The Takasaki Line (Japanese: 高崎線, Japanese pronunciation: [Takasaki-sen]) is a Japanese railway line which connects Ōmiya Station in Saitama, Saitama Prefecture and Takasaki Station in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture. It is owned and operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East).
|Locale||Tokyo, Saitama, Gunma prefectures|
|Line length||74.7 km (46.4 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC overhead catenary|
|Operating speed||120 km/h (75 mph)|
All services on the line (excluding through Shonan-Shinjuku Line trains) run to/from Ueno Station in Tokyo via the Tōhoku Main Line. The line was extended to Tokyo Station via the Ueno-Tokyo Line that opened in March 2015.
As the Takasaki Line serves many major cities within Saitama Prefecture, it is a vital means of transport within the prefecture. National Route 17 and its historical predecessor, the Nakasendō, run parallel to the line.
Services on the Takasaki Line are typically divided into three categories: services to or from Ueno, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line services, and Ueno-Tokyo Line services. Between Ueno and Ōmiya, trains share the track with the Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line), both of which serve as de facto express services compared to the parallel Keihin-Tōhoku Line. Northbound trains mostly terminate at Takasaki or Kagohara, with some at Maebashi or Shin-Maebashi. Southbound trains mostly travel through the Shōnan-Shinjuku Line to Odawara, or the Ueno-Tokyo Line to Atami, on the Tokaido Line, with very few terminating at Ueno. Service on the line is provided by 15-car E231 series and E233-3000 series four-door suburban commuter EMUs with two Green cars; north of Kagohara, this is reduced to 10-cars.
Limited express / expressEdit
Prior to the opening of the Joetsu Shinkansen in 1982 and the Nagano Shinkansen in 1997, many Niigata- and Nagano-bound limited express and express services used the line, including the Toki, Asama, and Hakutaka. However, the Shinkansen reduced the need for most of these limited express services, and only a few remain. These include:
- Akagi / Swallow Akagi (four Ueno-bound and six Maebashi-bound services daily)
- Kusatsu (three round-trips daily between Ueno and Manza-Kazawaguchi)
- Minakami (between Ueno and Minakami)
Since March 2015, Rapid Urban services now run from Odawara or Kōzu (weekends only) on the Tokaido Line, through the Ueno-Tokyo Line, to Takasaki. This service stops at every station on the Tokaido Line, and skips some stations on the Takasaki Line.
Local trains run approximately four times hourly; one or two of those terminates at Kagohara, while the rest terminate at Takasaki, Shin-Maebashi, or Maebashi.
Shōnan-Shinjuku Line servicesEdit
Within the Takasaki Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line special rapid and rapid trains are each operated once per hour. Unlike regular Ueno bound or originating trains, they bypass Saitama-Shontoshin station as it has no platform for the tracks used by the Shonan-Shinjuku Line. Previously bypassed Urawa station now has a newly constructed platform that entered service in March 2013.
All trains are 10- or 15-car E231 or E233 series EMUs.
Special rapid trains operate once hourly to Takasaki, making limited stops. They skip Ebisu station.
Rapid trains operate once hourly to Kagohara, stopping at all stations while within the Takasaki line; this increases 2-3 times an hour during the mornings and evenings, when Takasaki-, Odawara-, and Kozu-bound trains also operate. North of Kagohara, all services are operated with 10-car trainsets.
Commuter rapid services operated on weekday evenings only. They operated between Ueno and Maebashi/Takasaki. This service ended on 12 March 2021.
- Akebono (night train between Ueno and Aomori)
- Hokuriku, Noto (night trains between Ueno and Kanazawa)
Home Liner KōnosuEdit
Four trains bound for Kōnosu depart Ueno every weekday evening. Passengers can board only at Ueno; all other stations are for disembarking only. Service is provided by 7-car 185 series and 9-car 489 series EMU trainsets.
- Local trains, excluding Shōnan-Shinjuku Line through trains, stop at all stations (except Nippori).
- For limited express, express, and seasonal rapid Moonlight Echigo services, please see their respective articles.
- ● : All trains stop
- ｜: All trains pass
- ■: Shōnan–Shinjuku Line trains stop, but use dedicated platforms on the Tohoku Freight Line
- ∥ : Shōnan–Shinjuku Line trains do not travel within this section
|From Ueno||From Ōmiya||Rapid||Special|
|Through services from/to:||Ueno–Tokyo Line for Tōkaidō Main Line, and Itō Line||Shōnan-Shinjuku Line (for Tōkaidō Main Line)|
|Tōhoku Main Line||Ueno
||浦和||11.0||20.8||6.1||●||●||■||■||Keihin-Tōhoku Line||Urawa-ku, Saitama||Saitama|
||さいたま新都心||4.5||25.3||1.6||●||｜||｜||｜||Keihin-Tohoku Line||Ōmiya-ku, Saitama|
|Kumagaya Freight Terminal||熊谷貨物ターミナル||4.9||66.2||39.3||｜||｜||｜||｜||Chichibu Railway Mikajiri Line (freight)|
|Jimbohara||神保原||4.0||86.6||59.7||●||●||●||●||Kamisato, Kodama District|
|Kuragano[* 1]||倉賀野||6.1||97.2||70.3||●||●||●||●||■ Hachiko Line[* 2]|
|Through services from/to:||■ Ryōmō Line for Maebashi||/|
- Between Kuragano and Takasaki stations lies the former Takasaki Classification Yard(Japanese: 高崎操車場). It is currently used by switching locomotives and freight trains waiting for passenger trains to pass.
- All Hachiko Line trains run through to Takasaki.
- Although the official terminus of the Ryōmō Line is at Shin-Maebashi and that of the Agatsuma Line is at Shibukawa, trains on both lines run through to Takasaki.
The Nippon Railway Co., the first private railway company in Japan, opened the Ueno - Omiya - Shinmachi section in 1883, and extended the line to Takasaki (and Shinmaebashi) the following year. The company was nationalised in 1906. The line was double-tracked between 1927 and 1930, and electrified in 1952.
Former connecting linesEdit
- Honjo Station: The Honjo Electric Railway operated a 7 km line to Kodama, electrified at 600 V DC, between 1915 and 1930.
- Kumagaya Station: The 10 km Tobu Kumagaya Line to Menuma operated from 1943 to 1983. The planned extension to the Tobu Koizumi Line was never constructed.
- Kuragano Station: The Iwahana Light Railway operated a 3 km line to Joshu Iwahana between 1917 and 1945. In 1967, an approximately 1 km siding was built on the alignment to serve an industrial area.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia.
- "March 2021 Timetable Revision (Ofuna branch)" (PDF). 18 December 2020.
- "JR東日本 高崎線・両毛線 E233系3000番代営業運転開始" [JR East E233-3000 series enter revenue service on Takasaki and Ryomo Lines]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine. Vol. 41, no. 343. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. November 2012. p. 78.
- Terada, Hirokazu (October 2003). 私鉄廃線25年 [25 Years of Abandoned Private Railways]. Japan: JTB Can Books. pp. 52–53, 167. ISBN 4-533-04958-3.
- 歴史でめぐる鉄道全路線NO.5 東武鉄道２ (Railway Line History No. 5: Tobu Railway 2). Japan: Asahi Shimbun Publications Inc. September 2010. ISBN 978-4-02-340135-8.
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