The Tohoku Shinkansen links Tokyo with ShinAomori, and the maximum speed over the 178.4km Morioka - ShinAomori section is currently limited to 260km/h compared with 320km/h on the adjacent southerly 425.8km stretch between Utsunomiya and Morioka.

Infrastructure improvements will take place at 24 locations and enable JR East to increase the maximum speed to 320km on the section, saving five minutes on the current journey time. Improvements will include track modifications, updates to tunnels and the installation of and extensions to soundproof walls on 4.9km of line to reduce train noise.

Additional improvements will be conducted on the Ueno - Omiya section to increase line speeds to 130km/h from a maximum of 110km/h at present, saving a further minute.

JR East says it will announce changes to the timetable on the line in due course.