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Transportation

Bullet trains combat snow delays with cameras and heaters

Japanese railway looks to keep service punctual with busier schedule

A Tokaido Shinkansen segment between Nagoya and Kyoto is particularly snow-prone. (Photo courtesy of Central Japan Railway)

NAGOYA, Japan -- Central Japan Railway has equipped bullet trains on Japan's busiest line with cameras to track weather in real time and snow-melting heaters, aiming to keep service running safely and on schedule even in poor conditions.

JR Central installed cameras in December on 50 trains -- a third of its fleet -- on the Tokaido Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Osaka. The images provide dispatchers with information on the speed and depth of snow accumulation. Four trains have additional cameras underneath and heaters to melt snow that collects on the undercarriage.

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