Research and Development Activities of Speed-up Project for Shinkansen and Conventional Lines

Norimichi KUMAGAI, Senior Manager, Planning Division, (Former Manager, Speedup Project, Technological Development Dept.)

Reduction of railway travel time from origin to destination is a social need and at the same time one of the major management targets every JR company pursues. Particularly, how to shorten the time taken between big cities is now a great problem for the solution of which speedup is the key. The RTRI has striven since its reorganization to contribute to JR companies' efforts in consolidating their management base in the future with research teams vigorously working on themes associated with environment and increase of quality and promoting R&D in speedup-oriented technologies. The R&D activities related to speedup on Shinkansen and narrow-gauge lines were integrated in 1995 under a Speedup Project with the efforts more concentrated on the environment, safety, cost performance and comfort. The present article gives a brief review of the latest developments and the achievements in the Speedup Project.