Kobe Station, c. 1920.



1920sKyoto-Nara-Osaka-KobeTransportation
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Kobe Station, c. 1920, where the Tokaido Main Line from Tokyo ended and the San’yo Main Line to Shimonoseki began. The track section between Kobe and Akashi (12 mi/19 km) was electrified in 1934 but electrification along the entire length of the San’yo Main Line (333 mi/537 km) to Shimonosek was not completed until 1964.

See also:
Tokyo Central Station, 1914-1940
Manseibashi Station (1912-1936)

“Kobe marked the end of the IJGR [Imperial Japanese Government Railway] Tokaido Line and was the start of the San’yo Tetsudo. During the building of the Kobe-Kyoto line, Kobe served as the national headquarters of the Railway Bureau.

“… In 1888, a charter was granted for a railway to run a trunk line southwesterly from Kobe, where it had been granted running powers over the approach to the IJGR station, to the port of Shimonoseki at the very southern tip of Honshu.

“The railway was named the San’yo Tetsudo. San’yo is a term borrowing from the Chinese philosophical concept of Yin and Yang, meaning roughly ‘the Yang [i.e. sunny] side of the mountains’ and is the name of the geographical region of Honshu seaboard southwest of Osaka/Kobe which borders the Inland Sea.”

Early Japanese Railways, 1853-1914: Engineering Triumphs that Transformed Meiji-era Japan, by Dan Free, 2008

“Train of San’yo Line [sic] thru Inchinotani (Suma)”, c. 1930, with an 8620-class steam locomotive pulling the express carriages along the Suma coast just west of Kobe.

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