JRTT, Construction Bureau Open From April 1st, Including Ishikawa
On March 24th, the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) disclosed that the Hokuriku Shinkansen Construction Bureau, which will function as a control centre for the development of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, will open locations in Fukui City and Tsuruga City within Fukui Prefecture, and in Shin-Komatsu City within Ishikawa Prefecture on April 1st. One location will be within the Fukui Railway Construction Site (Fukui City), and another will be within the Tsuruga City Construction Office (Tsuruga City); the Construction Bureau Chief, Public Relations Department Chief, and Fukui Construction Department Chief will be stationed within Fukui City.
During December 2020, connected to the issue to the increased cost of construction due to delaying the opening of the Kanazawa-Tsuruga Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, the JRTT received an order for an organizational restructuring from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. It was disclosed that restructuring plans were submitted during January, the Osaka Branch Office was closed down, and there is a course to establish a locally-based construction bureau between Fukui and Ishikawa prefectures.
The Construction Chief and Chief of Architecture will be station in Tsuruga City, while the Construction Bureau Vice Chief and the Ishikawa Construction Department Chief will be station in Komatsu City. The system to be arranged will allow the organization to accurately grasp the on-site situation, and quickly convey the information to the headquarters. The Bureau Vice Chief, Chief of General Affairs, and Project Chief will be in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture.
Work to Start on November 9th, Spring 2022 Projected Completion Date
On November 5th, the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) announced that the construction of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Nanetsu Station (provisional name) will begin on November 9th, projecting to be completed by around the spring of 2022. Among the four Shinkansen train stations within Fukui Prefecture, this will be the second to being construction, following Fukui Station.
The full length of Nanetsu Station will be 312 metres, with the main building to have approximately 2,659 square metres, which includes the concourse, waiting rooms, and station staff rooms; the elevated train platforms will measure approximately 9,830 square metres. The design of the station building will have a motif of an Oriental stork flying into Echizen City, to form an image of the beautiful natural environment connecting with the future.
Within Fukui Prefecture, the commencement of construction for the other Shinkansen train stations will be during mid-November for Awara Onsen Station, while adjustments are currently being made for Tsuruga Station. Within Ishikawa Prefecture, construction for Komatsu Station will begin on November 9th.
JR West Kanazawa Branch, Limited Express and Shinkansen Ridership During 2020 Obon Holidays
On August 18th, Japan Rail (JR) West Kanazawa Branch Office released the ridership records for the Limited Express and Shinkansen trains during this year’s Obon holiday period (August 7th – 17th). Throughout the whole period, there were approximately 164 thousand passengers, 23% of last year’s figures during the same holiday period, the lowest numbers seen since the opening of the Kanazawa extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line.
The number of passengers on the Limited Express trains were approximately 86 thousand, 24% of last year’s figures, and the numbers on the Shinkansen trains were approximately 78 thousand, 23% of last year’s numbers. The train with the highest passenger rate was the Thunderbird 92, on August 16th, at 63% capacity. The JR West Kanazawa Branch Office explained, “The continuous spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection was a huge influence. We will consider the operation schedule going forward, based on the ridership conditions from hereon.”
JR-EAST May 22nd Announcement, Trains to Operate on Regular Schedule
On May 22nd, the East Japan Railway Company (JR-EAST) announced that it has withdrawn the temporarily reduced service schedule, which was to be followed from the 28th, for every Shinkansen line, including the Tohoku and Hokuriku lines, and for the Limited Express trains on the Chuo and Joban lines; trains are to operate on a regular schedule from hereon.
Hokuriku Shinkansen Track Construction Has Begun
With the opening of the Kanazawa-Tsuruga extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line approaching in three years, the construction site within Fukui City has begun a full-scale operation on installing the Shinkansen rail lines.
Up until recently, along the elevated bridge within Fukui City’s Takayanagi district, approximately one kilometre of rail has been temporarily put in place using cranes and manpower; but from April 7th, a specialized machine will be used to set the rails. The machine, specially built by Nippon Steel’s Kyushu Steel Works (located in Fukuoka Prefecture), can extend a rail of 200 metres.
On April 7th, approximately 30 metres of track was set. According to the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency, which is responsible for the construction of the Shinkansen railway, a full-scale operation on rail installation between Kanazawa and Tsuruga will begin from April, with the railway being extended by 600 metres each day.
Within Fukui Prefecture, the Hokuriku Shinkansen line between Awara City and Tsuruga City is approximately 75 kilometres, with track installation scheduled to finish by spring 2022.