1. Measures to Prevent Derailment of Shinkansen train in Earthquakes

  • Japan Railway Companies (the JR Group) and the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) and the RTRI are promoting the joint development of rolling stock guides as an off-track prevention measure, rail turnover prevention devices for the effective use of the guides, glued insulation rails as a measure against earthquake-related issues, improved expansion joints, derailment and off-track prevention guards on the ground as measures to prevent derailment of Shinkansen train in earthquakes.
  • Off-track prevention rolling stock guide (L-shaped guide)
       L-shaped guide (Fig. 1) which prevents excessive off-track of vehicle was tested in the field by the JR East after strength confirmation tests. To guarantee wheel strength when a derailed wheel collides with rail fasteners or rail-turnover prevention devices, the RTRI implemented weight-dropping tests.
  • Rail-turnover prevention device
       Rail-turnover prevention device is required to withstand the lateral forces exerted by derailed wheels and L-shaped guides, as well as to have sufficient strength to avoid failure in collision with a derailed wheel. The RTRI therefore implemented collision analysis and impact tests using actual tracks (Fig. 2), and proposed a fundamental design of plate slab. Strength confirmation tests of the device for ballast track are now being carried on.
  • Anti-earthquake glued insulated joint rail
       In joint development of glued insulated joint rail with the JR East, the RTRI took charge of the areas of testing, examination and evaluation. In this regard, the RTRI surveyed the glued insulated joint rail which was experimentally laid on the Joetsu Shinkansen line (Fig. 3) and confirmed that the specified performance was maintained satisfactorily one year after their installations.
  • Measures to prevent damage on expansion joint
       As measures to prevent damage on expansion joint, the RTRI has studied impact relief at the support rail end, and preventing turnover of support and tongue rails (Fig. 4). In addition, the RTRI is currently studying a method of setting slope before expansion joint to guide wheels onto the rails, and a structure to prevent the lateral movement of wheels using an off-track prevention device on the plate.
  • Derailment prevention guard
       It is confirmed that supporting part of the derailment prevention guards for plate slab and frame-shaped slab (Fig. 5) have sufficient strength through static loading tests. It is also found that the horizontal displacement of the derailment prevention guard was within the allowable range. These results mean that the prototype guards have sufficient strength for their purpose. Derailment prevention guard for ballast track is now under development by the JR Central as well as off-track prevention stopper on vehicle.
  • Off-track prevention guard
       It is confirmed that the prototype off-track prevention guard for plate slabs (Fig. 6) has enough strength through a static loading test with load of 200 kN. Since the lateral displacement of the guard was very small, it holds its function of off-track prevention. The off-track prevention guard for frame-shaped slab has the same characteristic.
Fig. 1 L-shaped guide (JR East) Fig. 2 A scene at collision testing of the rail-turnover prevention device (at the test site on JR Eastfs Tokaido freight branch line)
Fig. 3 Anti-earthquake glued insulated joint rail
(experimentally laid on Joetsu Shinkansen of JR East) Fig. 4 An example of improved expansion joint
Fig. 5 Derailment prevention guard (for plate slabs) Fig. 6 Off-track prevention guard (for plate slabs)

R&D > Major Results of Research and Development in Fiscal 2006 > I Safety/Reliability


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