Japan railway news

English-language news about railway and urban rail infrastructure, operations, policy and the supply industry in Japan.

  • JR West robot (Photo JR West)

    Humanoid robot to maintain Japanese railway infrastructure


    JAPAN: A giant humanoid robot capable of undertaking tasks such as painting lineside structures, cutting back vegetation, lifting heavy objects and performing simple maintenance of overhead electrification equipment has been unveiled by developer Jinki Ittai Corp and West Japan Railway. The robot has two 12·2 m ...

  • Japanese facial recognition
    Metro Report International

    Japanese local railway pilots facial recognition ticketing


    JAPAN: Light rail and bus operator Yamaman Co has added facial recognition to the Jorudan Style Point&Pass ticketing system used on its 4·1 km six-station Yukarigaoka Line and local bus services. Passengers need to register online and provide a passport-style photo and credit card details to ...

  • JR East freight

    Japanese high speed rail freight services expand


    JAPAN: The increasing use of high speed passenger trains to carry light freight was highlighted by a fair at Tokyo station on May 17 where products now being transported to the capital by Shinkansen were available for purchase. The rail services have benefited from a national ...

    In depth

    Philippines: A comprehensive package of Japanese know-how


    Keisuke Fukui, Senior Representative of Japan International Co-operation Agency’s Philippines office, sets out how the bilateral financing body is providing support in a variety of fields to ensure effective delivery of rail and metro schemes in the country.

  • jr-JR Central private rooms on Tokaido Shinkansen-credit CJR

    Private rooms to be revived on Tokaido Shinkansen


    JAPAN: Central Japan Railway has announced plans to reintroduce private compartments on the Tokaido Shinkansen.

  • JR Central has tested the maglev technology in Yamanashi prefecture (Photo: Kazumiki Miura).

    Chuo Shinkansen completion delayed until 2034


    JR Central tested the maglev technology in Yamanashi prefecture (Photo: Kazumiki Miura). JAPAN: Central Japan Railway announced at the end of March that it no longer expects to start operating high speed superconducting maglev services over the Chuo Shinkansen between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027. Speaking ...

  • jp-jreast-hokuriku-seriesE7-Kazumiki-Miura
    In depth

    Japan: Extending the Hokuriku Shinkansen


    JR West and JR East inaugurated a 125 km extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Kanazawa to Tsuruga on March 16. Mike Bent reports.

  • JR East Series E8

    Series E8 enters service on Yamagata mini-Shinkansen


    JAPAN: East Japan Railway put its first Series E8 high speed trainsets into revenue service on the Yamagata Shinkansen on March 16.

  • First train arriving from Tokyo at Tsugaru station

    Tsuruga joined to Shinkansen network


    JAPAN: ‘Today’s opening will touch the hearts of many domestic and international users and move the future forward’ said JR West President Kazuaki Hasegawa at the inauguration of the Kanazawa to Tsuruga extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen.

  • JR Kyushu train

    JR Kyushu speeds up track inspection


    JAPAN: JR Kyushu is using image processing with AI capabilities to automate high speed line track inspections, replacing the need for staff to go out on foot.

  • JE East - University of Birmingham

    East Japan Railway to work with University of Birmingham


    INTERNATIONAL: East Japan Railway has signed a memorandum of understanding to work with the UK’s University of Birmingham on innovative technology and staff skills development. Shunzo Miyake, Director General of International Affairs at JR East, said the partnership announced on February 19 aims to ‘develop railway ...

  • Kintetsu has modified one of its EMUs to operate luxury tourist services between Nagoya and Yunoyama-Onsen (Photo: Akihiro Nakamura)

    Footbath train launched to serve hot springs resort


    JAPAN: Private train operator Kintetsu has modified one of its electric multiple-units to operate luxury tourist services between Nagoya and Yunoyama-Onsen, a hot springs resort in the Suzuka area of outstanding natural beauty.

  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
    Metro Report International

    Tokyo Metro privatisation could begin this year


    JAPAN: Tokyo Metropolitan Government is likely to begin selling off its shares in Tokyo Metro in the 2024 financial year, Governor Yuriko Koike said on January 26. The current Tokyo Metro company was founded on April 1 2004 as part of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s policy ...

  • JR Central Tokaido Shinkansen OLE monitoring diagram

    JR Central develops automated Shinkansen overhead line checks


    JAPAN: Central Japan Railway has developed an automated overhead line inspection system that can be fitted to series-built trains used on the Tokaido Shinkansen. Able to check the position of wires and the condition of fittings while trains are travelling at up to 300 km/h, the ...

  • jp-Tadami-no-5-bridge-Tadamigawa
    In depth

    Japan: Rural railways struggle against a changing climate


    Recent storms have caused huge damage in parts of Japan, wrecking some rural railways and forcing others to close. Mike Bent examines how local lines can be revived against the odds.

  • Choshi_2502_at_Inubo_Station
    In depth

    Japan: Attracting traffic to rural lines


    Imaginative initiatives are helping to ensure the survival of lightly used railways in rural Japan. Mike Bent reports.

  • EDITEDjp-railway-tsunami-damage-credit-Sanriku-Railway
    In depth

    Resilient Infrastructure: Protecting Japan’s national network from earthquakes


    The Railway Technical Research Institute is striving to find ways of making Japan’s railways safer and more secure against damage from earthquakes.

  • DF200-901_Sapporo_Freight_Terminal_20121222
    In depth

    Japan: Challenge and change at JR Freight


    Legislation limiting overtime worked by road haulage drivers comes into force next year, offering JR Freight an opportunity to win back lost traffic. Challenges include the need to adapt more of the 1 067 mm gauge network for 40 ft high cube containers and to develop wagons to carry them. Mike Bent reports.

  • Welcoming ceremony at Awaraonsen station on September 23

    Testing starts on next phase of Hokuriku Shinkansen


    JAPAN: Trial running has started on the next section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, which is scheduled to open for revenue service on March 16 2024.

  • Utsunomiya Lightline light rail (Photo: Kazumiki Miura)
    Metro Report International

    Utsunomiya Lightline tramway opens


    Source: Kazumiki Miura JAPAN: Celebrations on August 26 marked the opening of the Lightline light rail line in the city of Utsunomiya, 100 km north of Tokyo, as Japan’s first new-build tram line since the opening of a line in Takaoka in 1948. The 1 067 mm ...