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Old November 9th, 2017, 02:49 AM   #1041
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Well, the Swedes are the opposite and they try to automate everything and remove people from every equation. Yet they have some of the latest trains in Europe and also dangerous mistakes such as trains taking the wrong line and ending up in the wrong city even!
Sure, but there are a host of other reasons that may cause such issues, from weather extremes, to union relations, to moose on the line. Japanese railway management tends to build a lot of slack in the schedules, which is more the reason for the lack of delays than anything else. Try taking the Narita 'express' in rush hour and you may as well be on a normal commuter train just without the crowding.

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To be honest, I'd rather have a manpower heavy system if it yields better results. I am not a fan for modernisation for modernisations sake. You can probably fault the Japanese on a few areas but in terms of railways, I have never taken better systems especially given how much other countries are plagued with terrible operational procedure and frequent signal failures.
I'm not sure if you've lived in Japan much, but in my experience Japan's punctuality is more myth than reality. Sure it's probably better than Sweden's, but you can't claim that having more manpower on the signalling is the cause of this (as per my point above). Shinkansen are nearly perfect (and even then, I often see announcements that the Tohoku Shinkansen trains are delayed for various reasons), sure, but on the regular commuter lines such as the Tokaido, Yokosuka, Joban lines etc. delays are relatively frequent. Again, it's more managerial operations that mitigates this, as the train frequency allows the management often to move every train back a step in the timetable to make up for a delayed service.

It's this kind of denial of reality which prevents Japanese corporate culture from progressing forward and keeping up with industry best practices. Many things are done extremely well in Japan, but it's important not to idolise and highlight where bullshit persists due to 'tradition' and 'process' so that positive change can happen.
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Old November 9th, 2017, 12:12 PM   #1042
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Originally Posted by Sopomon View Post
Sure, but there are a host of other reasons that may cause such issues, from weather extremes, to union relations, to moose on the line. Japanese railway management tends to build a lot of slack in the schedules, which is more the reason for the lack of delays than anything else. Try taking the Narita 'express' in rush hour and you may as well be on a normal commuter train just without the crowding.
All railways build a lot of slack into the timetables. Sydney's cityrail is the best example of having a timetable so slack you could make it into a catapult.

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I'm not sure if you've lived in Japan much, but in my experience Japan's punctuality is more myth than reality. Sure it's probably better than Sweden's, but you can't claim that having more manpower on the signalling is the cause of this (as per my point above). Shinkansen are nearly perfect (and even then, I often see announcements that the Tohoku Shinkansen trains are delayed for various reasons), sure, but on the regular commuter lines such as the Tokaido, Yokosuka, Joban lines etc. delays are relatively frequent. Again, it's more managerial operations that mitigates this, as the train frequency allows the management often to move every train back a step in the timetable to make up for a delayed service.

It's this kind of denial of reality which prevents Japanese corporate culture from progressing forward and keeping up with industry best practices. Many things are done extremely well in Japan, but it's important not to idolise and highlight where bullshit persists due to 'tradition' and 'process' so that positive change can happen.
Okay, everything you say here is completely anecdotal. Facts. Figures please? Percentage on-time running. WIth a network so vast of course there will be occasional delays but because of its size they will appear to be visually lots, hence why you need statistics. If 100 trains are late out of 10000 run then you've got only 1% of the trains not running on time. If 4 trains out of 200 is late you've got 2% of trains not running on time, but which of those situations do you think would be more noticeable to your average passenger?

I only say this because nearly every country I've visited I've had one disastrous meltdown of the transport system in one form or another, and it is mostly due to infrastructure issues (rather than passenger action, which is a frequent cause of delays in Japan - 20% of delays due to dropped objects in Tokyo are due to dropped smartphones from what I read and that's quite a lot). Even in countries with relatively good systems like Germany or the UK I've experienced big problems with rail infrastructure - and the statistics back this up.

Britain is one of the best systems in Europe for on time running, but only manages 88% of trains being "on time" (within 5 minutes of scheduled time) - as for trains arriving correctly within 1 minute it drops to 63%. https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we...mance-measure/

Germany has a problem with its long distance trains in particular. Only 78.4% of their ICE trains arrived on time (5 minutes of expected) - and these are their high speed premium trains equivalent to the Shinkansen.
https://www.stern.de/reise/deutschla...n-7050638.html

Even the Swiss, the best railway system in the world other than Japan IMO, manage 88.8% on time running (within 3 minutes) and that's in a super small country without HSR.
https://reporting.sbb.ch/en/home

So yes, I'd like to see the stats so we can have a discussion on this. Then we at least have a point of reference for this discussion or it becomes pure anecdote slinging rather than having some stats we can discuss.

Last edited by Svartmetall; November 9th, 2017 at 06:52 PM.
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Old November 9th, 2017, 11:32 PM   #1043
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
All railways build a lot of slack into the timetables. Sydney's cityrail is the best example of having a timetable so slack you could make it into a catapult.
Some more than others, try the UK's commuter railways for example, where there is very little slack in the timetable.

Quote:
So yes, I'd like to see the stats so we can have a discussion on this. Then we at least have a point of reference for this discussion or it becomes pure anecdote slinging rather than having some stats we can discuss.
https://gori.me/lifehack/83538
No published official rates per train that I could find, but this site uses '% of days within a 20 day period in which late slips were issued by the railway' as a measurement.

http://tabiris.com/archives/chien/
This one tables how many weekdays (so out of 5 rather than 7) the particular lines experience delays of over 10 minutes. The top 3 lines are:
JR Saikyo Line
JR Yokosuka Line
JR Tokaido Line

As you can see, the big JR commuter lines are pretty terrible, 85% of days having an incident that required late slips to be printed. These late slips are brought out when things start to go pretty haywire, so you could say that depending on the length of the line, a 3rd of the vehicles would be affected by it. (Clustering behind the first train, subsequent crowding and slow loading etc etc etc).

More on the anecdotal side, but Tokyoites themselves are aware of it too:
https://matome.naver.jp/odai/2144733319136022001
http://kick-switch.com/diary/jr_east_delay/

Although counter to the very original point, the Keikyuu lines are some of the most regularly on time.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 01:23 AM   #1044
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Very hard to compare then without official stats. I think it's a bit weird to say that the lines are "pretty terrible" just because 85% of days have an incident where a late slip needs to be printed as that says nothing about the number of trains delayed (only that some trains that day were delayed around 5 minutes). Again, if you're running hundreds of trains a day and you have even 10 of them delayed, it is still only a small percentage. Additionally, from the second link it seems only part of the line is considered or am I reading it wrong? Normally "late trains" are measured end to end. It really would be good to see % of delayed trains otherwise it's hard to compare to international standards. Does anyone have that info?

Also, special delays are rather difficult to compare as well (as per the last link). For example, there was a power cut in Stockholm today and all the red and green lines of the metro system were stopped for hours. That meant that at least 40-50 trains were actually cancelled completely.

I think you need to travel to Europe some time soon again (or even worse Australia/US). You'll soon see what the rest of the world has to cope with.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 04:09 AM   #1045
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Very hard to compare then without official stats. I think it's a bit weird to say that the lines are "pretty terrible" just because 85% of days have an incident where a late slip needs to be printed as that says nothing about the number of trains delayed (only that some trains that day were delayed around 5 minutes). Again, if you're running hundreds of trains a day and you have even 10 of them delayed, it is still only a small percentage. Additionally, from the second link it seems only part of the line is considered or am I reading it wrong? Normally "late trains" are measured end to end. It really would be good to see % of delayed trains otherwise it's hard to compare to international standards. Does anyone have that info?

Also, special delays are rather difficult to compare as well (as per the last link). For example, there was a power cut in Stockholm today and all the red and green lines of the metro system were stopped for hours. That meant that at least 40-50 trains were actually cancelled completely.

I think you need to travel to Europe some time soon again (or even worse Australia/US). You'll soon see what the rest of the world has to cope with.
And hence why anecdotes are vital! The information is patchy!
Have you lived in Tokyo and regularly commuted using the same line every day? I've lived in several cities around the world, and yes it's good but it's on-time performance is not exceptional.

Overall, JR's longer distance commuter lines are not significantly better than the same ones that you see in London, from my experience living in both cities. (Although this is ignoring Southern Rail whose woes are well documented).

Interestingly, the private railways are much better with on time performance than JR overall, and I noticed that quite regularly on routes where there was the option to go with JR or private.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 09:43 PM   #1046
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Interestingly, Keikyu's human-centric signalling system actually works because they've designed it to work very well with all kinds of trains from all-stop locals to limited-express longer-distance commuter trains. And because Keikyu's route network is relatively small, they don't need the computerized signalling network that JR East and other private railways in the Tokyo area require. And Keikyu is considered by many the best commuter rail system in the Tokyo area.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 12:50 AM   #1047
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I'd like to see a comparison but Keikyuu from Shinagawa to Yokohama certainly feels faster than JR - though that might just be due to tighter curves and faster acceleration
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Old November 11th, 2017, 04:23 AM   #1048
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I'd like to see a comparison but Keikyuu from Shinagawa to Yokohama certainly feels faster than JR - though that might just be due to tighter curves and faster acceleration
Tighter curves will slow down the train since a train can only clear it at below a certain speed slower than a curve that has a larger radius.
You also need to decelerate before entering those tight curves and would be slower full of people during the rush hours.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 11:40 AM   #1049
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JR East revealed images for the new Yamanote Line station between Shinagawa & Tamachi. It will be a bit different then the earlier images suggested, there won't be a extra large canopy. But the roof, a construction of steel, wood and glass does look promising.

http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2016/20160903.pdf

It's tentatively named Shinagawa New Station 「品川新駅」








Update November 2017





The new fly-over for the Keihin-Tohoku line over the Yamanote Line.




last week



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Old November 13th, 2017, 10:51 PM   #1050
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E231 running on the Musashino Line



A former 10-car E231 series Chuo-Sobu line trainset was transferred to Musashino Line, and was reduced into a 8-car trainset, naming the trainset as "MU 2", had began started operation at the end of the month of October, 2017.

http://news.mynavi.jp/series/railwaynewsplus/007/



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Old November 14th, 2017, 04:30 PM   #1051
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JR Harajuku Station New Station Building Construction



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Old November 15th, 2017, 04:25 PM   #1052
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Improvement Work of JR Ochanomizu Station

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Old November 17th, 2017, 02:56 PM   #1053
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JR Shibuya Station Saikyo Line New Platform Construction

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Old November 20th, 2017, 07:31 AM   #1054
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And hence why anecdotes are vital! The information is patchy!
These sources should prove interesting. Much of the study on railway performance and timetabling (outside of Japan, where the information is readily available and published and sold in regular bookstores), is being done in the Netherlands, with the infrastructure operator, Prorail, looking at the Japanese model:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/...oc.2013.05.003

https://repository.tudelft.nl/island...datastream/OBJ

Please note especially figure 3 on page 30 in the second linked study. However the data is already nine years old. I suspect the figures for JR East have dropped a bit over the decade as more interline/crosscity running (Shonan-Shinjuku Line etc.) has been instituted. These types of operations are more prone to timetable disruptions than simpler terminal to suburb and vice versa operations.

Quote from the first linked article:
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...the essence of the Japanese lessons in only a few words: “Simply Perfect by Perfect Simplicity”. The main findings of the delegation were: strong focus on the passenger needs and its transport, focus on safety and punctuality, simple fares, simple timetable and operational planning, attractive stations (retail), perfect information to the passengers, high punctuality through a high reliability of the infrastructure, of the rolling stock and of the personnel, and perfect operations. Recommendations were, amongst others, to increase the focus on the transport business, to have a clearer steering of the operational staff, to improve the information to passengers, to review timetable planning methods (especially the way to plan buffer time) to increase the role of the train driver in reaching punctuality by allowing him to more precisely compare his actions to the schedule and react to this, and to increase the reliability of infrastructure and rolling stock by spending more on preventive maintenance.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 08:47 AM   #1055
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Wow, I can immediately subscribe to that philosophy since it truly reflects how public transportation should run in my vision. Links bookmarked for reference and further investigation later on.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 03:04 PM   #1056
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Tokyo Station Square Renovation

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Old November 20th, 2017, 04:39 PM   #1057
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Isn't JR installing Thales signaling on the Joban Line? I wonder how Joban Line operators are going to deal with that?

I know this is Keikyu, but really, I don't see Japan being able to have such a manpower-intensive culture in the long term.
It was announced in October that JR East was abandoning the CBTC project on the Joban Line Local Line, due to incompatibility with the ATOS traffic control system and adjusting the radio frequencies, which would blow out the installation costs. A version of JR East’s ATACS system will be installed instead. ATACS is already in operation on the Senseki Line and started operation this month on the Saikyo Line.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 05:00 PM   #1058
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Regarding the ATACS system on the Saikyo Line, it was switched on Nov.4. It replaced the aging ATC-6 system, which uses an older stepped braking pattern (intervals of 10-15kmh) which often results in sudden lurches and thus passenger discomfort. ATACS uses a smooth step less braking pattern (as does the earlier Digital ATC system), which allows a shorter but much more gradual reduction in speed, which allows faster approach speeds into stations. On the Saikyo Line, trains were formerly restricted to snail-like 25km/h entering stations, but with ATACS they are able to arrive at a faster speed, which likely improves headways.


*ATACS is a JR East developed signaling system equivalent to ETCS Level 3
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Old November 21st, 2017, 04:44 AM   #1059
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It was announced in October that JR East was abandoning the CBTC project on the Joban Line Local Line, due to incompatibility with the ATOS traffic control system and adjusting the radio frequencies, which would blow out the installation costs. A version of JR East’s ATACS system will be installed instead. ATACS is already in operation on the Senseki Line and started operation this month on the Saikyo Line.
Bless you, Galapagos Effect!

And what about the Marunouchi Line? I believe it was announced that the Marunouchi would get a form of CBTC, but which solution?
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Old November 21st, 2017, 07:14 AM   #1060
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Bless you, Galapagos Effect!

And what about the Marunouchi Line? I believe it was announced that the Marunouchi would get a form of CBTC, but which solution?
Marunouchi Line is planned to get CBTC by 2022. Vendor is not determined yet. The Marunouchi Line (as well as the Ginza Line) are much better suited for CBTC anyway, given their isolation from the rest of the network (due to gauging). I don't see any relevance with "Galapagos effect"- ATACS is a better solution for above ground applications as well as network wide cases where integration with other lines is important. CBTC is best as a "stand alone" solution, which works with single authority metro lines as they are built and run in most countries, but not in Japan, where the line between metro and interurban commuter is blurred and interlining with multiple types of rolling stock from multiple companies is common. In the case of CBTC and the Joban Line, it was likely a bridge too far.
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