Loss-Making Railway Section in Hokkaidō Ends 95-Year History (News)
Mashike, Hokkaidō, Dec. 4 (Jiji Press)--Locals and railway fans thanked and bid farewell to the Rumoi-Mashike section of Hokkaidō Railway Co.'s Rumoi Main Line in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaidō, as the 95-year-old train services between the two stations ended on Sunday, due to unprofitability amid a plunge in the number of passengers.
The 16.7-kilometer section, linking Rumoi Station in the city of Rumoi and Mashike Station in the town of Mashike, opened in November 1921. Mashike is a terminal of the 66.8-kilometer single-track Rumoi Main Line. The other terminal is Fukagawa Station.
Mashike is known as a station used in "Eki" (Station), a 1981 Japanese movie starring the late actor Takakura Ken.
At a farewell ceremony held at the station, Masashi Hori, mayor of Mashike, a coastal town, said, "It's very regrettable to see the train operations end on the section."
While noting that the end of the service is expected to have a major impact on local tourism, Hori, 62, said, "Our town has developed with Mashike Station at its center, so we aim to continue to shore up our communities using the station building as a core asset."[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]