Information published on 2 February 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 483.

Japan: An overview of research and development activities at the Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI)

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The Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI) is promoting a wide array of research and development based on its five-year master plan “Research 2020” from 2015 with the aims of maximising safety, pursuing cost reduction, enhancing harmony with the environment and improving convenience. For the “Research and Development for the Future Railway Systems” there are four major objectives.

In its efforts to pursue even safer railway systems, the Institute is going to develop bogies that can resist derailment by combining technologies to limit decreases in wheel load and reduce lateral force. It is also continuously building up technologies to prevent and reduce natural disasters that cause catastrophic damage to railway properties. In the search to revolutionise railway systems with an information network, RTRI is going to propose a more efficient method of maintaining structures by applying information and communication technology (ICT).

With the aim of energy saving, RTRI will develop control technology which coordinates vehicles, power feeding systems and train operation systems. To achieve the objective of “speeding up the Shinkansen”, RTRI is conducting research for prediction, assessment and reduction of a) the aerodynamic sound and pressure variation due to increasing speed, b) micro-pressure waves in tunnels and c) ground vibration. RTRI will also improve adhesive and non-adhesive brake systems for high speed railways. In order to construct railway simulators, RTRI is developing a simulator for each constituent system of the railways, and will also develop a railway simulator that enables comprehensive analysis by combining those systems.

Additionally, RTRI is continuing the construction of unique, large-scale test facilities such as a pantograph testing equipment to evaluate the current collecting performance and a moving-model rig to analyse the pressure variation phenomena in open sections during Shinkansen high speed operations.

(Source: RTRI)