Train Cancellations, Delays Surge in Japan over 30 Years

Society

Tokyo, Feb. 26 (Jiji Press)--Cases of train service disruptions have substantially increased in Japan over the past 30 years, transport ministry data show.

On Monday, a power failure paralyzed services on sections in the Tokyo area of the Chuo and Sobu lines of East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, during the morning rush hour, leading to the cancellations of 177 trains and delays of 91 trains, with the number of affected people reaching about 280,000. The incident also forced a delay in the start of the day's entrance examinations at some universities.

In fiscal 2017, which ended in March 2018, the number of train service disruption cases, such as cancellations and delays of 30 minutes or longer, rose by 603 from fiscal 2016 to 5,934, about 3.1 times more than the fiscal 1988 level of 1,883, according to the ministry data.

Of the total, 2,455 cases, or 41.4 pct, were caused by external factors, such as humans or animals entering the railway tracks or fires breaking out along the tracks, up by more than sixfold from fiscal 1988, and 2,022 cases by natural disasters, including typhoons, snowfalls and earthquakes, up more than threefold.

The remaining 1,457 cases occurred due to factors on the part of railway operators, such as problems with trains and facilities, up about 50 pct from fiscal 2016.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press