High-speed Rail in Japan - Future - Nagasaki Shinkansen

Nagasaki Shinkansen

JR Kyushu is currently constructing an extension (to be known as the West Kyushu Shinkansen) line of the Kyushu Shinkansen to Nagasaki, partly to full Shinkansen standard gauge construction standards (Takeo Onsen - Nagasaki) with the existing narrow gauge section between Shin-Tosu and Takeo Onsen utilised in conjunction with Gauge Change Trains (GCT). This proposal would involve a GCT train travelling from Hakata to Shin-Tosu (26.3 km) on the existing Kyushu Shinkansen line, then passing through a specific gauge changing (standard to narrow) section of track linking to the existing Nagasaki Main Line, along which it would travel to Hizen Yamaguchi (37.6 km), then onto the Sasebo Line to Takeo Onsen (13.7 km), where another gauge changing section (narrow to standard) would lead onto the final Shinkansen line to Nagasaki (66.7 km). The proposal shortens the distance between Hakata and Nagasaki by 6.2% (9.6 km), and while only 64% of the route will be built to full Shinkansen standards, it will eliminate the slowest sections of the existing narrow gauge route, providing an estimated time saving of 28.5% (32 minutes) on the current timetable. The proposed top speed of the GCT on the narrow gauge section is unknown at this time, if it is to be higher than 130 km/h then the time saving will be greater. As part of this proposal the current 12.8 km section of single track between Hizen Yamaguchi and Takeo Onsen is to be duplicated, with work scheduled to commence in April 2016. The entire project is scheduled for completion by March 2023.

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