Issued 30 May, 2020
The line of Miike Coal Railway extended/shortened as a pit is opened/closed, and as opened Miike port and so on.
The section between Nanaura-pit and Miikehama opened, coal transport by steam locomotive has started.
Miike port, which is shown at above map, was opened in 1908, it was still not open at this time.
First, coal was transferred to Miikehama, then was transferred Kuchinotsu port by barge. After that, coal was loaded into a large ship, then it exported oversea.
Because the tidal range is severe in Ariake sea, a large ship could not call to Omuta.
The section between Nanaura and Mawatari opened, in association with the opening Katsudachi pit.
The section between Mawatari and Miyanohara opened in December 1896, and Miyanohara pit opened March 1897.
To connect to Kyushu railway (later JR), the section between Miyaura and Asahimachi (Kariyagawa) opened in February 1897.
Thereby it became can carry out a coal by overland to around Japan.
In December 1900, the line was extended to Manda.
After that, Manda pit opened in February 1902.
Miike port was started construction in 1905 so that a large ship can call directly to Omuta.
Because of this, the line was extended to Miike port.
Yotsuyama station opened on the line in association with cutting Yotsuyama pit.
Miyanohara station was closed in association with closing down Miyanohara pit.
Katsudachi branch line was abolished in association with closing down Katsudachi pit.
To convey chemical agents to the factory which was opened near Otani, Tamana branch line was opened.
Arao contact line was opened.
Katsudachi branch line, which was abolished in 1932, was re-opened.
From 1946,employee transportation was started between Miyaura and Katsudachi.
Employee transportation means that transporting people working in a Miike coal mine from a company owned house to a pit.
Employee transportation was also operated at between Miike port and Manda, and Tamana branch line.
Miyaura pit was closed down, and employee transportation (between Miyaura and Katsudachi) was abolished.
Thereby Katsudachi branch line was re-abolished.
Arao contact line was abolished.
Tamana branch line was abolished in association with abolishing employee transportation.
From around 1993, there was no operating the train between Miikehama and Miyaura, so overhead wiring and rail were removed in 1995.
In 1997, Miike Coal Railway was abolished in association with closing down Miike Coal Mine.
However, Asahimachi branch line survived as “Mitsui Chemicals Industrial Railway” to convey chemical agents, continued an operation even after Miike Coal Mine closed down.
Mitsui Chemicals Industrial Railway was abolished at 7th May, 2020.
Because the chemical agents transportation switched to sea and truck transportation.
After that, it still has not been decided yet what to do in the future, regarding electronic locomotives, rail and facilities.
Currently, electronic locomotives are being driven in Miyaura station premise about once a week, to remove rust.