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  1. Dec. 19 JR East had a press release with the most detailed information to date regarding service changes with the upcoming timetable revision this March. Including the Hokuriku Shinkansen, and of most interest to me, the timetable for the Ueno-Tokyo Line. brief notes: *Southbound through trains off the Takasaki and Utsunomiya Lines, other than those terminating at Shinagawa, will continue on the Tokaido Line to either Hiratsuka/Kozu/Odawara/or Atami. A few services will even go as far as Ito or Numazu, for example, the weekday 20:24 from Utsunomiya (futsu 1635E) will reach Numazu at 0:37, truly a long-distance local covering 236km (and a cross-railway service- JR East and JR Tokai, at that). *Northbound through trains not terminating at Ueno, will continue on their respective lines to outer destinations, not terminating at a closer station such as Omiya. *On the Chuo Line, the up Azusa #8, (dep. Matsumoto 8:51), will terminate at Tokyo Station, (arr.11:50), to allow convenient connection with shinkansen services, among others. pdf of press release, including schedules: https://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2014/20141222.pdf
  2. This Thursday JR East announcened preliminary plans for through services on the Ueno-Tokyo Line which is scheduled to open this March. Summary as follows: 1. Utsunomiya and Takasaki Line trains will run through on the Tokaido Line south of Shinagawa. 2. Joban Line trains will terminate at Shinagawa. 3. During the 8~9am peak, 5 up trains from each of the three lines will operate over the line. *however, the Joban Line through trains will only be rapid services originating at Toride. 4. All off-peak ltd express services from the Joban Line will terminate/originate at Shinagawa. Likewise a portion of services will do so in the evening peak period. 5. Off-peak a portion of Joban Line local services originating in Tsuchiura will terminate/originate at Shinagawa, and in the evening peak, rapid services for points south of/to Toride will terminate/originate at Shinagawa. 6. Two limited express services will be introduced on the Joban line, the Hitachi will be configured as a limited stop service, while the new Tokiwa service will have more stops. These services will introduce a simpler limited express tariff system, as well as existing ticketless service using smart/mobile phones. http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2014/20141022.pdf *in the TV news report, it was stated that almost all up direction Tokaido Line trains will continue on to Ueno (and beyond?), presumably as either Utsunomiya or Takasaki Line services.
  3. This Saturday local residents were invited to walk a 800m section of the Ueno-Tokyo Line between Akihabara and Kanda. The line is scheduled to open next spring. ANN news report: Ibaraki Shimbun report. High quality raw footage. According to this, test train runs will begin later this month. Note at 1:36 the diagram showing the steep grade on this line, 34.38 permils, or 3.438%.
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