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), 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 and vice versa. The project began on May 2008. The line opened with the 14 March 2015 timetable revision, with the project costing about JPY 40 billion.
An E233-3000 series EMU, one of the train types used on the Ueno–Tokyo Line
|Daily ridership||320,229（Daily 2015）|
|Opened||14 March 2015|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||1,500 V DC overhead catenary|
Direct travel was expected to ease congestion on the Yamanote Line and Keihin–Tōhoku Line, and the travel time was reduced to 7 to 10 minutes because of through trains between the lines of Utsunomiya and Takasaki and the Main Line of Tokaido in addition to through trains that pass the Shinagawa Station on the Joban Line.
Beginning from Ueno Station, the project involved re-laying about 2.5 km of existing tracks that formerly linked the two stations until separated near Kanda Station to make room for the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension to Tokyo. The gap was reconnected by a new 1.3 km top deck on the existing Shinkansen viaduct near Kanda Station with ramps at either end up from the existing formations. Provision was made during construction of the Shinkansen link for eventual restoration of through traffic on the Tohoku Lines. JR East built train turnback facilities at Shinagawa Station on the Tokaido Line, allowing through trains from Ueno to terminate there and return north.
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 (All trains departed from Joban Line terminate here), Yokohama, Ōfuna, Hiratsuka, Kōzu, Odawara, Atami, Numazu in the JR Central Tokaido Main Line and Ito in the Itō Line. Initially, up to 15 services per hour run during the morning peak, increased to 20 per hour in 2016. 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.
At present, the longest journey of the Ueno–Tokyo Line is the local train that runs between Atami and Kuroiso. The total length is 267.9 km and the journey time is about 4 hours 40~45 minutes. It runs through 5 prefectures (Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Saitama, Ibaraki and Tochigi) in total and Tokyo Metropolis.
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. 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. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2012.
|Official Line Name||No.||Station||Japanese||Distance (km)||Utsunomiya/Takasaki–Tōkaidō||Jōban Line||Transfers||Locations|
|Within the Utsunomiya and Takasaki lines (through service):||Local||Local||Rapid
Rabbit • Urban
|Tōhoku Main Line||Ōmiya||大宮||-||30.5||●||●||●||Ōmiya Ward||Saitama City||Saitama Prefecture|
|Tōkaidō Main Line|
||Kawasaki Ward||Kawasaki City||Kanagawa Prefecture|
|Yokohama||横浜||10.6||28.8||●||●||●||Nishi Ward||Yokohama City|
|Within the Tōkaidō line (through service):||Local||Rapid
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. Although there had been discussion of completing this extension prior to the 2020 Olympics, the plan was indefinitely shelved in 2015.
- Shōnan–Shinjuku Line, a similar line on the west side of Tokyo
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- Official website (in Japanese)