Ban'etsu West Line
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|Banetsu West Line|
719 series EMU at Kōriyama Station, March 2008
|Locale||Fukushima, Niigata prefectures|
|Rolling stock||719 series, E721 series|
|Line length||175.6 km (109.1 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||20 kV AC, 50 Hz overhead catenary (Kōriyama – Kitakata)|
|Operating speed||100 km/h (60 mph)|
The Banetsu West Line (磐越西線 Ban'etsu-sai-sen) is a railway line in Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It connects Kōriyama Station in Kōriyama, Fukushima and Niitsu Station in Niigata, Niigata. The name "Banetsu" is taken from the first characters of the names of the ancient provinces of Iwaki (磐城) and Echigo (越後), which the Banetsu East and Banetsu West lines connect. "Sai" (西) means "west" in Japanese.
The line's nickname is the Mori to Mizu to Roman no Tetsudō (森と水とロマンの鉄道 lit. "the water, forest, and nostalgia railway").
- Local trains generally stop at all stations, but some trains skip stations marked "▽".
- The column marked "*" refers to the unnamed rapid service between Kōriyama and Aizu-Wakamatsu/Kitakata using 719 series EMUs.
- Trains can pass one another at stations marked "◇", "∨", or "∧"; stations marked "◆" are switchback stations. Trains cannot pass at stations marked "｜".
|Station||Japanese||Distance (km)||Rapid||Transfers/Other Notes||Location|
|Jōko||上戸||6.5||27.3||｜||｜||Inawashiro, Yama District|
|Inawashirokohan (closed)||猪苗代湖畔||2.0||29.3||Closed in 2007||｜|
|Bandaimachi||磐梯町||10.1||51.2||●||◇||Bandai, Yama District|
■Aizu Line[* 2]
|Oikawa▽||笈川||3.1||73.2||｜||｜||｜||Yugawa, Kawanuma District|
|Kitakata||喜多方||1.7||81.2||●||●||Terminus of electrification||◇|
|Onobori||尾登||3.8||101.0||｜||｜||Nishiaizu, Yama District|
|Toyomi||豊実||3.3||121.3||｜||｜||Aga, Higashikanbara District||Niigata|
As of March 2017[update], the following rolling stock is used on the Banetsu West Line.
SL "Banetsu Monogatari"
- 455 series EMUs (from 1967 until March 2008)
- 485 series EMUs (Aizu Liner rapid services)
- KiHa 52 DMUs (until 2009)
- KiHa 58 DMUs (until 2009)
485 series Aizu Liner rapid service at Koriyama Station in March 2012
The private Ganetsu Railway opened the initial section from Kōriyama to Nakayamajuku on July 26, 1898, and extended the line to Aizu-Wakamatsu the following year.
Japanese National Railways (JNR) started to modernize the line in the 1960s, introducing the line's first limited express service (as a part of the Yamagata-bound Yamabata) in 1965 between Ueno Station in Tokyo and Aizu-Wakamatsu via the Tōhoku Main Line. In 1968 the train was renamed Aizu Yamabata, but from 1993 onward it was renamed Viva Aizu and ran only between Koriyama and Aizu-Wakamatsu. The train was finally discontinued as a limited express service in 2003.
In 1967, JNR electrified the section between Kōriyama and Kitakata at 20 kV AC.
In 2011 the line was closed for 15 days in March following the Tohoku earthquake, two days in April as a result of aftershocks, and for 10 weeks following torrential rain at the end of July.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia.
- 磐越西線でE721系の運転開始 [E721 series enter service on the Banetsu West Line]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 9 March 2017. Archived from the original on 9 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- 草町義和. "JR東日本、新潟・秋田地区に電気式の新型気動車を導入へ". Response.jp. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
- ＪＲ郡山富田駅開業 県内の新駅３０年ぶり [JR Koriyamatomita Station opens - First new station in prefecture for 30 years]. Fukushima Minpo (in Japanese). Japan. 2 April 2017. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
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