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[Resource] Mainichi 30/9/03
Page first written 1 October 2003
Last updated 4 October 2003

Chuo Line in Tokyo closed for 8 hours because of prolonged engineering work

JR East closed Chuo Line in Tokyo between Mitaka and Tachikawa stations from the late evening of Saturday 27 September for engineering works in connection with the elevation of the line. The section was due to re-open in the early morning of 28 September, but due to the faults that were found in the test-runs, the re-opening was delayed for nearly 8 hours. This is the leader comment criticising JR East; one point that I strongly oppose to is their comment that "They (JR East) should not have ceased the operation of the replacement bus services when there was no immediate possibility of re-opening" -- this clearly illustrates Mainichi's ignorance about the capacity of the railways, which is simply too huge for buses to cope.

This sort of large-scale engineering works are in fact prone to this sort of mistakes. The case I clearly remember is on the very first day when Tobu Railway opened a new station on their Noda Line; the signalling system did not work properly, and just in front of me who was queuing for the next down train at Magomezawa station, an up train waiting for departure on the opposite platform was suddenly taken out of service, and eventually put into the down service I was waiting for. But, Noda Line is far less important than Chuo Line; JR East even allotted more time by closing the line, which means they would have planned for possible contingencies. Then, it is inevitable that the parties involved, especially JR East, are criticised. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) said they would investigate into the cause of the trouble, and I am looking forward to the publication of the further, in-depth report.

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TAKAGI, Ryo webmaster@takagi-ryo.ac
(c) R. Takagi 2003. All rights reserved.