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Incident on Yamanote Line, Yamanote & Keihin-T Line services suspended


bikkuri bahn

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bikkuri bahn

Early this morning, catenary poles on the Yamanote Line between Kanda and Akihabara fell over, disrupting services on both the Yamanote Line and Keihin Tohoku Line.  Apparently the poles were not in use (decommissioned), but due to their age, collapsed. Service was disrupted for 9 hours, resuming again around 15:30.  More news with specifics is to be out later this evening.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6G2SYEuVMc

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoUDopRUwr4

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How come they didn't remove these decommissioned catenary poles when they were doing the Ueno-Tokyo Line construction project?

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It's difficult to tell from the video, but based on the animations (there are more news clips on YT) it looks like two fell over (as opposed to one having fallen over, and the other having been pulled down after the clean-up started).

 

It looks like at least one of them had things attached, were these really totally out of use?  Maybe being used to apply tension to catenary?  Also, you can see some edges that look like they were cut recently, but not just now.  If these had surrounding (supporting) structure cut away, it's not totally surprising that they fell over.

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They were connected with several cables, so when one fell over, it pulled the other down. Also it seems the rest of the old catenary was already removed, but they tought these poles will just stand there without any support. At least everything got removed after the accident. (could have been worse, like something falling over or in front a train)

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bikkuri bahn

How come they didn't remove these decommissioned catenary poles when they were doing the Ueno-Tokyo Line construction project?

 

Different line, so likely a different maintenance and construction timetable.

 

Only a few days before the collapse, a tilt was detected on one of the structures, it was judged safe to leave them for the moment, removal was actually scheduled for Monday night, however, the structures didn't hold up long enough.  A review of procedures is due, as well as the actual decision to leave a detected anomaly alone, if only for a few days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-oUEZqwMR4

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bikkuri bahn

The Yomiuri Shimbun East Japan Railway Co. postponed work to fix metal poles holding overhead wires on the Yamanote Line — despite noticing Friday that they were tilted — which consequently resulted in Sunday’s collapse, sources said Monday.

JR East decided to put off repairs for three days as it was unable to gather enough workers because it was the weekend, the sources said.

 

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002078397

 

Editorial:

Flimsy excuses

On the evening of April 11, a Yamanote Line driver passing by the site also noticed something was wrong with the poles. He informed the operations room that oversees train services on the line, but JR East’s response was to merely have company officials take the first train on Sunday morning and confirm once again that the poles were leaning.

 

There have been no past cases of such poles toppling over, except during an earthquake, and the poles were not leaning at a sharp angle — these were the reasons given by JR East officials as to why no action was taken despite three confirmations that something was wrong with the poles.

 

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YT uploader taoyakani was out and about to record the situation.  Footage from above track level starts at 13:30.

 

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Is it me, or is the uproar about this incident complete overkill?  I completely understand it would've been a huge pain in the bum for many travelers on the day and many would be frustrated.  But reading those articles, especially the final few lines is like wow.  Or is it lost in translation etc.  Or just journalism at its best etc?

Edited by katoftw
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This is called a near miss. If any train were travelling there at the exact moment there would have been a multi train pileup on all 4 tracks since visibility is bad and speeds are high on that part. Also there isn't much space so a single derailment could block all tracks. Now add that if a single engineer actually checked it on foot they he would have seen the problem with the cables right away, but all of them were lazy.

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This is called a near miss. If any train were travelling there at the exact moment there would have been a multi train pileup on all 4 tracks since visibility is bad and speeds are high on that part. Also there isn't much space so a single derailment could block all tracks. Now add that if a single engineer actually checked it on foot they he would have seen the problem with the cables right away, but all of them were lazy.

Maybe, maybe not.  It is a high potential for injury incident.  And that does require some investigating.

 

But again even your explaination is over kill and far fetched.  Cables don't cause derailments.  And at no point did the tilting solid objects cross in the path of the tracks, wheels or bodies.  Worse case scenerio with this case is that loose powerlines are torn down and pantagraphs are ripped of roofs.  Any trains traveling in the block would lose all electrical power instantly.

 

People walking on the streets below viaducts were probably more in danger of falling live cables than anything else.

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It's pretty standard that major incidents like these get broad coverage in the media, since reliable and punctual passenger rail transport is of vital importance to the Japanese economy. Just imagine what coverage it would have gotten if it happened during a weekday rush or landed on a train.

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From the pictures it seems to me that one coumn did get into the loading gauge of the Yamanote line (around at bogie height) and the cross beam on the other could have torn off the AC units from the trains. Generally larger train parts flying around is not healthy for other trains or the cars following behind, so it could have been much worse. Live wires are not a real problem, since Japan is in a quake zone, so ground fault protection is pretty good everywhere. You have a higher chance of getting hit by the weight of a falling cable than getting shocked by it.

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lurkingknight

well that would explain the stoppage... lol. I was on the shinkansen at that moment headed for tokyo station and the nex to narita, we had thought about bailing at shinagawa to grab lunch and then hop the nex from there or to grab yamanote or keihintohoku to tokyo station to grab the nex,, but good thing we didn't, we might have been stuck at shinagawa and had to find an alternate means of getting to narita.

 

After leaving shinagawa I had noticed all 4 blue and green trains stopped with doors open and waiting and didn't see the news about the stoppage until we were on the nex. I heard parts of the announcements in japanese but don't understand enough to get their meaning, All I heard was something to do with the 2 lines.

 

I believe the time we passed through shinagawa was about noon.

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well that would explain the stoppage... lol. I was on the shinkansen at that moment headed for tokyo station and the nex to narita, we had thought about bailing at shinagawa to grab lunch and then hop the nex from there or to grab yamanote or keihintohoku to tokyo station to grab the nex,, but good thing we didn't, we might have been stuck at shinagawa and had to find an alternate means of getting to narita.

 

Are there any NEXs which originate at Tokyo Station itself? I thought they all went through Shinagawa anyway, and run on the Yokosuka line so wouldn't have been affected.

 

FWIW even if the Yamanote/Keihin-Tohoku are out of action, the Tokaido and Yokosuka lines provide separate alternative routes to Tokyo (not to mention the Shinkansen itself).

 

I believe the time we passed through shinagawa was about noon.

 

 

I think the lines were reopened around 3pm.

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lurkingknight

the 2 separate nex trains link together at tokyo station on the way to narita, I believe one of the halves comes through shinagawa.

 

I'm sure we would've found alternate routes to tokyo from shinagawa had we hopped off early, there are lots of options, but I was thinking in terms of routes I was most familiar with. 

 

Our flight was 5:30 and I had left 40 minutes between shinkansen arrival to tokyo and the nex, and there was a later nex we could've taken to still be at the airport 2 hours before our flight, it just would've required a bit of headscratching to get to narita if we didn't make our nex connection. I didn't account for how busy it was though, between my first trip and this trip the nex was empty vs completely full with people standing (not sure how that worked out since you have to reserve seats for it) In fact there was a young lady in my seat when we got on.

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Think what your local press would say if the major commute highway was totally shut down for a day! I can imagine what it would be like here! It's bad when they have had to close one of ours for a couple of hours due to a bad accident. We get horrid snarles then on the main streets and neighborhoods that grinds everyone to a stop. Same things happen with the interlocking trains in Japan with overflows and delays.

 

Jeff

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Ah yes, it was all over the news when we were there... The Yamanote was delayed, but the Keihin Tohoku was held up seriously like for 8 hours if i'm not wrong? It caused a major delay on two of the busiest lines...

 

We were wondering what happened when the station were crowded with people talking to the station staff. I think you can get refunded for your tickets for this?

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