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Old September 11th, 2016, 07:03 AM   #2121
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Welcome back quashlo-san nice to see again. Just don't stress yourself.

Now here is an interesting vid although many probably had seen it already.



Never came cross my mind that a tram that was hit by an A-bomb in Hiroshima is still in service.
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Old September 12th, 2016, 03:33 AM   #2122
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Old September 12th, 2016, 08:09 AM   #2123
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Sneak peek at Kintetsu’s 16200 series Blue Symphony sightseeing limited express
http://www.sankei.com/photo/photojou...260002-n1.html

This is a new limited express named 青の交響曲 that entered service yesterday (2016.09.10), basically a refurbished 3-car set of old 6200 series commuter cars. The set will be used on runs between Ōsaka Abenobashi in central Ōsaka and Yoshino in Nara. These photos are from the press-only tour on 2016.08.26.

Livery is a rich navy blue with gold trim and emblems, drawing from Kongō Zaō Dai-Gongen (金剛蔵王大権現), the Buddheist deity to whom the Kinpusenji (金峯山寺) temple in Yoshino is dedicated. Like similar limited expresses that have been popping up in the last 5–10 years, food service is designed to be one of the big draws, and features a 30-item menu with famous, locally-sourced ingredients from areas along the train’s route like desserts and sake.

Target market includes women, seniors, and foreigners visiting Japan. Expected annual ridership is about 60,000. This follows on the heels of Kintetsu’s successful Shimakaze train between Ōsaka Namba and Kashikojima in Mie, which has proven quite popular. Yoshino is a popular sightseeing destination, but mostly during the spring cherry blossom season… It’s not so well-known during the rest of the year, so they really tried to focus on enhancing the train and journey in hopes of drawing new visitors.



At Yoshino



At Ōsaka Abenobashi







Cars 1 and 3 are 2+1 seating, all reserved.



Lounge car (Car 2) features leather seating and a bar counter





Couple videos of the press tour courtesy Abeno Keizai Shimbun:



First part is the special musical horn for this set:



A promo video and “making of’ video produced by Kintetsu:

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Old September 14th, 2016, 09:33 PM   #2124
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End of the line for century-old legacy of Japan’s rail in Sakhalin
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609010008.html

Quote:


YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia--Piece by piece, the durable railway network originally built by Japan a century ago on Sakhalin island is being replaced because of a difference of a few centimeters.

The railway is one of many reminders of Japanese rule of the island between the Far East and Hokkaido. But some Russians say that legacy will remain even after the last track is removed.

Russian Railways started a long-term project in 2003 to replace all 806 kilometers of its narrow gauge railway with a wider one commonly used in Russia.

Some interesting tidbits about the history of Japan’s railway expansion in Sakhalin, including the export of D-51 locomotives and other rolling stock from Japan to Sakhalin post-WWII.
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Old September 14th, 2016, 09:34 PM   #2125
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Tōbu Railway fires up restored steam locomotive for the first time
http://www.saitama-np.co.jp/news/2016/09/13/08.html

A steam locomotive will be returning to Tōkyō-area private railway Tōbu Railway for the first time in 50 years. On September 12, the railway held a special ceremony at its Minami-Kurihashi Depot in Kuki City, firing up the restored SL for the first time. The SL will debut on services on the Tōbu Kinugawa Line in Tochigi Prefecture next summer.

The locomotive (C11 207) was leased from JR Hokkaidō, which last operated the unit in November 2014. Tōbu, however, had already demolished all of its SL support facilities, and all of the previous staff at the railway that had experience with the railway’s former SL operations had retired. Instead, the railway relied on assistance from JR Hokkaidō, Chichibu Railway, Mōka Railway, and others to train crews to operate the unit.

The SL train will have about 200 seats and will run three roundtrips daily on the Kinugawa Line between Shimo-Imaichi (下今市) and Kinugawa Onsen (鬼怒川温泉) hot springs, covering the one-way distance of 12.4 km in about 35 minutes. The train will operate a maximum of about 140 days a year, primarily on weekends and holidays.

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Old September 14th, 2016, 09:37 PM   #2126
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NAVITIME Japan launches app displaying train routes for travel when using Japan Rail Pass
https://www.japantoday.com/category/...apan-rail-pass

Quote:
TOKYO — NAVITIME Japan has further expanded its “NAVITIME for Japan Travel” services. An Android navigation app, the first of its kind in Japan, will enable visitors from overseas to search door-to-door travel routes and be shown displays of trains they can travel on specifically when they use the Japan Rail Pass.

The Japan Rail Pass is offered jointly by six companies under the JR Group, which is for tourists who come to Japan for sightseeing purposes. With the pass, rail-pass holders can ride certain shinkansen (bullet) trains as well as express trains and local trains operated by JR, as often as they like while the pass is valid.

Basically, there are some routes or services not covered by the JR Pass (such as the Nozomi and Mizuho services), so this app will filter those trains out of the search results.

Earlier this year, the JR Group also announced that they would allow tourists from overseas to purchase JR Passes while in Japan… Previously, you had to purchase in your home country through licensed travel agencies and remember to bring it with you.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201...ardy-tourists/

Now, if they could only get rid of some of the other onerous restrictions on it (e.g., not being able to replace a lost pass, not being able to ride the fastest Shinkansen services), it would be perfect.
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Old September 14th, 2016, 09:38 PM   #2127
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World's Biggest Rail IPO Since 1993 Said to Seek $5 Billion
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...hu-railway-ipo

Quote:
Japan’s government plans to privatize Kyushu Railway Co. through a share sale that may fetch about 500 billion yen ($5 billion), according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, in what would be the rail industry’s biggest initial public offering in more than two decades.

The Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency, which fully owns the company, also known as JR Kyushu, plans to sell its entire stake, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The sale would likely be the world’s second-largest this year and the biggest rail IPO since 1993, when East Japan Railway Co. raised $7.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

This would leave JR Hokkaidō and JR Shikoku as the final two JR Group passenger railways that haven’t become fully privatized. Hopefully they can find a way to replicate JR Kyūshū’s success.

Kyūshū is probably one of the best places in Japan for tourism by rail—so many interesting trains and services, and everything is so compact. Spend 1-2 days in one city, then just hop over to the next one in a few hours.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 08:04 AM   #2128
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JR East’s E655 Nagomi imperial train made its first appearance in four years on 2016.09.11. The emperor and empress traveled between Sakata (酒田) and Tsuruoka (鶴岡) on the Uetsu Main Line to attend a fishing industry event (全国豊かな海づくり大会) in Yamagata Prefecture. The last time the E655 series was in service was October 2012.

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Old September 19th, 2016, 08:05 AM   #2129
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New Train Suite Shiki-shima luxury sleeper (JR East E001 series) being tested in diesel mode at Hasuda Station (2016.09.15):

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Old September 23rd, 2016, 09:23 PM   #2130
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The Shiki-shima began daytime testing on the Jōban Line starting 2016.09.20:



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Old September 24th, 2016, 04:38 AM   #2131
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I wonder when will JR West start testing the Twlight Express Mizukaze trainset....
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Old September 24th, 2016, 07:53 AM   #2132
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Well, there’s these promo videos for now.



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Old September 24th, 2016, 09:17 AM   #2133
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This question might have been asked before, but does the Japanese government still own the tracks for maintenance and upgrade?
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Old September 24th, 2016, 09:23 AM   #2134
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I highly doubt it. If you're talking about the JR Group, they're private companies (which may or may not be government owned)
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Old September 26th, 2016, 03:54 AM   #2135
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Hitachi Rail Europe at InnoTrans 2016:







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Old September 26th, 2016, 04:34 AM   #2136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
This question might have been asked before, but does the Japanese government still own the tracks for maintenance and upgrade?
Yes, to some degree.

In terms of the financial schemes. If a rail way operator asks money from the national government to rebuild a rail line destroyed by a natural disaster, the government will insist on owning all the rail lines in question as well as the structures built on it (i.e. the stations). The rail operator will be in charge of operating the trains. However I believe this to be a temporary thing and ownership will eventually change. This is from my own direct experience working on town recovery after 2011.

That said, a lot of rural areas have rail lines that are operated by third sector companies (mixed public-private). A number of them may have mixed ownership, such as the actual rail being owned by the city or prefecture, while the trains and its operations are privately owned/run. This is true in I think one of the lines in Hyogo Prefecture.
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Old September 27th, 2016, 07:08 PM   #2137
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Some photos of the rebuilt route and stations on the Jōban Line after damage in the 2011 tsunami and nuclear accident at Fukushima:
http://response.jp/article/2016/09/25/282364.html

Currently, service is suspended on the 36.6 km Tatsuta (Naraha Town, Fukushima) – Odaka (Minami-Sōma, Fukushima) section and 22.6 km Sōma (Sōma City, Fukushima) – Hama Yoshida (Watari Town, Miyagi) sections of the Jōban Line. Train service along the entire length of both segments is still 3–4 years away (March 2020), but JR East has finished work on rebuilding and relocating the latter segment, and will open it for service December 10 after a hiatus of 5 years, 9 months. The line is single-track on these segments, but has been rebuilt with sections in tunnel and on viaduct to cope with the topography, protect the line from future damage, and facilitate future development around the stations.



Shinchi Station (Shinchi Town, Fukushima)
Station is being relocated about 220 m SSW of the original station. Area is off limits as they are doing earthwork / grading in preparation for future development around the station.





Sakamoto Station (Yamamoto Town, Miyagi)
New station is about 1.1 km west (inland) of the original station. The old station building and most of the houses and other buildings were washed away by the tsunami, and the old platforms and footbridge at the station have already been demolished.





Quite a change from the old station, which was at ground level.



Bridge at the north end of the station over the Sakamoto River



Old station and surrounding development is gone



Yamashita Station (Yamamoto Town, Miyagi)
New station is about 1 km west (inland) of the original station.





Old station has been demolished

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Old October 2nd, 2016, 10:57 AM   #2138
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From Global Rail News, nice article about ATACS - radio communication signal system and how it compared with ERTMS Level 3:

Quote:
http://www.railengineer.uk/2016/09/3...anese-level-3/

ATACS - The Japanese Level 3?
30th September 2016



The concept of ERTMS Level 3 has been around since the vision for a standardised European signalling system came about in the 1990s. Reducing the amount of track-based signalling equipment and doing everything by radio seemed an admirable goal but, despite early predictions and the emergence of something akin on lightly used lines, very little progress has been made.

The reasons are complex and contain technical, safety and commercial elements. But is it so difficult? A recent IRSE seminar held in Japan learned of the JR East ATACS system that seemed to have very similar characteristics to Level 3 and was already in limited operation, so are there lessons to be learned?

...
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Old October 12th, 2016, 05:47 AM   #2139
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Quashlo's back!

All is right with the world again...
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Old October 17th, 2016, 09:58 AM   #2140
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