Sapporo’s snowplow train makes seasonal debut

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A snowplow train pushes snow off the tramway tracks in Sapporo on Thursday.

SAPPORO — A snowplow train was deployed for the first time this winter to clear tramway tracks during a snowstorm in Sapporo on Thursday.

Attached to the front and back of the train are thinly sliced pieces of bamboo, which quickly rotates to clear a path. The bamboo is bound together to form several brushes called sasara, giving the train its nickname of “sasara densha,” meaning sasara train.

A maximum wind speed of 37.8 meters per second was recorded at the Erimo Cape in the town of Erimo, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Sapporo Regional Headquarters.