JR East Begin Test Runs on Hokuriku Shinkansen Extension

The Yomiuri Shimbun
JR East’s East i test vehicle is seen on the new section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line in Awara, Fukui Prefecture, on Saturday.

AWARA, Fukui ― Test trains began running on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line extension between Kanazawa and Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture, ahead of its opening on March 16 next year.

East i, a JR East inspection train, departed from Kanazawa Station in Kanazawa at around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday. The six-car train ran at speeds of 30-45 kph along the 125-kilometer extension, stopping at stations along the way. The train also stopped along the tracks to check for any defects in rails and overhead wires. Inspections are expected to continue until Dec. 9.

The minimum commuting time between Tokyo and Fukui will be about 2 hours and 51 minutes after the new line opens, about 30 minutes less than the previous route. The time between Osaka and Fukui will only decrease by about 3 minutes as passengers will need to transfer between a standard limited express train and the Shinkansen.