Sanyō Main Line

Sanyō Main Line

The nihongo|Sanyō Main Line|山陽本線|San'yō-honsen is the JR main railway line in western Japan, connecting Kobe Station and Moji Station, largely running parallel the coast of the Inland Sea, in other words the southern edge of western Honshū. The Sanyō Shinkansen line runs largely parallel to its route since 1972. The name Sanyō derived from the ancient region and highway Sanyōdō, the road on the sunny (south) side of the mountains.

The Sanyō Main Line is operated by the two JR companies, namely West Japan Railway Company and Kyūshū Railway Company. The Wadamisaki Line, a short section of line in length of 2.7 km between Hyōgo and Wadamisaki stations in Kobe is technically part of the Sanyō Main Line. Also a short section connecting to Kitakyūshū Freight Terminal is included into Sanyō Main Line.

Basic data

*Operators, distances: 537.1 km / 333.7 mi.
**West Japan Railway Company (Services and tracks)
***From Kobe to Shimonoseki: 528.1 km / 328.1 mi.
***From Hyōgo to Wadamisaki: 2.7 km / 1.7 mi.
**Kyūshū Railway Company (Services and tracks)
***From Shimonoseki to Moji: 6.3 km / 3.9 mi.
**Japan Freight Railway Company (Services)
***From Kobe to Kitakyūshū Freight Terminal: 534.4 km / 332.1 mi.
*Gauge: 1,067 mm / 3 ft. 6 in.
**Passenger stations: 118
**Freight-only stations: 5
**Quadruple-track line:
***From Kobe to Nishi-Akashi: 22.8 km / 14.1 mi.
***From Kaitaichi to Hiroshima: 6.4 km / 4.0 mi.
**Double-track line:
***From Nishi-Akashi to Kaitaichi: 275.5 km / 171.2 mi.
***From Hiroshima to Moji: 208.0 km / 129.2 mi.
**Single-track line:
***From Hyōgo to Wadamisaki
*Electric supply: Whole the line (1,500 V DC. Excluding inside Moji Station, which is 20,000 V AC.)
*Railway signalling:
**From Kobe to Moji: Automatic
**From Hyōgo to Wasamisaki: Special Automatic (Track Circuit Detection); a simplified automatic system.
*Maximum speed at service:
**From Kobe to Himeji: 130 km/h
**From Himeji to Okayama: Tilting trains 130 km/h, others 120 km/h
**From Okayama to Shimonoseki: 120 km/h
**From Shimonoseki to Moji: 85 km/h
**From Hyōgo to Wasamisaki: 85 km/h
*CTC centers:
**From Kobe to Kamigōri: Shin-Ōsaka Operation Control Center
**From Kamigōri to Itozaki: Okayama Transportation Control Room
**From Itozaki to Shimonoseki: Hiroshima Operation Control Center
**From Shimonoseki to Moji: Hakata Operation Control Center
*CTC system:
**From Kobe to Kamigōri: Safety Urban Network Traffic System (SUNTRAS)


The main stretch of line between Kobe Station and Shimonoseki Station was originally constructed by the private company Sanyō Railway between the 1880s and 1901. The section between Hyōgo Station (in Kobe) and Akashi Station (in Akashi, Hyōgo Prefecture) opened first in 1888. In 1889 the line was extended to the east to Kobe Station and Tatsuno Station (in Tatsuno, Hyōgo Prefecture) to the west. The Sanyō Railway was gradually extended to the west, and finally in 1901 it reached Bakan Station, the current-day Shimonoseki Station. Under the Railway Nationalization Act of 1906 it was purchased by the Japanese government and renamed Sanyō Main Line.

The Sanyō Main Line runs mainly along the Inland Sea but some parts could be shortened by tunnels. In 1934, the Gantoku Line between Iwakuni and Tokuyama (today Shunan, Yamaguchi) was opened and replaced the former line which runs through Yanai along the Inland Sea. In 1944, this new alignment was replaced again by the previous coastal alignment because the coastal line was upgraded to two tracks, as a part of constructing double tracking between Kobe and Shimonoseki.

The Sanyō Main Line was connected to Kyūshū by ferry from Shimonoseki and Shimonosekiko Station (Port Shimonoseki). In 1942, the Kanmon Tunnel under the Kanmon Straits was completed and the Sanyō Main Line was extended to Moji Station.

Except for the Wadamisaki Line, the entire line was electrified in 1964, the year the Tōkaidō Shinkansen opened between Tokyo and Osaka. Between Shin-Ōsaka Station through Osaka Station many expresses ran on the Sanyō Main Line and it serves as a means of transport running through Western Honshū and connecting to Kyūshū. The Shinkansen was extended as the Sanyō Shinkansen line. It was extended first to Okayama Station in 1972 and then to Hakata Station in 1975. In both occasions many expresses were made obsolete. Since 1972, the Sanyō Main Line is mainly used by mostly local and freight services as well as some night trains such as the "Fuji" service between Tokyo and Ōita.


From Kobe to Himeji (JR Kobe Line)

:"See the JR Kobe Line article for the list."

From Himeji to Itozaki

:Ra: nihongo|Rapid|快速|Kaisoku:SR: nihongo|Special Rapid|新快速|Shin-Kaisoku:SL: nihongo|Rapid Sun Liner|快速サンライナー|Kaisoku Sanrainā

*All the trains stop at stations signed "+". Some trains stop at "*". No trains (other than local) stop at "-".
*Rapid trains coming from Osaka/Kobe area become local trains from Akashi and westward.
*"Rapid Sun Liner" becomes a local train when it's not in between Okayama and Fukuyama.
*Rapid trains from "Hiroshima City Network" stop at all the stations in this section. They become local trains from Okayama and eastward.

Wadamisaki Line

:"See the Wadamisaki Line article for the list."

ee also

*JR Kobe Line
*Wadamisaki Line

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