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Old January 30th, 2015, 07:04 PM   #1421
Svartmetall
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Awesome. It's good to see nice progress on this section of line.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 03:06 AM   #1422
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What I find interesting is that the Hokkaido Shinkansen construction and test operations have not been as widely reported as the work on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, which will start on full operations on 14 March 2015.

Speaking of which, the Tokaidō Shinkansen line between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto Stations have long stretches where the rails are not much above ground level--especially when it uses the Hankyu Kyoto Line right of way. Has there been thought about raising the tracks on this part of the line so it is all viaducts, just like most Shinkansen lines in Japan?

Last edited by sacto7654; January 31st, 2015 at 03:18 AM. Reason: add wording
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Old January 31st, 2015, 03:47 AM   #1423
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Quote:
What I find interesting is that the Hokkaido Shinkansen construction and test operations have not been as widely reported as the work on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, which will start on full operations on 14 March 2015.
Well, the Hokuriku Shinkansen will start operations a year earlier, the closer an event approaches, the news cycle tends to pay attention more to that than something else still in the future. Also, the areas served by the Hokuriku Shinkansen are more populous and closer to Kanto than the Hokkaido Shinkansen, which to many in Honshu is still far away psychologically, if not in travel time.

Quote:
Speaking of which, the Tokaidō Shinkansen line between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto Stations have long stretches where the rails are not much above ground level--especially when it uses the Hankyu Kyoto Line right of way. Has there been thought about raising the tracks on this part of the line so it is all viaducts, just like most Shinkansen lines in Japan?
Ground level (or near it)by the river:
https://www.google.com/maps/@34.8898...QQLQ-0pQhA!2e0

But otherwise it's elevated where there are businesses and residences:
https://www.google.com/maps/@34.8831..._yb0DPBJIQ!2e0

The Tokaido Shinkansen, being the first, used fills on large sections, but later constructions used viaducts of the rahmen type. Converting to such would likely be of little benefit versus costs and disruption to such a vital and busy line.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 04:36 AM   #1424
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awesome!
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Old January 31st, 2015, 08:51 AM   #1425
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One of my favorite parts of Tokyo is where the Shinkansen tracks are just a few metres above ground south of hamamatsucho station. I hope they never viaduct those areas near Osaka.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 09:32 AM   #1426
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Originally Posted by Sr.Horn View Post
New 100¥ coins commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Tokaido Shinkansen.

Kyodo News Report (01/30)
With 2.3 million 100 yen coins of each type (9.2 mill total) I sure hope I'll get my hand on these. I'm assuming these are going to sell for ludicrous prices at first. 9.2 million is not that much in the scheme of total 100 yen coins of which there are at least several hundred millions of if not well over a billion.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 09:45 AM   #1427
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To celebrate the soon to be opened Hokuriku Shinkansen, The JR West Rent a car company just released a couple Nissan versa notes with a custom W7 Shinkansen wrapjob. There will be one car at Kanazawa station and one at Toyoma station.



Edit: While discovering the news of this rental car, I also discovered another pretty cool car. The Honda dealership in Toyama has a Honda fit RS in a W7 theme (unfortunately you can't buy it, it's only a test drive car.) Click the link for pictures.

https://twitter.com/nobuhiro6322/sta...5347681697792/
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Old February 1st, 2015, 04:17 PM   #1428
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Why Shinkansen Trains have windows like in planes ?
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Old February 1st, 2015, 04:29 PM   #1429
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What is the cheapest way to visit the HST-system and other railway companies around Japan? It looks so interesting, but i always think its too expensive to visit.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 04:36 PM   #1430
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It's not that expensive at all in my opinion. The single Shinkansen fare tends to equal about the same as the highway tolls in that direction does, hence why the Shinkansen manages to capture such a large modal split.

If you want a quick journey, you can take the Shinkansen from Tokyo station to Shin-Yokohama to use the Tokaido line, or from Tokyo station to Omiya station to use the Tohoku Shinkansen. Both stations are still in the Tokyo metro area, so it's easy to get back to central Tokyo using regular railways, which are cheap.

You can also take a slightly longer trip to Takasaki station on the Nagano or Joetsu Shinkansen lines and then come back to central Tokyo using regular railways (about 2 hours by regular railways, 1 hour by Shinkansen). You can also take the Tokaido Shinkansen further out to Odawara and come back on the Odakyu line or regular JR lines too as that is a good distance.

I'm sure there are other examples around too like from Osaka to Shin-Kobe, Osaka to Kyoto, Kyoto to Kobe etc etc.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 05:25 PM   #1431
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For foreigners coming to Japan for at least a week and wanting to travel around with railways Japan Rail Pass is probably the most economic option. It covers most Shinkansen trains except some expresses.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 07:54 PM   #1432
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Speaking of the rail pass. It's really great value for money, since one return journey between Tokyo and Osaka cost about the same as a one week standard rail pass, meaning that you can save a lot of money if you do anything more than that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tirebolu View Post
Why Shinkansen Trains have windows like in planes ?
You mean the small size?

The small size I believe is to save overall weight of the train itself. Since large windows are heavy, and the larger the window hole the more bracing you need to keep the trains rigid, meaning more mass, and more weight is something you don't want when designing an efficient high speed train.
To be honest then these small windows are actually better than what you find in air planes, since all windows line up with each seat row. Meaning that if you book a window seat then you will actually have a window seat, something that isn't guaranteed when getting a window seat on any air plane or on many trains here in Europe.

Also even though they may look small on pictures of the trains, I have to say that they are really a decent size, several times larger than the windows found on air planes. They really give you a great view out of the trains when riding on them.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 09:21 PM   #1433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
For foreigners coming to Japan for at least a week and wanting to travel around with railways Japan Rail Pass is probably the most economic option. It covers most Shinkansen trains except some expresses.
There are a whole bunch of jr rail passes which one or two areas and are even cheaper than the jr rail 7day pass. For example from Osaka there is the Sanyo area pass for 4 (or 5?) days for 20,000¥. jR has area passes as well for even less expensive and Kyushu has unlimited rides in all Kyushu for cheaper as well.

Most of these passes can't be purchased by Japanese citizens even if they are residents of another country.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 12:18 AM   #1434
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Other option is use regional passes (Kanto Area Pass, Kansai Thru Pass...) and regular Shinkansen ticket with multiple stop over for the same price as direct train.



(Total: ¥ 15,810)
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 04:18 AM   #1435
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I never understand the complaints of some foreigners that the shinkansen is expensive. Lets compare unrestricted walk-up fares- in Germany a one way second class ticket on the ICE service between Munich and Frankfurt M. Hbf is 101 Euros, or 13,400 yen, rail distance is 393km. A Nozomi service between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka is 13,620 one way in standard class, a distance of 552 km. Travel time Munich-Frankfurt is 3 hours ten minutes, Tokyo-Shin Osaka 2 hrs. 33 min. I'd say shinkansen fares are not exorbitant at all, and quite equivalent. Anyway, as mentioned above, most visitors can buy a railpass, which makes the whole argument moot.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 01:53 PM   #1436
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I can understand why foreigners deem the Shinkansen expensive: Compared to 'normal' Limited Express there is a surcharge that makes up about 40% of the ticket price. What you get is a fast, comfortable and especially amazingly on time service.

DB Fernverkehr on the other hand doesn't have a very good punctuality and reliability record. Delays of up to 30 minutes aren't uncommon according to the statistics.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 08:36 PM   #1437
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
I never understand the complaints of some foreigners that the shinkansen is expensive. Lets compare unrestricted walk-up fares- in Germany a one way second class ticket on the ICE service between Munich and Frankfurt M. Hbf is 101 Euros, or 13,400 yen, rail distance is 393km. A Nozomi service between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka is 13,620 one way in standard class, a distance of 552 km. Travel time Munich-Frankfurt is 3 hours ten minutes, Tokyo-Shin Osaka 2 hrs. 33 min. I'd say shinkansen fares are not exorbitant at all, and quite equivalent. Anyway, as mentioned above, most visitors can buy a railpass, which makes the whole argument moot.
With a visitors rail pass it might well be the most affordable system provided at least 2-3 trips are taken, however if you compare prices for those living there then you also need to compare discounted prices available for everyone. Munich-Frankfurt could easily be obtained for 50 euros one way, sometimes less and there are no discounts for Nozomi, right?
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 07:03 AM   #1438
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It should be noted that modern Shinkansen trainsets have smaller windows due to the issues with window damage from high-speed operation. The earliest 0 Series trainsets built in the 1960's had larger windows, but JNR spent a fortune replacing them because the stresses of 200 km/h operations resulted in a lot of window cracks with the larger windows. As such, when the later series of 0 Series trainsets were built in the late 1960's to 1970's, they switched to smaller windows.
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 10:25 AM   #1439
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Great video recorded by whitewing681 (I recommend to watch in 720 or 1080 60p) of the W7 Test Run at top speed of 260 km/h on Hokuriku Shinkansen. This video was recorded on Ishikawa Prefecture section of the High Speed Line.
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 03:43 PM   #1440
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
With a visitors rail pass it might well be the most affordable system provided at least 2-3 trips are taken, however if you compare prices for those living there then you also need to compare discounted prices available for everyone. Munich-Frankfurt could easily be obtained for 50 euros one way, sometimes less and there are no discounts for Nozomi, right?
There is a big difference between Shinkansen and the ICE services in Germany (and fast trains in Sweden for that matter).
Rail traffic here in Europe is often heavily subsidized by the governments, heck in many cases then the national railway companies are owned by the government, same thing for railway maintenance. In the case of the Shinkansen then it's private companies that runs and maintain the whole system, without any major subsidies from the government.
These subsidizations that we have here are sort of necessary, since there are less people here and the lower ticket prices are there to draw people away from using cars to travel between places. That isn't really a problem in Japan, since they have a much higher populations densities and enough people to easily fill the trains, even though they have higher ticket price.

Also I'm pretty sure that the people in Japan pays less taxes then we do here, which is where the government subsidies comes from, meaning that on the whole then the "true cost" of each ticket is about the same.
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