Kashii-sen      香椎線

The terminus at Umi. Two-car diesel train KIHA 47 1047 + KIHA 47 127. (2016)

The terminus at Saitozaki, with a view across Hakata Bay towards Kashii. Two-car diesel train KIHA 47 79 + KIHA 47 76. (2007)

Originally, this line served the coal traffic between Saitozaki and the over 50 collieries south of the city of Fukuoka around Shime and Umi. Saitozaki is a peninsula opposite Fukuoka across the Bay of Hakata and is situated at the western end of a long, slim sand dune that stretches up to the northeast and the town of Wajiro. The northern section of the Kashii-sen from Kashii Junction on the Kagoshima Honsen to Saitozaki is 12, 9 km long; Kashii lies slightly to the northeast of the city of Fukuoka, 3, 7 km south of Wajiro. Much of the Kashii - Saitozaki line is through the sand dunes known as Umi-no-Nakamichi ("The road through the sea").

The southern section of the Kashii-sen is 12, 5 km long and runs from Kashii into the hills that were once the site of very intensive coal mining. Two railways and a number of branches for coal trains served this region. The railway to the west was the Katsuta-sen (13, 8 km long), passing by the large colliery at Shime and closed in 1985, the railway to the east is the present-day southern section of the Kashii-sen. All collieries closed in the mid-1960s, and railway services into the region became very run-down. Like the Katsuta-sen, the Kashii-sen also appeared doomed, but as the city of Fukuoka began to spread into the former coalmining area and new industries and settlements developed there the line has been spared.

In the north across Hakata Bay, the sand dune area around Umi-no-Nakamichi once had been a naval base and military airport and then became an important US military base. After being returned to Japanese use in 1972 development as a resort commenced. Saitozaki has become the centre of a residential area with new housing as well as modern high-rise apartments. Afforestation of the sand dunes is rapidly turning the area into an attractive pine forest. Apart from the Kashii-sen, which needs to make its way around the bay, two ferries link Saitozaki to the city of Fukuoka, of which Saitozaki became a suburb in 1971.

The Kashii-sen was built in 1904/5; it became part of the State Railway system in 1944. All freight trains ceased by the mid-1980s. Today the line sees two to three through stopping diesel trains per hour.

A train arriving at Umi. Class 47, nos. KIHA 47 9074 + KIHA 47 75. (2016)

Sakado, not far from the former collieries of Shime. KIHA 40 2037 + KIHA 47 9048. (2016)

From a Kashii-sen train near Wajiro, looking across Hakata Bay towards the peninsula of Umi no Nakamichi. (2018)

The train from Saitozaki (KIHA 47 9031-KIHA 47 8133-KIHA 47 75-KIHA 40 2037) has rounded Hakata Bay and is entering Wajiro. (2018)

Crossing at Gannosu, the first station on the peninsula. The train coming from Saitozaki is headed by KIHA 47 1047 in Aqua Liner livery.

In the dunes between Gannosu and Umi no Nakamichi. (2018)

A train (class 47) in the pines at the crossing station Nakamichi. (2007)

A train (KIHA 40 2037 - KIHA 47 75 - KIHA 47 8133 - KIHA 47 9031) entering Umi no Nakamichi station. (2018)

Leaving Umi no Nakamichi station. The last car is KIHA 47 1076. (2018)

From the train looking across Hakata Bay. Near Umi no Nakamichi. (2018)

KIHA 40 2037 at Saitozaki endstop. (2018)