Due to the collapse of the slope beside the railroad track, JR Hokkaido is canceling operation between Kutchan Station and Shikaribetsu Station on the Hakodate Line. (As of 22:45 on April 7, 2021)
Around 11:25 on March 31, 2021 (Wednesday), JR Hokkaido employees discovered that the slope beside the railroad track between Kozawa Station and Ginzan Station on the Hakodate Line had collapsed. After that, as a result of detailed investigation, It was confirmed that the earth and sand had collapsed over a slope length of about 20m and a slope length of about 25m. The cause is believed to be that the slope became unstable due to the influence of the thawed water.
Currently, the Hakodate Line is disrupted between Kutchan Station and Shikaribetsu Station (see the figure below for the railway map). Restoration work started on April 2 (Friday), but although it is necessary to remove the earth and sand at a high position on the slope, the work efficiency is poor because the earth and sand contains melted snow, and it takes time to restore there.
During the disrupted section, they perform substitute transportation by buses. According to the operation plan from April 8 (Thursday) to 16 (Friday), trains departing from Kutchan Station and bound for Otaru Station will be operated by a substitute bus between Kutchan Station and Shikaribetsu Station, and people should transfer to trains at Shikaribetsu Station (except for some cases). Trains departing from Otaru Station and bound for Kutchan Station will drive to Shikaribetsu Station, and then people should transfer to substitute buses bound for Kutchan Station at Shikaribetsu Station (except for some cases).
The time required for the substitute bus is about 50 minutes between Kutchan Station and Shikaribetsu Station, which takes longer than the train, so it may not be possible to connect as usual.
JR Hokkaido expects that the operation canceling period will continue for at least two weeks after the start of work. They will announce the timing of resuming operation at the right time.