Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 39 (Back cover)

Japanese Railway Scenery 32
JR Hokkaido:Muroran Main Line
Hakodate-bound Super Hokuto DMU limited express running near Toya Station on JR Hokkaido’s Muroran main line. The line was originally built by Hokkaido Coalmine and Railway Co. in 1892 from Iwamizawa to Muroran Port to carry coal, but was nationalized in 1906 and extended to Oshamambe in 1928 to join Hakodate main line. Today, seven limited expresses run daily in each direction between Sapporo and Hakodate and some additional expresses are available between Muroran and Sapporo. Sleeping-car expresses run through the route, linking Sapporo to Tokyo and Osaka via undersea Seikan Tunnel. This area is famous for hot springs around Lake Toya, but a newly opened expressway viaduct in the background suggests severe competition.
( Photo: M. Mashima Photo Office )