|Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 33 (Back cover)|
Japanese Railway Scenery 26
JR Hokkaido: Soya Main Line
|Single-car DMU train running between Bakkai and Minami Wakkanai stations on Soya main line at northernmost tip of Japanese archipelago. Passengers enjoy a distant view of Rishiri Fuji, a volcano on Rishiri Island some 20 km off Hokkaido. Construction of the line started in 1898 from Asahikawa and was completed in 1924 to Minami Wakkanai and finally in 1928 to Wakkanai. The line played a significant role linking with ferry services between Wakkanai and Odomari (now Korsakov) when the southern half of Sakhalin Island was under Japanese control from 1905 to 1945. Today, the line serves one of Japan's least-populated regions, but JR Hokkaido runs four daily limited expresses in each direction.
( Photo: M. Mashima Photo Office )