Eizan Main Line, Eizan Electric Railway Co., Ltd (叡山電鉄叡山本線)

The Eizan Main Line is a railway line operated by Eizan Electric Railway that connects Demachiyanagi Station (Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture) and Yase-Hieizanguchi Station.

Route data

Line distance (working kilometers): 5.6 km
Track gauge: 1435mm
Number of stations: 8 (including the station of origin and the destination station)
Double-tracked sections: entire rail line
Electrified sections: entire rail line (direct current 600 V).
Block (railway): Automatic block system
Safety device: Automatic Train Stop System (with speed check function)

Summary

This route is used in everyday life from the central part of Kyoto City to the Miyake-hachiman Station neighborhood; it is also used as a route for religious pilgrimages and pleasure excursions to Mt. Hiei and Yase-Hieizanguchi Station. Up until the vicinity of Ichijoji Station, the route runs through districts where houses and family-run businesses crowd together; after that, it runs through residential districts until it reaches Miyake-hachiman Station. There are many famous spots and places of historic interest along the route as well. After Miyake-hachiman Station, the line runs through the mountain's foothills to Yase-Hieizanguchi Station.

In addition to being developed as the transfer to the cable car to Mt. Hiei, the vicinity of Yase-Hieizanguchi Station was developed mainly by Kyoto Dento and local organizations, right from the beginning of service. An amusement park, 'Mori no Yuenchi' (Amusement Park of the Forest), was established; the station adopted the name of the amusement park for a time, and the place became a popular sightseeing spot. At present, with the exception of some holidays, it is a quiet sightseeing spot and a good place for a pleasant stroll.

Operating pattern

There are 2 basic train schedules: the weekday schedule, and the weekend or holiday schedule.

In general, during weekdays, direct trains are run on the Eizan Electric Railway's Kurama Line at 20-minute intervals between Demachiyanagi Station and Nikenchaya Station and between Demachiyanagi Station and Kurama Station, with regular trains running at the same intervals between Demachiyanagi Station and Yase-Hieizanguchi Station; the number of direct trains traveling on the Kurama Line is larger than that of Eizan Main Line. During daytime of weekends and holidays, direct trains are run on the Kurama Line at 15-minute intervals between Demachiyanagi Station and Kurama Station, with regular trains running at the same interval between Demachiyanagi Station and Yase-Hieizanguchi Station. In addition to morning and late evening shuttle trains to and from the Kurama Line's Ichihara Station, trains also arrive at and depart from Shugakuin Station, which has a garage. With a very few exceptions, all trains are operated by a single crew member, with no conductor on board.

During the Bon Festival or near New Year's, the trains may run on a weekend/holiday schedule, even on weekdays. There is a special holiday schedule during sightseeing seasons, where, during peak daytime rush hours, trains run at 12-minute intervals between Demachiyanagi Station and Kurama Station and between Demachiyanagi Station and Yase-Hieizanguchi Station.

History

The line was opened by Kyoto Dento, then put under the control of the company's Eizan Electric Railway Section. For a time, direct Kyoto City Trams used the line.

September 27, 1925: Kyoto Dento started running trains between Demachiyanagi Station and Yase Station (present Yase-Hieizanguchi Station).

December 1, 1928: Kurama Electric Railway started running trains on what is now the Kurama Line, between Yamahata Station (present Takaragaike Station) and Ichihara Station. Yamahata became the connecting station.

December 20, 1929: Service along the entire Kurama Electric Railway began. Direct trains began running between Demachiyanagi Station, Yamahata Station and Kurama Station.

March 2, 1942: The line was transferred to the Keifuku Electric Railroad Co. Ltd.

July 10, 1943: The Kyoto City Trams Higashiyama Line was extended and service began. Higashioji-dori Street is specially recognized as an "intersection."

May 1, 1944: The section between Yamahata (present Takaragaike Station) and Yase was judged a nonessential line; it was reduced to a single track, and its materials requisitioned.

December 11, 1949: The section between Mototanaka Station and Yamahata Station began to be serviced by Kyoto City Trams.

Service was instituted to transport spectators to the municipal bicycle racetrack, which was near Takaragaike, and was provided only on race days. The cars used were Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau Type 1000 train cars, and service on the Eizan Line was non-stop, due to the height of the platforms.

July 1, 1951: Double tracking was restored in the section between Yamahata Station and Yase Station.

June 10, 1954: Yamahata Station was renamed Takaragaike Station.

September 1, 1955: Kyoto City Trams stopped servicing this track.

There were continuous objections to the municipal cycle races from the current Kyoto City Assembly, and when the bicycle racetrack was closed, so was the station. The site of the bicycle track was later made into a children's park called 'Takaragaike Park,' which is off-limits to anyone older than junior high, unless they are accompanied by a child. A section of the racetrack seating remained in the park until 2006, when it was dismantled and removed.

August 1, 1965: Yase Station was renamed Yase-Yuen Station.

1970: Trains began running in the vicinity of Shugaku-in Temple on Kitayama-dori Street, and in the area between Shugaku-in Temple and Takaragaike on Shirakawa-dori Street. Shugaku-in Station relocated.

The Kyoto municipal bus route was extended to the city center during this period, and began to compete with this line.

October 1, 1978: Kyoto City Trams became defunct. The intersection at Higashioji-dori Street was converted into a railroad crossing. The connection with other lines by rails was discontinued.

October 19, 1978: The last Japanese overhead line system for electric trains was abolished. All trains were switched to the power collector system.

April 1, 1986: The line was separated and transferred to Eizan Electric Railway.

December 10, 1987: Operation by a single crew member, with no conductor on board, was begun.

October 5, 1989: Trains began running on the Keihan Oto Line (Keihan Electric Railway). Demachiyanagi Station (Keihan Electric Railway) was opened. Connections to other lines were resumed.

September 21: Prior to this, the train schedule was revised; concurrently, the Kurama Line Kyoto-Seikadai-mae Station was opened. The main change was the extension of the Kurama Line, and the number of trains on the Eizan Main Line between Demachiyanagi Station and Takaragaike Station was increased.

March 23, 1994: In the train schedule revision, many more trains were added. 64 more trains were added on weekdays, with anywhere from 9 to 46 more trains on holidays.

Since the 1960s, direct trains on the Kurama Line had arrived at and departed from Yase-Yuen Station every 15 minutes. After the revision, trains arrived at and departed from Yase Amusement Park every 12 minutes, with direct trains on the Kurama Line every 10 minutes, on weekdays.
During holidays, direct trains on the Kurama Line basically arrived at and departed from Yase-Yuen Station every 15 minutes while they arrived at and departed from Yase-Yuen Station every 7.5 minutes during the 'on-season,' when there were many passengers,
March 10, 2002: Yase-Yuen Station was renamed Yase-Hieizanguchi Station. This was due to the closure of Yase Amusement Park in 2001. January 13, 2004: It became the norm for all trains to be operated by a single crew member, with no conductor on board.

List of stations