March 2017

2 March
MRT Airport access line (51 km) opened between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei using rolling stock depots and other infrastructure systems ordered from Marubeni, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Hitachi

4 March
JR West announced start of operations on 1.6-km extension between Kabe and Akikameyama to Kabe Line (14.6 km, Yokogawa- Kabe ) in Hiroshima City; Akikameyama section abandoned in 2003 due to falling passenger numbers but urban development on part of 46.2-km section between Kabe and Sandankyo prompted first-ever reopening of abandoned JR West line

5 March
Rescue helicopter (Bell 412EP) carrying 9 crew on training mission crashed into Mt Hachibuse (1928 m) in Nagano Prefecture, killing all onboard

7 March
Bus stranded on rail crossing in Biloxi, Mississippi, USA, struck by freight train, killing 4 passengers and injuring 7 others

10 March
JR East announced early October opening of 6.9-km section of Joban Line between Tomioka and Tatsuta in Fukushima Prefecture closed by Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami; 8.9-km section between Odaka and Namie opened on 1 April and remaining 20.8-km section between Namie and Tomioka to re-open by end of FY2019 to complete full line length

10 March
Sikorsky S76 helicopter crashed into TV mast in Istanbul, Turkey, killing all 7 people onboard

12 March
Bus struck pedestrians in Haiti, killing 38 members of street band and injuring 13 others before bus driver absconded

15 March
Japanese government Shinkansen Construction Promotion Project Team approved routing Hokuriku Shinkansen section between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka via Kyotanabe City with start of inspection of track bed details from late FY2017; westerly connection with Tsuruga planned for 2031 with full line opening in 2046

15 March
Taiwan Ministry of Transportation and Communications held groundbreaking ceremony for underground works near Tainan Station with plans to put 8.23 km of tracks in tunnel and eliminate crossings, overpasses and underpasses at 9 locations; works to be completed in December 2022

17 March
Taiwan government announced construction of 19-km LRT between Keelung in north and and Nangang in eastern Taipei City with part of tracks in Keelung shared with Taiwan Railways

18 March
Choshi Electric Railway (6.4 km between Choshi and Tokawa in Chiba Prefecture, Japan) announced twin sister railways agreement with Su’ao Line administered by Taiwan Railways Administration due to common features such as hot springs in both cities facing Pacific Ocean; aiming to facilitate joint tourism; agreement to be signed in Choshi on 1 April

20 March
Seibu Railway announced twin sister agreement with Malaysian Railroad Public Corporation to promote joint tourism as well as Seibu tourism campaign for boosting inbound visitors to Japan; second twin agreement for Seibu Railway following first agreement in Taiwan

20 March
South Supreme passenger plane crashed on landing at airport in South Sudan before catching fire and injuring 37 of 45 passengers onboard

22 March
Nippon Sharyo announced ¥21 billion sale of three plants in Aichi Prefecture manufacturing rolling stock, bridge girders, etc., to JR Central with advance repayment of long-term loans; plants to be for hire

22 March
Trenitalia passenger train departing Milan, Italy, for Basle, Switzerland, derailed and overturned near Lucerne, injuring 7 passengers

27 March
Recovery promotion working groups consisting of 17 trackside communities in Fukushima and Niigata Prefecture government, etc decided on vertical separation method for plan to recover 27.6-km section of Tadami Line between Aizu Kawaguchi and Tadami damaged by typhoon rains in July 2011; post-recovery line infrastructure to be maintained and managed by local government with operations managed by JR East

28 March
Osaka City Assembly ratified decision to privatize city metro (9 lines with 138 km of tracks) with transition to new company structure expected in April 2018 as Japan’s first privatized public subway; lines carried average of 2.43 million people per day in FY2015 with operating profits of ¥156 billion and surpassing all 5 private railways in Kansai region

29 March
Nagoya Railroad announced plan to redevelop 6 buildings around Nagoya Station as one integrated development with change to 400-m long narrow building running north-south doubling size of Nagoya Station and incorporating commercial premises, offices, hotel, apartments, etc.

30 March
JR Central held completion ceremony for multi-story JR Gate Tower building in front of Nagoya Station; 46 above-ground floors and 6 underground levels extend floor area to 260,000 m2 with office space already occupied since Autumn 2016 and bus terminal, restaurants, and hotels opening in succession from 1 April

31 March
JTB announced April 2018 merger with 15 subsidiaries centered on regional companies to refocus business resources on supporting travel site and reverting from regional and business separations made since 2006 envisioned to meet consumers’ needs