Earthquake-damaged Tohoku Shinkansen resumed – takes extra time due to slow driving

On April 14, 2022 (Thu), JR East will resume operation of all sections of the Tohoku Shinkansen, which had been suspended between Fukushima and Sendai due to the impact of the earthquake.

Type E5 on the Tohoku & Hokkaido Shinkansen (D850/PhotoAC)
Type E5 on the Tohoku & Hokkaido Shinkansen (D850/PhotoAC)

Due to earthquake with a maximum seismic intensity of 6+ that occurred off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture on March 16, 2022 (Wed), a train in operation were derailed on the Tohoku Shinkansen. In addition, a lot of facilities were damaged such as viaducts and overhead wire pillars. Initially, the section was between Nasushiobara and Morioka was disrupted, but with the progress of restoration work, the operating section has been gradually expanded. This time, the operation will be resumed on all lines as the prospect of ensuring safety has been established.

For the Akita Shinkansen “Komachi” and the Hokkaido Shinkansen “Hayabusa”, direct operation to Tokyo will be resumed. However, slow driving is required between Koriyama and Ichinoseki for the time being, so the train will be operated on a temporary schedule with 10 to 20% trains less than usual. It takes about 30 minutes longer from Tokyo to Sendai, and about 1 hour longer to Morioka. Also, due to this impact, the time when the last train departs from the origin station will be up to one hour earlier than the normal timetable (see the table below for the time of the last train).

Reservation tickets after April 14, 2022 (Thu) has been on sale from April 13 (Wed). From now on, restoration work will be carried out with the aim of resuming operation on the regular timetable.

Operation status of Tohoku Shinkansen due to the earthquake

In addition, the train on the Joban Line was operated by a temporary timetable between Haranomachi and Sendai, which is slower than usual. Since the track maintenance work was completed, the operation on the normal timetable will resume from April 14, 2022 (Thursday). Along with this, the limited express “Hitachi” will also return to the regular timetable for all sections between Shinagawa and Sendai, and extra rapid trains between Iwaki / Haranomachi and Sendai will be end by April 13 (Wed).

On the other hand, extra rapid trains were also set up on the Tohoku Line and Uetsu Line, but these were terminated on April 13 (Wed) due to the resumption of operation of all lines of the Tohoku Shinkansen.