National › JR Hokkaido says track defects found in 170 more locations - ( J44P44NN )

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


JR Hokkaido Railway Co, which is already under fire for a series of derailments and other problems, said Wednesday that track defects had been left unrepaired in 170 more locations.

The announcement came after a JR Hokkaido spokesman was visibly uncomfortable at a televised news conference on Tuesday afternoon, admitting that he didn’t have enough information to answer reporters’ questions.

After a freight train derailed on the Hakodate line last Thursday, JR Hokkaido said an emergency inspection revealed that track defects had been neglected at 97 locations. In many cases, track width had increased beyond the safety limit.

JR Hokkaido said Wednesday that all defects have now been repaired, Fuji TV reported.

Adding to the company’s problems was another incident on Tuesday when white smoke was seen rising from beneath a car on a train at Shiranuka Station on the Nemuro line.

On Tuesday, the company was reprimanded by the transport ministry which has extended its investigation of the rail operator’s maintenance procedures until Friday, Fuji TV reported.

Meanwhile, Hokkaido Gov Harumi Takahashi said she plans to meet Thursday with JR Hokkaido President Makoto Nojima and urge him to make sure the company pays greater attention to safety measures.

Japan Today