There Was A Timetable Revision Today

A new thing opened in Tokyo. I want to redesign my Tokyo map, because the one I did before looks more and more hideous with each passing day.

(Some background: in the last map, I assigned each JR East line the numbers they had on the railway’s Tokyo area map. For instance, the Tokaido Line is Line 1, the Yokosuka Line is Line 2, the Shonan-Shinjuku Line is Line 3, and so forth.)

Here’s how I think the new timetable revision will change things up in the new map:

Chuo Line

In the old map, Lines 11, 14, and 15 all bundled together and formed one giant three-service line running through Shinjuku Station to Tokyo Station. Here’s what’ll happen with the new thing.

  • Line 11: From Tokyo Station to Tachikawa Station. After that there will be one branch running to Otsuki Station on Line 10, one to Ome Station on Line 14, and one to Komagawa Station on Line 20.
  • Line 14: From Okutama Station to Tachikawa Station. This is probably a more accurate reflection of how Ome Line services actually work.
  • Line 15: From Itsukaichi Station to Tachikawa Station. Line 15 had a service reduction in the most recent timetable revision and almost never runs to Tokyo Station now.

Ueno-Tokyo Line, pt. 1: Tokaido, Takasaki, Utsunomiya, & Ito Lines

In the new official map, the Ueno-Tokyo Line is shown alongside its constituent parts, the Tokaido, Takasaki, Utsunomiya, Ito, and Joban (1/18/17/34/21/22) Lines. Rail maps in & for Japan sometimes handle the distinction between “lines” and “services” oddly (e.g. in New York the 1/2/3 services run on the IRT West Side Line) in that they show lines instead of services. This can be problematic when many Japanese rail services through-run from one line to another, because this pattern may not be shown on maps.

How the Ueno-Tokyo Line is shows on the new official map is problematic for a completely different reason. It shows the Ueno-Tokyo Line as a separate service from (for instance) the Tokaido Line, as if between Tokyo and Atami there are Ueno-Tokyo Line trains that run through to Ueno and points north, and just as many Tokaido Line trains that terminate at Tokyo. This is not the case; just about every non-limited-express train on the Tokaido Line calling at platforms 7-10 of Tokyo Station does not terminate there. This means that although separating Ueno-Tokyo Line services is a great short-term way of illustrating how far you can go on one seat using the new line, from a design perspective it’s still redundant.

I was originally going to have the Tokaido, Utsunomiya, Takasaki, and Ito (1/17/18/34) Lines run concurrently with each other for most of their length and terminate and branch off at the appropriate places, but now I just think that’s prohibitively cumbersome. Instead I’m going to smoosh the Tokaido, Takasaki, and Utsunomiya Lines (1/17/18) together into one line, Line 1, colored purple to reflect both the Ueno-Tokyo Line and the distressing predominance of orange in the current map.

The Ito Line will have two services: a branch of Line 1, and a dedicated Line 34. Likewise, Line 17 (or possibly 1a) will instead designate that part of the Utsunomiya Line running from Utsunomiya to Kuroiso. Line 18 and Line 37 will be retired as independent services; with the JR East portion of the Sotetsu Through Line instead either becoming Line 38 or merging into Line 3 (it depends on what Sotetsu trains will do past Shinjuku).

Ueno-Tokyo Line, pt. 2: Joban Line

The Joban Rapid (22) and Joban Local/Chiyoda Line through service (C) will stay the same. The Joban Line (21) will be truncated so it runs from Shinagawa to Tsuchiura, and two extensions (21a & 21b) will cover the rest of the distance from Tsuchiura to Katsuta and Mito to Iwaki. (Very few trains from Shinagawa run past Tsuchiura. Speaking of which…)

Limited Service

These should either be lightened or have a white stripe running down the center. I haven’t decided which.

  • Line 1 between Atami and Ito, Atami and Numazu, and Utsunomiya and Kuroiso
  • Line 11 between Tachikawa and Komagawa
  • Line 21 between Tsuchiura and Katsuta
  • Line 29 on the Uchibo and Togane Lines
  • Line 32 between Oyama and Utsunomiya
  • Line 46 (or possibly 47) between Hoshakuji and Utsunomiya

Non-Metropolitan Services

  • JR Central runs a lot of through trains on the Tokaido (1) Line between Atami and Numazu. (Obviously.)
  • The Aizu Railway (AZ) runs non-surcharged limited express services to Nikko on the Aizu Kinugawa Line (YA), the Tobu Kinugawa Line (TW), and the Tobu Nikko Line (TN). Perhaps extend the YA service to Aizu-Tajima and have an AZ diesel service run from Aizu-Tajima (and Nikko) to Aizu-Wakamatsu.

About theoditsek

I like going places.
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