Business

JR East to end sales aboard Yamabiko bullet trains

JIJI

East Japan Railway Co. says starting March 15 it will no longer sell food and other goods aboard Yamabiko bullet trains on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line.

Such sales will be completely terminated on the Yamabiko service, which mainly links Tokyo Station with either Sendai Station in Miyagi Prefecture or Morioka Station in Iwate Prefecture, JR East said Monday.

Onboard sales will also no longer be available starting March 16 on Komachi trains on the Akita Shinkansen Line for the section between Morioka and Akita stations and on some limited express trains, including the Odoriko and the Kusatsu, JR East said.

Sales on trains are declining as a variety of goods are now available at shops at stations and vending machines, JR East officials explained, adding that the decision also reflects labor shortages.

Also on Monday, Hokkaido Railway Co. said March 15 will be the final day that onboard sales are available on Hayabusa and Hayate trains running on the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line between Shin-Aomori Station in Aomori Prefecture and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station in Hokkaido Prefecture.

With JR Hokkaido slated to also halt sales on its Super Hokuto limited express trains at the end of this month, onboard sales will fully end on regular trains operated in the company’s service area.

For the section between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori for Hayabusa and Hayate services, and the Tokyo-Morioka section for Komachi trains, the product lineups for onboard sales will be scaled back starting March 16, with sales of bento, sandwiches, souvenirs and other items set to cease, JR East said. Items such as hot coffee and soft drinks will remain available.

In fiscal 2017, sales aboard trains were down 5 percent from the previous year, according to JR East.

Kyushu Railway Co. has already announced that its Mizuho and Sakura bullet trains will not offer onboard sales starting March 16.