Earlier this year JR East provided fresh details on the Haneda Airport Access Line, a new rail link which will connect Haneda Airport directly with destinations in central Tokyo. Scheduled to open in 2029 the new line will dramatically reduce the current travel time between Haneda Airport and several key destinations in Tokyo, while removing the need for transfers.
According to the plans, the Haneda Airport Access Line will consist of 4 parts: an Access New Line that links Haneda Airport with Tokyo Freight Terminal in the district of Shinagawa; and three branches: the East Yamanote Route for Tokyo Station; the West Yamanote Route for Shinjuku Station; and the Coastal Route for Shin-Kiba Station.
The Access New Line will run from Tokyo Freight Terminal via an underground tunnel for approximately 5kms as far south as Haneda Airport. To receive the Access New Line a new station will be built between Terminals 1 and 2 which has been tentatively named Haneda Airport New Station.
The East Yamanote Route will make use of an existing freight line to connect Tokyo Freight Terminal with Tamachi Station on the Yamanote Line. This will provide a direct link with Tokyo Station and cut the average travel time between Tokyo Station and Haneda Airport from the current 28 minutes to just 18 minutes. There are plans to run four trains per hour between Haneda Airport and Tokyo Station and 72 trains per day. As this route only makes use of JR lines it will be completely free to use for holders of the Japan Rail Pass. Beyond Tokyo Station passengers can join the Utsunomiya Line, the Joban Line, and the Takasaki Line.
Services on the West Yamanote Route will follow the Access New Line between Haneda Airport and Tokyo Freight Terminal. From there services will join the Rinkai Line between Shinagawa Seaside Station and Oimachi Station before joining the Yamanote Freight Line at Osaki Station. From there trains will head to Shinjuku. This should cut the travel time between Haneda Airport and Shinjuku Station from the current average of 43 minutes to just 23 minutes.
Services on the Coastal Route will follow the Access New Line to Tokyo Freight Terminal and then join the Rinkai Line at Tokyo Teleport Station before heading on to Shin-Kiba. Beyond Shin-Kiba passengers will have access to the JR Keiyo Line which connects Tokyo with the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture. The new route should cut the travel time between Haneda Airport and Shin-Kiba Station from the current 41 minutes to just 20 minutes.
It should be noted that both the West Yamanote Route and the Coastal Route make use of the Rinkai Line, a semi-private railway line which is not owned by JR East, so Japan Rail Pass holders will have to pay a surcharge to use those routes. A short connecting line between Tokyo Freight Terminal and the Rinkai Line will also need to be constructed.
Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism approved the plans for the Haneda Access Line in January of this year. Construction is set to begin in 2022 and is estimated to cost 300 billion yen before it is completed in 2029.
Article by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.