Preface to the Japanese edition of Modern Railway Track
The first edition of Modern Railway Track, published in 1989, was translated into Japanese by my colleague and friend Dr. Yoshihiko Sato in 1993. It was also Dr. Sato who provided the necessary input on Japanese track technology and practice for the second edition.
Nowadays an important focus is on high-speed track technology, as high-speed networks are expanding rapidly, especially in Asia and Europe. Japan was the initiator and pioneer of high-speed technology, later followed by France and other European countries. Although the French network mainly comprises of traditional ballasted track, Japan strongly focused on slab track, with the well-known and successful J-Slab. Studies on life cycle cost and availability have shown the great potential of non-ballasted tracks and their great advantages of maintenance reduction. This has now emerged to large scale slab track applications worldwide, with Shinkansen J-Slab and the German Rheda2000 as the leading solutions.
It was a great honor and pleasure when I received the letter of Mr. Toshihiko Kunihiro, General Manager Track & Structures Department of the West Japanese Railway Company, to ask my approval for the translation of Modern Railway Track – Second Edition – into Japanese, which I of course readily accepted. It was Dr. Kenzo Tokuoda, former Senior Executive Managing Director of JR-West and a highly respected railway engineer, who carried out the tedious translation job. I would like to express my great appreciation to him for his dedicated work, making my book more accessible to the Japanese railway community.
Zaltbommel, August 2010