Iwaizumi Line

The Iwaizumi Line (岩泉線, Iwaizumi-sen) was a railway line in Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) between Moichi Station in Miyako, Iwate and Iwaizumi Station in Iwaizumi, Iwate.

Iwaizumi Line
A diesel train on the Iwaizumi Line, March 2007
TypeHeavy rail
LocaleIwate Prefecture
(officially closed in 2014)
OwnerJR East
Line length38.4 km (23.9 mi)
Number of tracksSingle
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
ElectrificationNot electrified

Operations on the line were suspended on July 31, 2010, when a train derailed due to a landslide, which occurred between Oshikado Station and Iwate-Ōkawa Station. Bus services have since substituted for trains, and the line was formally closed on 1 April 2014.[1]

Service outline

Prior to 2010, there were four local services a day to Iwaizumi Station (one of which terminated at Iwate-Wainai Station), and four to Moichi Station or Miyako Station (one of which started from Iwate-Wainai Station); relatively infrequent by Japanese standards.


Station Japanese Distance (km) Transfers Location
Moichi 茂市 0.0 Yamada Line Miyako Iwate
Iwate-Kariya 岩手刈屋 4.3
Nakasato 中里 7.2
Iwate-Wainai 岩手和井内 10.0
Oshikado 押角 15.8
Iwate-Ōkawa 岩手大川 25.8 Iwaizumi
Asanai 浅内 31.0
Nishōishi 二升石 33.8
Iwaizumi 岩泉 38.4


Although approved for construction in 1922 under the Railway Construction Act, the first section to Iwate-Wainai opened in 1942 to enable brick-making clay to be hauled. The line was extended to Oshikado in 1944, and following completion of the 2987m Oshikado Tunnel, to Utsuno Station (since closed) in 1947.

In 1948 the line was closed for 4 months due to landslide damage. The line was extended to Iwate-Okawa in 1957, and was completed to Iwaizumi in 1972.[2]

Freight services ceased in 1982.

Suspension and closure

Operations on the line were suspended on July 31, 2010, when a train derailed due to a landslide, which occurred between Oshikado Station and Iwate-Ōkawa Station. Trains were substituted by bus services.[1]

After investigating the accident and the condition of the line, JR East announced on March 30, 2012, that it was giving up on the idea of restoring the line. The company claimed that the cost expected to secure the safety of the line would be about 13 billion yen and that it could not afford to spend such an amount considering its very small public demand. According to the company, annual revenue of the line was 8.4 million yen in 2009, with the average daily passenger count being 19, while the cost to operate the line was 265 million yen, resulting in an annual operating loss of 257 million yen.[3] Local governments, including Iwate Prefecture, raised objection to the decision.[4]

In November 2013, JR East announced that agreement had been reached with local governments to formally close the line, which occurred on 1 April 2014.[2]


This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia.

  1. East Japan Railway Company, Morioka Branch (August 17, 2010). お知らせ (PDF) (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  2. "岩泉線の廃止決まる、JR東が届出" [Iwaizumi Line closure finalized]. Tetsudo.com (in Japanese). Japan: Asahi Interactive Inc. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  3. http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2011/20120316.pdf
  4. The Kahoku Shimpo (March 31, 2012). 岩泉線、復旧断念 JR東「代替手段は確保」 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
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