Yamanote Line

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     Yamanote Line
JRE-E231-500-for-JRyamanote-line.jpg
Yamanote Line E231-500 series EMU headed for Tokyo and Shinagawa
Overview
Native name山手線
TypeHeavy rail
LocaleTokyo
TerminiShinagawa (loop)
Stations29
Daily ridership3,725,247 (daily, 2010)[1]
Operation
Opening1885
Operator(s)JR East
Depot(s)Tokyo General Rolling Stock Centre (near Ōsaki Station)
Rolling stockE231-500 series
Technical
Line length34.5 km (21.4 mi)
No. of tracks2
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC overhead catenary
Operating speed90 km/h (55 mph)
Route map
TokyoYamanoteAreaLines.png
 
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     Yamanote Line
JRE-E231-500-for-JRyamanote-line.jpg
Yamanote Line E231-500 series EMU headed for Tokyo and Shinagawa
Overview
Native name山手線
TypeHeavy rail
LocaleTokyo
TerminiShinagawa (loop)
Stations29
Daily ridership3,725,247 (daily, 2010)[1]
Operation
Opening1885
Operator(s)JR East
Depot(s)Tokyo General Rolling Stock Centre (near Ōsaki Station)
Rolling stockE231-500 series
Technical
Line length34.5 km (21.4 mi)
No. of tracks2
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC overhead catenary
Operating speed90 km/h (55 mph)
Route map
TokyoYamanoteAreaLines.png

The Yamanote Line (山手線 Yamanote-sen?) is a railway loop line in Tokyo, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It is one of Tokyo's busiest and most important lines, connecting most of Tokyo's major stations and urban centres, including the Yūrakuchō/Ginza area, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Marunouchi and Ikebukuro, with all but two of its 29 stations connecting to other railway or underground (subway) lines.

The "Yamanote Line" as an official line name indicates the tracks between Shinagawa and Tabata that is used by local trains on their own tracks as well as the parallel Yamanote Freight Line which is used by Saikyō Line and Shōnan-Shinjuku Line trains, some limited express services, and freight trains. However, in everyday usage the "Yamanote Line" refers to the entire 34.5 km loop line served by local trains. (This article uses the same definition.)

Service outline[edit]

Trains run from 04:26 to 01:18 the next day at intervals as short as 2.5 minutes during peak periods and four minutes at other times. A complete loop takes 59 to 65 minutes. All trains stop at each station. Trains are put into and taken out of service at Ōsaki (which for timetabling purposes is the line's start and terminus) and sometimes Ikebukuro. Certain trains also start from Tamachi in the mornings and end at Shinagawa in the evenings. Trains which run clockwise are known as sotomawari (外回り?, "outer circle") and those counter-clockwise as uchi-mawari (内回り?, "inner circle"). (Trains travel on the left in Japan, as with road traffic.)

The line also acts as a fare zone destination for JR tickets from locations outside Tokyo, permitting travel to any JR station on or within the loop. This refers to stations on the Yamanote Line as well as the Chūō-Sōbu Line between Sendagaya and Ochanomizu.

The line colour used on all rolling stock, station signs and diagrams is JNR Yellow Green No.6 (, Munsell code 7.5GY 6.5/7.8), known in Japanese as "Japanese Bush Warbler green" (ウグイス色 uguisu-iro?).

Ridership[edit]

An estimated 3.68 million passengers[2] ride every day on Tokyo's Yamanote Line, with its 29 stations. For comparison, the New York City Subway carries 5.08 million passengers per day on 26 lines serving 468 stations,[3] and the London Underground carries 3.36 million passengers per day on 12 lines serving 275 stations.[4]

Name[edit]

"Yamanote" literally refers to inland, hillier districts or foothills (as distinct from areas close to the sea). In Tokyo "Yamanote" lies along the western side of the Yamanote Line loop. The word consists of the Japanese morphemes yama, meaning 'mountain', the genitive suffix no, and te, meaning 'hand', thus literally translating as "mountain's hand", analogous to the English term "foothills".

Yamanote-sen is officially written in Japanese without the kana no (の、ノ?), which makes its pronunciation ambiguous in print. The characters 山手 may also be pronounced yamate, as in Yamate-dōri (Yamate Street), which runs parallel to the west side of the Yamanote Line. The Seishin-Yamate Line in Kobe and the Yamate area of Yokohama also use this pronunciation.

After World War II, SCAP ordered all train placards to be romanized, and the Yamanote Line was romanized as "Yamate Line". It was thus alternatively known as "Yamanote" and "Yamate" until 1971, when the Japanese National Railways changed the pronunciation back to "Yamanote." Some older people still refer to the line as the "Yamate Line".[citation needed]

Station list[edit]

Line nameStationJapaneseDistance (km)TransfersLocation
Between
stations
Total
Yamanote
Line
Shinagawa品川from
Tamachi

2.2
0.0Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Tōkaidō Main Line, Yokosuka Line
Tōkaidō Shinkansen
Keikyū Main Line
Minato
Ōsaki大崎2.02.0Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Saikyō Line
Rinkai Line
Shinagawa
Gotanda五反田0.92.9Tōkyū Ikegami Line
Subway TokyoAsakusa.pngToei Asakusa Line (A-05)
Meguro目黒1.24.1Tokyu Meguro Line
Subway TokyoNamboku.pngTokyo Metro Namboku Line (N-01)
Subway TokyoMita.pngToei Mita Line (I-01)
Ebisu恵比寿1.55.6Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Saikyō Line
Subway TokyoHibiya.pngTokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-02)
Shibuya
Shibuya渋谷1.67.2Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Saikyō Line
Keiō Inokashira Line
Tōkyū Den-en-toshi Line, Tōkyū Tōyoko Line
Subway TokyoGinza.pngTokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-01), Subway TokyoHanzomon.pngTokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line (N-01), Subway TokyoFukutoshin.pngTokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line (F-16)
Harajuku原宿1.28.4Subway TokyoChiyoda.pngChiyoda Line (Meiji-Jingūmae: C-03)
Yoyogi代々木1.59.9Chūō-Sōbu Line
Subway TokyoOedo.pngToei Ōedo Line (E-26)
Shinjuku新宿0.710.6Chūō Main Line, Chūō Line (Rapid), Chūō-Sōbu Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Saikyō Line
Keiō Line, Keio New Line
Odakyū Odawara Line
Seibu Shinjuku Line (Seibu-Shinjuku)
Subway TokyoMarunouchi.pngTokyo Metro Marunouchi Line (M-08)
Subway TokyoShinjuku.pngToei Shinjuku Line (S-01), Subway TokyoOedo.pngŌedo Line (E-27, Shinjuku-Nishiguchi: E-01)
Shinjuku
Shin-Ōkubo新大久保1.311.9 
Takadanobaba高田馬場1.413.3Seibu Shinjuku Line
Subway TokyoTozai.pngTokyo Metro Tōzai Line (T-03)
Mejiro目白0.914.2 Toshima
Ikebukuro池袋1.215.4Saikyō Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
Seibu Ikebukuro Line
Tōbu Tōjō Line
Subway TokyoMarunouchi.pngTokyo Metro Marunouchi Line (M-25), Subway TokyoYurakucho.pngTokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line (Y-09), Subway TokyoFukutoshin.pngTokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line (F-09)
Ōtsuka大塚1.817.2Toden Arakawa Line (Ōtsuka-Ekimae)
Sugamo巣鴨1.118.3Subway TokyoMita.pngToei Mita Line (I-15)
Komagome駒込0.719.0Subway TokyoNamboku.pngTokyo Metro Namboku Line (N-14)
Tabata田端1.620.6Keihin-Tōhoku Line (R)Kita
Tōhoku
Main
Line
Nishi-Nippori西日暮里0.821.4Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Subway TokyoChiyoda.pngTokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-16)
Nippori-Toneri Liner (02)
Arakawa
Nippori日暮里0.521.9Jōban Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Keisei Main Line
Nippori-Toneri Liner (01)
Uguisudani鶯谷1.123.0Keihin-Tōhoku LineTaitō
Ueno上野1.124.1Tōhoku Shinkansen, Jōetsu Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen, Jōban Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line (R), Utsunomiya Line (Tōhoku Main Line), Takasaki Line
Keisei Main Line (Keisei Ueno)
Subway TokyoGinza.pngTokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-16), Subway TokyoHibiya.pngTokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-17)
Okachimachi御徒町0.624.7Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Akihabara秋葉原1.025.7Chūō-Sōbu Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line (R)
Tsukuba Express (01)
Subway TokyoHibiya.pngTokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-15)
Chiyoda
Kanda神田0.726.4Chūō Line (Rapid), Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Subway TokyoGinza.pngTokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-13)
Tōkyō東京1.327.7Tōhoku Shinkansen, Jōetsu Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen, Keihin-Tōhoku Line (R), Tōkaidō Line, Chūō Line (Rapid), Yokosuka Line, Keiyō Line, Sōbu Line (Rapid)
Tōkaidō Shinkansen
Subway TokyoMarunouchi.pngTokyo Metro Marunouchi Line (M-17)
Tōkaidō
Main
Line
Yūrakuchō有楽町0.828.5Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Subway TokyoYurakucho.pngTokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line (Y-18), Subway TokyoHibiya.pngTokyo Metro Hibiya Line (Hibiya: H-07), Subway TokyoChiyoda.pngTokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (Hibiya: C-09)
Subway TokyoMita.pngToei Mita Line (Hibiya: C-09)
Shimbashi新橋1.129.6Tōkaidō Main Line, Yokosuka Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Subway TokyoGinza.pngTokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-08)
Subway TokyoAsakusa.pngToei Asakusa Line (A-10)
Yurikamome (U-01)
Minato
Hamamatsuchō浜松町1.230.8Keihin-Tōhoku Line (R)
Tokyo Monorail
Subway TokyoAsakusa.pngToei Asakusa Line (Daimon: A-09), Subway TokyoOedo.pngToei Ōedo Line (Daimon: E-20)
Tamachi田町1.532.3Keihin-Tōhoku Line (R)
Shinagawa品川2.234.5See above

Rolling stock[edit]

Former E231-500 series 6-door car with the seats folded up, January 2010

The line's services are operated exclusively by a fleet of 52 11-car E231-500 series EMUs, which were phased in from April 21, 2002.[5] These trains originally each included two "six-door cars" with six pairs of doors per side and bench seats that were folded up to provide standing room only during the morning peak until 10 a.m. From February 22, 2010, the seats were no longer folded up during the morning peak,[6] and all trains were standardized with newly built four-door cars by 31 August 2011.[7] This was due to reduced congestion on the line as well as preparation for the installation of platform doors on all stations by 2017.[8]

The E231 series supports a new type of traffic control system, called digital Automatic Train Control (D-ATC), which will help reduce one round trip to a very short 58 minutes. The series also has a more modern design and has two 15-inch LCD monitors above each door, one of which is used for displaying silent commercials, news and weather; and another which is used for displaying information on the next stop (in both Japanese and English) along with notification of delays on Shinkansen and other railway lines in the greater Tokyo area. The E231-500 series trains are based at Tokyo General Rolling Stock Centre near Ōsaki Station.

Video of a train on the Yamanote Line

New E235 series 11-car EMUs are scheduled to be phased in on the line from autumn 2015.[9]

Former[edit]

History[edit]

The construction of the Yamanote Line and current JR lines
The Yamanote Line in 1925

The predecessor of the present-day Yamanote Line was opened on 1 March 1885 by the Nippon Railway Company, operating between Shinagawa Station in the south and Akabane Station in the north.[12] The top part of the loop between Ikebukuro and Tabata (a distance of 3.3 km) opened on 1 April 1903, and both lines were merged to become the Yamanote Line on 12 October 1909.[12]

The line was electrified in 1909, the same year the Osaki - Shinagawa section was double-tracked,[citation needed] with the loop completed in 1925 with the opening of the double track, electrified section between Kanda and Ueno on 1 November, providing a north-south link via Tokyo Station through the city's business centre.[10] A parallel freight line, also completed in 1925, ran along the inner side of the loop between Shinagawa and Tabata.

During the prewar era, the Ministry of Railways did not issue permits to private suburban railway companies for new lines to cross the Yamanote Line from their terminal stations to the central districts of Tokyo, forcing the companies to terminate services at stations on the line.[citation needed] This policy led to the development of new urban centers (新都心、副都心 shintoshin, fukutoshin?) around major transfer points on the Yamanote Line, most notably at Shinjuku and Ikebukuro (which are now the two busiest passenger railway stations in the world).

The contemporary Yamanote Line came into being on 19 November 1956 when it was separated from the Keihin-Tōhoku Line and given its own set of tracks along the eastern side of the loop between Shinagawa and Tabata.[10] However, Yamanote Line trains continued to periodically use the Keihin-Tōhoku tracks, particularly on holidays and during off-peak hours, until rapid service trains were introduced on the Keihin-Tōhoku Line in 1988.

A major explosion on the Yamanote Freight Line in Shinjuku in 1967 led to the diversion of freight traffic to the more distant Musashino Line. To address severe undercapacity, the freight line was repurposed for use by Saikyo Line and Shōnan-Shinjuku Line trains, as well as certain limited express trains such as the Narita Express and some liner services. Likewise, there are currently plans to connect the Tohoku Main Line and Joban Line to the Tokaido Main Line via a new Ueno-Tokyo Line link to provide further relief on the busiest portion of the Yamanote Line today, the southbound segment between Ueno and Okachimachi.

Automatic train control (ATC) was introduced from 6 December 1981, and digital ATC (D-ATC) was introduced from 30 July 2006.[10]

Future developments[edit]

In January 2012, it was announced that a new station would be built on the Yamanote Line and Keihin-Tohoku Line between Shinagawa and Tamachi stations, becoming the first new station on the line since Nishi-Nippori was built in 1971.[13][14] The distance between Shinagawa and Tamachi stations is 2.2 km, making it the longest stretch of track between stations on the Yamanote Line.[13] The new station will be constructed on top of the current 20-hectare railyard which is undergoing rationalization and redevelopment by JR East; it would be roughly parallel to the existing Sengakuji Station on the Toei Asakusa and Keikyu Main lines. The Yamanote Line and the Keihin Tohoku Line tracks will be moved slightly to the east to be aligned closer to the Tokaido Shinkansen tracks. The area on the west side of the yard made available will be redeveloped with high-rise office buildings, creating an international business center with good connections to the Shinkansen and Haneda Airport.[13] The new station is scheduled to open in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ JR East station ridership in 2010 Train Media (sourced from JR East) Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "Yamanote Line 100 years". Japan Railfan (in Japanese) 50 (586): 48. February 2010. 
  3. ^ MTA NYC Transit - Info
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ JR電車編成表 2011夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2011]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. May 2010. pp. 74–75. ISBN 978-4-330-21211-1. 
  6. ^ "山手線6扉車を順次4扉車に" [Yamanote Line 6-door cars to be gradually replaced with 4-door cars]. Hobidas (in Japanese). Neko Publishing. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "山手線全編成の6扉車置換えが完了" [Yamanote Line 6-door car replacement complete]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "山手線、朝も全座席使えます 混雑率がちょっぴり改善". "Yamanote Line, seats available mornings too; crowding improved slightly." February 17, 2010. Accessed February 17, 2010. (Japanese)
  9. ^ "JR東日本,E235系量産先行車を新造" [JR East to build new E235 series prototype train]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d 首都圏鉄道完全ガイド 主要JR路線編 [Tokyo Area Complete Railway Guide - Major JR Lines]. Japan: Futabasha. 6 December 2013. p. 13. ISBN 978-4-575-45414-7. 
  11. ^ Japan Railfan Magazine, October 2008 issue, p.15
  12. ^ a b Ishino, Tetsu, ed. (1998). 停車場変遷大辞典 国鉄・JR編 [Station Transition Directory - JNR/JR] I. Japan: JTB. p. 89. ISBN 4-533-02980-9. 
  13. ^ a b c "New Yamanote Line station eyed". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  14. ^ Kameda, Masaaki (30 June 2014). "New station to boost Shinagawa's international role". The Japan Times. FYI (column). Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "田町~品川駅間に新駅を設置し、まちづくりを進めます" [New station to be constructed between Tamachi and Shinagawa] (PDF) (Press release) (in Japanese). East Japan Railway Company. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 

External links[edit]