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railsquid

Extremely Humungous Typhoon Number 19

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marknewton

I think it's likely that they'll salvage what they can - wheelsets, truck/bogie frames, pantos, any equipment that wasn't immersed - and then scrap the cars. It's not just that the trains were standing in water - there'll be mud and all sorts of organic rubbish inside the ducts, conduits and voids in the carbodies which would have to be cleaned out from places that may not be easily accessible. And as Miyakoji notes, there will be problems in future with corrosion.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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nah00

Stupid question but....

 

Why didn't they just park them at Kanazawa? The storm came from the Pacific side so they would have avoided the worst of it there. Even if you had to leave them at a platform it seems like a better idea than leaving them in a yard righ near a levee.

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cteno4

It is amazing how little is given to flood areas in planning and thinking. When we were thinking of buying our house in dc the planning department was so surprised when I stopped in to look at the topos and flood maps. I was pretty sure we were on good high ground but wanted to make sure there wasn’t missing something. They were so surprised but also very positive that I would think to just make sure before plunking down the life’s savings on a house! Luckily everything flows away from us well in all directions and few up hill things that could let loose the gradients and obstacles could keep away from us...

 

I am really surprised they don’t have a contingency for just this situation to put expensive, movable equipment somewhere that is safe from flooding, even on high mainline ground, just do a big string on the mainline on high ground. One place where the usual Japanese rail thinking out safety issues failed to just put the equipment in a safe place.

 

jeff

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chadbag
9 hours ago, Suica said:

The affected sets seem to be E7 series F1, F2, F7, F8, F10, F14, F16 & F18, as well as W7 series W2 & W7.

 

If  am understanding the numbering right, the KATO  E7 model is the F7 set (car 1 is labeled JR E 723-7).   The KATO W7 set is however set W3 (cars end in -x03).

 

Based on the Wikipedia entries and some deduction.

 

So those of you with the E7 set from KATO have a set whose prototype is waterlogged.

 

Edited by chadbag
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railsquid
24 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

It is amazing how little is given to flood areas in planning and thinking. When we were thinking of buying our house in dc the planning department was so surprised when I stopped in to look at the topos and flood maps. I was pretty sure we were on good high ground but wanted to make sure there wasn’t missing something. They were so surprised but also very positive that I would think to just make sure before plunking down the life’s savings on a house! Luckily everything flows away from us well in all directions and few up hill things that could let loose the gradients and obstacles could keep away from us...

 

Same with Chez Railsquid, I checked the area very thoroughly myself and determined it is a nice flat stable-looking plateau (actually turned out to be the 2nd-highest area of Tokyo's 23 ku about 55m above sea level) with no steep slopes which might try to slide downwards. Before we bought it I checked it out about 30 minutes after a very heavy rainshower and the road outside was already dry.  I later found out that it is literally on the watershed of Tokyo's two major river systems, so water flowing one way down the street will end up in the Arakawa, the other way in the Tamagawa.

 

The problem with Japan in general however is that it's about 85% steep hills and mountains, and most of the rest is nice flat alluvial plain where you have a choice of living within flooding distance of a river or within collapsing distance of a steep hill...

 

Quote

I am really surprised they don’t have a contingency for just this situation to put expensive, movable equipment somewhere that is safe from flooding, even on high mainline ground, just do a big string on the mainline on high ground. One place where the usual Japanese rail thinking out safety issues failed to just put the equipment in a safe place.

 

No doubt they'll do that next time and freak winds and localised tornadoes will devastate the stock placed in high, exposed locations, and the internet commentariat will be wondering why they didn't put the trains somewhere sheltered fom the wind...

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Yavianice

Like train stations? Or tunnels? Or in an area the typhoon won’t hit so much? Surely the depot could have also been struck by a tornado. So higher altitude areas would have still had one less risk than building next to a levee in an area that according to hazard maps has a 10 m flood risk.

Edited by Yavianice

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cteno4

Tornados tend to be pretty random where they touch down (within prone areas) and a densely packed yard is the worst thing if a tornadoes would touch down. Spread out would reduce that risk. high winds are a risk but again look for the place to reduce side winds.
 

normally I would just trust that someone at the jrs had thought all this thru and came up with lowest risk contingencies (typhoons happen every year) but with this parking solution I now question if much thought was put into risk analysis, the forecasts for the volume of rain was high and levees nearby. Buildings you can’t move, but a train you can.

 

sorry the more I look at this the more I just think what were they thinking?! 

 

jeff

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bill937ca
2 hours ago, cteno4 said:

It is amazing how little is given to flood areas in planning and thinking. 

 

From what I hear you were lucky flood maps were available.  These are often not up to date and even if they are climate change may quickly render them out of date.  When flood maps are updated many a property will become worthless over night. National flood maps are being updated in Canada in a project led by insurance companies.

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cteno4

We had them in California for the asking as well and basic topography thats been there for a century Is there and can tell you a lot even without the flood hazard maps. It’s something that has been ignored for so long in planning and still is. Land use still wants to ignore most of the hazards unfortunately as the main pressure is to make money. it’s not for the lack of data in the vast majority of times its to ignore it to make money.

 

Of course with climate change flood hazard will just be increasing in most sensitive places with increased sea level and more potent storms and will require new assessments.

 

jeff

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Kamome

I think in the case of the shinkansen storage yard near Nagano, contingency was made more for high winds rather than rainfall. There was a lot more rainfall than expected, I believe I saw on the news 1001mm in that region. At least they are only metal boxes that can be replaced.
 

On the plus side, I hope this means they keep the E4s going a little longer. At least you’d have dry feet on the upper deck.

 

 

In terms of flood prevention, Japan fares pretty well but sometimes these incidents test how well things hold up. As an example, the flood defenses in Fukushima in 2011 dropped in height due to the earthquake, thus rendering them useless. I guess contingency is made up to a point and it takes for a natural disaster to exceed that before you set a new standard for your new flood defenses.


It’s sad to say but it seems that the more vulnerable, older generation suffer the most during these incidents, especially in rural areas. I heard one elderly man was killed trying to repair his roof in the high winds. 

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EdF

I'd also wager return to service times also meant keeping trains all along the route, but in proper yards so they could be re crewed the fastest.

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railsquid

Looking at it from another perspective, this one has been compared with the 1958 Kanogawa Typhoon, which resulted in a much larger number of casualties. I suspect much better availability of information made it possible for people to be better prepared and make the right decisions at the right time (mostly). Also no doubt better infrastructure and emergency rescue etc.

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Das Steinkopf
5 hours ago, chadbag said:

 

If  am understanding the numbering right, the KATO  E7 model is the F7 set (car 1 is labeled JR E 723-7).   The KATO W7 set is however set W3 (cars end in -x03).

 

Based on the Wikipedia entries and some deduction.

 

So those of you with the E7 set from KATO have a set whose prototype is waterlogged.

 

 

 That was the first thing my son checked when the news came out, the first Shinkansen model I bought for him was the Kato W7 so he is happy that his train in theory escaped the deluge. 

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Suica

Models and their flooded prototypes:

 

 

Kato

E7 Series:

Set F1 (#10-1221, #10-1222, #10-1223) 

Set F7 (#10-1264, #10-1265, #10-1266)

W7 Series:

Set W3 (#10-1262, #10-1263)

 

Tomix

E7 Series:

Set F1 (#98926)

Variable Sets F2, F3, F4 F5 (#92530, #92531, #92532)

W7 Series:

Set W2 (#98940)

Variable Sets W1, W3, W4, W5 (#92545, #92546, #92547)

 

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katoftw

If they scrap these irl sets, will the rivet counters sell their models cheap on ebay?

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Martijn Meerts

If they're true rivet counters, they'll have to submerge them in water and then scrap them.

 

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Welshbloke

You mean JR aren't currently dismantling them and loading the parts into an ultrasonic cleaner the size of a house?

 

IMO the best approach to land use is to put farms, offices, retail and sports grounds on flood plains, saving higher ground for housing. Having to take the week off because your desk is covered in mud beats having the same happen to your house. Aberystwyth used to have that until some bright spark built a housing estate in an area which flooded impressively only a few years earlier. It's only a matter of time before it happens again...

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bill937ca
7 hours ago, Kamome said:

I think in the case of the shinkansen storage yard near Nagano, contingency was made more for high winds rather than rainfall. There was a lot more rainfall than expected, I believe I saw on the news 1001mm in that region. At least they are only metal boxes that can be replaced.

 

The flooding was caused by a levee break shown in the ANNnewsCH. news video I posted above. If you have a levee I assume you do not plan on its failure. The failure is reportedly the result of construction nearby.

Edited by bill937ca

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railsquid
1 minute ago, Welshbloke said:

IMO the best approach to land use is to put farms, offices, retail and sports grounds on flood plains, saving higher ground for housing. Having to take the week off because your desk is covered in mud beats having the same happen to your house. Aberystwyth used to have that until some bright spark built a housing estate in an area which flooded impressively only a few years earlier. It's only a matter of time before it happens again...

 

That's all very well and true, but as mentioned previously the problem with Japan's topography, apart from maybe Hokkaido, is that it consists mainly of steep hills and mountains totally unsuited for building on, and the space in-between is mainly alluvial flood plain, and actual higher ground not at risk from flooding or collapsing is comparatively scarce...

 

FWIW on larger rivers, where there's a generous space between the dykes to channel excess water, that's often used for sports grounds etc., see e.g. the Tama River in Tokyo, which also burst its banks and caused some flood damage, including knocking out power and water to a 47-storey residential tower: https://goo.gl/maps/k6g3Auw7z9QqbgTg9

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Claude_Dreyfus

In reality, is there really anywhere completely safe? And this was an extreme event; even by Japanese standards. 99 out of 100 times, those sets would have escaped damage...I try to give JRE the credit that they would not park several billion yen worth of Shinkansen in a vulnerable area.

 

Situations like this happen once in a while; that's what insurance is for. I should know, I am sitting feet away from an extremely distressed bunch of Property underwriters...

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cteno4

That’s the big problem is that levees fail and also are usually under constant attack as they try to channelize and fix the river path which then increases velocity (and thus destructive force) when you get extreme events. Most land use planning just assumes the levee will hold, but in few places they are built or maintained for that kind of thinking/planning. Many were not built for the 100 year storms so then you need to put into your land use (and disaster) plans it will probably breech in an extreme event. Rivers are sort of living beasts that want to constantly move so as soon as you try to contain them they tend to fight back and it becomes a whack a mole game which totally disrupt even good planning.

 

it was great to see the preplanning, shutdowns and evacuations around the typhoon. Seemed very well coordinated and minimal loss of life with an extreme storm. More are coming so it’s good to see a good response like this overall. Everyone is going to have to be thinking about this stuff in planning much more and we need to play catch-up a lot in many places in both planning and response.

 

i agree squid this is all hindsight armchair quarterbacking. But part of this is it’s good to ask why decisions were made to see if you can improve the process next time. But usually there is a lot of talk early on but little change in the end. I just get frustrated as I see a lot of bad planning (or no planning) in a lot of land use as one of my clients for 20 years is a land use group in California. Seeing the constant cycle of many smart decisions getting over ridden by developer interests and governments not wanting to deal with the political fallout of doing the right/smart thing for the future. The good news is that climate change has woken up planners a bit with fire and flooding only getting worse, but it’s not yet really forced a lot of real change. We just had a project make it thru that had huge fire storm potential and one tiny canyon road for emergency crews and evacuation. All the fire folks said if they get even a mid level fire storm there was no way evacuation could take place on the road and most would be trapped. The eir made it thru even in California Regs and lawsuits.

 

i really want to believe there was good risk management going on with these trains and it just came up craps and not lack of full risk management or worse it being ignored at some level. 

 

jeff

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foxhsu

Just wonder, maybe it's not so bad as we thought.

 

Shinkansen uses water stream to deice in the winter, maybe it has some kind waterproof level in the lower mechanical.

Also 2 sets are floating a bit, so some space still air seal?

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maihama eki

I am sure this incident will be a learning experience and the planning for future storms will benefit.

 

Perhaps the best plan would be to park the trains in as many separated locations as possible.  That would lower the odds of losing several in one location as happened this time.

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bill937ca

I'm pretty sure these trains are toast. Restoring them risks fire from electronic components.   It's not just electrical components but semiconductors in there too. These parts have already started to corrode and it is not just water but all sorts of foreign debris.

 

This is a machine translated analysis from the ANNnewsCH. news video I posted earlier.  To find this you have to go into You Tube.

 

It seems that it will still take some time to return to the normal schedule. The possibility of scrapped vehicles has been pointed out on 120 flooded Shinkansen vehicles. About 10km northeast from JR Nagano Station. 120 vehicles, including 10 Hokuriku Shinkansen trains that had been held at the Nagano Shinkansen Vehicle Center due to the bank breakup of the Chikuma River, flooded the water. Since the Hokuriku Shinkansen is usually operated with 30 trains, one third of the total was damaged. What will happen to the flooded Shinkansen? We asked railroad journalist Jun Umehara. Railroad journalist Satoshi Umehara: “I think that the wheels and axles can be washed and used, but the problem is the electrical parts that are necessary to take in the electricity and rotate the motor.” Is under the floor of the vehicle. Even if these parts are dry, there is a risk of fire if they are operated as they are, so it is said that they cannot be used as they are. Railway journalist Satoshi Umehara: “These (electrical) parts are made of a lot of semiconductors and have substrates. When these parts are submerged, they start to corrode, so almost all of them must be replaced. “It would be faster to recreate the vehicle itself or it would be easier to repair.” The cost of manufacturing one Shinkansen is about 270 million yen. 120 cars total 32.8 billion yen. According to Umehara, it takes at least six months to a year to produce a new bullet train. In any case, it seems that it will be a long time before returning to the diamond before the typhoon. [Tele morning news] https://news.tv-asahi.co.jp

Edited by bill937ca

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bill937ca

Some of you wanted to park the trains on the elevated tracks but what about if the elevated tracks were washed out or otherwise damaged?  Getting the crews to safe ground may also been a consideration.  Is there any place or plan that is completely safe with a hugely violent storm?

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