As the TS-M type switch device frequently used as the electric point machine for current Shinkansen trains is large and heavy, it can be laborious to transport and replace. A new electric point machine for Shinkansen was therefore developed by considerably changing the internal structure and decreasing its size and weight (Fig. 1). At 285 kg, the new switch device is substantially lighter than the conventional type TS-M (430 kg) and also much lighter than the NS type electric point machine for conventional lines (380 kg). In the conventional type TS-M switch device, switch operation force varies with throw bar strokes. Consequently, oil run-out on the floorboard side, for instance, may cause problems of switching force shortage leading to switching failure. The new switch device, however, secures a constant switching force regardless of throw bar strokes (Fig. 2), making inoperative switching rare. Additionally, the new switch device is designed with emphasis on interoperability with conventional switches (such as equivalent installation methods and electric wiring), enabling simple replacement of existing conventional switches.
A switching test of the new device carried out on commercial lines over a period of approximately six months showed that the lock/unlock and switching functions satisfied requirements and no failure was detected in the motor and gear units, opening up the prospect of practical use.