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JR East crews to get iPads for info

Kyodo

East Japan Railway Co. said Monday it will equip all train crew members with Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computers from June, partly to provide better assistance to passengers when trains are delayed or canceled, by giving drivers and conductors updated information on operations.

JR East said it expects to deploy about 7,000 of the devices, starting with the Tokyo area. The devices will also allow JR East to digitize its manuals, which weigh over 2 kg and must be carried by crew members when they are on duty.

At present when train services are disrupted due to accidents or other incidents, train crews receive updated timetables by fax or radio, but they will be able to receive such information immediately via iPads. Train crews will also be able to access information about other carriers’ operations using the tablets.