Around 6:43 a.m. on October 19, the train collided with a deer, causing delays. The delay occurred on the JR Ome Line, and some trains on the inbound line between Ome and Tachikawa were delayed by up to 10 minutes.
Collisions between trains and deer and wild boars have been increasing year by year, especially in mountainous areas, and have become a source of concern for railway companies. Of these, there are said to be 5,000 collisions between trains and deer each year.
JR East Hachioji branch office has jurisdiction over the Chuo Line, Ome Line, Hachiko Line, Itsukaichi Line, Yokohama Line, Nambu Line, and Musashino Line, which span the Tama area of Tokyo, Yamanashi, and Saitama. The number of accidents was about 60 in FY2013, about 90 in FY2014, and about 100 in FY2015.
Therefore, in January of this year, the company strengthened its countermeasures by setting up traps. The estimated population of deer is on the rise, and as of the end of FY2013, the estimated median population of sika deer nationwide (south of Honshu) was about 3.05 million. Furthermore, if the current catch rate is maintained, the median figure is expected to increase to about 4.53 million by 2023 (approximately 1.5 times the number of individuals in 2013) (Ministry of the Environment website ).
Deer have a habit of liking iron, and it is said that the reason they approach railroad tracks is to seek out the iron contained in train wheels and railroad tracks. If the number of individuals continues to increase, it is expected that the number of collision accidents will also increase.