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Old December 21st, 2013, 02:00 AM   #1001
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San’yō–Kyūshū Shinkansen
Nozomi and Sakura schedules at Tokuyama (徳山) and Shin-Yamaguchi (新山口) will change, improving convenience to / from Tōkyō for Tokuyama passengers and to / from Kyūshū for Shin-Yamaguchi passengers:

Tokuyama: 10 Nozomi, 13 Sakura → 15 Nozomi, 10 Sakura
Shin-Yamaguchi: 28 Nozomi, 18 Sakura → 23 Nozomi, 23 Sakura

In addition, one of the Sakura roundtrips will be sped-up (-23 minutes outbound and -13 minutes inbound between Shin-Ōsaka and Kagoshima Chūō) and converted into a Mizuho, bringing the total to 6 Mizuho roundtrips a day. Two of these Mizuho roundtrips will also begin stopping at Himeji now, improving convenience for passengers in the western part of Kansai.

Additionally, all Sakura will now stop at both Shin-Tosu (新鳥栖) and Kurume (久留米). These two stations are very close to each other (separated by less than 6 km), and the current schedule is designed so that some stop at Shin-Tosu while others stop at Kurume. The revised Sakura stopping pattern (excluding trains terminating or beginning at Kumamoto) will look like this:

Code:
Hakata             X    X
Shin-Tosu          X    X
Kurume             X    X
Chikugo Funagoya   |    |
Shin-Ōmuta         |    |
Shin-Tamana        |    |
Kumamoto           X    X
Shin-Yatsushiro    |    X
Shin-Minamata      |    X
Izumi              |    X
Sendai             X    X
Kagoshima Chūō     X    X
===============  ==== ====
TRAINS PER DAY    19   33

* Some trains also stop at Chikugo Funagoya, Shin-Ōmuta, and Shin-Tamana.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 02:02 AM   #1002
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Nippon Sharyō receives order for N700A units

Official press release:
http://www.n-sharyo.co.jp/topics/tp131219.pdf

On 2013.12.19, Nippon Sharyō announced that it had received an order from JR Central for an additional 12 N700A trainsets (192 cars total). The total value of the contract has not been released, but involves provision of four trainsets (64 cars total) each for FY2015, FY2016, and FY2017. The company is already supplying 10 trainsets (160 cars) under a contract covering FY2012 and FY2013. This latest news brings the total number of N700A sets at completion to 22 (352 cars).
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Old December 21st, 2013, 02:04 AM   #1003
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4 JRs team up for international standardization, export of Japanese HSR technology
JR4社、高速鉄道輸出で共同戦線 日本規格の国際標準狙う

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...11C13A2TJ0000/

Four of the JR companies including Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and East Japan Railway Company (JR East) are teaming up to push the export of Japanese high-speed rail technology including the Shinkansen and superconducting maglev in overseas markets. By April of next year, the four companies will establish an organization to push for international standardization of Japan’s HSR standards, and by inviting railway companies in overseas countries currently contemplating HSR projects, such as the U.S. and U.K., they hope to gain an edge in winning contracts. The news that four JR companies will be joining forces for overseas HSR projects may also give new emphasis to the joint public-private infrastructure exports being pushed by the Japanese government.

The global rail infrastructure market, including rolling stock and components, is continuing to grow by about 2% annually, and is expected to reach ¥22 trillion by 2020, over 20% larger than the current market. Most of the global market is held by the “Big 3”—Canada’s Bombardier, France’s Alstom, and Germany’s Siemens—which are aiming to establish HSR standards for mixed-traffic lines shared with slower-speed passenger and freight trains in an effort to secure HSR contracts.

In contrast, Japanese firms are hoping to globally market high-safety HSR systems such as the Tōkaidō Shinkansen that operate on exclusive tracks. As a result, JR Central, JR East, West Japan Railway Company (JR West), and Kyūshū Railway Company (JR Kyūshū) will team up to form the International High-Speed Rail Association (国際高速鉄道協会) next April, working to push for the establishment of new international standards based on Japanese HSR technologies.

Up until now, JR Central and JR East have been working individually to market their technologies for HSR projects in the U.S. and Asia. While the two will continue their individual marketing efforts, cooperation in the international standardization of Japan’s exclusive-track HSR systems is expected to give their bids more weight. The IHRA would also invite participation from railway companies and government agencies in overseas countries currently considering new-build HSR projects, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The IHRA would serve as a forum to enhance awareness of the superior safety of Japan’s HSR systems, with the eventual hope of increasing the chances for Japanese firms to win contracts.

The current share of Japanese firms in the global rail market stands at about 10%, primarily focusing on provision of rolling stock and equipment. Meanwhile, the “Big 3” have adopted a systems approach where they provide rolling stock, maintenance service, and train control systems as part of a single package.

Hitachi Ltd. (日立製作所), Kawasaki Heavy Industries (川崎重工業), and other Japanese rail firms are also expected to join the IHRA in the future. Officials from various countries, such as former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Tom Schieffer, would be invited to serve on an advisory panel, while a former vice-minister of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (国土交通省) or former Ministry of Transport (運輸省) would serve as director. With their maintenance and operations knowhow, the four JR companies would take the lead, supported by experts from the MLIT and railcar manufacturers, hoping to accelerate public-private cooperation in the export of Japanese railway technology.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 08:50 AM   #1004
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A special informational event about the new GranClass service for the Hokuriku Shinkansen was held at Kanazawa Station on 2013.12.14. Some pictures:
http://ihoku.jp/ishikawa/kanazawa-city/11323.html

















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Old December 21st, 2013, 08:55 AM   #1005
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Old December 21st, 2013, 03:18 PM   #1006
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Looks much more better than some airlines' F and C classes.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 07:02 PM   #1007
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Komachi to begin 320 km/h operations

JR East announced that the Akita Shinkansen Komachi services will begin 320 km/h operations on the Utsunomiya – Morioka section of the Tōhoku Shinkansen with the regular timetable revisions taking effect on 2014.03.15 (Saturday).

Currently, services on the Akita Shinkansen are split between Komachi services operated with slower E3 series trains (max speed of 275 km/h on the Tōhoku Shinkansen) and the Super Komachi services, operated with E6 series and coupled with E5 series on the Tōhoku Shinkansen (max speed of 300 km/h).

With the timetable changes, all E3 series trains will be removed from the Akita Shinkansen, leaving only E6 series trains for the line. In addition, all services will begin operating at 320 km/h on the Tōhoku Shinkansen. This will reduce the fastest travel times between Tōkyō and Akita from 3h 45m to 3h 37m (-8m) in the outbound direction and from 3h 46m to 3h 39m (-7m) in the inbound direction. With the removal of slower E3 runs, the Super Komachi name will also be decommissioned, and all Akita Shinkansen services will return to the Komachi name.

With Hayabusa + Komachi formations being consolidated to 320 km/h (currently, some runs are operated at 275 km/h or 300 km/h), there will also be some fairly large improvements in average travel times:



Tōkyō – Sendai:
Outbound: 1h 37m → 1h 32m (-5m)
Inbound: 1h 37m → 1h 33m (-4m)

Tōkyō – Morioka:
Outbound: 2h 21m → 2h 13m (-8m)
Inbound: 2h 23m → 2h 14m (-9m)

Tōkyō – Shin-Aomori:
Outbound: 3h 23m → 3h 14m (-9m)
Inbound: 3h 27m → 3h 18m (-9m)

Tōkyō – Akita:
Outbound: 3h 59m → 3h 47m (-12m)
Inbound: 4h 02m → 3h 53m (-9m)

Current service (Hayabusa / Komachi / Hayate):



Future service:



===

Press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20131217.pdf
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Old December 21st, 2013, 07:04 PM   #1008
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Komachi E3 series to be shifted to Tsubasa
「こまち」を「つばさ」に

http://www.asahi.com/articles/CMTW1312200600002.html

It was revealed that JR East plans to convert some of the E3 series currently operating on Akita Shinkansen Komachi services for use on Yamagata Shinkansen Tsubasa services. Both lines use E3 series “mini” Shinkansen trains. As part of the shift, JR East will renovate the interiors of all trains used on Tsubasa services in preparation for a major tourism campaign by Yamagata Prefecture next summer.

The E3 series Komachi trains debuted with the opening of the Akita Shinkansen in March 1997, and a total of 26 trainsets were produced up through 2005. They are gradually being replaced by modern E6 series trains (currently operated as Super Komachi services), and there are currently only 8 E3 series trains left in the Akita Shinkansen fleet, all of which will be eliminated with the timetable changes in spring 2014.

While the majority of the E3 sets will be eliminated, several of the newer sets will be shifted onto the Yamagata Shinkansen. At least two sets have already been transported from Akita to the J-TREC plant in Kanagawa Prefecture for exterior and interior renovation work.

The current E3 series fleet on the Yamagata Shinkansen was introduced between 1999 and 2001 when the line opened to Shinjō. These trains feature some minor improvements over the Akita Shinkansen sets, as well as minor differences in headlights, seats, and other design features. Overall, in terms of specs, the two E3 series classes are similar, and are interchangeable without the need for major overhauls.

In response to the introduction of modern E6 series capable of 320 km/h running onto the Akita Shinkansen, Yamagata Prefecture submitted a petition to JR East’s Sendai division in April of this year to introduce E6s to the Yamagata Shinkansen. A similar petition was later submitted to JR East HQ in November by a committee representing Yamagata Prefecture and local municipalities.

A major tourism campaign (Yamagata Destination Campaign山形デスティネーションキャンペーン) is scheduled for Yamagata Prefecture next summer, and while JR has no plans to introduce new trains to the Yamagata Shinkansen, the railway will begin running renovated E3 series for the line, enlisting the help of industrial designer Ken Okuyama (奥山清行), the same designer behind the new E6 series.



===

Just some semi-official confirmation of what we suspected…

The second E3 unit (R25) being transported to Yokohama:



Last run of E3 unit R4, shot at Tōkyō Station (2013.12.15):



And up north in snow country:

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Old December 21st, 2013, 07:06 PM   #1009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
*cross posted from JNS Forum

According to a report today in the Shinano Mainichi Shimbun, E7 trains will begin revenue operations on the Nagano Shinkansen route between Tokyo and Nagano from March 15. Three 12-car E7 trainsets will initially be introduced, providing 7 roundtrip services/day. The services will continue to use the Asama monicker used by the current E2 trains. With this introduction, 1/4 of all Asama services will be run with E7 trainsets (the regular schedule on this route sees 28 r/t a day). As the E7 trainsets are 12 cars, with a passenger capacity of 934, they provide 1.5 times the passenger capacity of the current E2 Asama trainsets, which have 630 seats.

http://www.shinmai.co.jp/news/201312...I090006000.php
Some other information to add from the JR East press release:

E7 units will gradually replace the current E2 units on the Nagano Shinkansen (Asama services) at the rate of about 1 per month. The GranClass car will be operated as a seat-only service (in other words, no attendant), although presumably this will change once the extension to Kanazawa opens… Nagano probably isn’t far enough and large enough of a market on its own to justify a full GranClass roll-out.

Conversion of the train control system on the Nagano Shinkansen to digital ATC (デジタルATC) with the new timetable will also reduce travel times between Tōkyō and Nagoya:

Outbound:
Fastest: 1h 25m → 1h 24m (-1m)
Average: 1h 41m → 1h 39m (-2m)

Inbound:
Fastest: 1h 23m → 1h 20m (-3m)
Average: 1h 43m → 1h 39m (-4m)
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Old December 21st, 2013, 10:14 PM   #1010
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I really have my doubts that the Yamagata Shinkansen will be converted to E6 trainsets, since the only section of truly high-speed running between Omiya and Fukushima Stations is not long enough to justify switching to the E6 trainset. It was understandable why they switched from the 400 trainset to the E3 with the top speed between Omiya and Fukushima increased from 240 km/h to 275 km/h, but it may not justify the increase to 320 km/h on such a relatively short run time on the high-speed portion of the Tōhoku line.

As such, the remaining E3 trainsets will get major refurbishment with new, improved interiors, since I foresee the E3 running on Tsubasa service until at least 2020.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 08:05 AM   #1011
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Super Tsubasa
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kenta201_proof/9951695.html

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Old December 22nd, 2013, 08:05 AM   #1012
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E3 and E6 action on the Tazawako Line:

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Old December 24th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #1013
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I just read that JR Central (JR Tokai) is removing drink vending machines from all Shinkansen trains as of March 15, 2014. They cited the fact few people use them, mostly because they're buying the drinks directly from the sales cart or from drink vending machines at the station train platform and feel train riders don't want to walk to vending machine itself from their seats on the train.
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Old December 26th, 2013, 01:58 AM   #1014
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I tend to just buy on the platform or inside the station and then take it with me on the train... They usually mark up the prices for the food and drink service on the train.
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Old December 26th, 2013, 01:59 AM   #1015
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New train control system for Tōkaidō–San’yō Shinkansen complete
JR東海、東海道・山陽新幹線向け運転管理システム更新-1日の列車3000本に

http://www.nikkan.co.jp/news/nkx1120131224caan.html

Work by Central Japan Railway Company (JR東海) to upgrade the COMTRAC train control system for the Tōkaidō–San’yō Shinkansen will be complete in January 2014. The new system can handle 3,000 trains a day (both revenue and deadheading), 1.7 times the 1,800 train per day capacity of the current system.

The new system shaves about 4 seconds off the total time that each train arrival or departure at stations is under the system’s control, allowing the railway to recover faster in the event of service disruptions that result in delays.

The upgrade work to the 9th version of the train control system began in FY2008 at the cost of approx. ¥22.6 billion, taking about six years to completion.

COMTRAC allows trains to be controlled with the assistance of computers, and includes three distinct function systems: programmed route control (PRC) (進路制御系システム), man-machine advanced processor (MAP) (運行表示系システム), and electronic data processing (EDP) (情報処理系システム). The system was first developed in 1972 with the opening of the extension to Okayama and has been gradually upgraded over the years with improved functionality. This 9th generation of the system takes over from the 8th, which began operating in 2003.

Old unit (top right) and new unit (bottom left)


===

Press release:
http://jr-central.co.jp/news/release/nws001353.html

The 4-second reduction in computer processing time is interesting news, as it basically means that when you have two trains with conflicting paths, the following train can now leave 4 seconds earlier.
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Old December 26th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #1016
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National government OKs more funding for FGT testing
長崎新幹線で新車両実験 14年度政府予算案

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...3A221C1LX0000/

The national government’s proposed FY2014 budget approved by cabinet decision includes an additional earmark for test running of new rolling stock capable running on both exclusive Shinkansen track as well as narrow-gauge zairaisen track, planned for implementation on the Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Nagasaki route (Hakata – Nagasaki).

Specifically, the budget includes ¥156 billion (¥71.9 billion at the national level) towards expansions to the Shinkansen network (整備新幹線). The amount earmarked for the Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Nagasaki route has yet to be determined, but is expected to exceed the FY2013 level of ¥27 billion as a result of increasing material costs.

The Nagasaki – Takeo Onsen (武雄温泉) section of the route is being built to full Shinkansen standard with standard-gauge rails, while the part between Takeo Onsen and Shin-Tosu (新鳥栖) will be shared with narrow-gauge zairaisen trains. As a result, a variable-gauge train (軌間可変電車)—the “Free Gauge Train”, or “FGT”—will be introduced, allowing Shinkansen trains to quickly change their gauge to run on both standard- and narrow-gauge tracks.

As part of the introduction of FGT technology onto the Nagasaki Shinkansen, tests of the durability of the new train will be conducted between FY2014 and FY2016. The FY2014 budget earmarks ¥2.146 billion for tests and other basic research for the FGT. Kyūshū Railway Company (九州旅客鉄道), otherwise known as JR Kyūshū, will develop a mass-production implementation of the FGT as early as FY2017, in time for the opening of the line in FY2022.

===

The MLIT has since released the breakdown of the ¥156 billion in funding:
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...21C13A2EA1000/



¥46.6 billion for the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Nagano – Kanazawa / Hakusan General Rolling Stock Center)
¥52.4 billion for the Hokkaidō Shinkansen (Shin-Aomori – Shin-Hakodate)
¥31.0 billion for the Kyūshū Shinkansen (Takeo Onsen – Nagasaki)
¥14.0 billion for the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Kanazawa – Tsuruga)
¥12.0 billion for the Hokkaidō Shinkansen (Shin-Hakodate – Sapporo)
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Old December 26th, 2013, 05:47 AM   #1017
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Some video construction updates for the Hokuriku Shinkansen, at Toyama Station…

November 2013:



December 2013.
A lot changed in one month.

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Old December 26th, 2013, 10:51 AM   #1018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
The system was first developed in 1972 with the opening of the extension to Okayama and has been gradually upgraded over the years with improved functionality. This 9th generation of the system takes over from the 8th, which began operating in 2003.

The 4-second reduction in computer processing time is interesting news, as it basically means that when you have two trains with conflicting paths, the following train can now leave 4 seconds earlier.
Now this is what I like about the Japanese: They keep improving their systems (new generation on average every 5 years), even if the improvement is a mere 4 seconds per train. I bet no railway company or infrastructure manager in Europe would even consider assigning funds for anything similar.
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Old December 26th, 2013, 04:02 PM   #1019
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What is that thing at Tokyo Station?

It looks like a transfer table leading also to a short stub track south of the the transfer table. Is it that?
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Old December 26th, 2013, 10:25 PM   #1020
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Yes, it’s a traverser serving a small storage area for construction vehicles working on the Tōhoku Through Line (東北縦貫線), now the “Ueno‒Tōkyō Line” (上野東京ライン). View looking south from Tōhoku Shinkansen Track 23, past the stop buffer:


http://oomatipalk2.blog91.fc2.com/blog-entry-393.html

This is basically a double-track extension to be shared between three suburban / regional lines that terminate at Ueno Station—the Utsunomiya Line (宇都宮線), Takasaki Line (高崎線), and Jōban Rapid Line (常磐快速線)—allowing them to reach Tōkyō Station directly and continue to Shinagawa, Kawasaki, Yokohama, or beyond on a fourth suburban line, the Tōkaidō Line (東海道線). These trains originally terminated at Tōkyō, but the original alignment was converted for use by the Tōhoku Shinkansen, forcing these trains to terminate at Ueno and forcing passengers to transfer at Ueno to the Yamanote Line (山手線) or Keihin‒Tōhoku Line (京浜東北線) to continue further south.

Now, they are in the process of rebuilding the connection, but it needs to be built above the Tōhoku Shinkansen in a stacked viaduct for a significant length. A bit unusual, since the extension is narrow gauge, while the construction vehicles are standard gauge so they can use the Shinkansen tracks, but it works out nicely given the new tracks are being built above the Shinkansen and there isn’t much room elsewhere to store construction vehicles.


http://pub.ne.jp/pyara0303/?entry_id=4540268
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