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2011.06.27

ひたちなか海浜鉄道仮復旧

P6251953

 2カ月ぶりの那珂湊駅。

 6月25日。この日、ひたちなか海浜鉄道は、東日本大震災から3ヶ月半ぶりに営業運転を再開した。

 とは言っても、運行するのは那珂湊−中根間の一区間だけ。列車も午後の2往復だけで、「運行再開」というよりは、「湊線は復活するんだ」という意思表示に近い。

P6251904

 12時過ぎに那珂湊駅に着くと、すでに構内は多くの人で賑わっていた。

 とはいっても、パニックになるほどの混雑ではない。普段の週末の5割増し程度といった感じだろうか。落ち着いて、旅の気分を味わえる雰囲気だ。

 待合室では、地元の方によってところてんが無料で振る舞われている。テレビや新聞などの報道関係者も多い。

P6251982

 1番ホームはずれの「楽屋」を覗くと、駅ねこのおさむ&こさむもスタンバっていた。こいつらは、会うたびに神経が図太くなっていく気がする。特に、こさむ。こいつは、もしかしたらとんでもない大物になるかもしれん。

P6251915

 12時40分、阿字ケ浦方から、1番列車となる気動車が入線してきた。湊線が誇る国鉄型気動車、キハ20の3連だ。このうちの先頭車は、日本旅行が主催する日帰りツアーのために貸し切りで、一般客は2・3両目に乗ることになる。

P6251956

 各車両には、この日のためにわざわざ作った「中根−那珂湊」のサボが掲げられていた。那珂湊駅では、仮復旧を記念する「記念乗車票」(100円)も。

P6251997

 発車前、ツアーのお客さんにもところてんが振る舞われた。派手な催しはないけれど、手作りで少しでも盛り上げようという雰囲気が心地よい。

P6252007

 一番列車の車内は、こんな感じ。正直に言って、ちょっと寂しい。1両目の貸切車両は満員で、この日を心待ちにしていた鉄道ファンの多くがツアーを利用したということのようだ。大騒ぎになることなく、窓を開けて普段通りの旅を楽しめたけど、もっと多くの人に訪れて欲しい。

P6252036

 さて、13時40分。ついに、復旧1番列車が那珂湊駅を出発!

 と思ったら、大雨きたー!

 なぜ、肝心の時に限って……とも思うが、天からの祝い雨だと思うことにしよう。

↑一番列車からの車窓

P6252029

 列車は、普段よりもゆっくりと走り、7分書けて中根駅に到着。あまりの大雨に、中根駅ではなにもできなかったけど、とにかく、無事営業運転は再開した。

 来週7月3日には、勝田−平磯間で本格的に運行が再開される。震災からずっと代行バスによる運行が続いていたが、輸送力不足は否めず、朝夕のラッシュ時は超混雑、しかし全体では乗客半減と、苦しい状況が続いていたらしい。やはり、湊線は必要だ。

 2番列車でもう一往復しても良かったが、せっかく那珂湊まで来たのだし、おさかな市場に足を延ばしてみた。

P6252097

 4月に訪れた時は、復旧工事の真っ最中だったおさかな市場だが、ほぼすべての店が営業を再開していた。聞けば、5月の大型連休前に営業を再開した店が多いそうだ。

P6252104

 震災前よりも、むしろ安いような印象を受けるが、お客の数はまだまばら。土曜の午後なら、もっと賑わっているはずなのに。

P6252109

 三福海鮮丼1380円で幸せな昼食。以前は、行列しないと入れないことが多かったおさかな市場の食堂だが、今ならすぐに入れる。おさかな市場に行くなら、今がお勧めだ。

 湊線全面復旧の折には、また訪れるつもりだ。

 

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ねこ、だんだん根性が…。
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