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Tsukuba Express

Tsukuba Express
A Tsukuba Express train (TX-2000 series)
Type Commuter rail
Locale Kanto Region
Termini Akihabara
Stations 20
Opened 24 August 2005
Owner Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company
Depot(s) Moriya
Rolling stock TX-1000 series / TX-2000 series
Line length 58.3 km
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead catenary (Akihabara – Moriya)
20 kV AC, 50 Hz (Miraidaira – Tsukuba)
Operating speed 130 km/h (80 mph)
(video) Tsukuba Express line train

The Tsukuba Express (つくばエクスプレス線 Tsukuba Ekusupuresu-sen), or TX, is a Japanese railway line of the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company which links Akihabara Station in Chiyoda, Tokyo and Tsukuba Station in Tsukuba, Ibaraki. The route was inaugurated on August 24, 2005.


  • Speed 1
  • Electrification and rolling stock 2
  • Stations 3
  • History 4
  • Ridership figures 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The line has a top speed of 130 km/h. Rapid service has reduced the time required for the trip from Akihabara to Tsukuba from the previous 1 hour 30 minutes (by the Jōban Line, arriving in Tsuchiura, about 15 km from Tsukuba) or 70 minutes (by bus, under optimal traffic conditions) to 45 minutes; from Tokyo, the trip requires 50 – 55 minutes. The line has no grade crossings.

An automatic train operation system allows a single individual to operate the train.

Electrification and rolling stock

To prevent interference with the geomagnetic measurements of the Japan Meteorological Agency at its laboratory in Ishioka, the portion of the line from Moriya to Tsukuba operates on alternating current. For this reason, the trains include TX-1000 series DC-only trains, which can operate only between Akihabara and Moriya, and TX-2000 series dual-voltage AC/DC trains, which can operate over the entire line.

Volume production of the rolling stock began in January 2004, following the completion in March 2003 of two (TX-1000 and TX-2000 series) six-car trains for trial operation and training. The full fleet of 84 TX-1000s (14 six-car trains) and 96 TX-2000s (16 six-car trains) was delivered by January 2005.


  •      L: Local (普通 Futsū)
  •      S: Semi-Rapid (区間快速 Kukan kaisoku)
  •      C: Commuter-Rapid (通勤快速 Tsūkin Kaisoku)
  •      R: Rapid (快速 Kaisoku)

Trains stop at stations marked "●" and pass stations marked "-".

No. Station name Distance (km) Elec. L S C R Transfers Location
01 Akihabara 0.0 DC Chūō-Sōbu Line
Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Yamanote Line
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-15)
Chiyoda Tokyo
02 Shin-Okachimachi 1.6 Toei Ōedo Line (E-10) Taitō
03 Asakusa 3.1 Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (at Tawaramachi (G-18))
04 Minami-Senju 5.6 Jōban Line (Rapid)
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-20)
05 Kita-Senju 7.5 Jōban Line (Rapid)
Tobu Skytree Line
Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-18), Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-21)
06 Aoi 10.6 - - -
07 Rokuchō 12.0 - -
08 Yashio 15.6 - Yashio Saitama
09 Misato-chūō 19.3 - - Misato
10 Minami-Nagareyama 22.1 Musashino Line Nagareyama Chiba
11 Nagareyama-centralpark 24.3 - - -
12 Nagareyama-ōtakanomori 26.5 Tobu Urban Park Line
13 Kashiwanoha-campus 30.0 - Kashiwa
14 Kashiwa-Tanaka 32.0 - - -
15 Moriya 37.7 Jōsō Line Moriya Ibaraki
16 Miraidaira 44.3 AC - - Tsukubamirai
17 Midorino 48.6 - - Tsukuba
18 Bampaku-kinenkōen 51.8 - -
19 Kenkyū-gakuen 55.6 -
20 Tsukuba 58.3


Platform level of Tsukuba Station

The Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company (首都圏新都市鉄道株式会社 Shuto-ken Shin Toshi Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) was founded on 15 March 1991 to construct the Tsukuba Express, which was initially going to be called the New Joban Line (常磐新線 Jōban Shinsen). The reason for the line was to relieve crowding on the Jōban Line operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), which had reached the limit of its capacity. However, with the economic downturn in Japan, the goal shifted to development along the line. Also, the initial plan called for a line from Tokyo Station to Moriya, but expenses forced the planners to start the line at Akihabara instead of Tokyo Station, and pressure from the government of Ibaraki Prefecture resulted in moving the extension from Moriya to Tsukuba into Phase I of the construction.

The original schedule called for the line to begin operating in 2000, but delays in construction pushed the opening date to summer 2005. The line eventually opened on 24 August 2005.

From the start of the revised timetable on 15 October 2012, new "Commuter rapid" (通勤快速 tsūkin kaisoku) services were introduced in the morning (inbound services) and evening (outbound services) peak periods.[1]

In September 2013, a number of municipalities along the Tsukuba Express line in Ibaraki Prefecture submitted a proposal to complete the extension of the line to Tokyo Station at the same time as a new airport-to-airport line proposed as part of infrastructure improvements for the 2020 Summer Olympics.[2]

Ridership figures

Fiscal year Passengers carried
(in millions)
Days operated Passengers per day
2005 34.69 220 150,000
2006 70.69 365 195,000
2007 84.85 366 234,000
2008 93.21 365 258,000
2009 97.79 365 270,300
2010 102.22 365 283,000
2011 104.89 366 290,000
2012 110.66 365 306,000
2013 117.17 365 324,000

(Source:[3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8])

See also

List of railway companies in Japan


  1. ^ 10月15日(月)にダイヤ改正を実施いたします。 [15 October Timetable Revision]. News Release (in Japanese). Japan: Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "TX東京駅延伸で茨城の沿線自治体市議会が意見書". 日本経済新聞. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "開業3周年を迎えるつくばエクスプレス(TX)" (Tsukuba Express Celebrates its 3rd Anniversary). Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine, August 2008 issue, p.63
  4. ^ 平成21年度 輸送実績のお知らせ [Transportation Figures for 2009] (PDF). News Release (in Japanese). Japan: Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  5. ^ 首都圏新都市鉄道(株)の平成22年度営業実績 [Business Performance of Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company for 2010] (PDF). News Release (in Japanese). Japan: Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  6. ^ 首都圏新都市鉄道(株)の平成23年度営業実績 [Business Performance of Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company for 2011] (PDF). News Release (in Japanese). Japan: Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  7. ^ 平成24年度営業実績 [Business Performance for 2012]. News Release (in Japanese). Japan: Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  8. ^ 平成25年度営業実績 [Business Performance for 2013]. News Release (in Japanese). Japan: Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 

External links

  • Official Site
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