The Hokuriku Shinkansen, which connects Tokyo Station with Kanazawa Station in Ishikawa Prefecture, resumed services on its entire route Friday after a suspension caused by Typhoon Hagibis.
It was the first time in 13 days that a direct service connected the two terminal stations.
The daily number of Hokuriku Shinkansen passengers is believed to have plummeted from an average of 51,300 before the powerful typhoon hit Japan on Oct. 12 and 13.
According to East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), one of two operators of the line, damage to the power supply equipment for signal systems made it impossible to resume services on a section between Nagano Station and Joetsumyoko Station immediately after the typhoon. Hokuriku Shinkansen services, including on the central Japan section, had been suspended from Oct. 12 to prepare for the typhoon.
Typhoon Hagibis also caused 10 Hokuriku Shinkansen trains, each 12-cars long, to be inundated at a train yard in the city of Nagano, rendering them unusable.
While the damaged trains made up a third of the line’s rolling stock, direct services between Tokyo and Kanazawa will be restored to 96 percent of the level seen prior to the typhoon.
At Tokyo Station, many travelers were seen lining up at the shinkansen platform on Friday morning.
“I thought getting to Toyama would be impossible after seeing images of the trains submerged in water, but I’m glad that they’ve resumed operations,” said Takehisa Hatano, 40, who was on his way to his home prefecture to take part in a race on Sunday.
A passenger at Kanazawa Station said she canceled her plans to fly to Tokyo and opted for the shinkansen instead.
“I didn’t think they’d resume this quickly,” said Shinobu Fukushima, 40. “I’m happy because it’s a hassle to get to the airport.”
West Japan Railway Co. (JR West), the other operator of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, will continue to run express services between Kanazawa Station and Maibara Station in Shiga Prefecture with nine-car trains instead of the standard six for the time being.
The number of express train cars on the section was increased to handle passengers seeking to travel between Kanazawa and Tokyo via the Tokaido Shinkansen, which stops at Maibara.