Tohoku Shinkansen will resume in full on April 14 – Recovering well from the earthquake

JR East announced that it plans to resume operation of the Tohoku Shinkansen, which is partially closed due to the earthquake that occurred off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, from April 14, 2022 (Thu).

A derailed train on the Tohoku Shinkansen between Fukushima and Shiroishi Zao due to the earthquake (時の記録者/PhotoAC)
A derailed train on the Tohoku Shinkansen between Fukushima and Shiroishi Zao due to the earthquake (時の記録者/PhotoAC)

As the restoration work progresses, the operating section of the Tohoku Shinkansen has gradually expanded, and it is currently being operated by a temporary timetable except the closed section between Fukushima and Sendai. It was announced that the resumption of operation on all lines would be around April 20, 2022 (Wed), but the schedule will be significantly advanced as the derailed vehicle has been moved and the prospects for restoration work and safety assurance have been established.

Even after resuming, it will be necessary to drive slowly between Koriyama and Ichinoseki for the time being, so it will be operated on a temporary timetable. The detailed time will be announced in the near future. As the restoration work progresses, they will announce again when it will return to normal timetable.

Until April 13, 2022 (Wed), the Tohoku Shinkansen will continue to operate on the temporary timetables between Tokyo and Fukushima / Shinjo or between Sendai and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto / Akita. The reservation tickets for trains from April 11 (Mon) to 13 (Wed) will be on sale from April 6 (Wed) early morning. In addition, extra rapid service trains are set up on the Tohoku, Joban and Uetsu Lines, which are conventional lines, to relief passengers for disrupted sections of the Shinkansen (see the below for the timetable).

Operation status of Tohoku Shinkansen due to the earthquake

Due to this earthquake, one outbound train on the Tohoku Shinkansen was derailed, and about 1000 facilities including utility poles, overhead lines, rails and viaducts were damaged.

Based on the cases of large-scale earthquakes so far, the reinforcement of the pillars of the viaduct that could lead to major damage has already been completed, so no damage such as falling or collapse has occurred this time. However, some of the columns were damaged such as peeling and cracking of the surface concrete, so in the future they will increase the number of reinforcement points and reinforce nearly 10,000 columns.