About 1,200 people tried out a new combined train-subway service linking lines in Kawasaki with those in Tokyo’s Kita and Itabashi wards on Monday, ahead of today’s official launch of operations.

The lines are jointly operated on Tokyu Corp.’s Meguro Line, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Mita subway line and the Teito Rapid Transit Authority’s Namboku subway line.

After a tape-cutting ceremony, trains left the newly built Shirokane-Takanawa Station. One train was bound for Meguro Station on the Meguro Line, while another went to Onarimon Station on the Mita Line and a third to Tameikesanno Station on the Namboku Line.

Four new stations linking Meguro in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward with Mita Station and Tameikesanno Station, both in Minato Ward, were built especially for the new services. No such rail links had existed previously.

Passengers on the services will be able to travel directly from Musashikosugi Station on the Meguro Line in Kawasaki, southwest of Tokyo, to Akabane-Iwabuchi Station on the Namboku Line in Tokyo’s Kita Ward and Nishi-Takashimadaira Station on the Mita Line in Itabashi Ward.

Approximately 110,000 passengers a day use Meguro Station. Tokyu officials expect the number to increase to 187,000 once the new services commence.

Construction is under way to extend the Meguro Line to Hiyoshi Station in Yokohama. It is expected to be completed in fiscal 2005, linking residential areas in Kanagawa Prefecture with central Tokyo, Tokyu officials said.

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