Information published on 10 September 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 363.

Japan: English version of the Investigation Report into the train derailment accident on JR’s Fukuchiyama Line has been published

  • Safety

One of the activities of UIC in the Rail Safety field consists in promoting international exchange of information among members on railway accidents, maintaining and developing databases (as the European safety database) with statistical data and a series of useful information on rail accidents, and sharing between members lessons from accidents as well as best practices aiming to optimise the level of rail safety in all parts of the world.

Such exchanges on the basis of a mutual confidence took place on 29 August in the framework of an extraordinary meeting of the UIC Safety Platform Steering Group held in Paris with the objective of informing members about conditions under which four dramatic railway accidents occurred last July successively in Canada, France, Spain and Switzerland (see “UIC e-News” 362 issued on 3 September 2013: http://www.uic.org/com/uic-e-news/362), first lessons and first technical or operational measures adopted after these accidents.

In the context of such information exchanges possibly benefitting the entire railway community, East Japan Railways (EJRC), on behalf of the Japan Transport Safety Board, requested UIC to publish the following information for its members on the railway accident that occurred in 2005 in Japan and the following Investigation Report:

Part of the Accident Investigation Report of the Train Derailment Accident on the JR Fukuchiyama Line that occurred in 2005 has been translated into English and published on the website of the Japan Transport Safety Board. Although there have been English translations about ship and aircraft accidents, this is the first time for a railway accident.

This accident, which occurred at Hyogo Prefecture on 25 April 2005, was caused by the entry of the commuter train (a seven-car train set) into a curve that had a 70 km/h speed limit at a speed of approximately 116 km/h, and resulted in the derailment of five cars and the collision of two of the five cars against the wall of a condominium next to the railway track. There were 107 people killed (106 passengers and the driver) and 562 injured.

The Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission, the predecessor of the Japan Transport Safety Board, published a railway accident investigation report in June 2007. Five of the total of seven chapters have now been translated and published, including the summary, cause of the accident, and some points which the government and company should improve. It is expected that the two remaining chapters which include the detailed facts will be translated in the near future as well. The person in charge of the Japan Transport Safety Board said that it would be fortunate if they could contribute to the safety of railways throughout the world.

For further details, please refer to the webpage of the Japan Transport Safety Board,
http://www.mlit.go.jp/jtsb/english.html

(Source: JR East)