On Sunday, November 1, 2020, JR Shikoku and Asa Seaside Railway changed the boundary station between the two companies from Kaifu Station (Tokushima) to Awa-Kainan Station (Tokushima). As a result, the section between Kaifu Station and Awa-Kainan Station on the JR Mugi Line has been incorporated into the Asa-to Line of Asa Seaside Railway.
That is due to the fact that the Asa Seaside Railway, which operates between Kaifu Station and Kannoura Station (Kochi), plans to introduce a DMV (Dual Mode Vehicle) by March 2021.
The DMV is the world’s first transportation system equipped with both rubber tires and railroad bogies, capable of running on both railroads and roads. The time required to change the mode of both is as short as about 15 seconds, and people can connect to a railway line from sightseeing spots or town center without transferring. The DMV will run between Awa-Kainan Station and Kannoura Station in railway mode, and connection facilities will be installed at both end stations leading to the road.
Due to the DMV preparatory work, the train between Mugi Station (Tokushima) and Kaifu Station has been already suspended, and substitute buses are operated by JR. From Sunday, November 1, 2020, the fare between Awa-Kainan Station and Kaifu Station has been free, which is the section of the Asa Seaside Railway now.
The conventional train that runs between Kaifu Station and Kannoura Station on the Asa-to Line will end on Monday, November 30, 2020. From Tuesday, December 1, 2020, substitute buses by Asa Seaside Railway will be begun operation between Awa-Kainan Station and Kannoura Station. The free-fare between Awa-Kainan Station and Kaifu Station will continue until the DMV starts operating.