Typhoon Hagibis Severely Damages Fleet of $300 Million Bullet Trains

The damaged trains were in a storage area for the Hokuriku Shinkansen line.
Chris Young

Floods caused by Typhoon Hagibis in Japan have greatly damaged at least a third of the country's fleet of high-speed bullet trains.

According to The Japan Times, these trains are worth approximately ¥32.8 billion ($300 million).

While there is no sign of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line bullet trains resuming service, officials say they may have to restart the service with fewer trains eventually.


120 damaged carriages

Ironically, the damaged trains were being kept in a carriage center used to repair and store bullet trains, as NHK reports. 

Company officials are reported to have claimed that 10 trains, with a total of 120 carriages, have been confirmed as being damaged. This accounts for about a third of the fleet.

The carriage center, where the trains were being kept, was completely submerged by the flooding caused by Typhoon Hagabis. The typhoon has been responsible for the evacuation of millions due to its severe conditions. 

The flooding came from the overflowing Chikuma River, which flows near the train center.

Typhoon Hagibis Severely Damages Fleet of $300 Million Bullet Trains
Source: (screen capture) NHK

Difficult, lengthy repairs

As The Japan Times reports, eight of the damaged trains are owned by JR East and the other two by West Japan Railway Co. (JR West).

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Crucial parts of the trains, including brakes, transformers, and air conditioning control systems, are installed below the train carriages, exposing them to the unexpected floodwaters.

The trains will have to be moved to a different location to be repaired since the train center is still submerged underwater.

According to reports, the typhoon is the most powerful to hit Japan in the last 60 years, and the death toll currently stands at 35 people.

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