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Ueno-Tokyo Line

Ueno-Tokyo Line
An E233-3000 series EMU, one of the train types to be used on the Ueno-Tokyo Line
Native name 上野東京ライン
Type Commuter rail
Status Operational
Locale Tokyo
Opening 14 March 2015
Operator(s) JR East
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead catenary

The Ueno-Tokyo Line (上野東京ライン Ueno-Tōkyō Rain?), formerly known as the Tōhoku Through Line (東北縦貫線 Tōhoku-Jūkan-sen?),[1] is a railway line in Tokyo, Japan, operated by the railway operator East Japan Railway Company (JR East), linking Ueno Station and Tokyo Station, extending the services of the Utsunomiya Line, the Takasaki Line, and the Joban Line southward and onto the Tokaido Main Line.[1][2] The project began on 30 May 2008.[3] The line opened from the start of the 14 March 2015 timetable revision,[4] with the project costing about JPY40 billion.[1]

Direct travel is expected to ease congestion on the Yamanote Line and Keihin-Tōhoku Line, and reduce the travel time from Ōmiya to Tokyo by about 11 minutes.[3]


File:Tohoku through line.svg
Graphic illustrating the Ueno-Tokyo Line route. Dashed lines show 1.3 km viaduct (now completed) to carry the Utsunomiya and Jōban Lines above the Shinkansen route (grey) which breached the original through line near Kanda Station.

Beginning from Ueno Station, the project involved re-laying about 2.5 km[3] of existing tracks that formerly linked the two stations until separated near Kanda Station to make room for the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension to Tokyo.[citation needed] The gap was reconnected by a new 1.3 km[3] top deck on the existing Shinkansen viaduct near Kanda Station with ramps at either end up from the existing formations.[5] Provision was made during construction of the Shinkansen link for eventual restoration of through traffic on the Tohoku Lines.[6] JR East built train turnback facilities at Shinagawa Station on the Tokaido Line, allowing through trains from Ueno to terminate there and return north.[1]


Trains from the Utsunomiya Line, Joban Line, and Takasaki Line run non-stop between Ueno and Tokyo Station and continue on the Tokaido Line towards Shinagawa and Yokohama stations.[7] Initially, up to 15 services per hour run during the morning peak, increased to 20 per hour in 2016.[8] Joban Line limited express services (Hitachi limited-stop and Tokiwa semi-fast) were extended south of Ueno via the Ueno-Tokyo Line, with most services terminating at Shinagawa Station.[9]


The Tohoku Main Line ran to Tokyo Station both prior to and following World War II. Although the connector between Ueno and Tokyo was only used for freight trains and forwarding at first, the Allied occupation forces ran passenger trains from Tokyo Station through the Tohoku Main Line following World War II, and this was followed by a number of through services from the 1950s until the 1970s. The connection between Ueno and Tokyo was closed to passenger service in April 1973, and to freight service in January 1983; the portion of the line around Akihabara and Kanda was dismantled to provide a right-of-way to extend the Tohoku Shinkansen to Tokyo Station, with through services to Tokyo Station commencing in 1991.

A government panel recommendation in 2000 suggested restoring the connector between Ueno and Tokyo by 2015, and JR East officially announced the project on 27 March 2002.

The project received support from various local governments, particularly in Saitama Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, and other areas to the north of Tokyo.[citation needed] However, residents of the area immediately surrounding the project cited light blockage and earthquake risk, and applied to a Tokyo court for an injunction against construction in 2007.[10] The lawsuit was dismissed in 2012.

The project was originally scheduled to be completed in fiscal 2013, but completion was delayed by the effects of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[8]

Future developments

In January 2014, JR East president Tetsuro Tomita indicated that the company was considering the possibility of linking the Ueno-Tokyo Line in the future with a new direct access line to Haneda Airport also under consideration.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d JR East Annual Report 2010, retrieved 2013-12-09
  2. ^ 東北縦貫線の開業時期、愛称について [Details of Tōhoku Through Line opening schedule and nickname] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d story on Shikoku News website (in Japanese) retrieved 2009-05-14[dead link]
  4. ^ 「上野東京ライン」2015年3月14日開業 [Ueno-Tokyo Line to open on 14 March 2015]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  5. ^ 宇都宮・高崎・常磐線の東京駅乗り入れ工事の着手について [Details of start of construction for Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Joban Line through services to Tokyo] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "We must create our own core competences". News. Railway Gazette International. 1 October 1999. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 49 (pp.18–24) retrieved 2009-05-15
  8. ^ a b JR東日本:東京−上野の新線 愛称を「上野東京ライン」 [JR East names new line between Tokyo and Ueno "Ueno-Tokyo Line"]. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). Japan: The Mainichi Newspapers. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  9. ^ 「上野東京ライン」開業により、 南北の大動脈が動き出します [North-south artery comes into operation with opening of Ueno-Tokyo Line] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Mainichi Shimbun: JR東北縦貫線計画:神田駅の周辺住民、建設中止求め提訴 Invalid language code.[dead link]
  11. ^ JR東、羽田新路線を北関東と直結 東北縦貫線との接続検討 [JR East considering connecting new Haneda line to Ueno-Tokyo Line to provide link to northern Kanto]. SankeiBiz (in Japanese). Japan: Sankei Digital Inc. 10 January 2014. p. 1-2. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 

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