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Old January 28th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #561
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JR East begins airing E5 Hayabusa CM (redux)

Well, apparently there is also another E5 Hayabusa CM advertising the GranClass starring famous actress Yoshinaga Sayuri, who has been starring in several commercials for JR East already for 大人の休日倶楽部 (Otona no Kyūjitsu Club, “The Adults’ Day Off Club”).


Source: archilabo on YouTube

Poster from the E5 promo site:

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Old January 28th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #562
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wonderful japan train system
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Old January 31st, 2011, 07:49 PM   #563
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JR East begins airing E5 Hayabusa CM (redux, Part 2)

Making of the CM video was finally posted on YouTube. Enjoy!

Starts off at the Los Angeles design studio Logan with Belarussian director Alexei Tylevich, who has directed CMs for Apple’s iPod and music videos for Madonna. The crew hammer out the CG animations of the E5 train and the falcon. Then, they fly in German photographer Olaf Hauschulz to Sendai to take photos for the posters.


Source: whitehear7 on YouTube
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Old January 31st, 2011, 09:45 PM   #564
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I love it!!

The E5 is really growing on me, and I'm almost ready to say that it's the best looking train in Japan (even the world) and I can't wait to see/ride it in person in the future!
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Old January 31st, 2011, 11:02 PM   #565
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Based purely on aesthetics, I like the E6 more, but I think as long as one recognizes and appreciates that form follows function, E5 is easy to love as well. But even aesthetically, I like the E5, just not as much as the E6... It's got an unusual combination of colors (aquamarine and pink) that is a daring departure from the traditionally conservative paint schemes of existing Shinkansen trains.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:31 AM   #566
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I hate the fact that these train seats remind me so much of the airplane. The square window, the seat...
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Old February 1st, 2011, 07:59 AM   #567
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The windows are small to cut down on cost and weight.

It's all about running a business... Unlike transit service in most other places, Japanese transit operators generally do not get operating subsidies (unless the operator is a public agency or has some public backing, like a third-sector operator), and schemes which provide government funding for capital investments still require substantial contributions on the part of the transit operator. As a result, operators are always looking at ways to make operations more efficient and less costly.

Just take JR Central... They plan on financing a ¥9 trillion megaproject entirely on their own, without any government assistance (interference?). A project of this magnitude would be unthinkable elsewhere without government funding.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 08:00 AM   #568
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C61 20 fired up for the first time: Part 1

On 2011.01.27 at Ōmiya General Rolling Stock Center, JR East fired up the newly-restored C61 series steam locomotive for the first time, one year after the unit was transferred from the amusement park in Kezōji Park (Isesaki City, Gunma Prefecture) to JR East for refurbishment. If you remember, the boiler was loaded onto the chassis back in 2010.12.

TBS news report (2011.01.27):



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



The tender holds an oil tank. The stoker formerly in the unit has been removed.



Similar to construction groundbreakings and the like, the first firing was a relatively formal event, with a Shintō priest on hand to offer a ritual prayer for the safe operation of the locomotive. After short speeches by JR East folks and officials representing firms involved in the restoration (East Japan Transport Technology, Sappa Boiler, etc.), several formalities followed, including the pouring of sacred sake onto the firedoor and the first firing up of the locomotive. Here, the priest reads out the ritual prayer as 50 or so attendees bow in silence.



As part of a purification ritual, the chief of JR East HQ's rolling stock department and four other people pour sake atop the firedoor.



The first firing was administered by the rolling stock department chief from East Japan Transport Technology and the chief technician at Ōmiya General Rolling Stock Center.



With the fire started up, smoke begins to fill the cab. Varnish has been applied to the window frame, and a plate showing the character for "blue" (probably indicating Aomori) has been added to indicate the unit's home division. The builder's plate next to it indicates the unit was originally manufactured by Mitsubishi in 1949.



The placement of air pipes beneath the handrails is apparently unique to this particular unit.

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Old February 1st, 2011, 08:01 AM   #569
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C61 20 fired up for the first time: Part 2

The #2 leading wheels were actually hand-me-downs from another unit and were somewhat unique, with large holes. Because of age, they've now been replaced with solid plate wheels.



Unfortunately, none of the rods were connected yet. All the driving wheels were replaced with newly-fabricated pieces.



With the removal of the stoker, the feed pipes are now gone, freeing up space beneath the cab.



The exterior of the tender doesn't look like it's changed very much, but the inside incorporates an oil tank and various safety equipment for the locomotive.



Automatic train stop (ATS) equipment installed between the tender bogies.



The snow plow was also restored. They also added a sparkling new LP405 lamp as a second headlight.



Some of the pipes around the distributor valve have yet to be installed.

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Old February 1st, 2011, 08:02 AM   #570
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Free-Gauge Train to begin testing on JR Shikoku's Yosan Line in April
http://www.saga-s.co.jp/news/saga.0....8.article.html

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It will soon be now or never for development of the Free-Gauge Train (FGT) slated to be introduced onto the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Nagasaki route. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has designated ¥1.867 billion for R&D costs in its proposed budget for next fiscal year, and using a newly improved train, will conduct running tests on JR Shikoku's Yosan Line along sharp curves, which have become a key issue. In September of last year, the MLIT's evaluation committee determined that developing the technology for practical use would be difficult if focusing only on rolling stock development, recommending an approach that ensured safety by also considering track improvements. The Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT), which is responsible for the development effort, will aim to develop the technology for practical use through the inclusion of track improvements (including conversion to continuous welded rail, which eliminates joints in the rail), but it's unclear whether or not the effort will be successful.

Currently, the biggest issue with development of the FGT is avoiding the risk of derailment along sharp curves on zairaisen (conventional line) track. Since the FGT features equipment that allows it to change the gauge of the train's wheels, it's heavier than zairaisen limited expresses. As a result, the lateral force pushing perpendicular to the rail increases on curves, where centrifugal forces come into play. In running tests, the lateral force on curves with a radius of 600 m or shorter exceeded thresholds, creating a potential for derailment. As a result, the train was unable to operate at the target speed.

The JRTT hopes to overcome this obstacle primarily through conversion to continuous welded rail. Typical track consists of indivudal sections 25 m long connected together. In running tests, exceedance of thresholds for lateral forces occurred primarily at rail joints, and most of the cases involved only a momentary exceedance of the threshold. It's believed that when the train's wheels pass above joints in the rails, a higher than typical pressure is placed on the track.

Continuous welded rail eliminates joints by using welds. By converting the track section between the curve approaches and exits to a single continuous rail, the momentary lateral forces acting on the train can be reduced. Umeda Masashi, managing chief of the JRTT's Shinkansen Department, says, "By eliminating the discontinuous surface, we can defnitely increase the high-speed performance on curves."

But he says that there is no specific data on just how much the lateral forces can be reduced, and there is no way to know whether it will be successful in maintaining the target speed without actually testing it.

In the running tests, the JRTT plans to add track improvements, including conversion of sections of the Yosan Line to continuous welded rail, and confirm the train's speed performance. The MLIT says it wants to assemble at least some of experimental data before the summer, but depending on the results of the tests, there is a possibility that the development of the train itself may end up being put into question.

JR Kyūshū is already in the process of converting portions of the Kagoshima Line and Nippō Line carrying limited express trains to continuous welded rail in an effort to improve ride comfort. Over 80 percent of the work has been completed on the Tosu ‒ Takeo Onsen section to be shared with the Shinkansen's Nagasaki route and 50 percent of the work on the Isahaya ‒ Nagasaki section. Currently, there are 600 m radius or sharper curves at 25 locations on the Tosu ‒ Takeo Onsen section and 17 locations on the Isahaya ‒ Nagasaki section, with conversion to continous welded rail already completed at some of the locations. While the railway had no plans to implement conversions on the remaining sections, if the results of the running tests are promising, additional money will be needed, bringing up the issue of funding sources for the costs of the improvements. JR Kyūshū spokespersons say, "We are just now beginning to evaluate track improvements and whether or not they are necessary, so we cannot give an answer at this moment."
According to this article, the testing will begin in April, with a new set of bogies on the train. Shikoku prefectures (Ehime, Kagawa, Kōchi, and Tokushima) have requested that JR West consider the technology, which could allow for direct service onto the San'yō Shinkansen at Okayama Station.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 08:03 AM   #571
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JR East unveils 253-1000 series to press: Part 1

JR East recently revealed the 253-1000 series trains to press officials on 2011.01.21. These are former 253-200 series units formerly operated on the Narita Express, but they have now been refurbished to operate on Nikkō and Kinugawa limited express runs jointly operated with Tōbu Railway.

Trains are six cars (4M2T) and all seats are standard class. Seat pitch was increased from 1,020 mm on the original 253 series trains to match the 1,100 mm on the current 485 series trains. Aisle seats also have tables incorporated into the elbow rests for when the seats are rotated. Car No. 2 has the wheelchair seats, multi-purpose room, wheelchair-accessible restroom, and automatic external defibrillator (AED). Powder corners are provided in Cars No. 3, 4, and 5. Information corners with pamphlets about Nikkō / Kinugawa are in Cars No. 1, 4, and 6. Luggage storage areas are located in each car. The former Narita Express green car sections which would be in Car No. 6 on these trains has been converted to staff-only rooms.

Special train open houses will be held at JR Shinagawa Station (2011.02.12) and Tōbu Nikkō Station (2011.02.20), after which the trains will enter service beginning 2011.04.16, debuting on the Nikkō 1 and Hachiōji Nikkō services. With the spring seasonal train services, the units will also be on runs departing from Shinagawa, Chiba, and Ōfuna, reminiscent of the diverse operations of the Narita Express. With the debut of the 253-1000 series trains, the 185 series Ayano units will be decommissioned, while the 485 series units will be re-deployed to other divisions.
Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/

Unit OM-N02 at Oyama Car Center. The paint scheme carries on the orange and red of the current Tōbu ‒ JR through-services, operated by 485 series and 189 series trains. However, there is a new beltline of yellow. The red represents temples and shrines along the train route, such as Nikkō Tōshō-gū. The yellow represents autumn leaves and Nikkō’s daylilies, and the orange represents autumn leaves and Japanese azalea.



Shinjuku end car (Car No. 6). The doors down the center used when trains used to be coupled together in 9- and 12-car formations have been removed, replaced by regular windows and LED train name signs. The decals at the bottom left of the windshield say OM-N02 now, but when the unit left Tōkyū it was designated as OM-N2. Perhaps they have plans to refurbish other units?



The train name sign at the front of the train displays four languages. Announcements inside the trains are in all four languages, but the LED scrolls inside currently only show Japanese and English (these are slated to be reprogrammed for all four languages).
Japanese and English



Simplified Chinese and Korean



There’s also a pictogram of Nikkō reminiscent of traditional headmarks seen on older named trains.



VVVF drives



Operator’s cab. It’s a lot more open now that the frame for the deck canopy (used when coupling units together) has been removed.

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Old February 1st, 2011, 08:03 AM   #572
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JR East unveils 253-1000 series to press: Part 2

Car No. 5.
Odd-numbered cars feature the yellow seat moquettes.



Car No. 4.
Even-numbered cars feature blue moquettes. The blue was selected to be reminiscent of mountain streams on the Kinu River and Lake Chūzenji.



In addition to the fold-out tables in the elbow rest, there are tables in the seat backs.



Two wheelchair seats in Car No. 2. The multi-purpose room is just ahead.



Multi-purpose room, with fold-up seats and diaper-changing table.



Powder corner, one each located in Cars No. 3, 4, and 5. These used to be the luggage areas when the cars were still used on Narita Express services.



Wheelchair-accessible restroom and washroom on the Shinjuku-end deck of Car No. 2.



Test-running on the Tōbu Line for the first time (2011.01.16 and 2011.01.17):


Source: tobu2181 on YouTube
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Old February 1st, 2011, 08:04 AM   #573
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Scenes of N700 series deliveries by flatbed

Assortment of clips of new N700-7000 series units for the Kyūshū Shinkansen being transported by flatbed trailer during the wee hours to the car yard at Hakata-Minami.


Source: STEAMLOCOMOTIVEFAN on YouTube
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Old February 1st, 2011, 08:05 AM   #574
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800 series Shinkansen makes first daytime appearance on San'yō Shinkansen

The 800 series Shinkansen trains typically only seen in regular service on the Kyūshū Shinkansen have been making evening test runs on portions of the San'yō Shinkansen, in preparation for when the trains will be making revenue service runs between Kagashoma Chūō and Shin-Shimonoseki in March. On 2011.01.28, 800 series trains made their first daytime ventures onto the San'yō Shinkansen.

Passing a 500 series Kodama (2011.01.28):


Source: 1t9o7s00h8i2o5 on YouTube

Some scenes at Shin-Shimonoseki (2011.01.29):
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/lowwood51st52/

From the Kokura end of the station



From the Shin-Yamaguchi end of the station



The "Tsubame" logos on these trains will be disappearing soon to avoid passenger confusion, since some Tsubame runs will be operated with other types of trains.





A hell of a lineup with 800, 600, and 100 series Shinkansen.



But one-upped when an N700 series Nozomi comes rolling through.



In light snowfall...



Departing for Shin-Yamaguchi...



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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:19 PM   #575
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Japan may offer yen loan for Uzbekistan railway electrification
http://www.nikkei.com/news/category/...08122009000000

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On February 3, Minister of Finance Noda Yoshihiko met with Uzbekistan’s Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Rustam Azimov, who was on a visit to Japan. In regards to the project to electrify the railway linking central Uzbekistan and adjacent regions in Afghanistan, Minister Noda confirmed his intention to offer international yen loans. The two countries are expected to make a formal agreement at a top-level conference between both countries’ prime ministers slated to be held at the Prime Minister’s Residence on February 9. Uzbekistan has requested approx. ¥20 billion in loans.

At the February 3 meeting, Vice-Prime Minister Asimov emphasized, “I am hopeful that we will receive your cooperation in the area of railways.” Specifically, Vice-Prime Minister Asimov requested yen loans to go towards the railway electrification project. Minister of Finance Noda responded, “We are considering the proposal in light of the Uzbeki prime minister’s visit to Japan,” and both agreed to hammer out specific details at the top-level conference.

Minister of Finance Noda made references to re-evaluating currency restrictions to promote investment by Japanese corporations and mineral resources such as rare metals, of which Uzbekistan has a rich supply. Noda said these would be “prerequisites” to cooperation, indicating his position to demand improvements in the investment environment for the Japanese.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:22 PM   #576
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Ōsaka Prefecture pushes for Maibara route for Hokuriku Shinkansen extension
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...102020071.html

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Regarding the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen west of Fukui Prefecture’s Tsuruga City, Ōsaka Prefecture and Shiga Prefecture will begin discussions starting in the new fiscal year regarding selection of a route and the appropriate method for sharing the funding burden. The proposed Maibara route would travel through Shiga Prefecture’s Maibara City, but Shiga and other affected prefectures are hesitant about providing funding. Ōsaka Prefecture governor Hashimoto Tōru plans to propose increasing Ōsaka Prefecture’s funding allocation to gain support for the Maibara route from Shiga and other prefectures before requesting construction of the line to the national government and JR.

Ōsaka Prefecture is currently coordinating to begin discussions with both Kyōto Prefecture and Fukui Prefecture, and Governor Hashimoto will soon request the participation of Fukui Prefecture governor Nishikawa Kazumi in the discussions.

The Hokuriku Shinkansen’s Nagano – Kanazawa section is scheduled to open in late FY2014, and applications for approval of the extension to Tsuruga by the national government are already underway. Several routes from Tsuruga to Ōsaka are under consideration in the national government’s working group, including the Obama route and Maibara route.

According to Ōsaka Prefecture, it’s expected that the current funding sharing structure for local governments would require a total of ¥142.2 billion in local government funding for the Obama route: ¥57.6 billion from Fukui Prefecture, ¥48.6 billion from Kyōto Prefecture, and ¥36.0 billion from Ōsaka Prefecture. For the Maibara route, a total of ¥57.6 billion would be required from local governments: ¥46.8 billion from Shiga Prefecture, ¥10.8 billion from Fukui Prefecture, and no contribution from Ōsaka or Kyōto Prefectures.

While the Maibara route would require less than half of the local government funding for the Obama route, Shiga Prefecture is cautious about having to contribute a large share of the funding. As a result, Ōsaka Prefecture has proposed three different funding sharing plans that consider the benefits of the extension to each area. One plan would have Fukui Prefecture providing ¥15.8 billion and Ōsaka and Kyōto Prefectures ¥20.9 billion each, keeping Shiga Prefecture’s funding share below approx. ¥5.0 billion. Governor Hashimoto hopes to convince Shiga Prefecture to accept the revised proposal.

The reason behind Ōsaka Prefecture’s rush to begin discussions is anxiety that the opening of the line to Kanazawa will strengthen connections between the Hokuriku area and Tōkyō. Governor Hashimoto has directed prefectural staff to take steps towards getting the Maibara route selected. Shiga Prefecture top officials say the Maibara route would have little benefit for Shiga residents, as it would mean a decrease in zairaisen (conventional line) limited expresses, but say they will “participate in the discussions.”

Hokuriku Shinkansen extension west of Tsuruga
A national Shinkansen plan approved in 1973 calls for the route from Fukui Prefecture’s Tsuruga City to Ōsaka to travel via “the vicinity of Obama City,” but the exact details have yet to be determined. In addition to the Obama route, a Kosei route via the west shoreline of Lake Biwa and a Maibara route connecting to the Tōkaidō Shinkansen’s Maibara Station are also being considered in a cost-benefit analysis. In the Kinki Block Governor’s Conference in November of last year, Ōsaka Prefecture Governor Hashimoto Tōru said the extension was “critical to the Kansai region,” calling for a discussion with local prefectures concerning selection of a route, with Ōsaka offering to contribute funding towards the line.

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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:44 PM   #577
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Kurayoshi Station improvements complete
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...2490001-n1.htm

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The elevated concourse and north-south public passage spanning the tracks at Kurayoshi Station on the JR San'in Line in Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture have been completed, and a special commemoration was held on January 15. Public use of the north-south public passage, designated as the Kurayoshi Station North-South Route (a municipal road), began the afternoon of January 15. Previously, the station had only a South Exit, but now passengers can access the station from the north side as well.

Mayor Ishida Kōtarō, as well as JR West Yonago Branch Office president Ishimoto Osamu and Tottori Prefecture governor Hirai Shinji were present at the ceremony. Mayor Ishida expressed his hope for revitalization as a result of the station improvements: "Urban areas that had been split in half before are now connected, and I hope that this will provide impetus for urban planning focused on the newly redesigned Kurayoshi Station."

The project involved construction of a public passage and reconstruction of the station building starting in FY2006 and construction of a local cultural exchange center (Ekiparl Kurayoshi) inside the station building starting in FY2007. Including the station plaza, the total project cost is ¥2.435 billion.

The newly-opened public passage is 50 m long and 6 m wide, and is directly connected to the station's faregate entrance. In addition to stairwells, elevators and escalators are installed at both the South Exit and North Exit.

At Ekiparl Kurayoshi, the second-floor social hall and first-floor multi-purpose hall opened on January 15. The North Exit station plaza will be completed in June, while the South Exit station plaza is planned for completion sometime next fiscal year.
Good to see some of the smaller stations getting improvements as well. This is Tottori Prefecture's first 橋上駅舎, basically a station where the tracks are at ground level and the concourse is rebuilt to be elevated, with a bridge (usually part of a public passage to allow access for non-passengers) that spans the tracks.

This is only a small station, but all limited express and rapid trains on the JR San'in Line stop here. Total daily entries and exits are about 5,000 (2005).

A few pics:
Source: http://stpalace.exblog.jp/







Couple more:
Source: http://boomerang-hook.blogspot.com/

Wider view of the South Exit. They haven't really done much to the station plaza yet.



They are in the midst of fixing the new North Exit station plaza, but people can still use the exit.

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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:44 PM   #578
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Development process for new Sakura trains considers conditions unique to Kyūshū
http://www.nikkei.com/news/category/...3E2E2E2;at=ALL

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It's now less than 40 days before the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima route. Preparations on the technical side to ensure the safety and convenience of the service are rounding the final corner, and the rolling stock and operating systems feature an array of technologies and knowhow tailored to the Kyūshū Shinkansen. Let's take a look at the true strength of the Kyūshū Shinkansen, symbolized by the new Sakura trains that will be running direct service between Kagoshima Chūō and Shin-Ōsaka.

Just weeks before the opening of the full length of the line, the new trains for the Sakura service are performing multiple tests at the 260 kph top speed. Based on the N700 series trains running on the San'yō Shinkansen, the new trains look identical to other N700 trains on the exterior, despite differences in paint schemes. But one can say the new trains have more "hearts" than the San'yō Shinkansen trains.

A Kyūshū Railway Company (JR Kyūshū) executive recounts the development process for the Sakura trains: "We wouldn't be able to open the full line if the trains couldn't overcome that slope. We weren't looking at changes to the alignment, but rather an increase to the train's power."

The first and last cars on N700 series trains on the San'yō Shinkansen lack motors, the source of the trains' motive power. The Sakura trains, however, have motors in all cars to overcome the grades inside the Chikushi Tunnel between Hakata Station and Shin-Tosu Station. The tunnel grades are a true "test of heart" for the Sakura trains.

The slope means that the trains must climb 3.5 m every 100 m in horizontal distance. The Nagano Shinkansen whisks through precarious mountains, but the maximum climb along the line is only 3 m for every 100 m, making the Chikushi Tunnel the steepest slope in Japan's entire Shinkansen network.

Since the Chikushi Tunnel passes through mountains with large sources of groundwater, the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) says, "We were forced to dig at a higher elevation, away from the water sources." In order for Sakura trains to climb the resulting steep grades inside the tunnel, the number of motors on the trains was increased, together with the inverters, the equipment that converts the electrical power.

While the Sakura is blessed with a "strong heart," development of the train ran into another wall: an increase in weight that runs counter to an energy-saving design. The Sakura development team began working to lighten the train's weight—approx. 42 tons per car—100 grams at a time.

"Can we make the aluminum skin any thinner?" asked the chief engineer of Hitachi's rolling stock systems design department, Nagaregawa Hiromitsu, repeatedly, as he stood with engineers from Kawasaki Heavy Industries and three other firms in front of the 8,000-page set of plans for the Sakura.

Nagaregawa and the team of engineers pored through approx. 300 potential locations for reducing weight, running through each with a fine-toothed comb. They racked their brains, looking at ways to make the aluminum material in the car body thinner and reduce the number of components. As a result, by devising special techniques in the molding of the aluminum materials and rethinking the skin structure, the team was successful in reducing the weight while maintaining strength. In the end, engineers were able to cut a total of 4 to 5 tons of "fat" from each eight-car train.

The introduction of motors onto all of the train's cars forced engineers to consider other improvements outside of weight reduction. The end cars on the train house an array of electrical components including control and safety equipment, but Nagareyama says that simply adding the motors and related devices onto the end cars "would create noise that would interfere with the electrical circuits for the various components."

In order to protect the circuitry from the noise, the engineers revisited the design of the electrical components, using special materials such as amorphous metals (used in transformers and other devices) and resins in the insulators. "Our team of engineers brought their knowledge with them, ensuring that these trains would be able to run at the same speed and horsepower as the N700 series (on the San'yō Shinkansen), regardless of the obstacles to overcome," remarks Nagaregawa.

And there is Mount Shinmoe in the Kirishima Mountains on the border between Miyazaki and Kagoshima Prefectures, which has recently been showing signs of more volcanic activity. The Sakura trains leave no stone unturned, even when it comes to dealing with the volcanic ash that is unique to Kyūshū. The engineers increased the integrity of the seals on the gear boxes connecting the train's wheels and motors, making it impossible for water to seep in. In the past, the gear boxes were designed to be sufficient to prevent the entry of dust and other objects, but JR Kyūshū says, "The train will be running through Kyūshū, one of only a handful of volcanic regions... We needed to make improvements."

Sandō Hirokazu, vice-chief of JR Kyūshū's Rolling Stock Section was relieved with the new Sakura train, specifically-designed for Kyūshū: "We gathered the very best in technology, and crafted a train that meets our expectations." After the opening of the full length of the line, the Kyūshū Shinkansen is expected to see use by many business customers and leisure passengers—a beautiful sight only made possible by the accumulation of laborious efforts by the development team.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:45 PM   #579
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JR Kyūshū will accept transport of gravely-ill patients on Shinkansen using multi-purpose rooms
http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/item/224616

Quote:
On February 2, JR Kyūshū revealed that it would accept the special transport of gravely-ill patients who require the accompaniment of doctors or others after the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima route on March 12, using the multi-purpose rooms built into the trains.

The N700 series and 800 series trains to be used on Sakura, Tsubame, and other services on the Kyūshū Shinkansen are equipped with one multi-purpose room in each train, for passengers who need to nurse their babies or who feel sick. Passengers can also fold down the seat inside the room and lie down.

The railway will allow stretchers to be brought directly on and off the train, and oxygen canisters and medical devices to be brought on board, but will not permit surgery inside the train. As a general policy, passengers will need to make a reservation two days in advance, but the railway says it will do its best to respond to requests for service on the same day. Passengers will also be able to use the service on through-service trains with the San'yō Shinkansen. The cost of the service is equivalent to two reserved seats for the same trip ends, and additional fare is required for three or more total passengers.

While gravely-ill patients have ambulances and medical helicopters available as means of transport, the medical industry has made requests to JR Kyūshū, eyeing the Shinkansen's short travel times between major cities which are home to many hospitals capable of performing high-level medical care. JR Kyūshū has also installed new multi-purpose rooms on six 800 series trains which originally did not have them.

JR Kyūshū chairman Ishihara Susumu says the railway hopes to fulfill its duties as a public transit operator.
Interesting use of the multi-purpose room, as well as the Shinkansen in general.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:46 PM   #580
quashlo
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JR Kyūshū and Nagasaki, Saga Prefectures jointly request expedited completion of Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Nagasaki route
http://www.nagasaki-np.co.jp/kiji/20110129/02.shtml

Quote:
In regards to the Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Nagasaki route, on January 28 Nagasaki Prefecture, Saga Prefecture and JR Kyūshū jointly requested an acceleration of the construction of the line, including the expedited approval of sections that have yet to break ground, of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and majority and minority political parties. This is the first time all three entities have jointly made such a request.

Nagasaki Prefecture governor Nakamura Hōdō, Saga Prefecture governor Furukawa Yasushi, and JR Kyūshū president Karaike Kōji met in person with Inami Tetsuo, vice-chief of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Petition and Request Response Department at department headquarters.

Governor Nakamura requested a full opening of the line in spring 2018, together with the expedited approval and groundbreaking of the Isahaya – Nagasaki section and the double-tracking of single-track sections. Nakamura emphasized, “Starting in July, Huis Ten Bosch is slated to establish regular flights between Nagasaki and Shanghai. In order to attract customers from the rest of Asia, I would like to request the expedited approval of Isahaya – Nagasaki section.”

At the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the group met with Parliamentary Secretary for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Izumi Toshiaki. After the meeting, Governor Nakamura remarked, “If we don’t get approval soon for the sections that have yet to break ground, we may be in danger of not being able to open the entire line at once. We did not get a specific answer from the Parliamentary Secretary, but securing funding—including for the technological development of the Free-Gauge Train—is a key concern.”

JR Kyūshū president Karaike said, “With both prefectures and JR coming together, I think we’ve demonstrated that we are quite determined to see this project through. Groundbreaking on the Isahaya – Nagasaki section and double-tracking of single-track sections are absolutely critical if we are to take full advantage of the benefits of the Shinkansen.”
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