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Current Measures in Response to the Uetsu Line Accident

East Japan Railway Company

January 17, 2006

Many passengers were killed and injured in the December 25 derailment on the Uetsu Line between Sagoshi and Kita-Amarume. For those who died, we offer our heartfelt prayers. To others involved and their families, we express our deep regret. We will continue investigating the cause and establishing preventative measures to help ensure that accidents of this nature do not recur.
In addition to maintaining our commission on ascertaining the cause and responding to the Uetsu Line accident (as announced previously), we will establish the Disaster Prevention Research Laboratory on February 1, committed to research on adverse weather, earthquakes, and other causes of disaster. We are also implementing the measures outlined below.
Service in the area will be resumed on January 19, in response to many requests from local residents and in consideration of tests scheduled for January 21 and 22 by the National Center for University Entrance Examinations.

  1. Current measures
    • The follwing measures will be implemented as service is resumed.

      Measures for the affected area

      (1)  Installation of additional wind gauges
        ·  Before resumption of service, wind gauges will be installed at three sites in the affected area (specifically, on the Uetsu Line between Sagoshi and Kita-Amarume near the No. 2 Mogamigawa bridge).
      (2)  Reduction of train speed
        ·  Trains will travel at 45 km/h in the affected area, taking into account that weather conditions there may change rapidly.
      (3)  Revision of train speed limits based on wind speed
        ·  In response to the accident, we have revised train speed limits based on wind speed. At a wind speed of 20 m/s, the train speed limit is now 25 km/h, and at a wind speed of 25 m/s, service will now be suspended.
      (4)  Installation of illuminated railway safety signals
        ·  New illuminated safety signals will be installed. Linked to wind gauges, these signals will indicate for trains to stop if necessary.
      (5)  Use of weather information
        ·  An early warning system based on weather information will be used to manage service.
      (6)  Construction of a windbreak fence
        ·  A windbreak fence approximately 2,300 m long will be constructed along the line in the affected area between the bridge and embankment.
      (Scheduled for completion by the end of November)
        ·  When the windbreak fence is finished, trains will resume operation at normal speed.

      Measures for other areas

      (7)  Installation of additional wind gauges
        ·  Generally, multiple wind gauges will be installed at existing sites.
      (8)  Provisional revision of train speed limits based on wind speed
        ·  Train speed limits based on wind speed have provisionally been revised on all conventional lines. At a wind speed of 20 m/s, the train speed limit is now 25 km/h, and at a wind speed of 25 m/s, service will now be suspended.
            This revised speed limit rule may revert to normal under the following conditions.
            ·  The commission determines that this rule is not necessary
            ·  Preventative measures such as the windbreak fence are in place
            ·  Our system incorporating weather information is improved
    • The previously announced commission on ascertaining the cause and responding to the Uetsu Line accident is set to investigate the cause and establish far-reaching measures for a period of about one year. However, measures that can be implemented more promptly will be enacted without waiting until the commission's final conclusions.
    • In addition, relevant JR East employees will receive additional training on our approach to regulations regarding wind, rain, and natural disasters, with reference to previous accidents.
  2. Establishment of the Disaster Prevention Research Laboratory
    • JR East has been involved in disaster preparedness efforts for some time, led by the Safety Research Laboratory. The recent accident has also prompted us to establish the Disaster Prevention Research Laboratory within our research and development organization, the Research and Development Center of JR East Group. The laboratory will serve as an in-house repository of scientific knowledge on adverse weather, such as the local wind conditions that have been indicated as the cause of this incident, as well as natural phenomena in general. Joint research will be conducted with external experts and research organizations. In addition, the laboratory will seek to apply weather monitoring technology and a variety of other technologies from all over the world to railway operation, conducting all manner of R&D feasible for a railway operator.

    the Disaster Prevention Research Laboratory

  3. Date of resumption of service

    Service will resume starting with the first train on Thursday, January 19.
    (This date is subject to change depending on the weather and other conditions.)

  4. Section of line for resumption of service
    • Service on the Uetsu Line (between Tsuruoka, Amarume, and Sakata) and through operation service on the Rikuu-Sai Line (between Amarume and Sakata)
      Note: Local train service south of Tsuruoka will also be resumed.
  5. Expectation of train delays from new speed limits
    • After resumption of service, limited express trains are expected to take approximately three minutes longer traveling in both directions through the affected area because of their reduced speed.
  6. Ticket sales, including tickets for reserved seats
    • After the resumption of service with limited express trains, ticket sales will resume for reserved seats, Green cars, and sleeping cars as follows.
      (1)  For service from Thursday, January 19 to Sunday, February 5, tickets will be sold at the start of business from ticket office windows for departures from the station of origin starting Wednesday, January 18.
        Note:  Reserved seat requests made through EkiNet will be accepted starting at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18, when we will also start responding to requests.
      (2)  For service from Monday, February 6 to Saturday, February 18, one-month advance tickets for departures from the station of origin will be sold from 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18.
        Note:  Reserved seat requests made through EkiNet will be accepted starting at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18, when we will also start responding to requests.

Schematic Diagram of Derailment Site

Schematic Diagram of Derailment Site
Notes
•  Schematic diagram only; not drawn to scale.
•  For better visibility of the illuminated safety signals, new signals besides those shown here will be installed along the track to Sakata at three sites.
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