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Old October 31st, 2011, 12:50 PM   #961
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Just a random shot of an N700 series Shinkansen, as I arrived at Nagoya station. I'll be in the Nagoya area until April, so I should be able to enjoy more of the area.
It's well known that the N700 has fast acceleration, but you really have to experience it for yourself to realise just how powerful it is!
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Old October 31st, 2011, 03:26 PM   #962
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I'll be in the Nagoya area until April, so I should be able to enjoy more of the area.
Make sure to get a ride on a 300 series before you leave, they will be retired by the spring. They're still used on a handful of Kodama and Hikari services.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:01 AM   #963
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JR East acquires Tōkyū Car Company’s railcar manufacturing business
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/press/20111002/index.html

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East Japan Railway Company ("JR East") and Tokyu Corporation have agreed that JR East will acquire the management rights to the railway car manufacturing business of Tokyu Corporation’s 100% subsidiary Tokyu Car Corporation ("Tokyu Car").

Plan concerning acquisition of management rights
Tokyu Corporation will separate the railway car manufacturing business of Tokyu Car as a demerging entity and, on April 1, 2012 (planned date), will transfer this business to a "new railway car company" that is to be established by Tokyu Corporation as a 100% subsidiary.

JR East will acquire all shares of the new railway car company from Tokyu Corporation on April 2, 2012 (planned date), making the new railway company a 100% subsidiary of JR East.
The trade name of the new railway car company will be decided prior to the acquisition of management rights.

Aim of management rights acquisition and future developments
Establishment of the railway car manufacturing business as the "fourth pillar of operations"
JR East has manufactured approximately 3,600 cars over 17 years at its Niitsu Rolling Stock Manufacturing Factory, and has improved its stainless steel commuter car manufacturing technology. This acquisition will incorporate the development design ability and express-train car manufacturing capability of Tokyu Car into the JR East Group, producing synergistic effects with the Niitsu Rolling Stock Manufacturing Factory. This will establish the railway car manufacturing business as the "fourth pillar of operations" of the JR East Group, making it possible to meet challenges and make further advances as a corporate group that is a leader in railway technology.

Business expansion in the Japanese market
By combining cost-competitive car manufacturing with efficient car inspection, the JR East Group aims to expand its business in the Japanese market by providing high-quality and low-cost cars.

Business expansion to overseas markets
In the future, the JR East Group will strive to further enhance its comprehensive railway car manufacturing and maintenance technical ability, and cooperate with a newly established consultant company (Japan International Consultants for Transportation Co., Ltd. ("JIC")) to expand its business overseas in areas ranging from metropolitan area transport to high-speed railways.

Management rights acquisition date
April 2, 2012 (planned)
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:02 AM   #964
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Mitsubishi Heavy mulls Europe rail deal to boost technology
http://news.businessweek.com/article...1GBSR3OONS467M

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Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., the Japanese maker of trains, ships and planes, may buy or team up with European rail suppliers to add technology and bolster bids for projects in Asia.

“We would use a European acquisition to help us compete in projects in that area,” Yoichi Kujirai, the Tokyo-based company's senior vice president for machinery and infrastructure, said in an Oct. 21 interview. He declined to comment on possible targets or an acquisition budget.

Japan's biggest heavy-machinery maker would aim for acquisitions that could expand its product offerings, Kujirai said, without elaboration. The company has already formed an alliance with Hitachi Ltd. to bid for overseas contracts as Southeast Asian and Middle East governments invest in railways amid rising populations and worsening traffic congestions.

“Looking at acquisitions seems to be the right direction for Mitsubishi Heavy,” said Masashi Hayami, a Tokyo-based analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “There's a number of projects under way in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and together these could have a huge impact on the company's business.”

The trainmaker may consider acquisitions or partnerships that could bolster its operations and maintenance offerings, as these are weaker spots for the company and they often require local knowledge, Hayami said. He has a “neutral” rating on the company.

Hitachi Partnership
Mitsubishi Heavy and Hitachi, which makes commuter trains, are already bidding for a rail contract in Southeast Asia worth several tens of billions of yen, Kujirai said, declining to elaborate. It's the first project since the two companies formed a partnership, he said.

The companies agreed last year to work together on the design, manufacture, construction and sale of commuter and subway trains overseas. The Nikkei newspaper said in August that they were in talks on merging infrastructure-related units. The companies denied it.

Mitsubishi Heavy, which makes driverless trains, fell 2.2 percent to 315 yen at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Tokyo. The shares have risen 3.3 percent this year compared with a 14 percent slump in the Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

The company also plans to target more sales of incinerators in China amid an increasing focus on the environment, Kujirai said. It won orders for two plants already this year, he said.

“We're looking at several possibilities to sell incinerators in China,” Kujirai said. “They're interested in buying top-quality facilities.”

Sales Targets
The company expects sales at its machinery and steel infrastructure unit, which includes transportation, to fall 18 percent to 460 billion yen ($6 billion) in the year ending March 31. It predicts profit will dip 7.4 percent to 25 billion yen.

The unit will meet the forecasts, Kujirai said. He declined to say how much of its sales come from transportation. The company, which also builds gas turbines, satellite-launch vehicles and construction equipment, expects net income to rise 16 percent to 35 billion yen.

The trainmaker announced the completion of a 23-kilometer driverless rail system last month in Dubai, the world's longest, and of a 2-kilometer long automated people mover at Miami's international airport.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:03 AM   #965
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Japan looks at high speed freight services
http://www.rail.co/2011/11/07/japan-...ight-services/

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Japan is looking at the possibility of introducing high speed ‘cargo bullet’ trains for use on lines shared with Shinkansen services.

The 33 mile long Seikan tunnel, that connects Hokkaido with northern Honsu, is expected to see the Hokkaido Shinkansen introduced in 2015.

The tunnel already has 42 freight trains pass through it every day and reducing these is not practical as it would have a severe impact on freight distribution within Japan.

It is necessary to introduce a high speed freight service on the route because the wind turbulence generated by a passing Shinkansen has the ability to derail a freight train which can be avoided if the freight train travels at a similar speed to the Shinkansen.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:04 AM   #966
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Hsinchu’s Neiwan Line steams back to life
http://www.taiwantoday.tw/ct.asp?xIt...984&ctNode=445

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Taiwan Railways Administration Neiwan Line resumed full operations Nov. 11 in Hsinchu County amid clouds of steam and shrill whistle toots from DT668, the island’s heaviest-ever locomotive.

A host of central and local government officials and lawmakers, including ROC Premier Wu Den-yih, Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo and Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun, were on hand for the rainswept opening ceremony.

“This special occasion has brought people together from all levels of government and shows what can be accomplished when everyone is pulling in the same direction,” Wu said. “Steam trains played a key role in building Taiwan’s early infrastructure and this tradition will continue with promoting rail tourism.”

Situated in the easternmost part of Hengshan Township, Neiwan is one of Taiwan’s three remaining branch lines built during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945). The scenic route is considered one of the jewels in Taiwan’s rail tourism crown, but has been closed for nearly five years due to construction of the 11.1-kilometer Liujia Line.

Echoing Wu’s remarks, Chiu said he feels privileged to be involved in the reopening of the Neiwan Line.

“This rail route will soon be hosting tourists from all over the country and abroad. With the right promotion and support, there is every reason to expect Neiwan can take its rightful place at the head of Taiwan rail trip table.”

The county magistrate also praised current and former TRA employees for overseeing restoration of the DT668.

Constructed 60 years ago by Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., the “iron beast,” as the locomotive is fondly referred to by TRA officials, weighs 124.46 metric tons and boasts a top speed of 85 kilometers per hour. It was once capable of hauling 17 metric tons, shouldering the bulk of Taiwan’s railway heavy-duty freight needs.

Mothballed in 1983, the DT668 underwent an 11-month refit beginning last December. The end result, according to many rail enthusiasts ogling the steam engine at Zhuzhong Station, head of the Liujia Line, more than justified the cost.

But the resumption of complete service on the Neiwan Line was not the only piece of rail-friendly news for the residents of Hsinchu. The long-awaited Liujia Line, linking Hsinchu High Speed Rail Station with downtown Hsinchu, opened earlier in the day.

Hundreds of passengers took advantage of the new service, which reduces the 35-minute bus journey by 15 minutes, boosting convenience for HSR and TRA passengers.

“Although Hsinchu possesses enviable road and rail links, the new line was long overdue and will enable the HSR to fulfill its potential in serving the county,” Chiu said. “We can now look at fasttracking complementary tourism development initiatives.”

DT668 prepares to steam out of Zhuzhong Station bound for Neiwan Nov. 11 in Hsinchu County. (Staff Photos/John Scott Marchant)
Reminds me a bit of the beautiful old Asia Express steam train for the South Manchuria Railway Company:


Source: ReinaManchukuo on YouTube
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:05 AM   #967
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India to get Shinkansen sales blitz
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nb20111102a6.html

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The government plans to wage a marketing drive to sell shinkansen technology to India.

Officials from the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry and engineers from East Japan Railway Co. and Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) plan to visit India early this month for talks with Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi and other officials to promote bullet-train technology, government and diplomatic sources said.

The government is also planning a seminar in January for Indian government officials to underline the safety record and reliability of shinkansen technology.

The Indian government has drawn up a blueprint to build a high-speed rail system to cope with expanding demand for intercity travel amid a fast-growing economy.

In New Delhi, Gautam Bambawale, the Indian Foreign Ministry official in charge of East Asian affairs, told a group of Japanese journalists Monday that bullet-train technology is expected to be on the agenda during Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's visit to India before the end of the year.

The Indian Ministry of Railways has unveiled plans to build six high-speed lines to link major industrial and population centers.
Of the six lines being proposed, feasibility studies for four have already been awarded to European firms, including one financed by SNCF. The Japan Railway Technical Service (JARTS), which the JR companies are members of, is focusing on the remaining two lines in southern India.

Of course, the response hasn’t all been good, as seen below.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:06 AM   #968
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No takers for Japanese bullet trains
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/j.../1/161803.html

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The railway ministry's fascination for Japanese bullet trains has not found "realistic" takers. In fact, several former and serving officials in the Railway Board have junked it as "a pipe dream" which is not "economically viable".

A former board member for traffic said: "Is the ministry ready to increase the fare to a minimum of Rs.10,000 per person on the Delhi-Patna and Delhi-Mumbai routes? If not, how will it recover the construction cost of a single track, which would be at least Rs.20,000 crore?"

Japan was in all earnestness promoting the Shinkansen (bullet train) system for the six high-speed corridors proposed in India. After meetings last month in Mumbai, it also organised a day-long presentation at the Rail Bhavan earlier this month. It was attended by railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and senior rail officials.

The Japanese delegation highlighted the zero fatal accident-record of its bullet trains since their introduction in 1964. In this respect, the Japanese are one up on the Chinese, which brought the curtains down on its high-speed projects after a tragic accident on the Shanghai line.

The railway ministry is currently undertaking feasibility studies on the Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar, Varanasi-Patna, Haldia-Howrah, Delhi-Agra-Lucknow, Hyderabad-Vijaywada-Chennai and Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam corridors.
Though Trivedi is said to be in favour of the trains, many officials doubt if it is a "profitable proposition" for the Indian Railways, which is not even in a position to invest a few thousand crores to install anti-fog and anti-collision devices on its trains. "The world over, the high-speed corridors are constructed on routes less than 500-km long and on circuits with no air connectivity. Who would pay higher than the air fare to travel longer to Patna, Kolkata or Mumbai?" an official asked.

Some experts also countered Trivedi's bullet train idea on three points: (a) Who will pay for the investment? (b) If it is a soft loan, will the cash-strapped ministry ensure the repayment? (c) Can the ministry ensure the required investment under the PPP mode?

Technical experts say the condition of the existing tracks is not conducive to running bullet or other fast trains, which run at 160 kmph.
In September, Trivedi asked for cooperation and support from the Japanese government for possible high-speed railways on the Delhi – Kolkata and Delhi – Mumbai corridors:
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...0504003-n1.htm
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Old December 15th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #969
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JR East to develop new E7 series for Hokuriku Shinkansen extension
http://mainichi.jp/select/wadai/news...40231000c.html

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In concert with the opening of the 228 km extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Nagano to Kanazawa in late FY2014, JR East will develop a next-generation train—the E7 series—for commercial service. Using the current E2 series trains as a base, JR East will boost the tractive power and improve environmental performance and passenger comfort. The railway has already begun basic design of the new trains, and by summer of next year will complete a prototype unit for test running.

Starting in spring 2013, JR East will launch 320 km/h service with the Tōhoku Shinkansen’s E5 series Hayabusa, the fastest service in the country. The railway will also debut the E6 series trains on the Akita Shinkansen. The development of the upcoming E7 series is being spurred by the replacement cycle of the first E2 series trains, which debuted with the opening of the Tōkyō – Nagano section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen in October 1997.

The E2 series, which will serve as the base for the new trains, was developed in-house by JR East, and is operated on various services including the Nagano Shinkansen’s Asama and the Tōhoku Shinkansen’s Hayate services. A key feature of the E2 series is it’s power, maintaining stable running at over 170 km/h along perilous mountain alignments.

For the E7 series, JR East will further enhance the train’s motors, making it possible to run at over 200 km/h on steep grades. The nose of the train will be modified to a new design that reduces micro-pressure waves when the train enters tunnels. The railway will also reduce noise along the line by equipping noise absorption panels along the train’s sides and introducing low-noise pantographs.

When the extension opens, Hokuriku Shinkansen trains are planned to operate in 10-car formations, with travel time between Tōkyō and Toyama at 2 hours, 10 minutes, and between Tōkyō and Kanazawa at around 2 ˝ hours. With the introduction of the E7 series, however, the railway is expecting to further reduce the travel time. JR East will handle operations between Tōkyō and Jōetsu, while JR West will handle operations between Jōetsu and Kanazawa.
There is no official press release from JR East on this yet, and Mainichi Shimbun is the only one reporting on this news.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #970
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Nice to hear that, so it will in essence be something of a cross between an E2 and the newer E5/6. And they are really getting a move on with it, since they are scheduled to have a complete prototype by next year.

Great work quashlo, keep the news coming!!
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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #971
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Japan to decide on start of construction of 3 bullet-train sections
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TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan plan to decide as early as next week to launch construction of three stretches of shinkansen bullet train lines, party lawmakers said Thursday.

They are sections between Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture and Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, between Hakodate and Sapporo in Hokkaido on the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line, and Isahaya and Nagasaki in Nagasaki Prefecture on the Kyushu Shinkansen Line's Nagasaki branch route, for which planning dates back to 1973.

Actual construction is expected to start in early 2012 or later.

More: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/...dm024000c.html


So now look at this map: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...0110312_en.png

The only part of the map that will have "planned" will just be the planned route to Osaka in the Hokuriku Shinkansen and I guess now that they will start construction of all other planned lines all of their focus now will be on deciding that route.

So in 2012 there will be 775 km of shinkansen track U/C.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 01:00 PM   #972
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That's great to hear, but it's pretty much expected in my eyes. They have a large skilled workforce (with loads of specialized machinery) that is going out of work as they complete the current extensions (Tohoku and Kyushu are completed, Hokuriku and Hokkaido in the next few years). So instead of finding other work for them, just expand the Shinkansen Network. And by doing that they build for a better future with less dependence on car/air to get around in Japan.
And seeing that the 1973 plan is still valid for all parts than one (Narita branch), then they have still loads of projects to continue after these ones...
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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #973
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One thing I am worried about though is all these projects will finish in around 15 years...and if they start construction of the next things that will be in 30 years from now...the Maglev will already be running. Won't conventional shinkansen be beggining to be outdated and they should think of upgrading the "master plan" to maglev?? Also I am worried about LCC.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:44 PM   #974
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Originally Posted by NihonKitty View Post
One thing I am worried about though is all these projects will finish in around 15 years...and if they start construction of the next things that will be in 30 years from now...the Maglev will already be running. Won't conventional shinkansen be beggining to be outdated and they should think of upgrading the "master plan" to maglev?? Also I am worried about LCC.
Are regional rail lines outdated with the introduction of HSR? They can exist alongside each other, as long as there is enough demand for both modes of transport.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:54 PM   #975
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Regional rail lines are not HSR...while maglev and shinkansen are both HSR..on dedicated rail lines and serve the same purpose (high speed travel).The point is in 30 years if the Chuo Shinkansen (maglev) turns out to be very effective I wonder how much sense it will make to continue building conventional shinkansen instead of maglev shinkansen. Not only that maglev has clear advantages with speed, maintenance cost etc. Speed is especially important since LCC are entering the market in Japan for the first time, it's important to be able to compete with them.

Although cost is the biggest problem, hopefully after the Chuo Shinkansen is completed the cost will go down dramatically.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 11:12 PM   #976
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Originally Posted by loefet View Post
That's great to hear, but it's pretty much expected in my eyes. They have a large skilled workforce (with loads of specialized machinery) that is going out of work as they complete the current extensions (Tohoku and Kyushu are completed, Hokuriku and Hokkaido in the next few years). So instead of finding other work for them, just expand the Shinkansen Network. And by doing that they build for a better future with less dependence on car/air to get around in Japan.
And seeing that the 1973 plan is still valid for all parts than one (Narita branch), then they have still loads of projects to continue after these ones...
Yes, a frequently asked question - which wheeled Shinkansen lines are due for completion by 2027? Which are due between 2027 and 2045?
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Old December 16th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #977
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NihonKitty:
Since they have more or less covered the most "sensible" lines from the 1973 master plan, sensible as in reasonable crowded areas, the rest of them are more remote and would more or less only function as backup lines if other becomes damaged. Then building new lines after these new ones are done seems a bit pointless, unless there is a sudden increase in child births and people start moving out to the countryside, which will create the need for them. Even though I would love to see a new line between Osaka and Kyushu, which would go through Wakayama, Awaji-shima, Shikoku and Beppu...

The biggest advantage of the Japanese Maglev system is that it's in a sense backwards compatible, meaning that current lines can be rebuilt to Maglev without much problem. Especially the newer ones that are nearly 100% slab track. That's the main reason why the Maglev trains have a smaller loading gauge compared to the rail bound Shinkansen trains, so that the trough in which the Maglev trains run still fit within the rail Shinkansen loading gauge.
So who knows after Chuo Shinkansen we might see a conversion of some of the lines to Maglev technology (my guesses would be Sanyo and Tohoku/Hokkaido), then you would more or less make Airlines redundant on almost every route in Japan, which is a good thing when thinking on reducing greenhouse gasses.

Just my 2 cent...

There is no fixed schedule as such, only that the "master plan" says where the different lines would go and that they should be built. Only the Narita Shinkansen have been cancelled, but the rest "must" be built as it is a law. The rest of the lines have been put on hold until further notice.
Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinkan...inkansen_lines
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Old December 17th, 2011, 12:05 AM   #978
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I didn't know about the "backwards compatible" that's good to hear and changes what I was thinking completely now. Though I can see problems with converting them into maglev since it will probably take a few years and then there will be no HSR service on those lines at all during that period...but eventually they all need to be fixed due to the aging infrastructure anyways.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 10:45 AM   #979
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Originally Posted by loefet View Post
NihonKitty:
Since they have more or less covered the most "sensible" lines from the 1973 master plan, sensible as in reasonable crowded areas, the rest of them are more remote and would more or less only function as backup lines if other becomes damaged. Then building new lines after these new ones are done seems a bit pointless, unless there is a sudden increase in child births and people start moving out to the countryside, which will create the need for them. Even though I would love to see a new line between Osaka and Kyushu, which would go through Wakayama, Awaji-shima, Shikoku and Beppu...
The more remote ones are often not backups at all. For example, Sapporo-Asahikawa is not a backup for anything, but rather connects a slightly less crowded area.

Japan has 20 000 km of standard gauge railways, out of which 13 000 km are electrified - and just 2400 km of wide gauge Shinkansen lines. Some people are needing all of these 13 000 km electric railways. Yet these are limited to 130 km/h, and require changing trains to Shinkansen. Which 1000 or 2000 km of standard gauge railways should be the first to be supplemented with Shinkansen?

Shikoku has 4 prefectures - none of which is connected to Shinkansen. And only one rail bridge. Tokushima currently lacks a rail bridge to Awaiji and Akashi, so connecting Tokushima to Osaka requires travelling west all the way to Great Seto Bridge, crossing to Okayama and only then east to Osaka.

A bridge or a tunnel Wakayama-Awaiji-Shikoku and Shinkansen on it would connect to Shinkansen Wakayama prefecture (which also has no Shinkansen now) and Tokushima. A bridge or tunnel crossing Shikoku to Beppu would connect to Shinkansen 3 out of the 4 prefectures of Shikoku, and also Oita prefecture on Kyushu which also does not have Shinkansen now. Also it could serve as backup for Sanyo Shinkansen. If it goes through Inland Sea side of Shikoku, it can connect to Sanyo Shinkansen via Great Seto Bridge and therefore backup either east or west part of Sanyo Shinkansen as needed.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 02:32 PM   #980
loefet
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NihonKitty:
It's easier to retrofit the newer lines to Maglev since they are built with slab track, as long as they make all the trough segments before hand, then the change won't take that long and they only need to shut down the lines in sections so that each area won't have to be without HSR for too long.
And judging on how efficient they rebuild Shinkansen sections after earthquake damage, then it won't take that long I bet they have figured out a plan on how to replace the track as they designed the parameters of the Maglev system.

The line you brought up are one of the few that aren't parallel to others, but most of them are and some of them are running along areas that only have some smaller towns and villages along the route which makes them a bit questionable.

It's the Shinkansen that is standard gauge, the rest (most of it) is narrow gauge. And I can see that they are needed, but why would for instance a small fishing village have a 300 km/h Shinkansen line when they already have a rail line that connects it, seems a bit too much really.
The thing that have limited the narrow gauge rail lines to 130 km/h is a law that states that every train must be able to stop within a certain distance (cant remember what, but around 600 meters), and with the technology that were available at the time the law was made they could only stop within designated distance when they were running at a maximum of 130 km/h.
However new technologies have made it possible for trains to stop within the distance from 160 km/h but authorities haven't adapted the law for that.

What you say about the Shikoku line is exactly what I'm on about. The connection to Okayama would finish of the whole thing. Some stretches are already complete for Shinkansen/rail connection, and there are plans on road projects between other. And when they build new road connections then they really should make it ready to install rail as well.
The bridge between Awaiji and Shikoku have space underneath for a rail line, the Seto-Ohashi have space for a Shinkansen line the whole way, so those areas are already done. And by building that line makes it easier to convert the Sanyo line to Maglev in the future since it gives an alternative route during construction, or why not build it as a Maglev and connect it with the Chuo Shinkansen line from the start and then let the Mayor of Osaka get his wish through and connect Kansai airport with a Maglev system.
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