JR Shikoku (overview)

click to enlarge

Overview over the areas covered by the JR companies (click to enlarge)

JR Shikoku is the railway operating company on the island of Shikoku. Railways here were isolated from the rest of Japan, freight cars being conveyed by the ferry from the port of Uno, not far from Okayama, to Takamatsu. In 1988 the huge road and railway bridge across the Inland Sea (Setonaikai) was inaugurated and trains could then operate through to the city of Okayama. Today there is a busy shuttle service between Shikoku and Okayama. The border between JR Shikoku and JR West – and the corresponding change of personnel – is at Kojima at the tip of a Honshû peninsula protruding into the Inland Sea. The centre of Shikoku is extremely mountainous, with peaks rising up to almost 2000 m. Thus the cross-Shikoku main line from north to south needs to wind its way through difficult parts of the island. After reaching the city of Kôchi in the south the main line continues along the southwest coast to Kubokawa and then over the private Tosa Kuroshio Tetsudô to Sukumo; accordingly, one of the express train sets linking Sukumo with north Shikoku and Okayama is owned by the Tosa Kuroshio Tetsudô.