Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 13 (Back cover)

Japanese Railway Scenery 6
JR West: San'in Main Line

A single-car DMU local train running along the single track of JR West's San-in Trunk Line between Tagi and Hane Stations in Shimane Prefecture. The terraced rice paddies and coast are typical of this region. The 677.3-km line was built to link the old capital of Kyoto with Shimonoseki, the westernmost port in Honshu, via the Sea-of-Japan coast. The first section near Kyoto was opened in 1897, but it took nearly 40 years to complete the line, although direct services to Shimonoseki became possible in 1923 via the Yamaguchi Line in western Honshu. The regions along the line are much less populated and industrialized than the Inland-Sea coast. The natural beauty is better preserved along the almost entirely single-track and only partially electrified line, but the rail services lose money heavily.
(Photo: M. Mashima Photo Office)