Kyûdai Honsen  久大本線

This non-electrified line is sometimes referred to as the Kyûshû Ôdan line, the Traverse line across Kyûshû, as it connects the west coast with the east coast across the mountains from Kurume to Ôita. The line is 141, 5 km long, and on their journey from west to east trains first follow the Chikugo River and its tributaries up to the town of Hita. Here one can change to the Hita Hikosan-sen line across the Hikosan mountains to northern Kyûshû. The Kyûdai Honsen winds its way on until reaching the plateau of Bungo Mori, from where the steep descent begins along the tributaries of the Ôita River past the resort of Yufuin down to the city of Ôita. The spectacular views of Yufudake volcano (1584 m) and – through the trees further on – of Tsurumidake volcano (1375 m) are among the highlights of the line. At Bungo Mori the old locomotive roundhouse and turntable have been listed as cultural heritage. The former Miyanoharu-sen from here into the mountains in the south (26, 6 km) was closed in 1984.


Construction of the Kyûdai Honsen from Kurume to Hita took place 1928-1934, and from Ôita to Hita in small steps between 1915 and 1934. In the earthquakes of April 14 and 16, 2016, there was considerable damage along the line, and in the earthquake of April 29, 2016, much of the roof structure of Yufuin station was destroyed. On July 5/6, 2017, torrential rains and flooding swept away the bridge across the Kagetsu River west of Hita, which has resulted in through train services being suspended for a long time to come.

Through services have been provided by intercity diesel trains – partly attractive panoramic car sets - starting or ending on the eastern side at Yufuin, Ôita or Beppu, and on the western side at Hakata in the city of Fukuoka. Regional trains are relatively frequent in the west as far as Hita and in the east up to Yufuin.

The name of the line indicates "Main Line from Kurume to Ôita". Kurume is written 久留米, Ôita is written 大分 ; the characters 久大 together are read "kyûdai".

### In the torrential rain storm of July 5, 2017, the line was severely damaged between Hita and Teruoka, and the major river crossing there completely torn away. No date can be given yet concerning the reopening of the line here. ###

#The line could be reopened on 14 July, 2018 #

As soon as Kyûdai Honsen trains leave Ôita the great volcanoes in the region of Yufuin come into sight. (2020)

At Mukai no haru, 14, 8 km from Ôita, a local service (KIHA 200-5 + KIHA 200-1005) crosses. (2020)

Mukai no haru, with KIHA 220-201 + KIHA 220-204 waiting in the station. (2016)

A little shrine between Mukai no haru and Onigase. (2020)

Onigase, with KIHA 200-103 in the mirror. At the end of the station platform stands a little toilet. (2013)

KIHA 200-1003 + KIHA 200-3 entering Onoya. Note the blue sheets covering landslides and other damage caused by a violent earthquake. (2016)

Below Shônai damage to the ground and to the roofs of the Houses caused by violent earthquakes can be seen. (2016)

Local train KIHA 200-1105 + KIHA 200-105 at Shônai. (2020)

The small diesel railcar class 125 no.21 at Shônai on its was down from Yufuin. (2016)

At Minami Yufu train set KIHA 200-1105 + KIHA 200-105 wait for an oncoming express. (2020)

KIHA 125-17 + KIHA 125-12 waiting at Minami Yufu. (2013)

An express headed for Ôita passes through Minami Yufu, headed by KIHA 185-16. (2020)

Entering Yufuin station, where KIHA 125-25 + KIHA 125-15 are ready to depart for Ôita. The large glass panels in the station's dome have been smashed in the earthquake a few days previously. (2016)

Climbing out of Yufuin up towards the plateau of Bungo Mori. (2020)

On the descent from the plateau of Bungo Mori towards Yufuin the impressive Yufudake volcano comes into sight. (2013)

A local service train worked by diesel car class 220 no.201 at Bungo Nakamura on its way up to Bungo Mori. (2016)

Single unit diesel car KIHA 220-201 at Bungo Nakamura. (2016)

Diesel cars KIHA 125-15 + KIHA 125-17 at Bungo Nakamura, 16 km up the line from Yufuin. (2020)

An express on its way across central Kyûshû at Bungo Nakamura. It consists of four diesel cars of classes 185 and 186, in front 185-2. (2016)

The old roundhouse at Bungo Mori will presumably be preserved. Posing in front of it is steam locomotive 29612 (Class 9600). (2016)

The older of the two panoramic train sets class 71 passes Bungo Mori. The train was built in 1988, using parts of older diesel cars, and modified in 2003. In the background the roundhouse can just be seen. (2016)

Climbing up from the plateau of Bungo Mori towards Amagase and Hita, not far from Kita Yamada. (2016)

Thatched roofs have become very rare. Passing an old farmhouse below Kita Yamada at the end of July in 2013.

Jion no taki waterfall near Sugikawachi. In the panoramic express train the attendant draws attention to this site. (2016)

A typical stretch of line, taken from a train descending from Hita to Sugikawachi and Bungo Mori. (2013)

The panoramic express train class 72 passes at Amagase. (2013)

In the vivid green landscape of July, on the way down to Amagase from Hita. (2013)

The pretty station at Bungo Nakagawa. (2016)

The 5-car panoramic express class 72 at Hita. Built in 1998 it is formed of cars KIHA 72 1 through 5, car 4 having being added in 2015. (2016)

Between Hita and Yoake (8, 5 km), along the Mikumagawa river, the Hita Hikosan-sen - coming from Kokura and Soeda - used the Kyûdai Honsen down as far as Hita. The Hita Hikosan-sen no longer comes this far. (2013)

The area around Ukiha is known for its vast fruit orchards, where grapes, strawberries, nashi, kaki and peaches are grown. (2016)

Ukiha, crossing an express train from Ôita (cars KIHA 185-7, KIHA 185-1004, KIHA 186-7, KIHA 185-16). Picture taken out of the panoramic express. (2016)

Inside KIHA 72 1, the newer of the 2 panoramic express trains. (2016)

Tanushimaru, with diesel car KIHA 220-201 at the platform. Tanushimaru refers to an influential farmer who developed this area many hundred years ago, and who is depicted in the architecture of the station. (2016)

The older of the 2 panoramic express trains, KIHA 71-1, KIHA 70-2, KIHA 70-1, KIHA 71-2, crossing at Tanushimaru. (2016)

KIHA 220-201 at Zendôji, 12, 6 km from the City of Kurume. (2013)

Entering Kurume City. Near Kurume Highschool (Kurume Kôkô-mae). (2016)