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Kyushu Shinkansen bullet train service partially restored

A bullet train leaves Kagoshima-Chuo Station in Kagoshima on April 20, 2016, after service was resumed between the station and Shin-Minamata Station in Kumamoto Prefecture. (Mainichi)

FUKUOKA -- Service on the Kyushu Shinkansen bullet train line, which was halted due to the Kumamoto earthquakes, was partially restored on the morning of April 20.

Operations were resumed between Shin-Minamata Station in Kumamoto Prefecture and Kagoshima-Chuo Station in Kagoshima after the safety of the section was confirmed.

Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu), which operates the line, said on April 19 that 15 inbound and outbound trains are scheduled to run on this section daily, traveling at the maximum speed of 260 kilometers per hour as usual. Moreover, one inbound and one outbound bullet train is scheduled to travel between Sendai in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, and Kagoshima-Chuo each day. Each train has a seating capacity of about 500, and no reservation is required, according to the company.

There is no prospect that services on the reminder of the line between Hakata in Fukuoka and Shin-Minamata will be resumed in the near future. JR Kyushu has not yet removed an out-of-service train that derailed near Kumamoto Station, and the elevated rail line and other facilities sustained serious damage.

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