2020 International Rail Safety Symposium

  • Railway
  • Safety


Organizer Organizer:Japan International Transport and Tourism Institute USA(JITTI USA)
Co-organizer:American Public Transportation Association
Date / Time Tue, Mar 24,2020 15:00~18:00
Venue Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center Pavilion Room
Theme Promoting Safe Transportation: "A Focus on Enhanced Rail Safety"
Lecturer Opening Remarks:
 Masafumi Shukuri, Chairman, Japan International Transport and Tourism Institute, USA (JITTI USA)
           Chairman, Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute (JTTRI)
 Nuria I. Fernandez, Chair of APTA and General Manager of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

Honorable Guest Remarks:
 Shinsuke Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan to the United States (invited)
 Federal Transit Administration (invited)

Keynote Speeches:
 Fumio Okumura, Board Member (Director of Railway Committee), Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB),
         Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan
 Federal Railroad Administration (invited)
 Robert L. Sumwalt, III, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

Panel Discussion:
 Pat Warren, Chief Safety Officer, New York MTA
 Atsuhito Mori, Corporate Executive Officer, Deputy Director General, General Technology Division,
        Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central)
 Taro Nakadachi, Deputy General Manager, Transport Safety Department, East Japan Railway Company (JR East)
 Hideki Nakazawa, Managing Director (Vehicle Department and Electricity Department), Tokyo Metro
 Steve Predmore, Chief Safety Officer, Amtrak
 Matt Tucker, Chair of the APTA Commuter Rail CEOs Committee and Executive Director, North County Transit District
 Theresa Impastato, Executive Vice-President/Chief Safety Officer,
          Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)

Closing Remarks:
 Tetsuya Okuda, President, Japan International Transport and Tourism Institute, USA (JITTI USA)
         Executive Director,Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute (JTTRI)
 Paul Skoutelas, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

※Cherry Blossom Themed Reception Following, w/ Displays from Train Operators

Event Summary

Washington DC's cherry blossom trees will bloom at the Tidal Basin again this year during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The history of these trees, which began as an exchange of mutual appreciation, as cherry blossom trees were offered from Japan and a return of dogwood trees were sent from the United States, has marked a near 100-year friendship between these two countries.

During this time of celebration and reflection, it is pertinent to ask what Japan and the US can give each other today to sustain this friendship. After taking the initiative through repeated talks to discuss this very question, JITTI USA and APTA are pleased to host a symposium on universal railway safety, an area where both the US and Japan strive for perfection, and where discussion on the unique safety measures of our two countries would lead to the collective betterment of mass transit systems and the day-to-day lives of Japanese and Americans as a whole.

In the United States where passenger rail service is one of the safest modes, eighteen times safer than travel by car, the industry strives for continuous improvement and continues to implement upgraded safety measures, such as PTC. At-grade crossing incidents and human-error accidents remain a continuing concern. For railway operators, challenges include strengthening safety measures, utilizing new technologies such as AI and IoT, and fostering a safety culture. These endeavors have global interest.

In Japan, past experiences with accidents have been a catalyst for the development of their own railway safety measures, including implementing mechanical fixes such as ATS (Automatic Train Stop) and ATC (Automatic Train Control), as well as promoting a safety culture among railway operators through streamlined safety management systems. These various railroad safety measures, which promote hardware, software, human, and regulatory solutions, have ensured that Japan is a global leader in transport safety.

By inviting high-level representatives from Japanese and American railway authorities and operators, JITTI USA and APTA hope to foster a discussion on the current state of existing safety measures and the future direction for strengthening railway safety and safety philosophies. Through this discussion, JITTI USA and APTA trust that as representatives from Japan and the United States work and learn from one another in this specific field, they will foster understanding and sustain the friendship so long ago established