Trains stranded in western Japan due to heavy snow

Heavy snow disrupted trains in western Japan, leaving passengers trapped inside for hours during the night.

West Japan Railway says that as of 2 a.m. on Wednesday, 15 trains along the Kyoto Line and the Biwako Line were stuck between stations.

Railway officials say they asked passengers to walk along the tracks to nearby stations. They added that passengers on at least three of the trains complained of feeling ill.

Kyoto City officials say they received a request to accommodate about 1,300 people who were stuck at Yamashina Station.

The city made available its community facility near the station and a passageway that leads to a subway station.

A passenger said he got on a train at Kyoto Station on Tuesday night and was trapped in it for about seven hours until around 2:30 a.m.

He said the first two to three hours were bearable, but the carriage that had a toilet gradually became crowded, resulting in stuffiness that caused many people to feel ill. He added that some were carried out by stretchers.

He said he got out around 2:30 a.m. and spent an hour walking along the tracks to the station. He spent the rest of the night with other people in an underground passage provided by the city.

He said he should have acted sooner, but also wondered why the railway company was not able to take better measures.