National

Hokuriku Line trains resume after blackout strands 1,350

Kyodo

West Japan Railway Co. resumed train service Monday morning along the JR Hokuriku Line in northern Niigata Prefecture, where about 1,350 passengers were stranded by a blackout triggered by heavy snow the day before.

According to JR West, the power outage occurred at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, leaving passengers trapped in three limited express trains bound for Kanazawa. The trains were halted near Naoetsu and Echigo-Yuzawa stations in Niigata Prefecture.

JR West said the power failure occurred along a stretch between Itoigawa and Nou stations, along the Sea of Japan coastline in Itoigawa.

Because the stations and trains draw power from a variety of sources, the trains’ heaters remained working, and passengers were supplied with food and drinks.

There were no reports of sick or injured passengers, and the railway said it was investigating the cause of the incident.

The outage also prompted JR West to call back a train that had departed for Echigo-Yuzawa Station from Kanazawa. Upon the train’s return to Kanazawa Station, the 85 passengers were moved to another train in which to spend the night and were given rice balls and blankets.

Most of the passengers left Kanazawa Station on Monday morning, using other routes to get to their destinations.

Heavy snow in the area has disrupted train service along a section connecting Kanazawa and Niigata Prefectures, which remained suspended on Monday morning.