Explore the Scenic Hidaka Main Line in Train Simulator!
If you are a fan of Japanese railways and scenic coastal routes, you will love the new Train Simulator add-on that features the Hidaka Main Line: Tomakomai - Hidaka-Mombetsu Route. This add-on, developed by Union Workshop, brings to life the 113 km long line that runs along the south coast of Hokkaido, Japan's second largest island.
The Hidaka Main Line was opened in stages between 1913 and 1937, and was mainly used for passenger services that connected the towns and villages along the coast. The line was also known for its special 'tourist train' that ran every May as a through connection with the Chitose Line. The line was never very busy or profitable, and suffered from corrosion due to the salty air and harsh weather. In 2015, a typhoon damaged a section of the line near Samani, and it has been closed ever since.
In this add-on, you can experience the Hidaka Main Line as it was before the closure, starting from Tomakomai and ending at Hidaka-mombetsu, not far from where the line is severed. You can drive the KiHa 130 DMU, a diesel railcar that was specially designed for the Hidaka Main Line and replaced the older KiHa 40s in 1988. The KiHa 130 was a 'one-man train', meaning that the driver was also responsible for selling tickets and taking care of the passengers. Driving this small railcar will be a unique challenge for any Train Simulator enthusiast!
The add-on also includes realistic scenery, custom objects, stations, signals, bridges, tunnels, and more. You can enjoy seven career scenarios that will test your skills and knowledge of the route, as well as two free roam scenarios that will let you explore the line at your own pace. The add-on also supports Quick Drive mode, so you can create your own scenarios with any locomotive and train of your choice.
The Hidaka Main Line: Tomakomai - Hidaka-Mombetsu Route Add-On is available now on Steam for $19.99 USD (or your regional equivalent). Don't miss this opportunity to discover a beautiful and historic railway in Train Simulator!
The Hidaka Main Line has a long and rich history, dating back to the early 20th century. The first section was opened in October 1913 by the Tomakomai Light Railway, operating between Tomakomai and Sarufuto (present-day Tomikawa). The section between Sarufuto and Shizunai was operated by the Hidaka Takushoku Railway. Both lines were light railways with a track gauge of 762 mm (2 ft 6 in).
The lines were nationalized on 1 August 1927, and merged into one, becoming the Hidaka Line. The line was converted to the standard gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) between 1929 and 1931. The line was extended to Hidaka-mitsuishi in 1933 and to Samani in 1937, reaching its full length of 146.5 km (91.0 mi). The line was renamed the Hidaka Main Line in 1961.
The Hidaka Main Line was mainly used for passenger services that connected the towns and villages along the coast. The line was also known for its special 'tourist train' that ran every May as a through connection with the Chitose Line. The line was never very busy or profitable, and suffered from corrosion due to the salty air and harsh weather.
In January 2015, a typhoon damaged a section of the line near Samani, and services on the 116.0 km (72.1 mi) section of the line beyond Mukawa Station were suspended indefinitely. This section was officially closed on 1 April 2021 and replaced by a bus service. The closure of this section made the line the shortest in Japan to be classified as a 'main line', at just 30.5 km (19.0 mi), beating the Rumoi Main Line's length of 50.1 km (31.1 mi), which was previously the shortest.