Nagasaki Main Line

The Nagasaki Main Line (長崎本線, Nagasaki-honsen), or simply Nagasaki Line, is a railway line owned by the Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) connecting Tosu Station in Saga Prefecture to Nagasaki Station in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. There is a separate branch of this line from Kikitsu Station to Urakami Station by way of Nagayo Station.

Nagasaki Main Line
JR Kyushu 885 series Kamome limited express at Nagasaki Station
TypeHeavy rail
LocaleSaga, Nagasaki prefectures
OwnerJR Kyushu
Operator(s)JR Kyushu, JR Freight
Line length148.8 km (92.5 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification20 kV AC, 60 Hz (Tosu Isahaya, Kikitsu Ichinuno, Urakami Nagasaki sections)
Route map

Route data

  • Operators and route length:
    • JR Kyushu (services and tracks)
      • Tosu - Nagasaki: 125.3 km (77.86 mi)
      • Kikitsu - Nagayo - Urakami: 23.5 km (14.60 mi)
    • JR Freight (services)
      • Tosu - Nagasaki: 125.3 km (77.86 mi)
  • Stations: 41 (including seasonal stations)
  • Double-tracking:
    • Tosu - Hizen-Yamaguchi
    • Isahaya - Kikitsu
    • Urakami - Nagasaki
  • Electrification: Tosu - Nagasaki (20kV AC 60 Hz)
  • Railway signalling: Automatic
  • CTC center: Hakata Integrated Operations Center

Route description

The line is single-tracked between Hizen-Yamaguchi and Isahaya stations due to the coastal geography of the area making double-tracking prohibitively expensive. The "old route" (旧線) is the branch of the Nagasaki Main Line between Kikitsu and Urakami via Nagayo that existed before the opening of the new route. Prior to the opening of the new route, express and limited express trains ran on this section. Vestiges of this can be seen at Michinoo and other stations along the route. The "new line" (新線) is the branch of the Nagasaki Main Line between Isahaya and Urakami via Ichinuno through the Nagasaki Tunnel. It is electrified.


Limited express

The Kamome limited express operates on the Nagasaki Main Line. The merged Midori/Huis Ten Bosch limited express operates east of Hizen-Yamaguchi Station. Limited express trains travel over the new route between Isahaya and Urakami stations.

Overnight sleeper trains, such as the Sakura (between Tokyo and Nagasaki) and Akatsuki (between Kyoto and Nagasaki), were discontinued in 2008.

Regional trains

Other than trains that are operated on the entire Nagasaki Line, there are trains which operate in specific sections, such as from Tosu to Hizen-Kashima, and trains which continue on to other lines.

  • In the morning, from Hizen-Nanaura Station, there is a direct train to Mojikō Station (on the Kagoshima Main Line).
  • The new line from Isahaya to Nagasaki uses EMUs, but the old line, including direct trains to the Omura Line, uses DMUs. However, the rapid service train Seaside Liner, despite being a DMU, uses the new line.
  • Between Hizen-Nanaura Station and Yue Station, because it is a relatively inactive part of the line, local trains only run for about five hours into the daytime after the morning rush.
  • Wanman Driver-only operation trains are operated on the entire Nagasaki Line. On the new line, the 817 series EMU is used, and on the old line, the KiHa 66, 67, and 200 DMUs are used.


Freight trains are operated between Tosu and Nabeshima. High-speed freight trains make three round trips a day from Tosu Freight Terminal to Nabeshima. The electric locomotive used is the Class ED76. Freight trains only arrive and depart from Nabeshima station.



  • All trains stop at stations marked "●", some stop at stations marked "▲". All trains pass stations marked "|".
  • Double-tracked sections are marked "∥", single-tracked sections where trains may pass are marked "◇", and single-tracked sections where trains cannot pass are marked "|".

New route (via Ichinuno)

  • "Rapid" refers to the Seaside Liner rapid service.
  • Local trains make all stops. For information on the Kamome and Midori limited express services consult their respective articles.
Station Japanese Distance (km) Limited Express Rapid Transfers   Location
Tosu 鳥栖 - 0.0   Kagoshima Main Line Tosu Saga
Shin-Tosu 新鳥栖 2.0 2.0   Kyushu Shinkansen
Hizen-Fumoto 肥前麓 2.2 4.2 |    
Nakabaru 中原 4.3 8.5 |     Miyaki, Miyaki District
Yoshinogari-Kōen 吉野ヶ里公園 4.6 13.1 |     Yoshinogari, Kanzaki District
Kanzaki 神埼 2.6 15.7 |     Kanzaki
Igaya 伊賀屋 4.5 20.2 |     Saga
Saga 佐賀 4.8 25.0    
Nabeshima 鍋島 3.0 28.0 |    
Balloon Saga (seasonal) バルーンさが 1.8 29.8 |    
Kubota 久保田 1.6 31.4 |   Karatsu Line[* 1]
Ushizu 牛津 2.8 34.2 |     Ogi
Hizen-Yamaguchi 肥前山口 5.4 39.6   Sasebo Line (some trains through to/from Tosu) Kōhoku, Kishima District
Hizen-Shiroishi 肥前白石 5.1 44.7 |     Shiroishi, Kishima District
Hizen-Ryūō 肥前竜王 4.7 49.4 |    
Hizen-Kashima 肥前鹿島 5.2 54.6     Kashima
Hizen-Hama 肥前浜 3.0 57.6 |    
Hizen-Nanaura 肥前七浦 3.9 61.5 |    
Hizen-Iida 肥前飯田 2.1 63.6 |    
Tara 多良 4.1 67.7 |     Tara, Fujitsu District
Hizen-Ōura 肥前大浦 7.9 75.6 |    
Konagai 小長井 6.7 82.3 |     Isahaya Nagasaki
Nagasato 長里 2.4 84.7 | To/from Ōmura Line  
Yue 湯江 2.9 87.6 |  
Oe 小江 3.3 90.9 |  
Hizen-Nagata 肥前長田 4.7 95.6 |  
Higashi-Isahaya 東諫早 2.2 97.8 |  
Isahaya 諫早 2.6 100.4 Ōmura Line (through to/from Nagasaki)
Shimabara Railway Line
Nishi-Isahaya 西諫早 2.8 103.2 |  
Kikitsu 喜々津 3.7 106.9 | Nagasaki Main Line (old route) (through to/from Isahaya)
Ichinuno 市布 2.5 109.4 |  
Hizen-Koga 肥前古賀 2.9 112.3 |   Nagasaki
Utsutsugawa 現川 2.5 114.8 |  
Urakami 浦上 8.9 123.7 Nagasaki Main Line (old route) (through to/from Nagasaki)
Nagasaki Electric Tramway: Main Line (Urakami-Ekimae)
Nagasaki 長崎 1.6 125.3 Nagasaki Electric Tramway Main Line, Sakuramachi Branch (Nagasaki-Ekimae)
  1. Karatsu Line trains run through to Saga Station

Old route (via Nagayo)

  • All stations located within Nagasaki Prefecture.
  • All trains make all stops.
Station Japanese Distance (km) Transfers   Location
Kikitsu 喜々津 - 0.0 Nagasaki Main Line (new route) (through to/from Isahaya) Isahaya
Higashisono 東園 3.5 3.5  
Ōkusa 大草 3.7 7.2  
Honkawachi 本川内 5.1 12.3   Nagayo, Nishisonogi District
Nagayo 長与 3.1 15.4  
Kōda 高田 1.0 16.4  
Michinoo 道ノ尾 2.5 18.9  
Nishi-Urakami 西浦上 1.7 20.6   Nagasaki
Urakami 浦上 2.9 23.5 Nagasaki Main Line (new route) (through to/from Nagasaki)
Nagasaki Electric Tramway Main Line (Urakami-Ekimae)

Rolling stock


The Kyushu Railway Co. opened the Tosu - Saga section in 1891, extending it to Nagasaki via Haiki in 1898.

In 1907, the Railway Nationalization Act was passed in Japan, nationalising all major railways. The Hizen-Yamaguchi - Isahaya direct line was opened in 1934, with the Hizen-Yamaguchi - Haiki section being renamed the Sasebo Line and the Haiki - Isahaya section the Omura Line.

The Saga - Nabeshima section was the first to be duplicated in 1966, and by 1969 the Tosu - Hizen-Yamaguchi and Isahaya - Kikitsu sections were duplicated. The Urakami-Nagasaki section was duplicated in 1990.

The 6173m Shin-Nagasaki tunnel and associated Kititsu - Urakami deviation opened in 1972, and the entire line was electrified in 1976. Freight services beyond Nabeshima ceased in 1999.

Former connecting lines

  • Saga station - The 24km line to Setaka (on the Kagoshima Main Line) opened 1931-35, and closed in 1987. This line crossed three major watercourses by substantial bridges.


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

  1. にっぽん列島 - 鉄道紀元 [Nippon Rettō - Tetsudō-kigen]. 27. JTB Publishing Inc. May 10, 2007. pp. 12–15.
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