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Sanyō Shinkansen

JR West 500 series on Nozomi service, May 2008
Type Shinkansen
Locale Japan
Termini Shin-Ōsaka
Stations 19
Opened 15 March 1972
Owner JR West
Operator(s) JR Central
JR West
Depot(s) Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Hakata
Rolling stock 100 series
300 series
500 series
700 series
N700 series
Line length 553.7 km
Track gauge 1,435 mm
Electrification 25 kV AC, 60 Hz, overhead catenary
Operating speed 300 km/h
Route map


The Sanyō Shinkansen (山陽新幹線 San'yō Shinkansen ?) is a line of the Japanese Shinkansen high-speed rail network, connecting Shin-Ōsaka in Osaka with Hakata Station in Fukuoka, the two largest cities in western Japan. Operated by the JR West, it is a westward continuation of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and also serves other major cities in between on Honshū and Kyūshū islands such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Hiroshima and Kita-Kyūshū. The Sanyō Shinkansen connects Hakata with Osaka in two-and-a-half hours, and it provides one of the fastest passenger train services in the world with a maximum operating speed of 300 kilometres per hour (190 mph). Some Nozomi trains operate continuously on Sanyō and Tōkaidō Shinkansen lines, connecting Tokyo and Hakata in five hours.



700 series Hikari Rail Star train

Construction of the Sanyō Shinkansen between Shin-Ōsaka and Okayama was authorized on September 9, 1965 and commenced on March 16, 1967. Construction between Okayama and Hakata commenced on February 10, 1970. The Shin-Ōsaka to Okayama segment opened on March 15, 1972; the remainder of the line opened on March 10, 1975. The first Hikari trains, using 0 Series Shinkansen equipment, made the Osaka-Hakata run in 3 hr. 44 min. This was shortened to 2 hr. 59 min. in 1986 with an increase in maximum speed to 220 km/h. 100 Series Shinkansen trains, introduced in 1989, boosted maximum speed to 230 km/h and reduced travel time to 2 hr. 49 min.

Tokyo-Hakata Nozomi services began on March 18, 1993, using 300 Series Shinkansen equipment. The Osaka-Hakata run was reduced to 2 hr. 32 min., at a maximum speed of 270 km/h. On March 22, 1997, the 500 Series Shinkansen entered service on Nozomi services between Shin-Ōsaka and Hakata, reducing the Osaka-Hakata run to 2 hr. 17 min. at a maximum speed of 300 km/h.

The 700 Series Shinkansen was introduced on Tokyo-Hakata Nozomi services on March 13, 1999, coinciding with the opening of Asa Station. On March 11, 2000, the new 700 Series trainsets were introduced on Hikari Rail Star services.

Ogori Station was renamed Shin-Yamaguchi Station on October 1, 2003.

The N700 Series Shinkansen was launched on Nozomi services on July 1, 2007, with a top speed of 300 km/h (compared to 285 km/h for the 700 series).

Today, the Sanyō Shinkansen accounts for approximately 40% of JR West's transportation revenues—the same proportion as the entire Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe "Urban Network" of commuter train lines. However, the line faces heavy competition from airlines, especially on the Tokyo-Fukuoka and Osaka-Fukuoka routes. As a result, JR West has decreased fares on the route several times over the past decade, and taken other measures to compete with the airlines, such as offering shorter trains (the 8-car Hikari Rail Star) at higher frequencies.


Train sets on the line include:


All stations on the Sanyō Shinkansen are owned and operated by JR West, with the exception of Shin-Ōsaka which is run by Central Japan Railway Company (JR central).

Station in Japanese Ward/City Distance
from Tokyo
Shin-Ōsaka 新大阪 Yodogawa-ku, Osaka 515.4 Tōkaidō Shinkansen (through service), JR Kyoto Line, Midosuji Line, Osaka Higashi Line (2012)
Shin-Kobe 新神戸 Chūō-ku, Kobe 548.0 Hokushin Line, Seishin-Yamate Line
Nishi-Akashi 西明石 Akashi, Hyōgo 570.2 Sanyō Main Line
Himeji 姫路 Himeji, Hyōgo 601.3 Sanyō Main Line, Bantan Line, Kishin Line, Sanyo Electric Railway Main Line
Aioi 相生 Aioi, Hyōgo 621.3 Sanyō Main Line, Ako Line
Okayama 岡山 Okayama, Okayama 676.3 Sanyō Main Line, Uno Line, Hakubi Line, Tsuyama Line, Kibi Line, Okayama Electric Tramway Higashiyama Main Line
Shin-Kurashiki 新倉敷 Kurashiki, Okayama 702.1 Sanyō Main Line
Fukuyama 福山 Fukuyama, Hiroshima 733.1 Sanyō Main Line, Fukuen Line
Shin-Onomichi 新尾道 Onomichi, Hiroshima 750.5 (none)
Mihara 三原 Mihara, Hiroshima 761.0 Sanyō Main Line, Kure Line
Higashi-Hiroshima 東広島 Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima 791.9 (none)
Hiroshima 広島 Minami-ku, Hiroshima 821.2 Sanyō Main Line, Geibi Line, Kabe Line, Kure Line, Hiroshima Electric Railway Main Line
Shin-Iwakuni 新岩国 Iwakuni, Yamaguchi 865.4 Nishikigawa Seiryu Line (Misho Station)
Tokuyama 徳山 Shunan, Yamaguchi 903.5 Sanyō Main Line, Gantoku Line
Shin-Yamaguchi 新山口 Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi 944.6 Sanyō Main Line, Yamaguchi Line, Ube Line
Asa 厚狭 Sanyō-Onoda, Yamaguchi 968.7 Sanyō Main Line, Mine Line
Shin-Shimonoseki 新下関 Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi 992.5 Sanyō Main Line
Kokura 小倉 Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyūshū 1013.2 Kagoshima Main Line, Nippo Main Line, Hita-Hikosan Line, Kitakyushu Monorail
Hakata 博多 Hakata-ku, Fukuoka 1069.1 Kyūshū Shinkansen (through service starting 2011), Hakata-Minami Line, Kagoshima Main Line, Sasaguri Line, Fukuoka Subway Airport Line

See also

External links



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