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Old November 25th, 2010, 02:29 AM   #321
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I didnt know about Super Kamui EMU before. What a design! A "bad" robot face from a cyberpunk manga I loved it.. Sooo badass
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Old November 26th, 2010, 06:59 AM   #322
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Hitachi disappointed at decision to delay trains announcement
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/new..._announcement/

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A TRAIN manufacturer hoping to create thousands of jobs in the region has expressed its disappointment at the Government's decision to delay an announcement on the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

Hitachi said it would consider its position after holding further talks with the Department for Transport.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced this morning that the Government would order 2,100 new carriages and invest £14bn in rail maintenance and infrastructure over the next four years.

However, the Minister said a decision on replacing the country's aging intercity trains would not be taken until the New Year.

He said the Hitachi-led Agility Trains proposal remained an option, however he said a second proposal from an unnamed bidder was also being considered.

Agility's bid envisages a mixed fleet: some all-electric trains, and some electric trains which are also equipped with underfloor diesel engines.

The alternative is for a fleet of new all-electric trains which could be coupled to new diesel locomotives where the overhead electric power lines end.

Mr Hammond said: "Both these options would allow us to preserve through-journeys between London and parts of the rail network which are not electrified.

"Both of them would deliver faster journey times. For example, we expect to see a time saving of at least 15 minutes, for the journey between Cardiff and London bringing it below two hours."

He added: "This is a major decision which will affect intercity rail travel for decades, and we must get it right."

He said additional work was required within the Department, with Agility Trains, and with the Welsh Assembly Government on the business case for electrification into Wales.

"I expect to announce a final decision on IEP, and on further Great Western electrification, in the New Year," he said.

In response, Hitachi, which has indicated it would build a plant at Newton Aycliffe if it won the contract, said: "Hitachi continues to see the UK as one of our important European markets.

"However we are disappointed that there is yet no decision on our bid for the IEP, and therefore on our plans to bring jobs to the UK. We will be continuing our talks with the Department for Transport and will consider our position in the light of these."
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:00 AM   #323
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MLIT will create investigative teams to determine groundbreaking for next Shinkansen extensions
http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/politics/259759.html

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In regards to the Shin-Hakodate — Sapporo section of the Hokkaidō Shinkansen and two other sections on the planned Shinkansen network that have yet to break ground, on November 11 the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) decided on a plan to establish investigative teams sometime this month, providing the MLIT and locals with a forum to discuss the issues. A reserve fund of ¥9 billion was included in the budget for this fiscal year which can be used towards Shinkansen construction, but with a fair amount of time still needed to resolve certain issues, a groundbreaking this fiscal year seems extremely difficult.

The Investigative Committee on Planned Shinkansen Extensions formed of top MLIT officials had identified the specific issues regarding each of the three scetions by late August, but after the DPJ leadership race and a reshuffling of the prime minister's cabinet, a specific forum to investigate the issues will finally be established.

Investigative teams will be established for each of the three sections: Shin-Hakodate — Sapporo, Hokuriku (Kanazawa — Tsuruga), and Kyūshū (Isahaya — Nagasaki). Tsugawa Shōgo, Parliamentary Secretary of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, will chair the teams, joined by the chief of the MLIT's Railway Bureau and vice-governors from the respective prefectures. If needed, JR representatives will also be included. Working groups formed of experts from the MLIT and the respective prefectures will also be established beneath each investigative team.

Based on the results of the investigation, the top officials in the MLIT will decide on whether or not to break ground. A timetable for reaching a conclusion has not been decided at this time.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:00 AM   #324
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N700 Sakura enters Kagoshima Chūō Station during regular service hours

In more testing news, the new N700 sets entered Kagoshima Chūō Station during regular service hours for the first time, operating in between revenue service trains.

Kagoshima TV news report (2010.11.23):


Source: sala5706 on YouTube
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:01 AM   #325
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Izumi and Sendai Stations likely to see some stopping Sakura services
http://373news.com/modules/pickup/in...?storyid=28149

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In regards to the Sakura service to be introduced when the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen opens in March of next year, it was revealed on November 19 that JR Kyūshū is considering plans to have the service stop at both Sendai and Izumi Stations. According to sources close to the project, most of the Shinkansen trains departing from Kagoshima Chūō Station—about two trains an hour—will be Sakura services, and of those, one of the Sakura trains each hour would stop at Izumi Station. It's expected that two Sakura trains an hour would stop at Sendai Station.

JR Kyūshū has already revealed that some Sakura services would continue onto Ōsaka while some would terminate at Hakata. According to sources, the schedule is being worked so that one train daily out of all the Sakura services stopping at Izumi Station would be a direct-service Ōsaka train. It's likely that most of the remaining Sakura services would terminate at Hakata.

Of the ten stations on the Kagoshima Chūō — Hakata section, services skipping at least one station would be designated as Sakura, while all-stop services would be designated as Tsubame. Sakura trains stopping at Izumi would stop at all stations south of Kumamoto Station, but skip at least one station north of Kumamoto.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:02 AM   #326
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Ōsaka and Shiga governors at odds over Hokuriku Shinkansen alignment into Ōsaka
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/sh...702000122.html

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In regards to the route of the Hokuriku Shinkansen west of Tsuruga (Fukui Prefecture), Shiga Prefecture governor Kada Yukiko and Ōsaka Prefecture governor Hashimoto Tōru are locked in a heated "battle." At a November 16 press conference, Governor Kada refuted an extension alignment that passed through Shiga Prefecture, claiming it "had no merits." Meanwhile, Governor Hashimoto expounded his own arguments, responding that the "Maibara route is the most appropriate." The battle is likely to have an impact on future debates regarding the proposed extension.

In regards to the local funding match should the line pass through Shiga Prefecture, Governor Kada said, "Why is Shiga paying for this when we don't get any of the benefits?" The governor says that as long as the funding burden on local jurisdictions, currently set at one-third of the construction, remains the same, she "would not support a route that passes through Shiga Prefecture."

"I wouldn't mind if they passed the line through without us having to pay anything, but the funding match is just outrageous," emphasizes Kada. Showing an estimate that had Shiga Prefecture paying one-third of the approx. ¥370 billion for a route via Maibara, Kada stressed, "Do you think the citizens of Shiga will agree with this? How am I supposed to explain this?" She also expressed fears over the possibility that the parallel conventional line to be taken out of JR's management would end up with a large operating deficit.

=============

Meanwhile, on November 16 Ōsaka Prefecture governor Hashimoto commented, "The Maibara route (via the east bank of Lake Biwa) is the most appropriate for connecting Hokuriku to Kansai and Chūbu," expressing his belief that it was superior to the Wakasa route, which would reach Ōsaka via Fukui Prefecture's Obama City.

In addition, Hashimoto said, "People in the Hokuriku region will now be able to easily reach Nagoya," pointing out the convenience of reaching Nagoya if the line were to connect to the Tōkaidō Shinkansen at Maibara Station. Hashimoto also commented that the Maibara route is "the cheapest in terms of costs, and realistic." Hashimoto made his remarks to reporters at the Ōsaka Prefectural Office.

In addition to the Wakasa route shown in the original Shinkansen network plans, the Kosei route reaching Kyōto City via the west bank of Lake Biwa is also a candidate for the alignment west of Tsuruga Station. At the November 12 Kinki Block Governors' Conference, Governor Hashimoto remarked, "Ōsaka, which is benefitting from this project, must also pay its share of the construction costs."
Basically, Governor Kada is upset that Shiga Prefecture will have to pay one-third of the costs (because the alignment takes it through the prefecture's land), even though it wouldn't really be getting much benefit out of the Maibara route (since there's already the Tōkaidō Shinkansen on this corridor). She definitely has a point, and some of that one-third cost should ideally be borne by Ōsaka Prefecture and the Hokuriku prefectures, since they would benefit the most from the extension in the first place.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:03 AM   #327
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JR Hokkaidō and Hakodate City at stalemate over parallel conventional line
http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/bu...in/261395.html

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In the dilemma over the transferral of operations of the parallel conventional line between Hakodate and Shin-Hakodata (Hokuto City) as part of the extension of the Hokkaidō Shinkansen to Sapporo, on November 12 it was revealed that Hokkaidō Prefecture governor Takahashi Harumi has requested that JR Hokkaidō reconsider its plan to transfer out operations of the line. Agreement by local jurisdictions to the transferral of operations is a prerequisite to beginning construction, and as long as JR and Hakodate City, which has expressed its opposition to the transferral, are at odds, the project won't break ground. Up until now, the Hokkaidō Prefectural Government has served to get JR and Hakodate City on the same page, but in an effort to break through the impasse, will now switch to a neutral position.

Opposition against the transferral of operations is growing all across Hakodate, from Hakodate City mayor Nishio Masanori to the City Council and Hakodate's financial sphere, and in September a petition signed by 112,481 citizens (approx. 40 percent of the population) was submitted to JR Hokkaidō.

It seems a foregone conclusion that the railway will need to consider some sort of response, but in an interview with Hokkaidō Shimbun, JR Hokkaidō President Nakajima said, "We are racking our brains for a creative solution to this."
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:03 AM   #328
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JR Hokkaidō capitalizes on Tōhoku Shinkansen extension
http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/bu...in/261619.html

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On November 17, before the December 4 opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen's Shin-Aomori Station, JR Hokkaidō held a pre-opening Shinkansen test ride between Shin-Aomori and Hachinohe, promoting the improved access between Hokkaidō and the Tōhoku Region in front of Hokkaidō press officials and members of the tourism industry. The railway said it forecasts 1,166,000 passengers traveling annually on the Kaikyō Line through the Seikan Tunnel as a result of the opening of the line—an increase of 66,000 passengers, or six percent of the current levels. The Shin-Hakodate section of the Hokkaidō Shinkansen will open in FY2015.

Tōhoku Shinkansen trains will make the journey between Shin-Aomori and Hachinohe (approx. 82 km) in as little as 23 minutes. Starting December 4, a total of 10 roundtrip Super Hakuchō and Hakuchō limited express trains will connect Hakodate and Shin-Aomori, connecting to the Tōhoku Shinkansen. From Hakodate, journey times will be as little as 3 hours and 11 minutes to Morioka, 4 hours and 1 minute to Sendai, and 5 hours and 44 minutes to Tōkyō—a reduction of approx. 20 minutes on average compared to current times. Starting December 4, JR Hokkaidō will introduce six new Super Hakuchō cars costing approx. ¥1.5 trillion.

Approx. 300 participants boarded a limited express at Hakodate Station, arriving at Aomori in 2 hours and 3 minutes. Changing to a local train, they arrived to the first-floor conventional-line platforms at Shin-Aomori Station in approx. 5 minutes. Accessing the Shinkansen platforms on the third level of the station takes about two minutes. After boarding an E2 series Hayate, the workhorse of the Tōhoku Shinkansen, participants made a roundtrip to and from Hachinohe at a top speed of 260 kph.

Habaguchi Kenji, president of JR Hokkaidō's Hakodate Office, remarked, "We are hoping to get as many passengers from Honshū to come to Hakodate, and even further, to the rest of Hokkaidō."

The campaign manager for JTB Hokkaidō's Domestic Travel Products Department (Sapporo) said, "I think we'll be able roll out excursion-style tourism to experience the Tōhoku Region's cuisine and hot springs." A spokesperson for Meitetsu World Travel's Sapporo Branch Office said, "We are looking forward to tours that bring Honshū customers from Sendai and Morioka to Hakodate by Shinkansen, visiting Sapporo and Noboribetsu Onsen hot springs before returning via Shin-Chitose Airport."
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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:04 AM   #329
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Pre-opening test rides on Tōhoku Shinkansen Shin-Aomori extension: Part 1

JR East held special test rides open to the public on 2010.11.20 and 2010.11.21.
A total of 38,000 people across Japan applied, with 5,000 accepted.

NHK news report (2010.11.20):


Source: sala5706 on YouTube

Photo set 1:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/sti474/

First shots are arrival at Hachinohe Station the night of 2010.11.19, one night before the pre-opening ride.





Looking north from Hachinohe in the direction of Shin-Aomori.



Come December 4, the station name signs will have "Shichinohe Towada" on the left side.





15 days until opening.

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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #330
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Pre-opening test rides on Tōhoku Shinkansen Shin-Aomori extension: Part 2

Continued:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/sti474/

Arrival at Hachinohe Station the day of the test ride. It's been eight years since the opening of the extension to Hachinohe Station. The midrise in the background is a Hotel Mets, a business hotel chain operated by JR East.





Registration. Participants got a small bag of goodies.



E2 series Hayate

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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:07 AM   #331
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Pre-opening test rides on Tōhoku Shinkansen Shin-Aomori extension: Part 3

Continued:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/sti474/

At Shin-Aomori Station.









Hokkaidō end, designed to be connected to the extension through the Seikan Tunnel to Shin-Hakodate and eventually Sapporo. Turnout at right in the distance is the connection to Aomori Shinkansen Car Yard.



Participants departing from the Hachinohe end were not permitted out of the station building at Shin-Aomori Station. These two shots are from May 2010.



Hokkaidō end

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Old November 26th, 2010, 07:08 AM   #332
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Pre-opening test rides on Tōhoku Shinkansen Shin-Aomori extension: Part 4

Set 2:
Source: http://blog.kimu2.jp/

This was taken by someone boarding one of the trains from Shin-Aomori Station.



Hokkaidō end. Left side is the connection to Aomori Shinkansen Car Yard



There were a total of eight roundtrips, four beginning at Shin-Aomori, four at Hachinohe.





Goodies bag



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Old November 30th, 2010, 08:51 AM   #333
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JR West 287 series unveiled to the press: Part 1

These are limited express EMUs set to be introduced into revenue service in spring 2011, replacing the JNR-era 183 series units in the so-called "Kita-Kinki Big X Network" of limited expresses linking together the northern parts of the Kinki region, including the Kinosaki and Kita-Kinki ("North Kinki") services. The Kita-Kinki will actually be renamed the Kōnotori ("Stork") come the March 12, 2011 service changes. A total of 46 cars (seven 4-car formations and six 3-car formations) will be manufactured at a total cost of approx. ¥8 billion. An additional order for another 51 cars (six 6-car formations and five 3-car formations) for the Kuroshio was also recently announced on 2010.11.17.

Basic design draws from the 683-4000 series limited express units, which were introduced to the Thunderbird services starting 2009.06. Car body is designed for offset collisions and collision absorption, the second JR West unit to do so following the inner-suburban 225 series EMUs. Also like the 225 series, all cars are powered. Outlets for portable electronics are included in all green car seats and the seats at the ends of regular cars. Women-only toilet, wheelchair-accessible toilet, and a mulit-purpose room are also included, and passenger comfort has been improved by increasing leg room.

Quick asahi.com video tour at the Kinki Sharyō plant in Higashi-Ōsaka City on 2010.11.26:



Testing at Ōmi Imazu on the Kosei Line on 2010.11.29, the first day of testing:


Source: airportITM on YouTube

Pics:
Source: http://tk14nnbii.blog14.fc2.com/

First, testing in 4+3 formation on the Jōtō Freight Line between Shigino and Suita Signal Station.
Kumoroha 286-1





Three-car unit. One end of the three-car unit is equipped with two pantographs.



Passing Mukōmachi Station on the Tōkaidō Line (JR Kyōto Line).

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Old November 30th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #334
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JR West 287 series unveiled to the press: Part 2

Set 2.
These shots are from Ogoto Onsen Station on the Kosei Line (2010.11.29).
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/raicho_kanazawa/

Looks like a cross of the 285 series (Sunrise Express) and the 683-4000 series (Thunderbird), but I like this much better than latter, which has a more squarish end.





Walkthrough end, when coupled.



Still using rollsigns for the destination signs.







For comparison, 683 series is on the left.



Single-arm pantographs



Number plate for Kumoroha 286-1.
Very rare to see four designations (ku, mo, ro, ha) in one car.



Car No. 1, green car with non-reserved seating



Lights are high intensity discharge (HID) lamps.



Non-walkthrough end





Clean but attractive paint scheme



Departing for Kyōto area.



I have no decent still shots of the interior, as my usual resource for these press unveilings has yet to post anything. Will post later if he has anything.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #335
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Quote:
Number plate for Kumoroha 286-1.
Very rare to see four designations (ku, mo, ro, ha) in one car.
Yes, truly an all-in-one (driving/motor/green/standard class) carriage.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:49 AM   #336
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JRTT reveals design schemes for Hokuriku Shinkansen's Toyama Station: Part 1

On 2010.11.30, JRTT released the three design schemes for the new Toyama Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Toyama is an existing station served by the Hokuriku Main Line, Takayama Main Line, Toyama Chihō Railroad (Main Line, Fujikoshi / Kamidaki Line, Toyama City Line), and the Toyama Light Rail, and the central station for Toyama City, but it will be elevated as part of the Hokuriku Shinkansen.
Source: Toyama Prefecture

Design Scheme A
A station like a grove of trees standing amidst the tranquil snow
  • The design expresses Toyama by conjuring images of standing groves of cedar trees on Mt. Tate and snow.
  • With a foundation of vertical lines and shades of white, the design is reminiscent of snow-capped Mt. Tate and groves of Mt. Tate cedar trees.
  • The unique white columns of the platforms are designed to look like cedar trees on Mt. Tate, creating a dramatic impression through the station's glass screen.


Design Scheme B
A station that evokes Toyama's changing seasons
  • The design expresses Toyama by conjuring images of the colors of the four seasons and pristine scenery (paddy fields and sankyo farmhouse villages).
  • By focusing on a lattice structure, the design evokes images of Yao-style washi (Japanese paper) and the historic streetscapes that still remain to this day.
  • Through a glass screen that expresses Toyama's changing seasons, the design lyrically presents a platform space reminiscent of cedar groves on a snow-capped Mt. Tate.


Design Scheme C
A station that evokes the water curtains and glimmer of a clear stream
  • The design expresses Toyama by conjuring images of the myriad flows of water rushing into Toyama Bay.
  • Through use of rhythmical vertical lines, the design is reminiscent of the numerous waterfall curtains leading from Mt. Tate down to Toyama Bay.
  • Through a glass screen that evokes a waterfall's water curtain and glimmer, the design dynamically presents a platform space reminiscent of cedar groves on a snow-capped Mt. Tate.


Just to give a bit of perspective on the themes of the design...
A Shirasagi ("Egret") service arrives at Toyama during a blizzard. Toyama is snow country.


Source: 1224yasmin on YouTube

Himi Line trains along Toyama Bay:


Source: wanwanpapa2003 on YouTube

The Magawa River Bridge on the Toyama Chihō Railroad Tateyama Line, with Mt. Tate in the background. Also a view of the so-called "water curtains" along the Magawa River.


Source: wanwanpapa2003 on YouTube
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:50 AM   #337
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JRTT reveals design schemes for Hokuriku Shinkansen's Toyama Station: Part 2

General renderings of the station. These are from 2008.10, but give an idea of the station area layout.
Source: Toyama Prefecture

North Exit



South Exit



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Old December 1st, 2010, 09:49 AM   #338
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The station design looks similar to the recently opened Asahikawa Station, I must say.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:28 PM   #339
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Yes, the "tree" columns seem to be the new fad... Perhaps forgiveable given they are probably efficient as roof supports and manage to keep the platform space "open".

Would be nice to see a little more variation than just the typical "box" station, though. Kanazawa did a fantastic job when they rebuilt their station.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 09:16 AM   #340
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Pre-opening test rides on HB-E300 hybrid diesel units for Resort Asunaro: Part 1

The HB-E300 series is JR East's next-generation hybrid DMUs, designed for so-called "resort" services to carry tourists on scenic rail lines. The series is based on the Kiha E200 series, which has been in service on the Koumi Line since 2007 as the world's first revenue-service hybrid DMU.

Large observation areas are placed behind the operators' cabs, featuring large side windows and sofa- and bar-style seating to allow passengers to enjoy the passing scenery. The passenger cabins also feature large windows, plus a raised car floor and rotating seats. Passenger information is provided via LCD units that can display DVDs containing recorded footage such as sightseeing information, as well as real-time footage from a camera located at the front of the train.

Trains are being manufactured for three areas:
  • Nagano area (Ōito Line): one 2-car unit
  • Akita area (Gonō Line): one 4-car unit
  • Aomori area (Tsugaru Line / Ōminato Line): two 2-car units
The unit on the Ōito Line entered service on 2010.10.02 and is branded the Resort View Furusato. The units for the Gonō Line and Tsugaru Line / Ōminato Line will enter service when the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension opens as the Resort Shirakami and Resort Asunaro, respectively. The Nagano and Akita area units were manufactured by Tōkyū Car Company, while the Aomori units were manufactured by Niigata Transys.

A special pre-opening test ride on the Resort Asunaro was held on 2010.11.23, just a few days before the opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension.

Pics:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kitani_sinrowotore/

Unit AH2 waiting at Aomori Station.



After checking in, we get a "ticket" for a non-reserved seat in Car 2. Apparently, over 90 percent of the attendants were parents + young children. The test run was a roundtrip from Aomori to Kamikitachō and back, with stops at Higashi-Aomori, Asamushi Onsen, Kominato, and Noheji.



Signed as a "test run."



Departing Aomori alongside Tsurgaru No. 7.

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