Tokaido Shinkansen Line trains will make stops at JR Shinagawa Station beginning Wednesday, raising the hopes of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) that it will have an edge over airlines in securing travelers between Tokyo and Osaka.

JR Tokai officials said they foresee the new bullet train facilities at the renovated station turning Shinagawa into a new urban hub as well as a key link in the railway network connecting the two major cities.

“(We) expect (the new stop) to greatly contribute to rapid urban development in Shinagawa,” JR Tokai President Yoshiyuki Kasai told reporters ahead of a ceremony Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the new facilities, which took 95 billion yen and 6 1/2 years to complete.

JR Tokai expects as many as 70,000 bullet train riders to use the new stop daily instead of JR Tokyo Station, which currently sees some 200,000 shinkansen passengers per day.

The new stop, located between Tokyo and Shin-Yokohama stations, will help reduce travel time for residents in southwest Tokyo, as they will no longer have to go to Tokyo Station to board a bullet train, JR Tokai officials said.

In line with the move, the Tokyo-to-Shin-Osaka bullet train carrier said it will reduce fares of Nozomi trains while boosting the maximum frequency of the fastest train service from the current three to seven per hour.

Reserved-seat fares on the Nozomi between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations will be reduced to 14,050 yen from the current 14,720 yen, and tickets for unreserved Nozomi seats will be lowered to 13,240 yen.

JR Tokai will continue to limit hourly bullet train runs to 12 — seven Nozomi runs, two Hikari trains and three Kodama trains, which make more stops. This figure can be boosted to 15 by having trains originate at Shinagawa in the future, officials at the railway said.

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