Curtain Comes Down on Section of Hokkaido Rail Line with 112-Year History

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The last train departs from Rumoi Station, bound for Fukagawa, in Rumoi, Hokkaido, on Friday.

The section of the JR Rumoi Line linking Ishikari-Numata and Rumoi in Hokkaido marked its final run on Friday, bringing the curtain down on over a century of operation on the 35.7-kilometer stretch.

The line, which was started in 1910, has been limited in recent years to seven round trips per day with a single-car train.

With fans mourning the section’s closure flocking for a final ride, a second car was added from March 18. On Friday, it was increased to four cars.

A large crowd waving penlights gave the last train an emotional sendoff as it departed Rumoi Station at 8:20 p.m.

The Rumoi Line had been used to transport coal, timber and other resources to the Port of Rumoi, but its use drastically declined due to the closure of coal mines and other factors.

Local municipalities along the line had agreed to discontinue the entire main line from Fukagawa to Rumoi by 2026. All that remains now is the section between Ishikari-Numata and Fukagawa.