Railway Journey across Japan
Train Travel Today:
Experience in the Shinkansen General Control Center Essential to Smooth Operation
“Capacity for sound judgment is critical to operational management using a computer system,” says Hirayama Tsutomu, director of the Train Operation Controllers for the Tokaido Shinkansen, as he explains the importance of on-site decision-making.
Put succinctly, experience for controllers comes when a typhoon or similar calamity throws the train schedule way off. As an example, the extent of congestion on the platform changes constantly with the seasons, days of the week, time of day, and other factors. It’s not possible to determine how to lessen the confusion simply by moving the trains with computers alone. Train operation controllers take a close-up look at conditions on the platform in addition to the monitor in order to make the most appropriate decisions.
Japan’s Diverse Rail Technology in Action Overseas
The advanced technology in Japan, a major power in rail, is being introduced in earnest around the world. The Taiwan High Speed Rail, which started operation in 2007, uses 700T carriages based on the Series 700 carriages on Japan’s Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen. A Japanese rail company with proven results also lends a hand with human resource development to ensure safe and punctual service. Japan’s unique and meticulous practice and training helped foster core human resources as instructors. There has not been a single major accident on the line since it opened almost 10 years ago.
The new edition High Speed 1 train connecting London in the United Kingdom to the Channel Tunnel runs using the Class 395 high-speed cars developed by Hitachi, Ltd. in 2009. The train incorporates Shinkansen technology that enables maximum speed of 225 km/hr. The exceptional reliability and on-time service are on par with Japan’s Shinkansen. It won’t be long before the start of operation of the AT-300, a high-speed hybrid train equipped with a diesel-powered generator under the floor.
Japan’s rail technology has been introduced in emerging countries such as Indonesia and Myanmar. The used trains, with their role completed following the introduction of new models in Japan, are exported along with maintenance-related technology as a set. Rather than merely handing over used trains, many countries around the world are also given the know-how to continue using the high quality products for a long time to come.
Trains Inspire a Taste for Travel
Japan is teeming with sightseeing trains, each with its own local color. These trains offer panoramic views of the country’s nature in each season and are built using local natural materials to ensure a comfortable space to relax. More than just a means of transport, it’s a joy simply to ride on one of these trains.
• Cruise train “Seven Stars in Kyushu”
• “Yufuin no Mori”
• Eizan Electric Railway’s “Kirara”
• “Echigo TOKImeki Resort SETSUGEKKA”
• “Toreiyu Tsubasa”