Tokyo, one of the cities with the best transportation system in the world, has not seen a new extension to its subway system since the Fukutoshin Line opened in 2008 to alleviate congestion on the JR Sakyu Line, but that is about to change soon.
After many years of planning that started with different proposals that would see a JR Haneda Access Line connecting Haneda Airport to Tamachi Station and extensions to the Oedo Line, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is finalizing plans for two subway line extensions. The subway lines in question that will see extensions are the Yurakucho Line and the Namboku Line.
So, for now, we can’t expect the much rumored and talked about train connecting Haneda Airport to Tokyo Station. Nevertheless, the Yurakucho and Namboku Lines extensions will play a crucial role in the city, and they will be a welcome change for many residents.
The Yurakucho Line runs from Wakoshi Station in Saitama Prefecture to Shin-Kiba Station in Koto, Tokyo. The extension will actually see the line split at Toyosu Station and connect to Sumiyoshi Station, being a 5.2 kilometer line. Sumiyoshi Station is served by both the Hanzomon Line and the Toei Shinjuku Line, and experiences severe congestion during rush hours. The Yurakucho Line extension will alleviate passenger traffic there.
On the other hand, the Namboku Line extension will prove something very beneficial for passengers of Tokyo Metro since the extension will see the line split at Shirokane-Takanawa Station to connect to Shinagawa Station. The Namboku Line runs from Meguro Station to Akabane-iwabuchi in Saitama, and it’s the closest Tokyo Metro line to Shinagawa Station. However, despite being an important shinkansen terminus and a location with many offices, Shinagawa Station is not served by a single Tokyo Metro line.
This new extension would officially make Shinagawa Station easier to access for many people living in central Tokyo, and it will be particularly important once the maglev Shinkansen opens. The Chuo Shinkansen is delayed, though, since there are currently negotiation problems with Shizuoka Prefecture.
However, opening new train lines takes time. Now that these two have officially been decided after years of discussions, the government will conduct an environmental impact study before starting construction. The new extensions should be ready in the 2030s and will hopefully coincide with the opening of the Chuo Shinkansen.