The Keisei Electric Railway is a private railway company with one line known as the Keisei Main Line that goes from Ueno through the outer suburbs of Tokyo to Narita. The line to Narita dates back to the 1930’s but was extended into the Narita International Airport when it was constructed, and now provides a slightly faster and cheaper way to get to downtown Tokyo than JR’s Narita Express.
Keisei’s cheaper version of the Narita Express is known as the Skyliner and Cityliner. The Cityliner was formally called the Skyliner and can reach the Tokyo’s downtown suburbs of Nippori Station in 51 minuets and 56 minutes to Keisei’s Ueno Station via the Keisei Main Line. The new Skyliner uses all new 160klm/h trains and a new shorter track that was completed in 2010. The Skyliner now boasts access between Nippori station and Narita Airport in 36 minutes. In comparison the JR Narita Express can take up to an hour to reach Tokyo Station.
The fare to Narita on the Cityliner will set you back 1920 Yen (or Y2400 on the Skyliner) from Ueno where a trip to Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro or Shibuya on the Narita Express will set you back 2940 Yen. The only drawback with Keisei’s Skyliner is that there are no direct services to these suburbs, so if you want to get to Shinjuku you will need to get off at Nippori and change to JR’s Yamanote Line. This will cost you about 190 yen extra plus you will need to cart yourself and your luggage out of Keisei’s station and over to JR’s station and then purchasing your Yamanote line ticket there.
So for convenience if you are staying near any station on the Narita Express line it may be worth the extra money to stay in your reserved seat of the Narita Express than fight your way across the road to the competing network’s station in order to transfer to a general commuter train. If you are staying in Ueno or Nippori or if you will need to transfer to another line on one part of your journey even if you use the Narita Express, it may be worth thinking about giving the Skyliner or Cityliner a go.
Keisei also runs a Limited Express train on the Main Line between Ueno Station and Narita Airport approximately every 20 minutes. At the fastest, it takes 71 minutes from Ueno and 67 minutes from Nippori to reach Narita Airport, this service will be cheaper again but will not provide the reserved seating of the Skyliner. Via a co-operative agreement it also shares Toei’s Asakusa Line and Keikyu Line to connect to Haneda Airport.