Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Chuo Line, Double-double Track to My Office

EMU 233 series (left) on the Chuo Rapid Line and 231-900 series (right) on the Chuo Local Line

I have changed my commutation line from the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line to the JR East Chuo Line. I didn't have a special reason for choosing JR East, just a change of air. As a result, current my commutation route is...first, I take the Odakyu Line to Shinjuku. Then, I transfer to the JR East Chuo Line and get off at Tokyo, which is the nearest station to my office.

After changing the route, I have noticed several things.

First, the commuter pass via JR East is cheaper than that of Tokyo Metro, as the discount-rate of the JR East commuter pass is larger than that of Tokyo Metro. It was good news for me. I have recognized again that the railway business in the Tokyo metropolitan area is very competitive.

Second, due to double-double track, JR East has a flexible transportation capacity on the Chuo Line. For example, I can take the Rapid Line (a double track for express trains), when rushed. Meanwhile, I can choose the Local Line (the other double track for local trains), when I would like to take a seat and relax.

But, not all good. The platforms and the concourses of Shinjuku Terminal are very crowded with thousands of people going to and from their offices and schools during rush hours. It was a reversal until last month, when I transferred easily from the Odakyu Line to the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line at Yoyogi-Uehara Station.

Everything has advantages and disadvantages.

EMU JR East 257 series, "Commuter Liner" approaches Ochanomizu Sta. on the Chuo Rapid Line