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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:36 AM   #461
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Railway digest, first half of 2010

A railway digest of some of the major news items in the first half of 2010 relating to railways in Japan . Many of the clips are urban systems, but there are several key Shinkansen, intercity, or rural items, including the removal of 500 series trains from Nozomi runs and the elimination of the Hokuriku sleeper express.
Source: ayokoi on YouTube

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:36 AM   #462
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Emperor and Empress visit Railway Museum in Saitama

On 2010.12.21, the Emperor and Empress of Japan visited JR East's Railway Museum in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture (taking the New Shuttle from Ōmiya Station, nonetheless) and took a tour through the special exhibit on the Imperial cars (go-ryōsha) used in the past by the Emperor, Empress, and the Crown Prince when traveling by train.

ANN news report (2010.12.21):



Boarding the Saitama New Shuttle at Ōmiya Station for the one-stop ride to the museum:


Source: Sankei News
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:38 AM   #463
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Aso 1962 ends service: Part 1

The Aso 1962 (or Aso Caldera Liner) is a tourist train and special rapid train operating on the Hōhi Main Line between Kumamoto and Miyaji (53.4 km). The single train consists of paired Kiha 28 and Kiha 58 express diesel units, entering service on 2006.07.22 as the successor to the Aso BOY steam locomotive operation after a refurbishment at JR Kyūshū's Kokura Plant. The name cames from the Kiha 58 unit, which was constructed in 1962 by Nippon Sharyō. The interior / exterior refurbishment was handled by Mitooka Eiji and is designed to be reminiscent of 1950s and 60s train design.

The train caters primarily to tourists, and features limited storage space for bicyclists. Generally, there is one roundtrip a day on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays between March and November. Final day of service was 2010.12.26, and this service will now be replaced with a new tourist train, the Asobōi, using Kiha 183-1000 units currently on the Yufu DX service. The new service will start in coordination with the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima route in March of next year.

A couple tribute videos:
Source: kirin0825 on YouTube

Collection of assorted clips.
This one has one of my favorite songs.



Final run (2010.12.26):

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:38 AM   #464
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Aso 1962 ends service: Part 2

Photo tour from Sonic Rail Garden:
Source: http://www62.tok2.com/

Seats
All seats are box-type, keeping with the original design of the train. However, the moquettes have been switched out. Similar to many of Mitooka's other works, wood is used in abundance to great effect.

Car 2 (Kiha 58, Kumamoto end)















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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #465
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Aso 1962 ends service: Part 3

Car 1 (Kiha 28, Miyaji end)







Roof and lighting



Fans. I don't believe the original units had these... These are more for "atmosphere" purposes since these types of ceiling fans are a common sight in Shōwa-era trains.



Fan switch

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #466
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Aso 1962 ends service: Part 4

Each "box" of four seats has a small, genuine wood table. Big enough to hold bentō, etc. without being a hindrance when trying to stand up.



They also made specially designed window blinds to match the moquettes.
Car 1 window blinds:



Car 2 window blinds:



Old-style overhead racks using wire mesh



Japan National Railways ("JNR") logo imprinted on the ceiling fans



Old-style hooks for coat and hat



The area between windows features historic photographs relating to the Hōhi Main Line or Mt. Aso, still an active volcano.



Car 2 seat moquette



Car 1 seat moquette



Pamphlets on Mt. Aso and the Aso 1962 train



Builders' plates.
(Left, Kiha 58): Nippon Sharyō, 1962
(Right, Kiha 28): Niigata Tekkōsho, 1965

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #467
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Aso 1962 ends service: Part 5

Refreshment area and free space
About one-third of both Car 1 and Car 2 is devoted to bicycle storage and counters / refreshment area.













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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:41 AM   #468
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Aso 1962 ends service: Part 6



The refreshments corner in Car 2 offers snacks and sweets using ingredients from the Aso region.





Menu



Burnable garbage (left) and non-burnable garbage (right)



To lock the bike, you just insert the front wheel into the slots underneath the window-side counters and lock the rear wheel using the hooks underneath the center tables.



General pamphlets and special stamps for the kids

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #469
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Aso 1962 ends service: Part 7

Deck area

No big changes in the deck area from the original design, and the floor is still raised above platform level.



Car 2 can hold two bikes, Car 1 five bikes.





Route map in old-style bird's-eye-view.



Restrooms
Washroom is still very much old-style... Not sure if that was the idea (in keeping with the 1950s and 60s design) or if they just didn't want to bother changing it.





Old-style sinks are "push-button" types



Japanese-style toilet



Operator's cab

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #470
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Kiha 181 series ends passenger service

While the last day of regular passenger service on the Hamakaze was 2010.11.06 (here), the Kiha 181 diesel limited express units still survived a little while longer on special runs such as the Kani Kani Hamakaze. The final day of passenger service was 2010.12.23, afterwards replaced by the new Kiha 189 series (here).

A final tribute:


Source: TripletSilylene on YouTube
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #471
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Winter scenes along the Tōkaidō Main Line (Ōgaki ‒ Ōmi Nagaoka)

Freight and passenger trains on the Tōkaidō Main Line between Ōgaki and Ōmi Nagaoka, the middle section between the Keihanshin and Greater Nagoya areas.


Source: TripletSilylene on YouTube
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #472
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Sneak peek at ex-Narita Express 253 series units

There have been some recent sightings of the JR East 253 series units formerly used on the Narita Express (N'EX), which is now operated with E259 series units.

While many units were decommissioned, some are being rehabbed for other uses. The two youngest units, Ne201 and Ne202, each six cars, are slated to serve on the Nikkō and Kinugawa limited expresses jointly operated with Tōbu Railway (revenue service is scheduled to begin 2011.04.16). These units will be designated as 253-1000 series (units OM-N1 and OM-N2) and have been repainted in a full-body paint scheme of orange, red, and yellow. In addition, two three-car units have been purchased by Nagano Electric Railway (Nagaden) to serve on Snow Monkey limited express services. These appear to have retained their JR East paint scheme, but with the N'EX logos removed.

Some videos of train movements / deliveries on 2010.12.23:

The two Nagaden units and one 253-1000 series unit leaving the Tōkyū factory. Once on electrified track, the 253-1000 series unit left under its own power, but the Nagaden units were hauled all the way to Nagano.


Source: karibajct on YouTube

OM-N2 testing at Ōmiya Station:


Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Nagaden units being transported through Yokohama City on the Takashima Freight Line, a branch of the Tōkaidō Freight Line.


Source: ISO8 on YouTube
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #473
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MLIT delays decision on three Shinkansen extensions
http://www.asahi.com/politics/update...012210224.html

Quote:
In regards to the three sections of the planned Shinkansen extensions which have yet to break ground, at a press conference following a December 21 cabinet meeting, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Mabuchi Sumio expressed his intention to delay making a decision (on whether or not to break ground on the sections) in the FY2011 budget drafting process at the end of the year. Mabuchi remarked, "From the beginning, I have never said anything regarding the deadline."

The three extensions under question are the Shin-Hakodate ‒ Sapporo section of the Hokkaidō Shinkansen, the Kanazawa ‒ Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, and the Isahaya ‒ Nagasaki section of the Kyūshū Shinkansen. In December of last year, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) identified five prerequisites needed to break ground on the extensions, including construction funding sources and financial feasibility. At the December 21 press conference, Mabuchi re-emphasized, "Clearing all five conditions is a prerequisite to groundbreaking... This decision represents nothing more, nothing less."

Local jurisdictions along the three Shinkansen extensions have petitioned for a portion of surplus profits from the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) to be used towards the extensions. However, Mabuchi was not supportive of the proposal: "Let me be clear about this... We cannot use the surplus money towards Shinkansen construction."

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #474
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MLIT announces allocation of Shinkansen construction funding for FY2011
http://www.nikkei.com/news/category/...0E2E2E2;at=ALL

Quote:
On December 27, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) held a meeting of the Investigative Committee for Planned Shinkansen Extensions (composed of the three top MLIT officials) and decided on the allocation of ¥295 billion in project funding towards the planned Shinkansen extensions for next year's budget proposal. The three sections in question have yet to break ground, but ¥9 billion in reserve funding has been secured in the event that construction of any of the extensions moves forward. The Nagano ‒ Kanazawa section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen will receive ¥178 billion in funding, while the Shin-Aomori ‒ Shin-Hakodate section of the Hokkaidō Shinkansen will receive ¥88 billion. The Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima and Nagasaki routes will receive ¥6 billion and ¥10 billion, respectively.

In regards to the three extensions, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Mabuchi Sumio has said that the projects must satisfy five prerequisites including investment impact, and has delayed making a decision on groundbreaking. While ¥9 billion is also included in this year's budget, it's unclear whether or not that reserve funding will be activated or not. At a press conference on December 27, Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ikeguchi Shūji hinted at the possible use of the reserve funds, but was adamant in his view that they would not be able to make a decision to break ground by the end of the fiscal year.
Most of the funding (60%) is going towards the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension to Kanazawa, which is scheduled to open in FY2014.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #475
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JR Kyūshū reveals discount fare structures for Kyūshū Shinkansen
http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/item/217914

Quote:
On December 27, JR Kyūshū announced the discount fare structures for the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima route scheduled to open on March 12 of next year. The cheapest ticket prices will be offered on the Kyūshū Web Early Discount (for reserved seats), an early-reservation discount when reserving seats over the Internet up to three days before the trip. With this discount, one-way tickets would be ¥3,000 (40% discount) between Hakata and Kumamoto and ¥8,500 (16% discount) between Hakata and Kagoshima Chūō. On through-service sections with the San'yō Shinkansen, the e-Hayatoku early-reservation discount over the Internet offers round-trip discount tickets at the price of ¥14,400 each way (17% discount) between Shin-Ōsaka and Kumamoto and ¥17,000 each way (17% discount) between Shin-Ōsaka and Kagoshima Chūō.

The e-Hayatoku discount is offered through the JR Kyūshū and JR West homepages, but is only available to members of either railway's credit card program.

At a press conference, JR Kyūshū managing director Aoyagi Toshihiko said, "Conscious of the competition with airlines and expressway buses, we settled on a price that offers a definite perception of a discount when considering the number of trains and travel time."

The Kyūshū Shinkansen Two-Ticket discount, a multi-ride ticket offered at stations, offers ¥3,500 one-way tickets (22% discount) between Hakata and Kumamoto and ¥9,000 one-way tickets (7% discount) between Hakata and Kagoshima Chūō. The Kyūshū Shinkansen Web Ticket discount, where customers can reserve tickets up to the day of their trip, allows passengers to ride in reserved seats (normally a ¥510 surchage over non-reserved seats) at the same price as the Two-Ticket discount for the same trip ends. The Two-Ticket and Web Ticket discounts will be offered for other trip ends as well.

Internet reservations require customers to become members of JR Kyūshū's homepage, and can be purchased for one-way and longer trips. Passengers make payments via credit cards when reserving the tickets, and the tickets are then issued at station ticket vending machines. Internet discounts within Kyūshū will not be restricted to JR Kyūshū credit card members.

The railway also revealed Shinkansen commuter pass prices. Hakata ‒ Kurume passes will be ¥44,750 a month for commuters and ¥33,690 a month for students. Hakata ‒ Kumamoto passes will be ¥109,890 a month for commuters and ¥68,620 a month for students. Tickets will be offered beginning February 12 of next year, while Internet reservations will be available starting March 5.
MBS news report (2010.12.27):
http://www.mbs.jp/news/kansaiflash_G...00419107.shtml
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #476
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JR Kyūshū envisions joint KTX / Kyūshū Shinkansen pass with Korail for tourists
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/kyus...0225000-n1.htm

Quote:
In preparation for the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen in March of next year, JR Kyūshū is hoping to coordinate with the Korea Train Express (KTX), Korea's high-speed rail system. The railway is envisioning discounted ticket sets for the KTX from Seoul to Busan in southern Korea, the high-speed ferry from Busan to the Port of Hakata, and the Kyūshū Shinkansen from Hakata to Kagoshima Chūō.

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

The KTX is a high-speed railway incorporating France's TGV technology, and the exclusive high-speed track between Dongdaegu and Busan opened in November of this year. Travel time was reduced 22 minutes to as little as 2 hours and 18 minutes.

In addition, the Korean government has announced plans to expand the KTX network to criss-cross the entire country, connecting Seoul and other major cities in one and a half hours or less by 2020.

JR Kyūshū Group member company JR Kyūshū Jet Ferry already operates its Beetle high-speed ferry between Hakata and Busan, and already sells the Korea Rail & Beetle Pass, a joint ticket that allows for unlimited rides on Korea's trains, including the KTX.

JR Kyūshū is aiming to increase the number of tourists moving between Kyūshū and Korea, and is advancing plans for a joint ticket through inclusion of the Kyūshū Shinkansen in the pass.

JR Kyūshū president Karaike Kōji says, "By combining all three (Kyūshū Shinkansen, Beetle, and KTX) in one ticket, we can offer some very interesting travel products. KTX operator Korail is also receptive to the proposal." The railway will continue discussions with Korail and explore ticket sales, travel products covering all of Kyūshū and Korea, and other possibilities.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #477
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Manufacturing process for the Tsubame 800 series Shinkansen

An older JR Kyūshū documentary / marketing piece about the manufacture of the 800 series for the JR Kyūshū Shinkansen. There's some interesting clips of the assembly and production of the various components of the train.
Source: ks3298 on YouTube

Part 1
Components depicted and associated firms:
  • Aluminum double skin: Hitachi, Ltd., Kasado Transport Systems Head Office (Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
  • Wheels and axles: Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd., Transport and Industrial Machinery Company Steel Mill (Ōsaka City, Ōsaka Prefecture)
  • Bogie frames and assembly: Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Kōbe City, Hyōgo Prefecture)
  • Disc brakes: Sumitomo Brake Systems S&E Brakes, Ltd. (Itami City, Hyōgo Prefecture)
  • Plywood production: Nittax Corporation (Makubetsu Town, Hokkaidō Prefecture)
  • Seat assembly: Suminoe Industries Co., Ltd. (Kyō-Tanabe City, Kyōto Prefecture)



Part 2
  • Converter / inverter and motor equipment: Tōshiba Corporation, Power and Industrial Systems Company (Fuchū City, Tōkyō Prefecture)
  • Grass harvesting (for noren curtains): Soft rush farm (Ogawa Town, Kumamoto Prefecture)
  • Noren curtains: Inoue Industries, Ltd. (Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto Prefecture)
  • Transport and delivery: Hitachi, Ltd., Kasado Transport Systems Head Office (Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture) to Port of Sendai (Kagoshima Prefecture)
  • Final assembly: Kyūshū Railway Company, Sendai Car Yard

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #478
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JR Central introduces "family cars" on Tōkaidō Shinkansen
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/...na017000c.html

Quote:
OSAKA -- Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) has introduced "family cars" on the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train line between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations for families with young children traveling during winter's high travel season.

The cars was conceived as a way to allow families to feel more at ease traveling with rowdy or crying children, laying to rest their concerns that they may be disturbing other passengers traveling for business.

Designated "family cars," which were tried out for the first time for two days this past August, will be adopted on 39 Nozomi and Kodama trains for a total of 10 days during the New Year holidays. In addition to the number of seats reserved for sitting, passengers on the Nozomi family cars are permitted to use one or two extra seats for strollers and other belongings. Moreover, the adult fare for family-car seats is 7 to 9 percent cheaper than the standard fare.

On the morning of Dec. 25 at Shin-Osaka Station, families with luggage could be seen boarding Nozomi family cars.

"I'm always worried that my kids will make a lot of noise," said Akiko Hashimoto, 39, who was on her way to her parents' home in Chiba Prefecture with her fourth- and fifth-grade sons in tow. "I'm a lot more comfortable knowing I'm traveling in a car designated for families."
TBS news report (2010.12.25):

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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #479
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N700 deliveries

Recent video of delivery of N700 cars (unit Z61) for JR Central via flatbed trailer (2010.12) in Ōsaka City. Because of different track gauges, the trains must be transported by road.


Source: TUBUANSP on YouTube

End car of an N700-7000 series for JR West, being transported from Nippon Sharyō's Toyokawa Port (Toyokawa City) to the Port of Toyohashi (2010.06.18). Units bound for JR Central pass through this same intersection but make a left turn instead of a right turn. This particular movement is being handled by Nittsū (Nippon Express).


Source: inosan4771 on YouTube

Nittsū CM


Source: tompsoncom on YouTube
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Old December 28th, 2010, 12:06 PM   #480
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Great update as always
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