JR Hokkaido may close rail lines

02-hokkaidoHokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) announced that it has difficulty maintaining half of its railway network. The company finds it hard to continue operating 13 money-losing sections of 10 lines, President Osamu Shimada said.
The 13 sections total 1,237 kilometers, about half of the total length of the railways operated by JR Hokkaido. The company plans to scrap three of these sections, on which the average daily number of passengers per kilometer is below 200 and considers introducing bus services instead.
For other eight sections, where the average daily passenger number per-kilometer is between 200 and below 2,000, the company hopes to hold talks with nearby municipalities on sharing costs to maintain their operations.
The scrapping of the section between Shin-Yubari and Yubari stations has been accepted by the city of Yubari and the section between Mukawa and Samani stations has already been suspended.


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