Sunday, October 14, 2012

Railway Technical Research Institute - Open Day 2012

Thanks to a posting on the Yahoo Japan Trains group I got to hear about the Railway Technical Research Institute Open Day. The research complex at Kunitachi is usually open once a year to allow the staff to show the public what they work on.

I went along this afternoon and took a few photos.

The rail welding demonstration is quite a spectacular display of pyrotechnics

Several of the large machine shops used for testing railway technology were open. This one is used to test the tensile strength of rails:
The pantograph testing device was very interesting, and the rail fastener testing device was also in operation and you could watch it rattle the rail. You could take a two minute ride on the Hi-Tram, if you were prepared to queue for, what looked like, quite a while.

Inside there are plenty of indoor attractions too. Model railways were very popular:

There were various displays and demonstrations including superconducting magnets, one involving a lot of what I guess was liquid nitrogen to demonstrate the effect of low temperatures. Another 40 photos of the event are here if you would like to see more.

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