Chūō Line (Rapid)

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Chūō Line (Rapid)
JR East E233-0.jpg
A Chūō Line (Rapid) E233 series (right) and A Chūō-Sōbu Line E231 series (June 2007)
Native name 中央線快速
Locale Tokyo
Termini Tokyo
Stations 24
Opened 1932
Operator(s) JR East
Depot(s) Mitaka, Toyoda
Rolling stock E233-0 series
Line length 53.1 km (33.0 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead catenary
Operating speed 100 km/h (60 mph)

The Chūō Line (Rapid) (中央線快速, Chūō-sen kaisoku) is the name given to rapid services on the eastern section of the Chūō Main Line operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) between Tokyo and Takao stations. The official map shows services travel as far as Otsuki.

Basic data[edit]


Chuoline rapid.svg

Although the Chūō Line (Rapid) designation only refers to the section between Tokyo and Takao stations, many trains continue on past Takao to Ōtsuki, with some trains operating through services to other lines. These include both limited express and various special rapid services. For details, see the Chūō Main Line article. In addition, Chūō Line (Rapid) trains do not stop at some stations between Ochanomizu and Nakano stations; for information on those services, see the Chūō-Sōbu Line article.

The Chūō Line (Rapid) uses the two express tracks on the four-track section between Ochanomizu and Mitaka stations. Past Mitaka, trains use both tracks on the remaining double-track section. Since the express tracks do not have platforms at several stations in central Tokyo, even the slowest services of the Chūō Line (Rapid) skip such stations and are therefore called "Rapid" (快速). In addition to the basic type of "Rapid", there are some variations of the service types with fewer stops.

Rapid (快速)
This service is the most common on the Chūō Line (Rapid) route. They stop at all stations west of Nakano. After Nakano, it stops at Shinjuku, Yotsuya, Ochanomizu, and Kanda stations before arrival in Tōkyō Terminal. On weekends and holidays, trains do not stop at Asagaya, Kōenji, and Nishi-Ogikubo stations.
They run between Tokyo on the east side, and Takao/Otsuki on the west side, though some westbound services terminate at stations before Takao, such as Musashi-Koganei, Tachikawa, Toyoda and Hachioji.
Some trains operate through services to the Ōme Line (to as far as Ōme/from Okutama) , Itsukaichi Line (to/from Musashi-Itsukaichi, via Haijima on the Ōme Line), Hachiko Line (to/from as far as Komagawa, via Haijima on the Ōme Line) or the Fuji Kyuko Line (to/from Kawguchiko, via Ōtsuki).
The service's signature color on service diagrams is orange ().
Local (各駅停車)
This service only operates during early morning and late night, where Rapid service trains would enter Chūō-Sōbu Line tracks within Nakano and Ochanomizu, stopping at all stations where regular Rapid services would skip, namely Higashi-Nakano, Ōkubo, Yoyogi, Sendagaya, Shinanomachi, Ichigaya, Iidabashi and Suidobashi.
They run between Tokyo on the east side and as far as Takao on the west side, though, like Rapid services, some westbound services terminate at stations before Takao, such as Musashi-Koganei, Tachikawa, Toyoda and Hachioji. A few services operate through services to Ōme on the Ōme Line.
The service's signature color on service diagrams is yellow ().
Chūō Special Rapid (中央特快)  • Ōme Special Rapid (青梅特快)
Four services per hour in off-peak hours make limited stops between Tokyo and Tachikawa. These two services stop at the same stations that Rapid services would stop between Tokyo and Nakano. After Nakano, these services only stop at Mitaka, Kokubunji and Tachikawa, and stop at all stations west of Tachikawa. Eastbound services continue from Nakano as a rapid service.
Chūō Special Rapid stays on the Chūō Main Line to Takao and Ōtsuki, and some services operate beyond Ōtsuki to the Fuji Kyuko Line towards Kawaguchiko.
Ōme Special Rapid spurs to the Ōme Line towards Ōme, stopping at all stations within the line.
The service's signature color on service diagrams is blue () for Chūō Special Rapid and green () for Ōme Special Rapid.
Commuter Rapid (通勤快速)
Commuter Rapid services operates weekday evening. It starts service in Tokyo heading west, and stops at Ogikubo and Kichijōji in addition to the stops of the two Special Rapids. They mostly terminate at Takao, though a few trains go further to Ōtsuki, or operate through services to Kawaguchiko on the Fuji Kyuko Line, or to Ōme on the Ōme Line. Again, through services to the Ōme Line or the Fuji Kyuko Line stops at all stations on their respective lines.
The service's signature color on service diagrams is purple ().
Commuter Special Rapid (通勤特快)
This service only operates on weekday towards Tokyo, where two originates from Ōtsuki, two from Ōme on the Ōme Line, and one from Takao. It stops at all stations until Takao, Hachiōji, Tachikawa, Kokubunji, and Shinjuku and continues as a rapid service from Shinjuku. Again, services from Ōme stop at all stations on the Ōme Line.
The service's signature color on service diagrams is pink ().
Chūō Liner (中央ライナー)/Ōme Liner (青梅ライナー)
The Chūō Liner and Ōme Liner services run on weekday peak periods only. There is one Chūō Liner from Takao for Tokyo in the morning and six in the evenings from Tokyo for Takao and Hachioji and in the past terminating in Ōtsuki. The Ōme Liner has one service during the morning from Ōme and two in the evening from Tokyo. Unlike other rapid services, the Chūō/Ōme Liners require the purchase of a liner ticket in addition to the base fare; all seats are unreserved, but the number of liner tickets sold is limited to the number of seats available. Liner services are provided by E257 series 11-car or 9-car EMUs (introduced in 1st July 2002).
Chūō Liners stop at: Tokyo - Shinjuku - Tachikawa - Hachiōji - (Takao)
Ōme Liners stops at: Tokyo - Shinjuku - Tachikawa - Haijima - Kabe - Ōme
Musashino (むさしの号)
The Musashino is a local service train linking Ōmiya to Hachiōji via the Musashino Line. Services enter/exit the Chūō Line at Kunitachi by the freight branch, and stops at all stops from Kunitachi to Hachiōji.
Holiday Rapid (ホリデー快速)

A variety of Holiday Rapid services running on the Chūō Rapid Line operate during the weekends and holidays to serve passengers.

  • The Holiday Rapid Okutama (ホリデー快速おくたま), which runs through the Ōme Line, and Holiday Rapid Akigawa (ホリデー快速あきがわ), which runs through the Itsukaichi Line, are two of them. They couple together, running through the Chūō Rapid Line, from Tokyo / Shinjuku to Tachikawa, through the Ōme Line to Haijima, and decouple. The former heads to Okutama, and the latter heads to Musashi-Itsukaichi.
  • The Holiday Rapid Mount Fuji (ホリデー快速富士山) and Holiday Rapid View Yamanashi (ホリデー快速ビューやまなし) are two holiday rapid services that, though nominally called 'Rapid', they stop at stations not less than the Special Rapids (Stops at Shinjuku, Mitaka, Tachikawa, Hachiōji, Takao within the Chūō Rapid Line, and skips stations such as Nakano, Kokubunji, Hino, Toyoda, Nishi-Hachiōji, and also some stations west of Takao.)

Station list[edit]


  • This list will include stations from Tokyo to Ōtsuki, where most train services on this line serve.
  • For information on local services during early morning and late night, please see the Chūō-Sōbu Line article.
  • For information on the Chūō Line west of Otsuki, please see the Chūō Main Line article.
  • Information on the Azusa, Kaiji, and other limited express and seasonal trains can be found on their respective pages.
  • ● : All trains stop
  • |: All trains pass (↑ ↓ : Indicates the direction of trains passing)
  • ◆: All trains pass on weekends and holidays
Station No. Name Japanese Distance (km) Rapid Comm.
Transfers Location
Total City Prefecture
Tokyo 東京 - 0.0 Shinkansen-E.png Tohoku Shinkansen

Shinkansen-E.png Hokkaido Shinkansen

Shinkansen-E.png Yamagata Shinkansen

Shinkansen-E.png Akita Shinkansen

Shinkansen-E.png Joetsu Shinkansen

Shinkansen-E.png Hokuriku Shinkansen

JY Yamanote Line

JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line

JO Yokosuka LineSōbu Line (Rapid)

JE Keiyō Line

JU Ueno-Tokyo Line (Through to JU UtsunomiyaTakasaki Line/JJ Jōban Line)

JT Tokaido Line

Shinkansen jrc.svg Tokaido Shinkansen

M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

Chiyoda Tokyo
Kanda 神田 1.3 1.3 JY Yamanote Line

JK Keihin-Tōhoku Line
G Tokyo Metro Ginza Line

JC03 Ochanomizu 御茶ノ水 1.3 2.6 JB Chūō-Sōbu Line (Local)
M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

C Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (Shin-Ochanomizu)

JC04 Yotsuya 四ツ谷 0.8 6.6 JB Chūō-Sōbu Line (Local)
M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

N Tokyo Metro Namboku Line

Shinjuku 新宿 0.7 10.3 JY Yamanote Line

JB Chūō-Sōbu Line (Local)

JA Saikyō Line

JS Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
Odakyū Odawara Line
Keiō Line

Keiō New Line
M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
S Toei Shinjuku Line

E Toei Ōedo Line
Seibu Shinjuku Line (Seibu-Shinjuku)

JC06 Nakano 中野 1.9 14.7 T Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line Nakano
JC07 Kōenji 高円寺 1.4 16.1   Suginami
JC08 Asagaya 阿佐ケ谷 1.2 17.3  
JC09 Ogikubo 荻窪 1.4 18.7 M Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
JC10 Nishi-Ogikubo 西荻窪 1.9 20.6  
JC11 Kichijōji 吉祥寺 1.9 22.5 Keiō Inokashira Line Musashino
JC12 Mitaka 三鷹 1.6 24.1   Mitaka
JC13 Musashi-Sakai 武蔵境 1.6 25.7 Seibu Tamagawa Line Musashino
JC14 Higashi-Koganei 東小金井 1.7 27.4   Koganei
JC15 Musashi-Koganei 武蔵小金井 1.7 29.1  
JC16 Kokubunji 国分寺 2.3 31.4 Seibu Kokubunji Line, Seibu Tamako Line Kokubunji
JC17 Nishi-Kokubunji 西国分寺 1.4 32.8 JM Musashino Line
JC18 Kunitachi 国立 1.7 34.5   Kunitachi
JC19 Tachikawa 立川 3.0 37.5

(Ōme Liner to Ōme)

JC Ōme Line (some trains through to/from Tokyo)

JN Nambu Line
Tama Toshi Monorail Line (Tachikawa-Kita, Tachikawa-Minami)

JC20 Hino 日野 3.3 40.8 Through to/
from Ōme Line
JC21 Toyoda 豊田 2.3 43.1  
JC22 Hachiōji 八王子 4.3 47.4 JH Yokohama Line

Hachikō Line
Keiō Line (Keiō-Hachiōji)

JC23 Nishi-Hachiōji 西八王子 2.4 49.8  
JC24 Takao 高尾 3.3 53.1 Chūō Main Line (some trains through to Ōtsuki)
Keiō Takao Line
Sagamiko 相模湖 9.5 62.6 Sagamihara Kanagawa
Fujino 藤野 3.7 66.3
Uenohara 上野原 3.5 69.8 Uenohara Yamanashi
Shiotsu 四方津 4.2 74.0
Yanagawa 梁川 3.6 77.6 Ōtsuki
Torisawa 鳥沢 3.6 81.2
Saruhashi 猿橋 4.1 85.3
Ōtsuki 大月 2.5 87.8 Chūō Main Line
Fujikyuko Line (some through trains to/from Kawaguchiko)

Rolling stock[edit]

E233 series on Rapid service
Chūō Line 201 series (June 1999)
Local・Rapid・Commuter Special Rapid・Chūō Special Rapid・Ōme Special Rapid ・Commuter Rapid
Chūō Liner / Ōme Liner

Rolling stock used in past[edit]

Chūō Liner / Ōme Liner


Most of the route of the Chūō Line (Rapid) was built by the Kōbu Railway and later acquired by the Japanese Government Railways in 1906.

Operation of electric multiple unit (EMU) trains on the Chūō Main Line began in 1904. By 1930, the EMU service had reached Tokyo to the east and Asakawa (now Takao) to the west. In 1933, two tracks were added to the existing double-tracked section between Ochanomizu and Iidamachi stations (later closed) to complete the four-track line between Ochanomizu and Nakano. On these additional tracks, express trains (急行電車, kyūkō densha), which skipped all stations except Yotsuya and Shinjuku, were introduced the same year. The express service was renamed "Rapid" (快速, kaisoku) service in March 1961.

Initially, the operation of express/rapid services was limited to weekday peak periods only. Express service began on weekends on March 5, 1944; daytime non-peak operation began on November 9, 1959, but it was limited to weekdays only until April 28, 1966.

Manseibashi Station, located between Kanda and Ochanomizu, was closed in 1943. On the section east of Takao, only Nishi-Kokubunji Station (opened in 1973) and Nishi-Hachiōji Station (opened in 1939) were opened after the start of rapid services.

  • August 20, 1979: 201 series EMUs introduced
  • March 16, 1991: Ohayō Liner Takao/Ōme and Home Liner Takao/Ōme begin operation
  • April 10, 1993: Kokubunji Station added to Ōme Special Rapid stops; Commuter Special Rapid begins operation
  • December 1, 1997: Chūō Main Line-bound 115 series EMUs no longer service Shinjuku Station
  • October 5, 2005: Women-only cars introduced
  • December 26, 2006: E233 series EMUs introduced

Future developments[edit]

JR East plans to introduce Green (first class) cars on Chuo Line (Rapid) and Ome Line services from fiscal 2021 or later.[1] This will involve adding two bilevel Green cars to 10-car E233 series EMU sets, forming 12-car sets. Work will be involved in lengthening station platforms and depot facilities to handle the longer trains.[1]

High suicide rate[edit]

The Chuo Rapid Line is known for a high number of suicides, primarily due to the high speed at which some trains pass through stations on the line.[2]


  1. ^ a b JR東日本、中央線のグリーン車計画を延期 [JR East to postpone Chuo Line Green car plans]. Sankei News (in Japanese). Japan: The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. 24 March 2017. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  2. ^ French, Howard W. (6 June 2000). "Kunitachi City Journal; Japanese Trains Try to Shed a Gruesome Appeal". Health. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 

External links[edit]