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Jōetsu Shinkansen

Jōetsu Shinkansen bilevel E1 series train
Type Shinkansen
Locale Japan
Termini Ōmiya Station
Stations 10
Opened 15 November 1982
Owner JR East
Depot(s) Niigata
Rolling stock 200/E1/E4 series
Line length 269.5 km
Track gauge 1,435 mm
Electrification 25 kV AC, 50 Hz, overhead catenary
Operating speed 240 km/h
Route map

Diagrama da linha Joetsu-Shinkansen.png

The Jōetsu Shinkansen (上越 新幹線?) is a high-speed railway line connecting Tokyo and Niigata, Japan, via the Tōhoku Shinkansen, operated by the East Japan Railway Company.



The program was initiated in 1971 by Niigata-born prime minister Tanaka Kakuei. Built at a cost of $6.3 billion[1] through the mountainous, sparsely populated spine of Japan, the line was known from the start to be unprofitable[citation needed], but was built "to establish closer ties with Tokyo and promote regional development".[2]

Trial runs over the line began in November 1980, reaching a record 210 km/h in 1981. Regular service began on 15 November 1982. The line was initially planned to terminate at Shinjuku Station, but economic considerations pushed JNR to merge the line with the existing Tōhoku Shinkansen line at Ōmiya.

In September 1991, a 400 Series Shinkansen train set a speed record of 345 km/h on the Jōetsu Shinkansen line, and in December 1993, the STAR21 experimental train managed 425 km/h. The maximum speed for regular services on the line is currently 240 km/h.

The Basic Plan specifies that the Jōetsu Shinkansen should actually start from Shinjuku, which would necessitate building 30 km of additional Shinkansen track from Ōmiya. While some land acquisitions along the existing Saikyō Line were made, no construction ever started. To this day, a portion of underground land near Shinjuku Station remains reserved, causing the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line to be built further underground than would otherwise have been necessary.

If the capacity, however, on the current Tokyo-Ōmiya section proves insufficient after the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension between Nagano and Kanazawa, the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension between Hachinohe and Aomori and the opening of the Hokkaidō Shinkansen between Aomori and Hakodate, the construction of the link between Shinjuku and Ōmiya stations may proceed.

Provisions were also made for extending the line from Niigata to Niigata Airport.

Trains and services


Discontinued services

  • Asahi - Discontinued December 2002
  • Max Asahi - Discontinued December 2002


Station name in Japanese Distance Location Connections
Tokyo Station 東京 0 Chiyoda, Tokyo Tōkaidō Shinkansen, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Chūō Main Line, Tōkaidō Main Line, Yokosuka Line, Sōbu Main Line, Keiyō Line
Ueno Station 上野 3.6 Taitō, Tokyo Jōban Line, Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line), Takasaki Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Keisei Main Line (Keisei Ueno Station)
Ōmiya Station 大宮 31.3 Ōmiya-ku, Saitama Tōhoku Shinkansen, Tōbu Noda Line, New Shuttle, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Saikyō Line, Kawagoe Line, Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line), Takasaki Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line
Kumagaya Station 熊谷 67.9 Kumagaya, Saitama Chichibu Railway, Takasaki Line
Honjō-Waseda Station 本庄早稲田 88.0 Honjō, Saitama (none)
Takasaki Station 高崎 108.6 Takasaki, Gunma Nagano Shinkansen (Hokuriku Shinkansen), Joshin Electric Railway, Takasaki Line, Hachikō Line, Ryōmō Line, Jōetsu Line, Shin'etsu Line, Agatsuma Line
Jomo-Kogen Station 上毛高原 150.4 Minakami, Gunma (none)
Echigo-Yuzawa Station 越後湯沢 182.7 Yuzawa, Niigata Jōetsu Line, Hokuetsu Express Hokuhoku Line
Urasa Station 浦佐 212.3 Minamiuonuma, Niigata Jōetsu Line
Nagaoka Station 長岡 245.1 Nagaoka, Niigata Shin'etsu Line, Jōetsu Line
Tsubame-Sanjō Station 燕三条 268.7 Tsubame, Niigata and Sanjō, Niigata Yahiko Line
Niigata Station 新潟 300.8 Chūō-ku, Niigata Shin'etsu Line, Hakushin Line, Echigo Line, Uetsu Main Line (limited express), West Ban'etsu Line

There is also a 1.8 km spur from Echigo-Yuzawa to Gala-Yuzawa Station, which is used in the winter months to bring passengers to the adjoining ski resort.

See also


  1. ^ Hayes, Louis D. Introduction to Japanese Politics, p.107.
  2. ^ Takashima, Shuichi. [ Railway Operators in Japan 3: Tohoku and Niigata Region]. Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 29 (pp.40–49)

External links

Redirecting to Jōetsu Shinkansen


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