‘Ja­pan’s Shinkansen ex­am­ple of ex­cel­lent rail project’

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The un­par­al­leled safety fea­tures of Ja­pan’s Shinkansen high­speed rail­way are one rea­son why it is the most pre­ferred mode of trans­porta­tion among the Ja­panese.

East Ja­pan Rail­way Com­pany ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent Yuji Fukazawa said the Shinkansen had main­tained a zero-ca­su­alty track record since it was first in­tro­duced in 1964.

“It has trans­ported 10.2 bil­lion pas­sen­gers since the start of the ser­vice, with no ca­su­al­ties recorded for more than 50 years. We take pride in this achieve­ment,” said Yuji yes­ter­day.

He was one of the pan­el­lists for the third High-Speed Rail (HSR) Sym­po­sium themed “Shar­ing 52 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence of the Shinkansen”, which was held here yes­ter­day.

The sym­po­sium pro­vided a plat­form for coun­tries to share knowl­edge and ex­per­tise on the up­com­ing Kuala Lumpur-Sin­ga­pore HSR project.

The Tai­wan HSR con­nect­ing Taipei and Kaoh­si­ung, which started op­er­a­tions in 2007, was one sys­tem that adopted Ja­pan’s Shinkansen tech­nol­ogy.

Tai­wan HSR Corp chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer John Chen said Tai­wan HSR’s an­nual rid­er­ship growth was proof that it was a re­li­able, im­por­tant and nec­es­sary mode of trans­porta­tion in the coun­try.

“The HSR sys­tem af­fects our lives, econ­omy, en­vi­ron­ment and fu­ture de­vel­op­ment. As for Tai­wan, we have ben­e­fited greatly from this sys­tem as it has fun­da­men­tally trans­formed the trans­porta­tion sys­tem of the Tai­wan western cor­ri­dor,” said Chen.

Land Public Trans­port Com­mis­sion (SPAD) chair­man Tan Sri Dr Syed Hamid Al­bar, who de­liv­ered a key­note speech ear­lier, said Malaysia was for­tu­nate to learn from many other HSR projects around the world.

“The Shinkansen, Ja­pan’s na­tional pride, is a rail tech­nol­ogy that is revered for its ef­fi­ciency and safety mea­sures.

“What re­ally sets the Ja­pan bullet train sys­tem apart from its com­peti­tors is the way it is op­er­ated, with the coun­try be­ing proud of its track record of zero fa­tal­i­ties in its 52 years of op­er­a­tions.”

Hamid said the Kuala Lumpur-Sin­ga­pore HSR would be a game changer and pull iso­lated re­gions closer, as well as spur so­cio-eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment.

He also thanked the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment for host­ing the sym­po­sium here.

“SPAD will have the chal­lenge of set­ting up stan­dards and reg­u­la­tions for the HSR. In do­ing so, we will never com­pro­mise safety as it is of para­mount im­por­tance,” he added. By Beatrice Nita Jay

Ja­pan’s high-speed train sys­tem has main­tained a zero-ca­su­alty track record since it was first in­tro­duced in 1964.

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