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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:53 AM   #881
quashlo
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Free Gauge Train testing

Some videos of simple test-hauling along curves at JR Shikoku’s Tadotsu Works (2011.05.20). The ballast and tracks look new, so I suspect they recently modified this section of track just for the test.
Source: tomisatodamu on YouTube





The rest of the videos can be found at this YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/tomisatodamu

I also found some pics of the inside of the train:
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun





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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #882
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Kintetsu to introduce next-generation tourist limited expresses
http://www.kintetsu.jp/news/files/20110701tokkyu.pdf

Quote:
In coordination with the regular rebuilding of Ise Shrine to take place in 2013, Kintetsu will manufacture new tourist limited express trains, offering a style of train travel that has yet to be seen where riding the train is a pleasure in and of itself. We will roll out the trains in revenue service starting in spring 2013, with the aim of promoting revitalization of the Ise–Shima area, the most important tourism hub along our rail network.

Main features
  1. All seats are high-grade seats, in three-per-row configuration (a first for private railways).
    With a seat pitch of 125 cm, we will offer an expansive seating space (largest among private railways).
    Seats will be equipped with electrically-powered legrests, supporting the lower legs (a first for private railways).
  2. The end cars will be high-floor cars with large glass windows, offering spacious views.
  3. Car No. 3 will be designed as a bilevel car—a Kintetsu trademark—with a second-floor cafeteria space where passengers can enjoy light meals and other refreshments. The first floor will feature group seating, and can be modified for multiple purposes, such as a kids’ room during the summer vacation period.
  4. In Car No. 4, we will install Japanese-style and Western-style private box seating, allowing families and groups to enjoy their journey (first for Kintetsu).
Main features of in-train service
  1. Special customer service attendants will be on board trains to provide a multitude of services, including selling light snacks and drinks and distributing oshibori (hot towels) and commemorative boarding tickets.
  2. We will provide specialized food and drinks for the trains, including specially-produced bentō (boxed meals), original confections, and beer and sake produced locally from areas along our rail lines.
We will manufacture two six-car units for a total of 12 cars, and plan to operate one set from the Ōsaka area and another set from the Nagoya area, both bound for the Ise–Shima area. In addition to the general limited express fee, we also plan to assess a “new tourist limited express surcharge” (temporary name). Details are below.



Details of the new tourist limited express
Start of revenue service: Spring 2013 (scheduled)
Service area: Ōsaka / Nagoya to Ise–Shima
Number of new cars: 12 total (two six-car units)
Total investment: ¥3.7 billion
Designer: Yamauchi Rikuhei
Since 1986, Yamauchi has been involved in the design of Kintetsu’s trademark limited expresses, including the Urban Liner, the Sakura Liner, and the Ise–Shima Liner.

Recognitions:
Urban Liner: 1989 Blue Ribbon Award and Good Design Award
Sakura Liner: 1991 Good Design Award
Ise–Shima Liner: 1995 Brunel Award
Car formation:



Nose shape:
  • A sharp polyhedron shape composed of six glass panes.
  • The glass will reach high up to improve visibility from the inside.


Observation car (Cars No. 1 and No. 6):
Capacity: 27 pax (each)
  • High-level car with large windows offering spacious views.
  • Key-controlled lockers will be provided near the entrance.


Cars No. 2 and No. 5:
Capacity: 29 passengers (Car No. 2), 30 passengers (Car No. 5)
  • Car No. 2 will be equipped with wheelchair-accessible facilities.
  • The interior will feature glass overhead racks and glass partition doors, creating an open, airy feeling.
  • A powder room will also be established for female passengers.

Cafeteria car (Car No. 3)
Capacity: 8 passengers
  • Designed as a Kintetsu trademark bilevel car.
  • The second floor will feature a cafeteria space where passengers can enjoy light meals.
  • The first floor will feature exclusive group seating for eight passengers, and can be used for multiple purposes, such as a kids’ room during the summer vacation period.


Group seating car (Car No. 4):
Capacity: 26 passengers
  • Comrpised of three six-passenger private boxes and two four-person suites (one Western-style, one Japanese-style).
  • Inside the Japanese-style suite, passengers will be able to take off their shows and relax. The suite will feature high-back floor seats, with the seat portion designed to resemble a hori-gotatsu (built-in floor heater) (a first for Kintetsu).
  • The Western-style suite will feature an L-shaped sofa and table, allowing passengers to relax as if in a living room (a first for Kintetsu).
  • The suites will be Japan’s largest in terms of space (excluding sleeper cars).


Seats:
  • Seats will be high-grade, with three seats per row (a first for private railways) and a 125 cm seat pitch (largest among private railways), about 20 cm more than our existing limited express trains.
  • In addition to electrically-powered legrests supporting the lower legs (a first for private railways), seats will also feature sliding drop-down tables, electrically-powered reclining, power outlets, and reading lights.
Ride comfort: All cars will be equipped with yaw dampers.
Lighting: Through frequent use of LED lighting, we will advance energy efficiency. Cabin ceiling lighting will be designed to allow for changes in color, transforming color depending on the time.
Entrance: The entrance will be a unique, open design.

In-train services:
  1. Exclusive customer service attendants
    Exclusive attendants will be on board trains to provide a multitude of services, including selling light snacks and drinks and distributing oshibori (hot towels) and commemorative boarding tickets.
  2. Menu of items
    • Meals: In addition to light meals such as specially-produced curry and pasta, bentō boxed meals, and a menu that offers seasonal variety, we will also offer specially-produced bentō boxed meals available only on these trains, created by famous Japanese restaurants.
    • Drinks: Locally-brewed beers from along our rail network, wine, sake, juice, etc.
    • Dessers: Confections available only on the train, etc.
  3. Service using liquid crystal display (LCD) units
    Using liquid crystal display (LCD) units, we will offer train information (e.g., destination) and news, as well as tourism information for areas along our rail network, live video feeds from the front the train, satellite digital broadcasts, and anime video. Footage can be selected at passengers’ pleasure on the first floor of the cafeteria car and in the private boxes or suites.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #883
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Renovated Fuji Yoshida Station opens: Part 1

One 2011.07.01, a renovated Fuji Yoshida Station on the Fuji Kyūkō (Fuji Express) Line was opened to the public. The station was also renamed to Fuji-san Station (“Mt. Fuji Station”), recognizing the station’s duty as the gateway to Mt. Fuji. You can take the Chūō Rapid Line commuter or intercity trains to Ōtsuki, where you then transfer to the Fuji Kyūkō Line to get to Mt. Fuji. The Fuji Kyūkō Line is also one of the primary access routes to access Fuji-Q Highland, one of Japan’s more famous amusement parks and owned by the same conglomerate that owns the Fuji Kyūkō Line.

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

The 7 m tall red torii (shrine gate) that was erected outside the entrance. This particular torii is modeled after the one at the Kitaguchi Hongū Fuji Sengen Shrine, which honors Konohana Sakuhayama-hime, one of the Shintō kami (spirits) of Mt. Fuji. The station renovation was the work of Mitooka Eiji. The large cloth pieces, reminiscent of noren (curtains) typically found outside restaurants or other shops, also feature the new Mt. Fuji-themed logo frequently used by the railway.





Platforms 2 and 3.
Wood was used in abundance for the canopy, benches, and columns.



Next to the the manned ticket gates, which feature new LCD departure boards, is a new, relocated glass-enclosed waiting room at right. The Fuji Kyūkō Railway is a small local line, although it does see a lot of passengers coming to and from Tōkyō who come on daytrips to Mt. Fuji and Fuji-Q Highland. In fact, there are actually a few direct services to from the Tōkyō area.



To make the station more foreigner- and tourist-friendly, signs are now the standard four-language design (Japanese, English, Simplified Chinese, and Korean). I believe the station numbering is also new, making it somewhat easier for foreigners to get their bearings. The LCD departure boards and ticketing machines in the station concourse had already been programmed for four languages in March.



The station features a six-floor terminal tenant building, but they added this new rooftop observation deck with tables and bench seating, affording a new view of Mt. Fuji. There’s also renovated shops inside the station concourse and a new food court inside Basement Level 1 of the terminal building.



Commemorative ceremony was attended by Mitooka, the president of Fuji Kyūkō, and alpinist Noguchi Ken. The end of Platforms 2 and 3, which offers a good view of Mt. Fuji, was redesigned to serve double duty as a wooden “viewing deck”. Stopped at the platform is the specially designed Fuji Tozan Train (ex-Keiō 5000 series).

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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #884
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Renovated Fuji Yoshida Station opens: Part 2

Video tour of the festivities and the new Fuji-san Station:


Source: karibajct on YouTube

Video tour of the special Fuji Tozan Train, another design by Mitooka Eiji. At the end, there’s also a tour of the Thomas the Tank Engine train.


Source: gie01 on YouTube
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #885
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Training to become a Shinkansen operator

Another cool video I missed recently, from a TV special in the Kansai area about kids’ dream jobs. #10 on the list for boys was being a train operator. A little bit poor quality, but enjoy!


Source: mumuoji on YouTube

Digest:

First, the video talks about training. Candidates must have at least two years experience each as a station staffperson and a train conductor before become operator on zairaisen (conventional line) trains. The video follows one JR West operator on a run on the Kansai-area urban network, on the JR Kyōto Line from Ōsaka to Takatsuki. He relieves the first operator at Ōsaka and checks the equipment and the schedule, which is planned down to the second. The dwell time at Ōsaka is only three minutes, and he must complete all his checks before then. After arriving at Takatsuki, he heads to the train crew quarters, which come with their own set of pajamas and an inflating body pillow to wake you up so you don’t miss your train duty.

After two years duty as a zairaisen operator, candidates can apply to become a Shinkansen operator. We follow one candidate at JR West’s Hiroshima office, who did five years on the Hokuriku Line. He takes an on-board examination on a 100 series, where the scenario calls for an equipment failure that requires him to stop the train and repair the equipment, but he bungles things and gets chewed out by the instructor. The training lasts about half a year.

Next, we fellow a veteran 61-year-old Shinkansen operator who has been operating Shinkansen trains for 38 years. He arrives 30 minutes before his departure and changes into uniform, for which there are strict rules regarding belt style, sock length, color, etc. He then sets his pocket watch—his most critical piece of equipment—to the official time before taking an alcohol test and getting the OK. He arrives on the platform three minutes before departure on a Hikari run on the San’yō Shinkansen from Shin-Ōsaka to Okayama (he lives in Okayama, and commutes to Ōsaka by Shinkansen, but drives the train on the way back home).

First thing he does after boarding is place his watch on the dashboard. He departs 7 seconds late. Operators are not allowed to use the restroom or bring food or drink into the cab. He arrives at Okayama 2 seconds early. After the passengers alight, he takes the train back to the yard. He then talks about his most memorable experience as a Shinkansen operator, which was being at the helm of the final 0 series run on 2008.12.14.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 08:40 AM   #886
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Quote:
Kintetsu to introduce next-generation tourist limited expresses
So, basically similar in concept to the resort expresses run by JR East on scenic lines, with some JR Kyushu touches as well.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 06:37 AM   #887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Renovated Fuji Yoshida Station opens
I saw this poster in Yokohama station:



I like this poster and judging from the pics quashlo posted, I like the new station as well.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 08:20 PM   #888
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Secondhand coaches to enter service in Malaysia in October
http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v5....php?id=602650

Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 (Bernama) -- Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) expects rail passengers and travellers to increase following the deployment of 14 used coaches from Japan in early October.

Its manager for rolling stock maintenance, Mahadi Aripin, said the coaches were still in very good condition and therefore, KTMB would not incur any expenses to refurbish the interior.

"For this donation project, KTMB only bears the cost of sea transportation of the coaches," he told reporters at the Japanese ambassador's residence here Wednesday.

He said the coaches would still have to be modified due to differences in technical standards between the Malaysian and Japanese rail systems but the total cost would be much lower as compared to buying new rolling stock of additional passenger coaches.

KTMB took delivery the train coaches donated by Japanese railway companies, Kyushu Railway Company and West Japan Railway Company, in December last year.

To ensure smooth operation of the used coaches, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be sending Japanese railway experts to train KTMB employers who will later be in charge of the coaches' operation.

The experts will also assist KTMB on technical aspects of the modification work as well as testing and commissioning of the coaches. Some KTMB employees will also undergo training programmes in Japan.

The Japanese used coaches are expected to be deployed in KTMB's 723.17km east coast sector between Johor Baharu and Tumpat in Kelantan.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 08:21 PM   #889
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Ishikawa Malleable to construct additional plant to meet high-speed rail, auto market demand
http://www.toyama.hokkoku.co.jp/subp...0110720301.htm

Quote:
Cast metal producer Ishikawa Malleable (HQ: Kahoku City) will construct an additional cast metal production plant for a subsidiary located in Suzhou, China. To deal with increased production of components for China’s high-speed railways and automobiles, the company will invest approx. ¥1 billion in construction of a new building inside the plant grounds. Production is slated to start in spring of next year, doubling the current capacity of its Chinese plant.

Ishikawa Malleable’s Chinese subsidiary is Suzhou Ishikawa Iron Manufacturing Co., Ltd. The new cast metal production plant will occupy a building floor area of 5,250 sq m, with a cast metal production capacity of 3,000 tons a month. This will be the company’s fourth local plant in China.

In late 2009, Ishikawa Malleable participated in China’s railway projects by winning orders for metal fittings used for rail ties on high-speed rail lines, and has been increasing its revenues in the Chinese market. The company has also been producing internal components for automobile engines, and decided to move forward with construction of an additional plant after forecasting market growth.

According to Ishikawa Malleable, accusations of corruption among top government officials have affected China’s high-speed rail projects, and the high-speed rail implementation plan has been delayed since March of this year.

Ishikawa Malleable president Shioya Tetsuo and Suzhou Ishikawa Iron Manufacturing Co., Ltd. chairman Shioya Toshi said, “Construction of high-speed rail projects has slowed somewhat, but demand will increase in the future. The quality of local manufacturers is also improving, and we hope to remain competitive by introducing more efficient machinery.”
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Old July 24th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #890
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Ibusuki no Tamate-bako: Part 1

This recently-instituted JR Kyūshū tourist limited express, whose name means “Treasure Chest of Ibusuki” (Ibutama for short), operates on the Ibusuki–Makurazaki Line in Kagoshima Prefecture, the southernmost conventional (steel-wheel) railway in Japan, running between Kagoshima Chūō Station and Ibusuki Station. The train is composed of two modified Kiha 47 cars, redesigned by Mitooka Eiji and JR Kyūshū at the railway’s Kokura Works at the cost of approx. ¥160 million (actually cheaper than purchasing all-new cars). The train replaces the discontinued Na no Hana DX and is the Ibusuki–Makurazaki Line’s first regularly-scheduled limited express train. The train makes three roundtrips a day, with one intermediate stop at Kiire (approx. 55 minute travel time).

This train entered service on 2011.03.13 following the opening of the Kyūshū Shinkansen, but I had been unable to find good sources as it was only the second day after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Finally, some pics:
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/

Arriving at Kagoshima Chūō, sporting the unusual two-faced paint scheme.



When the train arrives, the platform’s sprinkler systems let out some water spray for theatrical effect. The “treasure chest” in the train’s name draws from the tamate-bako mentioned in the legend of Urashima Tarō.









It’s usually easy to spot Mitooka’s works, but while there are some common themes among them, they each have their own unique identities.



No cutting corners—the roof got the same paint treatment.



Side-by-side with a 787 series limited express.



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Old July 24th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #891
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Ibusuki no Tamate-bako: Part 2

Next, the interior:
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/

Car No. 1.
Mitooka loves to use wood, but this one raises the standard…





I’m curious about the comfort of the seats, but these trains are designed to more than just a means from Point A to Point B, offering the “unusual” as opposed to the “regular”. Obviously, Mitooka probably had couples, or at least friends, in mind for the train. Ibusuki is famous for sand spas.



Car No. 2 appears to use a different wood, perhaps cedar (?). Car No. 1 looks like cherry, but I’m most definitely not a wood expert.







Kids’ area



Stained glass treasure chests. The images of fish and sea life are also supposed to be reminiscent of the Urashima Tarō fairy-tale, which supposedly has its roots in the Kagoshima area.



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Old July 24th, 2011, 12:03 AM   #892
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Hitachi to establish new rolling stock maintenance, production facilities in UK
http://www.nikkei.com/tech/news/arti...EBE2E2E2E2E2E2

Quote:
Related to the high-speed railway project with which Hitachi is entering into final negotiations with the British government, Hitachi has revealed plans to invest approx. ¥10 billion to construct four to five new local rolling stock maintenance hubs, as well as another approx. ¥10 billion into a rolling stock production plant slated to be constructed. Hitachi will prepare a structure to handle everything from railcar production to maintenance in the UK, with the aim of putting pressure on Germany’s Siemens and France’s Alstom, which posses a high share of the European railway market.

Hitachi currently has a maintenance hub in Ashford in southeast England serving rolling stock exported from Japan. Together with the local production of trains, the company will invest another ¥10 billion to construct four to five new hubs. Business negotiations regarding rolling stock have become the scene of fierce competition to win orders, and a company’s maintenance work structure can be the key to winning contracts. Hitachi will strengthen its maintenance work structure with an eye towards winning more orders in the UK.

At the rolling stock production facility to be constructed in Newtown Aycliffe in northeastern England by 2013, Hitachi will employ approx. 500 employees, producing a cumulative total of 500 cars through to 2018. Up until now, the company has not revealed the scale of its investment for this work.

Hitachi is also aiming to expand orders on the European mainland, with the UK as its base. The company sees northern Europe as its target market, and will now expand localization of component procurement while keeping an eye on rolling stock upgrade plans and bidding requirements throughout the region. The company has already begun narrowing down a list of firms in Eastern Europe and other areas as possible business partners.

FY2010 revenues in Hitachi’s railway-related business was ¥133.1 billion. By FY2015, the company will increase this to ¥320 billion, increasing the share of revenues from overseas markets from 24% to 70%.

According to UNIFE, the worldwide railway market (including infrastructure such as tracks) was valued at approx. ¥16 trillion annually (on average) between 2005 and 2007, but this is forecasted to expand to ¥20 trillion annually in FY2016. The drivers of this growth are emerging nations, but some level of demand can also be expected from upgrades to aging trains in Europe and other areas.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 11:23 AM   #893
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Final segment of Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Kagoshima route opens: Part 22 (Kumamoto)

Finally getting back to this…

Kumamoto Station, the central station for Kumamoto City. The Shinkansen follows the alignment of the zairaisen (Kagoshima Main Line) through Kumamoto, so the station was built at the existing zairaisen station. Zairaisen station has eight tracks while Shinkansen station has four tracks.

Some pics:
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

800 series Shinkansen stopped at the station.



The Shinkansen Exit station plaza features these canopies, designed to look a little like clouds. Concourse level also uses a full-height glass exteriors.



Shinkansen faregates
Signage is standard JR Kyūshū style. Departure boards are three-color LED, but six rows tall to allow for three-train display (two rows per train).



Six-gate array (one wide + five regular-width), with three (one wide + two regular-width) providing access from either end.



Concourse (paid area). Overall, a very high-quality station interior.



Also decorating the station concourse are these two statues of Fūjin (Shintō god of wind) and Raijin (Shintō god of thunder). These are actually made of Styrofoam, and produced by art students in the Education Department at Kumamoto University.



Four-track Shinkansen station (all trains stop at Kumamoto). I’m really digging the platform doors—all-black plus glass.





Midday service is 4 tph (one direct-service Sakura to Shin-Ōsaka, two Sakura to Hakata, and one Tsubame to Hakata).



A good view of the rotary, including the “cloud” canopy, and the scenery outside the station. The traditional center of Kumamoto is actually a kilometer or so off the zairaisen, so it feels a little quieter than other urban Shinkansen stations. However, there is existing direct tram service connecting the station to central Kumamoto.



Northbound Tsubame departs the station.

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Old July 24th, 2011, 11:24 AM   #894
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Final segment of Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Kagoshima route opens: Part 23 (Kagoshima Chūō)

Although not a new station, Kagoshima Chūō Station got a facelift in preparation for the Kyūshū Shinkansen opening. The station was originally called “Nishi-Kagoshima” (West Kagoshima), but was renamed to “Kagoshima Chūō” (Kagoshima Central) after the Shinkansen opened on 2004.03.13.

Some pics:
Souce: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

I think I like the black better than the original red.



Grand staircase.
The station consists of a four-track elevated Shinkansen station teeing into the existing six-track ground-level zairaisen station.



Adjacent to the station building is Amu Plaza Kagoshima, a large JR Kyūshū-operated mall. A large canopy spans the space between the two. There are other Amu Plazas at Kokura (Kita-Kyūshū City), Hakata (Fukuoka City), and Nagasaki, and another one will open at Ōita once the elevation of Ōita Station is complete.



Amu Plaza Kagoshima is 6-7 stories tall (plus one underground level), with gross floor area of 58,000 sq m and total sales foor area of 33,000 sq m. It has 192 stores and annual sales of approx. ¥20 billion.



Rooftop ferris wheel



Second-level concourse near the Shinkansen gates



Departure board:
10:30 Sakura 558 for Shin-Ōsaka
10:53 Sakura 410 for Hakata
Midday Shinkansen schedule is 2 tph (this is the end of the line, so the other 2 tph start / terminate at Kumamoto).



Two 800 series and one N700 series stopped at the station.





Passengers waiting for the Hakata-bound Sakura. Not bad passenger levels. Apparently, Hakata-bound trains are getting filled up primarily in the non-reserved sections (cheapest seats). In addition, the Ōsaka through-services (both Sakura and Mizuho) are close to filled to capacity across all seat types, so hopefully this will be enough justification for JR West to expand interlining with the San’yō Shinkansen.



End of the line



Direct-running Sakura N700 departs the station, bound for Shin-Ōsaka 911 km away. Journey time is 4h 10 m (compared to 3h 47m for Mizuho).

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Old July 24th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #895
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Final segment of Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Kagoshima route opens: Part 24 (800 series)

I had a few posts about the new N700 sets for the Kyūshū Shinkansen, but here’s a more comprehensive look at the other series on the Kyūshū Shinkansen, JR Kyūshū’s own 800 series Shinkansen.
Souce: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

Definitely a different look both inside and out compared to the N700 series, although the series is technically based on the 700 series. Currently, these run primarily within Kyūshū… These units are not used on runs to / from Shin-Ōsaka.



These are designed by Mitooka Eiji, so you can see unique exterior elements like the frequent use of block English lettering and dotted car number decals that don’t show up anywhere else on the Shinkansen network.



Tsubame (swallow) logo, although these units are no longer called Tsubame as they no longer hold exclusive claim to that particular Shinkansen service after the recent opening.



Jet black and red—two colors not normally associated with the Shinkansen.



Washroom uses a noren made of rushes instead of a typical curtain.



800 series only has reserved and non-reserved seating (both 2+2). No green car.



Seat moquettes are Nishijin-style, and the deck partitions are made of camphor wood.



Information scrolls are three-color LED, three per car.



Color schemes, including seat moquettes and wood type, vary from one car to the next.

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Old July 24th, 2011, 11:27 AM   #896
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Final segment of Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Kagoshima route opens: Part 25 (800 series)

Next, the new 800 series (800-1000 and 800-2000 series), the newer units constructed for the opening this March. There were three units introduced, with some minor changes from the first units built for the 2004 opening.



Easiest way to tell the difference between the new and the old units is to look at the overhead racks. The new units use wood on the undersides.



Window roll-down blinds are wooden, designed to be reminiscent of sudare.



Pull-out tables are a little small. The magazine pockets in front are made of genuine leather.



Deck partitions on this car feature gold leaf, the work of a firm specializing in the traditional art from Kanazawa. There have been proposals to do something similar for the new Hokuriku Shinkansen trainsets when the extension to Kanazawa opens in 2014.





TVQ introductory video, made before the extension opened.
Some bonus shots of new N700 series cars being transported by boat and trailer truck.


Source: severaltest on YouTube
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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:04 PM   #897
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JR Hakata City: Part 1

Next, a tour of JR Hakata City. I kind of glossed over it last time, and it’s kind of played “second fiddle” to the renovation of JR Ōsaka Station (Ōsaka Station City), but here’s a more thorough tour of Fukuoka’s largest station + tenant building. Gross floor area is about 200,000 sq m (six times the previous station tenant building), including about 100,000 sq m of retail space. It’s only 60 m tall due to airport-related height restrictions, but about 240 m long, and includes an additional 60 m annex on the south side of the station spanning the train platforms to form an “L” shape, maximizing the development potential.

Anchor tenants are two “transplants”: Hakata Hankyū (the first Kyūshū branch of the department store chain under Hankyū Corporation, one of the major private railway operators in the Ōsaka–Kōbe–Kyōto area) and Tōkyū Hands (the largest Kyūshū branch of the general merchandiser chain under Tōkyū Corporation, one of the major private railway operators in the Tōkyō–Yokohama area). Also taking out space in JR Hakata City are Amu Plaza Hakata (a 230-store mall), cinema complex T-Joy, and Japan’s largest restaurant mall. The building also features a rooftop garden, an event hall, and conference facilities.

First, some pictures of the exterior and outside facilities:
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/





“Hankyū” is in big block characters on the outside. Should make Kansai folks a little happy to see a local name on such a prominent building.



Underneath the small canopy at the station plaza. JR Kyūshū also installed a large-screen outdoor display at this location, which doubles as event space (they used it in the recent Dontaku Festival in May).



Canopy incorporates the translucent fiberglass that seems to be all the rage now in Japan.



Near the entrance to Hakata Hankyū. Pretty big store (42,000 sq m sales area and target sales of ¥37 billion yen during first year), but they are doing well and beating first-year projections.



Looking up at the JR Hakata Studio Terrace, a half-outdoor viewing terrace.



Facing the main entrance of the station.



While the Hakata Hankyū side has the canopy and event space, the primary passenger flows are to / from the center, which connects to the station’s central concourse and public passage.

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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:04 PM   #898
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JR Hakata City: Part 2

The symbol of the new station building is the giant clock (6 m diam) above the main entrance, designed by Mitooka Eiji. The clock also features internal LED lighting for when the sun is down.



On the second floor pedestrian deck, facing south towards the Hakata Hankyū side. Behind us, the deck connects directly into the Hakata Bus Center (station’s bus terminal).



Taxi pool. A fairly large station plaza by Japanese standards (although I suppose typical for other major intercity terminals like Sendai), but used effectively and efficiently.



Now, it’s up to the third-floor JR Hakata Studio Terrace…





From the terrace, looking down at the station plaza, which features about 20 zelkova trees and benching, offering some nice shade and a place to sit. Thankfully, it’s not an all-hardscape plaza. At upper right is the bus terminal.



Maps of central Fukuoka City at the station plaza. JR Hakata Station is the orange box at right. Tenjin, located across the river on the left half of the map, is generally considered the commercial center of Fukuoka City, but JR Hakata City has somewhat changed the dynamic because of its size. The distance between the two, however, isn’t that large (only 2-3 km), and the Fukuoka City Subway Airport Line (orange line) connects Hakata and Tenjin. There are also plans to extend the Nanakuma Line (the green line) from its current terminus at Tenjin Minami Station to JR Hakata Station via Canal City Hakata (a large outdoor mall). The Shinkansen opening has definitely spurred efforts to get this extension built, as it would greatly improve access to Canal City (as well as Tenjin) and make central Fukuoka more friendly to tourists and visitors.



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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:05 PM   #899
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JR Hakata City: Part 3

Next, the nighttime shots, from roughly the same angles:
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/



Illumination scheme includes lighting along the full length of the rafter at the top of the building and concentrated spotlighting at each end and underneath the canopy.



Warm yellow lighting for the station canopy and viewing terrace.







Near the Hakata Hankyū entrance

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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:06 PM   #900
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JR Hakata City: Part 4

Moving to the busy central area…



The logos attached to the exterior—including the JR Hakata City logo here—show up much better during the night.





At capacity.



I’m quite fond of the ground lighting here, particularly from this angle.



The namesake of the JR Hakata Studio Terrace is this satellite studio of FM-FUKUOKA.





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