Quake-Hit Noto Region Train Services Replaced by Buses

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Passengers get aboard a bus replacing Noto Tetsudo train services in Anamizu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Monday morning.

Bus services began Monday as a substitute means of transportation due to the continued operation suspension of a local railway in the quake-hit Noto region in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Seven roundtrip buses are replacing Noto Tetsudo train services between Nanao and Anamizu stations in the region. The 33.1-kilometer stretch has been left without service since the Noto Peninsula Earthquake on New Year’s Day.

Shortly after 6 a.m. on Monday — still before sunrise — 13 passengers, including high school students, hurriedly got aboard the first bus of the day from Anamizu train station to Nanao.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my classmates for the first time in a long while,” said an excited 17-year-old who is a second-year student at Nanao High School.

There is still no prospect of Noto Tetsudo fully resuming operation as rails have been deformed by ground upheaval.

The service operator, third-sector railway company Noto Tetsudo Corp., has said it will try to resume services along part of the route from Nanao Station by mid-February in a joint effort with West Japan Railway Co.

The substitute bus service became possible as a result of the reconstruction of National Highway Route 249 and some prefectural roads.