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Old August 31st, 2015, 11:53 AM   #1641
k.k.jetcar
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The second, about the Shinkansen platform alignment on Sapporo Station. [My translation, can be errors] JR Hokkaido is considering to locate the Shinkansen tracks and platforms on the current platform 1 and 2 (north side of the Station) and widening the viaduct for one kilometer towards east and west.
Platform 1 and 2 are on the south side of the station, and serve as the up platforms for the Hakodate Main Line trains (local trains). The widening of the station and elevated portions is to preserve the capacity of zairaisen services which will lose the platform 1 and 2 space and to minimize the need for multiple crossovers (Sapporo Station has both terminating and through services). The problem is widening will likely encroach on existing properties along the line, mainly hotels, retail, and office buildings. Some eminent domain will occur, delaying construction timelines.
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Old August 31st, 2015, 11:59 AM   #1642
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Thanks! So finally, which platforms will be transferred to the Shinkansen?
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Old August 31st, 2015, 05:41 PM   #1643
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Platforms 1/2, closest to JR Tower. There is space on the ground floor for Shinkansen ticket gates, separate from the zairaisen facilities.
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 08:21 PM   #1644
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Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
My guess is that in the end, the solution is special train where containers designed for zairaisen container carrying cars are loaded in a wider, covered freight car, with 20-30 of these special freight cars per train (and modified EH800 locomotives on both ends of the train). This will allow the freight train to traverse through the Seikan Tunnel at speeds around 200 km/h.

The containers will be loaded and unloaded on these special cars at an expanded Aomori Freight Yard on the Honshu side and a new freight yard at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station on the Hokkaido side.
I have to ask, why is this considered the best solution?

Why is it for example not cheaper / more practical to build a wall inside the tunnel between both directions and just introduce modern locomotives that can easily reach higher speeds for the freight trains than the current 110km/h?

Or, if the fear of freight trains derailing is really so high, why not simply add two guarding rails?
That makes it physically impossible to tip over cars.
Plus, they already upgraded the lines to dual-gauge (three rails), what are two more rails to them?

That has to be less costly than developing a new type of train and building two fright terminals, no?

(low-sophistication example of a guarding rail)





Also, while we are at it, how is this new Shinkansen line, stopping short of Sapporo, economical viable?
Will people really take the 4-hour train to Tokyo, when travel time by plane is half of that including boarding?

Hakodate, Aomori, Hachinohe, Morioka, these are all under-300k-cities and Sendai has a population of 1m, by Japanese standards not particular high.
I see on Wikipedia, that JR Hokkaido ordered only 4 new HSR train sets.
How will they not lose money with this line under these conditions?
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 11:33 PM   #1645
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How are the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansens profitable? The same reason. There are many that will take the train (when opened all the way to Sapporo). In Sweden there are many lines between big cities (Stockholm to Malmö and Stockholm to Göteborg) that are profitable despite these being much, much less populated overall.
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Old September 3rd, 2015, 04:57 AM   #1646
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The "special train" was developed already by JR Hokkaido independently. It was called "train on train". The project was shelved indefinitely, likely one of the reasons being JR Hokkaido's managerial and operational woes. You can see the prototype still sitting forlornly in the Naebo Depot storage tracks.

This kind of train is necessary as the turbulence caused by passing shinkansen trains in a narrow double track tunnel bore is at a level that derailment is a high possibility, no matter how many guardrails and the like are installed.

The shinkansen line is built "short" of Sapporo (i.e. Shin Hakodate Hokuto Station) because that is the first leg of the line that will eventually reach Sapporo- it is figured into the budget. I don't think this first leg is expected to turn a profit, perhaps best case is that it breaks even, and helps the local economy of southern Hokkaido. As far as long term, who knows? The Sapporo-Tokyo air corridor is one of the busiest in the world. If the rail travel time can be reduced to somewhere under 5 hours, perhaps it can grab a share of that custom or that of intermediate routes (i.e. Hakodate-Sendai or Hakodate-Omiya) enough to be operationally profitable.
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Old September 4th, 2015, 12:37 AM   #1647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbbut View Post
Hakodate, Aomori, Hachinohe, Morioka, these are all under-300k-cities and Sendai has a population of 1m, by Japanese standards not particular high.
I see on Wikipedia, that JR Hokkaido ordered only 4 new HSR train sets.
How will they not lose money with this line under these conditions?
It's not JR East or JR Hokkaido that builds the line but JRTT, a government agency, using national and regional subventions. There is no requirement to balance the JRTT budget, which also covers the deficit from the non-privatized JR companies (Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu and Fret). From what I could understand, the JR companies pay a fee to run trains on the new lines, which is not related to the construction price, but to allow the train-running company to be reasonably profitable.

It might be a feature of the system that the three privatized JRs completely own the older Shinkansen lines, which are quite lucrative, and only pay a rent for the newer lines, built with great expense to reach less populated areas.
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Old September 4th, 2015, 09:21 AM   #1648
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Yeah. It's part government project to keep the train economy going.

Also that line is planned to increase to 360km/h eventually.

The Shinkansen is just so much more convenient than flying. Trains run frequently and comfortably. You have more space and you don't have to work out how to get to/from the airport.
Although you're right that many will fly from Sapporo, especially with new LCCs coming online.

The time is comparable to Tokyo – Hakata. Or Osaka – Kagoshima.
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Old September 5th, 2015, 06:19 AM   #1649
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Speaking of which, has JR Hokkaido said anything about the possibility of using Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station as the terminal station for some Hokuto and Super Hokuto services? That way, passengers getting off the Shinkansen at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto can quickly transfer to a train to take them directly to Sapporo.
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Old September 5th, 2015, 09:52 AM   #1650
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
Speaking of which, has JR Hokkaido said anything about the possibility of using Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station as the terminal station for some Hokuto and Super Hokuto services? That way, passengers getting off the Shinkansen at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto can quickly transfer to a train to take them directly to Sapporo.
The zairaisen ltd. expresses will all stop at the Shinkansen station, but they will continue on to the Hakodate terminal, as likely the majority of passenger traffic will still be on the Sapporo-Hakodate routing, not to mention all the cleaning staff, fueling and watering services are at Hakodate. Of course the train schedules will be tweaked for good connections with the shinkansen services with the spring timetable revision of 2016.

Last edited by k.k.jetcar; September 5th, 2015 at 10:00 AM.
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Old September 6th, 2015, 10:07 PM   #1651
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Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
The zairaisen ltd. expresses will all stop at the Shinkansen station, but they will continue on to the Hakodate terminal, as likely the majority of passenger traffic will still be on the Sapporo-Hakodate routing, not to mention all the cleaning staff, fueling and watering services are at Hakodate. Of course the train schedules will be tweaked for good connections with the shinkansen services with the spring timetable revision of 2016.
My guess is that JR Hokkaido may designate a number of runs of the Super Hokuto train coming in from Sapporo to terminate at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station in order to sync with the arrival of the Hayabusa train all the way from Tokyo. That way, passengers get a seamless connection continuing to Sapporo, and the train will have all seats available to arriving Shinkansen passengers. However, the Hokuto (and some Super Hokuto) trains will continue on to Hakodate Station.
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Old September 7th, 2015, 07:56 AM   #1652
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But if you do that, then that reduces the convenience for passengers going to/from Hakodate, forcing them to either 1. take the remaining Hakodate-Sapporo ltd. expresses i.e fewer choices, or 2. take the shuttle train to Shin-Hakodate and transfer to the ltd. express (pita!) If seat capacity is a worry for pax getting off the shinkansen, they can either add cars to the ltd. express (depending on platform length and stock availability) or decrease the # of unreserved seats in favor of reserved (I reckon most long distance pax will reserve their seats as they will be leisure rather than business trips). Also, the city of Hakodate would raise a sh*tstorm with JR Hokkaido if the number of ltd. expresses to Hakodate were in any way cut. That said, most passengers getting off the shinkansen will be going to Hakodate, not to points north. The zairaisen service they will be using will be the shuttle/relay service.

Last edited by k.k.jetcar; September 7th, 2015 at 08:11 AM.
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Old September 8th, 2015, 09:40 PM   #1653
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post

But if you do that, then that reduces the convenience for passengers going to/from Hakodate, forcing them to either 1. take the remaining Hakodate-Sapporo ltd. expresses i.e fewer choices, or 2. take the shuttle train to Shin-Hakodate and transfer to the ltd. express (pita!) If seat capacity is a worry for pax getting off the shinkansen, they can either add cars to the ltd. express (depending on platform length and stock availability) or decrease the # of unreserved seats in favor of reserved (I reckon most long distance pax will reserve their seats as they will be leisure rather than business trips). Also, the city of Hakodate would raise a sh*tstorm with JR Hokkaido if the number of ltd. expresses to Hakodate were in any way cut. That said, most passengers getting off the shinkansen will be going to Hakodate, not to points north. The zairaisen service they will be using will be the shuttle/relay service.
After a long train ride from Tokyo, it's also nice to get out and check out the station area before catching a train further north to Sapporo. Not too many will do the whole 8-9 hours to Sapporo from Tokyo and Hakodate is a good half-way point before a 2nd 4-hour journey to Sapporo.
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Old September 11th, 2015, 06:54 AM   #1654
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Speaking of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, has JR Hokkaido decided what will be the speed of the H5 trainset when it traverses the Seikan Tunnel? Will it be limited to 140 km/h to maintain compatibility with the JR Freight trains that frequently use this tunnel? Will JR Freight space out the freight train schedules so the some H5 trainsets can pass the tunnel at speeds up to 200 km/h? Or will even JR Freight seriously consider late-night only operations through the Tunnel so all H5's passing through the Tunnel can travel at 200 km/h?
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Old September 11th, 2015, 10:47 AM   #1655
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Freight speed will increase. Slowing the Shinkansen trains will leave the trainsets meaningless.
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Old September 11th, 2015, 02:07 PM   #1656
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Originally Posted by Darth Reg View Post
Slowing the Shinkansen trains will leave the trainsets meaningless.
Why? Remember that for a large part in Tokyo urban area they also run at speeds in the 70 km/h to 110 km/h range. Once it has cleared the tunnel it can speed up again. A Eurostar also slows down from 300 km/h to 160 km/h while traversing the Eurotunnel. Also changing trains takes time, so that's an extra bonus of direct through running.
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Old October 4th, 2015, 05:06 PM   #1657
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asahi
北陸新幹線延伸「小浜・京都ルート」も検討 JR西日本
JR West considering Obama-Kyoto route for Hokuriku Shinkansen Extension

Apparently there is now a 4:th option for the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. JR West revealed the new option in August 2015. The idea is to make a full Shinkansen line between Tsugura and Kyoto via Obama, and the share tracks with the Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka. The reason to include Kyoto is to increase the importance for the tourism in the area.

Image and more information at: http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASH8Y3PHFH8YPLFA002.html
And in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokuri...n#Future_plans

In my mind it seems like a combination of the previous three options. It's a full standard line via Obama, but will connect to Osaka via the Tokaido Shinkansen Line from Kyoto, which would most likely mean that it will run pretty close to the Kosei Line when approaching Kyoto. So the question is, is this the best solution of the problem?
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Old October 4th, 2015, 06:22 PM   #1658
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Originally Posted by loefet View Post
Apparently there is now a 4:th option for the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. JR West revealed the new option in August 2015. The idea is to make a full Shinkansen line between Tsugura and Kyoto via Obama, and the share tracks with the Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka. The reason to include Kyoto is to increase the importance for the tourism in the area.
Who is going to pay for it?
The Obama Kyoto route basically bores through Hiezan.
Not going to happen unless JR west is going to cough up the cost on their own.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 07:33 AM   #1659
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I think in the end, the routing of the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tsuruga to the Keihanshin region will likely be a line that closely parallels the current JR West Kosei Line, mostly because it is the least expensive option in terms of construction costs. And I would not be surprised that the terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be Kyoto Station, since it won't add to the already heavy Shinkansen traffic between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka Stations.

Terminating the Hokuriku Shinkansen at Kyoto Station is less of a problem than people think, since there is already a lot of JR West local trains between Osaka and Kyoto on the Tokaido Main Line anyway, not to mention access to the Kintetsu train network at Kyoto Station and Hankyu could build a short line extension to Kyoto Station to feed passengers to the Hankyu train network.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 04:03 PM   #1660
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Who is going to pay for it?
The Obama Kyoto route basically bores through Hiezan.
Not going to happen unless JR west is going to cough up the cost on their own.
You don't think that it will have the same kind of funding as the other alternatives? I would guess that this option would have the same kind of cost (or slightly less) than the original Obama route, which in itself would include loads of tunnel work as it is. It's just and idea that they have decided to look at together with the rest of them so we just have to see what they end up choosing at the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
And I would not be surprised that the terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be Kyoto Station, since it won't add to the already heavy Shinkansen traffic between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka Stations.

Terminating the Hokuriku Shinkansen at Kyoto Station is less of a problem than people think, since there is already a lot of JR West local trains between Osaka and Kyoto on the Tokaido Main Line anyway, not to mention access to the Kintetsu train network at Kyoto Station and Hankyu could build a short line extension to Kyoto Station to feed passengers to the Hankyu train network.
I agree, terminating most trains at Kyoto won't be much of a problem, I still think that there is space to fit a number of trains doing through service to Osaka on the Tokaido Shinkansen. I mean, there are no intermediate stations between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka and all trains already stops at both of them, meaning that you can space the trains at the shortest possible intervals, which would easily free up space for another 4 or so trains every hour going through to Osaka from the Hokuriku Shinkansen.
Since they are able to run trains every three minutes, then it would mean that it's possible run 20 trains per hour, at the moment there are a maximum of 14 scheduled trains per hour on the Tokaido Shinkansen (actually 13 since one Kodama turns around at Nagoya from Tokyo), then it would mean that there is space for another 6 trains on that stretch, which makes me draw that conclusion.

Last edited by loefet; October 5th, 2015 at 04:09 PM.
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