Rinku Town Station - りんくうタウン駅
Place Name: Rinku Town Station りんくうタウン駅
Type: Train Station 駅
Location: Izumisano City, Osaka Prefecture, JAPAN
Date of Visit: June 30, 2012
Access: Via Nankai or JR West
Average Daily Passengers (2010): Nankai 4,166 / JR West 2,460
Date Opened: November 15, 1994
Rinku Town Station is a joint or union station served by quasi-public railway JR West and the privately held Nankai on their shared lines that access Kansai International Airport. A second jointly operated station in the airport is the only other station on the line. It is not rare for the private railways to operate jointly as they have a uniform ticketing system and various trackage agreements. The rarity of Rinku Town Station is that it's a joint station between JR and a private railway. Typically in situations like this where JR and private lines meet there will be a separate building (e.g. Sanda Station) or a no-mans-land built between the two stations (e.g. Tsuruhashi or Shin-Imamiya).
As mentioned above, the private railway lines in Kansai are for the most part members of a uniform ticketing system which includes an IC card (PiTaPa) while the JR lines work on their own system with their own IC card (ICOCA). Since the JR and private ticketing systems are not interoperable there are two separate sets of turnstiles. There are also separate ticketing windows and fare adjustment machines.
While both Nankai and JR West trains use the same platforms at Rinku Town Station at the airport the platforms and turnstiles are separated. You will not be able to exit the station with a Nankai ticket from the JR side, conversely the opposite is also impossible. Be careful because you might have to travel back to Rinku Town to get on the right train then return to the airport.
The station has a small shopping center inside and has access to two malls aimed at shoppers coming to or going from the airport. One of the malls has a Ferris wheel and Rinku no Yu, a supersento. There is also a sento, Nagomi-Yu, within walking distance.