JR West will enhance services such as expanding the applicable section of the Kinokuni Line “Cycle Train”, which has been held since September 2021.
The cycle train, which allows bringing into trains as it is without disassembling the bicycle, started as a demonstration experiment on local trains between Kii-Tanabe and Shingu in September 2021, and started full-scale implementation as “Cycle Train 2022” from December. So far, it has been used by more than 2,400 people, and the satisfaction level of the questionnaire is highly evaluated, with 4 or more (maximum 5) being 90% or more. There is no report around trouble or confusion when using it.
In response to a request from users to “extend the area”, it will be available between Gobo and Kii-Tanabe from April 1, 2022 (Fri) (see the below for the transit map of the section). The usage time is the same as before from 9:00 to the last train on weekdays, and it is available all day on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. There is no additional charge or advance reservation for bringing in, and people can use transportation IC cards such as ICOCA to get on and off. There is no limit on the number of using people, but depending on the congestion situation, they may refuse to bring in a bicycle.
Facilities have been enhanced so that people can enjoy the cycle train more comfortably. Slopes were attached to the stairs of the underground passage of Shingu Station to facilitate the movement to the platform, and a guide sign for the boarding position was provided on the platform of each unmanned station. At some stations, cycle racks made with Kishu wood that can be used for breaks and waiting times for trains (Gobo, Asago, Shirahama, Mirozu, Kushimoto, Koza & Shingu Stations), and commemorative photo stands are also installed (Kushimoto & Shingu Stations).
On the JR West official website, “Model courses to go by limited express Kuroshio” (Japanese only) are posted, which can be easily enjoyed even by beginners or perple from a distance. Five courses that utilize rental bicycles near major stations such as Susami and Kii-Katsuura Stations have been proposed, and they are currently preparing advantageous benefits in collaboration with the local community.