Wikipedia:Translation/Urban Network

The Urban Network (アーバンネットワーク, Āban Nettowāku) is the official nickname given to passenger rail services run by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.

The Urban Network area. The dashed section is Phase II of the Osaka Higashi Line, scheduled to open in 2011.


In 1987, Japanese National Railways was divided and privatized into the Japan Railways Group, and the newly-formed West Japan Railway Company (JR West) took over operations in the Kansai, Chūgoku, and Hokuriku regions. But compared to the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), with its extensive commuter rail network in the Kantō region, and the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), which operates the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, JR West was unable to compete in revenues. Due to this weakness, JR West implemented a policy designed to shore up its operational base, focusing its financial resources on the San'yō Shinkansen and on lines around greater Osaka. Among the improvements to lines around Osaka were such enhancements as the introduction of newer trains, reduction in travel times through speed increases, and through services. These new features allowed the company to win over some of the ridership of neighboring lines run by the Kansai region's major private railways.

As part of these enhancements, to help customers familiarize themselves with the changes, the company began using the "Urban Network" moniker with the timetable revision of 13 March 1988. The "Urban Network" name also began appearing on line maps in official company newsletters and guides, so as to effectively become a byword for JNR's earlier designation of the "Osaka metropolitan area".[1]

LED display and line map in a 207-series car

With the start of the "Urban Network", JR West also began to introduce nicknames for lines within the area (see below); later, in March 1990, the company also introduced colors for the lines. Both line nicknames and colors subsequently saw use in line maps and station guides.

Line colors are used on station placards and fare charts within the Urban Network, as well as on the service guides inside 207-, 223-, and 321-series trains.

Beginning with the autumn 2006 timetable change, and more extensively with the spring 2008 timetable revision and opening of the Osaka Higashi Line, many route maps in stations and on trains within the Urban Network have ceased to display the words "Urban Network" on their maps, using "Line Map" (路線図, Rosenzu) instead. Nevertheless, the "Urban Network" appellation remains in current use on a substantial amount of company literature, such as pamphlets and posters, so it is unlikely that the term is officially moribund.

Lines and designated colorsEdit

Color   Line (Segment)
    Osaka Loop Line
  * JR Yumesaki Line (Sakurajima Line)
  * Biwako Line (Hokuriku Main Line, Nagahama StationMaibara Station;Tōkaidō Main Line, Maibara Station – Kyoto Station)
  * JR Kyoto Line (Tōkaidō Main Line, Kyoto Station – Osaka Station)
  * JR Kobe Line (Tōkaidō Main Line, Osaka Station – Kobe Station; Sanyō Main Line, Kobe Station – Himeji Station)
  * JR Takrazuka Line (Tōkaidō Main Line, Osaka Station – Amagasaki Station; Fukuchiyama Line, Amagasaki Station – Sasayamaguchi Station)
    JR Tōzai Line
  * Gakkentoshi Line (Katamachi Line)
    Osaka Higashi Line
  * Yamatoji Line (Kansai Main Line, JR Namba StationKamo Station)
    Nara Line
  * Sagano Line (San'in Main Line, Kyoto Station – Sonobe Station)
    Hanwa Line (excluding Hagoromo Line)
    Kansai Airport Line
  Kosei Line (Yamashina StationNagahara Station)
  San'yō Main Line (Himeji Station – Kamigōri Station)
  Akō Line (Aioi StationBanshū-Akō Station)
  Wakayama Line
  Sakurai Line
  Kisei Main Line (Wakayama StationWakayamashi Station)
  Kansai Main Line (Kamo Station – Tsuge Station)
  Kusatsu Line
  Wadamisaki Line (San'yō Main Line, Hyōgo StationWadamisaki Station)
  Hagoromo Line (Hanwa Line, Ōtori StationHigashi-Hagoromo Station)
  • Lines marked with an asterisk (*) are nicknames. Of these, the JR Kyoto Line, JR Kobe Line, and JR Takarazuka Line are so called because Hankyu Railway already has a Kyoto Line, a Kobe Line, and a Takarazuka Line; "JR" is thus appended at the beginning of these three nicknames to avoid any confusion the similar names might cause.
  • Lines marked with the reference mark (※) are displayed as grey on fare charts, but station name placards along these routes are painted in JR West's official corporate color: blue. The Sakurajima Line was displayed in the same fashion prior to being designated with the "Yumesaki Line" nickname in 2001.
  • Line information at Kyoto Station refers to the Nara Line as the "JR Nara Line" in order to differentiate it from Kintetsu Corporation's Nara Line, as some Kintetsu trains from Kyoto Station go direct to this line.

In addition, only stations administered by JR West's branch offices in Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Wakayama, and Fukuchiyama, along with Tsuruga Station, use the Urban Network's line colors in their fare charts; stations administered by other JR West branch offices do not.

  • Except for the jurisdictions of the Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe branch offices, Urban Network line colors are not used, and the primary lines in the area are indicated in blue instead.
  • The Okayama branch office, together with the Hiroshima branch office, uses a separate line color: stations administered by the Okayama Branch indicate both the JR Kobe Line and the San'yō Main Line westward from Himeji in green. (On old station fare charts, line nicknames were not even given, but since the introduction of ICOCA service to the Chūgoku region, these now show the green line color, along with the legend, "JR Kobe Line (Tōkaidō Line • San'yō Line)".) Nevertheless, train maps on pamphlets for the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area are often seen showing Urban Network line colors.

In order to more readily prevent passengers from accidentally boarding the wrong train, the rollsigns of 113-series carriages employ the following color distinctions:

Color   Line
  Kusatsu Line
  Kosei Line


Rolling stockEdit

221-series trainsets, introduced at the Urban Network's inception, were well received by passengers, with their large windows, bright interior, comfortable seating (bi-directional transverse seats) and other features. Along with their successor model, the 223-series, they have become a hallmark of the Urban Network. Additionally, the 4-door, commuter-oriented 207-series was introduced onto the Gakkentoshi Line (Katamachi Line) in anticipation of the JR Tōzai Line's completion, and subsequently expanded its niche to include the JR Takarazuka Line (Fukuchiyama Line) and Local service on the Biwako Line, JR Kyoto Line, and JR Kobe Line. Its successor model, the 321 series, has also been introduced into Local service. Production of rolling stock for the Urban Network is handled mostly through Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Kinki Sharyō. Previously, Hitachi Manufacturing had also played a part in production, but its role has been reduced in recent years.

On the other hand, trainsets from the JNR era are still comparatively common on lines that operated under the jurisdiction of the old JNR Tennoji Railway Administration Office: the 103-series on the Yamatoji Line, Hanwa Line, Osaka Loop Line and Nara Line[2]; the 105-series on the Sakurai Line and Wakayama Line; and the 113-series, in Kyoto and Shiga (Sagano Line, Kusatsu Line, and Kosei Line) which had seen almost exclusive use there until relatively recently, and also remains in service on parts of the Hanwa Line and Fukuchiyama Line. Refurbished trainsets are included in these, but they are aging regardless. Because of this, it cannot be denied that the Urban Network lags behind in modernizing its fleet when compared to the Tokyo and Nagoya metropolitan areas, where newer models are introduced at a faster pace.

Competition with rival operatorsEdit

In the Urban Network area, there are numerous competing lines from other operators. In order to be competitive, JR West has used the following measures:

Line segment Parallel lines of other operators JR West's countermeasures
Tōkaidō Main Line – Sanyō Main Line
(JR Kyoto Line – JR Kobe Line)
Hankyu Kyoto Line, Kobe Line;
Hanshin Main Line;
Keihan Main Line;
Sanyō Electric Railway Main Line
New trainsets (207-, 321-, 223-series); speed increases; opening new stations; all-day operation of Special Rapid Service; Special Rapid stops at Takatsuki and Ashiya
Gakkentoshi Line (Katamachi Line) Keihan Main Line, Katano Line;
Kintetsu Kyoto Line, Nara Line
New trainsets (207- and 321-series); opening JR Tōzai Line and Osaka Higashi Line; through service between JR Kobe, Takarazuka, and Osaka Higashi Lines; introduction of Regional Rapid Service
Nara Line Kintetsu Kyoto Line;
Keihan Main Line, Uji Line
Introducing 221-series in Rapid Service; creation of Regional Rapid Service and Miyakoji Rapid Service; speed increases; duplication of some sections; increased train frequency; opening new stations
Yamatoji Line (Kansai Main Line) Kintetsu Nara Line, Osaka Line Increased through service to the Osaka Loop Line; increasing frequency of through trains to the Wakayama Line; remodeling Kyūhōji Station to facilitate quick connections; operating Direct Rapid Service to the Osaka Higashi Line and JR Tōzai Line
JR Takarazuka Line (Fukuchiyama Line) Hankyu Takarazuka Line, Itami Line;
Kobe Electric Railway Arima Line, Sanda Line
New trainsets (207-, 321-, 223-series); creation of Tambaji Rapid Service; introducing 221-series for Rapid Service; reworking of connections at Amagasaki Station; increased through operations to the JR Kyoto- and Tōzai Lines
Hanwa Line;
Kansai Airport Line
Nankai Main Line, Airport Line New trainsets (223-series); introduction of 221-series for Rapid Service; creation and increased frequency of Kansai Airport Rapid Service and Kishūji Rapid Service; through service to the Osaka Loop Line; ease-of-use enhancements to Limited Express trains (increased stops, expanded timetables)

Through servicesEdit


1988年ならシルクロード博覧会をきっかけにした梅田貨物線の旅客使用を開始した。さらに、翌1989年7月の関西本線~阪和線の連絡線の開通に伴って紀勢線特急「くろしお」や一部阪和線快速の新大阪乗り入れを生み、1994年6月関西空港線の開業では貨物線を利用した京都~関西空港間の特急「はるか」が運転を開始した。そして、1991年9月には北陸本線の田村~長浜間が直流化され、新快速が長浜へと乗り入れ、その後新快速のネットワークが播州赤穂、さらには敦賀へと拡大している。 既存線の直通運転に加え、2008年3月にはおおさか東線が区間開業し、大和路線からJR東西線への直通列車も登場した。このおおさか東線はさらに北部区間も開業予定で、これらを含めた利便性の向上とネットワークの拡大は今後も続く予定である。

一方、競争を意識した余裕の少ないダイヤは、わずかの事象で大きなダイヤの乱れにつながることとなった。また、直通運転の拡大はダイヤの乱れの影響を広範囲に広めることとなった。その状況下で2002年11月6日に塚本~尼崎間で消防隊員の死傷事故が起き、安全の確認より列車運行優先の姿勢に批判が出た。さらに2005年4月25日福知山線脱線事故では余裕のないダイヤが乗務員に過度のプレッシャーをかけているのではないかと批判を大きく浴びることになった。そのため、その後のダイヤ改正で列車の所要時間が増大することになった。特に翌2006年3月18日のダイヤ改正では新快速の所要時間が運転開始以来初めて延びることとなった。 さらには天王寺駅での阪和連絡線複線化(2008年3月完成)などダイヤの安定性を高める施策や、保安装置の拡充などが今後も引き続いて進められることになっている。


Platform LED display at Osaka Station











Line-status information display




File:051201 321 disply 02.jpg
321-series' LCD monitor


  • 207系には号車表示の機能はない。
  • 一部の車両では、自社宣伝を行っていない。
  • 車内案内では通常、行先・次駅接近案内を行っているが、ダイヤ乱れによる運用変更や表示不具合などにより次駅案内をせず、種別・行先のみを表示することがある。なお、321系の場合は路線図のみが表示される。




Ladies-Only car and boarding point


線区 区間 種別 車両
大阪環状線 天王寺~大阪~天王寺 普通・区間快速 橙色と青色車両(201系)の8両編成の4号車
尼崎~京橋~木津・奈良 普通・区間快速・快速 7両(京田辺~木津・奈良では4両)編成の木津・奈良寄りから3両目
JR神戸線 加古川~大阪 普通 7両編成の5号車(207系は大阪寄りから3両目)
JR宝塚線 篠山口~大阪 普通・快速
JR京都線(一部琵琶湖線・湖西線) 大阪~京都~野洲・堅田 普通 7両編成の5号車(207系は堅田・草津寄りから3両目)
阪和線 天王寺~和歌山 普通・区間快速・
普通・快速 103系もしくは201系の6両編成の3号車
おおさか東線 放出~久宝寺 普通
  • 大阪環状線~大和路線の直通区間快速(8両編成)は、新今宮で女性専用車が設定・解除される。
  • 女性専用車の設定条件が揃っていても、区間が短いため女性専用車の設定がない列車がある。



movable platform gate





New stationsEdit

Sakurashukugawa Station.



線区 区間 駅名 開業予定
山陽本線(JR神戸線) 明石~西明石 未定 2011年度
山陽本線(JR神戸線) 東加古川~加古川 未定 未定
福知山線(JR宝塚線) 中山寺~宝塚 未定 未定

Opening the JR Tozai LineEdit


Panorama of construction at Osaka Station (August 2007)

Renovation Osaka Station & Kyoto Station, and redevelopment of surroundingsEdit















Osaka Higashi Line



Hanwa Line connection at Tennōji Station.


Grade separation and pedestrian routesEdit

Elevated section at Nagai Station.

In order to eliminate at-grade road crossings, and to alleviate the community-dividing barriers its lines have sometimes created, JR West has made efforts towards grade separation, in conjunction with pass-throughs for non-ticketholders, along its routes. At present, grade separation work is progressing at Nara Station, Himeji Station, and from Hanazono Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station; pedestrian route remediation is underway at Izumi-Fuchū Station and Higashi-Kishiwada Station. The following grade separation works have already seen completion:



thumb|150px|抑止表示器 異常時などのダイヤ乱れで、列車が駅間で長時間停車することを回避させるために、JR西日本では初めておおさか東線内の各駅(放出駅・久宝寺駅を除く)に設置された。詳しくは、阪和線運行管理システムを参照。





  1. ^ Within the fare system, it is still called the "Osaka metropolitan area".)
  2. ^ Among these, many are either JNR trainsets transferred from the Tokyo metropolitan region, or those previously used for Local services alnog the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe corridor.
  3. ^ 阪和線や学研都市線など快速停車駅や主要駅にのみ設置されている路線もある。
  4. ^ 目的の列車に乗るために他のホームへ移動する必要がある場合などには、乗車位置表示の代わりに、枠囲み付きで「〇番のりば」という表示がなされることがある。

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit