Japanese Government Railways
The Japanese Government Railways was the national railway system directly operated by the central government of Japan until 1949. It is a predecessor of the Japan Railways Group; the English name "Japanese Government Railways" was what the Ministry of Railways of Japan used to call its own "Ministry Lines" and sometimes the ministry itself as a railway operator. Other English names for the government railways include Imperial Japanese Government Railways and Imperial Government Railways, which were used prior to the establishment of the ministry; this article however covers the railways operated by the central government of Japan from 1872 to 1949 notwithstanding the official English name of the system of each era. By the end of World War II in 1945, the Japanese Government Railways operated on the main Japanese islands of Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū, Shikoku and Karafuto; the railways in Taiwan and Korea were operated by the local Governor-General Offices - the Taiwan Government-General Railway and the Chosen Government Railway - and were not part of JGR.
While the JGR was the only major operator of intercity railways after the railway nationalization in 1906-07 owned regional railways were active. The gauge of the railway was 1,067 mm with minor exceptions of 762 mm gauge lines; the first railway in Japan was operated by the imperial government in 1872. The idea of centralization of the railway was promoted under the idea of "breaking down of the geographical barriers that existed in the feudal communities which hindered the centralization of authority". Early shareholders of the railway were members of the nobility, holding "the major portion of capital"; the governmental system was expanded by the promulgation of the Railway Nationalization Act in 1906. In 1920, the Ministry of Railways was established. In 1949, JGR was reorganized to become a state-owned public corporation named the Japanese National Railways. June 12, 1872 - Provisional opening of Tokyo-Yokohama railway October 14, 1872 - Formal opening of Tokyo-Yokohama railway October 1, 1907 - Completion of nationalization of 17 private railways under 1906 Railway Nationalization Act December 20, 1914 - Opening of Tokyo Station November 1, 1925 - Inauguration of the Yamanote Loop Line April 1, 1943 - Inclusion of Karafuto prefectural lines into national system February 1, 1946 - Official exclusion of Soviet-occupied Karafuto lines from national system June 1, 1949 - Establishment of Japanese National Railways, i.e. end of Japanese Government Railways April 1, 1987 - Privatization of JNR, establishment of seven JR companies Before the establishment of the Japanese National Railways as a public corporation on June 1, 1949, the Japanese Government Railways were operated by the governmental agencies.
The table below shows the historical operators of the JGR. Translated names of ministries may not be official. Names of the operating department mean "department of railways" or like. Since opening in 1872, the railway set fares for passengers in three classes; the transportation of freight was charged based on class of goods. In 1872, passengers could choose from Upper and Lower classes, which were renamed as First and Third classes. Freight was shipped using one of five rates based on 100 kin of product. A 1923 review of the shipping tariffs further explained that goods are divided into three shipping classes: koguchi atsukai, kashikini atsukai and tokushu atsukai, it was possible to ship them via futsubin and kyukobin. "It may, therefore, be said that the freight rates of the State-owned railways in Japan are of absolute uniformity." As Japan is an island nation, it was noted that ocean-going vessels are a major source of competition for the freight business of the railway. The government mandated the use of automatic couplers on all cars on the system in July 1925.
The system was transitioning from vacuum brakes to air brakes at this time, with most freight cars equipped with air brakes by April 1927. One of the roles of the Japanese Government Railways was to attract foreign tourists to Japan. In 1930, the government created the Board of Tourist Industry as a section of the Japanese Government Railways; the Board printed and distributed picture posters and English guidebooks overseas and encouraged development of resort hotels at home. The Board was dissolved in 1942, following the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941. Inoue Masaru - Head of the government railways between 1871 and 1893 Hirai Seijirō - Head of the government railways between 1904 and 1908 Gotō Shinpei - Head of the government railways between 1908 and 1911 Takejirō Tokonami - Head of government railways in 1920s and early 1930s Eisaku Satō - serves as a railway official between 1924 and 1948
Tōge Station is a railway station on the Ōu Main Line in the city of Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, operated by East Japan Railway Company. Tōge Station is served by the Ōu Main Line, is located 28.8 rail kilometers from the terminus of the line at Fukushima Station. Tōge Station has a single island platform; the station is unattended. Tōge Station began as a signal stop on 15 May 1899 and was elevated to a full passenger station on 1 August 1899; the station was absorbed into the JR East network upon the privatization of JNR on 1 April 1987. The station is surrounded by wooded hills. Ubayu Onsen Namegawa Onsen JR East station information
Ōu Main Line
The Ōu Main Line is a railway line in Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company. It connects Fukushima Station through Akita Station to Aomori Station. Since the opening of the Yamagata Shinkansen on July 1, 1992, the Fukushima–Yamagata section is sometimes referred to as the Yamagata Line; the name of the line as a whole refers to the ancient provinces of Mutsu and Dewa, as it connects both ends of Mutsu by passing north-south through Dewa. East Japan Railway Company Total distance: 486.3 km East Japan Railway Company 484.5 km Japan Freight Railway Company 1.8 km 256.2 km 4.8 km Rail Gauge: 1,067 mm Shinjō–Ōmagari Akita–Aomori 1,435 mm Fukushima–Yamagata Uzen-Chitose–Shinjō Both Yamagata–Uzen-Chitose Ōmagari–Akita Stations: 102 Tracks: Dual-track Fukushima–Sekine Akayu–Akayu Stoplight Station Uzen-Nakayama–Uzen-Chitose Ashisawa–Funagata Nozoki–Innai Ōmagari–Oiwake Ugo-Iizuka–Hachirōgata Kado–Moritake Tsurugata–Maeyama Takanosu–Hayaguchi Ōdate–Nagamine Ishikawa–Kawabe Single-track Sekine–Akayu Akayu Stoplight Station–Uzen-Nakayama Uzen-Chitose–Ashisawa Funagata–Nozoki Innai– Ōmagari Oiwake–Ugo-Iizuka Hachirōgata–Kado Moritake–Tsurugata Maeyama–Takanosu Hayaguchi–Ōdate Nagamine–Ishikawa Kawabe–Aomori Electrification: All Block system: Automatic block system Depots: Yamagata, Akita The Ōu Main Line is split into the following four sections.
Due to the differences in the tracks of these sections, there are no trains that go through more than one. Local and rapid services on the line are operated by 701 series and 719 series electric multiple unit trains. On this section, the Ōu Main Line shares the tracks with the Yamagata Shinkansen; the rail gauge is 1,435 mm. The Ōu Main Line is known as the Yamagata Line on this section. Crossing the Yamagata-Akita border, there is little demand in this section, all trains except one limited-stop "Rapid" train run as all-stations "Local" trains. On this section, the Ōu Main Line shares the tracks with the Akita Shinkansen; because the Ōu Main Line runs from Akita to Shinjō as a local train, this section contains one standard gauge track and two narrow gauge tracks. The few Komachi trains running on this section have the priority. Together with the Kosei Line, Hokuriku Main Line, Shinetsu Main Line, Hakushin Line, the Uetsu Main Line, the Ōu Main Line is one of the express lines and freight lines that make up the Nihonkai Jūkan-sen.
The Japanese national government built the Ou Main Line, starting construction from Aomori in 1894, from Fukushima in 1899 and linking the two sections in 1905. In 1909 the formal name of the line was declared. Opening dates for the individual sections are as follows. December 1, 1894: Aomori–Hirosaki October 21, 1895: Hirosaki–Ikarigaseki June 21, 1899: Ikarigaseki–Shirasawa November 15, 1899: Shirasawa–Ōdate October 7, 1900: Ōdate–Takanosu November 1, 1901: Takanosu–Noshiro August 1, 1902: Noshiro–Gojōme October 21, 1902: Gojōme–Akita October 1, 1903: Akita–Wada August 21, 1904: Wada–Jingūji December 21, 1904: Jingūji–Ōmagari June 15, 1905: Ōmagari–Yokote May 15, 1899: Fukushima–Yonezawa April 11, 1901: Yonezawa–Yamagata August 23, 1901: Yamagata–Tateoka October 21, 1901: Tateoka–Ōishida July 21, 1902: Ōishida–Funagata June 11, 1903: Funagata–Shinjō October 21, 1904: Shinjō–Innai July 5, 1905: Innai–Yuzawa September 14, 1905: Yuzawa–Yokote, completion of Fukushima–Aomori connection Various sections of the line have been double-tracked since 1963.
The section between Niwasaka and Akaiwa stations proved to be geologically unstable, with one of the original tunnels collapsing in 1910. A realignment involving two new tunnels was opened a year later. Geological instability was suspected as the cause of a derailment on the section in 1948 that killed three crewmen, another realignment was undertaken when the section was double-tracked in 1968. Itaya station was a reversing station, was realigned as a through station in conjunction with the gauge conversion work in 1990; the Fukushima to Yonezawa section was electrified at 1,500 V DC in 1949, the Uzen-Chitose - Yamagata section in conjunction with the Senzan Line in 1960. Trials on the Senzan Line subsequently resulted in the adoption of 20 kV AC for all further electrification, the abovementioned sections were converted to the new standard when the Yonezawa to Yamagata section was electrified in 1968; the Aomori to Akita section was electrified in 1971, as was the Akita to Uzen-Chitose section in 1975.
Akayu Station: The Yamagata Prefectural Government operated a 2 km 610 mm gauge human powered tramway between 1919 and 1926. Oishida Station: The Obabazawa Railway opened a 3 km line to its namesake town in 1916, the line closed in 1970. Yuzawa Station: The Ogachi Railway Co. opened a 12 km line to Zentsu, electrified at 600 V DC, between 1928 and 1935. The last 3 km section closed in 1967, the electrification was decommissioned in 1971 and the rest of the line closed in 1973. Yokote Station: The Yokote Railway opened a 38 km line to Oik
Tsugaru-Yunosawa Station is a railway station on the northern Ōu Main Line in the city of Hirakawa, Aomori Prefecture, operated by East Japan Railway Company. Tsugaru-Yunosawa Station is served by the Ōu Main Line, is located 422.3 km from the starting point of the line at Fukushima. The station has two opposed side platforms located on an embankment, with station building located at a lower level. There is no connection between platforms. Tsugaru-Yunosawa Station was opened on June 1949 as a station on the Japan National Railways, it has been unattended since October 1, 1971. With the privatization of the JNR on April 1, 1987, it came under the operational control of JR East. Yunosawa Onsen National Route 7 National Route 282 List of Railway Stations in Japan Official website
Hirosaki Station is a railway station in the city of Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, jointly operated by East Japan Railway Company and the private railway operator Kōnan Railway. It is a freight terminal for the Japan Freight Railway Company. Hirosaki Station is served by the Ōu Main Line, is located 447.1 km from the southern starting point of the Ōu Main Line at Fukushima. Although the terminus of the Gonō Line is at Kawabe, most trains continue on to terminate at Hirosaki for ease of connections, it forms the terminus of the 16.8 km private Kōnan Railway Kōnan Line to Kuroishi. Hirosaki Station is served by the following limited express train services. Tsugaru Akebono overnight sleeper service Nihonkai overnight sleeper service Hirosaki Station is an elevated station; the JR portion has a single side platform and an island platform, serving three tracks, the Kōnan Railway has a bay platform serving another two tracks. The station has a JR East Midori View Plaza travel agency. Hirosaki Station opened on December 1, 1894.
On September 7, 1927, the Konan Railway began operations at Hirosaki Station. The station building was again reconstructed in 1981 to incorporate a shopping center. With the privatization of JNR on April 1, 1987, the station came under the operational control of JR East. A new station building was completed in December 2004. In fiscal 2016, the JR East station was used by an average of 4,575 passengers daily; the Konan Railway station was used by an average of 2,851 passengers daily in fiscal 2011. The JR East passenger figures for previous years are as shown below. Hirosaki Post office Hirosakiekimae Post Office Hirosaki Bus terminal Kōnan Bus For Karekitaira via Dake hot spring For Fujishiro via Hamanomashi or Komagoshi For Goshogawara Station via Fujisaki and Tsuruta For Namioka via Fujisaki For Kuroishi Station via Inakadate For Koguriyama via Hirosaki University For Sōma via Akudo For Tashiro via Kuniyoshi For Aomori Airport Jodel For Morioka Station List of Railway Stations in Japan JR East station information page Konan Railway station information
Takahata Station is a railway station in Takahata, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company. It is unique in having an onsen hot spa on its premises. Takahata Station is served by the Yamagata Shinkansen and Ōu Main Line, is located 49.9 kilometers from the starting point of the line at Fukushima Station. Takahata Station has two opposed side platforms connected via a pedestrian overpass; the station has a Midori no Madoguchi staffed ticket office. The station opened on 21 April 1900 as Nukanome Station, it was renamed Takahata on 16 March 1991. National Route 13 Takahata Winery JR East Station information
Akaiwa Station is a railway station on the Ōu Main Line in the city of Fukushima, Fukushima Prefecture, operated by East Japan Railway Company. Akaiwa Station is served by the Ōu Main Line, is located 14.6 km from the starting point of the line at Fukushima. The station is served by six services in each direction daily, but since December 2012, no trains stop at this station during the winter period; the station consists of an unnumbered island platform serving two tracks. The platform is accessed from the station building via a level crossing. Akaiwa Station opened on 13 October 1910; the station was absorbed into the JR East network upon the privatization of Japanese National Railways on 1 April 1987. From 1 December 2012, trains stopped serving this station during the winter period; the station is located in an isolated mountainous area on the Fukushima side of the Itaya Pass. List of railway stations in Japan Official website