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Old December 27th, 2013, 02:03 AM   #1021
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JIC consortium wins Indonesia HSR study
JR東系など、ジャワ島で高速鉄道調査を受注

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...3A221C1TJ1000/

A consortium of Japanese firms led by Japan International Consultants for Transportation (JIC) (日本コンサルタンツ), a joint venture funded by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and 9 other railway operators in Japan, announced on 2013.12.26 that it had won a study for a proposed high-speed rail line on the Indonesian island of Java. The 140 km line would connect the capital Jakarta with Bandung in western Java. Other participating parties in the successful bid include the Mitsubishi Research Institute (三菱総合研究所). The contract to produce the study is worth ¥260 million, with work taking place up through March 2015, including ridership projections and preparation of a master plan.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 02:05 AM   #1022
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Shizuoka governor proposes two alternatives for Shizuoka Airport station
知事、新幹線新駅で2案 国交省に提示

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/shi...OYT8T01219.htm

On 2013.12.12, the governor of Shizuoka Prefecture revealed that he had submitted two alternatives for a Shizuoka Airport station in Makinohara City on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen to officials at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). While JR Central president Yamada Yoshiomi has expressed his opposition to a new station, the governor says that the station could be beneficial in the event of a large-scale disaster and hopes to gain support from both the national government and JR Central, saying the project is of “national importance”.

After passing inspections following an earthquake or other disaster, the station could help transport a high-volume of passengers and goods safely, said the governor. In response to JR Central’s opposition, the governor said that he was not asking JR Central to dramatically revise its regular train schedules to operate the station, instead emphasizing that the station would be a special station only used when needed.

According to the Prefectural Government officials, the governor submitted two options for the station in a face-to-face meeting with the MLIT Minister Ōta in October. One option would construct platforms on both sides of the two-track Shinkansen alignment, while the other would construct a four-track station by building pull-outs and platforms on both sides. Both stations would be built at ground level near the portal for the tunnel underneath the airport.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 07:14 AM   #1023
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The rush begins… Some news reports:

FNN report up in Morioka (Iwate) (2013.12.28).
Hayabusa and Hayate are basically all full, and same for the reserved seats on the slower Yamabiko.



ANN news report at Tōkyō Station, Tōkaidō Shinkansen (2013.12.28). Reserved seats are basically all full for morning departures up through 2013.12.31, and up through to evening departures on some days. Crowding on the non-reserved cars (自由席) on early morning (0600 hour) Nozomi departures was 150%.



Same location one day later, (2013.12.29). Tōhoku, Yamagata, Akita, and Jōetsu Shinkansen are basically all full, all day. Nagano Shinkansen is full in the morning, but some seats available on evening trains. As these are some of the busiest days for Shinkansen services, they have platform staff out with big fat “END OF LINE” signs to help maintain order and queues. Wouldn’t mind that where I live… Some people just don’t know how to wait in line.

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Old December 30th, 2013, 05:58 AM   #1024
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New Year’s rush at Shin-Yokohama Station. New Year’s is one of the busiest times of the year, when the railways fill up the schedule with special trains, so you can see some unusual scenes like departure boards with four Nozomi in a row (xx:29, xx:32, xx:39, and xx:42) @ 0:17. The headways get as low as three minutes in this video—13:16 Kodama for Shin-Ōsaka, 13:19 Nozomi for Shin-Ōsaka, and 13:22 Hikari for Okayama.

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Old December 31st, 2013, 07:16 AM   #1025
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Yesterday (2013.12.30) was the peak day for outbound traffic on the Tōhoku Shinkansen…

ANN news report.
Reserved seats were basically full all day, and crowding in non-reserved cars exceeded seated capacity. Morning departures on the Jōetsu and Nagano Shinkansen also saw some crowding due to skiers heading up into the snow country.



Sendai-area FNN report.
Even some of the slower services like the Yamabiko saw 150% loading in the non-reserved cars, while some of the Tsubasa services on the Yamagata Shinkansen saw 170% loading.



This should end up being one of the busiest years on record, I imagine, especially given the speed-up efforts for the line over the past couple of years that have probably made it a bit more attractive to take the Shinkansen.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 07:22 AM   #1026
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http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/...ntry-1071.html
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Old December 31st, 2013, 07:32 AM   #1027
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Note the "mini Fuji" constructed by the local agricultural co-op youth group...
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Old December 31st, 2013, 11:35 AM   #1028
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1 killed, 1 hurt in collision between Shinkansen, car

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YAMAGATA—A Yamagata Shinkansen bullet train collided with a passenger car at a railway crossing Sunday morning, killing the driver of the car and slightly injuring one passenger on the train, according to the police.

The Tsubasa 123 train bound for Shinjo Station from Tokyo Station struck the car on JR East’s Ou Line in Takahata in the prefecture at about 9:35 a.m., police said. The Shinkansen train dragged the car for 500 meters.

The car is believed to have been driven by a woman in her 30s of Yonezawa in the prefecture. Police are trying to identify her.

The train was traveling at 130 kph when the accident occurred. “I braked hard, but it was too late [to stop],” the Shinkansen driver was quoted by police as saying.

There are crossing bars at the site of the accident, but a snowstorm caused low visibility at the time. Police believe the car entered the crossing in spite of the bars.

According to East Japan Railway Co.’s Yamagata branch, the accident suspended services of inbound and outbound trains for about 3½ hours between the Yamagata Shinkansen Line’s Fukushima and Shinjo stations, and between the Ou Line’s Yonezawa and Yamagata stations. It affected about 7,000 passengers, including some heading home for the New Year’s holidays.
The Yomiuri Shimbun

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Old December 31st, 2013, 01:03 PM   #1029
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There are level crossings on HS lines in Japan? Surprising...
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Old December 31st, 2013, 01:40 PM   #1030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
There are level crossings on HS lines in Japan? Surprising...
That's a "mini-Shinkansen" train, meaning that it runs on a railway that is also used by slower trains. The top speed is 130 km/h, so it's not really a high-speed line. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamagata_Shinkansen.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 06:57 PM   #1031
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To be precise, Mini-Shinkansen lines are conventional lines converted from 1067 mm gauge to standard gauge (or to dual gauge) while retaining the original loading gauge (meaning that conventional Shinkansen trains cannot run on them).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini-shinkansen

I always thought that standard gauge tracks of Mini-Shinkansen lines* were only used by Shinkansen services, but I just discovered that they are also used by local trains. The EMUs used on these standard gauge lines looks like identical to their narrow gauge versions, except for the track gauge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/701_series (5000 and 5500 subseries)

*some sections have dual gauge tracks, or two tracks of two different gauges
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Old January 1st, 2014, 02:48 AM   #1032
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Sad news, is there a program to remove level crossings on lines like these?
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Old January 1st, 2014, 07:41 AM   #1033
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopomon View Post
Sad news, is there a program to remove level crossings on lines like these?
No, there is not- the expense is too great for rural lines like this- anyway, the line is restricted to 130km/h running, like all lines with level grade crossings. The only reason this has received extra coverage is the rolling stock in question was mini-Shinkansen. Otherwise no different than any other grade crossing accident.
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Old January 1st, 2014, 07:57 AM   #1034
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Japan as a whole is relatively proactive about grade separation... There's dozens of grade-separation projects going on at any one moment, but the problem is that there are simply too many crossings (about 35,000 across the country), and the priority, naturally, is to focus on the most problematic ones, usually in the major metropolitan areas where you've basically got "subway" service on lines with grade crossings or super-wide crossings with 6 to 8 tracks.

But most of these projects require painstaking negotiations with property owners for land acquisition, as the existing alignments are usually all built up. And since railway service cannot be disrupted, this also means construction of temporary tracks to carry trains and only being able to do work in in a 3- to 4-hour window in the early morning when there are no trains running. As a result, it can take 8-10 years to complete a single project.

The other hurdle is the cost... One recent example is the grade-separation of 3.7 km of the Keiō Line and Keiō Sagamihara Line near Chōfu for ¥115 billion, eliminating 18 crossings and undergrounding 3 stations. Grade-separation projects can be deceiving because there is nothing that is really all-new or tangibly different to passengers in terms of service—the stations and tracks were already there, they've just been replaced with newer, grade-separated versions. But when you really think about it, these projects are basically re-building portions of the line from scratch, and then some to account for the temporary tracks and stations. In essence, each project is the equivalent of building a new extension, so naturally, there's only so many projects that can be funded at any one time.

In contrast, a small crossing on a rural mainline with only a handful of trains an hour, even if some of them are mini-Shinkansen trains, will probably never get grade-separated. Realistically, crossing arms with flashing lights and bells are probably all it deserves. Based on the information available concerning the accident, it looks like those existing warning systems were disregarded by the driver of the automobile, resulting in the crash.

Anyways, k.k.jetcar hit the nail on the head:

Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
The only reason this has received extra coverage is the rolling stock in question was mini-Shinkansen. Otherwise no different than any other grade crossing accident.
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Old January 1st, 2014, 01:28 PM   #1035
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Wouldn't the cheapest way to deal with most level crossings be a road underpass? It's probably possible to dig a small tunnel under the rails without disrupting rail service.
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Old January 1st, 2014, 03:23 PM   #1036
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Quote:
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Wouldn't the cheapest way to deal with most level crossings be a road underpass? It's probably possible to dig a small tunnel under the rails without disrupting rail service.
Not exactly. One doesn't just "dig a small tunnel" under an active line. One has to shore up the foundations first, and make sure that the tracks are still structurally sound as you excavate around it. The fact that the usage of pile driving is limited to the sides of the right of way also makes this extremely complicated.

I've seen many road-underpass construction projects in Taiwan--they take a ridiculous amount of time, and force trains to slow to a crawl (no more than 20km/h) over that stretch of track.
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Old January 1st, 2014, 04:57 PM   #1037
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Speaking of Shinkansen, any recent news of the E7 trainset testing on the (now) Nagano Shinkansen line and additional testing by the E926 East-i trainset on the Hokuriku line?
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Old January 1st, 2014, 07:46 PM   #1038
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Putting the road over or under the tracks only works if two conditions are met:

1. There is enough clearance to the closest intersections on either side to return the road to grade, or, if not, these intersections can be closed.
2. If there are buildings along the road, that the road is wide enough to build frontage roads at-grade to retain access to these buildings.

Naturally, this doesn't work in dense neighborhoods like for most urban grade-separations in Japan, so the only solution is to move the rail line up or down instead of the roads. The simplest solution—closing crossings completely without providing alternative access—is usually a no-no because it will inconvenience local residents and isolate neighborhoods.
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Old January 1st, 2014, 07:50 PM   #1039
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
Speaking of Shinkansen, any recent news of the E7 trainset testing on the (now) Nagano Shinkansen line and additional testing by the E926 East-i trainset on the Hokuriku line?
I think the East-i is back in Tōhoku Shinkansen territory.

As for the E7, I imagine it's been doing some testing... I believe it's currently being stored at Nagano yard:

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Old January 1st, 2014, 08:19 PM   #1040
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Maybe JR East has temporarily stored E7 trainset F1 until the weather gets better before resuming testing? I also think the E926 East-i set will likely be back on the Hokuriku line by early spring to start high-speed line testing all the way up to the 260 km/h maximum speed from Nagano to Kurobe-Unazukionsen, then starting in the summer from Kurobe-Unazukionsen all the way to Kanazawa.
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