“Cycle Train” Services Taking Off across Japan

Economy Travel Guide to Japan

Osaka, March 8 (Jiji Press)--So-called cycle trains, or trains on which passengers can carry their bicycles without having to fold or disassemble them, are spreading across Japan.

Faced with a decline in passengers due to the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to a rapidly aging population in Japan, railway operators in the country hope to attract more users by utilizing the popularity of cycling and taking advantage of tourism resources along their train lines.

East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, has been operating a cycle train connecting Tokyo’s Ryogoku Station with stations along the Pacific coast in Chiba Prefecture, east of the Japanese capital, since January 2018. Reflecting its good reputation among cyclists, the 99-seater train used for the service is sometimes fully booked.

West Japan Railway Co. <9021>, or JR West, started a cycle train service on a section of the Kisei Line in December 2021. It also added a train car for bicycles to its Kuroshio express train last October. The company does not charge an extra fee for taking bicycles onboard.

The Kisei Line section, which links Shingu and Shirahama stations in Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan, is one of the lines that JR West has revealed to be unprofitable.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press