Extra train planned on Joban Line on March 14 to mark resumption of full services

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) is expected to operate a special train on March 14, when the entire JR Joban Line is set to resume full services, in celebration of the restoration of a stretch between Tomioka and Namino stations in Fukushima Prefecture. The one-day-only train will make extended stops at each of three stations -- Yorunomori (town of Tomioka), Ono (town of Okuma) and Futaba (town of Futaba) -- on the reopening stretch of the line disrupted by the 2011 earthquake and ensuing tsunami. It is intended to allow local residents sufficient time to celebrate with passengers at each stop. The three towns of Tomioka, Okuma and Futaba are scheduled to hold events at each station to commemorate the moment, presenting passengers with mementos, among other celebratory activities. As regular services stop for only a minute or so at each station, JR East plans to run an extra train that can make relatively long stops. JR East is discussing details of the special service such as an operating schedule and the length of stop times. It is currently focused on the operation of a northbound train starting from Iwaki Station. Coordination is underway to make the stops at Yorunomori, Ono and Futaba stations, in that order, where passengers will receive a welcome from local municipalities. Upon full resumption of services on the Joban Line, JR East will operate a total of 22 northbound and southbound ordinary trains per day between Hirono and Haranomachi stations, and six limited express "Hitachi" between Shinagawa or Ueno stations in Tokyo and Sendai Station in Miyagi Prefecture. (Translated by Kyodo News)

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