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Bullet train derails in Akita

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Sure glad no one was hurt, but still did some one cause this? or just a matter of ice on the rails?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Bullet train? travelling at 20km/hr? and....derailed, needs serious attention.

-23 ( +2 / -26 )

tracks covered with ice or mud is enough cause of derailment glad no one is hurt

13 ( +12 / -0 )

I saw this on the news last night. Maybe I misunderstood, but I think they said it was traveling on a section of track that's also used by non-Shinkansen trains. Never heard of that before. Sounded odd.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very windy yesterday in Northern Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Trainbuffer, this is one of the so called "minishinkansens", they run on normal gauge tracks, but cannot run at the same speed as normal shinkansen cars. Some14some, I've lived in Tohoku for almost 20 years now, and have never seen wind gusts like we had the past couple of days. So, no, I'm not so surprised that the train derailed. I'm surprised that JR didn't suspend all service.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The mini shinkansens have adaptable bogies to change between the gauges and are also much lighter than normal trains. They run on the normal Shinkansen tracks and then switch to the normal narrow gauge in rural areas.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Of course, glad no one was hurt, but 6 hours waiting for alternative transport - brrr and grrr!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Urqinchina,

You are thinking of a Gauge Change Train or Free Gauge Train (of which, none are in commercial operation in Japan). That is a different concept from a mini shinkansen. Same gauge of track as normal shinkansen, but with narrower cross-section of the cars. i.e., track gauge is the same, but loading gauge is different. Either way, this should not have happened with all the money JR East throws in to snow countermeasures. If the conditions are that bad, service should have been suspended.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am glad no one was hurt. I am sure the rail company was doing their best to balance people's desire to travel with the dangers...and something unusual happened. Japan has one of the best safety records in the world so they are not really open to criticism reasonably. Glad it ended ok. I am sure everyone waited patiently.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Damn that would have been scary!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess Japan has a little problem with the weather. Hopefully no one got hurt.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This was just the second Bullet Train derailment in 49 years of operation. The other was in Niigata in October 2004, just after a huge earthquake.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

C'mon people! It was just weather. The train's engineer was doing everything possible to keep things safe. Give it a res!

9 ( +8 / -0 )

They were lucky they were only doing 20 kph! I would hate to imagine if that train had been going say 100 or more KPH in those terrible conditions!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The title of the article was a little scary. Glad it was not as bad as I first thought.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

in the future there will be maglev trains running on single rail... good that no one was hurt. I think it is amazing however the train crews that never get much credit.. who get the train back on tack.. how do they do that?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I saw this on the news last night. Maybe I misunderstood, but I think they said it was traveling on a section of track that's also used by non-Shinkansen trains. Never heard of that before. Sounded odd.

The Akita Shinkansen runs on standard rails at reduced speed in some areas.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It basically ran up a mound of snow that the train was mowing up. It was snowing something like 20~30cm per hour. IMHO the train should had been suspended under those conditions since they required to plow out the snow on the tracks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Knowiitall, Yes , you are correct. The gauge that the mini shinkansens run on are the same as the Shinkansen lines but the loading gauge is different , which is why the minishinkansens are narrower.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is interesting, my next door neighbours son is a train buff ( 12 yrs old) and he corrected me!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm absolutely incredulous: the passengers had to wait for four hours whilst "investigations were being carried out" before buses, etc, were called to evacuate them???? What would have been done if any passengers had been seriously injured?

I know we can expect such madness here in South Africa (no doubt you have all seen the appalling way South African police dragged that errant taxi driver behind their vehicle along the road hanging off the back of the vehicle), but in Japan? What, did the rail authorities believe that the passengers were responsible, especially when the train was going at a very slow speed because of the snowed up track?

Yep - very sorry, but I remain incredulous!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm absolutely incredulous: the passengers had to wait for four hours whilst "investigations were being carried out" before buses, etc, were called to evacuate them???? What would have been done if any passengers had been seriously injured?

Well, it isn't like JR has a fleet of busses on standby with drivers waiting at the wheel in every nook and cranny of the country... in a blizzard. If there were any injuries (and I am sure they checked to make sure everyone was OK), they would have had called for help. The fire department is constantly saying to not use ambulances as a substitute for a taxi, so there was no choice but to wait for busses. The shinkansen cabin was probably a lot more comfortable than standing out in the cold...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

mike23thurgood: Same thing happens every now and again in Europe as well. Before evacuating people onto slippert tracks in the dark with dangerous overhead power lines‚ possibly other traffic on nearby lines etc, they have to be REALLY sure they can't somehow get the train going again. In Sweden it happened in the middle of the hot summer, passengers broke a window for fresh air since they feared a baby would get heatstroke and without power the aircon was dead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JR had no way to get a bus. Hell, they were not able to have the passanger disembark from the train even though the train derailed about 1~2 Km away from a station since the blizzard was so strong that they were afraid of another accident. There was a shot on TV from the station which was closest from but was not able to see the train at all even when all the lights were on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Derail with a speed of 20km? it should be a design problem and can't be accepted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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