Kosei Line

The Kosei Line (湖西線, Kosei-sen) is a commuter rail line in Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area, operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West). The line was completed in 1974 by the former Japanese National Railways (JNR) to provide faster access from the Kansai region to the Hokuriku region. It originates at Yamashina Station in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto and ends at Ōmi-Shiotsu Station in Nagahama, Shiga.

Kosei Line
JRW kinki-B.svg
JR West 223 series EMU 053.JPG
Special Rapid Service train (right) and Thunderbird limited express (left) at Hira Station
Native name湖西線
OwnerJR West
LocaleKyoto Prefecture and Shiga Prefecture
TypeHeavy rail
SystemUrban Network (Yamashina - Nagahara)
Operator(s)JR West
JR Freight
Line length74.1 km (46.0 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC, overhead lines
Operating speed130 km/h (80 mph)

Its name means "the line to the west of the lake," indicating that it approximately parallels the western shore of Biwako. Trains continue from Yamashina to Kyoto Station on the Tōkaidō Main Line for convenient transfer to lines serving the Kansai as well as the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.

In addition to local, Rapid and Special Rapid services, limited express trains such as the Thunderbird, as well as freight trains are frequently operated on the line. Some of limited express trains stop at Ōtsukyō or Katata and others skip all stations on the line.


A direct Tsuruga - Kyoto line was included in the 1922 Railway Construction Act.

In the meantime, the Kojaku Railway Co. opened a line from Hamaotsu on the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line 51 km to Omi-Imazu between 1923 and 1929. Between 1947 and 1965 there was a connection between Zeze on the Tokaido Main Line and Hamaotsu, allowing direct connection to the Tokaido Line.

The line was purchase by JNR and closed in 1969 so the Kosei line could be constructed over parts of the alignment, with the entire new line opening in 1974 as a dual track electrified line with CTC signalling.

The section from Nagahara to Ōmi-Shiotsu, originally electrified with 20 kV AC, was re-electrified to 1,500 V DC on September 24, 2006 enabling DC-only EMUs used in Osaka-Kyoto region to operate, and the Special Rapid through train service from JR Kyoto Line (Tokaido Main Line) was extended beyond Ōmi-Shiotsu to Tsuruga on the Hokuriku Main Line.

Services and stationsEdit


  • ● : All trains stop
  • ○ : Only "Kosei Leisure (湖西レジャー)" extra service makes stop at Shiga
  • | : All trains skip

Local (普通) trains stop at all stations, but they do not operate through services to the JR Kyoto Line.

Rapid (快速) trains operate only in the mornings, which heads south to the JR Kyoto Line. 2 services are operated every weekday morning and 1 service is operated every weekend morning.[1]

Special Rapid (新快速) trains operate one train per hour for both directions, throughout daytime.[1]

Official line name No. Name Japanese Distance (km) Rapid Special
Transfers Location
Special Rapid & Rapid: Through service to/from JR Kyoto Line
Tōkaidō Main Line  B31  Kyoto 京都 5.5 5.5   Tōkaidō Shinkansen
  Tōkaidō Main Line (JR Kyoto Line) (JR-A31)
  Nara Line (JR-D01)
  San'in Main Line (Sagano Line) (JR-E01)
 B  Kintetsu Kyoto Line (B01)
  Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line (K11)
 B30  Yamashina 山科 - 0.0   Tōkaidō Main Line (Biwako Line) (JR-A30)
  Kyoto Municipal Subway Tōzai Line (T07)
  Keihan Keishin Line (OT31: Keihan Yamashina)
Kosei Line
 B29  Ōtsukyō 大津京 5.4 5.4   Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line (OT15: Ojiyama) Ōtsu Shiga
 B28  Karasaki 唐崎 3.1 8.5 | |  
 B27  Hieizan Sakamoto 比叡山坂本 2.6 11.1  
 B26  Ogoto-onsen おごと温泉 3.4 14.5 |  
 B25  Katata 堅田 3.2 17.7  
 B24  Ono 小野 2.1 19.8 | |  
 B23  Wani 和邇 2.7 22.5 | |  
 B22  Hōrai 蓬莱 2.4 24.9 | |  
 B21  Shiga 志賀 2.4 27.3 |  
 B20  Hira 比良 2.7 30.0 | |  
 B19  Ōmi-Maiko 近江舞子 2.2 32.2  
 B18  Kita Komatsu 北小松 2.3 34.5  
 B17  Ōmi-Takashima 近江高島 6.4 40.9   Takashima
 B16  Adogawa 安曇川 4.1 45.0  
 B15  Shin-Asahi 新旭 3.3 48.3  
 B14  Ōmi-Imazu 近江今津 4.9 53.2  
 B13  Ōmi-Nakashō 近江中庄 4.8 58.0  
 B12  Makino マキノ 3.2 61.2  
 B11  Nagahara 永原 7.1 68.3   Nagahama
 B10  Ōmi-Shiotsu 近江塩津 5.8 74.1   Hokuriku Main Line (JR-A03)
Hokuriku Main Line
 B09  Shin-Hikida 新疋田 7.8 81.9   Tsuruga Fukui
 B08  Tsuruga 敦賀 6.7 88.6   Hokuriku Main Line (JR-A01)
Obama Line

Rolling stockEdit



Special Rapid and LocalEdit
Limited ExpressEdit





See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "大津京駅|時刻表:JRおでかけネット" [Timetable of Otsukyo Station.]. JR Odekake Net. 16 March 2019.