Hankyu Takarazuka Main Line
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The Hankyu Takarazuka Main Line (阪急宝塚本線, Hankyū Takarazuka Honsen) is a Japanese railway line operated by the private railway operator Hankyu Railway. It connects Umeda Station in downtown Osaka with Takarazuka Station in Takarazuka, Hyogo.
|Hankyu Takarazuka Main Line|
|Line length||24.5 km (15.2 mi)|
|Number of tracks||Quad (Osaka-umeda - Jūsō)|
Double (Jūsō - Takarazuka)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC, overhead lines|
|Operating speed||100 km/h (62 mph)|
It has a branch line, the Minoo Line, and the Nose Electric Railway is another longer branch line. The Imazu Line connects at Takarazuka, but it is treated as a branch of the Kobe Line.
The Takarazuka Main Line is commonly called the Takarazuka Line (宝塚線, Takarazuka sen) for short, but the name Takarazuka Line is sometimes used as the name for the network composed of the main line and the branches.
The line has numerous sharp curves from the line's origins as a tramway, built and opened by its predecessor Minoo Arima Electric Tramway (箕面有馬電気軌道, Minoo Arima Denki Kido). The sharp curves have long hindered high speed operation, contrasting to the Hankyu's other main lines, Kobe and Kyoto.
The Minoo Arima Electric Tramway opened the entire line on 10 March 1910 as 1435mm gauge dual track, electrified at 600 VDC. Although the line was not a prospect interurban as Takarazuka was not a big city, it saw initial success thanks to the company's aggressive measures. It strategically developed housing areas along the line for the increasing white-collar population who would commute to central Osaka by train. It also opened a zoo in Minoo (on the Minoo Line) in November 1910, a hot spring in Takarazuka in May 1911, and a ballpark in Toyonaka in 1913.
The track between Umeda and Jūsō was shared with the Kobe Line from 1920 to 1926 when the original double track was replaced by an elevated four-track line.
In comparison with the Kobe Line, cars used on the Takarazuka Line were small and old. Larger (Kobe Line standard) cars could not operate on the line until 1952 due to its small structure gauge. Small cars were eliminated in December 1963. On 24 August 1969 the voltage was raised to 1500 VDC. As the commuters increased, Hankyu's first 10-car operation began on the Takarazuka Line in March 1982.
Since the 1970s there have been plans to build a spur line to Itami Airport from Sone Station. Although Hankyu shelved the plans in the 1980s due to capacity constraints, the plans were reportedly revived in 2017 and remain under consideration as of 2018.
As of diagram revision on 21 March 2015
- Local (普通, Futsū)
- All-stations service
- Semi-Express (準急, Junkyū)
- Operated on weekday mornings
- Express (急行, Kyūkō)
- Commutation Limited Express (通勤特急, Tsūkin Tokkyū)
- Simply "Limited Express" in English, operated from Kawanishi-Noseguchi to Umeda on weekday mornings. The trains are composed of 10 cars and the last car (Kawanishi side) is only for women.
- Limited Express (特急日生エクスプレス, Tokkyū Nissei Express)
- From Nissei-Chūō on Nose Electric Railway to Umeda in the morning and vice versa on weekday evenings.
- ● : Trains stop.
- | : Trains pass.
- ↑: Trains pass only in one direction.
|No.||Station||Japanese||Semi-Express||Express||Commuter Limited Express||Limited Express||Connections||Location|
||Kita-ku, Osaka||Osaka Prefecture|
|Through service:||From Ishibashi: Local trains to Hankyū Minoo Line for Minoo|
- 1000 series EMU (from 28 November 2013)
- 5100 series EMU
- 6000 series EMU
- 7000 series EMU
- 8000 series EMU
- 9000 series EMU
- Nose Electric Railway 6000 series EMU
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
- Miki, Masafumi (March 2015). "阪急宝塚線の歴史過程". The Railway Pictorial (in Japanese). Denkisha Kenkyūkai Tetsudōtosho Kankōkai (901): 10.
- Shinohara, Susumu (March 2015). "宝塚線 車両・運転のエピソード". The Railway Pictorial (in Japanese). Denkisha Kenkyūkai Tetsudōtosho Kankōkai (901): 56.
- Nose Electric Railway Co., Ltd. "沿革・年譜". Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "阪急電鉄、伊丹空港への乗り入れを検討か 大阪・梅田と直通 - ライブドアニュース". ライブドアニュース (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- "「40年で黒字」が難しい、阪急・大阪空港線 どうすれば実現できるか (1/4)". ITmedia ビジネスオンライン (in Japanese). Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- "2015年3月21日（土・祝）初発より阪急宝塚線のダイヤ改正を実施" [Diagram revision on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line on 21 March 2015] (PDF) (in Japanese). Hankyu Corporation. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- 阪急電鉄、新型車両1000系営業運転開始－ファンに見守られ梅田駅出発 [New Hankyu 1000 series trains enter service - Departure from Umeda Station seen off by railfans]. Umeda Keizai Shimbun (in Japanese). Japan: Riccrea, Inc. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.