Joetsu Shinkansen

Joetsu Shinkansen

Jōetsu Shinkansen
E4 series on a Max Toki service, January 2006
Type Shinkansen
Locale Japan
Termini Ōmiya
Stations 10
Opening 15 November 1982
Owner JR East
Depot(s) Niigata
Rolling stock 200/E4 series
Line length 269.5 km (167.5 mi)
Track gauge
Electrification 25 kV AC, 50 Hz, overhead catenary
Operating speed 245 km/h (150 mph)
Route map

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).

Train services

Discontinued services

  • Asahi, Tokyo - Niigata (discontinued December 2002)
  • Max Asahi, Tokyo - Niigata (discontinued December 2002)


Station name Japanese Distance Transfers Location
Tokyo 東京 0.0 Tōkaidō Shinkansen, Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Chūō Main Line, Tōkaidō Main Line, Yokosuka Line, Sōbu Main Line, Keiyō Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Chiyoda, Tokyo
Ueno 上野 3.6 Jōban Line, Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line), Takasaki Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Keisei Main Line (Keisei Ueno Station) Taitō, Tokyo
Ōmiya 大宮 31.3 Tōhoku Shinkansen, Tōbu Noda Line, New Shuttle, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Saikyō Line, Kawagoe Line, Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line), Takasaki Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line Ōmiya-ku, Saitama
Kumagaya 熊谷 67.9 Chichibu Railway, Takasaki Line Kumagaya, Saitama
Honjō-Waseda 本庄早稲田 88.0   Honjō, Saitama
Takasaki 高崎 108.6 Nagano Shinkansen (Hokuriku Shinkansen), Joshin Electric Railway, Takasaki Line, Hachikō Line, Ryōmō Line, Jōetsu Line, Shin'etsu Line, Agatsuma Line Takasaki, Gunma
Jōmō-Kōgen 上毛高原 150.4   Minakami, Gunma
Echigo-Yuzawa 越後湯沢 182.7 Jōetsu Line, Hokuetsu Express Hokuhoku Line Yuzawa, Niigata
Urasa 浦佐 212.3 Jōetsu Line Minamiuonuma, Niigata
Nagaoka 長岡 245.1 Shin'etsu Line, Jōetsu Line Nagaoka, Niigata
Tsubame-Sanjō 燕三条 268.7 Yahiko Line Sanjō, Niigata
Niigata 新潟 300.8 Shin'etsu Line, Hakushin Line, Echigo Line, Uetsu Main Line (limited express), West Ban'etsu Line Chūō-ku, Niigata

There is also a 1.8 km spur from Echigo-Yuzawa to Gala-Yuzawa Station, which is used in the winter months to bring passengers to the adjoining ski resort.

Rolling stock

As of March 2013, the following train types operate on Joetsu Shinkansen services.

Types no longer used


The program to build the new line was initiated in 1971 by Niigata-born prime minister Tanaka Kakuei. Built at a cost of $6.3 billion,[2] it was built "to establish closer ties with Tokyo and promote regional development".[3]

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 on the Jōetsu Shinkansen line, and in December 1993, the STAR21 experimental train managed 425 km/h. The maximum speed for regular services on the line is 245 km/h except for the section between Jomo-Kogen and Urasa which is 275 km/h for E2 series trains travelling towards Niigata. The urban section between Tokyo and Ōmiya is 110 km/h.[4]

The Basic Plan specifies that the Jōetsu Shinkansen should actually start from Shinjuku, which would necessitate building 30 km of additional Shinkansen track from Ōmiya. While some land acquisitions along the existing Saikyō Line were made, no construction ever started. To this day, a portion of underground land near Shinjuku Station remains reserved, causing the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line to be built deeper underground than would otherwise have been necessary.

If the capacity on the current Tokyo-Ōmiya section proves insufficient after the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension between Nagano and Kanazawa and the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen between Aomori and Hakodate, the construction of the link between Shinjuku and Ōmiya stations may proceed.

Provisions were also made for extending the line from Niigata to Niigata Airport.

Special event train services

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.[5]

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.[6][7] This was the first revenue-earning service operated on the Joetsu Shinkansen by an E5 series trainset.[7]


External links

  • JR East website (Japanese)