Sanyo Main Line

From Academic Kids

The San'yō 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, inother words the southern edge of the western Honshu. The Sanyo Shinkansen line runs largely parallel to its route since 1972. The name Sanyo derived from the ancient region and highway San'yodo.

The San'yō Main Line is operated by the following two JR companies.

The Wadamisaki Line, a short section of line in length of 2.7km between Hyogo and Wadamisaki stations in Kobe is technically part of the San'yō Main Line. Also a short section connecting to Kita Kyushu Freight Terminal is included into Sanyo Main Line.

Technically its length in total is 537.1km. There are 118 stations for passangers service and five fright stations. Some stations are used by both passangers and freight.


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

The Sanyo Main Line runs mainly along the Inland Sea but some parts could be shortend by tunnels. In 1934 yjr Gantoku Line between Iwakuni and Tokuyama (today Shunan, Yamaguchi) was opened and replaced the former line which run through Yanagii along the Inland Sea. In 1944 it was replaced again the former part because in the former part two tracks were placed. It was a part of setting double tracking between Kobe and Shimonoseki.

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

Except for the Wadamisaki Line, the entire line was electrified in 1964, the year the Tokaido Shinkansen opened between Tokyo and Osaka. Between Shin-Osaka Station through Osaka Station many expresses ran in Sanyo Main Line and it serves transport way running the Western Honshu and connection to Kyushu. Shinkansen was extended as Sanyo Shinkansen. It was extended to Okayama Station in 1972 and to Hakata Station in 1975. In both occasions many expresses were obsoleted. Since 1972 the Sanyo Main Line is mainly used by mostly local and freight services as wells as some night trains.ja:山陽本線


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