National

Ten Hokuriku Shinkansen Line trains worth ¥32.8 billion sustain damage after yard is flooded in Typhoon Hagibis

JIJI, Kyodo

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), said Sunday that its Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train yard in the city of Nagano was flooded due to heavy rain associated with powerful Typhoon Hagibis, which raked parts of eastern Japan over the weekend.

Ten trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line connecting Tokyo and Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, were affected, the company said, adding that it has no idea when operations on the line will be resumed partly because of flooding from the Chikuma River, which flows near the train yard.

The 10 trains, made up of a total of 120 carriages, represent a third of the trains on the line. Eight are owned by JR East and the other two by West Japan Railway Co. (JR West).

For the time being, JR East has decided to operate the line with the remaining trains between Tokyo and Nagano. The trains connecting Kanazawa and Toyama were operating normally Sunday, according to JR West.

Vital functions on the trains, such as brakes, transformers and air conditioning control systems, are installed underneath the train carriages.

Since the rail yard is under water, the trains will have to be moved to a different facility to be repaired.

The trains used on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line were jointly developed by the two firms. According to JR West’s securities report for the 2014 business year which ended in March 2015, the manufacturing costs for the 120 carriages totaled some ¥32.8 billion.

JR East decided to continue suspending the Yamagata Shinkansen Line all day Sunday. The company resumed services for the Tohoku Shinkansen Line on Sunday afternoon although there was some damage to it due to a landslide. It put the Joetsu Shinkansen Line back into service in the morning.

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central), restarted the Tokaido Shinkansen Line from Sunday’s first trains after confirming the safety of facilities such as overhead power cables and signal systems. Trains on the line slowed down on some sections, however, leading to delays in 39 trains and affecting about 37,000 people.

On other lines, JR East said it suspended at least 4,900 train runs in the metropolitan area on Saturday and Sunday, affecting 3.57 million people.

The firm restarted operations of the Yamanote Line at around 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The company initially planned to bring the loop line in central Tokyo back into service around noon, but moved up the schedule after confirming the safety of its facilities.

JR East also resumed services on the Yokohama Line, the Chuo rapid and Sobu local lines, the Joban Line and other lines in the morning.

But on the Chuo Main Line, a section between Yanagawa and Shiotsu stations in Yamanashi Prefecture was hit by a landslide caused by heavy rain from the typhoon. Girders from a bridge between Fukuroda and Hitachi-Daigo stations on the Suigun Line in Ibaraki Prefecture were washed away.

Musashi-Kosugi Station on the Yokosuka Line in Kawasaki was flooded.

According to the transport ministry, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and other carriers decided to cancel a total of 795 domestic flights Sunday.

On Saturday, flights were banned from landing at Haneda airport in Tokyo and Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture in order to avoid having any passengers stranded at the airports.

The measure was lifted early Sunday.

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