Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 19 (Back cover)

Japanese Railway Scenery 12
JR Central: Iida Line

A local EMU train on JR Central Iida Line is crossing a tributary of the River Tenryu. The mountains in the distance are Komagatake (2956 m) and Utsugidake (2864 m) in the Japanese Alps. The 215.4-km Iida Line used to be four separate private railways until the wartime government purchased them in 1943. The single-tracked line is entirely electrified, but trains are slow because of the numerous curves and many stations serving local villages. The line suffers from frequent natural disasters such as landslides. Direct express trains to Tokyo were withdrawn when buses became popular after the completion of the Chuo Expressway in 1982. Two express services still run in each direction on the 142-km Toyohashi–Iida section.
(Photo: M. Mashima Photo Office)