A MASSPRODUCTION COLUMN (06/09/98, 12/09/98 Revised)
I would like to express my regret over the death of victims at the accident of Deutsche Bahn InterCityExpress on 06/03/98. (Part 2)
Please refer to Part 1...
I would like to express my regret again over the death of victims at the accident of Deutsche Bahn InterCityExpress on 06/03/98.
As you read my first report on 06/08/98, I went to Germany in 1997.
A travel agancy in Japan arranged my journey in Southern Germany. The agancy is one of Mitsubishi Group. That time Mitsubishi Group had a good ralationship with Daimler Benz Group. I wanted an airplane journey. The agency offered a journey using buses and trains.
In 1977, Mr. Kunio Yanagida, a famous non-fiction writer in Japan, wrote a small book titled "New Trunk Line Accident," which was published by Chuou Kouron Sha.
Few books written in Japanese on New Trunk Line were published. Japanese think New Trunk Line is safe.
Mr. Kunio Yanagida was a TV journalist. Thereafter he got a freelance writer. He dealt with airplane accident. His work was a large non-fiction book "Mach-speed Fear." He dealt with organ transplantation. He blamed Japanese medicine for its brain death concept.
He also dealt with Japanese New Trunk Line. He doubted its safety.
Then (in 1977) I was a high school student. Of course I hardly got on New Trunk Line trains. Thereafter I had got on New Trunk Line every week when I worked at Nagoya. I had got on Super Express "Hikari" No. 202 to go from Shin Osaka to Nagoya at 6:18 a.m. every Monday at the car No. 1 for three years. In winter, it snows heavily at Sekigahara in Gifu prefecture. The speed of New Trunk Line trains was decreased at Sekigahara. Central Japan Railway (JR Tokai) sprinkles the rails with water at Sekigahara in winter to melt snow. In summar, the temperature at Osaka shows 95 oF. Metals used at New Trunk Line trains will be much more damaged than that at European trains!!
I has got on New Trunk Line over 300 times. Of course I still live. I felt the high speed train system very safe. However I always get on not Super Express "Nozomi" but Super Express "Hikari."
When you get on "Nozomi" train, you will find rust near windows outside the train. Most of "Nozomi" trains look rather damaged. Especially "Nozomi" trains shake up passengers too much in West Japan Railway (JR Nishinihon) lines. Nozomi trains are called system-300.
On the other hand, those who think New Trunk Line is safe point out that Japanese New Trunk Line uses not electric locomotives but electric cars. Most of European high speed trains use electric locomotives. Some railways even use push-pull method. In the push-pull method, the locomotive at the rear of the train pushes the other carriages.
Most of railway engineers in the world regarded Mr. Hideo Shima who made up the New Trunk Line as a kind of genius. The natural condition around the rail and the trains of Japanese New Trunk Line is very bad. Moreover the New trunk Line is very safe. It seems European railway engineers cannot made up high speed railway system. Is it true?
Recently system-500 "Nozomi" trains were made by West Japan Railway (JR Nishinihon). It runs at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour. Many critics said, "It looks like an airplane." I got it on. I felt it looked like "ICE." ICE mainly uses pink and red. On the other hand, system-500 uses blue and purple. But its interior resembles ICE's.
Japanese New Trank Line has already had many kinds of electric cars, for example, system-0, system-100, system-200, system-300, system-500, etc., for 33 years at Tokaido, Sanyo, Tohoku, Joetsu, Akita, Yamagata and Nagano-yuki lines. ICE has three types of trains. Most of them are type ICE-1. It started in 1991.
Figure 1; Germany map
I went from Kahlsruhe Hauptbahnhof to Freiburg Hauptbahnhof on 11/26/97 by InterCityExpress 71.
Of course, the train does not run on 06/04/98.
| Hamburg Dammtor
| Hamburg Hbf
| Hannover Hbf
| Frankfurt(Main) Hbf
| Mannheim Hbf
| Karlsruhe Hbf
| Basel Bad Bf
| Basel SBB
ICE 71 passes over Eschede on 11:10.
If you want further information, you can see the followings. (copyright (c) Deutsche Bahn AG, 1997)
Time table page 1; when you get on the first class of the train, you can get the time table.
Time table page 2; The page 2 explains the origin of the train nickname. ICE 71 nickname is "Helvetia." It means Switzerland Express.
Time table, 2 pages
I got on the train on 15:08 and got it off on 16:11. Its tariff-kilometers were 135 km. Its fare was 73.00 DM. (\5,700. Second class was 51.00 DM. If you use InterRegio trains, their fare is 54.00 DM.)
This price is reasonable for Japanese. I do not know if it is reasonable for German. S-Bahn fare is very expensive for Japanese. Fast food price is very expensive for Japanese. Book price is very expensive for Japanese. However price of tools and mensa lunch is not expensive.
Comparison between German Express and Japanese Express
|German System||Japanese System|
|InterCityExpress||Special Fee is added into the Fare
New High Speed Rails were partially constructed
|New Trunk Line Super Express||Special Fee is added into the Fare|
Almost of all rails are new constructed high speed rails
|EuroCity||an international limited express
Limited Express Fee is added into the Fare
|Limited Express||Limited Express Fee is added into the Fare|
|InterCity||a business limited express
Limited Express Fee is added into the Fare
|Limited Express (L-Tokkyu)|
|InterRegio||a business express
Deutsche Bahn improved the express system
|Express||Express Fee is added into the Fare|
|"D" Schnellzug||a traditional express|
|RegionalExpress||a rapid train
||Local Train or Rapid Train||basic trains|
|RegionalBahn||a local train|
|StadtExpress||a rapid train|
|S-Bahn||a local train within large cities
It has special fare system including U-Bahn (Subway) and Bus system
|"Koku-den" or "E-den" local trains||a local train within large cities|
It does not have any special fare system
Figure 2; InterCityExpress' Electric Locomotive
Figure 3; InterCity's carriage
To Be Continued ...
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