6. Support of survey and restoration after the Niigata Chuetsu earthquake
  • Beginning of disaster survey support immediately after an earthquake
  • Support of soundness diagnosis of damaged structures and determination of restoration work
  • Extension of technological support to restoration work related to track slabs, rail fasteners and other track structures
  •       A Joetsu Shinkansen train was derailed and viaduct pillars, bridge piers, tunnels, slopes and embankments were seriously damaged by the Niigata Chuetsu earthquake of October 23, 2004.
          The RTRI dispatched experts immediately after the earthquake to the disaster-stricken site to support survey of conditions relating to structure, track and rolling stock.
          To quickly restore the damaged Shinkansen structures, the RTRI extended its technological support to the evaluation of structural soundness and proposed methods for restoration work, centering on the inner lining concrete reinforcement and the striking of lock bolts for tunnels.
          The RTRI participated in the survey of damaged track slabs and rail fasteners, and proposed methods for their restoration.
          For narrow-gauge lines, the RTRI surveyed the damaged bridges, tunnels, embankments, slopes and other structures and supported their rehabilitation (Fig. 1). For embankments with extensive damage, the RTRI proposed its own reinforced railway with rigid facing (RRR) method (Fig. 2), which was adopted for part of the damaged embankments. For a collapsed slope at a tunnel entrance, the RTRI proposed the removal of unstable soil lumps on the slope, extension of the down-track tunnel portal section, prevention measures against falling stones, the laying of falling stone detection wires and other emergency measures.

    Fig. 1 A collapsed embankment

    Fig. 2 Restoration by the RRR method

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