Typhoon-Hit Sanriku Railway Fully Reopens

Society

Tokyo, March 20 (Jiji Press)--All sections of Sanriku Railway Co.'s Rias Line in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, became available for services again on Friday, some five months after the regional train line was hit hard by a powerful typhoon.

Last October, Typhoon Hagibis caused damage, such as mudslide flowing into a tunnel, to a total of 93 locations on the Rias Line, which runs along the Pacific coast of the prefecture, rendering about 70 pct of the line out of service temporarily. Suspended sections went back to service in stages, and the last such section, between Rikuchu-Yamada and Kamaishi stations, reopened on Friday.

While a ceremony to mark the full reopening was canceled due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, a commemorative train was operated after a departure ceremony held at Rikuchu-Yamada Station.

"We could restart services on all sections of the Rias Line thanks to the support we received from many people across the country," Sanriku Railway President Ichiro Nakamura said at the train departure ceremony.

Kaoru Asari, a 47-year-old local banker, who came to the station with co-workers and others, said: "Local communities have patiently waited for this day to come. I want to come to take the train when I'm off duty."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press