Seabed seismometers to be used to stop Shinkansen

Seabed seismometers to be used to stop Shinkansen

Japanese railway companies plan to use data from seabed seismometers to quickly stop Shinkansen bullet trains when a major earthquake hits.

The Central Japan Railway Company and the West Japan Railway Company will use data collected by 200 seismometers installed by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience.

The devices are located off Japan's Pacific coast between Hokkaido and Shikoku.

The railway companies will use the data to prepare for massive quakes, including those along the Nankai Trough in the Pacific.

The East Japan Railway Company started using data collected off Chiba Prefecture for the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines this month.

The Central Japan Railway Company and the West Japan Railway Company will begin using this type of data from the spring of 2019.

Data collected off the Kanto region and the Kii Peninsula will be used for the Tokaido Shinkansen line, and information collected off the Kii Peninsula and Shikoku will be used for the Sanyo Shinkansen line.

The 3 railway companies are currently using land-based seismometers. They predict that data from seabed seismometers will speed up the process of detecting earthquakes by 10 to 30 seconds.