The Japanese bullet train system is equipped with a network of sensitive seismometers. On March 11, 2011, one of the seismometers detected an 8.9 magnitude earthquake 12 seconds before it hit and sent a stop signal to 33 trains. As a result, only one bullet train derailed that day.

How Japan’s Rail Network Survived the Earthquake

The Tohuko Shinkansen bullet trains re-started operations only 49 days after the earthquake had caused this damage.

The Tohuko Shinkansen bullet trains re-started operations only 49 days after the earthquake had caused this damage.

The number of the people who could not go home on that day in the Tokyo metropolitan area was reported as 2.6 million.

A brief 12-15 seconds before a massive earthquake of 8.9 magnitude hit mainland Japan on the afternoon of 11 March 2011, a seismometer at Kinkazan belonging to the country’s eastern rail operator JR East sent an automatic stop signal to the Shinkansen – Japan’s high-speed bullet train – electric power transmission system, triggering the emergency brake on 33 trains.

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Source: https://www.railway-technology.com/features/feature122751/

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