The Senseki Line (仙石線 Senseki-sen) is a railway line in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, owned and operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It connects Aoba-dōri Station in Sendai to Ishinomaki Station in Ishinomaki, and provides access to the central coast areas of Miyagi Prefecture, significantly the Matsushima area. It connects with the Sendai Subway Nanboku Line at Aoba-dōri Station; the Tōhoku Shinkansen, the Tōhoku Main Line and the Senzan Line at Sendai Station; and the Ishinomaki Line in Ishinomaki. The name Senseki (仙石) comes from the combination of the first kanji of Sendai (仙台) and Ishinomaki (石巻), the two cities that the Senseki Line connects.
Senseki Line 205-3100 series train at Tagajō Station
|Opened||June 5, 1925|
|Operator(s)||JR East, JR Freight|
|Rolling stock||205 series|
|Track length||50.2 km (31.2 mi)|
|Number of tracks||2 (Aoba-dōri — Higashi-Shiogama), 1 (Higashi-Shiogama — Ishinomaki)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC|
|Operating speed||95 km/h (59 mph)|
- Operators, distances:
- Passenger stations: 31
- Freight terminals: 1 (Ishinomaki-Minato)
- Double-track: Aoba-dōri — Higashi-Shiogama
- Single-track: Higashi-Shiogama — Ishinomaki
- Electrification: Whole line (1,500 V DC)
- Railway signalling:
- CTC center: Miyagino Operation Control Center
Prior to the partial suspension of services by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, all trains originated from Aoba-dōri Station, with most running to Tagajō or Higashi-Shiogama. Local trains and rapid service trains that ran the entire length of the line operated at 30-minute intervals. When the line was fully recovered in 2015, rapid services were switched to the route via the Senseki-Tōhoku Line. Therefore, under the 2015 timetable, the section between Aoba-dōri and Takagimachi is served only by local trains.
At Sendai Station, the line crosses under the Tōhoku Main Line and its platforms, similar to the situation with the Keiyō Line in Tokyo and the Chikuhi Line in Hakata (which connects via the Fukuoka Airport Subway Line).
The segment from Aoba-dōri to Higashi-Shiogama is a key part of Sendai's transportation system, and becomes very crowded during peak periods, and headways are as short as 4 minutes. During non-peak times 3–5 trains run per hour. Between Higashi-Shiogama and Ishinomaki two trains run per hour.
In addition to all-stations "local" trains, there are limited-stop "rapid" and "special rapid" services on the Senseki Line section between Takagimachi and Ishinomaki. Between Sendai and Takagimachi, the "rapid" and "special rapid" services operate on the Senseki-Tōhoku Line. The special rapid services make only stop at Yamoto in the Senseki Line section, while the rapid services also stop at Nobiru, Rikuzen-Ono, Rikuzen-Akai, Hebita and Rikuzen-Yamashita.
A "Mangattan Train" operates on the Senseki Line, with a livery featuring Ishinomori Manga characters.
Disaster and reconstruction, 2011–2015
Service was halted since the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, as several trains, stations, and sections of the line were destroyed, heavily damaged, or flooded. Service for the first 16 miles of the line from Sendai was expected to be restored by the end of May 2011. By mid-July, the Sendai – Matsushima-Kaigan and Yamoto – Ishinomaki sections had service restored, although the latter segment was with diesel trains due to the loss of the power substation. The remainder of the line between Matsushima-Kaigan and Yamoto was obliterated by the tsunami.
From March October 2012, services resumed on all but the Takagimachi to Rikuzen-Ono section, with services on that section restored on 30 May 2015, and a new 400m link was constructed from between Shiogama Station and Matsushima Station on the Tohoku Main Line to a point between Matsushima-Kaigan and Takagimachi Station on the Senseki Line. Costing approximately 2 billion yen to build, the new link allows through-running services from the Tohoku Main Line to the Senseki Line, and cut approximately 10 minutes off the journey time between Sendai and Ishinomaki. On 26 March 2016, a new station located between Rikuzen-Akai Station and Hebita Station, called Ishinomakiayumino Station was opened.
New HB-E210 series 2-car hybrid diesel multiple unit (DMU) trains are scheduled to be introduced on the line from 30 May 2015 between Takagimachi and Ishinomaki following the start of new Senseki-Tohoku Line services using a newly built link connecting with the Tohoku Main Line at Shiogama.
The Miyagi Electric Railway opened the line in sections between 1925 and 1928. Individual opening dates are given in the timeline section below. The Rikuzen-Haranomachi to Nishi-Shiogama section was double-tracked between 1968 and 1969, and extended to Higashi-Shiogama in 1981.
In 2000, the surface section between Rikuzen-Haranomachi and Sendai was replaced by a double-track underground line, with a new section to Aoba-dori to connect to the Sendai subway.
Parts of the line were extensively damaged by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and whilst service was restored on the majority of the line by March 2012, the Takagimachi – Rikuzen-Ono section was returned to service on 30 May 2015.
- June 5, 1925: Miyagi Electric Railway (later Senseki Line): Sendai – Nishi-Shiogama.
- January 1, 1926: Miyaginohara Station opens.
- April 14, 1926: Nishi-Shiogama – Hon-Shiogama section opens.
- April 18, 1927: Hon-Shiogama – Matsushima-Kōen (later Matsushima-Kaigan Station) section opens.
- April 10, 1928: Matsushima-Kōen – Rikuzen-Ono section opens.
- May 15, 1928: Nigatake Station opens.
- November 22, 1928: Rikuzen-Ono – Ishinomaki section opens, connecting Sendai to Ishinomaki.
- June 1, 1929: Kazuma Station opens.
- October 23, 1931: Nobiru Station becomes Tōhoku-Suma Station.
- December 1, 1931: Tōna Station opens.
- January 8, 1932: Ishinomaki station becomes Miyaden-Ishinomaki Station.
- August 1, 1932: Geba Station opens.
- February 1, 1939: Miyaden-Yamashita Station (later Rikuzen-Yamashita Station) opens.
- November 7, 1939: Miyaden-Yamashita – Kama (later Ishinomaki Port Station) freight connection opens.
- May 1, 1944: Miyagi Electric Railway is nationalized, becomes the Senseki Line; Higashi-Nanabanchō Station becomes Sendai Higashi-Guchi Station, Hamada Station becomes Rikuzen-Hamada Station, Matsushima-Kōen becomes Matsushima-Kaigan Station, Tomiyama becomes Rikuzen-Tomiyama Station, Ōtsuka becomes Rikuzen-Ōtsuka Station, Tōhoku-Suma becomes Nobiru Station, and Miyaden-Ishinomaki becomes Ishinomaki Station.
- June 1, 1952: Sendai – Sendai Higashi-Guchi section stops operation.
- September 26, 1952: Sendai – Sendai Higashi-Gushi section abolished.
- 1957: Rapid trains begin operation.
- February 23, 1968: Track doubled on Fukudamachi – Tagajō section.
- March 19, 1968: Track doubled on Rikuzen-Haranomachi – Fukudamachi section.
- October 11, 1968: Kama – Ishinomaki-Futō freight connection opens
- September 26, 1969: Track doubled on Tagajō to Nishi-Shiogama section.
- April 1, 1971: Kama – Ishinomaki-Minato freight connection abolished.
- March 15, 1972: Kama Station becomes Ishinomaki-Minato Station.
- 1974: 72 series and 79 series trains begin operation.
- October 1, 1979: 103 series trains begin operation.
- April 1, 1981: Nakanosakae Station opens.
- November 1, 1981: Nishi-Shiogama – Higashi-Shiogama section elevated, double-tracked; Hon-Shiogama Station and Higashi-Shiogama Station moved.
- October 2, 1983: New weekend schedule introduced.
- March 31, 1987: Higashi-Yamoto Station opens.
- April 1, 1987: Senseki Line becomes part of the East Japan Railway Company (JR East).
- March 13, 1988: Rapid trains renamed Umikaze; scheduling changes.
- July 21, 1990: Ishinomaki and Senseki Lines' Ishinomaki stations are merged.
- November 1, 1999: Ishinomaki-Minato – Ishinomaki-Futō; freight connection abolished.
- March 11, 2000: Sendai – Rikuzen-Haranomachi section moved underground; Aoba-dōri – Sendai section added.
- November 5, 2002: 205-3100 series trains begin operation.
- July 2004: Last remaining 103 series trains withdrawn.
- March 13, 2004: Kozurushinden Station opens.
- October 16, 2004: "Umikaze" name is discontinued; weekday and Saturday schedules are merged.
- March 16, 2005: Nishi-Shiogama Station becomes unmanned.
- November 2006: One 4-car 103 series train is brought out of storage and reinstated into service.
- October 21, 2009: JR East's last remaining 103 series train is withdrawn from service.
- March 11, 2011: Two Senseki Line trains were derailed and badly damaged by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
- 2015: Services are restored over the entire length of the line.
- 26 March 2016: Ishinomakiayumino Station opens.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia.
- Slavin, Erik, "U.S. troops restore a train station, one dirt pile at a time", Stars and Stripes, 25 April 2011.
- 津波被害のＪＲ仙石線が部分開通 全線は見通し立たず [Partial reopening of tsunami-hit JR Senseki Line; No timeline for full restoration]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- JR Timetable October 2012 issue, P.9
- 東北本線と仙石線を接続、直通運転へ [Tohoku Main Line and Senseki Line to be linked with through-running]. Tetsudo.com (in Japanese). Japan: Asahi Interactive Inc. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Sendai Branch, East Japan Railway Company (January 29, 2015). "石巻線および仙石線の全線運転再開と仙石東北ライン開業に伴う営業キロの変更及び運賃の適用等について" (PDF) (in Japanese). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 9, 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
- "JR East news release" (PDF) (in Japanese). Tokyo. 2009-10-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-03-12.
- "Japanese Passenger Train Unaccounted for After Powerful Earthquake". Nobiru, Japan: Fox News. 2011-03-11.