TOKYO - A section of central Tokyo's JR Yamanote line, the Japanese capital's main loop train service, will be closed for most of Saturday due to construction works in preparation for the opening of a new station.
Services between Osaki and Tokyo stations via Shinagawa, and between Tokyo station and Ueno will be suspended from Friday night's last train until about 4 p.m.
As Tokyo, Shinagawa and Ueno are major hubs for shinkansen bullet trains and other metro and train lines, an estimated 560,000 passengers will likely be affected.
East Japan Railway Co. has urged passengers to use subways and other non-JR lines, and to pay close attention to updates on the company's website, Twitter and on in-train TV monitors.
Service is expected to return to normal by around 6 p.m.
During the suspension, trains on the remaining two-thirds of the Yamanote loop will run on a reduced schedule back and forth between Osaki and Ueno, via major stations such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro.
JR East will also arrange for more trains than usual to run on the Ueno-Tokyo, Saikyo and Rinkai lines, which travel between stations impacted by the Yamanote line's closure.
Meanwhile, trains on the Keihin-Tohoku Line will be suspended between Shinagawa and Tamachi stations for the entire day.
The rail construction is necessary as preparations continue for the opening next year of the Takanawa Gateway Station, which will be located between Shinagawa and Tamachi stations to serve both the Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku lines.
It will be the first time since JR East was founded in 1987 that the Yamanote line will be suspended due to construction.
Visit the JR East website for more information and alternate route guidance.