Chūō Line (Rapid)

The Chūō Line (Rapid) (中央線快速, Chūō-sen kaisoku) is the name given to rapid services on the eastern section of the Chūō Main Line operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) between Tokyo and Takao stations. The official map shows services travel as far as Otsuki.

Chūō Line (Rapid)
Native name中央線快速
Operator(s)JR East
Depot(s)Mitaka, Toyoda
Rolling stockE233-0 series, 209-1000 series
Daily ridership2,259,559 (daily 2015)[1]
Line length53.1 km (33.0 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC overhead catenary
Operating speed100 km/h (60 mph)

Basic dataEdit



Although the Chūō Line (Rapid) designation only refers to the section between Tokyo and Takao stations, many trains continue on past Takao to Ōtsuki, with some trains operating through services to other lines. These include both limited express and various special rapid services. For details, see the Chūō Main Line article. In addition, Chūō Line (Rapid) trains do not stop at some stations between Ochanomizu and Nakano stations; for information on those services, see the Chūō-Sōbu Line article.

The Chūō Line (Rapid) uses the two express tracks on the four-track section between Ochanomizu and Mitaka stations. Past Mitaka, trains use both tracks on the remaining double-track section. Since the express tracks do not have platforms at several stations in central Tokyo, even the slowest services of the Chūō Line (Rapid) skip such stations and are therefore called "Rapid" (快速). In addition to the basic type of "Rapid", there are some variations of the service types with fewer stops.

Rapid (快速)Edit

This service is the most common on the Chūō Line (Rapid) route. They stop at all stations west of Nakano. After Nakano, it stops at Shinjuku, Yotsuya, Ochanomizu, and Kanda stations before arrival in Tōkyō Terminal. On weekends and holidays, trains do not stop at Asagaya, Kōenji, and Nishi-Ogikubo stations.
They run between Tokyo on the east side, and Takao/Otsuki on the west side, though some westbound services terminate at stations before Takao, such as Musashi-Koganei, Tachikawa, Toyoda and Hachioji.
Some trains operate through services to the Ōme Line (to as far as Ōme/from Okutama) , Itsukaichi Line (to/from Musashi-Itsukaichi, via Haijima on the Ōme Line), Hachiko Line (to/from as far as Komagawa, via Haijima on the Ōme Line) or the Fuji Kyuko Line (to/from Kawguchiko, via Ōtsuki).
The service's signature color on service diagrams is orange ().

Chūō Special Rapid (中央特快)  • Ōme Special Rapid (青梅特快)Edit

Four services per hour in off-peak hours make limited stops between Tokyo and Tachikawa. These two services stop at the same stations that Rapid services would stop between Tokyo and Nakano. After Nakano, these services only stop at Mitaka, Kokubunji and Tachikawa, and stop at all stations west of Tachikawa. Eastbound services continue from Nakano as a rapid service.
Chūō Special Rapid stays on the Chūō Main Line to Takao and Ōtsuki, and some services operate beyond Ōtsuki to the Fuji Kyuko Line towards Kawaguchiko.
Ōme Special Rapid spurs to the Ōme Line towards Ōme, stopping at all stations within the line.
The service's signature color on service diagrams is blue () for Chūō Special Rapid and green () for Ōme Special Rapid.

Commuter Rapid (通勤快速)Edit

Commuter Rapid services operates weekday evening. It starts service in Tokyo heading west, and stops at Ogikubo and Kichijōji in addition to the stops of the two Special Rapids. They mostly terminate at Takao, though a few trains go further to Ōtsuki, or operate through services to Kawaguchiko on the Fuji Kyuko Line, or to Ōme on the Ōme Line. Again, through services to the Ōme Line or the Fuji Kyuko Line stops at all stations on their respective lines.
The service's signature color on service diagrams is purple ().

Commuter Special Rapid (通勤特快)Edit

This service only operates on weekday towards Tokyo, where two originates from Ōtsuki, two from Ōme on the Ōme Line, and one from Takao. It stops at all stations until Takao, Hachiōji, Tachikawa, Kokubunji, and Shinjuku and continues as a rapid service from Shinjuku. Again, services from Ōme stop at all stations on the Ōme Line.
The service's signature color on service diagrams is pink ().
Musashino (むさしの号)
The Musashino is a local service train linking Ōmiya to Hachiōji via the Musashino Line. Services enter/exit the Chūō Line at Kunitachi by the freight branch, and stops at all stops from Kunitachi to Hachiōji.

Holiday Rapid (ホリデー快速)Edit

A variety of Holiday Rapid services running on the Chūō Rapid Line operate during the weekends and holidays to serve passengers.

  • The Holiday Rapid Okutama (ホリデー快速おくたま), which runs through the Ōme Line, and Holiday Rapid Akigawa (ホリデー快速あきがわ), which runs through the Itsukaichi Line, are two of them. They couple together, running through the Chūō Rapid Line, from Tokyo / Shinjuku to Tachikawa, through the Ōme Line to Haijima, and decouple. The former heads to Okutama, and the latter heads to Musashi-Itsukaichi.
  • The Holiday Rapid Mount Fuji (ホリデー快速富士山) and Holiday Rapid View Yamanashi (ホリデー快速ビューやまなし) are two holiday rapid services that, though nominally called 'Rapid', they stop at stations not less than the Special Rapids (Stops at Shinjuku, Mitaka, Tachikawa, Hachiōji, Takao within the Chūō Rapid Line, and skips stations such as Nakano, Kokubunji, Hino, Toyoda, Nishi-Hachiōji, and also some stations west of Takao.)

Former ServiceEdit

Local (各駅停車)Edit

This service operated during early morning and late night, where Rapid service trains would enter Chūō-Sōbu Line tracks within Nakano and Ochanomizu, stopping at all stations where regular Rapid services would skip, namely Higashi-Nakano, Ōkubo, Yoyogi, Sendagaya, Shinanomachi, Ichigaya, Iidabashi and Suidobashi. During this time, Chūō-Sōbu Line local trains only operated between Ochanomizu and Chiba.
They ran between Tokyo on the east side and as far as Takao on the west side, though, like Rapid services, some westbound services terminate at stations before Takao, such as Musashi-Koganei, Tachikawa, Toyoda and Hachioji. A few services operated through services to Ōme on the Ōme Line.
The service's signature color on service diagrams is yellow ().
To prepare for the installation of platform doors on the Chūō-Sōbu Line platforms and the future addition of Green Cars, Rapid service trains ceased to operate on the Chūō-Sōbu Line tracks after 13 March 2020. Chūō-Sōbu Line local trains will no longer turn around at Ochanomizu during early morning and late night hours.[2]

Station listEdit


  • ● : All trains stop
  • |: All trains pass (↑ ↓ : Indicates the direction of trains passing)
  • ▲: Stop, eastbound only
  • ▼: Stop. westbound only
  • ◆: All trains pass on weekends and holidays
Station No. Name Japanese Distance (km) Rapid Comm.
Chūō Main Line Local Ōme
Transfers Location
Tokyo 東京 - 0.0   Tohoku Shinkansen

  Hokkaido Shinkansen

  Yamagata Shinkansen

  Akita Shinkansen

  Joetsu Shinkansen

  Hokuriku Shinkansen

JY Yamanote Line

JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line

JO Yokosuka LineSōbu Line (Rapid)

JE Keiyō Line

JU Ueno-Tokyo Line (Through to JU UtsunomiyaTakasaki Line/JJ Jōban Line)

JT Tokaido Line

  Tokaido Shinkansen

M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

Chiyoda Tokyo
Kanda 神田 1.3 1.3 JY Yamanote Line

JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line
G Tokyo Metro Ginza Line

JC03 Ochanomizu 御茶ノ水 1.3 2.6 JB Chūō-Sōbu Line (Local)
M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

C Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (Shin-Ochanomizu)

JC04 Yotsuya 四ツ谷 0.8 6.6 JB Chūō-Sōbu Line (Local)
M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

N Tokyo Metro Namboku Line

Shinjuku 新宿 0.7 10.3 JY Yamanote Line

JB Chūō-Sōbu Line (Local)

JA Saikyō Line

JS Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
Odakyū Odawara Line
Keiō Line

Keiō New Line
M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
S Toei Shinjuku Line

E Toei Ōedo Line
Seibu Shinjuku Line (Seibu-Shinjuku)

JC06 Nakano 中野 1.9 14.7 T Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line Nakano
JC07 Kōenji 高円寺 1.4 16.1   Suginami
JC08 Asagaya 阿佐ケ谷 1.2 17.3  
JC09 Ogikubo 荻窪 1.4 18.7 M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
JC10 Nishi-Ogikubo 西荻窪 1.9 20.6  
JC11 Kichijōji 吉祥寺 1.9 22.5 Keiō Inokashira Line Musashino
JC12 Mitaka 三鷹 1.6 24.1   Mitaka
JC13 Musashi-Sakai 武蔵境 1.6 25.7 Seibu Tamagawa Line Musashino
JC14 Higashi-Koganei 東小金井 1.7 27.4   Koganei
JC15 Musashi-Koganei 武蔵小金井 1.7 29.1  
JC16 Kokubunji 国分寺 2.3 31.4 Seibu Kokubunji Line, Seibu Tamako Line Kokubunji
JC17 Nishi-Kokubunji 西国分寺 1.4 32.8 JM Musashino Line
JC18 Kunitachi 国立 1.7 34.5   Kunitachi
JC19 Tachikawa 立川 3.0 37.5 [* 1] [* 2] JC Ōme Line (some trains through to/from Tokyo)

JN Nambu Line
Tama Toshi Monorail Line (Tachikawa-Kita, Tachikawa-Minami)

JC20 Hino 日野 3.3 40.8   Hino
JC21 Toyoda 豊田 2.3 43.1  
JC22 Hachiōji 八王子 4.3 47.4 JH Yokohama Line

Hachikō Line
Keiō Line (Keiō-Hachiōji)

JC23 Nishi-Hachiōji 西八王子 2.4 49.8  
JC24 Takao 高尾 3.3 53.1 Chūō Main Line (some trains through to Ōtsuki)
Keiō Takao Line
Through service from/to Chūō Main Line JC Ōme Line
for Ōtsuki and Kawaguchiko for Ōtsuki for Ōtsuki and Kōfu for Ōme
  1. ^ Some through services from/to Ōme Line
  2. ^ Some through services to Ōme Line

Rolling stockEdit

Rapid・Commuter Special Rapid・Chūō Special Rapid・Ōme Special Rapid ・Commuter Rapid

Rolling stock used in pastEdit

Chūō Liner / Ōme Liner


Most of the route of the Chūō Line (Rapid) was built by the Kōbu Railway and later acquired by the Japanese Government Railways in 1906.

Operation of electric multiple unit (EMU) trains on the Chūō Main Line began in 1904. By 1930, the EMU service had reached Tokyo to the east and Asakawa (now Takao) to the west. In 1933, two tracks were added to the existing double-tracked section between Ochanomizu and Iidamachi stations (later closed) to complete the four-track line between Ochanomizu and Nakano. On these additional tracks, express trains (急行電車, kyūkō densha), which skipped all stations except Yotsuya and Shinjuku, were introduced the same year. The express service was renamed "Rapid" (快速, kaisoku) service in March 1961.

Initially, the operation of express/rapid services was limited to weekday peak periods only. Express service began on weekends on March 5, 1944; daytime non-peak operation began on November 9, 1959, but it was limited to weekdays only until April 28, 1966. All day rapid service trains are available since March 14, 2020, when early morning and late night rapid operations began.[2]

Manseibashi Station, located between Kanda and Ochanomizu, was closed in 1943. On the section east of Takao, only Nishi-Kokubunji Station (opened in 1973) and Nishi-Hachiōji Station (opened in 1939) were opened after the start of rapid services.

  • August 20, 1979: 201 series EMUs introduced
  • March 16, 1991: Ohayō Liner Takao/Ōme and Home Liner Takao/Ōme begin operation
  • April 10, 1993: Kokubunji Station added to Ōme Special Rapid stops; Commuter Special Rapid begins operation
  • December 1, 1997: Chūō Main Line-bound 115 series EMUs no longer service Shinjuku Station
  • October 5, 2005: Women-only cars introduced
  • December 26, 2006: E233 series EMUs introduced
  • March 16, 2019: 209-1000 series EMUs commence service.

Future developmentsEdit

JR East plans to introduce Green (first class) cars on Chuo Line (Rapid) and Ome Line services from fiscal 2021 or later.[3] This will involve adding two bilevel Green cars to 10-car and 6-car E233 series EMU sets, forming 12-car and 8-car sets. Work will be involved in lengthening station platforms and depot facilities to handle the longer trains.[3] In order to compensate the insufficient train sets for regular operations due to existing sets to be undergoing green car addition modifications, two 209-1000 series train sets originally used on the Jōban Line (Local) have been transferred to the Chūō Line. These sets commenced service from 16 March 2019.

High suicide rateEdit

The Chuo Rapid Line is known for a high number of suicides, primarily due to the high speed at which some trains pass through stations on the line.[4]


  1. ^ "平成27年 大都市交通センサス 首都圈報告書" (PDF). P.92. 国土交通省.
  2. ^ a b "2020年3月ダイヤ改正について (Schedule changes for March 2020)" (PDF). 13 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b JR東日本、中央線のグリーン車計画を延期 [JR East to postpone Chuo Line Green car plans]. Sankei News (in Japanese). Japan: The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. 24 March 2017. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  4. ^ French, Howard W. (6 June 2000). "Kunitachi City Journal; Japanese Trains Try to Shed a Gruesome Appeal". Health. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-20.

External linksEdit