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Tobu Isesaki Line

     Tobu Isesaki Line
Tobu 200 series Ryomo EMU
Type Commuter rail
Locale Kantō
Termini Tōbu-Dōbutsu-Kōen
Stations 26
Daily ridership 843,495 (2010)[1]
Opening August 27, 1899
Owner Tobu Railway
Depot(s) Tatebayashi
Line length Script error: No such module "convert".
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC
Operating speed Script error: No such module "convert".
Route map
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The Tobu Isesaki Line (東武伊勢崎線 Tōbu Isesaki-sen?) is a Japanese railway line operated by the private railway company Tobu Railway, extending from Tōbu-Dōbutsu-Kōen Station in Saitama to Isesaki Station in Gunma Prefecture. From March 2012, the southern 41.0 km section of the line was rebranded as the Tobu Skytree Line in conjunction with the opening of the Tokyo Skytree tower.


single: TatebayashiIsesaki 39.9 km
double: the rest


Service patterns

Stops and operated sections are as of 2013.

Local (普通 Futsū?) (announced as Kakueki Teisha (各駅停車?) or kakutei (各停?) for short) (L)
  • Tōbu-Dōbutsu-Kōen − Ōta. Connection with Express. Three per hour, with one between Kuki and Tatebayashi.
  • Ōta − Isesaki. One per hour per direction, conductorless.
Section Semi-Express (区間準急 Kukan Junkyū?) (SSE)
Between Asakusa and Tōbu-Dōbutsu Kōen, Kuki or Minami-Kurihashi on Nikkō Line.
Semi-Express (準急 Junkyū?) (SmE)
Early morning and late night. Down to Tōbu-Dōbutsu-Kōen, Kuki or to Minami-Kurihashi on the Nikkō Line through from Chūō-Rinkan of Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line via Hanzōmon Line. 10 cars.
Section Express (区間急行 Kukan Kyūkō?) (SE)
Between Asakusa and Tōbu-Dōbutsu-Kōen, Tatebayashi, Ōta or Shin-Tochigi on the Nikkō Line.
Express (急行 Kyūkō?) (Ex)
From morning to night. Down to Tōbu-Dōbutsu-Kōen, Kuki (nearly half to Minami-Kurihashi on the Nikkō Line), through from Chūō-Rinkan on the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line via Hanzōmon Line. 10 cars.
Limited Express (特急 Tokkyū?) (LE)
Stops not shown. Charged for seat reservation and rapid service. Mainly through to the Nikkō Line for the Nikko area named Kegon (けごん?) and Kinu (きぬ?). Some through to Isesaki from Asakusa, sole direct service named Ryōmō (りょうもう?).


Station L SSE SmE SE Ex Location
Tōbu-Dōbutsu-Kōen O
Miyashiro Saitama
Wado O O O O O
Kuki O O O O O Kuki
Washinomiya O O   O  
Hanasaki O O O Kazo
Kazo O O O
Minami-Hanyū O O O Hanyū
Hanyū O O O
Kawamata O O O Meiwa Gunma
Morinji-mae O O O Tatebayashi
Tatebayashi O O O
Tatara O O O
Agata O O O Ashikaga Tochigi
Fukui O O O
Tōbu-Izumi O O O
Ashikagashi O O O
Yashū-yamabe O O O
Niragawa O O O Ōta Gunma
Ōta O O O
Hosoya O    
Kizaki O
Serada O
Sakaimachi O Isesaki
Gōshi O
Shin-Isesaki O
Isesaki O

Rolling stock


File:Asakusa Station 1927.jpg
Overview of the original Asakusa Station terminus (present-day Tokyo Skytree Station) in 1927
File:Tobu Isesaki Line 194003.jpg
An up express service on the Tobu Isesaki Line formed of a 4-car EMU in March 1940

The first section of the Isesaki Line was opened by the present company in 1899 between Kita-Senju and Kuki utilising steam motive power. In 1902, Tobu extended the line south to have a maritime connection at present Tokyo Skytree (then Azumabashi (吾妻橋?), later renamed Asakusa) in downtown Tokyo, and north to Kazo. The following year a further northern extension to Kawamata (then on the south bank of Tone River) was opened. Further northward extension progressed, and in 1910 the line arrived at Isesaki. In 1931, a bridge over the Sumida River was built and present Asakusa Station (then Asakusa Kaminarimon (浅草雷門?)) opened as part of the department store building, the entire line being completed.

The Asakusa to Nishiarai section was double-tracked in 1912, and the rest of the line was double-tracked between 1920 and 1927, with the exception of the Hanyu to Kawamata section, which was double-tracked when a second bridge was built over the Tonegawa in 1992.

Electrification was begun in 1924 on the section of Asakusa and Nishiarai, and in 1927 completed as far as Isesaki. The distance of over 100 km was then one of the longest electrified railway lines together with the present Kintetsu Osaka Line and Kintetsu Yamada Line.

After World War II, the Tobu Lines had no connection to the Yamanote Line or other major lines of the then Japanese National Railways (JNR) to offer efficient transfers to central Tokyo. The sole connection was with the Jōban Line at Kitasenju, which offered poor access to central Tokyo. To solve the inefficiencies of transfers at Kitasenju and notoriously narrow Asakusa, in 1962, the Hibiya Line of the then Teito Rapid Transport Authority (帝都高速度交通営団 Teito Kōsokudo Kōtsū Eidan?), known as TRTA, present Tokyo Metro) was built, connecting at Kitasenju.

Further growing traffic required Tobu to build a second through line to Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line in the 1990s. In 2003, the company built new tracks from Hikifune to connect at Oshiage, officially an annex station of Tokyo Skytree.

From the March 3, 2006, timetable revision, less than half of trains originated or terminated at Asakusa, with more trains operating through to Tokyo Metro underground (subway) lines.

From 17 March 2012, the section south of Tōbu-Dōbutsu-Kōen was rebranded as the Tobu Skytree Line.


This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia

  1. Tobu ridership in 2010 Train Media (sourced from Tobu) Retrieved May 28, 2012.

External links