JR Hokkaido will increase the running speed in the Seikan Tunnel during the year-end and New Year holidays, and announced that some train times on the Hokkaido Shinkansen will be changed.
From December 31, 2020 (Thursday) to January 4, 2021 (Monday), the maximum speed inside the Seikan Tunnel section on the Hokkaido Shinkansen will be raised to 210 km/h from the first train to around 15:30. This will reduce the time required for each of the 7 round-trip trains by about 3 minutes (see the table). In addition, some “Hakodate Liner” trains time on the conventional line that connects to the Hokkaido Shinkansen will also be moved up or down.
When the Hokkaido Shinkansen opened in March 2016, the maximum speed inside the Seikan Tunnel was limited to 140 km/h. After that, the maximum speed was raised to 160 km/h from March 2019, based on the results of investigating the effects of passing by freight trains that share the same track through running tests by JRTT (Japan Railway Construction, Transportation and Technology Agency.)
The speed increase to 210 km/h this time will be carried out in a state where there is no passing in the tunnel between the Shinkansen and the freight train by dividing the time zone. Therefore, it will be held during the year-end and New Year holidays when the demand for freight trains is low.