Ueno–Tokyo Line

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),[2] 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[2][3] and vice versa. The project began on May 2008.[4] The line opened with the 14 March 2015 timetable revision,[5] with the project costing about JPY 40 billion.[2]

Ueno–Tokyo Line
An E233-3000 series EMU, one of the train types used on the Ueno–Tokyo Line
Native name上野東京ライン
TypeCommuter rail
Daily ridership320,229(Daily 2015)[1]
Opened14 March 2015
Operator(s)JR East
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 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.[4]


Beginning from Ueno Station, the project involved re-laying about 2.5 km[4] 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[4] top deck on the existing Shinkansen viaduct near Kanda Station with ramps at either end up from the existing formations.[6] Provision was made during construction of the Shinkansen link for eventual restoration of through traffic on the Tohoku Lines.[7] JR East built train turnback facilities at Shinagawa Station on the Tokaido Line, allowing through trains from Ueno to terminate there and return north.[2]


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 [8], 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[9]

Station list

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
Tōhoku Main Line
Ōmiya 大宮 - 30.5   Ōmiya Ward Saitama City Saitama Prefecture
JU06 Saitama-Shintoshin さいたま新都心 1.6 28.9 |
  • JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line (JK46)
Urawa 浦和 4.5 24.4
  • JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line (JK43)
  • JS Shōnan-Shinjuku Line (JS23)
Urawa Ward
Akabane 赤羽 11.0 13.4
  • JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line (JK38)
  • JS Shōnan-Shinjuku Line (JS22)
  • JA Saikyō Line (JA15)
Kita City Tokyo
JU03 Oku 尾久 5.0 8.4 |  
Nippori 日暮里 2.6 5.8 | | |
Arakawa City
UENJU02JJ01 Ueno 上野 2.2 3.6
Taitō City
Tokyo 東京 3.6 0.0
Chiyoda City
Tōkaidō Main Line
Shimbashi 新橋 1.9 1.9
  • JY Yamanote Line (JY29)
  • JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line (JK24)
  • JO Yokosuka Line (JO18)
  • G Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-08)
  • A Toei Asakusa Line (A-10)
  • Yurikamome (U-01)
Minato City
Shinagawa 品川 4.9 6.8
  • JY Yamanote Line (JY25)
  • JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line (JK20)
  • JO Yokosuka Line (JO17)
  • Tokaido Shinkansen
  • KK Keikyū Main Line (KK01)
Kawasaki 川崎 11.4 18.2  
  • JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line (JK16)
  • JN Nambu Line (JN01)
Kawasaki Ward Kawasaki City Kanagawa Prefecture
Yokohama 横浜 10.6 28.8
Nishi Ward Yokohama City
Totsuka 戸塚 12.1 40.9
  • JO Yokosuka Line (JO10)
  • JS Shōnan-Shinjuku Line (JS10)
  • Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line (B06)
Totsuka Ward
Ōfuna 大船 5.6 46.5
Kamakura City
Within the Tōkaidō line (through service): Local Rapid

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.[12] Although there had been discussion of completing this extension prior to the 2020 Olympics, the plan was indefinitely shelved in 2015.[13]

See also


  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. JR East Annual Report 2010, retrieved 2013-12-09
  3. 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.
  4. "Construction of Ueno-Tokyo Line" (PDF). JR East Construction Department. October 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  5. 「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.
  6. 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.
  7. "We must create our own core competences". News. Railway Gazette International. 1 October 1999. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  8. Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 49 (pp.18–24) Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 2009-05-15
  9. 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. Archived from the original on 9 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  10. 「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.
  11. 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 (in Japanese)
  12. 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. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  13. "東京五輪、羽田への鉄道新線はなし 国交省 既存路線で対応". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
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