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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:00 AM   #261
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MLIT survey shows 90 percent in favor of maglev
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...011130001.html

Quote:
On November 12, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) announced the results of a survey of experts regarding the social impacts of the maglev Chūō Shinkansen being planned by JR Central. Close to 90 percent of respondents were in favor of constructing the line. However, 41% of respondents said the project "would further accelerate the population influx in cities," topping out the 38% who said the project "would have no impact on population movement."

The survey targeted approx. 100 experts nationwide in academia and industry. The survey was conducted twice, in August and October.

Looking at the most recent survey in October, when respondents were asked whether the the maglev should be extended further than just the Tōkyō — Ōsaka corridor, 48% said that the Tōkyō — Ōsaka section was sufficient, while another 40% said they should extend the project further. The MLIT later grouped these two responses and said that 88 percent of respondents were in favor of the project. Only a small minority, 9%, said that they had doubts about the Tōkyō — Ōsaka section.

In regards to the project's effect on air routes, approx. 80% of respondents believed that ridership on the maglev would help reduce the number of flights, freeing up slack and allowing for a more efficient use of landing slots. Close to 80% of respondents also believed that the opening of the maglev would allow for more stations on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, increasing the number of passengers who commute via Shinkansen.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:00 AM   #262
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MLX01-1 maglev test car arrives at JR Central museum for permanent display
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00483.htm

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On November 9, the MLX01-1 superconducting maglev train was delivered to JR Central’s future SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, set to open at Kinjō Pier in Minato Ward, Nagoya City in March of next year with a collection of historic Shinkansen trains and other items.

The arrival marks the completion of deliveries of the 35 railcars and one Japanese National Railways (JNR) bus to be on display inside the museum building. It’s expected that placement of the remaining four railcars to be on open-air display will be complete sometime this month.

The MLX01-1 was used for running tests on the maglev test track in Yamanashi Prefecture from 1997 to 2004, clocking the world’s speed record (with passengers on board) of 581 kph in December 2003.

The nose of the train is a beak-shape known as a “double cusp,” designed to reduce air resistance. The car measures approx. 28 m in length. The body is made of a lightweight but strong aluminum alloy, propelling forward at super-fast speeds while floating on superconducting magnets placed on both sides.
NHK news report (2010.11.10):


Source: senna5706 on YouTube
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:01 AM   #263
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JR Central up after railway says no capital increase for Chūō Shinkansen
http://news.searchina.ne.jp/disp.cgi...1028_087.shtml

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Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central; TYO: 9022) is doing strong, based on revised performance projections that beat initial forecasts and receding anxiety over an increase in capital.

After the market closed on October 27, the railway announced its results for the second quarter, at the same time revising up its earnings forecast. The forecasted consolidated operating profit for the fiscal year ending March 2011 is ¥314 billion (¥289 billion in the original forecast and ¥293.4 billion the previous year). Consolidated net profit is forecasted to be ¥112 billion (¥97 billion in the original forecast and ¥91.7 billion the previous year). The railway says it is strengthening its profitability through focused introduction of the N700 series and other means.

In addition, Reuters and other news outlets reported that the railway said during the press conference that it would not increase capital to fund construction costs for the maglev Chūō Shinkansen, instead taking out loans or issuing corporate bonds. As a result, anxiety over the capital increase is dying down even further.

As of October 29, 10:33 am, JR Central shares were at ¥619,000 (+¥20,000).
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:02 AM   #264
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Route selected for maglev Chūō Shinkansen, but still many hurdles
http://www.toyokeizai.net/business/s...8b668da325833/

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The maglev Chūō Shinkansen has crossed a huge hurdle in the process to a 2027 opening: On October 20, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's Transport Policy Council Chūō Shinkansen Subcommittee publicly announced a financial analysis that showed the economic benefits under the Southern Alps route (the "direct" route) for the maglev were the highest of the three alignments. The announcement is a de facto selection of the direct route for the maglev.

Of the three route options for the maglev, the battle was effectively between the Southern Alps route and the Inadani route which would have detoured north around the Southern Alps. From the standpoint of travel times and project costs, JR Central has said, "There is no route option except the direct route." Meanwhile, Nagano Prefecture, located along the proposed line, had been pushing for the Inadani route, which would have passed through the the Suwa area, the locus of Nagano's local manufacturing industry.

According to a subcommittee study, for the base-case Tōkyō — Ōsaka section, the direct route would cost ¥5.5 trillion but generate economic benefits of ¥8.4 trillion. Meanwhile, the Inadani route would cost ¥6.0 trillion and generate economic benefits of ¥7.5 trillion. The direct route, already shorter distance-wise and cheaper to construct, would generate a larger economic impact. Subcommittee chairman Ieda Hitoshi, a graduate professor at the University of Tōkyō, explains, "It's a critical finding, and we need to respect it."

Nagano Prefecture, forsaken
JR Central plans to finance construction of the maglev Chūō Shinkansen entirely on its own. As a result, experts have said that overturning JR's preferred route would be difficult. However, just as for the planned extensions to the Shinkansen network, the maglev project must follow the schemes set forth under the Nationwide Shinkansen Railways Construction and Improvement Act ("Nationwide Shinkansen Act") in order to move forward through the process. The principle behind the Nationwide Shinkansen Act is regional stimulus, and JR Central can't just turn away Nagano Prefecture's requests at the door. So in the end, the railway left the decision up to the Transport Policy Council.

Officials from local jurisdictions now all sing the same tune: "That was the final decision." At a subcommittee meeting held in June of this year, then-governor of Nagano Prefecture, Murai Jin, avoided making a statement in favor of a particular route, instead commenting, "When they make their decision, they should be able to convince the rest of us (that it was the right one)."

At the meeting, Nagano neighbor Yamanashi Prefecture expressed its position for the first time, saying the direct route is the best, and the "betrayal" of Nagano Prefecture became more and more evident. Even within Nagano Prefecture, public favor wasn't necessarily for the Inadani Route. Iida City and the surrounding area, which is much more likely to get a station under the direct route, began playing its own tune. In the end, Nagano Prefecture had lost the will to overturn the superiority of the direct route.

With public support already evaporated in Nagano, the analysis of economic impacts, upheld as an "objective" means of comparison, sealed the deal. Nagano had run out of material to fight the direct route.

By the end of the year, the subcommittee will compile a mid-term report before finalizing their recommendations in the spring of next year. But this isn't the end. After the aligment is officially selected, the discussions between JR Central and local jurisdictions over station locations will become a heated debate. What role will the national government play in these talks? The maglev project is approaching its next hurdle.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:03 AM   #265
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Tsuru City asks Yamanashi governor to push for maglev station
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/chub...0213001-n1.htm

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On November 13, Tsuru City mayor and chairman of the Maglev Chūō Shinkansen Fuji Hokuroku East Construction Promotion Council Kobayashi Yoshimitsu and four other city and town mayors requested that Governor Yokouchi Shōmei lobby the respective agencies and push for construction of a station and branch line in the Fuji East area. "Through construction of a station and branch line in this area, we can directly connect Mt. Fuji with the Greater Tōkyō area," said Kobayashi, re-emphasizing the benefits of the proposal. "I am hoping he can help steer the project to the Fuji East area."

On the 20th of last month, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's Transport Policy Council Chūō Shinkansen Subcommittee announced the results of a study that concluded the Southern Alps route connecting Tōkyō and Nagoya in a direct line was the most appropriate alignment. However, of the four areas in Yamanashi Prefecture that have petitioned to have a station, the Fuji East area is the first to begin lobbying efforts with the governor. The subcommittee is slated to compile a final report sometime in the spring of next year. The Fuji East area is hoping that plans regarding station location will surface during the environmental impact assessment stage, and made an early start in its lobbying efforts.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:04 AM   #266
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Shimo-Ina area residents concerned about maglev
http://www.shinmai.co.jp/news/201011...0010000022.htm

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The Forum on Iida and the Maglev, a group formed of local residents in the Iida Shimo-Ina area who have concerns about the maglev Chūō Shinkansen project, held a learning session for the first time on November 7 in Iida City to discuss issues including the construction cost of the project and its effect on the area. Approx. 130 people participated, primarily from the Shimo-Ina area. Some attendees said that there is a need to have a forum where residents—both those in favor of the project as well as those who are more cautious—can debate the maglev project.

Three individuals gave lectures at the session. Chiba University of Commerce visiting professor of policy studies Hashiyama Reijirō has been listening in on the national government's Transport Policy Council subcommittee debating the project and questions the approx. ¥5.1 trillion construction cost estimated by JR Central for the Tōkyō — Nagoya section: "We don't know where they came up with this number." In contrast to Route C which goes straight through the Southern Alps, Hashiyama said, "In terms of passengers and goods distribution, Route B (the Suwa / Inadani detour) is more favorable for Nagano Prefecture."

In regards to the impact of electromagnetic (EM) radiation coming from the superconducting maglev equipment, JR Central has said that the levels are below World Health Organization (WHO) standards and there is no cause for concern. Ogino Kōya, a former lecturer at Kyōto University's School of Engineering, criticized JR, saying "it's explanations have been piecemeal," and said that the EM radiation would be at higher levels than the current Shinkansen.

Keiō University professor Kawamura Teruo, spokesperson for the Maglev Citizens' Network formed of residents of Nagano and Yamanashi Prefecture who are concerned about the maglev project, claimed, "The idea that this project will connect major cities and help spur revitalization is an illusion. In order to bring prosperity to areas, there needs to be locally-based efforts."

Forum spokesperson Katagiri Haruo (Iida City) remarked, "I hope we can continue to hold more of these learning sessions and strengthen our connections with residents living along the proposed route who are concerned about the maglev project."
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #267
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Kami-Ina alliance pushes for investigation of analysis into MLIT's selection of Southern Alps route
http://www.shinmai.co.jp/news/201011...0023000022.htm

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In the maglev Chūō Shinkansen project, the Kami-Ina Area Alliance (Chairman: Ina City mayor Shirotori Takashi), which has been lobbying for selection of Route B (the Suwa / Inadani detour), submitted a memorandum to the Nagano Prefectural Committee for Promoting Construction of the Maglev (Chaiman: Nagano Prefecture governor Abe Shūichi) asking it to independently investigate and respond to the analysis by the national government's Transport Policy Council subcommittee that identifies Route C through the Southern Alps as the preferred alignment. The request appears to be a move to get Governor Abe, who has been avoiding making any comments concerning the maglev route debate, to take a proactive role in the issue.

However, Kobayashi Toshihiro, chief of Nagano Prefecture's Transport Policy Section, the lead agency for the Prefectural Committee, says, "We have no materials or expertise to investigate the analysis, so it's impossible for us. However, we have accepted your request as opinion on the project."

At an October meeting, the subcommittee compiled an analysis that showed that Route C generated a better benefit-cost ratio and more substantial economic impacts. In response, the memorandum claims, "We cannot accept the analysis without investigating whether or not the various assumptions behind the calculations are appropriate." The memorandum also pointed out that there needs to be an investigation into whether or not the analysis also compares the functionality of each of the route options as an alternative to the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in the event of a major earthquake in the Tōkai area.

Chairman Shirotori said in an interview, "I suspect the basic data going into their assumptions is overly optimistic, so the results, such as the cost of tunnels, are flawed."

In 1989, the Prefectural Committee voted to push for Route B. But when some committee members began pushing for Route C at the full committee vote in May of this year, the committee refrained from identifying a specific preferred route, leading to backlash from the Kami-Ina Area Alliance and others.

Governor Abe has avoided making any remarks about which route should be selected, instead retaining his stance in requesting that the national government's subcommittee make a final decision based on impartial and objective debate.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #268
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Maglev a hot topic at San-En-Nanshin Summit
http://mainichi.jp/area/nagano/news/...10007000c.html

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The Eighteenth San-En-Nanshin Summit to discuss promoting coordination and exchange in the San-En-Nanshin area (comprised of Iida's Shimo-Ina area, Aichi Prefecture's Higashi-Mikawa area, and Shizuoka Prefecture's Enshū area) was held on November 12 in Iida City. Debates were also exchanged regarding the expected selection of the direct route (Route C) through the Southern Alps and the area around Iida City for the maglev Chūō Shinkansen, which JR Central hopes to open in in 2027.

A total of 28 city, village, and town mayors—including Iida City mayor Makino Mitsuo, Hamamatsu City mayor Suzuki Yasutomo, and Toyohashi City mayor Sahara Kōichi—and 47 private sector groups, a total of 800 people in all, attended the summit.

Mayor Makino urged for completion of the maglev as quickly as possible: "Large-scale transportation improvements are critical. With transport infrastructure as a cornerstone, I hope to work towards a spontaneous regional development that is designed to help create unity between the three areas." Meanwhile, Hamamatsu City mayor Suzuki Yasutomo welcomed the maglev: "The maglev is also a big issue for us. It's great news for the San-En-Nanshin region." Attendees later split into four working groups and exchanged opinions.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:07 AM   #269
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Some Kagoshima Line limited expresses to remain after Shinkansen opening
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...011130053.html

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JR Kyūshū has decided that even after the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima route next spring, it will retain a portion of the limited express trains running on the parallel Kagoshima Line. In particular, the Ariake is a likely candidate. Although the railway's basic policy to eliminate limited express service after the Shinkansen opening hasn't changed, the effort is an attempt to provide a critical means of transport for residents along the line, fending off the shift of passengers to rivals Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu) and the various express bus companies.

The Ariake operates primarily on the Kokura — Hakata — Kumamoto corridor. Of these, the railway is considering preserving the service on specific sections, including Hakata — Ōmuta (in Fukuoka Prefecture) and Hakata — Arao / Tamana (both in Kumamoto Prefecture). Based on the level of commuter crowding during the mornings and evenings and the need for access to early morning flights departing from Fukuoka Airport, the railway will hammer out the number of trains and sections to be retained. There is also a possibility of using different limited expresses or changing the name of the trains.

Shin-Ōmuta Station and Shin-Tamana Station on the Shinkansen are located away from both the center of these cities and the stations on the conventional line, making them somewhat inconvenient for local passengers. In addition, Ōmuta is the terminus of the Tenjin ‒ Ōmuta Line, Nishitetsu's powerhouse line. Nishitetsu executives say they will "consider various strategies after examining the Shinkansen schedule," judging that it is entirely possible that passengers on its trains and bus lines might shift to the Shinkansen.

JR Kyūshū has prioritized the Shinkansen and says the "basic principle is to eliminate" the limited express services on the conventional line. However, President Karaike Kōji explained, "We will do the minimum on our part to ensure that people who won't use the Shinkansen won't be left behind."
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:08 AM   #270
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JR East offers commemorative tickets for Tōhoku Line before Shinkansen opening
http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/aomori/259919.html

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On November 12, JR East offered commemorative entry ticket sets at Aomori Station and four other stations on the rail line that will end its service as part of the Tōhoku Line when the full length of the Tōhoku Shinkansen opens.

This is the 119th year this section of track has been in service, but starting December 4 when the full length of the Tōhoku Shinkansen opens, the line will be transferred to parallel zairaisen (conventional line) operator Aoi Mori Railway, and the "Tōhoku Line" will disappear from Aomori Prefecture forever.

The commemorative entry tickets are the traditional hard-type from long ago and come with mounts. The set includes tickets for five main stations: Aomori, Asamushi Onsen, Noheji, Misawa, and Hachinohe.

Approx. 40 people had already lined up at Aomori Station before the tickets went on sale at 11:00 am. Many people purchased two or three sets, and over 150 sets had been sold in about 15 minutes. At the front of the queue was newspaper deliverer Sasamori Masami (69) from Yasuda, Aomori City, who had been in line since 6:00 am. Commemorative entry tickets in hand, he recounted his story of the line: "When I think of the Tōhoku Line, I think of the shūshoku ressha ('job-hunting train') I rode over 40 years ago when I was looking for a job in Tōkyō."

The commemorative entry tickets are ¥700 a set, with only a limited supply of 1,800 sets available. The sets are offered at Aomori, Hachinohe, Misawa, and Noheji Stations. The campaign lasts until December 3, but will end as soon as the tickets sell out.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:09 AM   #271
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E5 series at Hitachi plant

This is train U-3. There are some pictures of another unit (U-2?) here at Kawasaki Heavy Industries' Kōbe Plant, but U-3 is being manufactured by Hitachi at the Kasado Works in Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Some shots at the Hitachi plant, next to a new N700 series unit:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/project_s72/











Gives a good idea of just how much offset there is between the operator's cab and the cab door.

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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #272
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Operator training for Tōhoku Shinkansen Shin-Aomori extension: Part 1

Some shots of the test runs on 2010.09.19 to train Shinkansen operators on the line. Two trains (units J5 and J13) made runs back and forth along the extension between Hachinohe and Shin-Aomori.
Source: http://seisyo-euro.cocolog-nifty.com/

Outbound (for Shin-Aomori) E2 series test train entering the Hakkōda Tunnel. Time is 9:37 am.



Departing Shichinohe Towada, 10:34.



Exiting the north end of the Rokunohe Tunnel, 12:18.



Exiting the north end of the Gonohe Tunnel, 13:16. Just ahead of the train (but out of view) is the Oirase River Bridge.



Inbound (for Tōkyō) train exiting the south end of the Nanbuyama Tunnel, 14:47.



Departing Hachinohe outbound on another test run, 16:50.

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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:11 AM   #273
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Operator training for Tōhoku Shinkansen Shin-Aomori extension: Part 2

More shots, from 2010.09.22:
Source: http://seisyo-euro.cocolog-nifty.com/

Inbound train on the Takada Viaduct, 15:20.



Outbound.



Inbound train, near the Ushidate River Bridge, 16:12. The paint scheme looks almost looks gray or silver in this lighting...

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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:12 AM   #274
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JR East E5 promotion site

I didn't realize until recently they had set up a special website to promote the new E5 series:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e5/main.html

Maybe nothing special if you already know everything about the series, but I like the music and sound effects.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:13 AM   #275
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Invitation-only pre-opening ride on Tōhoku Shinkansen Shin-Aomori extension: Part 1

Finally found some blog material from one of the pre-opening invitation-only rides, this one from 2010.11.03. Enjoy!
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/good10450/

Our cameraman boards the chartered train from Sendai Station, and this is how they treated it on the departure boards. Charter 533 departing at 10:05 am is marked for Hachinohe to avoid confusing riders, even though it's actually going all the way to Shin-Aomori.



After boarding, they started handing out special ekiben (boxed lunch) for participants, complete with promotional wrapping for the new extension.



Ekiben are one of the staples of train travel in Japan, and vendors will often use famous locally-produced ingredients. Apparently, this one had a dessert of apple baked with wine (Aomori is famous for its apples).



The LED scroll says dantai ("group charter"). I don't think I've ever seen this for a Shinkansen, probably because these types of runs are so rare.



Window view after departing Morioka. The viaduct snaking away to our left is for the Akita Shinkansen, where we should see E6 series units running in a year or so.



After stopping at Hachinohe for two minutes, it's off onto the new section of track.



Looks like all the LCD systems are already programmed for opening day...



"Welcome to Aomori"



Cute mascot character #1. Name unknown.



Taiko performance inside the station, where work is still being done on the final touches.

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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:14 AM   #276
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Invitation-only pre-opening ride on Tōhoku Shinkansen Shin-Aomori extension: Part 2

Part 2:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/good10450/

Shin-Aomori Station



Some sort of public art I think, still in protective wrapping.



Behind all the obstructions is an Akebono sleeper train.



Back inside...



Pictogram is still covered up, probably an E5 series.



Cute mascot character #2. Name is "Ikube" (if my Tōhoku dialect isn't failing me, this means, "Let's go!"), mascot for the Aomori Destination Campaign (April to July 2011) aimed at getting tourists to visit the prefecture.



Shinkansen departure boards installed but not in operation. Looks like this one will be a two-row display. Underneath, the faregates are covered in sheets marked with JR East Mechatronics (JREM), which manufactures ticketing equipment and fare collection for JR East.



Transfer gate to the Ōu Main Line.



Must be half the group smoking in here...



Cute mascot character #3. Name unknown. So far, this is my favorite.
Interesting to note that the departure boards on the platforms don't look like they are full-color... Apparently they are converting to full-color at Sendai, but since there's fewer services this far down the the line, it's maybe not an issue.



KIOSK, a JR East group convenience store chain with shops inside train stations all over the JR East network.



The platform doors are marked for eight- and 10-car trains. The E5 and the E2 series (J-class) are both 10-car formations, so perhaps the eight-car units being referred to are for the the E4 series MAX full-length double-deckers (?).

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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:16 AM   #277
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Early tour of Shichinohe Towada Station

Apparently the 小川原湖広域観光協議会 (Lake Ogawara Tourism Committee) put up some photos of the new station on their Flickr account.

Enjoy!
Click on the links to go back to the photo page for larger sizes.

image hosted on flickr


Shin-Aomori isn't bad, but from what I've seen, I'm liking this station more.

image hosted on flickr


Waiting room... Almost like an airport lounge.

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


The Shichinohe Town Tourism Exchange Center is right next to the station and features the same architectural style.

image hosted on flickr
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #278
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More E5+E6 testing

Taken 2010.11.10 and 2010.11.11, both daytime and nighttime shots.


Source: tobirabito on YouTube
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Old November 16th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #279
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Newest CM in MY FIRST AOMORI series

Part 6: "Debut"
So far my favorite. Song matches really well, too...
There are supposedly two more left in the series (a total of eight parts).


Source: nkmrsun on YouTube
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Old November 16th, 2010, 02:52 PM   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
As far as I know, yes. I think the current Aomori-Tokyo market is not a major business corridor, but more leisure/"going back to hometown" traffic (Tokyo-Sendai or Tokyo-Morioka OTOH has business traffic), so premium seating like this can be viable-note the pricing is aimed to compete with JAL ticket prices on the Aomori-Haneda air route. On the heavily used Tokaido/Sanyo corridor though, with its business traffic, the JR companies likely want to maximize seating to squeeze as much revenue as they can from this market.
Yes, but wouldn´t uncomfortable seating drive the richest businessmen to take a plane rather than Shinkansen Green Car?

How convenient is the Gran Class for someone who wants to talk on a cell phone, load a laptop and be connected to net, to work while on the road?
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