Japan: All Typhoon-flooded Shinkansen Trains to be Scrapped

The 10 Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet trains with 12 cars each that were inundated by Typhoon Hagibis last month will be scrapped due to severe damage.

At a news conference Wednesday, East Japan Railway Co. President Yuji Fukasawa said that, of the 10 trains, the eight owned by the company, JR East, will be replaced with new ones,Japan Times has reported.

JR East will study whether it can reuse some components of the eight trains. But it is likely to write off most of their total book value of ¥11.8 billion and report a special loss for the year through March 2020.

The other two flooded trains are owned by West Japan Railway Co., or JR West. The company has decided to book a similar special loss, put at ¥3 billion, for the year.

The 10 flooded trains accounted for a third of all Hokuriku Shinkansen trains then in service.

The affected trains were parked in a train yard in the city of Nagano when the typhoon hit. A local flood-hazard map noted that the yard was at risk of flooding.

At the news conference, Fukasawa said JR East will consider what measures should be taken after the yard was actually flooded.

On the damage to the trains, he said floodwaters had submerged many of the part components of the cars.

“We’ve decided, in terms of stability and safety, that it is appropriate” to scrap the trains and introduce new ones, Fukasawa said.

Manufacturing a new shinkansen train car costs about ¥300 million, according to company officials.

“We aim to restore 100 percent services (on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line) by the end of the current business year,” he also said.

The high-speed railway line completely reopened between Tokyo and Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Oct. 25, nearly two weeks after the typhoon. It is operating at around 80 percent of the predisaster schedule.

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