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Old January 4th, 2014, 04:36 AM   #1061
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One of the jobs of the Sanyo Shinkansen is to act as a sinecure for tired Tokaido Shinkansen sets.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 06:35 AM   #1062
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Yūrakuchō building fire causes systemwide delays on Shinkansen
火災:東京・有楽町駅前で 新幹線106本運休、59万人に影響

http://mainichi.jp/shimen/news/20140...40110000c.html

There was a fire in a group of four buildings adjacent to the elevated railway tracks near JR Yūrakuchō Station in Tōkyō’s Chiyoda Ward on the morning of 2014.01.03 that severely disrupted service on the Tōkaidō–San’yō Shinkansen all day. Passersby notified JR station staff at Yūrakuchō of the fire at around 6:30 am, and fire departments responded with close to 50 trucks to put out the fire. Apparently, the blaze started in a video game arcade (ゲーセン) and quickly spread to a pachinko (パチンコ) parlor and several adjacent buildings. The smoke from the fire billowed up onto the Shinkansen and zairaisen viaducts, disrupting service on the Shinkansen and JR East zairaisen lines (Yamanote Line, Keihin–Tōhoku Line, and Tōkaidō Line). Earlier reports also said there may have been damage to some of the cable equipment used by JR.

This day was the start of the “U-turn rush”, when Tōkyōites head back to the capital after spending the holidays back home or on vacation, so this was especially problematic for JR Central, which scrambled to get service back up and running as fast as possible. They eventually resumed service around 11:55 am, but only after canceling 106 Shinkansen services over close to a 6-hour block. The fire was completely put out by 1:00 pm, but not before affecting a total of 238 Shinkansen services, delaying inbound trains arriving into Tōkyō Station by as much as 5 hours and outbound services by as much as 2.5 hours. It’s estimated that the fire affected approx. 600,000 railway passengers, including 317,000 Shinkansen passengers and another 280,000 passengers (125 services total) on JR East zairaisen lines. With a schedule as tight as they normally run, JR Central wasn’t able to fully recover before the day was over, and the railway ended up opening several trains as temporary lodging for around 2,000 passengers who were unable to make their transfers to connecting zairaisen trains at the major terminals (Tōkyō, Nagoya, Shin-Ōsaka, and Hakata).

JR Tōkyō Station, 11:56 am:



Site of fire:



===

Normally, I wouldn’t even bother translating this, but the scope of the service disruption and timing during the holiday rush was somewhat interesting.

FNN video report:



Given its frequency, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen is almost an “intercity metro”, with only marginal leeway in the schedule to accommodate disruptions given all the stopping patterns they have and the interlining with the San’yō Shinkansen. As a result, disruptions can easily ripple through to other parts of the network. JR Nagoya Station was also a mess, with passengers queued up to request ticket refunds or idling the time away waiting for news of when service would be resumed:



The scene way down in Okayama Station on the San’yō Shinkansen. Given the location of the fire, JR Central was unable to get trains turned to and from Tōkyō Station. Apparently, they turned back (or at least tried to) 2 trains an hour from Shinagawa and / or Shin-Yokohama for Shin-Ōsaka, but on a day like this, when the schedule is filled with special services, I imagine they may not have had the staff and trains to do much. Shinagawa may have four tracks, but it’s not designed to be a terminal like Tōkyō is, and it’s probably lot easier to plan crew + train deployments on-the-fly for a 25 km urban metro than it is for an intercity line spanning 1,000+ km.

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Old January 4th, 2014, 08:35 AM   #1063
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quashlo, I saw pictures from the Japan Times website and the fire was REALLY bad with pretty intense flames, a lot of smoke, and four buildings burned down--all right next to the Tokaidō Shinkansen tracks right across from Yurakucho Station (the first Yamanote Line station west of Tokyo Station).

They may have to tear down the entire group of buildings given the pretty intense fire damage.
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Old January 4th, 2014, 09:11 AM   #1064
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Whereas Tokaido Shinkansen timetable accuses a depature every 10 minutes, It must have been a real mess at Tokyo Station yesterday...
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Old January 4th, 2014, 11:51 AM   #1065
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Pictures. It’s no wonder they had to shut the line down… The fire was basically right next to the tracks. There appears to be at least some damage, although it doesn’t look severe. They were hosing the fire down from multiple points, including from the tracks.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201...ervice-delays/





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Old January 4th, 2014, 11:53 AM   #1066
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Here was the situation at Shin-Ōsaka Station. JR West services (Mizuho, Sakura, Hikari, and Kodama operating on the San’yō Shinkansen or San’yō–Kyūshū Shinkansen) were generally unaffected, but the JR Central services (Nozomi and Hikari to and from Nagoya and Tōkyō, including interlined runs with the San’yō Shinkansen) were all out of whack.



The situation on the Tōhoku Shinkansen looked serene in comparison… In Fukushima:



Further north in Miyagi:

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Old January 4th, 2014, 02:49 PM   #1067
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[OFF]There was injuries in this fire? The Brazilian press said nothing about the incident...
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Old January 4th, 2014, 04:55 PM   #1068
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
[OFF]There was injuries in this fire? The Brazilian press said nothing about the incident...
Given the fact the fire consumed four buildings, they might as well dismantle them all. Fortunately, the fire started wihen the buildings were unoccupied, so there was no significant injuries. I saw a news report from Japan's ANN and the fire sent acrid smoke pretty much over the entire area around Yurakucho Station. It's a major feat for JR East that they got Shinkansen trains running right next to the scene of the fire within five hours, considering the fire could have caused serious heat damage to the tracks and the ballast on the tracks.
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Old January 5th, 2014, 10:09 AM   #1069
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Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
Given the fact the fire consumed four buildings, they might as well dismantle them all. Fortunately, the fire started wihen the buildings were unoccupied, so there was no significant injuries. I saw a news report from Japan's ANN and the fire sent acrid smoke pretty much over the entire area around Yurakucho Station. It's a major feat for JR East that they got Shinkansen trains running right next to the scene of the fire within five hours, considering the fire could have caused serious heat damage to the tracks and the ballast on the tracks.

If one looked closely at the aerial images of the site, you can see that the ballast, sleepers, rails, and nearby metal barriers have all been singed black. I can imagine that Tokaido will probably have to do some extensive maintenance in the upcoming few days.
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Old January 5th, 2014, 07:09 PM   #1070
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Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
If one looked closely at the aerial images of the site, you can see that the ballast, sleepers, rails, and nearby metal barriers have all been singed black. I can imagine that Tokaido will probably have to do some extensive maintenance in the upcoming few days.
I'm sure JR East (who services the Tokaidō Main Line tracks) and JR Central (who services the Tokaidō Shinkansen tracks) already had right of way maintenance crews out on the tracks the night after the fire to make sure the ballast, metal rails, railroad ties (as sleepers are known in the USA), and overhead wiring were not significantly damaged from the effects of the fire.
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Old January 5th, 2014, 08:06 PM   #1071
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With so many restaurants directly underneath the viaduct I assume that the viaduct structure itself must be very resistant to extreme heat. Therefor the structural damage might have been very limited. They will have checked everything of course, 1st before the service resumed and then at night to see what needs to be replaced and if any thing was needed that could be done straight away they would have done it.


In this case the fire was in a typical old block next to the tracks with several buildings that were build so close together that it's hard to tell them apart. I expect that not only this block will now be completely demolished but that some other similar blocks right next to the railway tracks will be at least inspected but possibly also demolished. In the same kind of way how all buildings next to the main roads will now have to be expected to see if they are earthquake resistant up to the latest standards.



2 pictures from the location right after the fire. These make it a bit more clear how the effects from this big fire cannot be seen from street level outside of the block.




http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kro331/MYBLOG/yblog.html
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Old January 6th, 2014, 07:28 PM   #1072
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Given the circumstances surrounding the Yūrakuchō fire, JR Central is coming under some heat for not responding adequately. This Yomiuri Shimbun article has some quotes from the railway regarding their operational response to the fire on 2014.01.03:

Quote:
JR東海は火災発生から3時間半が経過した午前10時過ぎ、品川駅など、本来の発着駅以外を発着する臨時便の運行を決めた。だが運転できたのは上下線合わせて計27本で、30分に1本しか運行できなかった。

品川駅では、運転士や車掌らを急に確保するのが難しかったうえ、東京駅で折り返しに使うホームが三つなのに、品川駅には二つしかなかった。

同社は「安全の観点で整備や点検の時間を考慮すると、30分に1本を増発させるのがやっとだった」と説明する。  

また、火災現場では消防車を止められる場所が限られ、線路側からの放水にも手間取り、完全鎮火に12時間もかかった。
At 10:00 am, about 3.5 hours after the fire began, JR Central decided to move towards an emergency service plan, having special trains terminate and begin at Shinagawa and other intermediate stations. However, they were only able to operate a total of 27 additional services like this, or about a train every 30 minutes. In particular, they had difficulties securing additional train operators and crews on short notice, and the limited capacity at Shinagawa (2 island platforms) compared to Tōkyō (3 island platforms). From the perspective of safety and the time needed to clean the trains and perform general inspections, 2 tph of additional service was the max they were able to provide. If you’ve walked through this part of Yūrakuchō, you also know that it’s very tight, and there’s very little space for large fire trucks… Apparently, it took them a while to get the hoses up and running from the Shinkansen tracks as well.

===

As mentioned, Shinagawa alone wouldn’t have the capacity that Tōkyō has, since it’s not really designed as a terminal, and has a limited track layout that makes some of the platforms mostly unusable without great difficulties. However, my initial reaction from hearing “one train every 30 minutes” was some doubt as to why they couldn’t get more trains to turn back at Shinagawa and Shin-Yokohama (under normal conditions, minimum turnaround time should be about 15 minutes).

Obviously, the cleaning ladies and equipment, including trash collection facilities and replacement headrest covers, are all at Tōkyō Station. Also, it appears that the firefighting activities from the Shinkansen tracks may have required them to shut off power to some sections of track at the northern end of the line, which may have affected their ability to turn back trains at Shinagawa.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 09:49 PM   #1073
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JIC Transport finally published a press release on the new study it will be preparing for the first phase of an HSR network for Indonesia as part of a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project:
http://www.jictransport.co.jp/admin/...sia%20_HSR.pdf

Specifically, the winning team is led by日本コンサルタツ (Japan International Consultants for Transportation) and includes the following firms:

八千代エンジニヤリグ (Yachiyo Engineering)
オリエンタルコンサルタンツ (Oriental Consultants)
三菱総合研究所 (Mitsubishi Research Institute)
日本工営 (Nippon Kōei)

The contract was awarded by JICA and signed on 2013.12.24.

Traffic congestion on intercity expressways in Indonesia is gradually worsening year after year, and one of the major cornerstones of Indonesia’s current railway master plan is construction of a 730 km high-speed railway linking Jakarta and Surabaya. From a financing and economics perspective, the Indonesian government has designated the 140 km segment between the capital Jakarta and Bandung (located at 700 m elevation above sea level) as the first phase, and placed a request with the Japanese government in March 2013 to prepare a feasibility study for the segment. The contract will last from December 2013 to March 2015.

The work will involve ridership forecasts, development of a project implementation scheme, and investigation and preparation of a master plan and construction plan. Like Japan, Java has high population densities, and is frequently subject to natural disasters like earthquakes, rainfall, and volcanic activity. As a result, it’s hoped that Japan’s 50 years of expertise in dealing with these issues for the Shinkansen will make a positive contribution to Indonesia’s infrastructure development.

Map
Solid red = HSR first phase (Jakarta – Bandung)
Dotted red = HSR later phases (Bandung – Surabaya)
Black solid = Conventional (low-speed) rail lines
Black dotted = Abandoned conventional lines
Blue = Expressways



History
Japan has assisted Indonesia in various stages of this project over the course of the last few years:

March 2009: Japan External Trade Organization (JETO日本貿易振興機構) prepares a project study for an HSR system for Java (Jakarta – Surabaya) (インドネシア・ジャワ島高速鉄道建設事業調査)
March 2012: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT 国土交通省) prepared a study to flesh out a vision for an HSR line between Jakarta and Bandung (インドネシア(ジャカルタ~バンドン間)における高速鉄道構想の案件形成に関する調査)
November 2012: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI経済産業省) prepares a study investigating how to implement HSR between Jakarta and Bandung (インドネシア・ジャカルタ~バンドン間高速鉄道導入検討調査)
May 2011 to October 2012: Master plan study for a special investment zone for the Jakarta capital region (インドネシア・ジャカルタ~バンドン間高速鉄道導入検討調査)
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Old January 7th, 2014, 02:09 AM   #1074
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Takaoka firm will manufacture gauge-changing device for Shinkansen
直通運転に高岡の技術 新幹線,在来線のレール幅変換装置

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...-kitanihon-l16

The Free Gauge Train (FGT) variable-gauge trainset designed to allow through-services between standard-gauge (1,435 mm) Shinkansen and narrow-gauge (1,067 mm) zairaisen by sliding the train’s wheels, will begin its final stage of testing this year in Kyūshū in preparation for mass production. The firm responsible for producing the critical gauge-changing device will be Tetsudō Kiki (鉄道機器), a railway switch manufacturer with a main plant in Takaoka City’s Fukuoka-machi district (高岡市福岡町). The firm will begin production of the gauge-changing device soon, delivering it to the test track in Kumamoto Prefecture in preparation for running tests.

Tetsudō Kiki was established in Tōkyō in 1914 as a manufacturer of railway switches and signaling equipment by the grandfather of the current president, who was born in Takaoka City’s Nakada (中田) district. In 1945, the president relocated the company’s primary production plant to a location in what was then Shimomino, Fukuoka Town (福岡町下蓑), near his original home in Takaoka City. The firm has participated in the R&D efforts for the FGT, which began in 1994, alongside the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (鉄道建設・運輸施設整備支援機構), JR companies, and railcar manufacturers. In particular, the firm helped in development of the necessary track devices for the FGT technology.

The gauge-changing device is comprised of four rails. When the FGT enters the gauge-changing section, the device’s two outer support rails carry the weight of the train, transmitted through the axle boxes on either side of each axle, suspending the train’s wheels in mid-air. The two inner guide rails than slide the wheels to the appropriate gauge. The FGT trainsets feature special devices to lock and unlock the wheels before and after gauge changing.

Other countries such as Spain have technology and experience with gauge-changing operations, although these involve changing between standard gauge and wider gauges. There is no precedent for changing between standard gauge and narrower gauges such as Japan’s zairaisen gauge. JR Kyūshū is particularly eager to put Tetsudō Kiki’s expertise in special track to use.

The FGT technology will begin operations on the Nagasaki Shinkansen in FY2021 and is scheduled to be introduced on the Kanazawa – Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen scheduled to open at the end of FY2025. The national government has earmarked a little over ¥2.1 billion to conduct final testing of the technology on the Kyūshū Shinkansen and Kagoshima Main Line over a three-year period in preparation for mass production and revenue operations. Without this technology, passengers traveling between Toyama and the Kansai region would be forced to transfer between zairaisen and Shinkansen trains.

Kanazawa Institute of Technology (金沢工業大学) visiting professor Nagase Kazuhiko (永瀬和彦), a railway expert, says there are no major complications in the development of gauge-changing devices, but says there is room for improvement in Japan’s implementation, which requires the train to pass at 5 to 10 km/h through the gauge-changing section. In contrast, similar trains in Spain can pass gauge-changing sections at 15 to 20 km/h.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (国交省), the FGT technology will be applicable to through-services not only between Shinkansen and zairaisen, but also between private-railways and subways operating at different gauges.



===

Model of the gauge-changing device:

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Old January 7th, 2014, 04:47 AM   #1075
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Quote:
The FGT technology will begin operations on the Nagasaki Shinkansen in FY2021 and is scheduled to be introduced on the Kanazawa – Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen scheduled to open at the end of FY2025. The national government has earmarked a little over ¥2.1 billion to conduct final testing of the technology on the Kyūshū Shinkansen and Kagoshima Main Line over a three-year period in preparation for mass production and revenue operations. Without this technology, passengers traveling between Toyama and the Kansai region would be forced to transfer between zairaisen and Shinkansen trains.
Kanazawa-Tsuruga section of Hokuriku Shinkansen will be narrow-gauge? I thought it will be full Shinkansen normal-gauge line.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 08:39 AM   #1076
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No, that section will be full-standard Shinkansen (i.e., standard gauge)... What they are really referencing is the section west of Tsuruga, where there is no consensus on which route to go with and how to pay for it.

Without the FGT technology, limited express passengers coming from Ōsaka and Kyōto, for example, would end up having to transfer to Shinkansen at Tsuruga. With the FGT, the trains can run through directly to Fukui, Kanazawa, and Toyama, just like the Thunderbird limited expresses currently do.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 08:49 AM   #1077
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Partly because of the fire near Yūrakuchō the day before and partly because of the way the holidays worked this year, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen established a new one-way New Year’s period single-day record for ridership, carrying 296,400 in the inbound (northbound, for Tōkyō) direction on 2014.01.04. The figure was a 20% year-over-year increase (compared to the same day in 2013). The previous record was 272,400 (2009.01.04) in the inbound direction and 258,100 (2012.12.29) in the outbound direction. For reference, the annual average daily ridership for the line is 391,000 passengers… Assuming an even split across directions under regular conditions, 296,400 is basically 150% of the usual inbound daily ridership.

Despite the fire the day before that disrupted Tōkaidō–San’yō Shinkansen service, things went smoothly on this day. Because of the fire, it appears that some people simply pushed their return back one day to Sunday to avoid the mayhem.



Sunday (2014.01.05) was the final day of the U-turn rush… Some final video reports to close out this year:

On the Tōhoku Shinkansen, in Sendai:



In Fukushima. Again, some cars with non-reserved seating (自由席) reached 170% of seated capacity.

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Old January 7th, 2014, 12:57 PM   #1078
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
In Fukushima. Again, some cars with non-reserved seating (自由席) reached 170% of seated capacity.
So in particular moment there are 70% more passengers than seats. How does this look as seats take very large area compared to subway cars.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 02:54 PM   #1079
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Other countries such as Spain have technology and experience with gauge-changing operations, although these involve changing between standard gauge and wider gauges. There is no precedent for changing between standard gauge and narrower gauges such as Japan’s zairaisen gauge. JR Kyūshū is particularly eager to put Tetsudō Kiki’s expertise in special track to use.
In Switzerland there is a prototype of a variable gauge bogie 1000/1435 mm. However, it will be used only for towed vehicles (with different locomotives for different gauges) with low maximum speed (~80 km/h on narrow gauge, likely not more than 120 on standard gauge).

The gauge change system on the tracks will be able to differentiate between variable and single gauge vehicles. In other words, a narrow gauge locomotive will enter the station with wagons set to the same gauge. When entering, the wagons will change the gauge automatically, but not the loco, which will be replaced.

This system should enter service earlier than the Japanese one, around 2016, but it is simpler. As far I know the Japanese system is older than the Swiss one, even if it will enter commercial service later.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 06:01 AM   #1080
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So in particular moment there are 70% more passengers than seats. How does this look as seats take very large area compared to subway cars.
Standees in the aisles and the open areas at each car end... But this is the gamble you make when you choose non-reserved (自由席) vs. reserved (指定席) tickets.


http://japanese-autobus.at.webry.inf...rticle_19.html


http://kazuokimoto1115.blog55.fc2.co...entry-305.html


http://asako87tennis.blog49.fc2.com/blog-entry-69.html
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