Railcars used by many JR firms in service for over 30 years
Japan Times -- Mar 20
Some 30 percent of passenger railcars used by four Japan Railway companies have been in service since at least 1987, when the firms were created through the privatization of the Japanese National Railways, Jiji Press has learned.

The four firms are JR Hokkaido, JR West, JR Shikoku and JR Kyushu.

The proportion older railcars remains lower at two more financially stable JR firms - JR East and JR Tokai - which are ahead in updating their trains.

According to the transport ministry, there are no rules regarding the service life of train cars. They are allowed to operate as long as they undergo maintenance and meet safety standards.

A ministry ordinance provides rules on how frequently railway operators should conduct checkups on their trains. Operators are also required to submit their maintenance manuals to the government.

Among the four firms operating the aging cars, JR Hokkaido has the highest proportion in service for at least 30 years, at 32 percent. It is followed by JR West and JR Shikoku, both at 30 percent, and JR Kyushu, with 28 percent of having been in operation for at least 30 years.

JR East, meanwhile operated just 10 percent for at least 30 years while a mere 0.2 percent of the cars operated by JR Tokai have been in service for that time span.

All Shinkansen operated by JR Hokkaido, JR East, JR Tokai, JR West and JR Kyushu use cars made after the 1987 privatization.

News source: Japan Times
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