The Tosa Kuroshio Railway operates a 110Km-long network composed of thee non-electrified lines: the Nakamura Line, the Sukumo Line and the Asa Line, all three located in Kochi prefecture in southern Shikoku.
The Nakamura and Sukumo Lines are actually consecutive (the “border” between the two being Nakamura station), while the Asa line is separated from the rest of the network.
The Tosa Kuroshio Railway is directly managed by the Govenrment of Kochi Prefecture, and was formed in 1986 to take over the JNR Nakamura Line and to resume the construction of the Sukumo and Asa lines, wich had been left uncompleted by the national railways.
The Sukumo Line opened in 1997 and the Asa Line was opened five years later, in 2002.
Due to it’s relatively “modern” planning and construction, the Tosa Kuroshio Railway has very few level crossings and it’s mostly elevated, on embankments or on low-height concrete viaducts, thus, potentially allowing high speeds (wich, due to the rural nature of the surroundings of the line, aren’t really necessary).
It is also fully fitted with automatic block signalling, and the railway traffic is directed by a CTC (a Centralized Traffic Control).
The combination of such modern infrastructure with low ridership and single-car DMUs gives this railway network a very characteristic “out-of-place” feeling.
Diesel Multiple Units
Icons made by Curoka