Tsunami-Damaged Train Line Reopens after 8 Years

Society Lifestyle

Yamada, Iwate Pref., March 23 (Jiji Press)--A railway line section in the Tohoku northeastern Japan region reopened on Saturday after an eight-year shutdown caused by damage from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Operations of the section between Miyako and Kamaishi stations in Iwate Prefecture have been transferred to Sanriku Railway Co., a public-private company based in the Iwate city of Miyako, from East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East.

The section, which was part of the JR Yamada Line before the transfer, links up with Sanriku Railway's two existing lines at its northern and southern ends, forming a 163-kilometer coastal railway line, called the Riasu Line.

Around 11:40 a.m. (2:40 a.m. GMT), many local residents celebrated the departure of a special commemorative train from the Kamaishi station on the platform and along the railroad line, waving fishing boat flags and by other means.

The Riasu Line is scheduled to start commercial services Sunday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press