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HS2 appoints Japanese railway operator as ‘strategic advisor’

Japanese railway operator JR-EAST is to become a strategic advisor on “safety, reliability, noise reduction and station management” before work begins on HS2.

The company has signed an initial four-month contract with HS2 Ltd, which it hopes it will lead to greater cooperation in the future.

JR-EAST will open an office in London later this month, and says it plans to expand its presence in Europe. The news comes shortly after Hitachi announced it would relocate its rail business HQ to the capital

Professor Andrew McNaughton, technical director of HS2, told media that because HS2 is an enormous undertaking – the largest and most complex infrastructure project ever seen in the UK – “it is essential we explore the best ways in which we can learn from international experience”.

He said: “JR-East is respected across the world, having been part of a high speed rail transport system connecting Japan’s biggest cities that has run to the highest degrees of comfort, reliability and safety for 50 years.”

Headquartered in Tokyo, JR-East currently operates nearly 1,700 stations in Japan, catering for around 17 million passengers and overseeing around 13,000 train journeys every day.

JR-East vice chairman Masaki Ogata said: “We anticipate a fantastic future for high speed rail both in the UK and throughout Europe. Opening our new London office at this exciting time is the right thing for JR-East and means we can more easily support our clients, partners and suppliers.”

HS2 Ltd and JIC – the consultancy established by JR-EAST specifically to further the company’s international work – agreed a contract for the consultancy works on 31 January 2014. The contents of the consultancy works vary from technical to management issues in high speed railway operations including: 

  • Countermeasures against Micro Pressure Waves (MPW)
  • Countermeasures against noise from pantograph
  • Comparison between ballasted and slab track
  • Reliability analysis for Operation and Management
  • Asset Management
  • Station Management 

(Image shows JR-East E6, copyright Yuichi Kosio, used here under a Creative Commons licence.)

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