Kintetsu Shima Line - History - Kintetsu Renovation

Kintetsu Renovation

In acquiring the line, Kintetsu now had a problem because the Shima Line, which originated at Toba Station, was not connected with the rest of Kintetsu's extensive rail network which only stetched as far as Ujiyamada Station in Ise. Moreover, the railway gauge and voltage used on the Shima Line were different from the majority of Kintetsu lines, including the nearby Yamada Line which terminated at Ujiyamada. For the time being, Kintetsu offered bus service between Ujiyamada and Toba, but in the late 1960s they decided it was worthwhile to create a rail connection between the two in hopes of attracting customers from the upcoming 1970 World's Fair in Osaka by offering direct rail service to the area. This was the impetus for the construction of the Kintetsu Toba Line, and to make direct service possible between the Shima Line, the under-construction Toba Line, the Yamada Line, and beyond, the Shima Line was closed for four months in late 1969 and early 1970 to change the gauge to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) and double the voltage to 1,500 V DC to match the other Kintetsu lines it would connect with. Other improvements were added such as the ATS system, a new switching network, and gentler curves. The renovated Shima Line and the newly-built Toba Line opened together in March 1970, and Kintetsu began running limited express trains from Kintetsu Namba and Kintetsu Nagoya to Kashikojima just in time for the beginning of the World's Fair. The sharp increase of passengers on the line also motivated Kintetsu to invest money in a variety of tourism business enterprises in the Ise-Shima, especially along the Shima Line.

In 1986, it was decided that a second track on the Shima Line would assist in increasing the speed and number of trains on the line. Construction took several years and now most but not all of the line has dual tracks. The Aomine Tunnel between Shiraki and Gochi was also added to the line during this phase.

Read more about this topic:  Kintetsu Shima Line, History

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