national

Trains on Yamanote, Keihin-Tohoku lines in Tokyo disrupted for 9 hours

30 Comments

Train services on the Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku lines in Tokyo were suspended for nine hours on Sunday after metal poles that support overhead cables collapsed onto the tracks between Akihabara and Kanda stations.

According to JR East officials, a train driver on the Keihin-Tohoku line spotted the poles on both the inbound and outbound Yamanote line tracks at around 6:10 a.m. and sounded the alert, Fuji TV reported. The Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku lines run parallel to each other.

The poles, which are about seven meters high and 20 centimeters in diameter, were installed 14 years ago, a JR East spokesman told a news conference. He said they had fallen from their base.

The spokesman said workers had noticed the poles starting to buckle on Friday and were scheduled to be replaced on Monday.

Heavy machinery was brought onto the tracks to remove the poles, which caused service resumption to be delayed until about 3:30 p.m. For most of Sunday night, Yamanote line services were running at about half their normal schedule, JR East said.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
Login to comment

Inconvenient but better than having a disaster where people are hurt.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"The spokesman said workers had noticed the poles starting to buckle on Friday and were scheduled to be replaced on Monday."

They should reexamine how they handled this. It could have resulted in a tragic accident.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"They should reexamine how they handled this. It could have resulted in a tragic accident." I think JR West is pretty amazing as it is. The only rail line that can be compared is the Hong Kong metro. And JR East and and JR west has about 100 time more rail than them. I would say JR has their act together. As someone who has visited 38 prefecture using nothing but local trains, I can attest to the insane magnitude of it all and the clock work precision of it all. All you have to do is of brief search on the net to find records of their impeccable safety record. It may be easy for gaijin o take pot shots a some things in Japan and its society and culture, but the train system is not one of them.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

By the time I used the trains, Keihin and Yamonote had just started, but I'd taken the the new Ueno-Tokyo line, just in case. I'm sure a lot of passengers were relieved that new line was available.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perfect timing for a Sunny Sunday for tourists and families alike.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It may be easy for gaijin o take pot shots at some things in Japan and its society and culture, but the train system is not one of them.

I don't think the opinion that they should reexamine them is considered cheap criticism.

They should reexamine how they handled this. It could have resulted in a tragic accident.

I'm sure they are re-examining them. This is a country of "reflection."

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This is a country that reacts, not prevents.

-18 ( +3 / -21 )

This is a country that reacts, not prevents.

Swell over-generalization.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

@Chris: what a load of crap.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It was pretty lucky that the poles didn't fall into the path of or onto a moving train. I find it difficult to accept that if the poles were in such bad condition they fell over why were they left for a few days? Generally, the trains and the maintainence done are of such high quality in Japan, but this seems like a very dangerous oversight.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

what a load of crap.

Not really. According to the news reports, JR staff didn't think that 14 year old poles were a risk. I daresay that JR is looking at upgrading all their electrical poles now (or at least those which are 14 years old)

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

According to the news reports, JR staff didn't think that 14 year old poles were a risk.

If they didn't think so, then why did they schedule for them to be replaced on Monday, after noticing them buckling on Friday? If they didn't think they were a risk, they would have just left them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The guy who was interviewed on NHK English news said something along the lines of, he didn't think the 14 year old poles were going to be an issue. Unfortunately I didn't pay attention long enough to catch his name. To quote this link: "The rail operator said that it discovered that the poles were leaning Friday but decided to fix them Monday after judging that they were unlikely to immediately collapse." http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/12/national/pole-collapse-halts-busy-yamanote-keihin-tohoku-train-services/#.VSs8BvAprcQ

So, if the repairs had been conducted immediately then there wouldn't have been a 9 hour delay yesterday. Reaction vs prevention

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Well now you're talking about something different. They did think it was a risk, you just don't agree with the degree of risk that they thought it to be.

So, if the repairs had been conducted immediately then there wouldn't have been a 9 hour delay yesterday. Reaction vs prevention

Whether they replaced them on Friday, or replaced them on Monday, it was still reaction, not prevention.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The spokesman said workers had noticed the poles starting to buckle on Friday and were scheduled to be replaced on Monday.

wowowow wait! they were planning to wait for 2 days for it to be changed??? what is the point of stopping the train services every night for maintenance then? I bet they were biting their teeth trying to make decisions until the pole suddenly brokedown.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

BIG NEWS all day yesterday. It sounded as though a second tsunami had arrived or some terrible catastrophe had overtaken Japan.

Turned out to be a couple of boring old leaning power poles... Yawn.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Whether they replaced them on Friday, or replaced them on Monday, it was still reaction, not prevention.

We shall agree to disagree

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Whether they replaced them on Friday, or replaced them on Monday, it was still reaction, not prevention.

Which is increasingly the norm in the world these days. Used to be machinery was replaced after X-hours regardless of its apparent condition. Now, it is increasingly "on-condition" (in essence a reactive posture), and this is considered GOOD!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Still the most efficient railway system in the world.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Still the most efficient railway system in the world.

That the railway system is efficient is not in doubt. That Japan is a country that acts after something happens and not before - is another matter (but still relevant to this case)

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Ive just looked at one link that was posted on this web site, it looks like the poles are ok but I would say that the foundations have been uprooted, either way it was fixed in double quick time, unlike the UK they would probably have ignored it, as the problem will go away then, there would be an accident, then there would have been an inquiry costing millions of tax payer money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With the number of trains running on so many lines all over Japan. I am amazed there are NOT more accidents. Great safety record for sure, but accidents do happen. At least there has never been a driver running the train at high speed to cause a major accident. There must be a lot of stress involved in driving a train, so kudos out to those who have guided us along our journeys. I sometimes think enough thanks are not given!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I noticed! I waited at Meguro for 20 minutes before giving up. Good thing I did not stay longer. 9 hours, good grief. On the PA system they simply kept saying "please wait". Not exactly omotenashi, imho... a bit more honesty would be better.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

JR management of problems is atrocious. Delay and delay no useful information given to passengers. They should have just run the trains normally if not that then slowly but not a long section of stop and stop except for the danger section. My wife checked online for me while the problem was happening and if I had followed that trip search I would have been seriously late for my work despite it being nominally better. Fortunately I had an alternative travel path.

No doubt the actual workers were contractors (working to an hourly wage) led by a seishain and he didn't want to work on the weekend or do overtime even though it was obvious to at least do some makeshift work on the structure. Obviously failing or damaged structures need some work immediately- with less obvious defects there is time to consider when to re-mediate but not this time.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I hate to imagine this happening on a weekday. What a commuting nightmare it would have been.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kitzrow:

" At least there has never been a driver running the train at high speed to cause a major accident "

Actually, there has been exactly that, a couple of years ago, in Tokyo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Kitz: Either you're being evilly sarcastic or need to Google The Amagasaki rail crash

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We shall agree to disagree

I've been known to disagree with Strangerland before, but in this case he is correct. The only way they could have been doing preventative maintenance is if they had replaced the poles BEFORE they started leaning. Once the leaning started, any maintenance - whether done on Friday or Monday - became a reactive, rather than a preventative, action.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/japanindepth/20150413.html

As we can see, Japan always reacts. It doesn't act to prevent problems before they occur. That was the point I was trying to make

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It doesn't act to prevent problems before they occur.

? You are exaggerating. Japan has some of the strictest building codes in the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites