Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 10 (pp.50–51)

July – August 1996

2 July 32 killed when trolley bus overturned in Dneprodzerzhinsk, eastern Ukraine
3 July US regulatory agency approved $5.4 billion mega-merger of Union Pacific Corp. and Southern Pacific Rail Corp. combining more than 50,000 km of track from Canada to Mexico, and Midwest to Pacific, creating biggest railroad in Western Hemisphere
6 July Formal 1988 Cabinet decision following 1987 JNR privatization stipulated that debts unpaid at end of fiscal 1997 must be paid by public. With high interest rates snowballing debt to ¥27.6 trillion, Japanese taxpayers could end up paying ¥200,000 per capita. Settlement likely to involve issuing of government bonds after March 1998, followed by tax hikes to cover redemption
8 July Air turbulence hit Qantas Airways jumbo jet Flight 69 from Brisbane to Tokyo injuring 23
15 July Belgian Air Force Hercules 130 transport crashed and burned after executing sharp turn immediately before landing in Eindhoven, Holland killing 32 and injuring 9 seriously
17 July TWA Jumbo exploded in midair off coast of Long Island, New York killing all on board
18 July Double-decker school bus smashed into bridge specifically designed and signposted for use only by singledeckers, at Runcorn, UK injuring 49 children and adults
World Theme Park and Resort Fair '96 opens at Pacifico Yokohama. Exhibitors included 23 domestic and foreign theme park operators, and 115 airlines and travel-related corporations. 132,000 visitors crowded exhibition
19 July Last of old, red Class-500 EMUs used on Tokyo Marunouchi Line to be retired and sold to Metrovias, Argentina's subway company. 500s continue serving on Buenos Aires' subway system without modification because two countries' subway systems identical
26th Summer Olympics open in Atlanta. During 16 days until 4 August, over 15,000 athletes competed in 271 events covering 26 sports, representing all 197 member nations
20 July Ladies-only toilets unveiled for Tohoku/Joetsu shinkansen in response to female passengers' requests, forming part of Clean-up Campaign following 10th anniversary of JR East's inauguration
21 July WWII-vintage Mosquito bomber crashes at British air show on outskirts of Manchester killing 2, including pilot
22 July Bomb exploded in domestic waiting lounge at Lahore International Airport in Punjab, eastern Pakistan, killing at least 9 people and injuring 30
24 July Fokker Friendship aircraft of Myanmar Airlines crashed on landing in southern Myanmar, killing 8 and injuring 14
25 July Hijacker arrested after hijacking Algerian Airlines B767 at Oran Airport, Algeria. Security forces arrested man about 5 hours later. 232 passengers unharmed
Deutsche Bahn ordered novel low-pollution train ventilation system developed by British company, Normalair-Garrett. System said to be first in world to use aircycle technology for passenger trains
26 July JR Central's 300X next-generation experimental bullet train achieves domestic record of 443 kph in pre-dawn Maibara-Kyoto run, breaking own previous domestic rail speed records
Air Iberia DC10 bound for Havana, Cuba from Madrid, Spain, hijacked by man over Mexico City. Aircraft made emergency landing at Miami International Airport, Florida where hijacker arrested by FBI officers. All 231 passengers and crew unharmed
2 August Tokyo's Ryogoku Station on JR Sobu Line converted to beer restaurant seating 900, largest indoor non-chain restaurant in Tokyo
Two Mongolian youths die after stowing away on American C-141 B transport plane. Mechanics at Katena military base, Okinawa, discovered two youths unconscious in landing gear bay in bottom of fuselage
4 August Agreement to open skies to overflights by world airlines signed between North Korea and International Air Transport Association (IATA) representing 95% of all international scheduled flights. Agreement reduces flight time and costs between major cities in northeast and southeast Asia and Russian Far East
5 August JR East installs world's first personal driving simulator for trains at Central Training Centre (Omiya City, Saitama)
7 August U2 reconnaissance aircraft crashes in USA killing pilot and two people on ground
1995 passenger numbers for major Japanese private railways drop marginally showing that 7.76 billion passengers carried, drop of 0.9% on previous year, and 4th straight year-on-year decline. Japan Non-Government Railways' Association gives corporate relocations to suburban areas, and dwindling number of children as reasons for long-term downtrend
8 August Crowded commuter train collided head-on with empty passenger train near Watford Junction, 15 miles north of London, killing one passenger and injuring 70 others, some seriously
13 August Cash snatched from aircraft landing at Perpignan Airport, France by group in military dress forcing crew of Air Inter Airbus A320 to open cargo hold. None of 173 passengers and crew hurt
15 August Bosnia-Herzegovina's Sarajevo Airport, closed to civil air traffic for 4 years by civil war, re-opened with flights arriving from Turkey and Croatia
Doulos, world's oldest oceangoing passenger ship and crewed by about 300 volunteers from 34 countries berthed at Nagoya Garden Pier. Open to public from 23 August to 18 September featuring book fair and other international activities
16 August Japan international air passengers up 14% in 1995 to 14.47 million according to statistics announced by Ministry of Transport. Domestic air traffic reached 78.1 million passengers (4.8% increase over previous year). In addition to booming international travel trend, opening of Kansai International Airport had major year-round impact boosting both international and domestic traffic. International and domestic cargo traffic both grew by 6%
Light sightseeing aircraft hijacked by group of Cubans in Cuba and crashed into sea. Pilot and hijackers rescued by cargo ship
17 August Successful test launch of Japanese H2 rocket with release of ADEOS earth observation satellite
21 August EgyptAir Boeing 707 from Cairo overran Istanbul Airport and collided with taxi injuring 20 people
24 August JR West began electrification of Bantan Line on 29.6-km Himeji- Teramae section. Work to be completed in spring of 1998. Maximum speed to be increased from 95 kph to 110 kph, saving about 7 minutes over sector
29 August Tupolev 154 aircraft belonging to civilian Russian airline, Vrnkovo Airlines, crashed on Spitzbergen Island in Arctic killing 141 passengers and crew

Photo: Red Class-500 EMU on Marunouchi Line
(The Railway Pictorial)
Photo: Personal Driving Simulator at JR East Central Training Centre
(JR East)


Jean Bouley
Jean Bouley died on 18 September, aged 70. After graduating in Engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique, he joined SNCF in 1947 and worked in the Motive Power Department, subsequently specializing in rolling stock maintenance. He was Director of the Traction and Rolling Stock Department from 1974 to 1980 and also served as UIC General Secretary from 1981 to 1990. He was an Officier de La Legion d'Honneur and a founder member of the Association pour l'histoire des chemins de fer en France. He played a major role in preparing SNCF for the introduction of the TGV. His sound management of UIC while retaining a sympathetic and fairhanded manner to all, made him many friends across the world.

Kiyoshi Terashima
Kiyoshi Terashima appointed president of Teito Rapid Transit Authority on 15 July. Headed Freight Transportation Bureau and International Transport and Tourist Bureau before retiring in June 1993. Became vicepresident of TRTA in July 1993. Secondin- command, Yutaka Hatano, who retired from position as head of Maritime Safety Agency, becomes vice-president for International Affairs of Ministry of Transport.

Shunichi Sumita
Shunichi Sumita died on 20 July, aged 75. Entered Ministry of Transport in 1946, and served as Head of Tourism Division and Mariners Bureau before retirement. Also served as vice-chairman of JalPak, Chairman of Society for Promoting International Tourism, and Chairman of Japan Travel Industry Association. Brother of Shoji Sumita, former chairman of JR East