Monday, November 16, 2009

Sanriku Railway Company

At some stations in Japan, you can see a picture of a train going over a gorge. That train is run by the Sanriku Railway Company The company runs two lines on single track that JR abandoned when it was privatized. The first runs from Kuji to Miyako, and the second from Sakari to Kamaishi, all in Iwate Prefecture. The company is still associated with JR, and JR passes will get you a deep discount on a one day pass. Train schedules are coordinated with the JR trains.

Most of the passengers are commuters, but there are a significant number of tourists and railfans on the north part of the northern line. We stopped three times on the part of the trip so that people could take pictures. Both routes are scenic. In fact, I kind of preferred the parts where we were actually moving.

The northern line trains are a single car with a restroom and a vending machine. The southern line runs multiple cars. A multi-car train runs over Sanriku's northern line on Sundays and holidays from April to October. The special trains are only 200 yen more than a regular train, but rail passes may not work on it.

Each station has a map with local attractions.

(This company may run one or two rush hour express trains from the southern part of their route to Sendai.)

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