Tōkaidō Main Line

Tōkaidō Main Line

The Nihongo|Tōkaidō Main Line|東海道本線|Tōkaidō-honsen is the busiest trunk line of Japan Railway (JR), connecting Tokyo Station and Kobe Station. It is 589.5 km (366 miles) long, not counting its many freight feeder lines around the major cities. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen runs largely parallel to the line.

The term "Tōkaidō Main Line" is largely a holdover from pre-Shinkansen days: now, various portions of the line have different names, which are officially used in JR. Today, there are no passenger trains that operate over the entire length of the line (other than certain overnight services; see below), so longer intercity trips require several transfers along the way.

The Tōkaidō Main Line is operated by three JR companies:
* East Japan Railway Company (Tokyo-Atami)
* Central Japan Railway Company (Atami-Maibara)
* West Japan Railway Company (Maibara-Kobe)

Route data

*East Japan Railway Company, Central Japan Railway Company, West Japan Railway Company
* Total distance: 713.6 km (Tōkyō — Kōbe)
**East Japan Railway Company
***104.6 km (Tōkyō — Atami)
***17.8 km (Shinagawa — Shin-Kawasaki — Tsurumi)
***20.6 km (Hamamatsuchō — Tōkyō Freight Terminal — Kawasaki Freight Terminal — Hama-Kawasaki)
***2.3 km (Tsurumi — Hacchō-Nawate)
*** 8.5 km (Tsurumi — Higashi-Takashima — Sakuragichō)
***2.7 km (Irie Signalbox — Shin-Kyō) (not used by passenger trains, currently being removed)
***16.0 km (Tsurumi — Yokohama-Hazawa — Higashi-Totsuka)
**Central Japan Railway Company
***341.3 km (Atami — Maibara)
***5.0 km (Ōgaki — Mino-Akasaka)
***13.8 km (Ōgaki — (Shin-Tarui) — Sekigahara)
**West Japan Railway Company
***143.6 km (Maibara — Kōbe)
***3.3 km (Umekōji — Tambaguchi) (not used by passenger trains)
*** 10.7 km (Suita — (Miyahara Switchyard) — Amagasaki) (this section is also known as the Hoppō Freight Line)
*** 8.5 km (Suita — Umeda — Fukushima) (used by limited express Haruka); this section is also known as the Umeda Freight Line)
**Japan Freight Railway Company
***First Type Railway Operation (holds each lines and operate freight trains)
****6.2 km (Sannō Signalbox — Nagoya-Minato)
****8.7 km (Suita Signalbox — Ōsaka Freight Terminal)
***Second Type Railway Operation (borrows each lines from other JR companies and operate freight trarins)
****97.8 km (Shinagawa — Atami)
****13.9 km (Shinagawa — Shin-Tsurumi Signalbox)
****12.9 km (Tōkyō Freight Terminal — Hama-Kawasaki)
****16.0 km (Tsurumi — Yokohama-Hazawa — Higashi-Totsuka)
****2.3 (Tsurumi — Hacchō-Nawate)
****11.2 km (Tsurumi — Shin-Kyō — Sakuragichō) (these lines are borrowed from JR East)
****341.3 km (Atami — Maibara)
****10.7 km (Minami-Arao Signalbox — Sekigahara)
****1.9 km (Minami-Arao Signalbox — Mino-Akasaka) (these lines are borrowed from Central JR)
****139.0 km (Maibara — Kōbe) (via Hoppō Freight Line)
****3.3 km (Umekōji — Tambaguchi)
****8.5 km (Suita — Umeda — Fukushima) (these lines are borrowed from JR West)
* Rail gauge: 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
* Stations: 161 (not including branch line stations other than Shinagawa — Shin-Kawasaki and Ōgaki — Mino-Akasaka sections)
**JR East: 34
**JR Central: 80
**JR West: 47
* Tracks
**Three-track or more
***83.9 km (Tōkyō — Odawara)
***98.1 km (Kusatsu — Kōbe)
***Odawara — Kusatsu
***Shinagawa — Shin-Kawasaki — Tsurumi
***Hamamatsuchō — Tōkyō Freight Terminal — Kawasaki Freight Terminal — Hama-Kawasaki
***Tsurumi — Hacchō-Nawate
***Tsurumi — Higashi-Takashima
***Tsurumi — Yokohama-Hazawa — Higashi-Totsuka
***Suita — Umeda
***Suita — (Miyahara Switchyard) — Amagasaki
***Irie Signalbox — Shin-Kyō
***Higashi-Takashima — Sakuragichō
***Sannō Signalbox — Nagoya-Minato
***Ōgaki — Mino-Akasaka
***Ōgaki — (Shin-Tarui) — Sekigahara
***Umekōji — Tambaguchi
***Suita — Ōsaka Freight Terminal
***Umeda — Fukushima
* Electrification: All; 1,500 V DC (except Sannō Signalbox — Nagoya-Minato section)


Tokyo area

This section is operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

The Tōkaidō Main Line in the Greater Tokyo Area is often referred to as "Shōnan densha" (湘南電車). It has rapid services called Nihongo|Rapid Acty|快速アクティー|Kaisoku Akutī and Commuter Rapid (通勤快速). It runs on dedicated tracks parallel to the Yamanote Line in central Tokyo, the Keihin-Tōhoku Line between Tokyo and Yokohama, and the Yokosuka Line between Tokyo and Ōfuna.

Almost all trains along this section of the line have "Green Cars" with forward-facing seats, which can be used after paying an additional fee.

Shōnan-Shinjuku Line trains also run on this segment north from Yokohama through west-central Tokyo to Saitama.

Tarui Branch Line

From Ōgaki to Sekigahara there exists 25‰ hill climb . So in 1944 a single track by-pass was built to avoid steep slope of the main line and old west bound track ( hill up ) was removed. In 1946 a branch line was constructed on the place where old west bound main line existed. The name Tarui line is used as a common name of this branch line. Presently, for climbing the slope from Ōgaki to Sekigahara, local trains use Tarui line and express and freight trains use the by-pass line.

Minami-Arao S.B.

Both Mino-Akasaka Branch and Tarui Branch divide from Main Line at Minami-Arao S.B.(南荒尾信号場) This S.B. is 3.1 km far from Ōgaki Station.

Kansai region

The western part of the Tōkaidō Main Line from Maibara to Kobe is operated by JR West, and forms the main trunk of the company's Urban Network in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area. The line is divided into three segments - Biwako Line, JR Kyoto Line and JR Kobe Line - although they are part of a single contiguous service. Biwako Line includes a segment of the Hokuriku Main Line, while Kosei Line, JR Takarazuka Line and Gakkentoshi Line offer through train service to the main line.

Biwako Line

The section of the line between Maibara and Kyoto is known as the Biwako Line. The line also includes the section of the Hokuriku Main Line between Maibara and Nagahama, where some Kyoto-bound trains originate.

JR Kyoto Line

The section of the Tōkaidō Main Line between Kyoto and Osaka is known as JR Kyoto Line. Biwako Line and Kosei Line trains continue on the JR Kyoto Line, and continue west to the JR Kobe Line at Osaka.

JR Kobe Line

The westernmost portion of the Tōkaidō Main Line, between Osaka and Kobe is part of the JR Kobe Line, which continues west to Himeji Station on the Sanyō Main Line. Although Kobe is the official terminus of the Tōkaidō Main Line, most trains continue to Nishi-Akashi, Himeji and beyond.

Sannomiya in central Kobe is the major hub on this section, serving the city's main business and entertainment district, and provides connections to other private railway lines and Kobe Airport.


In addition to standard local, rapid, and special rapid service trains, the Tōkaidō Main Line also hosts a number of limited express services.

Daytime trains

*"Biwako Express" (Maibara-Osaka)
*"Fujikawa" (Shizuoka-Fuji)
*"Haruka" (Maibara-Kansai International Airport)
*"Hida" (Nagoya-Gifu, Gifu-Osaka)
*"Odoriko" (Tokyo-Atami-(Itō Line)-Itō-(Izu Kyuko)-Shimoda) (Tokyo-Mishima-(Izu-Hakone Railway Sunzu Line)-Shuzenji)
*"Super-view Odoriko", "Resort Odoriko", "Fleur Odoriko" (Tokyo-Atami-(Itō Line)-Itō-(Izu Kyuko)-Shimoda)
*"Shinano" (Nagoya-Osaka)
*"Shirasagi" (Nagoya-Maibara)

Overnight trains

Most overnight trains on the Tōkaidō Line go from Tokyo to western Honshū, or even as far as Kyūshū.

*"Fuji" (Tokyo-Ōita) (To be discontinued March 2009)
*"Hayabusa" (Tokyo-Kumamoto) (To be discontinued March 2009)
*"Moonlight Nagara" (Tokyo-Ōgaki) (Rapid service with reserved seats)
*"Sunrise Izumo" (Tokyo-Izumo via Okayama)
*"Sunrise Seto" (Tokyo-Takamatsu)

Discontinued trains

*Overnight limited express "Sakura" (Tokyo-Nagasaki (discontinued March 2005), Tokyo-ja-stalink|Sasebo (discontinued 1999))
*Overnight limited express "Izumo" (Tokyo-Izumo via Tottori), discontinued March 2006
*Limited express "Wide View Tōkai" (Tokyo-Shizuoka), discontinued March 2007
*Overnight express "Ginga" (Tokyo-Osaka), discontinued March 2008

Fleets for non-express services

Tokyo area

*185 series
*211 series
*E217 series (Tokyo - Atami)
*E231 series (Tokyo - Numazu)
*E233-3000 series (Tokyo - Atami)

Tōkai area

*117 series (Hamamatsu - Toyohashi, Ōgaki - Maibara)
*211 series
*311 series (Shizuoka - Gifu)
*313 series
*373 series (Atami - Shizuoka)
*KiHa75 series(Through service train for Taketoyo Line)

Kansai area

* 113 series(Through service train for Kusatsu Line)
* 117 series(Through service train for Kusatsu Line)
* 207 series
* 321 series
* 221 series(Rapid/New Rapid services)
* 223 series(Rapid/New Rapid services)

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