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Hokuriku Shinkansen to be routed via Obama to Kyoto

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Today, 20 December, it was officially announced that the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be extended from Tsuruga via Obama to Kyoto.


This route was one of the final two options left, the other one being the line being extended from Tsuruga to Maibara, which would have meant that passengers for Kyoto and Osaka would have had to change at Maibara. That would have led to a longer travel time, inconvenient transfers, and even more crowded Tokaido Shinkansen trains than they are already now. The Obama - Kyoto route is however the most expensive option.


During the next 5-6 years, the impact on the environment and the exact locations of the stations will be decided. The Kanazawa - Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be opened in 2022, and the aim is to have completed the whole line to Kyoto in ultimately 2046. However, there have been calls to bring this date forward, which could lead to the total costs exceeding 2 trillion yen.






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Some additional info, or rumours actually...


When the Hokuriku Shinkansen starts running, the chances are high that the Thunderbird limited express will be abolished, which makes a lot of sense because the Shinkansen will be replacing this service directly.


The Japanese internet is meanwhile going crazy about the probability of the Kosei Line becoming a third sector line, but considering that the Kosei Line is part of the Keihanshin urban network, I don't see this happening soon. Never say never though...

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I do love that they're happy to choose the "most expensive route".


It actually makes me really happy that they do this. Best for everyone involved. Apart from the coffers. But the convenience and practicality should always come first!

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Thunderbird disappearing was a given.  Or to start another rumour, they might have a Kyoto to Toyama only Shinkansen that is call the Thunderbird.


While the Kosei line will see reduced ridership.  The Thunderbird itself does not stop at any stations along the Kosei line, (I think).  This may actually increase ridership on the western section of the Obama line to tourist areas.  I'd be more worried about the Obama Line section between Tsuruga and Obama than the Kosei line.  Most that ride the train from Obama to Kyoto go via Tsuruga.  With this new Obama to Kyoto link, the eastern section of the Obama line is not needed.


Still many moons away though.  Some of these lines may have ceased to exist due to decrease population in rural areas way before 2046 even comes around.

Edited by katoftw
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This will bring up tourism in Obama city... of which, to be frank, I don't really know much about. The disappearing 683 thunderbird sets will be missed though.. But there remains the Shirasagi which utilizes the 683s.

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Why do I have this feeling that the 681/683 trainsets may be reassigned to run other limited express routes in the JR West network? I can see JR West retiring the aging 381 trainsets and moving a number of 683's to run the Yakumo limited express train between Okayama and Izumoshi stations. 

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