Saturday, 14 July 2018

Airport-to-Airport Train on the Keisei Line

EMU Keisei 3050 series, Airport Kaitoku, arrives at Higashi-Matsudo station

There are two international airports in the Tokyo metropolitan area. One is Tokyo International Airport (hereafter Haneda), and the other one is New Tokyo International Airport (hereafter Narita). The direct distance between Haneda and Narita is 63 kilometers, which is quite far. What kind of public transportation can we use to move between the two airports?

The fastest one used to be a helicopter flight. It took about only 30 minutes - very fast. The problem was its fare (16,850 yen), which was very expensive. Unfortunately, the route was abolished in 1991, since there weren't enough passengers requiring the service. 

The most frequent one is the bus service, which operates every twenty minutes - very frequent. It takes about 65 to 85 minutes via expressways, and the fare is 3,100 yen. The problem is a delay risk caused by traffic jams.

The least expensive option is the train. The fare is 1,800 yen, which is quite reasonable. Three operators, namely Keisei, Toei and Keikyu, jointly operate the "Airport Kaitoku (airport rapid express)" trains. The operation interval is 40 minutes, and it takes 100 minutes to get from one airport to the other. There is no traffic jam, so the operation is punctual.

One of the trains commissioned for Airport Kaitoku is the EMU Keisei 3050 series. This model was launched in 2010 for airport-to-airport transportation. It has the same technical specifications as those of the EMU 3000 series commuter train. The problem is its facilities. There is no toilet on the train, even though the journey between Haneda and Narita is quite long.

EMU Keisei 3050 series, Airport Kaitoku, travels on the Hokuso line