BROKEN RAIL, AGAIN!
9 March 2005


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(Union News "Daily DORO CHIBA" No.6033,)(Japanes)

BROKEN RAIL, AGAIN!
DRIVING SAFETY IN CRISIS! RISE UP FOR SPRING OFFENSIVE!

What is happening here!? The rail was broken again, and this is the FORTH. It was Sobu rapid line between Ichikawa and Funabashi, bound for Tokyo, about 20.174 km point, where the broken rail was found this time. Now, trains are drove in a quite dangerous situation everyday.

IT HAS BEEN NEGLECTED FOR 2 YEARS!?

The rail was broken again(Sobu rapid line between Ichikawa and Funabashi)

The broken point had been reinforced by steel plate already but yet there was 16 mm void. And it was not just broken, but surface has been massively peeled off.

It was in 2003 when the point was judged "B rank" as it had 16 mm depth flaw on its rail head at the time of flaw inspection. So it was reinforced by extra steel plate. But the last year, again, the point was found to be "A1 rank" with 7 mm depth flaw on its rail head at the inspection. But the boss, outrageously, interpreted it as the better situation than before (!). They put just reinforcing steel plate in 2003. This boss's attitude IS the fundamental cause to trigger broken rail after 2 years.

Why rail tracks have been broken again and again? The reason has to be thoroughly investigated. But we have to say that inspection process has big problem as well.

RAIL TRACK SHATTERED!

It is absolutely abnormal that we had to have 4 broken rails in just 20 days:

13 February, Sobu rapid line, between Tsudanuma and Inage, about 30mm void
27 February, Kashima line, between Kashima-Zhingu and Stadium, 40mm void
3 March, Namekawa station in Narita line, broken joint bolt, 32mm gap
5 March, Sobu rapid line, between Ichikawa and Funabashi, 16mm void

Media in the UK"Track shattered into 300 bits under train"(05.02.01)

These made us remember the fatal incidents in the UK after the railway privatization. Thirty two people died as a train derailed and turned over at Ladbroke Grove in 1999. Four people died at derailment accident at Hatfield in 2000. The causes were both broken rail tracks. And the following year, Railtrack Company which was the flagship privatized company owning UK's national rails and facilities went bankrupt as it could not burden to pay all the indemnity.

We have heard the court of Hatfield accident recently. Media in the UK reported the court and remarks of the people concerned: "Track shattered into 300 bits under train", "Cracks in the rails which caused the Hatfield disaster were spotted 21 months earlier, but maintenance bosses did nothing to repair them", "Replacement track was delivered but simply left lying beside the faulty section for six months", "As a result, the crash 'was no accident - it was a disaster waiting to happen'", "it was the 'cavalier attitude' of five executives which was the real cause of the accident".

JR (Japan Railway) is about to have completely the same type of accidents. We have to demand driving safety and security. Let's fight for Spring Labour Offensive 2005!

We demand:

-thorough investigation of the cause of the accident with all the efforts.
-thorough inspections covering all the sections by experienced maintenance workers, and public release of the result
-replacement of all the tracks which have "shelling flaw" and "squeal crack"
-limitation of max speed until all the process above will have finished.
-restoration of original track inspection frequency before the change
-restoration of direct management for maintenance of track, electricity, communication and other works before the subcontracting

DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA
Email: doro-chiba@doro-chiba.org
Web: http://www.doro-chiba.org/

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