Gotemba Line

Gotemba Line

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Gotemba Line

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The is a railway route operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central). It runs between Kōzu Station in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture and Numazu Station in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture via Gotemba Station.

History

The present-day Gotemba Line was built as part of the original route of the Tōkaidō Main Line connecting Tokyo with Osaka. The portion between Kōzu and Numazu was opened on February 1, 1889, although it was not officially named the “Tokaido Line” until 1896. Portions were double tracked from 1891 and the double tracking was completed by 1901. However, the line formed a large detour north on the direct route between Kōzu and Numazu in order to avoid the Hakone Mountains, and prolonged significantly the total travel time between Tokyo and Osaka. A more direct route had been planned as early as 1909, but technical difficulties delayed the completion of the Tanna Tunnel until December 1, 1934. With the opening of the tunnel, the route of the Tōkaidō Main Line was changed to one via Atami Station, leaving the section between Kōzu Station and Numazu Station as a spur line renamed as the Gotemba Line.

In 1943, due to the reduced traffic on the Gotemba line, and the urgent requirement for steel in World War II, the double track was removed, leaving the line as a single track railway. Steam locomotives were replaced by diesel engines in 1955. A cooperative agreement was reached with the privately-owned Odakyu Electric Railway to operate express trains...
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