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Ban'etsu West line

Rapid train Agano bound for Aizu-Wakamatsu at Niigata station

Ban'etsu West(Ban'etsu sei) line is a railway line connecting Koriyama station in Koriyama city of Fukushima prefecture and Niitsu station in Niigata city, Niigata prefecture . It is operated by JR East. Koriyama station serves also Tohoku Shinkansen, Tohoku main line and Ban'etsu East line. Niitsu, the railway crossroad of Niigata prefecture, which one all trains including night train called, serves also Shin'estu main line and Uetsu main line.

The word "Ban" comes from former Iwaki province and "Etsu" from former Echigo province. The line is connecting today's Fukushima prefecture and Niigata prefecture. Then, the operation is mostly divided into two sections. The first one is more frequent section between Koriyama and Kitakata stations which is electrified. The second one is less frequent section between Kitakata and Niitsu stations.

The most frequent section is actually between Koriyama and Aizu-Wakamatsu stations which rapid Aizu is running. Then, it is possible to reserve the seats on Aizu. On the other hand, Rapid Agano is running between Aizu-Wakamatsu station and Niigata station via Shin'etsu main line. If you want to travel to Aizu-Wakamatsu from Tokyo, take Tohoku Shinkansen train to Koriyama but if you want to visit Kitakata and try the awesome Kitakata ramen, you can take Joetsu Shinkansen to Niigata and change to Rapid Agano if you are departing Tokyo early in the morning.

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