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Kyūshū Shinkansen

Kyūshū Shinkansen Tsubame at Shin-Minamata station
Type Shinkansen
Locale Kyūshū
Termini Hakata (future)
Shin-Yatsushiro (current)
Stations 5 (of 12)
Opened 13 March 2004
Owner JR Kyūshū
Depot(s) Sendai
Rolling stock 800 Series Shinkansen
Line length 127 km (of 257 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm
Electrification 25 kV AC, 60 Hz, overhead catenary
Operating speed 260 km/h
Route map

Kyushu Shinkansen map Kagoshima route and Nagasaki route.png

The Kyūshū Shinkansen (九州新幹線 ?) is a high-speed railway line between the Japanese cities of Fukuoka and Kagoshima, on Kyūshū Island, running parallel to the existing Kagoshima Main Line and operated by the Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyūshū). The southern 127 km is already in service, while the northern 130 km section is under construction and scheduled to open in 2011. A spur from Shin-Tosu to Nagasaki, approximately 118 km in length, began construction in 2008.


Kagoshima Route

Construction of the Kagoshima Route (鹿児島ルート ?) began in 1991, and the first segment between Kagoshima and Yatsushiro opened on March 13, 2004. It cuts travel times between the two cities from 130 minutes to 35 minutes, and reduces the time between Hakata and Kagoshima from 4 hours to just 2 hours. When the entire line is complete, the travel time from Hakata to Kagoshima will be just over an hour. Like the original Shinkansen lines, the Kyushu Shinkansen is standard gauge.

The line will connect to the Sanyō Shinkansen at Hakata Station upon its final completion. It may use part or all of the Hakata-Minami Line.

Nagasaki (West Kyūshū) Route

A Shinkansen line from Fukuoka to Nagasaki, initially known as the Nagasaki Shinkansen (長崎新幹線 ?), was laid out in the 1973 Basic Plan. Renamed as the Nagasaki Route (長崎ルート ?), then changed to the West Kyūshū Route (西九州ルート Nishi Kyūshū rūto ?) in 1995, the planning of the line has been slowed down by concerns over the necessity of duplicating the existing narrow gauge Shin-Tosu to Takeo-Onsen line and local opposition over the final section in Nagasaki city.[1]

As of 2009, the current plan is to continue using the existing track from Shin-Tosu to Takeo-Onsen and build new narrow gauge Super Tokkyū track from Takeo-Onsen to Nagasaki, with trains operating at a maximum speed of 200 km/h.[2] This is expected to allow a travel time of around 1:24 between the two cities, versus 1:45 currently. If Gauge Change Trains are operated, the time will be cut to 1:19, and if the entire route is converted to Shinkansen track, travel time will be just 0:41.[3]

Construction of the first 45.7 km segment between Takeo-Onsen and Isahaya began on April 28, 2008, with permission for the remaining distance of 20.3 km to Nagasaki expected to be granted by 2009.[1]


Station name Japanese Total distance Service 2 Transfers Location
Kagoshima Route
Under construction, scheduled to open in spring, 2011
Hakata 博多 Fukuoka City Subway: Kūkō Line
JR Kyūshū: Fukuhoku Yutaka Line, Hakata-Minami Line, Kagoshima Main Line
JR West: Sanyō Shinkansen 3
Hakata, Fukuoka Fukuoka
Shin-Tosu 1 新鳥栖 JR Kyūshū: Nagasaki Main Line 4 Tosu Saga
Kurume 久留米 JR Kyūshū: Kagoshima Main Line, Kyūdai Main Line Kurume Fukuoka
Funagoya 船小屋 JR Kyūshū: Kagoshima Main Line Chikugo
Shin-Ōmuta 1 新大牟田 Ōmuta
Shin-Tamana 1 新玉名 Tamana Kumamoto
Kumamoto 熊本 JR Kyūshū: Hōhi Main Line, Kagoshima Main Line
Kumamoto City Tram: Route 2; Tasaki Line and Trunk Line (Kumamoto-Ekimae)
Shin-Yatsushiro 新八代 Yatsushiro
Currently operational
Shin-Yatsushiro 新八代 0 km + JR Kyūshū: Kagoshima Main Line Yatsushiro Kumamoto
Shin-Minamata 新水俣 42.8 km - Hisatsu Orange Railway: Hisatsu Orange Railway Line Minamata
Izumi 出水 58.8 km - Hisatsu Orange Railway Izumi Kagoshima
Sendai 川内 91.5 km * Hisatsu Orange Railway
JR Kyūshū: Kagoshima Main Line
Kagoshima-Chūō 鹿児島中央 126.8 km + JR Kyūshū: Ibusuki Makurazaki Line, Kagoshima Main Line
Kagoshima City Tram: Route 2; Dai-Ni-Ki Line and Toso Line (Kagoshima-Chūō-Ekimae)
Nishi-Kyūshū Route (Nagasaki Route)
On hold
Shin-Tosu 1 新鳥栖 Tosu Saga
Saga 佐賀 JR Kyūshū: Karatsu Line, Nagasaki Main Line, Sasebo Line Saga
Under construction, scheduled for completion c. 2018
Takeo-Onsen 武雄温泉 JR Kyūshū: Sasebo Line Takeo
Ureshino-Onsen 1 嬉野温泉 Ureshino
Shin-Ōmura 1 新大村 Ōmura Nagasaki
Isahaya 諫早 JR Kyūshū: Nagasaki Main Line, Ōmura Line
Shimabara Railway: Shimabara Railway Line
Nagasaki 長崎 JR Kyūshū: Nagasaki Main Line, Ōmura Line
Nagasaki Electric Tramway: Route 1, □ 2, and 3; Main Line and Sakuramachi Branch Line (Nagasaki-Ekimae)
1: Tentative name
2: All the trains stop at stations signed "+". Most trains stop at "*". Most trains do not stop at "-".
3: Through service to/from Kyūshū Shinkansen is planned.
4: New station will be constructed.


Services are operated by 6-car 800 Series sets, with a maximum speed of 260 kilometres per hour (160 mph). The trains were developed by Hitachi, and based on the 700 series trains already in service on the Tōkaidō/Sanyō Shinkansen line.

Individual trains are named Tsubame ("Swallow"), the name of the former Hakata-Kagoshima limited express service. While the line is being completed, narrow-gauge Relay Tsubame trains carry passengers from Hakata to Shin-Yatsushiro, where a cross-platform connection is provided to the Shinkansen.

8-car N700-7000 Series trains are on order by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and JR Kyūshū for use on through-running services between Shin-Osaka and Kagoshima-Chuo from 2011. The first set (S1) was delivered to Hakata Depot in October 2008.[4]

See also


External links



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