Tokyo to boost tourism with new 300 billion yen rail line

31 October 2014

A new railway line is set to be built by JR East linking Haneda Airport and Tokyo city centre, reducing travel time between the two to 23 minutes in an effort to increase tourist traffic to the city.

With Tokyo due to host the Olympic Games in 2020, the Japanese Government has set a target of attracting 20 million visitors to the country each year, reports UITP. In order to boost capacity between one of the city's two primary airports and the city centre, efforts are being made to reduce travel time from the airport to Shinjuku and Tokyo stations from the current 41-46 and 28-33 minute journeys respectively.

The JR East-operated Tokyo Monorail and the Keiyku line currently link Haneda airport and the city centre, although neither are expected to be able to cope with the increase in travellers that the capacity boost at Haneda airport is set to deliver. It is hoped that the new line will not only bring more tourists to the Japanese capital but also raise its profile as a business hub.

The building of the new line involves converting a freight line near Tamachi station to passenger use and then building a 6km subway line linking it to Haneda. Construction is expected to take around ten years to complete and the financing of the 300 billion yen investment will be split evenly between JR East, the central government and local municipalities.

According to JR East estimates, 28 million people each year are to use the new station, with the company expecting to recover its investment within 15 years after the start of commercial operation.

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