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Why does it take so long to resume operation even after the wind has stopped?

Some sections of JR-West lines include tracks along the sea, on mountains, and over bridges, which can be heavily impacted by strong winds. Accidents caused by strong winds have also been known to occur. Based on these experiences, train operation will be suspended if the wind speed reaches a certain level as determined by the operation regulation values. (For some sections of track, trains may also operate at reduced speeds.) If the wind continues to blow and does not fall below the regulation limit, resuming operation may take some time.
Even as we strive to enforce various countermeasures, safe operation is our top priority. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Click here to view a flow chart for resuming operation

Measures Against Strong Winds

To mitigate transportation trouble caused by strong winds, JR-West promotes the following initiatives.

Windbreak fencing

Windbreak fencing
Windbreak fencing on the Kosei Line

In order to minimize suspended operations caused by strong winds, JR-West began installing windbreak fencing in 2008, particularly along the Kosei and Hokuriku lines. This windbreak fencing in regulated sections is expected to reduce operation suspensions to one-third or less.

Installation of windbreak fencing allows for a more lenient wind regulation limit. (For example, the regulation limit for suspended operation has been increased from 25 m/s to 30 m/s.)

Operation Resumption Flow Chart

1 Wind speed reaches the specified regulation limit

If the wind speed reaches the specific regulation limit, a buzzer in the train operation control office alerts the operation director.

2 Speed is reduced or operation is suspended for required sections

If wind speeds reach the regulation limit, the risk of trains overturning or derailing increases, so the operation director instructs train crew members to reduce operation speeds or suspend operation.

Because wind gusts, etc. may occur even after wind has died down, suspended operation may continue to be enforced for an extended period.

3 Wind speed drops below the regulation limit

As winds begin to die down and wind speeds drop below the regulation limit, operation directors may instruct engineering department officials in charge of electrical equipment maintenance to inspect for objects that may have been blown onto the tracks.

4 Inspection is performed

Trains are operated at reduced speeds, and engineering department officials inspect the tracks and overhead lines as needed.

Any objects found to have been blown onto the tracks, including downed trees or limbs, will be removed.

5 Arrangements are made to restart operation

After an engineering department official completes inspection of the necessary sections and confirms that no abnormalities have occurred, they will contact the control office as required. The control office will then instruct the trains to resume operation while also providing the necessary information for train operation ordering and specific instructions for certain sections.

6 Trains return to normal operation schedules

As train operation resumes, railway staff will strive to restore the normal operation schedule as quickly as possible.
Situations where operation over a large area has been impacted, it may take some time before the normal operation schedule is restored.