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JR West unveils train cars equipped with "all possible safety steps"

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 9:53am
The Associated Press

Workers walk past a Metro-North train car that was damaged in a derailment in the Bronx section of New York, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Federal authorities began righting the cars Monday morning as they started an exhaustive investigation into what caused a Metro-North commuter train rounding a riverside curve to derail, killing four people and injuring more than 60 others. A second "event recorder" retrieved from the train may provide information on the speed of the train, how the brakes were applied, and the throttle setting, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)OSAKA, Dec. 10 (Kyodo) — West Japan Railway Co. on Monday unveiled train cars that it said incorporate "all possible safety steps," with lessons learned from past accidents.

Each car is equipped with sensors to detect derailments and collisions, according to the train company. The train also features an emergency brake that activates automatically without the need for the driver or a conductor to apply it.

Shown to the press by its manufacturer Kinki Sharyo Co., the train also has a system installed to automatically issue alerts to nearby trains with whistles and flares if an accident takes place.

In a fatal derailment on the Fukuchiyama Line in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture in 2005, a speeding train that derailed put another train approaching at risk because it was not alerted.

The new train is scheduled to start running in spring on the company's Hokuriku Line between Tsuruga and Kanazawa.

"We incorporated all possible safety steps available at this time," said Hiroyuki Kido, head of the vehicle design section at JR West.

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