'Phantom platform' to be made Shimbashi tourist spot by 2020

Tokyo Metro Co. has announced it will reopen a "phantom platform" in Shimbashi Station on the Ginza Line as a sightseeing spot before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The platform was used before World War II, from January 1939 for only eight months. It will be opened regularly to the public as a symbolic legacy of the nation's subway system and its almost 90 years of history.

Tokyo Metro plans to gradually renovate each station on the Ginza Line, which connects Asakusa and Shibuya, from fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2022. The company will rework the phantom platform to ensure visitors' safety when renovating Shimbashi Station. The phantom platform is located one floor above the current platform.

The company will also examine whether it should open restaurants to attract tourists.

The Ginza Line, the first subway line in Japan, started operating between Asakusa and Ueno in 1927, operated by Tokyo Chika Tetsudo. The line was extended to Shimbashi in June 1934.

Meanwhile, a rival company, Tokyo Kosoku Tetsudo, opened a subway line between Shibuya and Shimbashi in January 1939, leading to the construction of two Shimbashi stations. When the two subway companies began mutual direct train services between Asakusa and Shibuya in September that year, the station built by Tokyo Kosoku Tetsudo fell into disuse.

Currently, the phantom platform is used as a train depot at night.

The original features of the platform - such as tiled walls, station nameplates on which the station name was written from right to left, as well as arched pillars - remain in place.

The location has been opened to the public for events and other special occasions, however, the company decided to open it regularly to the public due to its high popularity with railway fans.

The opening of mAAch ecute Kanda Manseibashi, a commercial complex created by East Japan Railway Co. in 2013 out of the remnants of the former Manseibashi Station in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, is an example of the railway legacy reclamation projects around the nation.Speech