This was followed the next day by the official launch of work on the 113km Kanazawa - Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Construction will also begin on August 25 on the 211km Shin-Hakodate - Sapporo stretch of the Hokkaido Shinkansen.
The final part of the Nagaskai – Hakata Shinkansen is an extension of a 45km section which is already under construction between Isahaya and Take-Onsen. When the two segments are completed in 2022, the journey time from Hakata to Nagasaki will be cut by 28 minutes to 1h 20min.
The Nagasaki – Hakata Shinkansen includes 51km of 1067mm-gauge track between Shin-Tosu and Takeo-Onsen. JR Kyushu plans to introduce the so-called Free-Gauge Train, a gauge-changeable emu, to enable through operation between the 1067mm gauge and standard-gauge sections. The Free Gauge Train has been under development by the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) and the Railway Technology Research Institute RTRI) since 1994.