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Typhoon damages Japanese bullet trains worth £239m

By Charlotte Ricca

Flooding damages a third of futuristic bullet trains and disrupts services

Ten high-tech bullet trains worth ¥32.8 billion (£239m, $300m) have been damaged in floods caused by Typhoon Hagibis.

The trains are almost fully submerged, after heavy rainfall flooded the nearby Chikuma River in the city of Nagano, northwest of Tokyo.

As reported in the Japan Times, a total of 10 trains and 120 carriages have been damaged – which represents a third of the trains on the high-speed Hokuriku Shinkansen Line.

The trains will have to be moved to a different yard to be repaired, as vital components are installed underneath the train carriages, which are currently under water.

The trains were jointly developed by JR East and West Japan Railway, who say they do not know when full service will be resumed.

In the meantime, JR East is operating the line with the remaining trains, causing delays to around 37,000 people.

On other lines, JR East said it suspended at least 4,900 train runs in the metropolitan area on Saturday and Sunday, affecting 3.57 million people.

Typhoon Hagibis is the most powerful storm to hit Japan for more than 60 years, causing widespread destruction. At least 69 people have died and 15 are missing.

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