The Jōetsu Shinkansen (上越新幹線) is a high-speed shinkansen railway line connecting Tokyo and Niigata, Japan, via the Tōhoku Shinkansen, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Despite its name, the line does not pass through the city of Joetsu or the historical Jōetsu region, which instead are served by the Hokuriku Shinkansen.
An E4 series train on a Joetsu Shinkansen Max Tanigawa service in March 2017
|Locale||Tokyo; Saitama, Gunma, and Niigata Prefectures|
|Opened||15 November 1982|
|Rolling stock||E2/E4/E7 series|
|Line length||269.5 km (167.5 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Electrification||25 kV AC, 50 Hz, overhead catenary|
|Operating speed||240 km/h (150 mph) (older rolling stock); 275 km/h (170 mph) (under construction)|
|Urasa||浦佐||212.3||■ Jōetsu Line||Minamiuonuma|
|Tsubame-Sanjō||燕三条||268.7||■ Yahiko Line||Sanjō|
As of April 2017, the following train types operate on Joetsu Shinkansen services.
Between fiscal 2018 and 2020, eleven 12-car E7 series train sets are scheduled to be introduced on Joetsu Shinkansen services, replacing the E4 series trains, raising the speed from 240 km/h to 275 km/h.
The entire line is currently being upgraded to 275 km/h, with construction starting in May of 2019. The upgrades are scheduled to be completed by 2023.
This will mark the first time that an E7 series train has operated commercially at more than 260 km/h, which is the maximum speed of the only other line served by this train, the Hokuriku Shinkansen.
The program to build the new line was initiated in 1971 by Niigata-born prime minister Tanaka Kakuei; one popular anecdote is that Tanaka determined the line's routing by drawing it on a map with a red pencil. Built at a cost of $6.3 billion, it was built "to establish closer ties with Tokyo and promote regional development".
Trial runs over the line began in November 1980, and regular service began on 15 November 1982. The line was initially planned to terminate at Shinjuku Station, but economic considerations pushed Japanese National Railways (JNR) to merge the line with the existing Tōhoku Shinkansen line at Ōmiya.
In September 1991, a 400 Series Shinkansen train set a Japanese rail speed record of 345 km/h (214 mph) on the Jōetsu Shinkansen line, and in December 1993, the STAR21 experimental train recorded 425 km/h (264 mph). The maximum speed for regular services on the line is 245 km/h (150 mph) except for the section between Jomo-Kogen and Urasa which is 275 km/h (170 mph) for E2 series trains travelling towards Niigata. The urban section between Tokyo and Ōmiya is 110 km/h (70 mph).
The Basic Plan specifies that the Jōetsu Shinkansen should actually start from Shinjuku, which would necessitate building 30 km (19 mi) of additional Shinkansen track from Ōmiya. While some land acquisitions along the existing Saikyō Line were made, no construction ever started.
The Niigata prefectural government has proposed building a new multi-modal terminal to directly connect the Shinkansen to the port of Niigata, potentially allowing direct transfers to ferries and cruise ships, and to potentially allow direct access between the Shinkansen and Niigata Airport. However this plan is foreseen to be completed only by the mid-2040s.
On 17 November 2012, a special Joetsu Shinkansen 30th Anniversary (上越新幹線開業30周年号 Jōetsu Shinkansen Kaigyō 30-shūnen-gō) service ran as Toki 395 from Omiya to Niigata using 10-car 200 series set K47.
Also on 17 November 2012, a special Joetsu Shinkansen 30th Anniversary (上越新幹線開業30周年号 Jōetsu Shinkansen Kaigyō 30-shūnen-gō) service ran from Niigata to Tokyo using E5 series set U8, with a special ceremony at Niigata Station before departure. This was the first revenue-earning service operated on the Joetsu Shinkansen by an E5 series trainset.
The Derailment of Jōetsu Shinkansen (上越新幹線脱線事故), is a train derailed in October 23, 2004 as earthquakes occurred in Chūetsu region, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. It is first derailment accident on commercial operations of Shinkansen (high speed rail in Japan).Asahi (train)
The Asahi (あさひ) was a limited-stop train service that operated until November 2002 in Japan on the Joetsu Shinkansen high-speed line between Tokyo and Niigata.Class 962 Shinkansen
The Class 962 (962形) was a six-car Japanese Shinkansen train built in 1979 as the prototype for the new (200 series) trains to be operated on the Tōhoku Shinkansen and Jōetsu Shinkansen routes.Daishimizu Tunnel
The Daishimizu Tunnel (大清水トンネル) is a railway tunnel on the Jōetsu Shinkansen on the border of Gunma Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
In 1978, the Dai-Shimizu tunnel was completed. This tunnel was dug for the Jōetsu Shinkansen that was to be completed in 1982. This tunnel was the world's longest railway tunnel at 22,200 m until the Seikan Tunnel was built. During the construction, a fire created a large amount of smoke in the tunnel, and 16 workers died from carbon monoxide poisoning. When this tunnel was completed, the time between Niigata and Tokyo went down to approximately one hour and forty minutes, three hours faster than using the Jōetsu Line.Also, when this tunnel was built, natural water was found during construction, which is now sold in bottles.Echigo-Yuzawa Station
Echigo-Yuzawa Station (越後湯沢駅, Echigo-Yuzawa-eki) is a railway station operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), located in the resort town of Yuzawa in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. The station is located 199.2 kilometers from Tokyo.Gala-Yuzawa Line
The Gala-Yuzawa Line (ガーラ湯沢線, Gāra-yuzawa-sen) is the unofficial name for a railway branch line in Yuzawa, Niigata, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).
The standard gauge line is a short (1.8 km) branch line that extends from Echigo-Yuzawa Station on the Jōetsu Shinkansen to Gala-Yuzawa Station, but is officially classified as a branch of the (narrow gauge) Jōetsu Line. The line has no intermediate stations.Gala-Yuzawa Station serves the nearby ski resort Gala Yuzawa (ski lifts operate directly from the station), so the station is only used during the winter period. During the skiing season, Tanigawa services from Tokyo are extended to run to Gala-Yuzawa. All trains on the line are classified as "limited express", so a limited express surcharge is required.
The branchline was originally built for maintenance purposes, but was upgraded for passenger service from 20 December 1990 when JR East developed the ski resort. Outside the winter season, the line is used for switching trains terminating at and departing from Echigo-Yuzawa Station.Gala-Yuzawa Station
Gala-Yuzawa Station (ガーラ湯沢駅, Gāra-yuzawa-eki) is a seasonal railway station on the Gala-Yuzawa Line in the town of Yuzawa, Niigata, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Honjō-Waseda Station
Honjō-Waseda Station (本庄早稲田駅, Honjō-Waseda-eki) is railway station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line in Honjō, Saitama, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Jōetsu Line
The Joetsu Line (上越線, Jōetsu-sen) is a major railway line in Japan, owned by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It connects Takasaki Station in Gunma Prefecture with Miyauchi Station in Niigata Prefecture, linking the northwestern Kanto region and the Sea of Japan coast of the Chūbu region. The name refers to the old provinces of Kōzuke (上野) and Echigo (越後), which the line connects.Nagaoka Station
Nagaoka Station (長岡駅, Nagaoka-eki) is a railway station in the city of Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). The station is located 270.6 kilometers from Tokyo,Niigata Station
Niigata Station (新潟駅, Niigata-eki) is a major railway station in Chūō-ku, Niigata, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). The station is at the centre of Niigata city, the largest city on the Sea of Japan coast in Honshu. It forms the central station for the railway infrastructure along the Sea of Japan coast, and is also the terminus of the Jōetsu Shinkansen high-speed line from Tokyo.STAR21
"STAR21" was the name given to the Class 952/953 (952・953形) 9-car experimental Shinkansen train developed in 1992 by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan to test technology to be incorporated in next-generation shinkansen trains operating at speeds of 350 km/h (217 mph) or higher. The name was an acronym for "Superior Train for the Advanced Railway toward the 21st Century".Tanigawa (train)
The Tanigawa (たにがわ) is a high-speed train service operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on the Joetsu Shinkansen in Japan.Toki (train)
The Toki (とき) is a high-speed Shinkansen train service operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on the Joetsu Shinkansen in Japan.The name is taken from the Japanese name of the crested ibis, for which Niigata is famous.Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station (東京駅, Tōkyō-eki) is a railway station in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. The original station is located in Chiyoda's Marunouchi business district near the Imperial Palace grounds. The newer Eastern extension is not far from the Ginza commercial district. Due to its large area covered, the station is divided into Marunouchi and Yaesu sides in its directional signage.
Served by Shinkansen high-speed rail lines, Tokyo Station is the main inter-city rail terminal in Tokyo. It is the busiest station in Japan in terms of number of trains per day (over 3,000), and the fifth-busiest in Eastern Japan in terms of passenger throughput. It is also served by many regional commuter lines of Japan Railways, as well as the Tokyo Metro network.Tsubame-Sanjō Station
Tsubame-Sanjō Station (燕三条駅, Tsubame-Sanjō-eki) is a railway station in the city of Sanjō, Niigata, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). The station sits directly on the border of the cities of Sanjō and Tsubame. As the station headquarters are located on the Sanjō side of the station, Tsubame-Sanjō Station is considered to be in Sanjō. The station is located 293.8 kilometers from Tokyo,Ueno Station
Ueno Station (上野駅, Ueno-eki) is a major railway station in Tokyo's Taitō ward. It is the station used to reach the Ueno district and Ueno Park—which contains Tokyo National Museum, The National Museum of Western Art, Ueno Zoo, Tokyo University of the Arts and other famous cultural facilities. A major commuter hub, it is also the traditional terminus for long-distance trains from northern Japan, although with the extension of the Shinkansen lines to Tokyo Station this role has diminished in recent years. A similar extension of conventional lines extended the Takasaki Line, Utsunomiya Line and Joban Line to Tokyo Station via the Ueno-Tokyo Line in March 2015, using existing little-used tracks and a new viaduct.Ueno Station is close to Keisei-Ueno Station, the Tokyo terminus of the Keisei Main Line to Narita Airport Station.Urasa Station
Urasa Station (浦佐駅, Urasa-eki) is a railway station in Minamiuonuma, Niigata, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Ōmiya Station (Saitama)
Ōmiya Station (大宮駅, Ōmiya-eki) is a railway station in Ōmiya-ku, Saitama, Japan. It is a major interchange station for the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), and is also operated by the private railway operator Tobu Railway.
* An asterisk indicates overlap with conventional services.