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Old December 9th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #381
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2010 steam locomotive digest

A compilation of clips from this year of two (of several) SL operations in Japan, the Yamaguchi and the Ban'etsu Monogatari. The Yamaguchi is operated by JR West on the Yamaguchi Line, between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano. The Ban'etsu Monogatari is operated by JR East on the Shin'etsu Main Line and Ban'etsu West Line between Niigata and Aizu Wakamatsu.


Source: keymoyaking on YouTube
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Old December 9th, 2010, 11:45 AM   #382
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Welcome to the "other" thread.
Thank you.

Sorry for formulating me a bit clumsy. I actually didn't assume that the Hokkaido shinkansen would be extended past Sapporo. What I meant was that it might be possible to take the first train from Wakkanai (with the current timetable a Super Soya Ltd.Exp., departing 7:10) in the morning and then arrive with, perhaps, the last train to Kagoshima-Chuo, late at night during the same day.

Wakkanai-Sapporo ~ 5 h
Sapporo-Tokyo ~ 5h
Tokyo-Hakata ~ 5h
Hakata-Kagoshima Chuo ?

Meaning that there has to be a train leaving Hakata from around 22.30 in the night. Perhaps it might be better to change to a Kyushu-shinkansen through service train somewhere between Shin-osaka and Hakata, but riding a Nozomi from Tokyo, I guess it won't be overtaken by a Mizuho? How long time is the fastest service scheduled to take between Hakata and Kagoshima Chuo? I guess that, that late at night, only local Tsubame services are offered, and perhaps they won't go all the way.

Regarding speeds of 360 km/h, besides the noise standards, does not the wear and tear of the railway tracks increase drastically with speeds passing, let's say 320 km/h or something? The maintenance needed would then make the ticket price economically questionable, I've heard.

Two years ago I actually rode a Super Soya train all the way up to Wakkanai and back the next day. I remember that for being a Ltd.Exp. I felt it stopped quite often, and the stations were all very small and it seemed as if nobody lived in their vicinity. Despite that, there were frequent announcements about connecting local trains. How small places the local train stops at, I don't know.

I have heard that the cargo traffic up to Wakkanai port is quite extensive, so perhaps a normal width freight link can be feasible in the future?
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Old December 9th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #383
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
E3 series Komachi trains on teh Yamagata Shinkansen traveling through the Sengan Pass during the autumn leaves season.
Fantastic pictures of the Komachi! But how come these train are running on the Yamagata-shinkansen? Have the train sets been transferred but not yet repainted? Or is it a special train?

I guess all E3 series train sets will be transferred when the new E6 series is introduced?
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:18 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by zerokei View Post
Fantastic pictures of the Komachi! But how come these train are running on the Yamagata-shinkansen? Have the train sets been transferred but not yet repainted? Or is it a special train?

I guess all E3 series train sets will be transferred when the new E6 series is introduced?
It's not the Yamagata Shinkansen, but rather the Akita Shinkansen, running through the Sengan Pass area in Iwate/Akita Pref. on the Tazawako Line.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 02:43 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by zerokei View Post
Thank you.

Regarding speeds of 360 km/h, besides the noise standards, does not the wear and tear of the railway tracks increase drastically with speeds passing, let's say 320 km/h or something? The maintenance needed would then make the ticket price economically questionable, I've heard.
This is something I've read as well. For this reason, I'm a bit surprised to read about future high speed trains in China with max speeds of 400km/h+.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
This is something I've read as well. For this reason, I'm a bit surprised to read about future high speed trains in China with max speeds of 400km/h+.
I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #387
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I have read that the Mizuho and Sakura will only do 260 km/h on the Kyushu Shinkansen part of the services. Is it possible to increase that to 300+ km/h to bring down the travel time between Osaka and Kagoshima, since the trains can easily do that, or is the line not designed to handle the higher speeds?

Also do anyone know if any of the Sakura/Mizuho services won't be covered by the Rail Pass, much like the Nozomi trains are?

I love all the updates, keep 'em coming!!
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Old December 9th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #388
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E5+E6 coupled test runs make first venture into Tōkyō

On 2010.12.09, coupled E5 Hayabusa and E6 Komachi (thanks for catching my mistake, zerokei and k.k.jetcar) made their first venture into the Tōkyō area. Some videos of 400 m of goodness (10+7 formation):
Source: ISO8 on YouTube

After watching these, I'm left with one word, which I usually only reserve for the ladies...
Sexy.

Difference in nose shape and cross-section between the (E5 vs. E2 and E6 vs. 700) appears quite stark in these videos.

At Tōkyō Station.



At Ueno Station

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Old December 9th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by zerokei View Post
Perhaps it might be better to change to a Kyushu-shinkansen through service train somewhere between Shin-osaka and Hakata, but riding a Nozomi from Tokyo, I guess it won't be overtaken by a Mizuho? How long time is the fastest service scheduled to take between Hakata and Kagoshima Chuo? I guess that, that late at night, only local Tsubame services are offered, and perhaps they won't go all the way.
Apologies for misunderstanding your post...

The trip between Hakata and Kagoshima Chūō is supposed to be around 1h20m on the fastest service (time savings of about 50 minutes compared to existing Shinkansen + limited express). That would be a pretty crazy trip, but I suspect you're probably right and you'd either be too late to catch a fast service out of Hakata and / or the Tsubame would not be running all the way to Kagoshima Chūō during the late evening.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 10:44 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by zerokei View Post
Regarding speeds of 360 km/h, besides the noise standards, does not the wear and tear of the railway tracks increase drastically with speeds passing, let's say 320 km/h or something? The maintenance needed would then make the ticket price economically questionable, I've heard.
JR East has published loads of technical documentation on the Fastech 360 project. Issue #12 (Summer 2008) of the JR East Technical Review in particular has lots of information about all aspects of what is required to speed up the Tōhoku Shinkansen: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/developmen...ontents12.html

This summary article in particular goes over a lot of the issues and what was successful in the Fastech 360 project and what still needs to be worked on in order to get to 360 kph:
Technical Development for Shinkansen Speed Increases, by Minoru Ogasawara

Some interesting excerpts:

Quote:
Running Safety
Running safety indicators (axle load, lateral force, derailment coefficient) in fast running were confirmed to be without problems through running tests using an actual operational train up to the 400 km/h range.

We optimized support stiffness on both sides of the axle boxes and also on both sides of the air springs of the FASTECH360Z and verified necessary wayside improvements to achieve the required curve performance on small-radius curves on conventional lines.



Effect of Increased Speeds on Wayside Equipment
As for the effects of increased speed on wayside equipment such as tracks, overhead contact lines and civil engineering structures, we concluded that major modification is not necessary for tracks and civil engineering structures by determining required reinforcement and other modifications. For overhead contact lines, we decided that some modifications such as increase of tension based on the speed and change of the wire type of contact wire are required to secure current collection performance.



Noise Control
Noise control an important issue for increasing Shinkansen speeds. So, we conducted a range of elemental development before production of the FASTECH360, and also carried out data analysis by acoustic exploration and other examination after starting the running tests, with an aim of improving noise control performance. The main rolling stock improvements are aerodynamic noise control of pantographs by reducing noise at pantograph frames, single arm type low-noise pantographs, pantograph noise insulating panels (FASTECH360Z uses retractable noise insulating panels due to the rolling stock gauge of conventional lines), smooth cover between cars, smoother handles of the cab door, snowplow covers, special high voltage cabling, plug-type doors, aerodynamic noise control for bogie covers, and development of noise absorptive structures for skirts of the underpart of the car body and the underfloor part. As for spot improvement of wayside equipment, we have conducted technical development of a new noise barrier that has a higher diffracting attenuation effect by improving the upper part of the barrier.

With those noise reduction improvements, the noise level of the coupled FASTECH360S and FASTECH360Z could be significantly lowered compared to the level of the coupled E2 series Shinkansen cars for Hayate and E3 series Shinkansen cars for Komachi; but the running speed did not reach 360 km/h. In particular, it is very difficult to reduce the noise for the FASTECH360Z for through service on Shinkansen and conventional lines due to severe size limits of the car body. In other words, the total noise reduction level depends on the Shinkansen cars for through service. To achieve 360 km/h running, we need further theoretical and empirical approaches such as more effective noise reduction of and around pantographs and noise caused by structures.

Since some noise reduction approaches involve increase of cost and weight, we are evaluating the contribution of each approach along with the technical improvement in noise reduction. Concurrently, we are working on development to improve the reliability, durability and maintenability of the retractable noise insulating panels.

Control of Tunnel Micro-Pressure Waves
Tunnel micro-pressure waves are phenomenon whereby a fast-running train causes pressure waves at entering a tunnel and the pressure waves are transmitted through the tunnel at the speed of sound, discharging at the end of the tunnel to generate an explosive sound and shake house fittings.

The tunnel micro-pressure waves that increase as the running speed of Shinkansen increases need to be kept under the current level, but it is impossible to achieve that at the speed range of 360 km/h only by the improvement of cars. Accordingly, we have developed under a policy of making improvements to cars as much as possible and supplementing that by improvement of wayside equipment.

We compared two types of long noses (arrow-line and streamline) 16 m in length for the FASTECH360S along with two types of long noses 13 m and 16 m in length for the FASTECH360Z.
The comparison clarified that the arrow-line type long nose has higher micro-pressure wave control performance; that the shapes of the 16 m-long nose of FASTECH360S and the 13 m-long nose of
FASTECH360Z have equal micro-pressure wave control performance; and that tunnel entrance hoods according to speed range initially predicted is required. For wayside improvements, we are working on technical development for a tunnel entrance hood with ducts and a light-panel tunnel entrance hood to reduce cost.

Ride Comfort
In order to bring about drastic reduction of horizontal and vertical vibration in high speed running, we made a complete review of the specifications and features of Shinkansen bogies and made
many adjustments through running tests. Furthermore, we changed actuators of car body vibration protectors from air type to electromagnetic direct driven type and roller spring type to improve the response and control characteristics, improving on horizontal vibration that comes with increased speed. Those resulted in better ride comfort with the FASTECH360S than that of the present E2
series Shinkansen running at 275 km/h.

For better ride comfort in curves, we introduced an air spring stroke type of car body tilting system that has a simple structure. This enabled faster speed in curves (330 km/h or more at R = 4,000 m, 360 km/h or more at R = 6,000 m), while controlling excess centrifugal acceleration. To prevent rolling in curves, we adjusted the rolling stifness and air spring incline. And as a way to prevent car
body vibration in tunnels caused by aerodynamic excitation in coupled operation, the anti-vibration device control method was improved on for better ride comfort.

Those improvements brought about higher comfort level than that of present Shinkansen cars running at 320 km/h. But the level at 360 km/h is still not satisfactory, thus remaining as an issue to tackle for the future.
Reading this and some of the other articles, it’s obvious that noise is the number one issue to speeding-up the Shinkansen. According to JR, “no major modifications” are necessary to the wayside infrastructure to support 360 kph. Not sure exactly what that means, if anything, regarding maintenance and maintenance costs.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #391
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Originally Posted by loefet View Post
I have read that the Mizuho and Sakura will only do 260 km/h on the Kyushu Shinkansen part of the services. Is it possible to increase that to 300+ km/h to bring down the travel time between Osaka and Kagoshima, since the trains can easily do that, or is the line not designed to handle the higher speeds?
I believe they would need to do various improvements like what they are trying to do with the Tōhoku Shinkansen to get it up to 300 kph and then 320 kph. Don’t know if that’s cost-effective or not, though, given the station spacing, the distances involved, and the travel patterns on Kyūshū.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #392
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Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
It's not the Yamagata Shinkansen, but rather the Akita Shinkansen, running through the Sengan Pass area in Iwate/Akita Pref. on the Tazawako Line.
I see. Thank you k.k.jetcar. I guess that the Tazawako Line is playable in Densha de Go Professional.

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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
E5+E6 coupled test runs make first venture into Tōkyō
Nice! The new trains look really good! I will actually go to Tokyo in January, do you think I have any chance to catch a glimpse of these beauties somewhere? In other words does JR East announce its test runs to the public?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 08:14 AM   #393
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Originally Posted by loefet View Post
I have read that the Mizuho and Sakura will only do 260 km/h on the Kyushu Shinkansen part of the services. Is it possible to increase that to 300+ km/h to bring down the travel time between Osaka and Kagoshima, since the trains can easily do that, or is the line not designed to handle the higher speeds?

Also do anyone know if any of the Sakura/Mizuho services won't be covered by the Rail Pass, much like the Nozomi trains are?

I love all the updates, keep 'em coming!!
I think JR Kyusu would include both Sakura and Mizuho class trains on their JR Kyusu Rail Pass, considering that Nozomi class has been covered by JR West Rail Pass and there're not much time differences between Sakura and Mizuho.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 07:20 PM   #394
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I will actually go to Tokyo in January, do you think I have any chance to catch a glimpse of these beauties somewhere? In other words does JR East announce its test runs to the public?
No idea... I know they at least publish special charter runs, as they come in the back of my Japan Railfan Magazine every month. My guess is that the date isn't really set well enough in advance to publish it... And especially now, they probably want to avoid a bunch of railfans crowding the platforms or possibly disrupting service in an attempt to photograph a new train.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #395
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Japan may offer $210 million loan for Florida HSR
http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...eed-train.html

Quote:
Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Japan may offer as much as $210 million in loans to help pay for a Florida high-speed railway as a Central Japan Railway Co.-led group competes against Asian and European companies to build the first U.S. bullet-train line.

State-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation may lend as much as 60 percent of the Florida project’s overall funding shortfall as part of JR Central’s bid, Tadashi Maeda, head of corporate planning, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. The project has a funding gap of about $350 million, according to Florida Rail Enterprise, the state agency responsible for it.

Japan’s offer may help JR Central compete for the $2.7 billion Florida contract against possible bids from Alstom SA, Siemens AG, South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem Co. and a venture between General Electric Co. and China’s CSR Corp. Florida Rail is due to release bidding details for the line, linking Tampa and Orlando, as early as this month, said Chief Operating Officer Nazih Haddad.

“Government support is vital for getting this kind of big contract,” said Masayuki Kubota, who oversees the equivalent of $1.9 billion in assets in Tokyo at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. “Any big project has its own risk, but I think JR Central will manage the risk properly.”

JBIC may consider taking an equity stake in the Florida project, said Maeda. It isn’t planning to ask the U.S. government to guarantee any loan, he said.

Kinya Tani, a spokesman for Nagoya-based JR Central, parent of Japan’s largest bullet-train maker, declined to comment on how much funding the company may need for a Florida bid.

Construction Plan

The state is looking for bidders to design, build, operate and maintain the high-speed train link, according to Florida Rail’s website. Construction is due to start in 2012 and be completed by 2015. So far $2.35 billion has been arranged for the project, including about $2 billion of federal funds.

“We are looking at all possible sources to fill the funding gap, including federal and private participation,” Haddad said.

JR Central, Japan’s largest high-speed train operator, was little changed at 668,000 yen as of 10:35 a.m. in Tokyo trading. It has gained 7.2 percent this year, compared with a 2.7 percent decline for the Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

The company and its Nippon Sharyo Ltd. trainmaking unit have teamed up with Mitsubishi Corp., Sumitomo Corp., Hitachi Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and five other Japanese companies to bid for high-speed rail projects in the U.S.

JBIC Loans

Japan earlier this year agreed to allow JBIC to lend to developed countries to help Japanese companies boost exports. The lender has traditionally only supported developments in emerging markets.

Nippon Sharyo’s N700 high-speed bullet train can travel at a top speed of 330 kilometers per hour (205 miles per hour). That compares with Amtrak’s Acela Express, the U.S.’s fastest train, which is capable of 241 kilometers per hour between Washington and Boston.

JR Central operates the high-speed line linking Tokyo and Osaka, Japan’s oldest high-speed train line, which was used by 138 million passengers in the year ended March 31. Japan hasn’t had a fatal bullet-train accident since services began in 1964.

--Editors: Vipin V. Nair, Neil Denslow
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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:30 AM   #396
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E5+E6 coupled test runs make first venture into Tōkyō (redux)

Daytime shots of the testing in the Tōkyō area on 2010.12.09.
First, at Tōkyō Station, lined up against the "old guard" E2+E3, as onlookers snap pictures with their cell phones and ask questions of the platform staff.


Source: karibajct on YouTube

At Ōmiya Station:
Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Arriving at the station.



Departing the station. This shot also captures the "flip" steps on the E6 being locked down after departing the station. The steps are necessary because the E6 has a smaller profile to allow it to run on "mini-Shinkansen" track.

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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:30 AM   #397
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Committees select designs for Shin-Takaoka and Jōetsu Stations

On November 30, a design selection committee chose Design Scheme A for the new Jōetsu Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen:



The other two design schemes are here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...3&postcount=25

A few days later, a design selection committee in Takaoka City chose Design Scheme A for the new Shin-Takaoka Station. This one had overwhelming citizen backing (it won almost half of the votes), although I think that's partially because the other two were less visually appealing.



The other two design schemes are here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...5&postcount=23
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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:33 AM   #398
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Toyama Station elevation construction updates

Toyama Station, the central station for Toyama City, is currently being elevated as part of the redevelopment of the station area. Preparations are also being made for the Hokuriku Shinkansen currently under construction, which is scheduled to open in 2014.

Project overview:
Source: Toyama Prefecture

Plan view.
Orange: Hokuriku Shinkansen (elevated)
Blue: section of conventional lines to be elevated, consisting of approx. 1.8 km on the north side for the JR zairaisen and approx. 1.0 km on the south side for the Toyama Chihō Railroad Main Line
Pink: Toyama Light Rail (streetcar)
Green: Toyama Chihō Railroad Toyama City Line (streetcar)
The dotted green line is a new connection between the two streetcar systems north and south of the station that will allow for through-servicing



Construction process. This is a typical elevation project, albeit on a much larger scale due to the multiple lines that need to be elevated, plus the new four-track Shinkansen station.
  1. Conversion of the JR Toyama-kō Line (red) into a streetcar line, freeing up space for temporary tracks and platforms. This is already complete, with the new line opening as the Toyama Light Rail.
  2. Relocation of the Hokuriku Main Line (green) and Takayama Main Line to all-new temporary tracks and platforms and construction of a temporary North Exit station building.
  3. Construction of four-track Shinkansen aerial structure / station, half of the zairaisen elevated structure.
  4. Completion of Shinkansen aerial structure / station and half of the zairaisen elevated structure, and a new South Exit transit plaza.
  5. Elevation of the remaining zairaisen tracks, construction of the new North Exit transit plaza, and connection of the Toyama Light Rail and the Toyama Chihō Railroad Toyama City Line.
Not included in this graphic is the Toyama Chihō Railroad, which would be on the right side of the Shinkansen platforms. Total project cost is approx. ¥25 billion.



Some construction pics (2010.12):
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

Looking southeast.
There are six JR tracks at the station. This is all temporary infrastructure (they have already completed Steps 1 and 2 of the construction process).



The original tracks and platforms have been removed to make way for construction of the new elevated infrastructure.



They have begun heavy construction on the site of the old tracks and platforms.
The pink building at center is a temporary station building.



With construction work all around, they still need the elevated pedestrian corridor to preserve access from both sides of the station. The dilapidated pink building in the background is the old Toyama Station building, now closed.



Looking west in the direction of Kanazawa.



In the distance, they have already begun building the Shinkansen bridge over the Jinzū River.
The zairaisen bridge on the left is for the Takayama Main Line, while the one on the right is for the Hokuriku Main Line. The Takayama Main Line bridge was actually built by the American Bridge Company.

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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:35 AM   #399
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Nippon Sharyō in full gear to produce remaining N700 series trains
http://www.nikkei.com/news/local/art...F2F2F2F2F2F2F2

Quote:
Bang. Bang. A metallic sound comes from one corner of a factory composed of multple warehouses, each over 100 m long, lined side by side. It's the echo of hammers pounding aluminum alloy for a Shinkansen train to the specified diameter. At Nippon Sharyō's Toyokawa Plant (Toyokawa City, Aichi Prefecture), production of the N700 series trains, the mainstay of the Tōkaidō / San'yō Shinkansen is reaching its peak, as older 300 series trains on the line are being phased out.

Before the train was to be painted in blue and white livery, I scanned the bare aluminum plates forming the end car, spotting multiple pen marks at about one- to two-meter intervals along the body. Chief Tayama Minoru of the Rolling Stock Manufacturing Department explains, "These are marks to show that repair is needed to the welding surface or other locations."

The end car is composed of several tens of aluminum plates, each several millimeters thick, pieced together like a puzzle. Aluminum, with its high thermal conductivity, easily warps under the heat of welding, and the steady labor of ironing out the bends can only be done by human workers. "This is a place where production manuals are useless," remarks Tayama.

It takes abour half a year to produce one 16-car N700 series train. The worker lineup of the Rolling Stock Department consists of skilled workers, including 13 individuals who are formally recognized by the national government as "Modern Craftsmen." But even when trying to iron out the bends in the aluminum, the force of the hammer pounding on the metal can be transmitted to other sections of the skin, causing new warping. The work takes time, and the craftsmen must carefully pound away as they keep the vision of the finished shape of the train in their head.

Since the first-generation 0 series cars for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, which opened in 1964, Nippon Sharyō has produced a cumulative total of 3,036 revenue-service cars (as of the end of November), beating out Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi for the top spot in Japan. For FY2010 and FY2011, the company will produce eleven N700 series trains a year—the highest production rate in history—and seal its position as the leader in Japan.

The company is entrusted with a variety of Shinkansen rolling stock bound for not only parent company Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), but also other for other clients, such as West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and Kyūshū Railway Company (JR Kyūshū) for the Kyūshū / San'yō Shinkansen. Nippon Sharyō's skilled craftsmen are known for being vocal, pointing out to railway companies that some processes are done better in other ways. But as one JR West executive says, it is this "frank and unreserved dialogue with the client," backed by solid expertise, that leads to trust in Nippon Sharyō's work.

The production technology for the N700 series differs between companies. Nippon Sharyō uses a press to form aluminum plates into the streamline shapes needed for the end cars. In the era of the 0 series, the company used hammers to form the necessary shapes, but later developed its own press technology, reducing the amount of time needed. But due to additional assembly time for new components such as noise-reducing hoods between cars, the time to produce a single train remains the same as it was in the past: about half a year.

The Toyokawa Plant began operations in 1964 to produce freight cars. Nippon Sharyō produced Shinkansen cars at its Warabi Plant in Saitama Prefecture from 1964 to 1971, but this work was consolidated into the Toyokawa Plant in 1972. The company also handles rolling stock for private railways in the Kantō Region and Nagoya. On the facilities side, the company invested approx. ¥1.3 billion for the three-year period leading up through FY2009 to strengthen its manufacturing and assembly functions, and has increased its annual production rate of N700 series units from eight trains in FY2007 to the current 11 trains.

President Nakagawa Akira says, "Nowadays, the Shinkansen is recognized worldwide." Starting in FY2012, Shinkansen orders will begin to die down, but if JR Central succeeds in winning orders in the United States for the Shinkansen system, there is a possibility that the Toyokawa Plant may become an export base for key components.

And looking further into the future, maglev trains are also in the pipeline. It's generally believed that Nippon Sharyō will become the primary manufacturer of the first-generation L0 series trains. The company's ability to grow in the next era hinges on two future cornerstones: Shinkansen exports and the maglev.
The N700 is pretty much the face of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, but has only been around for three years or so. A CM "history" of the N700 series:

Debut (2007.07.1):
Source: rxp777 on YouTube





Introduction of additional N700 units (2008.03.15):


Source: azumatakeshi on YouTube

Increased Nozomi service (2009.03.14):


Source: 1994825 on YouTube

Conversion of all Nozomi runs to N700 units (2010.03.13):


Source: comingyeah0822 on YouTube
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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:36 AM   #400
quashlo
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JR Kyūshū will preserve early morning / late evening limited express service between Fukuoka and northern Kumamoto Prefecture
http://kumanichi.com/news/local/main/20101209002.shtml

Quote:
On December 8, it was revealed that JR Kyūshū (HQ: Fukuoka City) is making final adjustments to operate limited express and rapid service trains on the Hakata — Kumamoto section of the Kagoshima Main Line after the opening of the full length of the Kagoshima route of the Kyūshū Shinkansen next spring, preserving convenience during the late evening and early morning periods when Shinkansen service will not be provided. The railway is also moving towards having the limited express service, which will be retained as a connection between the Fukuoka metropolitan area and northern Kumamoto Prefecture, start and terminate at Nagasu Station.

JR and local government officials revealed the news. In response to Ministry of the Environment regulations requiring maintenance and inspection of tracks and trains and noise prevention measures for the Shinkansen, the railway will not operate revenue-service Shinkansen trains between 12:00 am and 6:00 am, and it's expected that the final Kyūshū Shinkansen departure from Hakata bound for Kumamoto will be set at some early time in the 11:00 pm hour.

As a result, the railway will preserve passenger convenience during the late evening period by operating limited express and rapid trains, as is currently done by the final limited express departure from Hakata bound for Kumamoto, which leaves at 12:08 am. The effort is likely an attempt to prevent the shift of passengers to highway express buses.

Meanwhile, a total of 30 trains (across both directions) currently serve Nagasu Station. Approx. 30 percent of 1,500 or so daily entries and exits at the station are limited express passengers. It seems that Nagasu Station has been selected for the start and end of the limited express trains due to station facilities that allow limited express trains to switch back and the ability to secure a stable passenger demand, partially due to high commuter ridership to businesses in the area.

At the beginning, JR Kyūshū's basic plan called for the discontinuation of all limited express services on the Kagoshima Main Line with the opening of the full length of the Shinkansen, but Nagasu Town and other local jurisdictions launched lobbying efforts to preserve the services. Giving consideration to commuters traveling to the Fukuoka area for work and school and competition with the Nishitetsu Ōmuta Line, JR changed its policy and agreed to preserve service to northern Kumamoto Prefecture during the morning and evening periods only.
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