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George Harris

Taiwan High Speed Train Derailment - 3/04 earthquake

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Earthquake this morning at 8:18 am (Taiwan local time, last night 9:18 pm EST US time)

Richter scale 6.4 earthquake center about 20 miles away, earthquake intensity about 5.0 at the track and we have:

 

The lead car derailed, sliding along the track passengers shook up no apparent injuries. Speed not reported, but 11.4 miles from the preceeding station and 24 miles short of the next one, so it could have been, and most likely was going full speed or close to it. "Full speed" being 300 km/h = 186 mph.

 

The track is Japanese style concrete slab supported track.

 

The last train derailed in an earthquake was a Japanese Shinkansen train in Japan on Japanese slab track. Here we have a Japanese Shinkansen design trainset on Japanese style slab track. Maybe these people know something about designing and building track that will not result in disasters in earthquakes? Just maybe??

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Is there publicly available information on whether California HSR is planning to use a similar style of concrete slab supported track to what is used in Japan and Taiwan?

 

Also, would a heavier trainset be less likely to derail in a circumstance like this, or does that turn out to be a non-issue for one reason or another?

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Is there publicly available information on whether California HSR is planning to use a similar style of concrete slab supported track to what is used in Japan and Taiwan?

No. There are opinions.

Also, would a heavier trainset be less likely to derail in a circumstance like this, or does that turn out to be a non-issue for one reason or another?

Should make no difference. Heavier might make rail break more likely, which would be detrimental.

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