jp-Tadami Line reopening ceremony-K Miura (5)

Photos: Kazumiki Miura

JAPAN: After 11 years of closure following storm damage, the Tadami Line in central Honshu was reopened on October 1.

One of Japan’s most scenic railways, the line is operated by JR East, but Fukushima Prefecture has now taken over responsibility for the infrastructure.

All three of the most seriously damaged bridges over the Tadami River have been rebuilt. Reconstruction costs for the final section to be repaired, the 28 km between Aizu-Kawaguchi and Tadami, were shared between the prefecture and 17 local councils (approximately ¥6bn) and JR East (¥3bn).

jp-Tadami Line reopening ceremony-K Miura (4)

A train formed of heritage diesel rolling stock ran along the route as part of the reopening celebrations.

The route is served by three through trains each way per day, running over the full 135 km from Aizu-Wakamatsu to Koide.

The reopening day did not proceed quite as planned. The 06.08 train from Aizu-Wakamatsu suffered a series of brake faults, leading to buses being called to rescue the 210 passengers. The 05.26 train from Koide to Aizu-Wakamatsu, which had left Tadami at 07.01 as the inaugural passenger-carrying service over the renovated section, was unable to proceed beyond Aizu-Kawaguchi until the stranded DMU had been recovered at 11.11.

Tadami Line reopening ceremony

Photos: Kazumiki Miura