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A diesel train on the Iwaizumi Line, March 2007
(officially closed in 2014)
|Line length||38.4 km (23.9 mi)|
|Number of tracks||Single|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
Operations on the line were suspended on July 31, 2010, when a train derailed due to a landslide, which occurred between Oshikado Station and Iwate-Ōkawa Station. Bus services have since substituted for trains, and the line was formally closed on 1 April 2014.
Prior to 2010, there were four local services a day to Iwaizumi Station (one of which terminated at Iwate-Wainai Station), and four to Moichi Station or Miyako Station (one of which started from Iwate-Wainai Station); relatively infrequent by Japanese standards.
Although approved for construction in 1922 under the Railway Construction Act, the first section to Iwate-Wainai opened in 1942 to enable brick-making clay to be hauled. The line was extended to Oshikado in 1944, and following completion of the 2987m Oshikado Tunnel, to Utsuno Station (since closed) in 1947.
In 1948 the line was closed for 4 months due to landslide damage. The line was extended to Iwate-Okawa in 1957, and was completed to Iwaizumi in 1972.
Freight services ceased in 1982.
Suspension and closure
Operations on the line were suspended on July 31, 2010, when a train derailed due to a landslide, which occurred between Oshikado Station and Iwate-Ōkawa Station. Trains were substituted by bus services.
After investigating the accident and the condition of the line, JR East announced on March 30, 2012, that it was giving up on the idea of restoring the line. The company claimed that the cost expected to secure the safety of the line would be about 13 billion yen and that it could not afford to spend such an amount considering its very small public demand. According to the company, annual revenue of the line was 8.4 million yen in 2009, with the average daily passenger count being 19, while the cost to operate the line was 265 million yen, resulting in an annual operating loss of 257 million yen. Local governments, including Iwate Prefecture, raised objection to the decision.
In November 2013, JR East announced that agreement had been reached with local governments to formally close the line, which occurred on 1 April 2014.
This article incorporates material from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iwaizumi Line.|
- East Japan Railway Company, Morioka Branch (August 17, 2010). お知らせ (pdf) (in Japanese). Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- "岩泉線の廃止決まる、JR東が届出" [Iwaizumi Line closure finalized]. Tetsudo.com (in Japanese). Japan: Asahi Interactive Inc. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- The Kahoku Shimpo (March 31, 2012). 岩泉線、復旧断念 ＪＲ東「代替手段は確保」 (in Japanese). Retrieved March 31, 2012.