As part of its efforts to stop the problem of groping on commuter trains, East Japan Railway Co. announced Monday that it will introduce female-only cars on its Saikyo Line trains on an experimental basis next month.

JR East is the second railway to introduce such coaches following Keio Electric Railway.

According to JR East, one carriage on Saikyo Line trains, which link Tokyo’s Ebisu Station with Kawagoe Station in Saitama Prefecture, will be female-only on Kawagoe-bound trains after 10 p.m. on weekdays.

After running such trains for about half a year, JR East plans to gauge passenger reactions to determine whether to introduce the service on a permanent basis.

In a February survey by JR East on about 1,000 passengers on its trains in the Tokyo metropolitan area, about 70 percent of the pollees supported introduction of women-only cars.

JR East said it chose the Saikyo Line because its trains are crowded even on late-night runs.

Keio introduced women-only cars on its western Tokyo-bound late night trains from Shinjuku on a regular basis in March.

Safety barriers

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) began erecting safety barriers early Monday on JR Kyoto Station’s Tokaido Shinkansen Line platforms.

JR Tokai officials said the construction is a part of safety measures the railway is promoting in the wake of an accident in January in Tokyo in which three people died.

The officials said erecting the 90 meters of safety barriers will cost about 26 million yen.

Some 10 workers began the work shortly after 2 a.m. and continued for about an hour.

The construction will take place after midnight every day when the last train has left the station and be completed by June 21, according to the officials.

According to JR Tokai, Kyoto Station is the only station of the 16 on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line where there are no evacuation spaces under the platforms.

In the Tokyo accident Jan. 26, Shiro Sekine, 47, a photographer from Yokohama, and Lee Su Hyon, 26, a South Korean student, died while trying to rescue a drunken man who had fallen onto the tracks.

All three were killed by an incoming train.

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