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Sagano Line - then and now


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Here's an oldie but goodie.  This is Sonobe to Kyoto on March 4, 1989 (according to the video, the description says March 2) aboard the Asashio #6.  Rolling stock appears to be a KIHA181.  Quite a good document of the changes occurring on the line--the tunnels between Saga Arashiyama and Umahori would be spliced in the next day, bypassing what is now the Sagano Scenic Railway.  In addition to this, you can see a few other differences, for example the line is not yet electrified, and old station buildings can be seen in several places including Sonobe, Nijo (old ground level building with at-grade tracks and a freight yard), and Kyoto itself.  A few historical points from around this time, courtesy of wikipedia:


  • April 1, 1987: we all know this one, this became JR West territory following the dissolution of JNR.  JR Freight became a second-sector operator in the Kyoto-Nijo section.  Freight operations ceased from Nijo all the way out to Koyama in Tottori.

  • March 13, 1988: the "Sagano Line" nickname appeared

  • March 5, 1989: the new section of track between Saga and Umahori opens, reducing distance by 1.6 km.  Until the opening of the Sagano Scenic Railway, the old section saw no traffic.

  • March 11, 1989: Uzumasa Station opened
  • March 10, 1990: the Kyoto-Sonobe portion of the line was electrified
  • April 27, 1991: the Sagano Scenic Railway opened
  • September 4, 1994: Saga Station was renamed Saga-Arashiyama
  • March 16, 1996: the Nijo-Hanazono section was elevated, and freight was cut back to Tambaguchi
  • September 23, 2000: the Nijo-Hanazono section was double-tracked, and Emmachi Station opened.  Morning and midday rapids were added.


Sonobe to Kyoto on March 4, 1989 by Man Tani




And the same section on September 24, 2018 by ato5kgyasetaito



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Videos like that show who cool Japanese scenes are for Ttrak, even single track. Even passes a Tomix and greenmax apartment buildings to boot! 



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These are both great videos of the past and present, it would be great if you could synchronise them side by side into one video.



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I think the new line allowed the creation of new bedroom communities west of Saga-Arashiyama (neé Saga) Station for the Kyoto area. I think when the Fukuchiyama Line got new tunnels that bypassed the old river route from Takarazuka to Sanda, it too created new bedroom communities around Sanda and west of Shin-Sanda Stations.

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First video in the first post no longer exists, but the same footage is in this video starting just after 1 hour 30 minutes.



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