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The Sotobō Line (外房線, Sotobō-sen) is a railway line in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, on the eastern (i.e., outer) side of the Bōsō Peninsula. It connects Chiba Station in Chiba to Awa-Kamogawa Station in Kamogawa, passing through Ōamishirasato, Mobara, Chōsei, Ichinomiya, Isumi, Onjuku, and Katsuura. The line is connected to the Uchibō Line at both ends. South of Kazusa-Ichinomiya is single track, and north of Kazusa-Ichinomiya is double track.
|Line length||93.3 km (58.0 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Operating speed||110 km/h (70 mph)|
In addition to local services, limited express and Rapid ("Commuter Rapid") services run on this line.
- Limited Express Wakashio
- Tokyo – (Keiyō Line) – Soga – Awa-Kamogawa
- (some operate as all-stations "Local" services between Katsuura and Awa-Kamogawa
- ● : All trains stop
- (●) : Some trains stop
- | : All trains pass
- Local trains stop at every station.
|Keiyō Line Rapid||Keiyō Line
|Sōbu Line Rapid||Limited express|
|Chiba||千葉||0.0||●||●||Sōbu Line (Rapid) (JO28) (some through services)
Chūō-Sōbu Line (JB39)
Chiba Urban Monorail Line 1, Line 2
|Soga||蘇我||3.8||●||●||●||●||●||Keiyō Line (some through services)|
|Ōami||大網||22.9||●||●||●||●||●||■ Togane Line||Ōamishirasato|
|Ōhara||大原||57.2||●||●||●||●||■ Isumi Line|
|Awa-Kamogawa||安房鴨川||93.3||●||●||■ Uchibō Line (some through services)|
Keiyō Line through service
Sōbu Line (Rapid) through service
Wakashio Limited Express
Former rolling stockEdit
The Boso Railway opened the Chiba to Oami section in 1896, extending the line to Kazusa-Ichinomiya the following year and to Ohara in 1899. The company was nationalised in 1907. The extension to Katsuura opened in 1913, to Kazusa-Okitsu in 1927, and Awa-Kamogawa in 1929.
A new tunnel and associated deviation was opened at Toke in 1954 to improve the loading gauge of the line. The Chiba to Soga section was double-tracked between 1960 and 1963, extended to Nagata between 1972 and 1974, with CTC signalling being commissioned between Soga and Awa-Kamogawa in 1974. The line to Kazusa-Ichinomiya was double-tracked between 1980 and 1986, with the Onjuku to Katsuura section double-tracked in 1995, and the Torami to Chojamachi section the following year. The entire line was electrified in 1968, and freight services ceased between 1982 and 1987.
Former connecting linesEdit
- Mobara Station: The Mobara Town Council operated a 9 km, 610 mm (2 ft) gauge handcar line to Tai Muko between 1909 and 1924. The council then decided to build a railway to connect to the Kominato Line. 12 km of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge line was opened as far as Okuno between 1930 and 1933, the first 6 km following the handcar line alignment. Poor patronage and economic circumstances led to the line being closed in 1939.
- Ohara Station: The Chiba Prefectural Government opened a 16 km, 610 mm (2 ft) gauge handcar line to Otaki in 1912. A railcar was converted to petrol engine power in 1922. The line closed in 1927 to allow for the construction of the Isumi Line, which opened on the same alignment in 1930.
On 8 May 2020, at 3:55 pm, the front carriage of a local service derailed between Awa-Kamogawa and Awa-Amatsu stations. Around 20 passengers and crew were on board the train (a 209 Series) when it derailed. One person was taken to a hospital.
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