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Nambu Line

Nambu Line
A Nambu Line E233-8000 series EMU, October 2014
Native name 南武線
Type Commuter rail
Locale Tokyo, Kanagawa prefectures
Termini Kawasaki
Stations 26 (main line), 3 (branch line)
Opened 1927
Owner JR East
Rolling stock 205 series, 209 series, E233-8000 series
Line length 45.0 km (28.0 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead catenary
Route map

The Nambu Line (南武線 Nanbu-sen) is a Japanese railway line which connects Tachikawa Station in Tachikawa, Tokyo and Kawasaki Station in Kawasaki, Kanagawa. For most of its length, it parallels the Tama River, the natural border between Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures. It lies along the Tama Hills. It is part of the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) network. The line forms part of what JR East refers to as the "Tokyo Mega Loop" (東京メガループ) around Tokyo, consisting of the Keiyo Line, Musashino Line, Nambu Line, and Yokohama Line.[1] The name refers to the southern ( nan) part of the ancient province of Musashi (武蔵) (now Tokyo and northern Kanagawa prefectures), through which the Nambu Line runs.


  • Basic data 1
  • Station list 2
    • Main line 2.1
    • Nambu Branch Line 2.2
    • Freight branch 2.3
    • Former branches 2.4
  • Rolling stock 3
    • Previously used 3.1
  • History 4
  • Future developments 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Basic data

  • Operators, distances:
    • Total: 45.0 km (28.0 mi)
      • Passenger: 39.6 km (24.6 mi)
      • Freight: 39.4 km (24.5 mi)
    • East Japan Railway Company (JR East) (Services and tracks)
      • Kawasaki – Tachikawa: 35.5 km (22.1 mi)
      • Shitte – Hama-Kawasaki: 4.1 km (2.5 mi)
      • Shitte – Shin-Tsurumi Signal Station – Tsurumi: 5.4 km (3.4 mi) (no regular service)
    • Japan Freight Railway Company (JR Freight) (Services only)
      • Shitte – Tachikawa: 33.8 km (21.0 mi)
      • Shitte – Hama-Kawasaki: 4.1 km (2.5 mi)
      • Shitte – Shin-Tsurumi Signal Station: 1.5 km (0.9 mi)
  • Stations: 29
    • Main line: 26
    • Branch line: 3
  • Double-tracking: Kawasaki – Tachikawa
  • Railway signalling: Automatic Block System

Station list

Main line

"Rapid" service trains (two trains per hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m) do not stop at Shitte, Yakō, Hirama, Mukaigawara, Tsudayama, Kuji, Shukugawara, Nakanoshima, or Yanokuchi. All other trains except for some seasonal services are "Local" services, stopping at all stations. From the start of the revised timetable introduced on March 14, 2015, "Rapid" services will no longer stop at Minami-Tama, Nishifu, Yaho, Yagawa, or Nishi-Kunitachi.

Station Japanese Distance (km) Transfers Location
Kawasaki 川崎 - 0.0 Tōkaidō Main Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Keikyu Main Line, Keikyu Daishi Line (Keikyū Kawasaki)
Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki Kanagawa
Shitte 尻手 1.7 1.7 Nambu Branch Line (for Hama-Kawasaki) Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki
Yakō 矢向 0.9 2.6   Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama
Kashimada 鹿島田 1.5 4.1 Yokosuka Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line (Shin-Kawasaki). Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki
Hirama 平間 1.2 5.3   Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki
Mukaigawara 向河原 1.3 6.6  
Musashi-Kosugi 武蔵小杉 0.9 7.5 Yokosuka Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
Tokyu Toyoko Line, Tokyu Meguro Line
Musashi-Nakahara 武蔵中原 1.7 9.2  
Musashi-Shinjō 武蔵新城 1.3 10.5  
Musashi-Mizonokuchi 武蔵溝ノ口 2.2 12.7 Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line, Tokyu Oimachi Line (Mizonokuchi) Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki
Tsudayama 津田山 1.2 13.9  
Kuji 久地 1.0 14.9  
Shukugawara 宿河原 1.3 16.2   Tama-ku, Kawasaki
Noborito 登戸 1.1 17.3 Odakyu Odawara Line
Nakanoshima 中野島 2.2 19.5  
Inadazutsumi 稲田堤 1.3 20.8 Keio Sagamihara Line (Keiō-Inadazutsumi)
Yanokuchi 矢野口 1.6 22.4   Inagi Tokyo
Inagi-Naganuma 稲城長沼 1.7 24.1  
Minami-Tama 南多摩 1.4 25.5 Seibu Tamagawa Line (Koremasa)
Fuchū-Hommachi 府中本町 2.4 27.9 Musashino Line Fuchū
Bubaigawara 分倍河原 0.9 28.8 Keiō Line
Nishifu 西府 1.2 30.0  
Yaho 谷保 1.6 31.6   Kunitachi
Yagawa 矢川 1.4 33.0  
Nishi-Kunitachi 西国立 1.3 34.3   Tachikawa
Tachikawa 立川 1.2 35.5 Chūō Main Line, Ōme Line
Tama Toshi Monorail Line (Tachikawa-Kita, Tachikawa-Minami)

Nambu Branch Line

  • All stations are located in Kanagawa Prefecture.
  • Trains can pass each other only at Kawasaki-Shinmachi.
Station Japanese Distance (km) Transfers Location
Shitte 尻手 - 0.0 Nambu Line (main line), Nambu Line (freight branch) Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki
Hatchōnawate 八丁畷 1.1 1.1 Keikyu Main Line
Tokaido Main Line freight branch (for Tsurumi)
Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki
Kawasaki-Shinmachi 川崎新町 0.9 2.0  
Hama-Kawasaki 浜川崎 2.1 4.1 Tsurumi Line, Tokaido Main Line freight branch (for Kawasaki Freight Terminal)

Freight branch

The "Shitte crossover" (尻手短絡線 Shitte-tanraku-sen) connects Shitte Station and Shin-Tsurumi Yard on the Tōkaidō Main Line (Hinkaku Line) and the Musashino Line. Freight trains operating between Tokyo Freight Terminal and northern Japan operate on both branch lines.

Former branches

  • Yakō – Kawasaki-Gashi: opened 1927, closed 1972
  • Mukaigawara – Shin-Tsurumi Yard: opened 1929, closed 1973

Rolling stock

Nambu Line rolling stock at Nakahara Depot

The fleet of electric multiple unit (EMU) trains used on Nambu Line services is based at Nakahara Depot.[2]

Previously used

  • 72/73 series 4/6-car EMUs (from 1963 until 1978)
  • 101 series 4/6-car EMUs (from 1969 until January 1991)
  • 103 series 6-car EMUs (from 1982 until December 2004)
  • 101 series 2-car EMUs (Nambu Branchline services, until November 2003)


The private Nambu Railway opened the line in five stages between 1927 and 1930 (freight branches are omitted):[4]

  • March 27, 1927: Kawasaki – Noborito
  • November 1, 1927: Noborito – Ōmaru (near Minami-Tama)
  • December 11, 1928: Ōmaru – Bubaigawara (then called Yashikibun)
  • December 11, 1929: Bubaigawara – Tachikawa
  • March 25, 1930: Shitte – Hama-Kawasaki

Passenger trains utilised electric multiple units from the beginning. The major freight initially hauled was gravel from the Tama River. When the railway reached Tachikawa and made connection with the Ōme Electric Railway, limestone became one of the main freight commodities. The railway was controlled by Asano zaibatsu, which enabled the transport of limestone from its own quarry in Western Tokyo to its cement plant in Kawasaki without using the government railways.[5]

On April 1, 1944, the railway was nationalised by the imperial government and became the Nambu Line of Japanese Government Railways. After the end of World War II, there were several calls for the privatisation of the line, but the line remained a part of the Japanese National Railways until its privatization in 1987.[5]

The postwar growth of the Tokyo urban area resulted in the conversion of most of the farmlands along the Nambu Line into residential areas and increased the passenger traffic on the line. Freight traffic reduced after the opening of the Musashino Line (parallel to the Nambu Line) in 1976 and the discontinuance of the limestone freight in 1998, except for the Nambu Branchline, which remains a major freight route.[5]

Limited-stop "Rapid" services between Kawasaki and Noborito with stops at Musashi-Kosugi and Musashi-Mizonokuchi started on December 15, 1969, but were discontinued by the timetable revision on October 2, 1978.[6] After 33 years, Rapid services between Kawasaki and Tachikawa with more stops started on April 9, 2011, postponed from the originally scheduled March 12 due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[7]

Future developments

Construction of a new station on the Nambu Branch Line is under consideration by JR East in conjunction with the city of Kawasaki. Provisionally named Odasakae-Shin Station (小田栄新駅), the new low-cost station is planned to be built between Kawasaki-Shinmachi and Hama-Kawasaki, with opening scheduled for the end of fiscal year 2015.[8]


  1. ^ Saka, Masayuki (August 2014). 東京メガループ 車両・路線の沿革と現況 [Tokyo Megaloop: History and current situation of trains and line]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese) (Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun) 43 (364): p.28-39. 
  2. ^ JR電車編成表 2013夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2013]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. May 2013. pp. 91–93.  
  3. ^ "E233系8000番台が営業運転を開始" [E233-8000 series enters revenue service]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 5 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Ishino, Tetsu et al. (eds.) (1998). 停車場変遷大事典 国鉄・JR編 [Station Transition Directory - JNR/JR] (in Japanese). Tokyo: JTB Corporation. pp. 65–69, vol. II.  
  5. ^ a b c Harada, Katsumasa (1999). Nanbu-sen Ima Mukashi (in Japanese). Kawasaki: Tamagawa Shinbunsha.  
  6. ^ 南武線に33年ぶりの「快速」 (in Japanese). Town News. October 1, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  7. ^ "JR南武線快速ようやく運行スタート、旧国鉄時代以来33年ぶり". Kanagawa Shinbun. April 9, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  8. ^ 南武支線に新駅設置を検討 [New station under consideration for Nambu Branch Line]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 

External links

  • Stations of the Nambu Line (JR East) (Japanese)
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