Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 22 (pp.58–59)

June – August 1999

1 June American Airlines MD80 overran runway on landing at Littlerock, Arkansas, USA, killing 9 and injuring 80 out of 145 passengers and crew
4 June Japanese White Paper on Traffic Safety reported 803,873 traffic accidents in 1998 (increase of 23,479 over previous year), marking 6th straight year of record highs
Private car collided with express train on JR Sotobo Line crossing in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, killing woman and two children in car
7 June Bus with about 120 passengers plunged from bridge into lake in Darangere district, southern India, killing at least 85 including 11 children
8 June Japanese White Paper on Tourism reported 5.9% drop (to 15.81 million) in Japanese travelling overseas in 1998 compared to previous year, marking first drop since Gulf War. Reasons cited are economic recession, future concerns, and weak yen
9 June Japanese Ministry of Transport announced new shinkansen line being built between Morioka and Aomori (107.9 km) on Tohoku Shinkansen will not be used for freight transport because existing JR line to be used for freight after transfer of ownership from JR East to new third-sector company
Aerospatiale AS-350BA helicopter crashed into Herbert Glacier in Alaska, USA, killing all 6 tourists on board and pilot
20 June Ground-breaking ceremony held for construction of JR Osaka Outer Loop Line (approx. 20 km between Shin-Osaka and Kyuhoji) in Higashi Osaka City. Line scheduled for completion in 2005 at total cost of ¥120 billion and incorporating existing JR West Joto Freight Line to be double-tracked and electrified
26 June Joetsu Shinkansen Max stopped in Ishiuchi Tunnel (3109 m) between Urasa and Echigo-Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture for 4 hours because emergency brake activated. Passengers eventually transferred to another train on down line
Deutsche Bahn AG and Netherlands Railways agreed to establish integrated freight transport company as well as tie-up in passenger sector. Operations to start in 2000–2001 using German ICEs between Frankfurt and Amsterdam
27 June Carriage of Hikari San'yo Shinkansen ripped open for 12 m by concrete blocks falling from roof of Fukuoka Tunnel between Kokura and Hakata. Ministry of Transport issued instructions to 109 railway companies nationwide to check 4451 tunnels (total length of 2728 km) for other construction defects
28 June Japanese Ministry of Transport announced slight increase in 1998 passengers on domestic and international airlines to 87.91 million (+2.7%) and 16.29 million (+3.8%), respectively, over previous year
Subway No. 1 (18.5 km) in Guangzhou, China opened to full operation
29 June Number of railway accidents in 1998 in Japan posted record low since 1975, standing at 939 accidents including train collisions and crossing accidents (about 50%) according to Japanese Ministry of Transport. Number of dead levelled off at 349. In contrast, Ministry reported 80% increase (3309 cases) in number of operations problems over previous year, included stoppages due to equipment defects (vehicles, signals, etc.) and natural disasters
Japanese Ministry of Transport announced establishment of accident investigation and research council for large railway accidents, as well as subcommittee within transport technology council to analyze accidents
1 July Private cable car fell 80 meters to ground in St. Étienne-en-Dévoluy, southern France, killing 20 people on board including staff of space observatory and employees of telephone company
8 July All 1339 passengers and crew rescued from burning Norwegian ferry Prinsesse Ragnhild in strait off Gotenborg, Sweden
13 July Jiro Kawasaki, Japanese Minister of Transport, unveiled new proposal for law to be enacted in 2001 facilitating easier access to public transport for elderly and wheelchair users
14 July Second phase of construction work for second runway (4000 m) at Kansai International Airport started and scheduled to open in October 2007
16 July JR East Cassiopeia express made debut run between Ueno and Sapporo as Japan's first all double-decker sleeper with Class A private sleeping compartments throughout
Passenger train en route to New Delhi ran into back of derailed freight train in Agra, northern India, killing at least 17 people and injuring more than 170
23 July All Nippon Airways Flight 61 from Haneda to Sapporo hijacked by 28-year-old man with kitchen knife. Captain stabbed to death when man overpowered by crew and others
24 July Small Air Fiji plane crashed into mountain in Fiji, South Pacific killing all 17 on board
2 August Two express trains collided head-on at Gaisal in eastern India killing at least 300 of 2000 passengers on two trains
4 August World's largest floating runway (1000 m) composed of six floating units with total width of 121 m and depth of 3 m made debut in Yokosuka Port, Japan
11 August Passengers at Haneda Airport Station on Keihin Express Railway (opened November 1998) reached 10 million. Despite continuing passenger decreases on lines of other companies, Keihin Express Railway recorded 1% increase thanks to effect of new station
17 August Massive 7.8 Richter magnitude earthquake struck western Turkey killing at least 12,000 people and injuring 27,176
Intense summer heat at Tokyo New International Airport (Narita) softened runway asphalt, preventing takeoff of heavily laden British Airways B747-400 and closing runway for about 40 minutes
20 August JR Central and Railway Technical Research Institute invited about 200 parents and children to ride MAGLEV at 451.9 km/h on Yamanashi experimental line (18.4 km). Experiment repeated on 23 and 24 August
22 August China Airlines MD11 turned upside down and caught fire on landing at Hong Kong International Airport, killing three people and injuring 211
23 August Subway train collision at Christoph Strasse Station in Cologne, Germany, injured about 70 passengers and crew
24 August Lightning strike on power substation halted about 400 trains on 12 major lines during Tokyo rush hour stranding about 480,000 passengers
Fire onboard Taiwan's UNI Airlines MD 90 flying from Tai-pei injured 28 passengers
25 August B-737 Moroccan airliner flying from Casablanca to Tunis hijacked and flown to Barcelona where hijacker surrendered without harming 88 passengers or crew
27 August Toyota Motor Co. announced testing of Intelligent Multi-mode Transit Systems (IMTS) to connect several buses electronically and operate like trains over medium/long distances and like ordinary buses over short distances
29 August Yokohama Municipal Subway Line No. 1 became longest single subway line in Japan (40.4 km) with opening of extension between Totsuka and Shonandai (7.4 km) after construction period of 5 years and 6 months at total cost of ¥165 billion. Subway connects with Odakyu Electric Railway's Enoshima Line and Sagami Railway Line at Enoshima
31 August Boeing 737 of LAPA airlines of Argentina bound from Buenos Aires to Cordoba, crashed into nearby golf course on landing at Jorge Newberry Airport, killing at least 69 passengers and crew


Hisashi Umezaki
Appointed Administrative Vice-Minister for Transport on 13 July 1999. Joined MOT in 1966, serving as Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Bureau, Director General of Railway Bureau, etc.

Shogo Arai
Appointed Director General of Maritime Safety Agency on 13 July 1999. Joined MOT in 1968, serving as Director of Tourism Dept. of Transport Policy Bureau, Deputy Director General of Railway Bureau, etc.

Masato Obata
Appointed Director General of the Minister's Secretariat of MOT on 13 July 1999. Joined MOT in 1968, serving as Director of Administration Department of Civil Aviation Bureau, Deputy Director General of Transport Policy Bureau, etc., Became Director General of Railway Bureau in July 1997

Masafumi Yasutomi
Appointed Director General of Railway Bureau on 13 July 1999. Joined MOT in 1970, serving as Councillor of Cabinet Secretariat, Director of Administration Department of Civil Aviation Bureau, etc. Became Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Bureau in June 1998

Katsuhiko Nawano
Appointed Director General of Road Transport Bureau on 13 July 1999. Joined MOT in 1969, serving as Councillor of Minister's Secretariat, Director of Administration Department of Civil Aviation Bureau, etc. Became Deputy Director General of Railway Bureau in June 1997

Satoshi Higashizawa
Appointed as Councillor of General Affairs in MOT on 13 July 1999. Joined MOT in 1970, serving as Director General of Chubu District Transport Bureau, Councillor of Minister's Secretariat, etc. Became Director General of Aerodrome Department of Civil Aviation Bureau in June 1997

Kentaro Kawamura
President of Nippon Yusen KK, died on 8 August 1999. Joined company in 1957, becoming president in June 1995. Since June 1997, also held position of Chairman of Japanese Shipowners' Association. In October 1998, led acquisition of Showa Line, Ltd.


The Portuguese Association for the Development of Rail Transport (ADFER) is holding its second National Congress on Rail Transport on 25–27 January 2000 at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.
More than 600 railway professionals and representatives from universities and governments are invited. The Congress will cover the following issues:
Session A : Rail Transport in 21st Century
Session B : Urban and Suburban Transport
Session C : Freight Transport
Session D : Regional and Inter-City Transport
Session E : High-Speed Rail Transport
For detailed information, please contact:
Manuela Medeiros
Calçada da Gloria n°12 3° 1269-124 Lisbon Portugal
Telephone: +351 21 347 85 94
Fax: +351 21 346 14 88
E-mail: adfer@mail.cp.pt
URL: www.cp.pt/adfer/congresso/index.html