Tsunami-swept Section of Joban Line, Northeastern Japan Reopens

gguhjlkl

A Joban Line train travels further inland on Dec. 10 after operations resumed along that section for the first time in five years and nine months.

Tsunami-swept section of Joban Line finally running again

A massive project to move a section of track of the JR Joban Line from coastal areas, which involved building three new stations, is finally up and running nearly six years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Operations for the new route further inland resumed Dec. 10.

The section that is back in business runs from Hamayoshida Station in Watari, Miyagi Prefecture, to Soma Station in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture.

The latest work means that all coastal sections traversing hard-hit Miyagi Prefecture are again connected by the lines operated by East Japan Railway Co.

However, parts of coastal sections in Iwate and Fukushima prefectures still remain impassable. Those sections will not be back in operation until 2020.

The new route involved moving a section covering 14.6 kilometers as much as 1.1 km inland, building three stations and constructing elevated tracks. The total cost came to 40 billion yen ($350 million).

When the tsunami struck the coast of the Tohoku region in northeast Japan, Joban Line trains were in operation. While one train was mangled beyond repair and stations were also destroyed, all passengers and train employees managed to flee to safety.

The writer Maru Ayase, 30, was a passenger on a train that departed Sendai and was headed for Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on the day of the disaster.

The train she was on was delayed and forced to stop at Shinchi Station in Fukushima Prefecture when the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake struck.

Ayase recalled that the train car swung violently and she experienced whiplash. The woman sitting next to her grabbed on to her. The unnerving swaying seemed to last for 10 minutes.

Ayase and the woman sitting next to her decided to leg it to the next town. Walking along a road about a kilometer from the coast, Ayase saw a huge wave approaching and panicked.

Running for her life toward higher ground, Ayase managed to reach safety. Two young police officers who happened to be on the same train guided the 40 or so other passengers to a town government building further inland.

The driver and other workers on the train evacuated to a bridge over the rail lines at Shinchi Station.

The tsunami that struck the train cars and demolished the train station left only the bridge standing.

Recalling that day, Ayase said, “I feel a certain loneliness when I think that I was there to see Shinchi Station as it existed before the tsunami.”

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201612100046.html

East Japan Railway line suspended since 2011 tsunami partially reopens

SENDAI (Kyodo) — A 23-kilometer section of East Japan Railway Co.’s Joban Line reopened Saturday five years and nine months after the March 2011 quake and tsunami.

The reopened section runs between Soma Station in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, and Hamayoshida Station in Watari, Miyagi Prefecture, both in Tohoku in Japan’s northeast, the region hardest hit by the disaster.

There are six stations on the section. Following severe damage from tsunami, three of the six — Shinchi, Yamashita and Sakamoto stations — were moved inland by up to 1.1 km.

“This station is a symbol of recovery. I pray that many people visit this place,” said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he attended an opening ceremony for the new Shinchi station.

At 6 a.m. the first train to Sendai departed from Yamashita station in Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture.

“I become overwhelmed by emotion when I think about the roads after the quake. I celebrate the start of the first train,” Yamamoto Mayor Toshio Saito said at the ceremony.

“I want to go to Sendai for shopping,” said Tamaki Fujikawa, 12, who was at Yamashita Station with her mother and younger sister to see the train off.

Of the whole Joban Line, chiefly running along the Pacific coasts to connect Tokyo and Miyagi Prefecture, only a section in Fukushima Prefecture between Tatsuta Station in the town of Naraha and Odaka Station in Minamisoma, remains suspended.

The government hopes to enable the resumption of services between Tomioka and Namie stations, the section running closest to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station that suffered meltdowns in the disaster, by the spring of 2020 after reopening other sections in 2017.

“I hope that the interrupted services restart soon,” said Yutaka Sugano, a resident of the town of Shinchi, 69, who was aboard the train going to Sendai.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161210/p2g/00m/0dm/063000c

n-tohokurail-a-20161211-870x551

Local people attend the reopening ceremony for the new station in Shinchi, Fukushima Prefecture, on Saturday. The station on the Joban Line is on a section of line hardest hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Section of East Japan Railways’ Joban Line, suspended since 2011 quake, partially reopens

SENDAI – A 23-km-long section of East Japan Railway Co.’s Joban Line reopened Saturday, some five years and nine months after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck.

The reopened section runs between Soma Station in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, and Hamayoshida Station in Watari, Miyagi Prefecture, both in Tohoku, the region hardest hit by the disaster.

There are six stations on the section. Following severe damage from the tsunami, three of the six — Shinchi, Yamashita and Sakamoto stations — were moved inland by up to 1.1 km.

This station is a symbol of recovery. I pray that many people visit this place,” said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he attended an opening ceremony for the new Shinchi Station.

At 6 a.m. the first train to Sendai departed from Yamashita Station in Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture.

I become overwhelmed by emotion when I think about the roads after the quake. I celebrate the start of the first train,” Yamamoto Mayor Toshio Saito said at the ceremony.

I want to go to Sendai for shopping,” said Tamaki Fujikawa, 12, who was at Yamashita Station with her mother and younger sister to see the train off.

Of the whole Joban Line, chiefly running along the Pacific coast to connect Tokyo and Miyagi Prefecture, only a section in Fukushima Prefecture between Tatsuta Station in the town of Naraha and Odaka Station in Minamisoma, remains suspended.

The government hopes to enable the resumption of services between Tomioka and Namie stations, the section running closest to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station that suffered meltdowns in the disaster, by the spring of 2020 after reopening other sections next year.

I hope that the interrupted services restart soon,” said Yutaka Sugano, a resident of the town of Shinchi, 69, who was aboard the train going to Sendai.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/10/national/section-east-japan-railways-joban-line-suspended-since-2011-quake-partially-reopens/#.WE0g-lzia-c

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s