Tsuyama-sen 津山線

At train waiting at Yuge, between Tsuyama and Fukuwatari. The cars are KIHA 47 1036 and KIHA 47 18. (2015)

This non-electrified single-line connection between the city of Okayama and the old castle town of Tsuyama in the central mountains between the Inland Sea side of Western Japan and the Japan Sea is 58, 7 km long. From Tsuyama junction there are railway lines to the east and west of the central plateau of Western Japan (i.e. the Kishin-sen to Niimi and to Himeji via Sayo), and the continuation northward across the mountains to Tottori via Chizu (i.e. the Inbi-sen). The Tsuyama-sen follows the Asahigawa River from Okayama up to Fukuwatari and then branches away across the hills to Tsuyama.

Since the opening of the Chizu Kyûkô railway in 1994 the Tsuyama-sen has lost its function as a link between the Inland Sea and the Japan Sea. The line has repeatedly been damaged by stone fall and landslides; part of it had to be closed for 5 months 2006/7, and again in July/August 2018 damage was serious. The region is noted for heavy rainfall, hot and humid summers and cold winters.

The Tsuyama-sen was completed in 1898, the link into Tsuyama town (1, 9 km) in 1923. In 1944 it became part of the national network. Freight services ended in 1987. There are 22 trains (of which 8 are accelerated trains) Tsuyama - Okayama and 24 Okayama – Tsuyama (of which 7 are accelerated trains) Tsuyama – Okayama. In addition, a few trains run only part of the way.

Tsuyama yard with rolling stock of the Tsuyama-sen and the Kishin-sen (both directions, to Sayo and to Niimi). KIHA 47 18 of the Tsuyama-sen is just emerging from the yard. In the background the old Tsuyama shed can be seen, which is now a remarkable railway museum. (2015)

Tsuyama with the two diesel cars KIHA 47 1036 (in former livery) and KIHA 47 43. (2015)

Tsuyama, with the diesel cars KIHA 40 2134 - KIHA 40 2049 - KIHA 47 1005 - KIHA 47 85. (2009)

An accelerated service leaving Tsuyama for Okayama. The two cars KIHA 47 47 and KIHA 47 1036 in an attractive red-and-white livery are used. Picture taken from the new railway museum. (2017)

From the train near Sarayama, south of Tsuyama. (2015)

Kamenokô ("kamenokô" means "tortoise shell") station is built looking like a tortoise. Two-car set KIHA 40 2006 and KIHA 40 2043 are entering the station from the south. (2017)

All around Kamenokô station there are little sculptures of tortoises. There is also a flag with the image of the red-and-white accelerated train which stops here. (2017)

At train leaving Kamenokô, about 10 km south of Tsuyama. Heading for Fukuwatari and Okayama are cars KIHA 47 1094 and KIHA 40 2029. (2017)

Kôme halt, north of Fukuwatari. (2017)

From the train between Kôme and Fukuwatari. The train is headed by KIHA 47 1005, followed by KIHA 47 64, KIHA 47 29 and KIHA 47 43. (2017)

Crossing the river at Fukuwatari. (2015)

Above Kanagawa, north of Makiyama. (2015)

Kanagawa station, between Fukuwatari and Okayama. From behind we see cars KIHA 47 43-KIHA 47 29-KIHA 47 64-KIHA 47 1005. (2017)

Alongside the dam near Makiyama. (2001)

Alongside the dam near Makiyama. Heading the train is KIHA 47 1005. (2017)