Yamagata Shinkansen

The Yamagata Shinkansen (山形新幹線) is a Mini-shinkansen route in Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It provides service between Tokyo and Shinjō in Yamagata Prefecture over the tracks of the Tohoku Shinkansen and the Ōu Main Line.

Yamagata Shinkansen
An E3-1000 series train on the Yamagata Shinkansen in March 2015
Native name山形新幹線
LocaleFukushima and Yamagata Prefectures
Opened1 July 1992
OwnerJR East
Rolling stockE3-1000 series/E3-2000 series
Line length148.6 km
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification20 kV AC, 50 Hz, overhead catenary
Operating speed130 km/h (80 mph)
Route Map (from Fukushima in blue)

The term Yamagata Shinkansen refers to the segment that connects Fukushima and Shinjō. Because the shinkansen trains share tracks with regular service trains, it is often referred to as a "mini-shinkansen".


Trains consist of 7-car E3 series trainsets operating as Tsubasa services. Between Tokyo and Fukushima, the trains run coupled to Yamabiko trains on the Tōhoku Shinkansen. Between Fukushima and Shinjō, the trains run on their own at a maximum speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) and share the line with regular Ōu Main Line trains.[1]

As of July 2012, about 62 million passengers had ridden the line since it opened in July 1992.[2] The fastest trains connected Tokyo and Yamagata stations in two hours and 29 minutes.[2]

Station list

Station Japanese Distance (km) Transfers Location
From Tokyo From Fukushima
Fukushima 福島 272.8 0.0 Tōhoku Shinkansen (for Morioka), Tōhoku Main Line
AbukumaExpress: Abukuma Express Line
Fukushima Transportation: Iizaka Line
Fukushima Fukushima
Yonezawa 米沢 312.9 40.1 Yonesaka Line Yonezawa Yamagata
Takahata 高畠 322.7 49.9   Takahata, Higashiokitama District
Akayu 赤湯 328.9 56.1 Flower Nagai Line Nanyō
Kaminoyama-Onsen かみのやま温泉 347.8 75.0   Kaminoyama
Yamagata 山形 359.9 87.1   Yamagata
Tendō 天童 373.2 100.4   Tendō
Sakurambo-Higashine さくらんぼ東根 380.9 108.1   Higashine
Murayama 村山 386.3 113.5   Murayama
Ōishida 大石田 399.7 126.9   Ōishida, Kitamurayama District
Shinjō 新庄 421.4 148.6 Ōu Main Line, Rikuu East Line, Rikuu West Line Shinjō

Rolling stock

Past rolling stock

  • 400 series 7-car sets (originally 6-car sets) withdrawn by April 2010


  • July 1, 1992: Tsubasa services start from Tokyo to Yamagata with six-car 400 Series Shinkansen attached to a 200 Series Shinkansen on Tōhoku Shinkansen tracks between Tokyo and Fukushima.
  • December 1, 1995: Trains are extended to seven cars.
  • December 4, 1999: Line is extended to Shinjō.
  • September 21, 2001: Double-decker E4 Series Shinkansen replace the 200 series trains on the Tōhoku Shinkansen.
  • March 18, 2007: All cars are made non-smoking.
  • December 20, 2008: E3-2000 series trains enter service
  • April 18, 2010: 400 series trains cease operations.
  • March 11, 2011: All services are suspended due to the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
  • March 31, 2011: Partial services resume between Fukushima and Shinjō.
  • April 12, 2011: Through-service resumed between Tokyo and Shinjō but at half of previous capacity.[3]


  1. "300km/hのトップランナー" [300 km/h Top Runners]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 52 no. 612. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. April 2012. p. 14.
  2. "Yamagata Shinkansen Line turns 20". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 3 July 2012. p. 2. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  3. NHK, "Yamagata Shinkansen fully resumes operations", 12 April 2011.
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