Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 47 (pp.32–33)

October – December 2006

1 OctoberJapan Airlines (JAL) and Japan Air Systems (JAS) announced completion of merger after 2002 management unification with company to continue separate operations under umbrella of holding company
2 OctoberBus drove off edge of mountain road in Taiwan killing six members of Chinese tour group and injuring 15 others
3 OctoberAirbus announced 1-year delay until October 2007 on first scheduled deliveries of doubledeck A380 ‘Superjumbo’ to Singapore Airlines due to manufacturing problems, forcing carriers to review orders
3 OctoberThirty vehicle collision on Korean motorway near Seoul killed 12 people and left some 50 others with injuries
11 OctoberHead-on collision between passenger and freight trains on single-track section near Zoufftgen in France killed five people and injured 15 others
11 OctoberLight plane crashed into 50th floor of Manhattan skyscraper in New York, killing pilot and major league baseball star learning to fly
17 OctoberCollision between subway trains at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II Station on Rome’s A Line killed one passenger and injured 235 others
17 OctoberBus carrying Japanese tour group overturned in Turkey, killing one passenger and injuring 24 others
21 OctoberLong-distance bus ran off road and fell 450 m into gorge in central Bolivia, killing 31 people and injuring more than 20 others
26 OctoberTaiwan Shinkansen (Taipei–Kaohsiung (345 km) and first Japanese-style shinkansen built outside Japan) announced plan to hold opening ceremony at Taichung Station on 7 December
27 OctoberCivil aviation subcommittee of Japan–US Joint Committee agreed to return part of US Yokota Airbase to Japanese control from August 2008, relieving burden on overcrowded Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
28 OctoberPassenger bus drove off mountain road and fell 240 m into river in western Nepal, killing 42 passengers and injuring 44 others
29 OctoberBoeing 737 belonging to domestic airline crashed near Nigerian capital of Abuja, killing 98 people out of 104 onboard
31 OctoberSagawa Kyubin Group started Galaxy Airlines airfreight service from Haneda in Tokyo to New Kitakyushu Airport in Kyushu and Naha Airport in Okinawa with another service scheduled to start in Spring 2007 between New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido to Haneda in Tokyo and Kansai International Airport south of Osaka
7 NovemberJR East announced world-first introduction of railway signalling using Internet Protocol (IP) technology over optical fiber cables with deployment in Spring 2007 at Ichikawa Ono Station on Musashino Line in Chiba Prefecture, Japan
15 NovemberUS Airways announced buyout of Delta, currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
17 NovemberChinese Railway Ministry announced plans to raise operation speeds on conventional lines to 200 km/h, starting 18 April 2007
19 NovemberTwo-car train on JR West Tsuyama Line derailed by rockfall on track, injuring 26 people onboard
20 NovemberCommuter train collided with track inspection car in southern Berlin, injuring 33 passengers
20 NovemberSchool bus ran off elevated expressway in Alabama, USA, killing three students and injuring 34 others
23 NovemberAir France and KLM (merged 2004) announced start of merger talks with Alitalia
24 NovemberSmall propeller plane touched bridge near Essen, Germany, before crashing onto cars on expressway, injuring 10 people
27 NovemberEurotunnel operator of Channel Tunnel announced stockholder approval for restructuring plans, eliminating 9.1 billion of equity and forming new company to continue tunnel operations
29 NovemberOperator of Taiwan Shinkansen (345 km, Taipei–Kaohsiung) announced delay to start of full operations expected from 7 December, following derailments in October and November
30 NovemberKamioka Railway, third-sector company continuing operation of old loss-making JNR Kamioka Line (19.9 km, Okuhidaka Onsenguchi–Inotani), announced closure after 22 years, citing poor passenger numbers and switch of freight business by main stockholder Mitsui Mining & Smelting to trucks
1 DecemberTwo track inspection workers struck and killed by 6-car test train on Line No. 3 of Yokohama Municipal Subway
2 December150-year-old pedestrian bridge collapsed onto express train in Bihar, India, crushing one carriage and leaving at least 32 people dead and 16 injured
3 DecemberAbout 10 m of heavy communications cables (20-mm Cu core) buried alongside Heisei Chikuho Railway in Fukuoka Prefecture stolen in night causing stoppage of three trains on tracks and delays to 11 other services
3 DecemberTourist bus drove off road into ravine in southern Taiwan, killing 22 people and injuring 24 others
4 DecemberAirbus officially announced start of development of new next-generation A350XWB passenger jet to carry 270 to 350 people in competition with Boeing 787
4 DecemberSentosa Express straddle–type monorail (2.1 km) completed by Hitachi Asia and delivered to operators with commercial services to start from January 2007
15 DecemberKamioka Railway in Gifu Prefecture (19.9 km between Kamioka and Inotani) abandoned in late November 2006 announced plans to restart irregular services in May 2007 centered on tourism and railway studies, following grant of ¥1.5 billion by Mitsui Mining & Smelting to Hidaka City
16 DecemberTrams return to Paris, France, after break of nearly 70 years with opening of 7.9 km of tracks in southern part of city
18 DecemberLight plane crashed in outskirts of San Jose, California, killing three Japanese trainee pilots
19 DecemberSt. Charles Avenue Line tram services restarted in New Orleans about 18 months after suffering severe damage from Hurricane Katrina
21 DecemberUnified PASMO IC card with electronic money function and Suica (JR East IC card) compatibility announced by 54 railway and bus operators in Metropolitan Tokyo with service to start from 18 March 2007
24 DecemberKashima Railway announced closure between Ishioka and Hokota in Ibaraki Prefecture (27.2 km) from 31 March 2007, following failure of prefectural government and affected municipalities to organize successful rescue plan
24 DecemberOsaka Metro opened linear-motor type No. 8 subway line between Itakano and Imazato (11.9 km), extending total length of Osaka Metro to 129.9 km
28 DecemberRailway crossing collision between bus and train in Mexico City killed 22 people and injured 14
29 DecemberStart of operations of 345-km Taiwan Shinkansen between Taipei and Kaohsiung announced from 5 January 2007
29 DecemberFerry sank off coast of Java, Indonesia, leaving more than 400 out of 600 passengers and crew missing