Uetsu Main Line

The Uetsu Main Line (Japanese羽 越 本 线, Uetsu - Honsen ) is a Japanese railway line which runs between the stations Niitsu in Niigata, Niigata Prefecture and Akita, Akita Prefecture and is operated by the East Japan Railway Company. The name Uetsu is made up of the old names of the provinces of Dewa (出 羽) and Echigo (越 后), which connects the Uetsu Main Line together.


Today's Uetsu line was initially built as originally independent railway lines in the prefectures of Niigata, Yamagata and Akita. Thus, opened in 1912 with the 26- km long section between the stations Niitsu and Shibata in Niigata Prefecture, the first section as Murakami - line. Almost simultaneously opens the Sakata - line between Shinjo and Sakata in Yamagata Prefecture. In the Akita prefecture of Akita was started from the south a railway line to open up to combine the three single route to Uestu main line until 1924.

The many tunnels had to be built on the basis of the soft subsoil in the shield tunneling. On the Uetsu Main Line was thus first used in 1917 in Japan, this technique for tunneling.

1924, the entire route was opened under the name Uetsu Main Line.

The entire Uetsu Main Line was electrified in 1972. However, it was within the Niigata prefecture, so there introduced the usual 1,500 V AC between Niitsu and Murakami, while 20 kV DC was installed on the rest of the way.

As the route follows the coastline, which sometimes rises at the same time very steep, it is not possible in many sections to expand the Uetsu main line double track completely. Due to increasing capacity was long thought about a closure of the route and a new building in the interior. These plans have been discarded.

Driving information

The 271.7 km long Uetsu main line follows in their route of coastline on the Japan Sea.

Compounds and fleet

On the Main Line Uetsu goods trains, local trains as well as the Express link Inaho (いなほ) and the night train Nihonkai (日本海) and Akebono (あけぼの).

For the tourist development of the areas along the route in November 2001 reversed the Fremdenverkehrswerbsonderzug Kirakira Uetsu (きらきらうえつ). Both a specially painted train series 485


On 25 December 2005, the express train Inaho No accident. 18 shortly before the station Kita- Amarume. The train derailed and three cars raced. Five people died in the accident, 33 were injured.