Unused platform built for 1964 Olympics to be revived for 2020

East Japan Railway Co. plans to reutilize a currently unused additional temporary platform at JR Sendagaya Station in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

JR East hopes that renovating the extra platform, which was built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, will help it cope with a large number of passengers expected there for the 2020 Games as the station is located near the new National Stadium.

The station is located about 300 meters from the former National Stadium, taking about four minutes to reach on foot. Currently, only one platform at the station is used, so all passengers for eastbound and westbound local trains on the Chuo and Sobu lines use the same platform.

For that reason, JR East hopes to secure the safety of passengers by reviving the 222-meter-long additional temporary platform on the southern side of the station and then have passengers for eastbound trains use the current platform and those for westbound trains use the extra platform.

The extra platform was built two months before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, according to JR East. However, after the Games, it had rarely been used. It is believed to have not been used since Emperor Showa's Taiso no Rei (Imperial funeral rites) were held near Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in February 1989, according to JR East. At present, ordinary passengers are not allowed to enter the extra platform, on the wall of which advertising signs are displayed.

For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it is expected that many visitors will use the station, meaning increased risks of passengers falling onto the train tracks and being struck by a train, among other fears. Therefore, JR East has considered measures to address the problem.

For the extra platform, barrier-free equipment such as an elevator must be constructed, as well as stairs to the ticket gate. JR East will consult with relevant municipalities and others on the project.

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