Fresh details have been released on a joint plan by JR West, Nankai Railway, and Hankyu Railway, working together with the local government authorities of Osaka City and Osaka Prefecture, for the tentatively named “Naniwasuji Line” in Osaka City.
The Naniwasuji Line is a long-standing plan for a new underground railway line that would provide a more direct connection between the Umeda district of northern Osaka and the Namba district of southern Osaka. This in turn would facilitate faster and better rail services between Kansai Airport and the shinkansen terminal at Shin-Osaka Station.
For the main part of its course the new rail line would largely follow the route of the Naniwa-suji boulevard that runs north-to-south through Osaka and so it has been given the provisional name of the Naniwasuji Line. A number of new stations are to be built for the railway line all of which have also been given temporary working names: Kita-Umeda Station in Umeda, Nakanoshima Station, Nishi-Hommachi Station, and Nankai Shin-Namba Station.
Kita-Umeda Station is to be built on a site adjoining the north side of Osaka Station. As currently planned, the Naniwasuji Line would run from Kita-Umeda Station through Nakanoshima Station and then diverge into two routes at Nishi-Hommachi. The western line would continue on to JR Namba Station providing a link with the JR Yamatoji Line. The eastern line would continue on to Nankai Shin-Namba Station, and beyond that to Shin-Imamiya Station where it would provide a link to the Nankai Main Line.
Once the line was built, both JR West’s Limited Express Haruka service and Nankai Railway’s Limited Express Rapi:t service would be able to run directly from Kansai International Airport to the Umeda district. Currently it takes just over an hour to travel between Kansai Airport and Umeda but the new railway line is projected to halve the journey time to just 30 minutes.
Hankyu Railway have now also released plans for a connecting line that would run from Kita-Umeda Station to Juso Station where it would connect with the Hankyu Kobe, Hankyu Kyoto, and Hankyu Takarazuka lines. Hankyu Railway are also looking into building another connecting line between Juso Station and Shin-Osaka Station.
Construction costs for the entire project are estimated at 330 billion yen and the target date for completing the project is the spring of 2031.
Article by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.