A new section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line between Kanazawa and Tsuruga stations, both in central Japan, will open on March 16, 2024, its operators said Wednesday.

The Hokuriku Shinkansen Line will be extended from Kanazawa Station in Ishikawa Prefecture to Tsuruga Station via Fukui Station, both in neighboring Fukui Prefecture.

The fastest train on the line will link Tokyo and Tsuruga in three hours and eight minutes, according to East Japan Railway and West Japan Railway, known as JR East and JR West, respectively.

Meanwhile, the fastest travel time between Tokyo and Fukui will be two hours and 51 minutes — down 36 minutes from the time required on the current shortest route, which uses JR West's Hokuriku Main Line and the Tokaido Shinkansen Line operated by Central Japan Railway, or JR Tokai.

The Kagayaki train will travel between Tokyo and Tsuruga directly, making nine round trips per day. The Hakutaka train will make five round trips with more stops. Some Kagayaki services will stop at stations between Kanazawa and Tsuruga.

The section between Kanazawa and Tsuruga was initially slated to open in spring this year, but the opening was delayed partly due to higher construction costs.

The Hokuriku Shinkansen Line will ultimately reach Shin-Osaka Station in western Japan. Construction between Tsuruga and Shin-Osaka is yet to start, however, due to a delay in the environment assessment in Kyoto Prefecture.

At a news conference in the city of Fukui, JR West President Kazuaki Hasegawa said the company will work to bring the planned section into operation as soon as possible.