Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 23 (Back cover)

Japanese Railway Scenery 16
JR East: Chuo Main Line

Local EMU running on long down-grade section on JR East Chuo main line near Mt Yatsugatake (background, 130 km west of Tokyo). The eastern half of the line from Tokyo to Shiojiri was completed in 1906; the western half from Shiojiri to Nagoya was opened in 1911. All direct Tokyo–Nagoya services use the shorter Tokaido main line along the Pacific coast, so the Chuo main line mainly serves the many tourist destinations in the Japanese Alps in the inland prefectures of Yamanashi and Nagano. Today, JR East operates the eastern half with half-hourly express services from Tokyo to Kofu and Matsumoto, while JR Central operates the western half with hourly express services from Nagoya to Matsumoto and Nagano. Completion of the Chuo Expressway in 1982 brought severe competition from roads and many passengers have shifted to cars and coach services.
(Photo: M. Mashima Photo Office)