Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI)
The Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI) was inaugurated as a foundation to succeed the research and development division of the former Japanese National Railways when it was privatized and separated into seven companies. RTRI is carrying out comprehensive research and development from the basics to practical applications in railway technologies and labor science, with the aim of contributing to the growth of railways. The railway is a complicated mega-system, composed of various equipment different in character, such as rolling stock, tracks, stations, signaling and control systems, power supplies, and so on. Its operation and service are influenced by human factors and must cope with natural disasters such as earthquakes and high winds. The systems engineering approach is indispensable to the management and design of such a system. Its basis lies in mathematics. I, myself, have participated in studies of analysis and design of various systems as a specialist in systems engineering. Abstract mathematical theory, which I learned in the general education course in university, has been very useful in solving these problems. The essence of railways is to operate trains for the transport of people and goods, after all. For clarification of various phenomena occurring in those areas and for improvements in performance such as an increase in operational velocity, it is essential to understand physical motion related to those phenomena intuitively. It also is based on the knowledge of physical mathematics.