Tohoku Shinkansen reaches Fukushima on April 2 – Recovering from heavy earthquake

JR East will resume operation of the Tohoku Shinkansen, which has been disrupted between Koriyama and Ichinoseki due to the impact of the earthquake, from the section where restoration has been completed.

Combined operation of Tohoku - Akita Shinkansen E6 and E5 series (nozomi500/PhotoAC)
Combined operation of Tohoku – Akita Shinkansen E6 and E5 series (nozomi500/PhotoAC)

The earthquake that occurred off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture on March 16, 2022 (Wed) caused damage such as derailment of trains in operation and damage to ground equipment along the Tohoku Shinkansen. Due to the prospect of restoration work and safety assurance, the operation will be resumed on temporary timetables between Tokyo and Fukushima / Shinjo from April 2 (Sat), between Sendai and Shin-Hakodate Hokuto / Akita from April 4 (Mon).

The train number of temporary timetables will be about 50 to 60% of the normal, and driving will be slow in some sections. The Yamagata Shinkansen “TSUBASA” runs directly between Tokyo and Yamagata & Shinjo, and the Akita Shinkansen “KOMACHI” also between Sendai and Akita. Reserved seats that were not released after the earthquake will be resumed at stations and the online reservation according to the temporary timetables (see the table below for details).

The remaining disrupted section between Fukushima and Sendai is expected to resume operation around April 20, 2022 (Wed). On the Tohoku Line, which is a conventional line, extra rapid trains with non-reserved seats will be set up in the above section, and relay transportation with the Tohoku Shinkansen will be carried out including local trains. Regarding the derailed train between Fukushima and Shiroishi-Zao, the work to return all the vehicles to the track has been completed, and they will carefully examine the restoration schedule and proceed with the construction so that operation can be resumed as soon as possible.

Operation status of Tohoku Shinkansen due to the earthquake

On the other hand, the limited express “HITACHI” on the Joban Line and the limited express “INAHO” on the Uetsu Main Line will continue to be extended as extra rapid trains to support detour transportation to Sendai and Akita (see the table above for the timetable).