A Washout Part 2

I previously wrote about how fortunate I was to complete the length of the Sanin railway line in Japan three days prior to a section being closed due to heavy rain.

Shortly after we returned from our latest trip to Japan Typhoon Neoguri passed over a large portion of Japan causing widespread damage. The inundation from the typhoon caused mudslide which killed a 12 year old boy at Nagiso and also severely damaged the train tracks of the Chuo line there.

Nagiso Station in 2008

The Kiso River flooded at Nagiso

We’ve been to Nagiso before, it’s the closest railway station to historic Tsumago. I was thinking of taking my Mum along that line on our trip earlier this year, in order to connect up to the Oito Line at Matsumoto. Instead we caught the Takayama Line from the city that gives the line its name to Toyama, completing that line after a section had been washed away back in 2006. And of course we completed the Oito Line this last trip.

This vulnerability of the Japanese railway system to landslides and flooding adds to the imperative to catch as many lines as possible while they are still open.