Transport plans are essential to highly reliable and user-oriented railway services. In actual operation, plans may have to be changed dynamically when traffic is disrupted due to congestion, natural disaster and so on. In order to prepare suitable plans, having an evaluation method is important. This paper outlines recent research and development of transport planning evaluation methods. It describes results from the research and development of evaluation methods for basic transport plans, time tables and measures applicable to traffic operation. Finally, it describes the prospect of applying multi-data analysis and a new train control system based on radio communication, to transport planning.
Environmental problems along railway lines, caused by passing trains, include: noise, ground vibrations, micro-pressure waves radiating from tunnel portals, etc. It is necessary to mitigate the impacts of these phenomena to build more environmentally-friendly railways. This paper describes some recent studies on this subject carried out by the Railway Technical Research Institute.
From the point of view of the safety, convenience and comfortability of railways, the Human Science Division of Railway Technical Research Institute has been conducting research on the education and training of employees and the improvement of onboard environment and station environment. This paper outlines the recent topics on the human science research of the countermeasures against human errors, and the proposals for improving the convenience and comfortability of railway passengers, and then explain its future prospects.
In order to estimate train operation power consumption more precisely, a train operation power simulator has been developed which executes a coupled-analysis of the power supply network, rolling stock characteristics and driving patterns. First, the outline of the simulator is described. Secondly, the simultaneous measurement of substations and rolling stock within a limited feeder section is explained. Then, the degree of accuracy of this simulator was verified through comparison of calculation results with simultaneously measured results.
Seating plans for reserved/non-reserved seats on inter-city express trains do not necessarily correspond to passenger demand which may vary depending on many factors such as calendar day and/or service section. This mismatch may cause inconvenience to passenger due to congestion experienced on board trains and may cause revenue loss for railway operators. A prototype was developed for a seating allocation optimization system, which is expected to be an effective solution to overcome these problems. Case studies were conducted which showed that optimizing seating plans can be expected to improve both passenger experience and railway operator revenues.
This study describes the development of a geographic information system for freight transport which utilizes existing freight transport data, and which helps users or operators understand real transport conditions with a view to improving freight transport efficiency. This GIS system can be used to examine the state of rail transport along corridors. A simulation using relevant index values, then calculates a comparative evaluation of rail freight compared to road transport. The information thus obtained from the new GIS system can be used to support decision-making to facilitate transport planning for users or operators.
Impact noise induced by rail joints is one of the major sources of wayside noise on railways. Field tests were conducted around a rail joint on a commercial meter-gauged railway line. It was found out that the sound power of the total impact noise increased proportionally to train speed to the power of 2.4 in the speed range of 40 km/h to 100 km/h. Estimation of contribution to impact noise from rails and sleepers based on their vibration showed that noise generated by sleepers is the dominant source of impact noise below 500 Hz, whilst above 1 kHz it is from the rails. A prediction model indicated that modifying track parameters could potentially reduce impact noise.
To verify the accuracy of the current method for predicting thermal environments in tunnels, a model experimental device was developed. This experimental device was designed to be able to investigate heat transfer in tunnels and heat conduction in the rock and soil surrounding the tunnel by blowing hot air into a thick pipe made of acrylic plastic. Temperature detectors were placed in various positions along the experimental device. The difference in temperatures measured in the model experiment and those obtained through calculation was about 1°C showing that numerical calculations obtained through the current method satisfy accuracy requirements.
This paper describes a model for predicting wayside noise close to an overpass on Shinkansen railway line. In the development of the model, sound reflection on the bottom surface of bridge should be taken into consideration. The effect of sound reflection was examined in acoustic experiments with scale models. Then, a mirror image source and a correction value due to the reflection on the finite surface were introduced into the prediction model. It was validated by comparing the measured results with the results simulated by the prediction model. It was found by using the prediction model that the mirror image sources corresponding to the noise generated from the lower part of railway cars and the track have a greater influence on the wayside noise.
The increasing number and variety of sounds emitted inside driving cabs has created the concern that this may distract drivers. A process has been developed to select sounds and information conveyed through spoken messages (speech information) to ensure they reflect a level of warning commensurate with the importance of their content. This selection method was developed on the basis of interviews conducted with people responsible for system design, and tests and surveys carried out with on-board staff. The importance of the information to be conveyed was split into four categories (hazard level) according to the likelihood of an accident and example sounds and speech information were given for each hazard level based on the degree of warning to be impressed on drivers.
The visual contrast between tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs) and their surrounding or adjacent surfaces is important for people with low vision when they walk by themselves. Between two components of visual contrast, luminance contrast is recognized even by people with low vision who have color vision deficiency, so some existing guidelines and standards stipulate numerical criteria for luminance contrast. However, none of the existing guidelines and standards provide enough instructions for the practical measurement of the luminance contrast around TWSIs, which is necessary when applying numerical criteria in real environments such as railway stations. In this paper, the authors propose measuring methods of the luminance contrast around TWSIs, taking the environmental characteristics of railway stations into consideration.
The characteristics of the psychological state of passengers when trains stop moving for reasons such as an accident, inter alia, were modelled. Then, guidelines for making announcements were compiled, taking into account the state of mind of passengers. The guidelines were developed with a focus on "organizing ability," "supportive ability," and "explanatory ability." Furthermore, the effectiveness of the guidelines was examined based on the results of surveys conducted on passengers and station staff. The survey on passengers indicated that passengers felt that announcements after the guidelines had been put in place, were more suited to the situation than conventional announcements. The survey on station staff indicated that the guidelines had been widely accepted by staff, and were considered useful for improving announcement skills.
The following correction should be made to the original paper:
February, 2017 Vol.58, No.1 Page 72, left column, in the12th row from the bottom, "the type of structural" should read "the type of structure," Page 74, left column, in the 8th row from the bottom, "compared wo" should read "compared to," and Page 76, in the caption of Fig. 14, "14 Maximum" should read "Maximum" ("14" is unnecessary).
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