Ainokaze Toyama Railway
|Founded||24 July 2012|
|Headquarters||Toyama, Toyama, Japan|
Number of employees
|155 (as of January 2015)|
The Ainokaze Toyama Railway (あいの風とやま鉄道株式会社 Ainokaze Toyama Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese third-sector railway operating company established in 2012 to operate passenger railway services on the section of the JR West Hokuriku Main Line within Toyama Prefecture when it was separated from the JR West network in March 2015, coinciding with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension from Nagano to Kanazawa. The company was founded on 24 July 2012, and has its headquarters in Toyama, Toyama.
As of 2013, Toyama Prefecture is the main shareholder, owning 63% of the company's shares, 27% is owned by municipalities within Toyama Prefecture, and 10% is owned by private-sector businesses.
Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line
|Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line|
|Owner||Ainokaze Toyama Railway|
|Rolling stock||413 series/521 series EMUs|
|Line length||100.1 km (62.2 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||20 kV AC (60 Hz)|
From 14 March 2015, the Ainokaze Toyama Railway took over control of local passenger operations on the 100.1 km section JR West Hokuriku Main Line between Ichiburi in neighbouring Niigata Prefecture and Kurikara in neighbouring Ishikawa Prefecture, with a total of 21 stations.
While the Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line officially stretches from Kurikara in the west to Ichiburi in the east, most services terminate at Tomari to the east, with a same-platform transfer provided to Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line services. Some through services continue over the Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line to and from Itoigawa. To the west, most services continue to and from Kanazawa over the IR Ishikawa Railway Line. In addition to all-stations "Local" (普通 futsū) services, limited-stop "Rapid" services named Ainokaze Liner (あいの風ライナー) operate between Tomari and Toyama or Kanazawa during the weekday morning and evening peaks. A supplementary liner fare of 300 yen is required to board these services, and all seats are reserved.
ICOCA and other compatible IC farecards can be used on the line since 26 March 2015.
|Kurikara||倶利伽羅|||||IR Ishikawa Railway Line||Tsubata, Kahoku||Ishikawa Prefecture|
|Takaoka||高岡||O|| Jōhana Line|
Manyōsen Takaoka Kidō Line (Takaoka Station)
|Toyama||富山||O|| Toyama Light Rail Toyamakō Line (Toyamaekikita)|
Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line (Dentetsu-Toyama), Toyama City Tram Line (Toyama-Ekimae)
Takayama Main Line
|Namerikawa||滑川||O||Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line||Namerikawa|
|Uozu||魚津||O||Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line (Shin-Uozu)||Uozu|
|Tomari||泊||O||Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line||Asahi|
|Ichiburi||市振||Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line||Itoigawa||Niigata Prefecture|
Services on the line use a fleet of 16 two-car 521 series (2nd-batch type) electric multiple unit (EMU) trains and five three-car 413 series EMUs (former sets B01 to B03, B07, and B10) acquired from JR West. The 521 series trains will receive a new livery with a blue wave design on the seaward (north) side and a green wave design on the landward (south) side. While both the Ainokaze Toyama Railway and neighbouring IR Ishikawa Railway operate similar 521 series trains, the respective operators' trains do not run coupled together.
|Set No.||Former JR West set No.||Manufacturer||Delivery date|
|AK01||6||Kinki Sharyo||27 October 2009|
|AK02||7||Kinki Sharyo||27 October 2009|
|AK03||8||Kinki Sharyo||22 December 2009|
|AK04||9||Kinki Sharyo||22 December 2009|
|AK05||11||Kinki Sharyo||15 February 2010|
|AK06||12||Kinki Sharyo||15 February 2010|
|AK07||13||Kinki Sharyo||2 March 2010|
|AK08||15||Kinki Sharyo||2 March 2010|
|AK09||16||Kawasaki Heavy Industries||18 December 2010|
|AK10||17||Kawasaki Heavy Industries||18 December 2010|
|AK11||18||Kawasaki Heavy Industries||18 December 2010|
|AK12||21||Kawasaki Heavy Industries||12 January 2011|
|AK13||23||Kawasaki Heavy Industries||26 January 2011|
|AK14||24||Kawasaki Heavy Industries||26 January 2011|
|AK15||31||Kawasaki Heavy Industries||24 February 2011|
|AK16||32||Kawasaki Heavy Industries||24 February 2011|
|Set No.||Former JR West set No.||Livery|
|AM03||B03||All-over blue No. 1|
|AM04||B07||All-over blue No. 1|
|AM05||B10||All-over blue No. 1|
An additional 521 series set is to be ordered during fiscal 2016 or 2017, and one of the 413 series sets is to be modified for use as a special-event train in the first half of fiscal 2016, with new seat covers and a new external livery. The train will also be used to provide additional capacity on regular services during the peak periods. From the first half of fiscal 2018, a 413 series set will be rebuilt as a tourist train, returning to service on the line in the second half of fiscal 2018.
The company was founded on 24 July 2012. The company name "Ainokaze Toyama Railway" was announced on 30 May 2013. Ainokaze refers to a north-easterly breeze that blows in the region in spring and summer, and is mentioned in the Manyoshu collection of Japanese poetry.
The company was formally granted a railway operating license by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on 28 February 2014.
- 会社概要 [Company overview] (in Japanese). Japan: Ainokaze Toyama Railway. 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
- Osano, Kagetoshi (March 2015). 北陸新幹線並行在来線各社の姿 [Guide to companies operating conventional lines alongside the Hokuriku Shinkansen]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 44 no. 371. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. pp. 28–33.
- Terada, Hirokazu (June 2015). 北陸新幹線長野ー金沢間開業 並行在来線4社5路線を訪ねて（１） [Visiting the 5 parallel conventional lines of 4 companies following the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Nagano and Kanazawa]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 55 no. 650. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. pp. 42–47.
- JR電車編成表 2015夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2015] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 20 May 2015. p. 142. ISBN 978-4-330-56915-4.
- 観光列車の整備について [Tourist train details] (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan: Ainokaze Toyama Railway. 16 November 2015. Archived from the original (pdf) on 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- しなの鉄道（株）、えちごトキめき鉄道（株）、あいの風とやま鉄道（株）及びＩＲいしかわ鉄道（株）申請の第一種鉄道事業許可について [Details of railway business approval for Shinano Railway, Echigo Tokimeki Railway Company, Ainokaze Toyama Railway, and IR Ishikawa Railway]. News release (in Japanese). Japan: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ainokaze Toyama Railway.|
- Official website (Japanese)