YOKOHAMA -- The operator of a mountain railway in the popular tourist area of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, in eastern Japan says it will take months until trains can fully resume operations after heavy rain brought by powerful Typhoon Hagibis caused landslides, disrupting tracks in multiple locations.
Typhoon Hagibis, this year's 19th, passed over the country's eastern areas including Hakone, southwest of Tokyo, from Oct. 12 to 13. The amount of rainfall topped 1,000 millimeters in Hakone, which caused major disruptions to the tracks in at least 20 locations. The rain triggered landslides and washed away track ballast. It also swept away about 23 meters of train tracks between Miyanoshita and Kowakidani stations and fallen rocks covered the tracks near Ohiradai Tunnel between Ohiradai and Miyanoshita stations. The landslides also knocked down utility poles.
Hakone Tozan Railway Co. resumed train services between Odawara and Hakone-Yumoto stations late on the afternoon of Oct. 13, but operations have been suspended between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations. The operator is providing bus services between those two stations for now. A company representativ says they are planning to conduct recovery efforts while confirming safety.
(Japanese original by Shotaro Kinoshita, Yokohama Bureau)