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Old December 14th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #421
LHCHL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
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.
Aerodynamically shocks only move at M1 at the throat of tunnels, I wonder if they tried or if there is in place a system consisting of a separate throat in the middle of the tunnel that has slightly smaller diameter, or a series of such structures, which, assuming no high T and P conditions should limit the wave emerging from the throat at far below < M1 and dissipated through heat along the tunnel, like a silencer. I'm not sure if the reflected pressure wave will slow down the train, or if that's their concern.
I do know from people involved these tunnels has pressure relief chambers built near the entrances/ends to dissipate the shock, I guess it wasn't designed for the speeds they are targeting.

Eitherway, I don't see extending the length of the nose as a long term solution, at this rate if the try to go any faster, they'll either have to completely redesign trainset with smaller cross section (like MLX01) or dedicate an entire car to being the "nose".

Just my two cents from the few fluid and aero course in my undergrad years so I could be completely wrong
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #422
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Development of the GranClass seats a lengthy process of trial and error
Seats that don't laeve you tired, the finest space around
"Why don't Shinkansen trains have first-class seats like airplanes?"

This simple question was the starting point. It was just at that time that green car passengers began asking JR East for an even quieter ride and an even more relaxing interior space.

The answer was the GranClass first-rate seats, to be introduced on the E5 series Hayabusa trains debuting in March of next year on the Tōhoku Shinkansen, which celebrated the completion of its full route on the 4th of this month.

The Hayabusa is slated for revenue service at 300 kph—the fastest in Japan—before ratcheting up to 320 kph at the end of FY2012.

The best service in Japan for the fastest Shinkansen train in the country... It was only natural to introduce a Shinkansen version of first class on an airplane.
Quote:
The Hayabusa will link Tōkyō and Shin-Aomori (713.7 km) in about 3 hours, 20 minutes (3 hours, 5 minutes starting in March of next year). And the GranClass has the potential to dramatically change the experience of traveling through the Michinoku region of Japan.
Nozomi takes about 3:20 to travel Tokyo-Okayama on Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen. And E5 are incompatible with Tokaido Shinkansen frequency.

Are there any plans to install seats better than green cars on Tokaido, Sanyo or Kyushu Shinkansen?
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Old December 14th, 2010, 07:51 PM   #423
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any more info on this restoration? or other restorations?
Not on this one, at least. It's supposed to enter service next year, so it shouldn't be too long before we hear more about it.

I believe it’s the only one currently in the process of being renovated, although there’s several that have run in the recent past and are currently on the sidelines for the moment, as well as some that are in functioning condition but on display.

SLs currently in regular service in Japan (source):
  • JR Hokkaidō
    • C11 171: Niseko and Hakodate – Ōnuma
    • C11 207: Niseko and Hakodate – Ōnuma
  • JR East
    • C57 180: Ban’etsu Monogatari
    • D51 498: Oku-Tone
  • JR West
    • C56 160: Kita-Biwako
    • C57 1: Yamaguchi
  • JR Kyūshū
    • 8620 series (58654): Hitoyoshi
  • Ōigawa Railway
    • C10 8: Express
    • C11 190: Express
    • C11 227: Express
    • C56 44: Express
  • Chichibu Railway
    • C58 363: Paleo Express
  • Mooka Railway
    • C11 325: Mooka
    • C12 66: Mooka
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Old December 14th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #424
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Are there any plans to install seats better than green cars on Tokaido, Sanyo or Kyushu Shinkansen?
Most likely not at the moment since the Tokaido line is running at capacity during rush hour, which means that having less seats on the trains would be a bad idea profit and capacity wise...
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Old December 14th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #425
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I do know from people involved these tunnels has pressure relief chambers built near the entrances/ends to dissipate the shock, I guess it wasn't designed for the speeds they are targeting.
This appears to be where a lot of the research is being done. For the Fastech project, they did a lot of experimentation with design of the tunnel hood (e.g., using ducts connected to the outside to help reduce the pressure gradient), as well as research into new, cheaper membrane-type materials for the hoods.

Development of New Tunnel Entrance Hoods
Kazuki Sakurai, Kazuhiro Saeki, Yasumasa Takakuwa and Akiyuki Watanabe

Quote:
Originally Posted by LHCHL View Post
Eitherway, I don't see extending the length of the nose as a long term solution, at this rate if the try to go any faster, they'll either have to completely redesign trainset with smaller cross section (like MLX01) or dedicate an entire car to being the "nose".
The priority in the Fastech project to reduce the tunnel boom was to do what they could with the train first. According to the researchers, they reached the limit of what they could achieve with only the train and needed to start looking at improvements to the wayside infrastructure. The tunnel hood improvements above are already being implemented on the Tōhoku Shinkansen in preparation for the speed-up.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #426
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Most likely not at the moment since the Tokaido line is running at capacity during rush hour, which means that having less seats on the trains would be a bad idea profit and capacity wise...
Why profitwise? Does a carload of green car passengers pay less for their tickets combined than the bigger number of passengers for their cheaper tickets in an ordinary car?
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Old December 14th, 2010, 08:53 PM   #427
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Hitachi to build new plant in China for high-speed train electrical equipment
http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20101214D14JFN05.htm

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TOKYO (Nikkei)--Hitachi Ltd. (6501) said Tuesday that it will construct a joint-venture factory in China to increase production of electrical equipment for high-speed trains.

The company intends to spend about 1.05 billion yen to boost output in response to the Chinese government's plan to manufacture more rolling stock.

Around February, Hitachi will inject fresh capital into a joint venture which will build a factory in the city of Changchun, Jilin Province. This facility is to handle such products as rectifiers that convert alternating current to direct current and train control systems. It will be on the grounds of a factory of a key customer, Changchun Railway Vehicles Co.

Hitachi will also increase the production capacity of an existing plant in the city of Xian from 50 units to 80 units a month by next spring. Including the new factory in Changchun, Hitachi's overall monthly output capacity in China is expected to reach 130 units by spring 2012.

According to Hitachi, China has plans to build subways as well as some 18,000km of passenger train lines by 2020.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #428
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Why profitwise? Does a carload of green car passengers pay less for their tickets combined than the bigger number of passengers for their cheaper tickets in an ordinary car?
I meant Gran-class vs. other...
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #429
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JR East unveils GranClass to press (redux): Part 1

Finally got some video and pics…

TV Tōkyō news report (2010.12.14):



Some pics:
Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/

U2, the first mass production unit. at the Shinkansen General Rolling Stock Center in Sendai:



GranClass



Green car. It appears that they completely redesigned the interior of the train for the mass production units. Comparing to when they first unveiled unit U1, the pre-production unit, to the press, it’s clear they spiffed up the green car and standard class to better match the GranClass, using shades of beige and gray.



Standard class



Hayabusa logo

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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:33 PM   #430
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JR East unveils GranClass to press (redux): Part 2

Hayabusa 1 for Shin-Aomori, reserved seating, GranClass”



GranClass logo, in the shape of the letter “G”. The idea behind the hexagonal design is that the highest-quality car in the Shinkansen network provides five “comforts” or “amenities” (represented by the five trapezoids) to the passenger (represented by the triangle).







Shin-Aomori end car, Car 10, with the GranClass logo beside the passenger door.



Washrooms and women-only restrooms are included in Cars 1, 3, and 7, and all restrooms and cabins have emergency intercom buttons to talk to the train crew. Cabins and deck areas also feature security cameras.

The E5 series has tilting capabilities and a full-active suspension, as well as a new braking system that allows it to come to a full stop from 320 kph in the same distance it takes for an E2 series traveling at 275 kph.

A total of 24 trains will be produced by the end of FY2012, and after the pre-production unit U1 finishes its testing, its interior will also be revamped to match the production units. This unit, U2, began testing on the Shinkansen line on 2010.12.13.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #431
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JR Central invites press to maglev Chūō Shinkansen construction site

On 2010.12.13, JR Central gave a tour of the construction site for the extension of the Yamanashi maglev test track in Uenohara City. The first-phase track already in use is 18.4 km long and has been in use for testing of superconducting maglev technology since 1997, but the extension will complete the full planned length of the test track (42.8 km) by the end of FY2013. The extension-related work will cost approx. ¥319 billion, borne entirely by JR Central, but will mean they have also completed about 1/7th of the route between Tōkyō and Nagoya.

The extensions include a total of 19.1 km of tunneled sections (ten sections total) and 5.3 km of "daylight" sections (10 sections total). As of 2010.11.24, work has already been completed on seven of the tunnels (total length of 10.4 km) and approx. 54% of the tunneling is complete. Work on all the daylight sections has begun. Apparently, they are working day and night to complete the construction.

In addition to the extensions, the work also involves upgrading the facilities in the first-phase track (ground coils, electrical equipment) for practical application. A new, higher-capacity transformer station will be constructed near the test center to serve the southern track .

A few pics:
Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/

Three-boom, two-bucket drill machine, used for blasting and rock bolting. One cycle of blasting and rock bolting takes about 5 hours, which comes out to about 4.8 m of tunnel a day.



Map of the test track from JR Central. Blue is the first phase already open, red are the extensions. As shown, much of the test track already is and will be (when complete) mostly tunnels. The longest tunnel will be the Misaka Tunnel at 14.6 km.



From near the observation deck at the Yamanashi Maglev Sightseeing Center. The gray building at right is the new transformer station, while the site covered in blue sheets to the left is a new annex for the test center. The test track is at left (arch bridge), while the building at center is the transformer station for the north track. Once the new transformer station is complete, they will focus on various tests using primarily the south track.



Looking down at the under-construction foundation of one of the columns for the Tanazawa Viaduct.



From above the already completed No. 1 Ōnoiri Tunnel, looking down at the construction for the Tanazawa Viaduct and the Ōnoiri River Bridge. This is facing west toward Kōfu. In the distance is the Akiyama Tunnel.



Akiyama Tunnel (3.8 km) currently being constructed. Tunnels on the extension are being constructed using the New Austrian method. The maglev tunnels are about 3 m wider than Shinkansen tunnels, height is 7.6 m. The result is that the cross-section is about 20 percent larger than for typical Shinkansen tunnels.



TBS news report:

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Old December 19th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #432
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Kyōto and Nara in battle to win station on Chūō Shinkansen maglev
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/lo...1257001-n1.htm

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Regarding a new intermediate station on the maglev Chūō Shinkansen, which is aiming to open between Tōkyō and Ōsaka in 2045, hints of a battle between two of the largest ancient capitals of Japan—Nara Prefecture and Kyōto Prefecture—to win the station are already apparent. JR Central has said that one new station would be provided for each prefecture on the route, but the national government's master plan only identifies the location as "in the vicinity of Nara City" without stating which prefecture. Kyōto Prefecture, located in the "vicinity," is passionately advocating for a station in Kyōto, an "international tourist city." Nara Prefecture governor Arai Shōgo, however, isn't willing to give in: "They've already said, 'in the vicinity of Nara City,' so it's obviously within Nara Prefecture."

The Tōkyō ‒ Nagoya section of the maglev Chūō Shinkansen is scheduled to open in 2027, and the Nagoya ‒ Ōsaka section in 2045. It's a megaproject with the potential to radically change the "axis" of Japan, and for Nara Prefecture, located a ways off the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, a new station would be a "long-awaited dream" from the perspective of economic development, according to Nara Prefecture's Road Transport and Environment Section.

Meanwhile, Kyōto Prefecture has identified a new station as a matter of life and death and is prepared to make its presence known by lobbying the national government and JR Central: "If the maglev doesn't pass through Kyōto Prefecture, we'll be pushed off of the country's central corridor. This is unacceptable for an international tourist city." In July, the Prefecture even established an investigative committee composed of experts, and has begun investigations into candidate locations for the new station at JR Kyōto Station, the Kansai Science City located on the border with Nara Prefecture, and other locations.

While Nara Prefecture is believed to have an edge due to its location on the straight-line path of the maglev route, JR Central's policy of placing the full burden of construction costs for intermediate stations in prefectures along the route on local jurisdictions is a factor in making the situation less clear. Governor Arai is opposed to funding the full costs of a new station, saying, "While we will cover a portion of the costs relative to the total benefits that Nara Prefecture will receive, there is no way we can pay for the full cost."

In addition, in regards to construction of an underground station—estimated to cost ¥220 billion—the governer has cited Nara Prefecture's financial situation and lobbied for an aboveground station, saying that an underground station has little potential for economic development. In reality, however, he cannot hide his anxiety: "I'm worried that Kyōto Prefecture may make an offer that can't be beat." The governor says, "If the station is constructed outside of Nara Prefecture, the lost economic potential would be immeasurable. We have no choice but to fight with what we've got and continue our lobbying efforts."
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Old December 19th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #433
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MLIT subcommittee recommends Southern Alps route, JR Central as project lead
http://www.asahi.com/travel/rail/new...012150050.html

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On December 15, an advisory committee to the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism gave what amounts to a "go-sign" for JR Central's maglev Chūō Shinkansen project. JR Central, which is rushing to secure an alternative route to the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, has born the risk of raising the ¥8 trillion construction on its own in an effort to open the line quickly while avoiding political interference. The opening of the line would be a huge blow to Kansai's three airports and dramatically change the transport makeup.

A meeting of the Transport Policy Council's Chūō Shinkansen Subcommittee was held at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) on December 15. The subcommittee submitted a midterm assessment recognizing construction of the Southern Alps route, which connects Tōkyō and Nagoya in a virtually straight line. It's expected that the subcommittee will release its final report next spring, after which the the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will direct JR Central to construct the line. After completion of the environmental impact assessments, the railway will aim for a groundbreaking in FY2014.

JR Central announced that it would finance the construction of the line on its own in December 2007. Up until now, Shinkansen construction has been conducted as a national-level public works project, but this is the first time that construction will be carried out by the private sector. The railway realized full privatization in spring 2006, and top JR Central executives look back at the moment, saying that "the prerequisites for maglev construction have all been met."

JR Central's motives for financing construction of the line on its own involve trying to avoid political interference in route selection and station locations. In reality, the primary factor behind the subcommittee's selection of the direct route was the benefit-cost ratio. JR Central president Yamada Yoshiomi reiterated, "We will do whatever it takes to preserve freedom in operations and freedom in investment for the line."

One of the reasons for JR Central's rush to build the maglev despite the massive investment required is the dilemma surrounding the aging Tōkaidō Shinkansen, which is now 46 years old. Starting in 2018, the railway will undertake large-scale renovations of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen at the cost of approx. ¥1 trillion, and its expected that partial service cancellations and slowdowns will be required for long periods of time. The fear of disasters such as earthquakes is also a constant presence. The risk of reduced functionality on a bread-winner line that provides over 90 percent of JR Central's revenue is a major business concern.

What the railway fears most, however, is a deterioration of its finances. The construction cost for the maglev line will be covered by loans and other sources, bringing the company's long-term debt to as much as ¥5 trillion—rivaling its situation following the privatization of the Japanese National Railways and making the company susceptible to interest rate increases and other factors.

In regards to the opening of the line to Ōsaka, the subcommittee's midterm assessment urged for an earlier opening to increase the economic benefits of the line. According to MLIT financial estimates, however, pushing to an earlier opening would bring long-term debt to ¥6 trillion, increasing the railway's risk of falling into an ordinary deficit. Difficult construction work digging underneath the Southern Alps is also in the waiting, and if the schedule is delayed, there are fears that the construction cost could balloon.

Debate over cost burdens for intermediate stations
For stations along the maglev line, excepting the three major metropolitan areas, JR Central has stated that the construction costs for all intermediate stations in the six prefectures along the route including Kanagawa and Nara shall be borne solely by local governments, but the gap in understanding with local jurisdictions has yet to be filled.

The construction cost for an intermediate station is expected to be about ¥35 billion for an aboveground station and about ¥220 billion for an underground station. Even within the subcommittee, there has been past backlash, claiming that the railway's policy of 100% local funding is "financially difficult" (Kanagawa Prefecture governor Matsuzawa Shigefumi) and "hard to swallow" (Gifu Prefecture governor Furuta Hajime).

The various prefectures have requested that JR Central share some of the costs and that the national government provide funding assistance. JR Central's decision to not demand funding support for the construction cost of the major terminal stations in Tōkyō, Aichi, and Ōsaka, which are expected to serve large passenger volumes, has contributed to a feeling of injustice among prefectures along the line.

The subcommittee's midterm assessment notes that "additional work is desirable regarding consideration of a logical funding arrangement" and requests that JR Central and local jurisdictions thoroughly discuss the issue before deciding an appropriate funding arrangement. At a press conference JR Central president Yamada said, "Our basic policy remains unchanged, but it is not impossible that adjustments could be made after discussions," indicating his intention to begin talks with governors and other officials from prefectures along the line before the year's end.

A hit to the three Kansai airports
With the opening of the maglev, the role of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen will change dramatically.

Currently, Nozomi trains with few stops comprise half of the line's services, and the train schedule prioritizes travel between the major metropolitan areas. With all the trains skipping stations in Shizuoka Prefecture, former Shizuoka Prefecture governor Ishikawa Yoshinobu was bold enough to even claim that he would "place a passage tax on non-stopping Shinkansen trains."

With the debut of the maglev, however, the leading role in transporting passengers between the major metropolitan areas will change hands. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen will see increased Kodama and Hikari services, taking on the role of connecting the various prefectures along the line with the three major metropolitan areas. JR Central has said that the maglev "will open up the possibilities for establishing new stations on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen."

Meanwhile, Kansai's three airports (Kansai, Itami, and Kōbe) will take a massive blow. The Panel for Kansai's Three Airports, composed of local governments and industry members, has estimated that the maglev opening to Nagoya would immediately spell "doom" for flights connecting Haneda with the three airports, reducing domestic passenger numbers at the three airports by over 30 percent.

However, some are pushing for an early opening to Ōsaka. Kinki Nippon Railroad (Kintetsu) president Yamaguchi Masanoru says, "If the maglev does not open to Ōsaka soon enough, Ōsaka will basically become a provincial city."



TBS news report:

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Old December 20th, 2010, 07:08 AM   #434
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JR Kyūshū announces Kyūshū Shinkansen schedule
http://www.nikkei.com/news/local/art...F2F2F2F2F2F2F2

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On December 17, Kyūshū Railway Company (JR Kyūshū) announced the schedule changes taking effect with the March 12, 2011 opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima route. There will be a total of 15 daily roundtrip through-services with Shin-Ōsaka on the San'yō Shinkansen. Together with local Tsubame trains, a total of 66 trains in each direction will stop at Hakata Station. Passengers who board a Mizuho train (the fastest service) from Kagoshima before 7:00 am will be able to reach Ōsaka by 11:00 am.

A total of 137 daily trains (across both directions) will be operated on three services: the Mizuho, the limited-stop Sakura, and the Tsubame local stopping at every station in Kyūshū.

A total of 31 outbound (leaving Hakata) and 30 inbound (towards Hakata) Tsubame trains will be operated (one train every 30 minutes), two-thirds of which will operate between Hakata and Kumamoto. Sakura trains will operate 11 outbound trips and 11 inbound trips (one of which departs from Kumamoto) between Shin-Ōsaka and Kagoshima Chūō, and 14 roundtrips (one train an hour) between Hakata and Kagoshima Chūō.

The Mizuho, stopping at only six major intermediate stations and connecting Shin-Ōsaka and Kagoshima Chūō in 3 hours and 45 minutes, is targeted at business travelers, and will operate four roundtrips a day. Passengers who board the 6:00 am departure from Shin-Ōsaka will arrive at Kagoshima Chūō at 9:46 am. Passengers who board the last Mizuho of the day from Kagoshima Chūō at 7:52 pm will arrive at Shin-Ōsaka at 11:37 pm.

In terms of through-service trains to / from Shin-Ōsaka, a total of 16 trains (across both directions) will stop at Kurume, seven at Shin-Tosu, three at Shin-Ōmuta and Shin-Yatsushiro, and 21 at Sendai.

Travel times will be 33 minutes between Hakata and Kumamoto and 1 hour, 19 minutes between Hakata and Kagoshima Chūō on the Mizuho. The Sakura will connect Shin-Ōsaka and Kagoshima Chūō in as little as 4 hours and 10 minutes, and Hakata and Kagoshima Chūō in 1 hour and 28 minutes. The last departures from Hakata will be the 11:07 pm Tsubame for Kumamoto and the 10:27 pm Mizuho for Kagoshima Chūō.

With the opening of the full length of the Shinkansen line, limited expresses between Hakata and Shin-Yatsushiro will be discontinued. Three to four Ariake limited expresses will be operated in the morning and evening between Hakata and Kumamoto or Nagasu, while rapid trains between Hakata and Kurume / Ōmuta / Arao will be added to serve commuter traffic. In order to serve tourists and visitors, service will be increased on the Kirishima limited express between Kagoshima Chūō and Miyazaki, and tourist trains departing from Kagoshima Chūō and Kumamoto will see reduced transfer times with the Shinkansen.

At a press conference on the same day, JR Kyūshū president Karaike Kōji commented, "In regards to through-service trains with the San'yō Shinkansen, we are hoping to increase the number of trains following the next timetable revision."
Morning and evening service pattern (example is Hakata departures during the 18:00 hour) (my graphics)



Midday service pattern



Other major items in the March 2011 service changes:
  • Frequency of Hakata ‒ Saga limited expresses (Kamome, Midori, etc.) will be increased from 2 tph to 3 tph, and all trains will stop at the new Shin-Tosu Station.
  • 485 series units will end regular revenue service on the Nichirin, Hyūga, Kirishima, etc., replaced by 787 series.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 07:57 AM   #435
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So are there any plans for direct trains Tokyo-Kumamoto?
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Old December 20th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #436
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So are there any plans for direct trains Tokyo-Kumamoto?
At this time no. This may have been discussed before, but the distance from Tokyo to Kumamoto is greater than the ideal range for direct HSR services- and the market is too small. I think quashlo mentioned before that the actual demand for the Tokyo-Hakata market is quite low, as most passengers get off at intermediate stations and most of those going the whole distance take the plane instead. Also, having trainsets dedicated to such a long run reduces their availability on a typical operational day (fewer cycles), a series of shorter runs allows more utilization and increases passenger seat revenue- you want to concentrate your services on routes where the trains are filled to the greatest capacity.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 10:35 PM   #437
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JR Central is also pretty stubborn (although they have their reasons)... They have a "golden rule" that only 16-car trains with exactly 1,323 seats (1,123 regular class and 200 green car) can operate on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. This is to preserve capacity on the line and allow flexibility (and save time reassigning passengers to seats) when trains need to be rerouted due to service disruptions, etc. From a business and travel pattern perspective, the only way to make a through-service like Tōkyō to Kumamoto work would be to couple 8+8, probably having one half couple / decouple at Hakata or even Shin-Ōsaka... However, this means a loss of uniformity in train seating and a decrease in overall capacity on the critical section between Tōkyō, Nagoya, and Shin-Ōsaka. The N700-7000 and N700-8000 8-car units as currently designed only have capacity for 546 passengers, which still leaves a deficit of 200 passengers compared to a full 16-car Z or N set, even when coupled in an 8+8 formation.

Perhaps their attitude may change when the maglev is operational and they have a little more freedom to do things with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 02:04 AM   #438
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Are there any plans to install seats better than green cars on Tokaido, Sanyo or Kyushu Shinkansen?
As quashlo mentions in the previous post, this 16 cars, 1323 seats principle that JR Central has, most likely makes any hopes for a Gran Class car running on the Tokaido Shinkansen just a dream for the near future. Judging from pictures however, the Green car seats of the N700 Nozomi seem pretty comfy.

The Hikari Rail Star services of JR West features, if I recall correctly, all standard class cars with 2+2 seating, making it a comfortable choice for Sanyo shinkansen passengers who do not want to upgrade to Green. However, I guess that this is also an indication of JR West’s more relaxed stance on allowing different types of train configurations with different interiors on their shinkansen line.

When it comes to JR Kyushu they seem to put a great deal of effort into making their trains’ design stand out (or as quashlo wrote in post #39 of this thread: JR Kyūshū has been at the forefront of innovative train designs in Japan) so perhaps the thoughts of Gran Class seats are not too distance to them. However, the fact that the green section of the Sakura only occupies half a car might be worrying. In any case, what do you others think about the potential of Gran class seats on, let's say, Mizuho services? Could it be a good mean in the competition with airline and how is the market share?

At last, perhaps a bit off topic, but I was recently in Spain and rode their high speed train AVE from Barcelona-Sevilla which feature three classes; Club, Preferente and Turista.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 05:14 PM   #439
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JR Central is also pretty stubborn (although they have their reasons)... They have a "golden rule" that only 16-car trains with exactly 1,323 seats (1,123 regular class and 200 green car) can operate on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. This is to preserve capacity on the line and allow flexibility (and save time reassigning passengers to seats) when trains need to be rerouted due to service disruptions, etc. From a business and travel pattern perspective, the only way to make a through-service like Tōkyō to Kumamoto work would be to couple 8+8, probably having one half couple / decouple at Hakata or even Shin-Ōsaka...
How many trains daily travel Sanyo Shinkansen Hakata-Osaka? Out of these, how many are fewer than 16 cars, how many are 16 cars that end in Osaka and how many are 16 car trains that continue to Tokaido Shinkansen?
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Old December 21st, 2010, 07:30 PM   #440
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In any case, what do you others think about the potential of Gran class seats on, let's say, Mizuho services? Could it be a good mean in the competition with airline and how is the market share?
Well, there is some Shinkansen vs. air mode share data in Wikipedia (originally from MLIT reports):
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B1%...A6.8F.E5.B2.A1

Shinkansen vs. airlines (Kinki region ↔ northern Kyūshū)
1996: 67% Shinkansen, 33% airlines
1999: 58% Shinkansen, 42% airlines (March 2000: start of Hikari Rail Star)
2002: 67% Shinkansen, 33% airlines
2005: 72% Shinkansen, 28% airlines
2007: 77% Shinkansen, 23% airlines

This is for only for northern Kyūshū, but based on this, you could be right about some sort of GranClass-type seat for Mizuho services, especially the further down you go (Kumamoto or Kagoshima).
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