Japan Railway System-Adaptation to Natural Disaster Essay

This research paper is about the Japan railway systems that always face the natural disaster and its adaptation in order to survive from the natural disaster and save its passengers from the disaster. This paper explains about the JR Company, which owns most of the japan railway and how it overcame all the odds and adapted to all the natural disasters which took place in Japan and lead less damage than usual. JR group installed seismometer in their operation which when comes in contact with the waves, sends an urgent alarm to the electric power transmission system, triggering the emergency brake.

This seismometer, on March 11th 2011, sent the alarm and stopped 33 trains including bullet trains which move with 300KM/Hr and saved lives of thousands of people and also prevent the damage to the trains. Context The Japan Railway group which is also known as JR group have 7 different companies which looks after most of the Japanese railway system and this process is from April 1, 1987 (“Brief history of,” 2009). This JR group has 9 companies in of which 7 provide railway service and of the other two companies’ one looks after the development and research of the railway system and the other one for IT services.

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Unlike other companies JR group divided itself in to 7 different companies of which the companies are separated by region and these companies have to look after those regions (“Brief history of,” 2009). This company overall had 18,800km (11,700 miles) by late 1980’s, 25% of which wee double tracked. Now, when the company’s east, central and west companies are in the market and publicly traded, the company itself owns 20,135KM and other companies own the remaining 7,133KM.

Japan is the pioneer in starting high-speed bullet trains which links japans largest cities at speeds of up to 300km/h (“Brief history of,” 2009). Japan, though good at technology, it always been effected by natural disasters like earth quake and tsunami’s. This research paper explains how the Japan’s high speed trains and railway system is totally adapted to disasters and overcome all the possibilities of losing its passengers (“Brief history of,” 2009). Disaster and Disaster recover planning Disaster

This paper is about the earth quake and Tsunami that has devastated effect on Japan railway system on 11th March 2011. The earth quake prevention systems and reinforcement mechanism couldn’t, however, protect the railways from dodging any destruction whatsoever. According to Higashi, “only one train, running under test without passengers, derailed that day. Trails were displaced in 2,590 places, and 1,150 electrification poles were damaged, leaning or cracked,” said JR East’s Higashi in International Railway Magazine (Fischer, 2011).

He went on to explain the happenings as “extremely painful”, adding that “the 11 March earthquake forced us to cancel, suspend or reduce train operations on most of our 7,512. 6km network”. But Tokyo’s network managed pretty well, and JR East was able to resume business on all its lines on 12 March, with disruptions only caused by electricity scarcities (Fischer, 2011). According to Fukayama “Scheduled shutdowns led to fewer train operations than in the normal circumstances in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Several trains also stopped because of examination and track repairs on the day of the earthquake,” he continues”. The number of the people who could not go home on that day in the Tokyo metropolitan area was reported as 2. 6 million. ” According to Higashi (2011) , only one train, running under test without passengers, derailed that day, when it was approaching Sendai, before it was immediately halted by the emergency braking. Meanwhile, the system’s catenary evaded serious destruction and halts in the contact wires were unusual. Only sub-messenger and autotransformer defense wires were impaired (Fischer, 2011). pic] Figure 1: Tracks in one of the highly effected regions in Japan by Zacchino (March 21, 2011). Moving away from Tokyo itself, the Kanto region, which includes the Greater Tokyo Area, and Tohoku, a region to the north of Kanto, were more severely hit with 1,200 places suffering excessive damage and 325km of conventional lines pounded away by the tsunami. “At costal railways such as the Sanriku Railway and the JR Senseki Line, some progressing stocks, many stations and tracks were entirely flooded out by the tsunami,” says Fukayama.

Altogether 23 stations were pounded away, pathways and conduit piers were either battered or buried, and five passenger and two freight trains were derailed (Fischer, 2011). Disaster recovery planning A moment 12-15 seconds beforehand of a colossal earthquake of 8. 9 magnitude hit continent Japan on the midafternoon of 11 March 2011, a seismometer at Kinkazan which belongs to the country’s eastern rail operator JR East directed an programmed stop signal to the Shinkansen – Japan’s high-speed bullet train – electric power transmission system, activating the substitute rake on 33 trains (Fischer, 2011). Railway professionals approve that serious damage and, more prominently, great distress was avoided due to the installation of such seismometers – the one at Shinkansen is one of nine beside the Pacific coast – alongside the end of anti-seismic fortification works such as quakeproof arrangements and anti-derailing methods that were commenced based on the experience of the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji and 2004 Niigata Chuetsu earthquakes (Fischer, 2011).

Various classes of solutions have been implemented in the Japanese railway system based on earlier experiences of disasters and accidents,” says Mitsubishi Research Institute senior consultant and expert in railway development, Takeshi Fukayama. “Many of those resolutions worked in this situation and stopped, for example, the Shinkansen from suffering serious damage. ” JR East’s international department director Mitsuo Higashi approves. Speaking in the May edition of International Railway Magazine, he said: “No critical damage to major structures was caused because of the anti-seismic reinforcements we had undertaken. JR East’s Urgent Earthquake Detection and Alarm System (UrEDAS) is made up of seismometers mounted at 97 localities. As with the Shinkansen seismometer, when they detect earthquake-induced shocks, they regulate the probable effect of the earthquake and send out cautioning signals to cut the power source to the trains (“10 years of,” 2012). Lessons learnt On October 23, 2004 during the chuetsu earthquake, one of the train got derail and luckily out of 154 passengers no one were killed but were badly injure.

So, inorder to avoid this kind of accidents in the future, they installed sesimometers (Fischer, 2011). Seeing images from the earthquake and the tsunami it is hard to trust that not one passenger died on any of the several trains in operation all over the nation that day, particularly as Japan’s rail system – including all the conventional lines as well as that of the high-speed bullet train, Shinkansen, the heart of the Japanese railway system – covers 27,500km and carries around 22. 5 billion passengers every year (Fischer, 2011).

However, the fact that the method survived chiefly intact does not mean operators will be satisfied. As a result, the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 will not only show in financial figures of JR East, but also have an impact on the company’s internal processes. According to Higashi, research on the events has to be conducted and lessons from 11 March have to be learnt. “We will determine the effectiveness of the measures that we have taken and decide what should be done in the future,” he says. Higashi believes that the training of train staff and crews is particularly important.

Regular preparation has resulted in a mostly smooth evacuation this time but the quality has to be further improved (Fischer, 2011). Fukayama agrees, saying that Japan has to learn lessons from the disaster. He believes that actions have to be taken on an industrial, scientific and political level to be prepared for any future events – but hopes that better preparation will not be put to the test any time soon (Fischer, 2011). Investments to Recover from Loss According to JR East international manager Emiko Sayama, the organization provided all of its loss and losses listed to be around $72. Million in the 2010 results for the year that ended on 31 March 2011 (Fischer, 2011). Loss of $651M due to no train services and also it had to look after the maintenance process. By September 2011, all the trains were restored (Hays, 2013). The civil engineering losses are covered by an insurance company, which has a payout of $842 Million and will pay for the largest amount of the damage. “But the real sum of money to be funded will be determined after our actual damages are prudently scrutinized,” explained Higashi (Fischer, 2011).

The director of JR East’s international department went on to say that the plan for FY 2011 would be driven out on the basis of last year’s consequences (Fischer, 2011). Who Benefited from Program Not only the JR group of companies but also people of japan are benefitted from this program. Installation of Seismometer helped in such a way that it was not only effective in stopping the rail including bullet trains but also saved lot of people who are travelling from injuries and deaths. Conclusion The research about Japan Railway group suggests that the company is very well developed and maintained.

It not only looks after the safety of their trains but also about the safety of their passengers. This company is so dedicated to safety that it separately owns a research and development laboratory which invents new technologies and one of which was including Seismometer which saved thousands of life during this disaster. The company is so well prepared that it learns its mistake from previous earthquakes which left the passengers with injuries and this time to avoid even that type of casualties it developed its own technique and avoided those injuries this time.


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