Uchibō Line


Uchibō Line

The Nihongo|Uchibō Line|内房線|Uchibō-sen is a railway line operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) along Tokyo Bay, on the Western shore of the Bōsō Peninsula. It runs from Soga Station in Chiba to Awa-Kamogawa Station in Kamogawa, passing through Chiba, Ichihara, Sodegaura, Kisarazu, Kimitsu, Futtsu, Kyonan, Tateyama, and Minami-Bōsō. The line is connected on both ends to the Sotobō Line.

Line Information

*Operated by: JR East
*Length: 119.4 km
*Gauge: narrow (1,067 mm)
*Number of Stations: 30
*Double Track Section: Soga Station to Kimitsu Station (excluding Chiba and Hon-Chiba)
*Electrified Section: Entire Line (1,500 V DC)
*Interlocking Method: automatic
*Top Speed: 120 km/h

History

The Uchibō line began operation in 1912, and was originally known as the Kisarazu Line (木更津線). It stretched from Soga Station to Anegasaki Station in Ichihara. Several extensions were built over the next few years, and in 1919 it reached as far as Awa-Hōjō (present day Tateyama). At this time it was renamed the Hōjō Line (北条線). By 1925 it had been extended to its present day terminus, Awa-Kamogawa Station.In 1929, the Hōjō Line was incorporated into the Bōsō Line. However, in 1933, the original stretch between Soga and Awa-Kamogawa Stations again became its own line, this time renamed the Bōsō West Line (房総西線), and in 1972 it received its current name.

Timeline:

*March 28 1912 – Kisarazu Line (Soga to Anegasaki) begins operation
*August 21 1912 – Extended from Anegasaki to Kisarazu
*January 15 1915 – Extended from Kisarazu to Kazusa-Minato
*October 11 1916 – Extended from Kazusa-Minato to Hamakanaya
*August 1 1917 – Extended from Hamakanaya to Awa-Katsuyama
*August 10 1918 – Extended from Awa-Katsuyama to Nako-Funakata
*May 24 1919 – Extended from Nako-Funakata to Awa-Hōjō; renamed Hōjō Line
*June 1 1921 – Extended from Awa-Hōjō to Minamihara
*December 20 1922 – Extended from Minamihara to Emi
*July 25 1924 – Extended from Emi to Futomi
*July 11 1925 – Extended from Futomi to Awa-Kamogawa
*June 16 1926 – Takeoka station opened
*May 20 1927 – Chitose railyard opened
*August 15 1929 – Bōsō line extended to Awa-Kamogawa; Hōjō Line incorporated into Bōsō Line
*August 1 1930 – Chitose railyard is upgraded to a station
*April 1 1933 – Bōsō line from Soga to Awa-Kamogawa (the run of the former Hōjō Line) is renamed Bōsō West Line
*November 20 1941 – Iwane station opened
*March 1 1946 – Awa-Hōjō station renamed Tateyama Station
*January 10 1947 – Nagaura station opened
*April 10 1956 – Shūsai station renamed Kimitsu Station
*July 1 1964 – Double-track section built between Soga and Hamano
*September 20 1964 – Double track extended from Hamano to Yawatajuku
*July 4 1965 – Double track extended from Yawatajuku to Goi
*May 26 1968 – Double track extended from Goi to Nagaura
*July 13 1968 – Electric wires extended from Chiba station, past Sogo, extending to Kisarazu
*March 20 1969 – Double track extended from Nagaura to Naraba
*July 10 1969 – 135 C57-105 steam engines removed from service
*July 11 1969 – Electric wires extended from Kisarazu to Chikura
*March 18 1970 – Double track extended from Naraba to Kisarazu
*March 24 1970 – Double track extended from Kisarazu to Kimitsu
*July 1 1971 – Electric wires extended from Chikura to Awa-Kamogawa
*July 15 1972 – Renamed Uchibō Line
*March 31 1974 – Naraba station renamed Sodegaura
*November 15 1982 – Freight service between Kisarazu and Awa-Kamogawa discontinued
*April 1 1987 – Acquired by East Japan Railway Company following the division and privatization of JNR initiated by prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone; Japan Freight Railway Company becomes a second class railway enterprise between Soga and Kisarazu
*November 1 1996 – Japan Freight Railway Company second class enterprise between Soga and Kisarazu is discontinued
*February 4 2001 – ATS-P usage implemented between Chiba and Iwane

Operation

The Uchibō Line operates local service with trains generally originating and terminating at Chiba station. Trains headed directly for Tokyo station merge with the Sotobō Line between Soga and Chiba stations, and with the Sōbu Main Line between Chiba and Tokyo, while express and commuter trains merge with the Keiyō Line from Soga station.

Local trains

Daytime service from Chiba to Kisarazu and Kimitsu (sometimes to Kazusa-Minato) is generally 3 round trips per hour, from Chiba to Awa-Kamogawa and Tateyama (sometimes to Chikura) is 1 round trip per hour.

Formerly, the Uchibō and Sotobō lines were connected by trains running from Hota Station to Sotobō Line Kazusa-Ichinomiya Station, and from Kazusa-Ichinomiya station to Chiba Station via Tateyama/Kisarazu Stations, but currently no trains pass Awa-Kamogawa Station in either direction.

The line runs 113 series and 211 series trains (belonging to the Makuhari Rolling Stock Center). Trains connecting directly to the Keiyō Line (2 inbound trains in the evening) are 205 series.

Rapid service

*Direct connection to Sōbu Line Rapid (Rapid)
*:Trains leaving north from Kimitsu station connect directly to the Sōbu Line Rapid. After a revision to the schedule in October 2004, all trains now stop at Nagaura and Sodegaura stations.

*Direct connection to Keiyō Line (Rapid/Commuter Rapid)
*:Commuter Ripid and Rapid service trains connecting to the Keiyō Line extend to Kimitsu station in the morning and evening, with three trains inbound in the morning, and five outbound trains in the evening. One of the inbound morning trains originates from Kazusa-Minato station.

Rolling stock

*Trains connecting to the Yokosuka LineSōbu Line Rapid use E217 series trains. Trains including green cars belong to the Kamakura Rolling Stock Center or the Makuhari Rolling Stock Center.
*Keiyō Line Rapid/Commuter Rapid trains use 205 and 201 series.

pecial trains

The limited express train Sazanami runs from Tokyo station to Kimitsu and Tateyama stations (and Chikura station during busy periods). Formerly the limited express View Sazanami ran on the Uchibō Line as well, however it was merged with the Sazanami in a revision to the schedule made on December 10, 2005. Additionally, the special limited express Shinjuku Sazanami runs from Shinjuku station to Chikura station on weekends.

Rolling stock

*255 series (including green cars)
*E257-500 series (standard-class only)

tation list

*Regular trains are local and stop at every station.
*See Limited Express Sazanami article also.


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