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WHEN EAST MEETS WEST
Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr.
A Japanese expert who analyzed video footage of Saturday's fatal bullet train accident in China said Sunday it was and accident hard to imagine happening here in Japan,even though one of the trains involved appears to be one modeled on a domestic shinkansen. A Japanese Railway official said shinkansen systems have been equipped with automatic train contol devices since they were inaugurated in 1964 because of the understanding that it would be difficult for the driver to rely on visuual traffic confirmation of the need to apply the brakes on the high-speed service.
The ATC automatically stops a train if another train is detected ahead.
If the system fails or power is lost,the brakes are applied automatically.Shinkansen trains operated by Japanese railway have been designed using the concept that they should stop whenever an anomaly is detected,the JR official said. Since their launch,no collisions have ever happened,acording to Japan Railway.
Given the logos on the carriages,of Chin's trains the one that was rear-ended the other one appears to be a CRH2 model manufactured on technology from Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.,Japan,while the one that was rear-ended is asumed to be a CRH1,based on technology from Canada's Bombardier Inc,A public relations official of KHI said,"No comments can be made because the cause of the accident remains unknown."A sourace at the company,however,said it has long been concerned about the Chinese approach of prioritizing speed at the expense of safety.
The CRH2 is based on the Hayate bullit train that runs on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line operated by East Japan Railway Co.Based on technology supplied by Kawasaki Heavy Industries,Chinese state-run company China South Locomotive and rolling stock corp.Took the lead in developing the CRH2. A total of 120 trains and 960 cars have already been delivered to the Ministry of Railways China.
Their maximum speed is set between 200-275 kph to ensure safety.China, however started commercial operations at a maximum 350 kph on some routes. After learning this,Kawasaki Heavy said it had secured a written guarantee from China that the Japanese company"would not be held responsible"if and accident was caused due to speed.
At the moment,it is unknown whather the accident was caused by factors relating to operations or faulty vehicle components or both.Kawasaki Heavy asid it is not involved in the running of the trains in China.Also the Chinese Railway Ministry ordered the wrecked or damaged trains burried at the site area of the crash.So now how can any investigation of the crash or what caused it to happen be carried out now,it seems that the Chinese want to hide all the evidence and cover up everything that would have been found by investigators.
If there is anymore confrontation regarding this tragic accident I 'll keep you all informed as to the out come. We also receive Chinese TV news channels here in Japanese translation and sometimes in English. From China we're only 1 1/2 hour away here in Kitakyushu City, Japan.
Warm Regards from Hot, Sunny Kitakyushu City, Japan.
Hank F. Miller Jr.
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