Tokyo to Kuroiso
20 kV AC, 50Hz from Kuroiso to Morioka
Operating speed 120 km/h (75 mph)
Route map
JR Tohoku Main Line linemap.svg
Tōhoku Main Line in red

The Tōhoku Main Line (東北本線 Tōhoku-honsen?) is a 575.7 km long railway line in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Although officially the line starts from Tokyo Station in Chiyoda, Tokyo, most of the long-distance trains actually begin at Ueno Station in Taitō, Tokyo, and pass through such cities as Saitama, Utsunomiya, Fukushima, and Sendai, before reaching the end of the line in Morioka. The Tōhoku Main Line runs mostly parallel to the Tōhoku Shinkansen.

The 159.9 km long portion of the line between Ueno Station and Kuroiso Station in Nasushiobara, Tochigi is often referred to as the (JR) Utsunomiya Line. A portion of the Tōhoku Main Line is also shared with the Keihin-Tōhoku Line (29.6 km between Tokyo Station and Ōmiya Station in Ōmiya-ku, Saitama) and the Saikyō Line (18.0 km between Akabane Station in the Kita ward of Tokyo and Ōmiya Station).

History[edit]

The construction of the Tōhoku Main Line began in the Kantō region and extended to the north end of Honshu, and the city of Aomori. It is one of oldest railway lines in Japan, with construction beginning in the late 19th century. Until November 1, 1906, the current Tōhoku Main Line was run by a private company Nippon Railway. In 1883, the first segment between Ueno and Kumagaya opened. In 1885, it was extended to Utsunomiya, but the Tone River still had to be crossed by boat. It was not until the construction of the Tone River Bridge in 1886 that Utsunomiya and Ueno were finally directly connected. The line gradually extended further to the north; to Kōriyama, Sendai, Ichinoseki and Morioka. In 1891, the segment between Morioka and Aomori opened, creating the longest continuous railway line in Japan.

After 1906, the line was nationalized and became the Tōhoku Main Line run by the Ministry of Railways. When Tokyo Station opened in 1925, the Tōhoku Main Line extended from Ueno to the new station. Until the 1950s, this segment was used and many trains ran through both the Tōkaidō Main Line and Tōhoku Main Line. However, when the Tōhoku Shinkansen arrived, it used land previously reserved for the tracks of mid and long-distance Tōhoku Main Line trains. As a result, only a small number of commuter lines such as the Keihin-Tōhoku Line now run to Tokyo from the north, making Tokyo Station's status as part of the Tōhoku Main Line somewhat circumspect. This is set to be remedied in March 2015 when the under-construction Tōhoku Through Line is completed, allowing through service between the Tōkaidō Line and the Utsunomiya and Jōban Lines.

In 2002, the Tōhoku Shinkansen was extended from Morioka to Hachinohe and the operations of the local track segment between those two cities was turned over to Iwate Ginga Railway (IGR) and Aoimori Railway Co.[1] With the extension of the Tōhoku Shinkansen to Shin-Aomori station in 2010, the segment between Hachinohe and Aomori was delegated to the Aoimori Railway Company. The shortened Tōhoku Main Line is now the second-longest line in Japan, after the Sanin Main Line.

Station list[edit]

Utsunomiya Line[edit]

Main article: Utsunomiya Line

(Ueno to Kuroiso)

Station Japanese Distance (km)
(from Tokyo Station)
Transfers Location
Ueno 上野 3.6 Tohoku Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen, Jōban Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Takasaki Line, Yamanote Line
Subway TokyoGinza.png Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-16), Subway TokyoHibiya.png Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-17)
Keisei Main Line (at Keisei Ueno Station)
Taitō-ku Tokyo
Oku 尾久 8.4 Kita-ku
Akabane 赤羽 13.2 Takasaki Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Saikyō Line
Urawa 浦和 24.2 Takasaki Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line Urawa-ku, Saitama Saitama Prefecture
Saitama-Shintoshin さいたま新都心 28.7 Takasaki Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line Ōmiya-ku, Saitama
Ōmiya 大宮 30.3 Tōhoku Shinkansen, Jōetsu Shinkansen, Takasaki Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Saikyō Line, Kawagoe Line
Tobu Noda Line
Saitama New Urban Transit Ina Line
Toro 土呂 33.3 Kita-ku, Saitama
Higashi-Ōmiya 東大宮 35.4 Minuma-ku, Saitama
Hasuda 蓮田 39.2 Hasuda
Shiraoka 白岡 43.5 Shiraoka
Shin-Shiraoka 新白岡 45.9
Kuki 久喜 48.9 Tobu Isesaki Line Kuki
Higashi-Washinomiya 東鷲宮 51.6
Kurihashi 栗橋 57.2 Tōbu Nikkō Line
Koga 古河 64.7 Koga Ibaraki
Prefecture
Nogi 野木 69.4 Nogi Tochigi
Prefecture
Mamada 間々田 73.3 Oyama
Oyama 小山 80.6 Tohoku Shinkansen, Mito Line, Ryōmō Line
Koganei 小金井 88.1 Shimotsuke
Jichi-idai 自治医大 90.7
Ishibashi 石橋 95.4
Suzumenomiya 雀宮 101.8 Utsunomiya
Utsunomiya 宇都宮 109.5 Tōhoku Shinkansen, Nikkō Line
Okamoto 岡本 115.7
Hōshakuji 宝積寺 121.2 Karasuyama Line Takanezawa
Ujiie 氏家 127.1 Sakura
Kamasusaka 蒲須坂 131.6
Kataoka 片岡 135.5 Yaita
Yaita 矢板 141.8
Nozaki 野崎 146.6 Otawara
Nishi-Nasuno 西那須野 151.8 Nasushiobara
Nasushiobara 那須塩原 157.8 Tohoku Shinkansen
Kuroiso 黒磯 163.3

Southern Tōhoku Main Line[edit]

(Kuroiso to Sendai)

  • ●: All rapid trains stop
  • *: Some rapid trains stop
  • |: All rapid trains pass
Station Japanese Distance (km)
(from Tokyo Station)
Rapid Transfers Location
Kuroiso 黒磯 163.3 Nasushiobara Tochigi Prefecture
Takaku 高久 167.3 Nasu
Kurodahara 黒田原 171.5
Toyohara 豊原 176.7
Shirasaka 白坂 182.0 Shirakawa Fukushima Prefecture
Shin-Shirakawa 新白河 185.4 Tohoku Shinkansen Nishigo
Shirakawa 白河 188.2 Shirakawa
Kutano 久田野 192.9
Izumizaki 泉崎 197.4 Izumizaki
Yabuki 矢吹 203.4 Yabuki
Kagamiishi 鏡石 208.8 Kagamiishi
Sukagawa 須賀川 215.1 Sukagawa
Asaka-Nagamori 安積永盛 221.8 Suigun Line Kōriyama
Kōriyama 郡山 226.7 Tohoku Shinkansen, Banetsu West Line, Banetsu East Line, Suigun Line (through from Asaka-Nagamori to Kōriyama)
Hiwada 日和田 232.4
Gohyakugawa 五百川 236.9 Motomiya
Motomiya 本宮 240.7
Sugita 杉田 246.6 Nihonmatsu
Nihonmatsu 二本松 250.3
Adachi 安達 254.5
Matsukawa 松川 259.5 Fukushima
Kanayagawa 金谷川 264.0
Minami-Fukushima 南福島 269.4
Fukushima 福島 272.8 Tohoku Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Ōu Main Line
Fukushima Kōtsū Iizaka Line, Abukuma Express Line
Higashi-Fukushima 東福島 278.8 *
Date 伊達 281.9 * Date
Kōri 桑折 285.9 * Kōri
Fujita 藤田 289.3 * Kunimi
Kaida 貝田 294.9 |
Kosugō 越河 298.6 | Shiroishi Miyagi Prefecture
Shiroishi 白石 306.8
Higashi-Shiroishi 東白石 311.0 |
Kita-Shirakawa 北白川 315.3 |
Ōgawara 大河原 320.1 Ōgawara
Funaoka 船岡 323.1 * Shibata
Tsukinoki 槻木 327.7 * Abukuma Express Line
Iwanuma 岩沼 334.2 Jōban Line Iwanuma
Tatekoshi 館腰 337.9 | Jōban Line Natori
Natori 名取 341.4 Jōban Line
Sendai Airport Line
Minami-Sendai 南仙台 344.1 | Jōban Line Taihaku-ku, Sendai
Taishidō 太子堂 346.3 | Jōban Line
Nagamachi 長町 347.3 | Jōban Line
Sendai Subway Nanboku Line
Sendai 仙台 351.8 Akita Shinkansen, Tohoku Shinkansen, Senzan Line, Senseki Line, Jōban Line (through from Iwanuma to Sendai)
Sendai Subway Nanboku Line, Sendai Airport Line (through from Natori)
Aoba-ku, Sendai

Central Tohoku Main Line[edit]

(Sendai to Morioka)

Station Japanese Distance (km)
(from Tokyo Station)
Rapid Transfers Location
"Minami
Sanriku"
"Aterui" "Hamayuri"
Sendai 仙台 351.8 Akita Shinkansen, Tohoku Shinkansen, Senzan Line, Senseki Line, Jōban Line (through from Iwanuma to Sendai)
Sendai Subway Nanboku Line
Sendai Airport Line (through from Natori)
Aoba-ku, Sendai Miyagi Prefecture
Higashi-Sendai 東仙台 355.8 | Miyagino-ku, Sendai
Iwakiri 岩切 359.9 |
Shin-Rifu 新利府 2.5 (from Iwakiri) Branch line from Iwakiri Rifu
Rifu 利府 4.2 (from Iwakiri)
Rikuzen-Sannō 陸前山王 362.2 | Tagajō, Miyagi
Kokufu-Tagajō 国府多賀城 363.5 |
Shiogama 塩釜 365.2 | Shiogama
Matsushima 松島 375.2 | Matsushima
Atago 愛宕 377.2 |
Shinainuma 品井沼 381.6 |
Kashimadai 鹿島台 386.6 | Ōsaki
Matsuyama-Machi 松山町 391.5 |
Kogota 小牛田 395.0 Rikuu East Line, Ishinomaki Line Misato
Tajiri 田尻 401.1 Ōsaki
Semine 瀬峰 407.8 Kurihara
Umegasawa 梅ヶ沢 411.5 Tome
Nitta 新田 416.2
Ishikoshi 石越 423.5
Yushima 油島 427.0 Ichinoseki Iwate Prefecture
Hanaizumi 花泉 431.2
Shimizuhara 清水原 434.4
Arikabe 有壁 437.8 Kurihara Miyagi Prefecture
Ichinoseki 一ノ関 445.1 Tōhoku Shinkansen, Ōfunato Line Ichinoseki Iwate Prefecture
Yamanome 山ノ目 448.0
Hiraizumi 平泉 452.3 Hiraizumi
Maesawa 前沢 459.9 Ōshū
Rikuchū-Orii 陸中折居 465.1
Mizusawa 水沢 470.1
Kanegasaki 金ヶ崎 477.7 | Kanegasaki
Rokuhara 六原 481.1 |
Kitakami 北上 487.5 Tōhoku Shinkansen, Kitakami Line Kitakami
Murasakino 村崎野 492.2 |
Hanamaki 花巻 500.0 Kamaishi Line Hanamaki
Hanamaki Airport 花巻空港 505.7 | |
Ishidoriya 石鳥谷 511.4 | |
Hizume 日詰 516.8 | | Shiwa
Shiwachūō 紫波中央 518.6 | |
Furudate 古館 521.5 | |
Yahaba 矢幅 525.1 Yahaba
Iwate-Iioka 岩手飯岡 529.6 | | Morioka
Senbokuchō 仙北町 533.5 |
Morioka 盛岡 535.3 Tohoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Yamada Line, Tazawako Line
Iwate Galaxy Railway Line

Rolling stock[edit]

New HB-E210 series 2-car hybrid diesel multiple unit (DMU) trains are scheduled to be introduced on the line from 2015 between Sendai and Shiogama following the opening of a new link connecting with the Senseki Line at Takagimachi.[2]

References[edit]