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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:07 PM   #901
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JR Hakata City: Part 5

Next, some shots of the platforms and the new station concourse:
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

In the distance, the building “annex” (the leg of the “L”) sits atop the platforms. These tracks and platforms are elevated, so a new station concourse was built on Level 3 of the station (there’s still the existing concourse on the ground level).



New glass-enclosed escalators to / from the third-floor concourse.





The new concourse spans two floors in height and includes a café with seating.



It also features some nice views outside onto the trains below. Looks like a Yufuin no Mori is stopped at the station.



New concourse features some beautiful porcelain tilework in the Arita-yaki (or Imari) style. This was installed as part of the JR Hakata Station Art Project, and selected members of the public were allowed to paint their own tiles, which were then assembled to look like a forest. This effort was collaboratively directed by Senju Hiroshi (famous Japanese artist) and Mitooka Eiji. This area is entirely within the station’s faregates, and you must have a train ticket or station entry pass to enter.



Exiting the faregates, we see the full-color LCD departure boards (three wide, plus one for general messages and information) and the Midori no Madoguchi (staffed counter for special tickets, etc.). The third-floor concourse is much quieter because its not located on a major pedestrian access route through the station (that job is reserved for the ground-level central concourse. Hopefully, people will become more familiar with this part of the station and start to use it more.



Hakata Hankyū has another entrance right next to the third-floor faregates.

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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:07 PM   #902
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JR Hakata City: Part 6

A few more shots of the new concourse:
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/



The high ceiling affords views into the ELLE Café inside Hakata Hankyū. This is the first such venture for the French fashion magazine.



The café inside the station concourse is operated as a Nescafe branch, and has some small rocking chairs for young kids to enjoy the train views.



Zairaisen limited expresses and commuter EMUs at the station







Not many places where you can get this kind of close-up of a pantograph.









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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:08 PM   #903
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JR Hakata City: Part 7

Next, a collection of various shots from elsewhere around the station:
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

Midday hustle and bustle inside the central concourse. While it’s not Tōkyō or Ōsaka Station, Hakata is still quite busy as JR’s central terminal for Fukuoka. The columns here feature more of the same porcelain tiles found in the third-floor concourse.



Atrium opening spans three levels







Newly renovated Central Gate includes new faregates and full-color large-screen LCD departure boards.



Hakata Hankyū



Hakata Hankyū occupies the large rectangle at bottom. The space is actually located a short way off of the large central concourse. To the left is the Hakata Exit (Hakata Gate), which contains the “front” of the new station tenant building and the redesigned station plaza. The Chikushi Exit on the opposite side of the station is a bit less imposing.



This corridor separates Hakata Hankyū (to the left) and Amu Plaza (to the right).



Gotta love Hankyū style…

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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:09 PM   #904
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JR Hakata City: Part 8

The roof of the building— known as Tsubame no Mori Hiroba (“Swallow Forest Plaza”)—houses a garden, a viewing terrace, a “railway shrine”, a dog run, and a small moving model railway for the kids to ride. While the building height is limited by Fukuoka Airport, you can still get some pretty nice views of Fukuoka’s urbanscape from the rooftop.



The omote-sandō (shrine road) leading to the special “railway shrine” to pray for safe journeys. Like actual omote-sandō, there’s a lot of food and souvenir shops.



Tsubame Densha (“Swallow Train”), a mini-train setup for the kids



Viewing terrace and “sky farm” appear to be quite popular.





Last are the eighth-floor viewing restrooms:
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/

These type of restrooms seem to be getting more popular.





Someone doing their business…



Short video tour of JR Hakata City:


Source: ShinkenchikuSha on YouTube
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Old July 26th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #905
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Shimo-Yoshida Station

A short tour of another renovated station on the Fuji Kyūkō Line.
Source: http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/

This is a small local station, opening in 1929. Station building was modeled after the original Nagoya Station, but has been renovated with the assistance of Mitooka Eiji and his design firm.



The result was a mix of old and new.





Mt. Fuji can be seen from the rotary outside the station, which is nestled in a residential neighborhood in Yoshida City.





Bench is designed with a rising back like Mt. Fuji.



Nighttime view





Ceiling features an illustration of a phoenix.



Manned ticket gates





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Old July 26th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #906
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Kyūshū Shinkansen three-month performance

On 2011.06.13, JR Kyūshū released ridership figures for the first three months (2011.03.12 to 2011.06.11) after the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Kagoshima route:
http://www13.jrkyushu.co.jp/newsrele...t?OpenFrameSet

Ridership between Hakata and Kumamoto was 2.187 million, a 35% increase over the previous zairaisen limited express, but just shy of the target 40% increase. Ridership between Kumamoto and Kagoshima Chūō is doing well, though, with 1.293 million (a 62% increase). The line got off to a slow start due to the earthquake and tsunami, but it has been consistently growing month-to-month:

Ridership growth over limited expresses
Hakata – Kumamoto:
March: 26%
April: 34%
May: 42%

Kumamoto – Kagoshima Chūō:
March: 53%
April: 58%
May: 70%

On both sections, ridership on weekends and holidays is 13% to 14% higher than for weekdays, indicating that tourism is a big draw for users.

Average daily ridership
Hakata – Kumamoto: 23,800 (17,600 for limited expresses)
Kumamoto – Kagoshima Chūō: 14,100 (8,700 for limited expresses)

Average seat utilization
Hakata – Kumamoto: 40%
  • Shin-Ōsaka through-services: 61% (57% for Mizuho and 62% for Sakura)
  • Kyūshū only services (incl. Shin-Shimonoseki): 32% (43% for Sakura and 23% for Tsubame]
Kumamoto – Kagoshima Chūō: 38%
  • Shin-Ōsaka through-services: 41% (35% for Mizuho and 43% for Sakura)
  • Kyūshū only services (incl. Shin-Shimonoseki): 35% (42% for Sakura and 21% for Tsubame]
Ridership by station (vs. projected first-year ridership by JR Kyūshū)
Shin-Tosu: 1,450 (1,700)
Kurume: 2,500 (2,700)
Chikugo Funagoya: 650 (950)
Shin-Ōmuta: 700 (1,150)
Shin-Tamana: 900 (900)
Kumamoto: 12,550 (13,100)

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

July 2011 CMs for the Kyūshū Shinkansen, this time for from JR West.

Targets tourists to Kyūshū:



Targets people from Kyūshū living elsewhere in Japan:



The Kyūshū dialects are a refreshing departure from standard Japanese. Also interesting to note is the “Let’s reconnect Japan” logo borrowed from JR East’s CM regarding the Tōhoku Shinkansen reopening.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 01:51 AM   #907
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Japan keen to develop Thailand high-speed rail service
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...d-rail-service

Quote:
Japan is interested in developing a 230 billion baht high-speed train service from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Rayong, says Supoj Saplom, permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry

Mr Supoj said he had learned about the interest at a meeting yesterday with Akira Yonezawa, deputy director-general for engineering affairs at Japan's Railway Bureau. The full line would be more than 800km long, he was told. The two met a day after a high-speed train accident in China that killed 35 people.

Mr Supoj said Japan was highly experienced in high-speed railways and its bullet trains had never had an accident.

In China a lightning strike caused a power outage that brought to a halt a high-speed train on an elevated track in the city of Wenzhou. Then another high-speed train smashed into the stalled one from behind, killing at least 38 people.

Thai transport and engineering authorities said they did not think a similar accident could occur here due to the Kingdom's higher safety standards.

There was a Japanese language article about this earlier… I’ll see if I can translate it later.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #908
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Kawasaki says Wenzhou crash won’t affect Shinkansen exports
http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20110726D26JFA08.htm

Quote:
KOBE (Nikkei)--Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.'s (7012) business of exporting trains is unlikely to be affected by the recent high-speed train crash in China, Chairman Tadaharu Ohashi said Tuesday.

The train cars involved in Saturday's deadly accident were manufactured based on technology supplied by foreign firms, including Kawasaki Heavy's technologies for its Hayate shinkansen bullet train.

"Although the cause (of the crash) is unknown at present, I don't think that it will affect our company," Ohashi told reporters in Kobe.

The remark is the first public comment on the crash by a senior executive at the train manufacturer.

Ohashi noted that China is in the midst of a change in leadership, so that could be a factor behind the delay in launching an investigation of the accident.

"I believe that the truth will come out over time, so for now we'll closely watch the developments," he said.

Kawasaki Heavy is trying to determine where Japanese technologies were used in China's new high-speed trains.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 08:08 AM   #909
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Panel group compiles final proposal for Shikoku Shinkansen
http://www.nikkei.com/news/local/art...E2E2EBE0E0E4EB

Quote:
The Panel Group on a Vision for the Railway Network in Shikoku, comprised of the four Shikoku prefectural governments, economic groups, affected agencies, and academic experts, held its third session in Takamatsu City on July 27, compiling a final proposal aiming to introduce Shinkansen to Shikoku.

The proposal calls for “improving the opportunity to introduce Shinkansen and positioning an extension of the Shinkansen to Shikoku from Okayama via the Great Seto Bridge,” connecting into the nationwide Shinkansen network. The proposal calls for implementing a “super limited express” design within Shikoku, where the gauge is the same as zairaisen.

Currently, even limited expresses in Shikoku travel at a maximum speed of 80 km/h. The proposal recommends speeding up the lines to over 150 km/h in the future, connecting cities in a short amount of time.

Expansion of the Shinkansen is being carried out nationwide, with the full length of the Kagoshima route of the Kyūshū Shinkansen opening in March of this year, and the proposal stresses that “Shikoku is a very late arrival to the regional competition scene.” The proposal pointed out that introduction of a railway system that is resilient to disaster is critical to strengthening response to a Tōnankai or Nankai earthquake, as being shown by the state of recovery following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The Panel Group will now lobby the national government, while holding symposiums and other events to explain the contents of the proposal to citizens of Shikoku’s four prefectures. In addition, the proposal calls for establishing preparatory working groups for railway operators, the four prefectural governments, and economic groups, advancing discourse regarding the project in an effort to jumpstart project studies as early as possible.
Still a ways off in the future, but if the Free Gauge Train development effort proves successful, we could see Shinkansen in Shikoku.

Window view from Marine Liner 36 for Okayama, between Sakaide on Shikoku and Kojima on the main island. On this section, the train uses the Seto Ōhashi Line, which occupies the bottom deck of the Great Seto Bridge connecting Shikoku and Honshū. There is additional space on the lower deck of the bridge to accommodate two Shinkansen tracks.


Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube
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Old July 30th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #910
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JR East rescinds post-quake speed limits on Tōhoku Shinkansen, returns Hayabusa to pre-quake schedule

On 2011.07.09, JR East rescinded some of the speed limits on portions of the Tōhoku Shinkansen, originally established after the resumption of service following the earthquake in order to ensure safety and carry out additional reinforcement works on aerial structures and other infrastructure. The affected section is between Nasu–Shiobara and Morioka.

After the resumption of service, Hayate trains took 4h 23m between Tōkyō and Shin-Aomori (one hour longer than pre-quake) and 2h 6m (28 m longer than pre-quake), with only 86% of the pre-quake trains operated. With the removal of the speed limit, it’s now only 3h 44m between Tōkyō and Shin-Aomori and 1h 48m between Tōkyō and Sendai. They also increased the schedule by 17 trains, bringing service back to 96% of pre-quake levels. The Yamagata Shinkansen schedule is now completely back to pre-quake levels, while the Akita Shinkansen was upped to 14 roundtrips (one less than pre-quake), with travel times reduced by 30 minutes.

The E5 Hayabusa is also back to pre-quake levels (two roundtrips Tōkyō – Shin-Aomori and one roundtrip Tōkyō – Sendai), although the travel time between Tōkyō and Shin-Aomori is still 20 minutes longer than pre-quake levels.

Hayabusa 405 at Tōkyō Station (2011.07.21):


Source: karibajct on YouTube

The schedule is supposed to completely return to pre-quake levels some time in autumn.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #911
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Recent SL action

Some recent action on the steam front:

SL Minakami was operated on the Jōetsu Line (Takasaki – Minakami) on 2011.07.02 and 2011.07.03 as a special double-headed service. Included in the beginning of the video is the simultaneous departure from Takasaki Station on 2011.07.02 alongside the SL Usui for the Shin’etsu Main Line to kick-off a local tourism campaign for Gunma Prefecture.


Source: viewchorosuke on YouTube

SL Okhotsk returns to Hokkaidō after a 36-year hiatus, running between Shiretoko Shari on the Senmō Main Line and Kitami on the Sekihoku Main Line via Abashiri (2011.07.02):


Source: m6s24hst on YouTube

SL Yamaguchi, which celebrated carrying its 2,000,000th passenger on 2011.07.23:


Source: kawakamikoumuten on YouTube
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Old July 31st, 2011, 06:38 AM   #912
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quashlo, thanks for photos and information about Kyushu Shinkansen. That was really great, the line and stations are amazing. I'm patiently waiting for opening of Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa, probably that line will be even more interesting - mountains, ski resorts, onsen, sea and traditional architecture. All what means living in Japan.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:38 AM   #913
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Hokuriku Shinkansen construction update: Part 1

First, some pics of erection of 300 t cross-beams in Toyama for the Shinkansen overpass above the Nōetsu Expressway (2011.07.06), near Fukuoka IC. Thanks to Momo1435 for finding this blog.
Source: http://chalk2-blog.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/









More from Toyama:
Source: http://chalk2-blog.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/

Aerial structure is shaping up nicely.



Preparing to lift one of the beams



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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:39 AM   #914
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Yes, agreed... I think the Hokuriku Shinkansen will offer a nice contrast to the more utilitarian Tōkaidō Shinkansen.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:40 AM   #915
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Hokuriku Shinkansen construction update: Part 1

First, some pics of erection of 300 t cross-beams in Toyama for the Shinkansen overpass above the Nōetsu Expressway (2011.07.06), near Fukuoka IC. Thanks to Momo1435 for finding this blog.
Source: http://chalk2-blog.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/









More from Toyama:
Source: http://chalk2-blog.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/

Aerial structure is shaping up nicely.



Preparing to lift one of the beams



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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:42 AM   #916
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Hokuriku Shinkansen construction update: Part 2

From another blog, construction of another overpass near Shimo-Kaihotsu, Takaoka City (2011.07.02):
Source: http://kenkizuki.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/









Moving to Ishikawa Prefecture (2011.07):
Source: http://kenkizuki.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/

Aerial structure between Nonoichi Station and Mattō Station on the Hokuriku Main Line:



Moving west a bit closer to Mattō Station, where they are using a combination of a beam launcher and gantry crane to lift the beams into place.









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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:42 AM   #917
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Hokuriku Shinkansen construction update: Part 3

Back to Takaoka City (2011.07.17):
Source: http://kenkizuki.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/



They are in the process of setting up the beam launcher.



Moving further east to Namerikawa City, where they constructing a pretty long overpass over a local road.









A few later pictures (2011.07.26):
Source: http://kenkizuki.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/

More progress on the beam launcher at the Nōetsu Expressway overpass:



Moving to Oyabe City:



Another overpass to be constructed over a local road.





The tall soundwalls and homes right next to the line speak to the noise requirements and running environment for Shinkansen.





Waiting to be lifted…

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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:43 AM   #918
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Hokuriku Shinkansen construction update: Part 4

Moving to the Itoigawa area (2011.07.17)
Source: http://www5.plala.or.jp/tanukinekochan/Shinkansen/

West portal of the Mineyama Tunnel



Nō Track Yard is located near the portal to temporarily store track to be laid.



From atop the west portal of Mineyama Tunnel, looking towards the Nō River Bridge, the Itoigawa Omi Viaduct, and the Shin-Kiura Tunnel. Can see the taller soundwalls at the portal.



Temporary track-laying underway to transport the track slab sections. After fixing down the slab sections, they can begin work on the actual Shinkansen track.



Structural works on the Nō River Bridge are complete. To the left is the Shin-Kiura Tunnel.



Itoigawa Omi Viaduct



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Old August 1st, 2011, 05:43 AM   #919
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Hokuriku Shinkansen construction update: Part 5

Toyama Station construction (2011.07):
Source: http://ameblo.jp/virtualterminal/

Columns at the east end of the station



Foundation works on the north side of the columns. To the left are the temporary platforms at the station.



Columns and scaffolding rising on the east side. The large building to the right is ESTA, the station tenant building for Toyama Chihō Railroad, a local private railway in the Toyama region.



At the west end, foundation work.



In the distance, we can see the bridge work across the Jintsū River.

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Old August 12th, 2011, 06:31 PM   #920
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JR East to establish consulting firm to take on Alstom, Siemens
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...m-siemens.html

Quote:
East Japan Railway Co. (9020), the world’s largest listed train operator, plans to form a company this year to help coordinate domestic rail suppliers attempts to challenge Alstom SA (ALO) and Siemens AG for train projects overseas.

“We’re setting our sights on the world,” Masaki Ogata, JR East’s vice chairman for overseas affairs, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. “The organization will pull together all of Japan’s railway businesses.”

JR East aims to begin full operations of the company next year, offering packages for overseas projects that include trains, operations, signals and other parts, Ogata said. Japanese rail companies have supplied high-speed trains to Taiwan and the U.K., while companies from other countries built the infrastructure.

The planned company will be similar to Paris-based Systra, Ogata said. The French company, part-owned by rail operators Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais and Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens, had sales of more than 250 million euros ($356 million) last year and has helped local suppliers including Alstom win projects in more than 150 countries since its formation in 1957.

JR East rose 0.2 percent to 4,505 yen as of the 3 p.m. close of trading in Tokyo, compared with a 0.2 percent decline in the Nikkei 225 Stock Average. The shares have dropped 15 percent this year.

$40 Billion
JR East has already allied with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (7012) and other Japanese companies to bid for parts of a California high-speed rail project estimated to cost more than $40 billion. The nation’s rail companies are targeting overseas sales as a shrinking population stymies growth at home.

The Kawasaki Heavy-led group plans to bid for a contract to build both the railway and trains for the California high-speed line, Ogata said. The companies won’t bid on the civil- engineering project that will precede the railway work, he said.

JR East wants to advise on setting up the new train system in the state and may consider operating it, if asked, Ogata said. Systra, Alstom, Siemens and China Railway Construction Corp. are among the companies that have expressed interest in supplying the California project, according to the state-backed California High Speed Rail Authority’s website.

Civil engineering work on the new rail line is scheduled to begin next year, according to the authority’s website. The line will eventually link Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2 hours 40 minutes.

An East Japan Railway Co. Shinkansen bullet-train 'Hayabusa' approches Tokyo Station in Tokyo. East Japan Railway Co. is the world’s largest listed rail operator. Photographer: Haruyoshi Yamaguchi/Bloomberg
An English article with a few more details on the NHK news I posted a while ago…
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