The JR Tadami Line, which was partially cut off in Fukushima Prefecture due to the heavy rain disaster 11 years ago, will resume operation on October 1st.

The JR Tadami Line, which connects Fukushima Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture, is known as a scenic route that weaves through the valleys along the Tadami River. In the "Niigata-Fukushima heavy rains" that occurred in 1998, bridges and tracks were washed away, and a section of more than 27 km between Tadami Station and Aizukawaguchi Station in Fukushima Prefecture was suspended.

At one point, the discontinuation of the damaged section was considered, but after 6 years of discussion and more than 4 years of construction, the railway was reconnected.

The suspended section will be operated three times a day, and the train scheduled to depart from Tadami Station at 7:11 am on October 1st will be the first train to run in the section that has been revived after all lines resume operation.

In this section, while JR will continue to operate trains, the prefecture will be responsible for the maintenance and management of tracks and station buildings.

The locals have high hopes for the potential of the JR Tadami Line, a scenic railroad

The JR Tadami Line is a 135-kilometer line connecting Aizuwakamatsu Station in Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture and Koide Station in Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture.

It is known as one of the most scenic lines in Japan because it runs through the steep mountainous area on the prefectural border and the valley along the Tadami River, and is called the ``superb view railway'' or the ``sacred place for photographers''. increase.

Its appeal has spread overseas through photos posted on social media, and before the spread of the new coronavirus infection, many foreigners began to visit the area along the railway called "Oku-Aizu."

With the resumption of operation on the entire line for the first time in 11 years, the locals are looking forward to the potential of such a "superb view railway" Tadami Line.

Operate with “upper and lower separation method”

In July 2011, four months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident, the JR Tadami Line was severely damaged by the "Niigata-Fukushima Heavy Rain", which washed away three railway bridges and tracks. A part of the section on the Fukushima Prefecture side, about 27 kilometers between Tadami Station in Tadami Town and Aizukawaguchi Station in Kaneyama Town, was out of service.

This section had a deficit of more than 300 million yen a year, and since it would cost a lot of money to restore it, it was once considered to close the damaged section, but the local government paid part of the construction cost and maintenance and management. After 6 years of discussion and more than 4 years of construction work, the railway was restored.

From October 1st, JR will continue to operate trains in the suspended section, while the maintenance and management of tracks and station buildings will be handled by the prefecture.

JR East has announced the income and expenditure situation of the section with particularly few users among the regional lines, and while the discussion on the future of the regional railway that continues to be in the red is about to get into full swing, after disclosing data on profitability to the local area The case of the Tadami Line, in which the railway operator and the local community discussed the future of the line and the area along the line and decided to restore the line despite the loss, is attracting attention.