|Locale||Aomori Prefecture and Hokkaido, Japan|
|Termini|| Shin-Aomori |
|Rolling stock||E5 series, H5 series|
|Ridership||2.11 million (FY 2016)|
|Opened||26 March 2016|
|Line length||148.9 km|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in)|
|Electrification||25 kV AC, 50 Hz, overhead catenary|
|Operating speed||260 km/h (160 mph)|
160 km/h (100 mph) (through Seikan Tunnel)
The Hokkaido Shinkansen (北海道新幹線, Hokkaidō Shinkansen) is a Japanese high-speed Shinkansen rail line that links up with the Tōhoku Shinkansen in northern Aomori Prefecture in Honshu and continues on into the interior of Hokkaido through the undersea Seikan Tunnel. Construction started in May 2005; the initial Shin-Aomori to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto section opened on 26 March 2016. Extension of the line to Sapporo is scheduled to open by fiscal year 2030. The line is operated by the Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido).
In preparation for the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, the Seikan Tunnel (Kaikyō Line) and associated approaches (approximately 82 km or 51 mi in total) were converted to dual gauge, with both the Shinkansen 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard and 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge tracks.
Upon the opening of the Shinkansen line the section of the conventional (narrow gauge) Esashi Line approximately paralleling the same route between Goryōkaku and Kikonai was transferred from the control of JR Hokkaido to a newly established third-sector railway operating company, South Hokkaido Railway Company, becoming the Isaribi Line.
Two train service types operate on the Hokkaido Shinkansen: limited-stop Hayabusa services between Tokyo or Sendai and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, and semi-fast Hayate services between Morioka or Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.
Under the initial timetable, ten return Hayabusa services operate daily between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and one return service operates daily between Sendai and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. One return Hayate service operates daily between Morioka and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, and one return service daily operates between Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.
Upon commencement of services in 2016 the maximum speed on the approximately 82 km dual gauge section of the Hokkaido Shinkansen (including through the Seikan Tunnel) was 140 km/h (85 mph), increased to 160 km/h (100 mph) in March 2019. There are approximately 50 freight trains using the dual gauge section each day, so limiting the travel of such trains to times outside of Shinkansen services is not an option. Because of this and other weather-related factors cited by JR East and JR Hokkaido, the fastest journey time between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto is currently 3 hours, 57 minutes.
During the 2020-21 New Year Holiday period when fewer freight trains were operating, certain Shinkansen services were operated at 210 km/h (130 mph) on the dual gauge section and this is proposed again for the Golden Week Holiday period from 3–6 May 2021
To achieve the full benefit of Shinkansen trains travelling on the dual gauge section at 260 km/h (160 mph) (the maximum speed proposed through the tunnel), alternatives are being considered, such as a system to automatically slow Shinkansen trains to 200 km/h (125 mph) when passing narrow-gauge trains, and/or loading freight trains onto special "Train on Train" standard-gauge trains (akin to a covered piggyback flatcar train) built to withstand the shock wave of oncoming Shinkansen trains traveling at full speed. This would enable a travel time from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto of 3 hours and 45 minutes, a saving of 12 minutes on the current timetable.
In March 2019, JR Hokkaido announced that it had requested permission from the MLIT to increase the speed limit on the line to 320 km/h (200 mph). If approved, it intends for the entire line to be outfitted for the new top speed by the time the full line opens in 2030, except for the dual-gauge section.
|Station name||Japanese||Distance (km)||Transfers||Location|
|Opened 26 March 2016|
|Under construction (Scheduled to open during fiscal year 2030)|
All services are formed of 10-car JR East E5 or JR Hokkaido H5 series trainsets.
In February 2014, JR Hokkaido placed an order for four 10-car H5 Series Shinkansen trainsets for use on Hokkaido Shinkansen services from March 2016.Based on the E5 series trainsets operated by JR East since 2011, the order for 40 vehicles cost approximately 18 billion yen. The first two sets of the order are scheduled to be delivered to Hakodate Depot by road from Hakodate Port in October 2014, with test running commencing before the end of the year. The remaining two sets on order were scheduled to be delivered in 2015. The vehicles feature the usual upper green and lower white livery, with a purple stripe in the middle. The color purple was chosen to represent the purple flowers of Hokkaido: lilacs, lupine and lavender. Inside, the ordinary-class cars feature wood paneling and carpet with a snowflake motif. Green class features cream-colored walls representing the local dairy industry and carpet with a drift-ice motif. Gran class features dark blue carpets, said to be modeled after the shimmering lakes and bodies of water along the route.
In the early 1970s, two other Shinkansen routes were proposed for Hokkaido: Sapporo – Asahikawa (Hokkaido Shinkansen extension) and Oshamambe – Muroran – Sapporo (Hokkaido South Route). There were also further unofficial plans to connect to Abashiri, Kushiro and Nayoro/Wakkanai. These plans have been indefinitely shelved.
On 1 November 2014, a ceremony was held at Kikonai Station to mark the completion of track-laying for the line between Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. 260 km/h (160 mph) later that month. Test-running was extended through the Seikan Tunnel to Oku-Tsugaru-Imabetsu in December 2014. Test-running south of Oku-Tsugaru-Imabetsu commenced on 21 April 2015, with the first train reaching Shin-Aomori Station from the north in the early hours of 24 May.Test-running on the Hokkaido Shinkansen tracks within Hokkaido commenced from 1 December 2014, initially at low speeds, with the speed raised to the maximum of
JR Hokkaido is extending the Hokkaido Shinkansen from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto to Sapporo, planned to open by 2030. 5,265 m (3.272 mi) Murayama Tunnel, situated about 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) north of Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto station commenced in March 2015; it is scheduled to be completed by March 2021. The 211.3 km (131.3 mi) extension will be approximately 76% in tunnels, including major tunnels such as Oshima (26.5 km or 16.5 mi), Teine (18.8 km or 11.7 mi) and Shiribeshi (18 km or 11 mi). When the section to Sapporo opens, the estimated journey time from Tokyo to Sapporo will be at most 5 hours and 1 minute, but the goal is for it to be below 4 hours.Tunneling work on the
The Shinkansen, colloquially known in English as the bullet train, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan. Initially, it was built to connect distant Japanese regions with Tokyo, the capital, to aid economic growth and development. Beyond long-distance travel, some sections around the largest metropolitan areas are used as a commuter rail network. It is operated by five Japan Railways Group companies.
The Hokkaido Railway Company is one of the constituent companies of the Japan Railways Group, and is often referred to using its official abbreviation of JR Hokkaido. It operates intercity and local rail services in Hokkaido, Japan. The company introduced Kitaca, a smart card ticketing system, in autumn 2008.
The Seikan Tunnel, is a 53.85 km (33.46 mi) dual gauge railway tunnel in Japan, with a 23.3 km (14.5 mi) long portion under the seabed of the Tsugaru Strait, which separates Aomori Prefecture on the main Japanese island of Honshu from the northern island of Hokkaido. The track level is about 100 m (330 ft) below the seabed and 240 m (790 ft) below sea level. The tunnel is part of the standard gauge Hokkaido Shinkansen and the narrow gauge Kaikyō Line of the Hokkaido Railway Company 's Tsugaru-Kaikyō Line. The name Seikan comes from combining the on'yomi readings of the first characters of Aomori (青森), the nearest major city on the Honshu side of the strait, and Hakodate (函館), the nearest major city on the Hokkaido side.
The Tohoku Shinkansen is a Japanese high-speed Shinkansen rail line, connecting Tokyo with Aomori in Aomori Prefecture in a route length of 674.9 km (419.4 mi), making it Japan's longest Shinkansen line. It runs through the more sparsely populated Tōhoku region of Japan's main island, Honshu, and was extended as the Hokkaido Shinkansen through the Seikan Tunnel to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and is expected to be extended to Sapporo by 2030. It has two Mini-shinkansen branch lines, the Yamagata Shinkansen and Akita Shinkansen. The line is operated by East Japan Railway Company.
Hayate (はやて) is a high-speed Shinkansen service operated in Japan, on the Tohoku Shinkansen by East Japan Railway Company since 2002 and on the Hokkaido Shinkansen by JR Hokkaido since 26 March 2016. It operates as far as the northern terminus of Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, and it is the second-fastest service on the Tohoku Shinkansen. These services were inaugurated with the opening of the Tohoku Shinkansen extension to Hachinohe on 1 December 2002.
The Kaikyō Line is an 87.8-kilometer long railway line operated mainly by the Hokkaido Railway Company. The line connects Naka-Oguni Station in Sotogahama, Aomori, through the Seikan Tunnel between Honshu and Hokkaido, to Kikonai Station in Kikonai, Hokkaido. Two stations on the Tsugaru-Kaikyō Line, Tappi-Kaitei Station and Yoshioka-Kaitei Station, were inside the tunnel.
The Cassiopeia is a luxury charter train service in Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company. It used to operate as a Limited express from July 1999 until March 2016. It ran between Ueno Station in Tokyo and the city of Sapporo in the northern island of Hokkaido. The one-way journey took approximately 16½ hours.
Shin-Aomori Station is a railway station in the city of Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company and the Hokkaido Railway Company.
Okutsugaru-Imabetsu Station is a railway station on the Hokkaido Shinkansen in the town of Imabetsu in Aomori Prefecture, on the island of Honshu, Japan. It is operated by Hokkaido Railway Company, and is the last stop in Honshu before the Seikan Tunnel to Hokkaido.
Tappi-Kaitei Station was a railway station on the Kaikyo Line in Sotogahama, Aomori, Japan, operated by Hokkaido Railway Company. The station is located within the Seikan Tunnel below the seabed of the Tsugaru Strait linking the main Japanese island of Honshu with the northern island of Hokkaido. It was closed to passengers from November 10, 2013, to make way for the construction of the Hokkaido Shinkansen high-speed train line. It is an emergency escape point.
Hakodate Station is a railway station on the Hakodate Main Line in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan, operated by the Hokkaido Railway Company.
The Hakodate Main Line is a railway line connecting the cities of Hakodate and Asahikawa via Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan. It is one of the trunk lines operated by the Hokkaido Railway Company. The Sawara Line, a 35 km loop line from Ōnuma to Mori opened in 1945, is included as part of the Hakodate Main Line.
The Hakuchō and Super Hakuchō (スーパー白鳥) were Japanese limited express train services which operated between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate via the undersea Seikan Tunnel from December 2002 until March 2016. The services were operated by East Japan Railway Company and Hokkaido Railway Company respectively.
The Hayabusa is a high-speed Shinkansen service operated by East Japan Railway Company and Hokkaido Railway Company between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in Japan since 26 March 2016. The name was formerly used for a limited express sleeping car service operated by JR Kyushu, which ran from Tokyo to Kumamoto, and was discontinued in March 2009.
The E5 series (E5系) is a Japanese Shinkansen high-speed train type operated by East Japan Railway Company on Tōhoku Shinkansen services since 5 March 2011 and on Hokkaido Shinkansen services since 26 March 2016. A total of 59 10-car sets are on order, with three sets in service in time for the start of new Hayabusa services to Shin-Aomori in March 2011.
Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station is a railway station on the Hakodate Main Line in Hokuto, Hokkaido, Japan, operated by the Hokkaido Railway Company. The station – rebuilt and very extensively enlarged to serve from March 2016 as the northern terminal of the new Hokkaido Shinkansen – occupies the site of the former Oshima-Ōno Station (渡島大野駅), and is the northernmost high-speed Shinkansen railway station in Japan.
"Train on Train" is a concept for piggybacking by the trainload rather than one wagon at a time.
The Hamanasu (はまなす) was an overnight express train service in Japan operated by Hokkaido Railway Company, which ran from Aomori to Sapporo via the Tsugaru Line, Kaikyō Line, Esashi Line, Hakodate Main Line, Muroran Main Line, and Chitose Line. The journey took approximately seven and a half hours. Following the withdrawal of the Ginga overnight express service between Tokyo and Osaka in 2008, the Hamanasu became the only locomotive-hauled express service in Japan. The service was discontinued in March 2016.
The H5 series (H5系) is a Japanese Shinkansen high-speed train type owned by Hokkaido Railway Company for use on Tohoku and Hokkaido Shinkansen services since 26 March 2016. Based on the earlier E5 series trains, a total of four 10-car sets were built by Hitachi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries at a cost of approximately 18 billion yen. The first two sets were delivered in October 2014.
The Seikan Ferry (青函フェリー) is a privately owned ferry service crossing the Tsugaru Strait, which separates the Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu. The company, Seikan Ferry Ltd. (有限会社青函フェリー), was founded in 1973 and runs between the cities of Aomori on the northern tip of Honshu and Hakodate in southern Hokkaido.
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JR Bus Kanto
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Chugoku JR Bus
Hikari Guru Rin Bus
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|Smart cards||Kitaca|| Suica |
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| Tokaido Shinkansen |
| San'yō Shinkansen |
|Shikoku Shinkansen (proposed)||Kyushu Shinkansen|
|Railway museums||Hokkaido Railway Technology Museum|| Railway Museum |
Ome Railway Park
|SCMaglev and Railway Park|| Kyoto Railway Museum |
Tsuyama Railroad Educational Museum
|Shikoku Railway Cultural Center||Kyushu Railway History Museum|
|Rolling stock manufacturers||-|| Japan Transport Engineering Company |
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|International operations||-||West Midlands Trains (14.95%)||-||-||-||-|
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