What's New

June 6, 2018

Fourth Annual General Meeting

April 27, 2018

Chairman Shukuri had meeting with executives of Vietnam Railways and TEDI, transport engineering consulting firm in Vietnam on April 26. IHRA arranged site visit for them on April 27.

April 23, 2018

While visiting Taiwan from April 22 to 23, Chairman Shukuri and Vice Chairman Patterson had meetings with government officials.

Why HSR?

High-speed rail has the power to completely reshape wayside communities as well as the lives of people residing in there, and transform the country’s economy and society.

Increase
in Intercity
Mobility

The introduction of high-speed rail dramatically shortens travel time between cities and markedly improves the main transportation network. This enhances the convenience of intercity travel, augments inherent demand for travel, and accelerates movement of people and business between cities.

Development
of Cities and
Regions along Railway

The introduction of high-speed rail improves the network linking cities and communities along the railway. These become more attractive locales for living, business, industry, and tourism; and act as magnets drawing more people, companies, and information. This brings in additional investment, and serves as a catalyst for improved competitiveness and development of cities and regions along the railway as well as the country as a whole.

Changes
in Lifestyle

The introduction of high-speed rail greatly extends the radius of the one-day travel area. Single-day business trips, region-wide tourism, suburb-to-city commuting, and quick trips back home to see relatives all become the norm. High-speed rail makes it much easier for people to get around, which greatly alters their lifestyles, and creates more affluent living and communities.

What brings Transformation?

High-quality HSR System

To change wayside areas into spheres for everyday living and economic activity and bring about a transformation, it is indispensable that solid bonds between cities are formed with safe and highly-reliable high-speed, high-volume and high-frequency transportation.

HSR System

Safety

Safety must be absolutely assured with a system that sustains high-speed, high-volume and high-frequency transportation. The premise underlying high-speed rail use is rooted in establishment of the value that the “high-speed rail system be safe.”

Reliability

To realize high-speed, high-volume and high-frequency transportation, it is important that train operation conform to a schedule and punctuality be assured. Moreover, reliability of the entire high-speed rail system is increased with the prompt resumption of operation even when in cases of accident, inclement weather or other adverse situations.

High-speed

High-speed rail shortens travel times, an achievement never previously attained. High-speed rail eliminates the barrier against travel distance and time and dramatically reduces the travel time between cities, thereby building stronger bonds between these areas.

High-volume

The capability to move a large number of people, who have different objectives, at the same time creates stronger and deeper bonds between cities.

High-frequency

High-frequency transportation increases the options that users may choose from in selecting their travel time and reduces the amount of time that they have to wait, substantially shortening travel time overall. Realizing shortened travel times in accordance with users’ needs enables permanent bonds to be formed between cities.

Connectivity・Urban Development・Sound Management

Simply adopting a high-quality high-speed rail system does not by itself bring about transformation. Improvements in connectivity, promotion of urban development, and sound management are essential for linking adoption of the high-speed rail system to reform the country’s economy and society.

Connectivity

Expanding the urban transportation network and providing greater connectivity between high-speed rail and urban transportation are required so that people across the even broader region are able to enjoy the benefits of high-speed rail.

Urban Development

TOD (Transit Oriented Development) needs to be promoted to connect population and business clusters along railways to induce even greater societal and economic ramifications. For the sound promotion of TOD, the country, wayside communities, railway operators, land developers and everyone else involved need to take a long-term view and collaborate staunchly with each other.

Sound Management

To continue to provide high-speed, high-volume and high-frequency transport over the long term after operation begins, the financial stability of the entity managing the high-speed rail needs to be ensured, and appropriate investment that takes a long-term perspective is necessary in personnel training and development, capital investment, technology development and other elements.

What is Shinkansen System?

The Shinaknsen system is based on the Crash Avoidance principle, total system approach as well as effective O&M, organization, and personnel training and development developed over more than 50 years of operating experience. This has made the Shinkansen system the world safest and most reliable high-speed, high-volume and high-frequency transport system.

Crash Avoidance Principle

The Shinkansen is a standalone system based upon the Crash Avoidance principle.

This principle is the basic philosophy dictating that any possibility of a crash be completely eliminated by means of two systems: a dedicated track for high-speed rail that is free of level crossings and an ATC system (Automatic Train Control System) that categorically prevents any crashes by controlling train speed.
The high-speed rail that has developed in Europe is based upon the concept of interoperability, which allows the track to be shared with conventional lines and freight trains. This idea emphasizes existing infrastructure utilization and network expansion.

Total System Approach

Employing people's capabilities to centrally manage the tangible and intangible elements comprising the system makes it possible to integrate the entire system so as function at the highest level.

High-speed rail is a system integrating rolling stock, electric power, signals, communication systems, tracks, civil engineering structures, accident prevention and protection facilities and other tangible elements with intangible elements such as operations, maintenance, organization and personnel training and development. The Shinkansen system optimally integrates and centrally manages these elements through technological development, capital investment, business management and other capabilities exercised by the people involved. This enables the entire system to function at the highest levels in terms of safety, stability, efficiency and cost performance.

Operation

The Crash Avoidance principle and total system approach makes it possible to have transport that is unparalleled in terms of safety and reliability in addition to being efficient to operate.

Integrated Management of Operations

All information about the operation of trains is centrally managed at the General Control Center. Appropriate determinations are made by operation commanders based upon accurate data to control train operations, and issue appropriate routine and emergency instructions from the center to ensure safety and reliability.

Assurance of Safety with a Fully Dedicated Track

Facilities are in place to prevent anything from falling onto the tracks and prohibit people and vehicle from entering the area. This segregated area is continuously monitored. If an object is detected on the tracks or an individual trespasses, train operation is immediately halted to ensure safety. Also, rainfall, snowfall, wind speed, river levels and other environmental elements are watched with the help of sensors and other devices set up along railway tracks. Depending upon conditions, controls are placed on train speed or operations shutdown to protect passengers from natural disasters.

Flexible Operation Commensurate with Demand

While the Shinkansen with the Crash Avoidance principle allows it to operate with high-frequency, the number of trains operating each day is determined in accordance with demand, making it possible for train service to meet the needs of users. Shinkansen operators obtain efficient use of their rolling stock and railway facilities, and management focuses its efforts on various business policies to maximize transport revenue.

General Control Center

Maintenance

An effective preventive maintenance system including status monitoring and standardized work time have made 50 years of safe, reliable and effective operation.

Preventive Maintenance

Shinkansen maintenance is based on the concept of “preventive maintenance” where factors that may contribute to a failure or malfunction are eradicated before they are able to actualize. Rolling stock undergoes periodic inspections based upon the number of days in service and distance traveled. Status monitoring, which continually monitors and analyzes vehicle status, has been incorporated so as to identify potential problems in real time to prevent any failures or malfunctions. Manual inspections are performed on ground facilities, and a Multipurpose Inspection Train is run at commercial speed and performs rigorous checks to measure the extent of wear and tear of contact wires, electricity flowing through overhead contact lines, operational state of signals, track distortion, and other aspects of equipment and facilities. The periodic inspection cycles and items are reassessed based upon the accumulated data to achieve both safety and efficiency.

Standardized Work Times

The time period from the last train until the first train the next morning is blocked off for repairs and other maintenance work performed on facilities. No commercial trains are running during this time period. The complete separation of the time brackets for commercial operation and maintenance work enhances the safety, reliability and efficiency of the work. Also, before the first train departs the following morning, Confirmation Cars are run across all track sections to verify that all work has been terminated and the tracks are safe.

Multipurpose Inspection Train

Confirmation Car

Organization

The Shinkansen has constructed an operational framework that ensures a high level of safety and reliability at any time.

The operational framework, rules, and managerial duties for ensuring transport safety have been prescribed to establish a system capable of handling operation and maintenance during normal times as well as enabling the entire organization to immediately and reliably deal with emergencies to assure safety. Also, third parties conduct internal safety inspections to verify daily operations, to prevent regulatory infractions, and keep rules from losing their substance before accidents happen. A strong operational framework is necessary for securing safety and reliability.

Personnel Training and Development

It is the abilities that personnel possess which in the end ensure safety. Shinkansen operators understand that personnel training and development is a very important issue, and they provide considerable education and training.

Improvement of Knowledge & Skills

Training improves knowledge and skills through classroom instruction taught by experts as well as hands-on practice using equipment simulating actual operations. In the field, a systematic training system is in place so that experienced veteran personnel are able to continuously hand down their skills and techniques as they offer direct guidance to less experienced personnel.

Management of Aptitude & Qualifications

Career histories, service status, and detailed medical examinations are utilized to ascertain each employee's strong points, shortcomings as well as mental and physical condition so as to verify his or her aptitude for operations. In addition, knowledge and skill levels are managed based on qualifications set nationally, and by the operator, to maintain quality.

Improvement of Awareness and Motivation

Training is conducted on actual rolling stock, and competitions are held for personnel to compete in their respective competencies. These activities are conducted to heighten employees' awareness of safety and enhance their motivation. In addition, group training is conducted in a communal environment to foster the discipline for following rules as well as the teamwork for cooperating with others. It is essential that personnel maintain a high awareness and motivation to maintain and improve their skills and knowledge over the long term as well as to appropriately perform their jobs.

Personnel Development Overseas

Japan has been providing crew training and technical consulting to Taiwan High Speed Rail, which started operation in 2007. “Pointing and calling,” which is part of Japan's railway culture, as well as the many rules and aspects of Japan's safety culture have been handed down, and such knowledge and skills are contributing significantly to the high level of safety of Taiwan High Speed Rail.

Traning using simulator

“Point and calling” in Taiwan

Dedicated Track for High-Speed Passenger Rail Service

A dedicated track completely separates the high-speed railway from freight traffic pulled by heavy locomotives and from conventional passenger traffic with lower braking performance, thus eliminating the risk of collisions with freight or conventional passenger trains.
Dedicated tracks are completely level crossing free. With no level crossings, collisions with any road vehicles including tank lorries loaded with hazardous or flammable substances can be completely eliminated.

Automatic Train Control System

The ATC system prevents high-speed passenger train-on-train collisions and excessive speeds.
The advanced ATC system exercises complete control over the entire dedicated track and every operating train, preventing train-on-train collisions and excessive speed.
Since the ATC is designed specifically for the use on dedicated passenger tracks, without considering interoperability, its structure is quite simple in terms of hardware, software and the handling of train crew.
The ATC system of Tokaido Shinkansen in Japan has prevented train-on-train collisions and maintained safe and reliable high-speed passenger rail service for fifty years.