JR East is building an express train line between Tokyo and Haneda Airport

Lim Yian Lu
·2-min read
Travellers visit the observation deck at Tokyo's Haneda airport on December 27, 2020, after the government announced more restrictions on travel due to the rise of COVID-19 coronavirus infections across the country. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)
Travellers visit the observation deck at Tokyo's Haneda airport on December 27, 2020. (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

East Japan Railway, commonly known as JR East, has announced that they will be constructing a new dedicated train line that links Haneda Airport to Tokyo Station. The new train line, tentatively named the Haneda Airport Access Line, is scheduled to open in 2029.

Travellers to Tokyo either land at the Narita International Airport situated in the Chiba prefecture, or Haneda Airport, which is relatively closer to the Tokyo city. However, that is not to say that travelling from Haneda Airport to the city is easier.

In fact, travellers at the Narita Airport can make use of the Narita Express, also operated by JR East, to get to the city in as fast as 53 minutes. Prior to this announcement, there was no similar express train service for Haneda Airport. Travelling to the city by the Tokyo Monorail or Keikyu lines takes around 35 minutes. It also involves a transfer at either Hamamatsucho or Shinagawa, which is really a hassle when you have to haul your luggage around.

The Haneda Airport Access Line will be accessible from a new station attached to the airport building, and will connect travellers directly to the Tokyo Station, before going out of the capital to Tochigi and Gunma prefectures. According to a feasibility research by JR, the travelling time between Haneda Airport and Tokyo Station could be reduced to 18 minutes, about half of the time it currently takes!

In addition, an express train service means that seats will be reserved, which results in an undoubtedly more comfortable and smoother journey. As the Haneda Airport Access Line is part of the JR train system, it would also be free of charge for travellers with the JR pass that offers unlimited rides.

Approved by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Haneda Airport Access Line project will install around five kilometres of new rail, and is estimated to cost around 300 billion yen (about S$3.8 billion) to build.

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