1,140 Train Viaduct Pillars May Sink in Japan

Economy

Tokyo, Dec. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japan has about 1,140 train viaduct pillars that may sink due to an earthquake, the transport ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry also said that it has asked East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, and West Japan Railway Co. <9021>, or JR West, to move up their antiseismic reinforcement work so that the work will be completed by fiscal 2025.

The ministry made the disclosure at a meeting of a panel of experts to examine earthquake countermeasures for Shinkansen bullet trains after a temblor that occurred off Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in March this year caused the derailment of a JR East Tohoku Shinkansen train.

According to the panel, JR East and JR West have about 970 and 170 viaduct pillars that may be affected by an earthquake in their service areas. Many are not covered by their current seismic reinforcement programs.

It took about a month to fully reopen the Tohoku Shinkansen line as the March earthquake, which measured upper 6, the second-highest level on Japan’s seismic intensity scale, in Fukushima and the neighboring prefecture of Miyagi, not only caused the derailment but also damaged many utility poles and viaduct sections.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press