Jump to content

Tokyo Monorail may be extended to Tokyo Station

bikkuri bahn

Recommended Posts

bikkuri bahn

Tokyo Monorail Co. plans to extend its monorail line between Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and East Japan Railway Co.’s Hamamatsucho Station to Tokyo Station, informed sources said on Wednesday.

The ¥109.5-billion project to connect the monorail line to the terminal station for Shinkansen bullet train services will be completed in 10 years, the sources said.

The Hamamatsucho Station building, which houses the monorail station, will also be rebuilt. Barrier-free improvement work will finish before the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, the sources added.




*Note that other news reports state that the extension is being seriously "studied", which seems less definite than "plans".


nhk report (includes video news report):



*I have a feeling that JR East (which is a majority owner of Tokyo Monorail) is testing the waters for govt. reaction to this, perhaps fishing for public funding in light of the olympics.  They would likely never propose this if there was no possiblity of govt. funding.

Edited by bikkuri bahn
Link to comment
Guest keio6000

we had a thread about the new line or service to haneda.  i was quite skeptical of this, but upon some perusal of google earth/maps, i now think that it's not a bad idea.  the freight line which will form the basis for this is already there for almost the entire route.


but if this monorail extension will actually happen (it's been talked about and even planned for for a while), why now that a direct competitor in the tokyo to haneda market is popped up?  my guess it may be a whiff of desperation, where they figure if they don't do this, they'll lose a significant part of their ridership.


maybe, just maybe, in some sense monorail has a long term advantage.  because it's an unconnected system, they're not held back by technology.   Owning the right of way, they could upgrade their system to, say, some much faster future system like linimo in a way that the trains couldn't.  and, knowing that the passengers did have the backup of jr, they could close their system for 6 months to implement it.


not that i'm speculating or anything.



Link to comment

Could the Tokyo monorail just as well close if JR East builds the Haneda rail connection? Yes, but extending it to Tokyo station would both be redundant and have to use the right of way above JR East tracks. And upgrading the speed from the average of 45 km/h (80 km/h top) to just even match the 130 km/h of the current NEX (or any other commuter) stock would cost too much and then they would still be at Tokyo station only, while the NEX could go anywhere, even as far as Narita. System compatibility means you can go anywhere and upgrade only where it matters. Conventional monorails just couldn't reach the same speed as normal trains and operating a maglev in downtown Tokyo without a closed tube (above or below ground) is not really possible. Just check the speed of shinkansen trains around Tokyo station. Even they have to slow down as they enter the highrise area. So in short, probably the only thing that will happen is they make the city side terminus of the line accessible before the olympics by adding a few lifts and ramps. This seems reasonable and later the JR East NEX (or HEX, as Haneda EXpress) service could take over the bulk of the passenger flow.

Link to comment
bikkuri bahn

Some more details about the proposed route- the extension will parallel the western edge of the Yamanote Line, of course elevated above that line.  It will have its terminal directly above the southern end of the Tokaido line platforms.


Though it connects the airport with Tokyo Station seemingly duplicating the proposed railway route, the target market IMO is different- it provides a rather convenient connection with the JR East shinkansen platforms (which are adjacent to and slightly above the zairaisen Tokaido line platforms)- JR East, like any responsible company, is looking long term, beyond just the Olympics- a good connection with the shinkansen will serve to funnel Asian tourists bound for destinations in Tohoku and ultimately Hokkaido.  Long distance railway services can no longer rely on the shrinking domestic market, and have to appeal to foreign visitors. The monorail will provide better service frequencies than the rail line, which will have more services to different destinations.  The monorail will also be helpful for business travelers going between the Marunouchi district and the airport.


Of course, this project falls under the "nice to have" category, rather than a critical need.  The Olympics will still be successful without it.

Link to comment

Looking at it realistically, after they build a conventional line with higher speed trains than the current monorail technology could reach and connect it to a lot of places and major stations around Tokyo, it doesn't look too realistic to build a slower and single destination monorail line above this. Not to mention, the current NEX stop at Tokyo station is at the Yokosuka/Sobu line platforms, which are pretty close to the shinkansen. Also they could add NEX/HEX service north from Tokyo through the new Ueno connector, which would put the stop of the Haneda trains to the current Tokkaido platforms, which are right next to the shinkansen platforms. With 3 destinations north of Tokyo station (Utsunomiya line, Takasaki line, and Jōban line) and the 2 other connector lines, train frequencies at the airport could be comparable or better than the current monorail. Not to mention direct access to the whole greater Tokyo area and the shinkansens. And not in the future, but most of it will be ready for the Olympics. (actually, besides the new tunnels and stations around the airport, most of it is ready right now)


After all this competition is built and operational, who would try to extend the current monorail? Not to mention it's partially owned by JR East. It will be lucky if they don't close it down or downgrade it into a neighbourhood people mover.

Edited by kvp
Link to comment
bikkuri bahn

Once again, the market is different- the rail line is to connect with lines such as the Shonan Shinjuku Line, the Utsunomiya/Takasaki Lines, and the Joban line serving customers in the greater Kanto area- the shutoken suburban market, as you will. Throw in the connection with the Rinkai line and you have access to Tokyo Disneyland.  But for access to the Tohoku/Joetsu Shinkansen, a monorail line will have higher frequency to that one single destination than the hodgepodge of destinations (we still don't know how the timetable will be for the rail line, and the pathings/slots) that the rail line will serve.  The monorail, based on the current timetable, will have 3~4 min. peak headways to Tokyo Station, a trip that will take 23 minutes from the Dai ni Terminal bldg(18 min for the international terminal). When you are aiming for serving the foreign tourist market you want simplicity- all the trains going to the same destination.  Also, AFAIK, there is no current physical connection (at least in the right directions from Narita) between the Sobu/Yokusuka Line to any of the lines that will go into the proposed rail line into Haneda.  Thus no NEX to Haneda unless there is more construction and more expense.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...