~*~ Company Visit~*~ Japan Rail East

June 10, 2010 shastokes

On our company visit to Japan Rail, we had the opportunity to see many up and coming ideas for trying to make the subways more efficient.  Japan Rail is building a testing center and we were able to walk over and view the building.  At the testing building, there will be a subway car with a gate just like the subways to do their testing. Even though the building was not completely finished yet, I thought it was cool that we got a glimpse of the work in progress.

While we were in the testing lab, we all were able use the route finders to help us find a quick and efficient way the airport when we left from the hotel on our last day in Japan.  It calculated the duration of the trip, the total fare, and how many transfers we would have to make. They said that this would be a free service and I think this would be very helpful in finding your way throughout Japan! Also, there were TV screens that would monitor the stations in case someone fell down the stairs, or left suspicious bags in the subways. There was also a map of where the train would be at a certain time, and a more up to date design of the map.  These diagrams became very useful in the subway cars when we would be traveling to our destinations for the day, because it would let me know what stop we were currently at and which stop was approaching.  Also, in the lab was machine that helps you find your way throughout the subway stations, and it could point to where you needed to go.

One thing about the Japanese culture is the need to be on time to. The trains were very efficient and on time for the most part and when trying to board a train, you saw many people rushing to get on, even when the door was closing. This did not stop the doors and they continued to close! One thing that could be helpful in keeping passengers safe when trying to board these subways is probably a sensor to know if someone is in the doors.  But I suppose this is why most of the time the trains are on time, because if it were to delay and keep opening when it is detected that someone is in the door, the train would never leave! I learned about why there were different types of Pasmo’s/ Suica cards and basically it’s the branding. Also, I learned that to build a car is very expensive. I believe 1 million dollars a car!

I really enjoyed this company visit and like always, we were given beverages and iced coffee.  Many of my peers really enjoyed it, but personally I’m not a fan of coffee of any form so I gave mines to my professor!

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