Quake-Hit Sections of Tohoku Shinkansen to Reopen Shortly

Society Guide to Japan

Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)--East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, said Friday that services on its Tohoku Shinkansen Line will be available on all sections again from Wednesday, 11 days after a powerful earthquake that partially disrupted the bullet train operations.

The company, which has been repairing facilities damaged by the quake, said that the completion of safety confirmation work is now in sight. The earthquake, which occurred on Saturday last week, mainly hit the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan.

The section between Sendai Station in Miyagi Prefecture and Ichinoseki Station in Iwate Prefecture, both in Tohoku, will reopen on Monday, and the section between Sendai and Nasushiobara Station, which is in Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, will go back to services on Wednesday.

Services have been halted between Nasushiobara and Ichinoseki due to damage from the quake, such as broken electricity poles on the section between Shin-Shirakawa Station in Fukushima Prefecture, part of Tohoku, and Furukawa Station in Miyagi.

Even after the reopening, the number of trains on the Shinkansen line will be reduced to about two-thirds of normal levels for the time being as trains will slow down on some sections, according to JR East. Travel between Tokyo Station and Sendai and between Tokyo and Morioka Station in Iwate will take about an hour longer than usual.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press