JAPANESE Transport Minister Chikage Ogi and Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara joined celebrations at Shinjuku station on December 11 to mark the completion of the capital’s small-profile metro Line 12. Now named the Ohedo line, the 40·7 km route has taken Tokyo Municipal Government Subway (TOEI) 13 years to build at a total cost of ´1000bn.

The first radial section of the ’6-shaped’ route opened in December 1991, from Higarikaoka to Nerima, and was extended to Shinjuku in December 1997 (RG 10.97 p646). Completion of the ring section brings the number of stations to 38, including 24 interchanges with other rail or metro routes.

Line 12 is operated by a fleet of eight-car EMUs with linear motor drives, which were supplied by Nippon Sharyo and Hitachi. Trains from Hikarigaoka terminate at the Tochomae interchange - there is no through running around the ring. TOEI plans to run 380 trains each weekday and 350 per day at weekends.

Connecting the busy districts of Ueno, Roppongi and Shinjuku, the Ohedo line is expected to carry 800000 passengers per day. It will relieve pressure on JR’s Yamanote loop line by an estimated 3% and other subway lines by 7%, saving passengers an average of 4min a day. n