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Smoke and fire on Hokkaido trains

July 29, 2013 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

A recent series of fire-and-smoke incidents involving limited express trains of Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) has caused concerns to tourists.

The company was forced to suspend through the end of August the operation of 36 trains using the same type of diesel engines as used by the trains that experienced the incidents.

This is a serious situation and those incidents may be a harbinger of major accidents. JR Hokkaido must thoroughly check its trains and train operation system and immediately take corrective measures if necessary.

On the morning of July 15, a conductor stopped the eight-car limited express Super Ozora No. 3 on the Chitose Line because he smelled a scorching odor inside the No. 3 car, causing 135 passengers to evacuate. It was found that a fire started in the breaker of a switchboard for air conditioning. An electronic component in a circuit board for the Automatic Train Stoppage system was also found to have burned. It is to protect the circuit against an excessive electric current.

Edited by : Bill Hurley

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