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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:26 AM   #821
quashlo
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Kanazawa City selects design for Hokuriku Shinkansen’s Kanazawa Station
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/is...902000140.html

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Submitting “citizens’ voice” to the JRTT
In response to the design alternatives for the Kanazawa Station station building presented by the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT), which is constructing the station buildings for the Hokuriku Shinkansen scheduled to open in FY2014, the Shinkansen Station Building Design Working Group composed of Kanazawa City and other members selected on May 18 the alternative designed on the theme of Kanazawa’s waterways and the harmony of tradition and creativity. After receiving the report from the working group, Mayor Yamano Yukiyoshi said he would visit the Ōsaka office of the JRTT and submit the report as the “voice of Kanazawa and it’s citizens.”

Regarding the station building design, the JRTT submitted three design alternatives to Kanazawa City in late April based on the theme of a station that “allows views of the city and offers comfort to the heart and body.” The three alternatives offer transparency and openness, and allow views of the town and nature from inside the station. Between April 22 and May 13, Kanazawa City and others canvassed citizens’ opinions through Internet homepages and events for Ishikawa Prefecture and neighboring cities and towns. A total of 8,420 responses were received, with the selected design winning the most votes.

At the May 18 session of the working group (Chairman: Kanazawa Institute of Technology professor Mizuno Ichirō), working group members exchanged opinions based on the public comments received and the station buildings of other prefectures. The winning design expresses the Asano and Sai Rivers and the irrigation waters of Kanazawa through the curved canopy, and harmonizes with the existing “Hospitality Dome”. The exterior is black in color, reminiscent of Kanazawa’s lacquerware, and “will become a distinctive and unique station building.” All members of the working group voted unaminously for the selected design. As supplementary comment, the working group requested that attention be given to ensuring sufficient natural light into the adjacent conventional-line station and that locally-made products and traditional artworks be incorporated into the interior design of the station. The JRTT is aiming to break ground next summer, with completion in FY2013.

The three alternatives:
Source: http://kanazawa.areablog.jp/blog/

Alternative A
A station reminiscent of the water running through Kanazawa and the harmony of tradition and creativity.



Alternative B
A station that blends tradition and modernity and draws from Kanazawa’s urbanscape.



Alternative C
A station reminiscent of Kanazawa’s history and the passage of time, and that draws from the Kaga Yūzen tōrō-nagashi.



Alternative A looks really good, although the other two are not bad either. The transparent dome is the “Hospitality Dome”. Both it and the wooden arch monument that looks like two drums are already there.

Cute infomercial on the Hokuriku Shinkansen:


Source: Alliance for Construction of the Hokuriku Shinkansen on YouTube
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:27 AM   #822
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Shinkansen trains reduced speed by 30-170 kph before earthquake arrived
http://mainichi.jp/select/weathernew...40045000c.html

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Analysis by JR East has revealed that the railway’s Shinkansen earthquake early warning system installed along the Pacific Coast of Japan issued an emergency alert 12 to 73 seconds before the strongest shaking in the Great East Japan Earthquake reached the line. At the time, five Tōhoku Shinkansen trains were running inside the affected area at around 270 kph, but power was automatically shut off and emergency brakes applied before shaking of JMA 5- or larger was observed. It’s estimated that trains were able to reduce speed by 30 to 170 kph, safely coming to a complete stop.

According to JR East, the Mt. Kinka seismograph in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture recorded primary waves (S waves) exceeding 120 gals at 2:47:03 pm, relaying data regarding the source location and earthquake size to seismographs at transformer stations along the line. At the time, 18 trains were operating between Tōkyō and Shin-Aomori, with ten trains (in either direction) on the section between Shin-Shirakawa (Fukushima Prefecture) and Ninohe (Iwate Prefecture), where the damage was especially severe. Of these, five were traveling at around 270 kph at the time.

While there is a time lag of three seconds from the shutdown of power systems to the application of emergency brakes, Yamabiko 61—at the time, traveling at 265 kph near Sendai City, which experienced severe shaking—began emergency stop procedures nine seconds before severe shaking arrived, lowering speed by 30 kph or more.

In addition, Yamabiko 63 traveling at 270 kph near Kōriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture applied emergency brakes 70 seconds before severe shaking arrived, reducing speed by about 170 kph. Hayate 26, traveling through the inner suburbs of Fukushima Prefecture’s Nihonmatsu City, where ground acceleration reached 690 gals, is estimated to have slowed from 270 kph to around 150-160 kph.

The largest ground acceleration was observed at the Shin-Arikabe seismograph (Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture) between Kurikoma Kōgen Station (Miyagi Prefecture) and Ichinoseki Station (Iwate Prefecture), where the needle topped out at 1278.7 gals. JR East explains, “The first arrivals, the P waves, were weak, and likely not captured by the seismograph. The system successfully detected the S waves before the period of sustained strong shaking arrived.”

Operating status of Tōhoku Shinkansen trains at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:32 AM   #823
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I read the article but I am confused...they knew the earthquake was going to happen before it even happened??? I guess I need to research what "S waves" are.

Anyway amazing technology
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:43 AM   #824
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It is the same technology used in the earthquake warnings on TV:



The P waves are like the compression waves in a slinky, but the S waves are more like the typical wave you think of (like on a string that you shake). The S waves cause the severe shaking and the damage.

The seismographs detect the P waves generated by the quake and a computer makes projections of the earthquake strength and locations affected based on the data. All this happens before the more damaging effects of the quake, the S (shear) waves, arrive.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:12 PM   #825
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I was wondering why is the freight rail so low. Japan seems to me as a very industrial country and a lot of industry requires a lot of freight transport. So, if Japan does not transport the freight with the railway, with way do it transport freight? And, do japanese railways, especially Tokaido line have the capacity of tracks and lines for all the freight coming on their back? Are there any plans to expand the rail freight traffic?

Thank you, in advance, for all your questions!
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 09:39 PM   #826
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Most freight is transported by truck like in most industrialized countries, the change from rail to road the last 50 years is also very similar. But since most of the industrial centers in Japan are on the coast the share of coastal shipping in freight transport is also very high. Raw materials for the industries are shipped from outside Japan directly to the factories in the coastal towns, there's no need to transport them deeper in the country. The same goes for container shipments, it's more efficient to truck a sea container directly to it's destination from the container terminal.

And although the Tokaido line has enough capacity on most segments of the line, it doesn't have the capacity around the big cities for a big increase in rail freight. Many freight only lines have been converted to passenger lines over the years. JR Freight only owns about 50 kilometers of track, the rest of it's network is shared with the passenger JR Companies.

As a private company JR freight does want to expand it's business of course, it's marketing itself as a reliable partner compared to road transport that is always hindered by road congestion. But since JR Freight is a private company it has to find the funds for new investments on it's own in the private sector. The government is not investing in freight rail infrastructure. I've seen plans for a new freight line between Tokyo and Osaka along a highway, but I don't think that will become reality. In the end of the day there are simply no big structural plans to expand the rail freight in Japan, it's just trying to have some growth in the niche market it already serves.

For the longer distances the coastal shipping is more efficient and for the short distance the road is the best option. Combined there's simply no room for rail transport anymore in Japan. So it doesn't look like rail freight will be growing significantly this decade.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 10:45 AM   #827
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiotrG View Post

construction hasn't started yet, so don't expect completion date...
The completion date of Chuo Shinkansen, Nagoya-Nara-Osaka, is 2045.

Is the construction of that stretch now in progress?
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Old May 24th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #828
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The completion date of Chuo Shinkansen, Nagoya-Nara-Osaka, is 2045.
And will be changed many times or even never will be built.
Policy statements often don't have anything to do with reality. If funding will be provided and construction work will be started, then we can talk about completion date.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #829
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiotrG View Post
And will be changed many times or even never will be built.
Policy statements often don't have anything to do with reality. If funding will be provided and construction work will be started, then we can talk about completion date.
This route is completely privately funded by JR Tokai so it all depends on the success of the first leg between Tokyo and Nagoya.

No the construction has not started not even for the first leg excluding the Yamanashi test site that will be incorporated into the route.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:05 PM   #830
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Isn't it currently being extended to 43km?
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=69173585
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:28 PM   #831
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Yes, but there is often a distinction made between that extension to 43 km, which is officially being called part of the Yamanashi test line, and the bulk of the work, which is being referred to as the Chūō Shinkansen, and supposed to begin 2014. In the end, however, the Yamanashi test line will just be one part of the Chūō Shinkansen.

Again, the 2027 opening to Nagoya is likely, but I don't think you can take the 2045 opening to Ōsaka as final at all. Since the project is being entirely funded by JR Central, they have a need to spread out the massive cost of the investment to make sure they aren't taking too much of a hit to their accounting books, hence the 2045 date.

Don't be surprised if the public sector later decides to get involved through funding, etc. to accelerate the schedule. There is much discussion in Japan right now about moving that 2045 date forward.

Last edited by quashlo; May 24th, 2011 at 07:39 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 07:18 PM   #832
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Hitachi brings train-making back to birthplace
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/b010c...#axzz1NZOP1v00

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It is a project that will return rail manufacturing to its birthplace.

Hitachi, the Japanese company, will today spell out its plans to restore train making to the place that inventive British engineers turned into the cradle of the railways.

On September 27 1825, the little County Durham town of Shildon earned its place in history.

The world’s first paying passenger train began its journey there on the Stockton and Darlington railway, pulled by Locomotion No 1, a steam engine assembled beside the track at nearby Heighington Lane by George Stephenson, the railway pioneer.

Shildon went on to make trains and wagons from 1825 until 1984, when its wagon works closed, with the loss 1,200 jobs.

Now, the circle of history is turning again. Hitachi Rail Europe has chosen the land beside this track as the site for the first train manufacturing plant to be built in the UK for decades.

The line itself will have a new role, as a test track and a means of delivering Hitachi’s Super Express Trains to the network.

The project’s supporters have described the £70m train factory as north-east England’s biggest industrial investment since the region won Nissan’s car plant in 1984 – now a profoundly important £2.7bn investment and the region’s largest private sector employer.

And today, at a huge supply chain event near the site in Newton Aycliffe, 1,800 people representing more than 1,000 companies will gather to hear about Hitachi Rail Europe’s £4.5bn Intercity Express Programme.

The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese-owned global electronics company, chose Newton Aycliffe from more than 40 UK locations.

As well as its initial contract to make new electric and bi-mode – diesel and electric – Super Express Trains for the east coast and Great Western main lines, it hopes the £70m plant will help it win other UK work, including Crossrail, and mainland Europe contracts.

The IEP project, which weathered the change of government and survived, in reduced form, the coalition’s public spending cuts, is a step towards rebalancing the north-east’s vulnerable economy towards private business opportunities.

The Hitachi scheme’s historic associations resonate outside the local area. Alistair Dormer, chief executive of Agility Trains, the Hitachi/John Laing consortium that won the IEP from the government in March, said this railway history also struck a chord with Hitachi’s Japanese executives. “It certainly helped when we were communicating back to Japan. They do study history. The first loco which ran in Japan was built in Britain.”

The new trains will replace the diesel Intercity 125s, built in the 1970s and 1980s. Under the IEP, Hitachi will make about 100 trains, comprising 500-600 carriages, and employ 500 people at Newton Aycliffe. Project supporters estimate it could mean 6,000-plus supply chain jobs and have estimated a 48:1 return on the public investment over 20 years.

Mr Dormer declined to give an estimate of supplier jobs or procurement spend but said Hitachi was keen to build firm, long-term relationships. “The IEP contract is for 30 years. It’s clearly advantageous for suppliers to be as close to us as possible. We are looking for value and quality.”

He said the north-east’s tradition of manufacturing, its skills base and access to rail, roads and ports all influenced the choice of site. So too did Nissan.

“We spoke at length to Nissan. They were highly complimentary for the people of the north-east and the skills they have.”

Newton Aycliffe’s last big Japanese investment, the £315m Fujitsu semiconductor plant opened in 1991, but later produced disappointment when markets turned. But Phil Wilson, Labour MP for Sedgefield, who led the campaign for the Hitachi project, said it was founded on deep local roots. “It’s building on the heritage and the skills base.”

Japanese group’s global reach
Hitachi, Japan’s fourth biggest company, is a global electronics business, with 360,000 people in its employ worldwide, writes Chris Tighe.

For the financial year to the end of March, consolidated revenues were $112bn (£69bn).

Founded in 1910, one of its first products was an electric motor for the mining industry. Subsequent products included electric goods for household use and transformers for industry. In 1924 Hitachi built its first electric locomotive in Japan.

Delivery of its high-speed “bullet” trains began in 1964. Initially they ran at 210kph but the most recent, the E5 series, built by Hitachi and Kawasaki, will run at 320kph.

In 1982, Hitachi Europe was established, with its headquarters in Maidenhead. Two years later it set up a plant with GEC in Wales making colour televisions, but this has since closed.

In 1999, Hitachi Rail Europe opened in London and in 2005 it won the contract to supply 29 trains for the Channel tunnel rail link. These were built in Japan, with 50 per cent UK/European content. Hitachi has a maintenance base for them, employing 100 workers, at Ashford, Kent.

The company has about 10,000 employees in Europe and is expanding in four strategic sectors: power systems, rail systems, construction machinery and enterprise storage systems.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #833
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Source: Yahoo Japan

JR Hokkaido Super Ōzora #14 caught fire and was completely destroyed in a tunnel on May 27. From what I gather, the fire started when a hole formed in the fuel tank under car 1. The fire spread and consumed all 6 cars of the train, causing it to derail.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:55 AM   #834
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JR Central to introduce new N700A series to replace 700 series
http://jr-central.co.jp/news/release/_pdf/000011465.pdf

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At JR Central, we will introduce as detailed below the new N700A series (N700-1000 series, “A” stands for “Advanced”) as a replacement for the 700 series, using the fruits of research and development efforts since the debut of the N700 series. By switching to N700A series trains, we will realize greater energy conservation.

Features of the N700A
Realization of further improvements to safe and stable transport
  • Equipped with center-radius-bolted brake discs, realizing higher and more stable braking power.
  • Equipped with a bogie vibration detection system, permitting constant surveillance of the status of all bogies in order to further improve reliability
  • Equipped with a speed regulator, realizing more stable operations in line with the ATC signals.
Energy conservation through replacement of 700 series
The N700A series possesses similar energy conservation performance to the N700 series, allowing for a 19% reduction in electricity consumption per train compared to the 700 series.

Rollout schedule
  • Six trains in FY2012 and seven trains in FY2013, for a total of 13 trains.
  • After the introduction of the N700A, approx. 70 percent of JR Central’s Shinkansen fleet will be N700-type trains.
Estimated costs
Approx. ¥66 billion (incl. train production cost and cost of spare components
Hot off the presses…

These are rumored to be the new units that will allow for 330 kph operations on the Kyōto – Maibara section of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and 300 kph elsewhere on the line (280 kph on curves), but the press release is mum on this particular point.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 02:06 PM   #835
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Video of Super Ozora #14 post accident. This video is more up-to-date than the article I read yesterday.


Source: Youtube

Last edited by nouveau.ukiyo; June 2nd, 2011 at 01:38 PM.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 08:15 AM   #836
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Free Gauge Train makes appearance in Saijō City

On 2011.05.30, the Free Gauge Train (FGT), the experimental variable-gauge train being developed by the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) for use on both 1,067 mm conventional and 1,435 mm Shinkansen lines, made a public appearance at Iyo Saijō Station (Saijō City, Ehime Prefecture) on the JR Yosan Line in Shikoku. The train began testing on the Sakaide – Tadotsu section of the Yosan Line in April, and testing will be extended all the way to Niihama in August. Target speed on conventional lines is 130 kph. The technology is specifically envisioned for the Nagasaki Shinkansen, scheduled for completion around 2018.

Ehime Shimbun news report (with video):
http://www.ehime-np.co.jp/news/local...110530559.html

At Iyo Saijō (2011.05.30):


Source: ehimeish on YouTube
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 11:43 PM   #837
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Free Gauge Train makes appearance in Saijō City

On 2011.05.30, the Free Gauge Train (FGT), the experimental variable-gauge train being developed by the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) for use on both 1,067 mm conventional and 1,435 mm Shinkansen lines, made a public appearance at Iyo Saijō Station (Saijō City, Ehime Prefecture) on the JR Yosan Line in Shikoku. The train began testing on the Sakaide – Tadotsu section of the Yosan Line in April, and testing will be extended all the way to Niihama in August. Target speed on conventional lines is 130 kph. The technology is specifically envisioned for the Nagasaki Shinkansen, scheduled for completion around 2018.

Ehime Shimbun news report (with video):
http://www.ehime-np.co.jp/news/local...110530559.html

At Iyo Saijō (2011.05.30):


Source: ehimeish on YouTube
So what is the idea behind this? Will they let 130 km/h trains run on Shinkansen lines? Or is it a first step to eventually getting every line to 1435 mm?
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 03:05 AM   #838
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Quote:
So what is the idea behind this? Will they let 130 km/h trains run on Shinkansen lines? Or is it a first step to eventually getting every line to 1435 mm?
The free gauge train can run at shinkansen speeds on high speed lines, and then run at 130km/h on 1067mm lines. It saves on the expense of converting existing lines to 1435mm (and the need to replace/convert existing rolling stock).
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 09:12 PM   #839
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Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
The free gauge train can run at shinkansen speeds on high speed lines, and then run at 130km/h on 1067mm lines. It saves on the expense of converting existing lines to 1435mm (and the need to replace/convert existing rolling stock).
Shall all 1067 mm lines suitable for 130 km/h traffic by 1067 mm only trains also be suited for 130 km/h traffic by free gauge trains capable of trabelling 260+ km/h on 1435 mm gauge?
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Old June 4th, 2011, 03:07 AM   #840
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Shall all 1067 mm lines suitable for 130 km/h traffic by 1067 mm only trains also be suited for 130 km/h traffic by free gauge trains capable of trabelling 260+ km/h on 1435 mm gauge?
Yes, because the 130km/h limit is not equipment constrained, but rather due to the requirement that trains be able to stop within a 600m distance, due to grade crossings.
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