THE new 10km Sotetsu-Tokyu Link, connecting the privately-owned Sotetsu Railway, operated by the Sagami Railway Company, and the Tokyu Railways operated by the Tokyu Corporation, opened on March 18.

The link line runs entirely underground, diverging from the Sotetsu Railway network at Hazawa Yokohama-kokudai, then running northeast via Shin-Yokohama and Shin-Tsunashima to join Tokyu Railways’ Toyoko Line at Hiyoshi.

The line’s completion will now enable the two private railways to operate through services from Kanagawa prefecture and western Yokohama into central Tokyo, cutting journey times by eliminating the need for passengers to change trains. However, a crew change between the two companies’ personnel takes place at Shin-Yokohama station.

Both of the private companies’ rail networks are electrified and the new line was built by the Japan Railway Construction Public Corporation (JRCC) under a public financing agreement.

In May 2022 the Sotetsu Group announced it was investing Yen 17bn ($US 133m) in its transport business during 2022, with Yen 16.4bn going to the Sagami Railway. It said it would be purchasing another three Hitachi 21000 series EMUs for the Nishiya - Shin-Yokohama - Hiyoshi line now forming the Sotetsu-Tokyu Link.

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