Tomamu – Obihiro segment will open on 22nd December.
Hokkaido was hit by very severe typhoon in late August. Many train lines are closed by this storm and many trains are suspended currently. Substitute bus service and tentative train are operated but trip time is much longer than original schedule. And also the accommodation of some trains are totally different from Limited Express train interior. It offers just commute train accommodation. It is obviously inconvenient. If you cannot accept this situation, I recommend you to change your trip plan. It may not be a right time to visit there.
Anyway I will guide the substitute train and bus service in this post.
Sapporo to/from Obihiro and Kushiro
This segment will open on 22nd December. Substitute bus and train will run until 21st December. On 22nd December, all trains will start running and back to normal.
Some part of tracks are damaged very seriously between Tomamu and Obihiro. Limited Express Super Tokachi and Super Ozora supposed to connect Sapporo and Obihiro in 2.5 hours , and connect Sapporo and Kushiro in 4.5 hours directly. But these express train services are currently suspended. You have to change trains and bus at Tomamu and Obihiro. It takes at least 3.5 hours between Sapporo and Obihiro, 5.5 hours between Sapporo and Kushiro. And also train service between Obihiro and Kushiro is provided by ordinary train car. It does not offer express train interior. It is a sort of commute train.
Limited Express train runs between Sapporo and Tomamu. This train has ordinary car and green car. You cannot book a seat in advance. All seats are non reserved seat and it is basically first come first serve basis. If all seats are full, you have to stand up in the car. If you use JR Pass Green, you can use green seat without any extra. Ordinary seat are covered by any type of JR Pass and Hokkaido Rail Pass.
Please see the current substitute service schedule below:
Eastbound (From Sappprp to Obihiro, Kushiro)
Limited Express train from Sapporo to Tomamu
This train stops at Shin-Sapporo, Minami-Chitose, Oiwake, Shin-Yubari and Shimukappu.
Substitute bus service from Tomamu to Obihiro
This bus service connects Tomamu and Obihiro directly. It does not stop at any other stations.
Train service from Obihiro to Kushiro
This train is rapid service but it does not offer limited express train accommodation. It stops at Ikeda, Urahoro and Shiranuka only.
Wesstbound (From Obihiro, Kushiro to Sapporo)
Train service from Kushiro to Obihiro
This train is rapid service but it does not offer limited express train accommodation. It stops at Shiranuka, Urahoro and Ikeda only.
Substitute bus service from Obihiro to Tomamu
This bus service connects Obihiro and Tomamu directly. It does not stop at any other stations.
Limited Express train from Tomamu to Sapporo
This train stops at Shimukapp, Shin-Yubari, Oiwake, Minami-Chitose and Shin-Sapporo.
All train services and bus services between Tomamu and Kushiro can be taken by base fare ticket only. You must have limited express ticket to take train between Sapporo and Tomamu. If you use Hokkaido Rail Pass or JR Pass, these services are covered fully. But as I mentioned, some services are sorts of commute service. MIt does not give you any luxury interior and accommodation. You cannot get any refund even if you take these services.
This segment is damages very very seriously. JR Hokkaido said it will take until the end of November.
I update the train operation status at the link below too. Please refer this post too.
Sapporo to/from Abashiri
This segment has been restored completely on October 2nd, 2016. It is back to normal completely now.