Yamanote Line will be partly closed for 2 days – Track works at Shibuya on January 8-9

As part of the Shibuya Station improvement work, JR East will suspend or reduce the number of trains on the Yamanote Line from the first train on January 7 (Sat) to the last train on 8 (Sun), 2023, in order to switch the track of the Yamanote Line Outer Circle.

The Yamanote Line platform at Shibuya Station, which was closed during the track switching work in October 2021 (エルエルシー/PhotoAC)
The Yamanote Line platform at Shibuya Station, which was closed during the track switching work in October 2021 (エルエルシー/PhotoAC)

Not in service “Osaki – Shibuya – Ikebukuro”

The work will take about 53 hours and 30 minutes from 22:00 on January 6 (Fri) to the first train on 9 (Mon/holiday). The period that affects train operations is January 7 (Sat) and 8 (Sun) all day. On the Yamanote Line, all Outer Circle trains between Osaki and Ikebukuro via Shibuya will be suspended. In addition, the number of trains on the Outer Circle between Ikebukuro and Osaki via Tokyo will be greatly reduced. The number of Inner Circle trains on the Yamanote Line running between Ikebukuro and Osaki via Shibuya will also be reduced, and on the Keihin-Tohoku Line, the rapid train service will not be served, and trains will only stop at each station.

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The Saikyo Line and Shonan-Shinjuku Line can be used between Osaki and Ikebukuro, and extra trains will also be set up between Osaki and Shinjuku. Since congestion is expected on these lines and on the Yamanote Line, where the number of trains will decrease, it is being urged to consider using detours and alternative transportation to other companies’ lines.

As a preliminary preparation for the work, part of the roof over the current Outer Circle platform will be removed. Along with this, they are calling for caution as the floor of the platform may become slippery during rainfall all day on January 5 (Thu) and 6 (Fri), 2023. In addition, in relation to this work, the section between the Shibuya Ekimae and the Miyamasuzakashita on the Kyu-Oyama Street will be closed from 00:00 to 9:00 on January 7 (Sat), 2023 and from 22:00 to 9:00 on the next day 8 (Sun).

If the work cannot be carried out due to bad weather and so on, the schedule will be postponed from April 14 (Fri) to 17 (Mon), 2023. Even in that case, the certain train services will be suspended on January 7 (Sat) and 8 (Sun) as originally announced (Refer to the chart below for details such as the transit map on the days of the track work).

JR East will close Yamanote Line service during the track work

Integrate two platforms into one

The Shibuya Station improvement work is aimed at strengthening the function of a transportation node, and is being carried out in an integrated manner with the redevelopment of the area around the station. It is proceeding in five steps, and in the first track switching work carried out in May 2018, the southward track of the Saikyo Line was switched to a newly constructed viaduct. In the work in May 2020, the Saikyo Line platform, which was previously located on the south side, was relocated to the north side, making it easier to transfer by placing it in parallel with the Yamanote Line platform. In addition, in October 2021, the Yamanote Line Inner Circle track was moved to the east side, expanding the width of the Inner Circle platform.

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This time, in the fourth stage, the Yamanote Line Outer Circle track will be switched to the west side from the current one, and the Inner Circle platform will be further widened to a maximum of 16m. This platform will be used as the same platform for both Inner and Outer Circle from the first train on January 9, 2023 (Mon/holiday), and the current Outer Circle platform will be abolished.

A staircase will be added from the Hachiko ticket gate (1st floor) to the Yamanote Line platform, and it will be available from January 9 (Mon/holiday). In addition, the stairs and escalators that connect the central ticket gate (3rd floor) and the Yamanote Line platform are scheduled to be switched to a new location in late January 2023.

In the future, the final stage of raising the height of the Inner and Outer Circle tracks and the platform of the Yamanote Line is coming up. With this completion, a series of the station improvement work will be completed.