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Old August 5th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #5861
quashlo
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E-money transactions with IC farecards break 100 million a month
交通系電子マネー、1ヵ月あたりの利用件数が1億件を初突破

http://www.rbbtoday.com/article/2013/08/05/110514.html

On 2013.08.05, 9 of the 10 IC farecard systems participating in nationwide interoperability—Kitaca, PASMO, Suica, manaca, TOICA, ICOCA, Hayakaken, nimoca, and SUGOCA—announced that e-money transactions had broken 100 million transactions (approximately 104.35 million) for the month of July, a first. PiTaPa is not included, as it is actually a post-pay system, so it does not e-money interoperability with the other card systems.

===

PASMO-based coin laundromat:

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Old August 5th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #5862
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Contract nearing finalization for new JR East high-rise development at South Exit of Shinjuku Station
JR東日本/建築は大林JV/電気は日本電設工業、新宿駅新南口ビル

http://www.kensetsunews.com/?p=17849

It appears that JR East will be signing a contract with a JV of Ōbayashi Corporation (大林組), Tekken Corporation (鉄建), and Taisei Corporation (大成建設) to construct the Shinjuku Station New South Exit Building (新宿駅新南口ビル), a 33-story (+ 2 underground floors), 170 m tall mixed-use highrise comprising about 110,000 sq m GFA. The contract for the building’s electrical systems will likely be awarded to Nippon Densetsu Kōgyō (日本電設工業). The design is being handled by JR East Design Corporation (ジェイアール東日本建築設計事務所). The new landmark building will break ground in September, with a scheduled completion in spring 2016.

1F through 5F will be a mall, 6F through 33F will be offices, with B1F and B2F comprising a 280-space underground parking garage for autos, and the building will feature a damping structure and district cooling / heating. The project is basically being coordinated with the South Exit infrastructure improvements being carried out by the MLIT and JR East, which will construct a new “transit hub” at the South Exit of Tōkyō’s largest rail terminal, including a new highway express coach terminal, taxi station, private auto pick-up / drop-off zone, and pedestrian spaces. The building itself will be directly connected with the new transit hub, and will also include a multi-purpose hall and other cultural facilities.



===

The Shinjuku Station South Exit projects are some of the more interesting developments, as they are building right next to and above the JR tracks and platforms.

I believe this is the site of the new building (2013.06.01), right next to Platforms 1 / 2 (southbound Saikyō Line / Shōnan–Shinjuku Line).

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Old August 7th, 2013, 06:57 AM   #5863
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Naha City devising strategies to boost ridership on tourist shuttle
利用増へ“起死回生策” 周遊バス・ゆいゆい号

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-...rytopic-5.html

Ridership on the new Naha Sightseeing City Loop bus (那覇ま~い ゆいゆい号) has been falling below targets, and Naha City is looking at new ways to promote the line. This is the new tourist-oriented shuttle loop operating out of Naha Bus Terminal that began service in June. The bus passes by 15 of Naha’s most famous sightseeing spots (including several World Heritage Sites), including Shikina-en (識名園), Shuri Castle (首里城), and Kokusai-dōri (国際通り). A total of 25 trips are operated each day, with tourist guides present on morning trips.

The original ridership target was about 300 passengers a day, but it’s only hovering at about 180 passengers currently (about 7.2 passengers per trip), despite the recent start of summer vacation. While ridership in July has been steadily increasing, some of the morning trips have run without passengers, despite the presence of tourist guides. Apparently, the biggest reason for the lackluster performance was insufficient promotion and advertisement, as they only received approvals to operate the service in June.

They are now looking at ways to better promote the service, and took out a full-page ad in a local newsletter to promote the service to locals as an “express” bus. They also handed out pamphlets to schoolchildren, and will look at revising the fare structure that forced people to pay at Naha Bus Terminal, get off, and then get back on again (they are negotiating with the operator, Naha Bus, to remedy this). They are also advertising the service on the homepage of the city’s free Wi-Fi service, Naha City Wi-Fi, and new pamphlets for foreign tourists (English, Chinese, and Korean language) promoting the service will be hitting the presses soon.

===

Sounds like they just need to wait a bit longer for the word to get out… I would definitely have used it if it was in service when I visited, but I was just a couple days too early.
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Old August 7th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #5864
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New route coming to Okayama’s Megurin city shuttle
「めぐりん」バス 8日から新路線 岡山

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...3000002-n1.htm

Starting this month, the Megurin (めぐりん) flat-fare (¥100) shuttle service through downtown Okayama City operated by Hakkō Transportation (八晃運輸) will undergo some major changes with the introduction of a new route, the Kyōbashi Megurin (京橋めぐりん). The new route will travel on a 4 km, 20-minute loop out of Okayama Station, passing by Okayama Castle, Sennichi-mae (千日前), and Okayama City Hall, operating a total of 72 outer-loop trips and 63 inner-loop trips a day between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm. The other route in the network, the Idai Megurin (医大めぐりん) serving Okayama University Hospital (岡山大病院), began service last year, but will now be modified to operate 90 outer-loop trips (currently 72) and 56 inner-loop trips (currently 59).

===

A ride inside the Megurin at 2× (2012.07.22):



CM to promote the service:

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Old August 7th, 2013, 07:01 AM   #5865
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Kintetsu proposes transfer of Utsube / Hachiōji Lines infrastructure at no cost
近鉄が施設、車両譲渡を提示 内部・八王子線、公有民営なら

http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/mi...602000012.html

In regards to the dilemma surrounding the potential abandonment of the Kintetsu Utsube / Hachiōji Lines in Yokkaichi City, Kintetsu has proposed transferring ownership of the rail infrastructure and rolling stock to the public sector at no cost should the lines be converted to public ownership + private operation. However, the city rejected the idea.

If you remember, Kintetsu also proposed converting these lines to bus rapid transit (BRT), but the city is still fixated on maintaining rail service, at which point Kintetsu suggested that the only remaining option was for the city to inherit ownership of the infrastructure and Kintetsu to focus solely on operating the line.

Apparently, the end of this month is a “deadline” of sorts as some of the rolling stock on the line will be reaching the end of their life cycles.

===

Clips of the lines:

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Old August 7th, 2013, 07:01 AM   #5866
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Historic Kyōto tram to be converted to battery power
京都・梅小路公園の路面電車を蓄電池車両に 東京アールアンドデーが受注

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...00C13A8000000/

Tōkyō R&D (東京アールアンドデー) will convert the power systems for the historic tram operating at Kyōto’s Umekōji Park (梅小路公園) from overhead lines to battery power using lithium ion rechargeable batteries being provided free of charge to Kyōto City by battery maker GS Yuasa (GSユアサ).

Kyōto City was actually the first city in Japan to adopt trams, back in 1895. This particular car, N27, was introduced during the system’s early years and has been preserved in running condition. Despite the body having undergone replacement, the mechanical equipment is from the original. The city is currently carrying out a series of improvements to the park, including new park space on the site of JR’s former Umekōji employee housing. The modifications to the historic tram are part of this plan, which calls for constructing platforms in the new expanded park space and operating the new battery-powered tram on landscaped track.

Tōkyō R&D specializes in R&D and low-volume production of electric vehicles (EVs), racing cars, and carbon fiber composite materials. They are a small company, with only 150 employees, and this is actually their first railcar contract, putting their EV knowhow to use. In particular, they will offer high-speed recharging equipment, helping to minimize power systems and maintenance costs. Kyōto City estimated a contract value of ¥43 million in the bidding process. The exterior of the car will not be modified, and the trolley pole will remain.



===

The tram in question:

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Old August 7th, 2013, 07:02 AM   #5867
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Higashi-Murayama grade-separation to break ground in FY2014
14年度着工へ準備進む/東京都・西武鉄道の東村山駅付近連立

http://www.kensetsunews.com/?p=17925

The Tōkyō Metropolitan Government and Seibu Railway are aiming to obtain urban planning approvals for the Seibu Railway Shinjuku Line / Kokubunji Line / Seibu-en Line (Higashi-Murayama Station) Continuous Grade-Separation Project in FY2013. This project involves grade-separating about 4.5 km across these three Seibu lines surrounding Higashi-Murayama Station in Higashi-Murayama City in western Tōkyō. Detailed design and engineering has been contracted out to Seibu Railway and was awarded to Fukken Engineering (復建エンジニヤリング), Tōnichi Consultants (トーニチコンサルタント), and Tōkyū Architects & Engineers (東急設計コンサルタント). Seibu Railway will also be awarding the contracts for construction, with groundbreaking starting as early as FY2014 if land acquisition proceeds apace.

In terms of schedule, preparatory construction work will take place first, lasting about one year, with construction of temporary tracks and the new viaducts beginning in the second year. Construction of the temporary tracks will last about seven years, with the viaduct taking about 11, for a total of about 12 years (FY2024 completion). Total project cost is ¥61 billion.

Specifically, the TMG will serve as the lead agency for the project, which will elevate about 2.3 km of the Shinjuku Line, 0.8 km of the Kokubunji Line, and 1.4 km of the Seibu-En Line, eliminating five grade crossings including Fuchū Kaidō (府中街道), alleviating traffic congestion, reconnecting neighborhoods separated by the rail lines, and constructing new roads. The new elevated structures will be 7 m wide and 5-12 m tall for the Seibu-en Line, and 10 m wide and 5-15 m tall for the Shinjuku Line. The approaches will be about 10 m wide for the Shinjuku Line and about 7 m wide for the Kokubunji Line and Seibu-en Line. The new elevated Higashi-Murayama Station will be 31-43 m wide and 17 m tall, with two island platforms and four tracks stretching approx. 210 m in length.

The current construction plan envisions three phases for the Shinjuku Line, with the first stage involving construction of temporary (ground-level) tracks to the north, switching first the inbound, then the outbound track. The second phase will involve demolition of the original (ground-level) outbound track and construction of the new (elevated) outbound track, while the third phase will be the same process for the inbound track. A two-stage process is envisioned for the Kokubunji Line and Seibu-en Line, with the first phase involving construction of temporary (ground-level) tracks to the west for the Kokubunji Line and to the north for the Seibu-en Line. The second phase will then construct the permanent elevated tracks for both lines and execute the switchout. The station will be completed in six phases, with the first three involving elevation of the outbound tracks and platforms for the Shinjuku Line, followed by the elevation of the Kokubunji Line and Seibu-en Line (fourth phase), elevation of the inbound tracks and platforms for the Shinjuku Line (fifth phase), and demolition of existing infrastructure and structural groundwork (sixth phase).





===

Seibu 3000 series departing Higashi-Murayama Station:

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Old August 8th, 2013, 06:24 AM   #5868
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Study estimates cumulative economic benefit of Yui Rail at ¥770 billion
沖縄都市モノレール、ゆいレールの経済効果7700億円

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...00C13A8LXC000/

Results from a study released on 2013.08.07 indicate that the Okinawa Urban Monorail (沖縄都市モノレール), more commonly known as Yui Rail (ゆいレール), has generated a cumulative economic benefit of ¥778.4 billion from start of construction until now (1996 to 2012). In particular, economic benefits associated with construction investment for condo and office buildings around Yui Rail stations reached ¥547.3 billion.

The study was prepared by the Ryūgin Research Institute (りゅうぎん総合研究所), and looked at three factors: the construction and operation of the line, as well as building construction around train stations. Economic benefits due to construction for the seven-year period until completion of the line in 2002 reached ¥185.5 billion, while economic benefits due to the line’s operation were estimated each fiscal year since the line opened in 2003, reaching ¥4.56 billion, primarily focused on fare revenues and advertising revenues. For the third factor, the study looked at new construction within a 600 m radius of each station, estimating approx. ¥547.3 billion in economic benefits for the ten-year period between 2001 and 2010. In addition to direct expenses, the calculation also considers the secondary effects and manufacturing attraction effects of materials procurement for construction activities.

In particular, the study pointed out large urban redevelopment that has taken place at Asahibashi, Makishi, and Asato Stations, as well as new hotels, office buildings, and condo developments that have sprung up at stations along the line. The estimated employment benefits across all three factors considered in the study encompass a total of 737,000 jobs.

The study also analyzed commute travel time reductions for Yui Rail users, estimated at about 780,000 hours, or about ¥830 million, annually. Mode shift from automobiles and other modes to the Yui Rail has also reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 8,851 tons annually.





===

More information from an Okinawa Times article: A total of 2,409 new construction projects were identified within a 600 m radius of each station, comprising about half of all new construction in Naha City during this period. Comparing population growth before and after the opening of the line, neighborhoods on the Yui Rail showed 2.6% higher growth than other neighborhoods.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 06:27 AM   #5869
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New station building at Sodegaura Station to partially open next autumn
来年秋の一部完成目指す 関係者らが安全祈願祭 袖ケ浦駅新築工事

http://www.chibanippo.co.jp/c/news/local/150467

A ceremony was held on 2013.08.06 to pray for safety during construction of a new station building at JR Sodegaura Station on the Sotobō Line in Narawa, Sodegaura City (袖ケ浦市奈良輪). A new north-south public passage will open in autumn of next year, coinciding with a new neighborhood to debut on the north side of the station as part of a land readjustment project. Currently, the station’s headhouses are at ground-level, and there is no passage crossing north-south. This ¥2.30841 billion project will elevate the station building and construct a new concourse / platform bridge and public passage. The entire station building will be completed around FY2015 close. Using grants from the national government and other funding sources, the city will shoulder approx. ¥2.24 billion of the cost, with the remaining ¥70 million being provided by JR East.

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Old August 8th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #5870
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Yūrakuchō Line extension to Sumiyoshi could pay itself off within 30 years
豊洲~住吉間の地下鉄新線「30年以内に黒字化」

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...00C13A8MM0000/

In regards to a proposed new subway extension running north-south through Kōtō Ward between Toyosu and Sumiyoshi, a study by Kōtō Ward indicates that the project could completely pay for itself 29 years after opening assuming a ¥70 fare surcharge. In order to be eligible for funding from the national government under the Act on Improving the Convenience of Urban Railways (都市鉄道等利便増進法), the project must be able to pay for itself within 30 years, so this latest study marks a big step forward for the proposed extension. Kōtō Ward hopes to finalize project details this fiscal year and begin work in FY2015, with completion in FY2025.

Specifically, this project involves a new 5.2 km subway line between Toyosu on the Yūrakuchō Line and Sumiyoshi on the Hanzōmon Line via Tōyōchō Station on the Tōzai Line, to be constructed as “Tōkyō Subway Line 8” (the planning name for what has been mostly built today as the Yūrakuchō Line). Two new intermediate stations would be constructed, one between Toyosu and Tōyōchō and another between Tōyōchō and Sumiyoshi. The project would be constructed by a third-sector railway receiving funding from Kōtō Ward and other sources, with Tōkyō Metro responsible for operating the line. The subway will improve access to Tōkyō’s booming waterfront district while relieving overcrowding on the Tōzai Line.

Thus far, Kōtō Ward has been discussing how to move the project forward, bringing in representatives from the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government and national government. In addition to round-trip runs between Toyosu and Sumiyoshi, it’s expected that a portion of trips will also through-service with the Yūrakuchō Line. Forecasted daily ridership is 290,000 passengers, and a fare surcharge of ¥70 on top of Tōkyō Metro’s fare would be sufficient to pay off all debt incurred in the construction of the project 29 years after opening.

Estimated project cost is ¥126 billion. Under the Act on Improving the Convenience of Urban Railways, Kōtō Ward would be responsible for one-third of the project’s cost, the TMG and national government another third, and the final third covered by infrastructure lease fees paid by the third-sector railway.

The next steps involve hammering out the details of the project, including the exact location of intermediate stations and the infrastructure necessary to collect the fare surcharge. Kōtō Ward will then sign agreements with both the national government and the TMG and file for project approvals with the national government, beginning land acquisition in FY2015.



===

Pretty big news… I had no idea this project was so far along, but it looks like they are literally within steps of breaking ground and have decided to move forward on their own, without help from Tōkyō Metro, which said that it has no plans to open new lines after opening the Fukutoshin Line in 2008.

Specifically, the study mentioned in the article is available here:
http://www.city.koto.lg.jp/seikatsu/...4summeryA1.pdf
http://www.city.koto.lg.jp/seikatsu/...24summeryB.pdf

In particular, some interesting details about the project:

Major trackside developments
Toyosu / Harumi Development Plan (豊洲・晴海開発整備計画): 44,000 residents, 83,000 jobs, completion FY2015
Toyosu 1-3-chōme Urban Planning Policy (豊洲1~3丁目地区まちづくり方針): 22,000 residents, 33,000 jobs, completion FY2021
Waterfront Subcenter Urban Planning Implementation Plan (臨海副都心まちづくり推進計画): 47,000 residents, 90,000 jobs, completion FY2015
Shiomi District Urban Planning Policy (潮見地区まちづくり方針): 11,000 residents, 8,000 jobs, completion FY2018
Toyosu New Market / Tsukiji Market Relocation (provisional name) (豊洲新市場): 6 million annual visitors, completion FY2015
Tōkyō Sky Tree Town (東京スカイツリータウン): 30 million annual visitors, completion FY2012

So clearly, there’s a lot of potential… The population explosion in the waterfront areas (Toyosu / Harumi) is amazing, and should generate some of the steady ridership demand needed to make the line viable.

Conceptual service plan
Sumiyoshi ↔ Toyosu: 8 tph peak, 4 tph off-peak
Sumiyoshi ↔ Ichigaya: 4 tph peak, 4 tph off-peak

Peak-hour trains:



The plan envisions all trains to be 10-car formations, operated as one-man trains (i.e., operator only, no conductor). Due to track capacity issues on the Hanzōmon Line and the limited capacity to turn back trains at Oshiage Station, the plan does not consider through-service with the Hanzōmon Line. Ichigaya was selected as the turnback for the Yūrakuchō Line through-services because most of the ridership for this new line will be heading to and from the central three wards (都心3区) of Tōkyō (Chiyoda, Chūō, and Minato). Other potential turnback locations would be Ikebukuro and Wakō-shi, but they envision Ichigaya for now because it’s the closest to the central three wards.

Two new stations will be constructed (in addition to new platforms at Tōyōchō):

ST1 will be located 1.4 km from Toyosu and 1.8 km from Tōyōchō. Based on the distances and map provided, it appears to be in Edagawa 3-chōme (枝川3丁目).
ST3 will be located 1.0 km from Tōyōchō and 1.0 km from Sumiyoshi. Looks like this one will be in Sengoku 2-chōme (千石2丁目).

The cost for the project also includes railyard (I assume they will just be leasing space at an existing Tōkyō Metro yard or similar arrangement), plus the cost to make the necessary upgrades to existing stations at Toyosu and Sumiyoshi. Also included are platform doors and flood gates. Construction will be cut-and-cover for stations, double-track or single-track bored tunnels for everything else (except for parts of the line between Toyosu and the first station to be constructed as cut and cover). A crossover will also be constructed just north of ST3 to allow them to turn trains back at Sumiyoshi.

Estimated ridership
260,000 pax / day (based on Tōkyō Metro’s current fare structure), compared to 240,000 pax / day in 2011 studies

Estimated transport density
160,000 pax / day (equivalent to the Fukutoshin Line and Toei Mita Line)

Estimated station boardings
ST1: 16,000 boardings / day (similar to Ōshima Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line)
Tōyōchō: 73,000 boardings / day (19,000 pax / day when subtracting transfers with Tōzai Line) (similar to Yūrakuchō Station on the Yūrakuchō Line)
ST3: 17,000 boardings / day (similar to Shinozaki Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line)

Overcrowding relief currently, and in the future (with and without the new extension):

Code:
                                                   FY2011   FY2025 Loads
Line                Peak Segment                    Loads   With  Without
==================  =============================  ======   ====  =======
Sōbu Local Line     Kinshichō → Rygoku               201%   200%    197%
Sōbu Rapid Line     Shin-Koiwa → Kinshichō           177%   181%    179%
Keiyō Line          Kasai Rinkai Kōen → Shin-Kiba    175%   158%    154%
Tōzai Line          Kiba → Monzen Nakachō            199%   203%    182%
Toei Shinjuku Line  Sumiyoshi → Kikukawa              --    147%    138%
Toei Ōedo Line      Monzen Nakachō → Tsukishima       --    127%    103%
What’s interesting is that Tōkyō Metro already announced that they would construct a new crossover for the Hanzōmon Line at Oshiage (see here) as part of their three-year infrastructure investment plan. Based on the peak traffic on the Hanzōmon Line (only 20 tph), it seems possible that they could extend the through-service to at least Oshiage if not further out onto the Tōbu Sky Tree Line, if they wanted. If you remember, this is only the first segment of a proposed extension all the way to Kameari on the Jōban Line, although they are obviously prioritizing this higher-traffic segment first. The Hanzōmon Line has been separately proposed for an extension to Matsudo on the Jōban Line.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #5871
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That sounds fantastic. Perhaps it is just me, but one of the other areas that really needs a line like this to connect the radial lines is Edogawa. Do you know of any plans to construct something like that there? I know there are buses currently plying the length of the ward, but I am sure there must be some interest in rail.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 07:58 PM   #5872
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Metro Seven:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=5798

But it's nowhere near as far along as the Yūrakuchō Line branch, which appears to be a virtual certainty at this point... It seems that they just have to step through the motions of the approvals process before they can actually start physical work on the project.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 01:12 PM   #5873
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To me, that rail line looks absolutely vital, and a fantastic idea. It is one thing that put me off looking at apartments in Edogawa - the fact that one only has radial lines and transverse travel is a little more difficult due to that despite the good bus services (from the timetables I read).

I can see the route for Metro 7 in the video in your link, but do you have a good, decent sized map of the proposed route and the intersections with other lines or is this too preliminary at the moment for that?

(Thanks for the info, too).
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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:35 AM   #5874
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Metro Seven and Metro Eight would travel underneath Loop Road No. 7 and Loop Road No. 8, respectively. The projects are nowhere near far enough along in the process to have specific alignment and potential station locations identified, but I did something a long time ago in Google Maps:
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...4c8d7aac&msa=0

It's also on my map:
https://docs.google.com/uc?export=do...FlYWNjZGQxYzA1
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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:36 AM   #5875
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Fashion industry breaks into station retail
アパレル業界、駅ナカに熱視線 鉄道会社との思惑は一致するか

http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...0711001-n1.htm

Apparel and fashion stores are now entering into the station retail business en masse, defying the perception of ekinaka (station retail) as a market sector dominated by convenience stores, kiosks, and food retailers. By increasing their brand exposure through new locations in high-traffic stations, they hope to attract new demographics as potential customers.

In Ōsaka, ekimo Tennōji (エキモ天王寺) opened on 2013.04.18 with 9 retail spaces inside an underground passage connecting Tennōji Station on the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line with the Abeno Q’s Mall (あべのキューズモール) on the station’s B1 level concourse. Developed jointly with Nankai Shōji (南海商事) and Tōkyū Land (東急不動産), the tenants include fashion merchandisers and popular brand-name shops. Additional locations are planned for Namba Station in October and Umeda Station in April of next year, taking advantage of the high passenger traffic at these stations—average daily boardings and alightings for FY2011 were 248,000 passengers for Tennōji, 331,000 passengers for Namba, and 415,000 passengers for Umeda. In particular, the area around Tennōji is filled with students from vocational colleges and other higher-education facilities, and ekimo Tennōji caters to the young female shopper with Kansai “firsts” including Daily Russet (デイリーラシット) and Ropé Picnic PASSAGE (ロペピクニック・パサージュ), among other fashion-focused general merchandisers critical to capturing impulse shoppers.

The ekinaka really took off in 2005 after JR East opened eCute Ōmiya (エキュート大宮) in Saitama City, followed by Tōkyō Metro opening its echika (エチカ) brand of station retail at major stations, with railways looking at ekinaka as a means of breathing new life into train stations. In the Kansai area, JR West has opened Eki Marché (エキマルシェ) locations at Ōsaka and Takarazuka Stations, while the Kyōto Municipal Subway debuted its KotoChika brand of retail at its major stations. Tenant lineups now include accessory shops and beauty product retailers, all aimed at women. Most recently, JR West opened a four-store retail zone at Sannomiya Station (Kōbe City) that includes The Body Shop (ザ・ボディショップ), a retailer of body care products, hoping to attract female customers to come on a daily basis.

One of the motivations behind station retail projects is the need to supplement the drop in fare revenues as a result of population aging and a declining birth rate. Ridership on the Ōsaka Municipal Subway has been dropping every year since 2007, and station retail may hold the key not just for securing profitability but also for ensuring the viability of the eventual privatization of the network.

===

An interesting application of the ekinaka concept has been targeting high school students searching for colleges. Aoyama Gakuin University (青山学院大学) and Tōhoku Gakuin University (東北学院大学) held a recent marketing event at JR Sendai Station (2013.05.19):

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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:37 AM   #5876
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MLIT approves two new stations on Toyama Chihō Railroad
富山地鉄の2新駅設置を認可

http://www2.knb.ne.jp/news/20130808_37474.htm

On 2013.08.08, the Hokuriku–Shin’etsu Transport Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) approved an application from Toyama Chihō Railroad (富山地方鉄道) to establish two new stations on its mainline: Shin-Ainoki Station (相ノ木駅) in Kamiichi Town between Ainoki and Kamiichi Stations, and Shin-Kurobe Station (新黒部駅) in Kurobe City between Nagaya and Shitayama Stations. In particular, the latter station will be located about 70 m from the Kurobe – Unazuki Onsen Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension to Kanazawa scheduled to open in spring 2015, facilitating transfers with the Shinkansen. The former station, Shin-Ainoki, was requested by local residents in Kamiichi Town, and the railway hopes to open that one as early as this December.

===

Scenes on the Toyama Chihō Railroad from this summer:

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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:38 AM   #5877
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Platform door installation on Yūrakuchō Line nearing completion

Official Tōkyō Metro press release:
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2013/p...30809_k092.pdf

The installation date and start of operations of platform door installations at the final stations on the Yūrakuchō Line (Senkawa, Toyosu, and Tatsumi) has been decided. When complete, this milestone will mark the completion of all platform door installations on the Yūrakuchō Line, bringing the total number of Tōkyō Metro stations with platform doors to 84 out of 179 (47% completion).

Specifically:

Senkawa Station
Installation will take place on 2013.12.06 for the Shin-Kiba platform and 2013.12.07 for the Wakō-shi platform, with the doors entering service on 2014.02.22.

Toyosu Station
Installation will take place on 2013.08.23 (Platform 1) and 2013.10.26 (Platform 2) for Shin-Kiba and 2013.08.24 (Platform 4) and 2013.10.27 (Platform 3) for Wakō-shi, with the doors entering service on 2013.10.26 (Platforms 1 and 4) and 2013.12.28 (Platforms 2 and 3).

Tatsumi Station
Installation will take place on 2013.09.20 for the Shin-Kiba platform and 2013.09.21 for the Wakō-shi platform, with the doors entering service on 2013.11.23.

History of platform door installation work on the Yūrakuchō Line:

Code:
Station              Start Date
===================  ==========
Wakō-shi             2012.07.07
Chikatetsu Narimasu  2010.10.16
Chikatetsu Akatsuka  2010.09.25
Heiwadai             2010.09.11
Hikawadai            2010.08.21
Kotake - Mukaihara   2008.06.14
Senkawa              2014.02.22
Kanamechō            2011.01.08
Ikebukuro            2011.01.22
Higashi-Ikebukuro    2011.02.26
Gokokuji             2011.03.26
Edogawabashi         2011.08.13
Iidabashi            2011.09.17
Ichigaya             2011.10.15
Kōjimachi            2011.11.12
Nagatachō            2012.02.04
Sakurada-mon         2012.02.11
Yūrakuchō            2012.03.10
Ginza Itchōme        2012.04.14
Shintomichō          2013.06.29
Tsukishima           2013.06.29
Toyosu               2013.10.26
                     2013.12.28
Tatsumi              2013.11.23
Shin-Kiba            2013.06.29
===

New platform doors at Yūrakuchō Line’s Shin-Kiba Station:



New platform doors at JR Sugamo Station on the Yamanote Line on. These began operation 2013.06.29:



At Komagome Station (2013.08.03). These began operating on 2013.08.02.



=====

The other big news related to platform doors is that testing will begin soon for the first of three experimental platform door designs devised in an effort to combat some of the logistics and cost issues related to the standard platform door installations. In particular, the need for platform reinforcement and other work can cause the cost to increase substantially to several hundred million or several billion yen. Current designs are also not suited to the flexibility in rolling stock design and layout that is needed in most of Japan’s urban rail operations, nor to the narrow widths of legacy platforms.

The first testing will begin late this month at Shin-Tokorozawa Station on the Seibu Railway, involving a “smart” platform door that can adapt to door positions based on the type of rolling stock used—perfect for Seibu, which has perhaps the most fleet variety of any major private railway in Tōkyō, including 3- and 4-door stock. This will be followed by a wire-type design at Tsukimino Station on the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line to begin testing in September, and a bar-type design at Yayoidai Station on the Sagami Railway in October. Testing of all three types will last one year, after which the MLIT will evaluate their impact on train operations. Currently, about 564 of Japan’s approximately 9,500 stations nationwide are outfitted with platform doors as of the end of March 2013.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:41 AM   #5878
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Pictures of the renovated Yaesu Exit of JR Tōkyō Station, now branded as “GranRoof”:
http://kenplatz.nikkeibp.co.jp/artic...bpnet&rt=nocnt

First, from earlier this year (2013.02.05), when the canopy was still under construction…

Tower cranes and scaffolding are up. For being Tōkyō’s main intercity terminus, there’s not much space to work with at the Yaesu side.



Construction work proceeds in close proximity to as pedestrians, taxis, and buses.



Some elaborate scaffolding, some of it diagonally oriented, was erected for the project.



After the work was done (2013.07.20):

The new canopy is complete, 230 m long and reaching 27 m tall at its highest point. Construction was carried out by a joint venture of Kashima (鹿島) and Tekken (鉄建). The work required close coordination to maintain the functionality of the station and safety of railway infrastructure, along with adjacent buildings, the highway express bus station, and station plaza.



The GranRoof is just one part of JR East’s Tōkyō Station City project, which included construction of two new mixed-use office buildings: the Gran Tōkyō South Tower at left and Gran Tōkyō North Tower in the distance. Special zoning policies enacted in 2000 allowed JR East to take unused air rights at the station and apply it to other buildings in the Marunouchi district, with the additional revenues from the increased development directed towards the rehabilitation and restoration of the historic Marunouchi building.



They went with lightweight, low-maintenance “membrane” roof made with synthetic fabric, a popular choice for station renovation projects. Immediately above us the new pedestrian deck connecting to the Gran Tōkyō buildings.

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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:42 AM   #5879
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The structure of canopy is complex, varying in width, pitch, and height across its length.



Cross-sectional view:



Erection was by tower crane(s), with prisms, total stations, and temporary wire rope were used to ensure accurate placement of structural members, including the diagonal columns on the plaza side:



Nighttime construction work to erect the structural frame to support the canopy (2013.02.27 and 2013.03.02).

Steel members are delivered by flatbed to the station plaza for erection. The longest ones were about 35 m in length, delivered in two or three segments that were later welded on-site.



Crane lift:





Connecting girders being oriented into place (2010.12.17). Some of the members at the very end and base of the canopy were cast steel made from old railway track.



The frame is in place:

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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:44 AM   #5880
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Installation of the membrane (2011.02.24).

The unique design of the canopy places the membrane underneath the structural frame instead of on top of it, giving the impression that the canopy is a single continuous piece.



A spreader holding the roll of fabric is lifted into place at the very edge of the canopy and pulled down towards the base. Each roll covers one span (18 m) of the canopy, and there are 14 spans in total.



The fabric is spread out with manpower, just like you would with plastic wrap for leftovers.



The fabric has jigs placed every 450 to 500 mm, and using levers and the counterforce from the steel frame and temporary structures, is tensioned (up to 15 t) with wires.



The fabric is stretched one bit a time in all four directions.







After the fabric is properly tensioned to eliminate any wrinkles, it is inserted into metal fasteners at the tip of the supports. A separate piece of membrane is welded on top to hide the joint and give the impression of a single continuous canopy. Since the work needed to be done facing up, welding machines were jacked up to the appropriate height and placed on rails to allow them to weld the pieces in place.



Completed sections. It’s difficult to predict just how to tension the membrane properly, and they actually had to loosen the first couple of sections after completing adjacent ones. It took about two weeks to install each canopy span, made from polytetrafluoroethylene-coated glass fiber (四フッ化エチレン樹脂コーティングガラス繊維布) with titanium oxide photocatalysts (酸化チタン光触媒微粒子含有) mixed in to make it easy to keep clean.



Even the early stages of the project were faced with difficult tasks… After demolition of the existing aboveground portion of buildings on the site, they needed to drive piles for the retaining walls while retaining the underground structure, as well as opening holes in the existing structures to drive temporary piles to support the rest of the construction work. After that was done, only then could they drive the permanent piles and demolish the remaining parts of the existing structures and begin excavation underground.

Placing struts to support the retaining wall, they eventually dug to the very bottom and built the new underground structure—a fairly routine process, but they needed to be extra-careful to avoid damage to railway infrastructure and existing underground malls at the station.

Due to vertical clearance issues, they were forced to use a specialized equipment such as this Quattro Cutter, of which there are only three in Japan:



Of course, they also needed to maintain the functionality of the station, including the six passages through the station from the Yaesu side—the Central North (中央北), Central South (中央南), and South (南) routes at ground level, plus another three routes on B1F and B2F. In order to demolish parts of the existing passages, they had to construct temporary passages nearby to secure adequate access before demolishing the existing passage and construction the permanent replacement. Over the course of construction, they switched between passages a total of 27 times (!).

The GranRoof will be completed on 2013.09.20, followed by the bus station and taxi pool about one year later. They are planning special nighttime lighting for the canopy, so it should be interesting to see what they come up with.
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