Aoimori Railway Line

The Aoimori Railway Line (青い森鉄道線, Aoimori Tetsudō-sen) is a railway line in Japan. It connects Metoki Station in the town of Sannohe to Aomori Station in Aomori Prefecture.[1]

Aoimori Railway Line
Aoimori Railway 701 series EMU in September 2010
TypeRegional rail
LocaleAomori Prefecture, Japan
OwnerAomori Prefecture
Operator(s)Aoimori Railway Company
Rolling stock701 series EMUs
Aoimori 703 series EMUs
Line length121.9 km (75.7 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification20 kV AC, 50 Hz overhead catenary
Route map


The Aoimori Railway Line is operated by the Aoimori Railway Company, a "third-sector" publicly and privately owned company. The railway facilities and tracks are owned by the local prefectural government as a "Category 3 Railway Business" under the Railway Business Act of Japan. The Aoimori Railway Company leases these facilities from the government and is responsible for operation of passenger trains on the tracks. This scheme is intended to mitigate the company's burden as an owner of fixed assets and is known as "track/service separation" (上下分離方式, jōge bunri hōshiki).

Japan Freight Railway Company (JR Freight), the nationwide freight train operator, continues to use the line for freight services.

For maintenance work, the line relies on the services of the Hachinohe Rinkai Railway Line.

Station list

Station Japanese Distance (km)[2] Transfers Location
Metoki 目時 - 0.0 Iwate Galaxy Railway Line Sannohe Aomori
Sannohe 三戸 5.5 5.5   Nanbu
Suwanotaira 諏訪ノ平 4.0 9.5  
Kenyoshi 剣吉 5.3 14.8  
Tomabechi 苫米地 3.4 18.2  
Kitatakaiwa 北高岩 2.8 21.0   Hachinohe
Hachinohe 八戸 4.9 25.9 Tōhoku Shinkansen, Hachinohe Line
Mutsu-Ichikawa 陸奥市川 6.9 32.8  
Shimoda 下田 4.2 37.0   Oirase
Mukaiyama 向山 5.2 42.2  
Misawa 三沢 4.7 46.9   Misawa
Kogawara 小川原 6.6 53.5   Tōhoku
Kamikitachō 上北町 3.9 57.4  
Ottomo 乙供 6.9 64.3  
Chibiki 千曳 6.6 70.9  
Noheji 野辺地 6.4 77.3 Ōminato Line Noheji
Karibasawa 狩場沢 6.5 83.8   Hiranai
Shimizugawa 清水川 4.7 88.5  
Kominato 小湊 6.0 94.5  
Nishi-Hiranai 西平内 3.8 98.3  
Asamushi-Onsen 浅虫温泉 6.4 104.7   Aomori
Nonai 野内 6.5 111.2  
Yadamae 矢田前 1.5 112.7  
Koyanagi 小柳 2.0 114.7  
Higashi-Aomori 東青森 1.4 116.1  
Tsutsui 筒井 1.4 117.5  
Aomori 青森 4.4 121.9 Ōu Main Line, Tsugaru-Kaikyō Line

Rolling stock

The Aoimori Railway operates a fleet of 701 series two-car electric multiple units (EMUs). One set was built from new in September 2002, while eight more were transferred from JR East.[3]

Two new two-car Aoimori 703 series EMUs were delivered in November 2013 and introduced from the start of the 15 March 2014 timetable revision.[3]


The Aoimori Railway Line was completed as the MetokiShiriuchi portion of the Nippon Railway on September 1, 1891. When the Nippon Railway was nationalized on November 1, 1906, it became part of the Japanese National Railways (JNR) system and was designated part of the Tohoku Main Line on October 12, 1909. With the privatization and dissolution of JNR on April 1, 1987, the line came under the control of the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). On December 1, 2002, with the opening of the Tohoku Shinkansen, the portion of the Tohoku Main Line located in Iwate Prefecture became the Iwate Ginga Line, and the portion in Aomori Prefecture from the Iwate border to Hachinohe Station became the Aoimori Railway Line.

With the opening of the Tohoku Shinkansen extension to Shin-Aomori on 4 December 2010, the Tōhoku Main Line tracks between Hachinohe and Aomori were transferred to Aoimori Railway ownership.[4]


The railway has been negotiating with the city of Aomori since December 2015 on a proposal to open a new station between Tsutsui Station and Aomori Station near the point at which the railway passes under Japan National Route 103. The station would be part of a sports arena development for the 2025 National Sports Festival of Japan to be held in Aomori.[5] The neighborhood the station would serve is a primarily residential area, but it would also provide access to some busy shopping centers within walking distance to the station.[6][7]


  • Harris, Ken and Clarke, Jackie. Jane's World Railways 2008-2009. Jane's Information Group (2008). ISBN 0-7106-2861-7
  1. "「わ」の鉄道 青い森鉄道" [Aoimori Railway - A "Wa" Railway]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 50 no. 595. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. November 2010. pp. 24–29.
  2. JTB Timetable (April 2014) p. 592
  3. Terada, Hirokazu (October 2014). 新幹線並行在来線 [Conventional railways running parallel with shinkansen lines]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 54 no. 642. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. p. 71.
  4. JR東日本 東北本線八戸―青森間の廃止を届出 [JR East announces discontinuation of Tohoku Line between Hachinohe and Aomori]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  5. "旧操車場跡地利用 有識者が会議" [Experts meet to discuss the need for a station at site]. NHK (in Japanese). 17 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  6. "青い森セントラルパーク付近への新駅設置について" [Concerning the establishment of a new station near the Aoimori Central Park] (in Japanese). 10 March 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  7. "「速やかに県と協議へ」新駅で青森市長方針" [Mayor of Aomori in regards to the new station would like to "promptly talk with the prefecture"] (in Japanese). 16 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
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