Japan Railway & Transport Review No.22 (Back cover)

Japanese Railway Scenery 15
JR East: Ou Main Line

Local EMU approaching Tsugaru-Yunosawa Station on JR East Ou main line. This 485-km main line runs through Japan's region of heaviest snowfall. It was opened in 1905 to link Tokyo with Akita, and to provide an alternative route from Tokyo to Aomori. The Akita–Aomori section also serves as a part of the trunk route between west Honshu and Hokkaido. The Fukushima–Yamagata section was converted to standard gauge in 1992 to allow through services to Tokyo on the Tohoku Shinkansen. This section was extended to Shinjo in December 1999. In 1997, the Omagari–Akita section was converted to mixed gauge to allow through operations of both narrowgauge local services and shinkansen via Morioka.
(Photo: M. Mashima Photo Office)