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Old January 27th, 2012, 08:55 AM   #1001
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Tōkaidō Shinkansen
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Old January 27th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #1002
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You can read in the wiki article that the Tōkaidō line has a ridership of 4.9 billion passengers. With simple math the numbers doesn't add up and the source is dead, so I wonder if the number is correct?
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Old January 27th, 2012, 10:43 AM   #1003
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4,9 bln is cumulative ridership since opening in 1964

~150mln annually
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Old January 27th, 2012, 11:14 AM   #1004
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Quote:
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4,9 bln is cumulative ridership since opening in 1964

~150mln annually
Aha. Now it makes sense.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 05:28 PM   #1005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
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Old January 27th, 2012, 08:03 PM   #1006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krnboy1009 View Post
14 TPH is a frequency of a metro isnt it? Who takes Tokaido Shinkansen? Commuters?
Well, technically, everyone... It's really no different than the type of people you'd expect on an airplane flight. It's easily the most convenient means of travel between Japan's three largest metropolitan areas, so you'll get everyone from tourists to executives on business trips to celebrities. There is some commute ridership, which you can easily see if you look at the early morning schedule... The first block of trains to arrive in Tōkyō are all Kodama trains starting from places closer to Tōkyō, like Mishima, Shizuoka, and Hamamatsu.

For reference, here's the estimated market share of rail vs. air for 2010:

Tōkyō area = Tōkyō, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki
Nagoya area = Aichi, Mie, Gifu
Ōsaka area = Ōsaka, Kyōto, Hyōgo, Nara

Tōkyo area ↔ Nagoya area: 100 vs. 0
Tōkyo area ↔ Ōsaka area: 83 vs. 17
Tōkyo area ↔ Okayama Prefecture: 68 vs. 32
Tōkyo area ↔ Hiroshima Prefecture: 60 vs. 40
Tōkyo area ↔ Fukuoka Prefecture: 10 vs. 90

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No... I don't take pictures of myself.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 02:16 AM   #1007
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How much is it to ride the Shinkansen? Obviously it has to be reasonable enough that a lot of people can ride it.

Theres no way JR can charge 70 dollars (or however it is in yen) and get that many people to ride it.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 12:39 PM   #1008
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Surprisingly enough the prices are that high. For the commuters between the cities closest to Tokyo there are commuter passes but $ 5.000 for a 3 month pass between Shizuoka and Tokyo is still quite expensive. If you travel to Osaka it's even more, especially if it's a return trip.

But you have to remember that the Tokyo metro area has a population of 35 million, Nagoya's metro = 9 million and Osaka metro = 18 million big. There are a lot of people that are also very wealthy, it's not a problem to fill 14 trains every hour, even with the high prices.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 01:31 PM   #1009
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The pricing is aimed for the business traveler and occasional casual traveler (holiday periods) in mind. It is not a subsidized commuter train after all. As Momo says, they have no problem filling the trains, to the extent that JR Tokai is building the Chuo Shinkansen maglev to relieve capacity constraints on the Tokaido shinkansen.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 10:48 PM   #1010
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Railway CMs: Part 1

Some CMs I’ve been neglecting…

Odakyū Romancecar CM (80s)
「箱根へ」篇 “To Hakone”



New Tōbu Spacia CM for Winter 2011-2012
This is the direct service to Nikkō. Of course, they’ve got the aerial at the end with the Tōkyō Sky Tree, which will open later this year.



Kintetsu CM for Mawaryanse, a special ticket / pass for the Ise–Shima area, where Kintetsu has a lot of tourism interests.



JR West CM (2012.01) for San’yō–Kyūshū Shinkansen through-service

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Old January 28th, 2012, 10:49 PM   #1011
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Railway CMs: Part 2

JR East Iku ze Tōhoku (“Let’s Go to Tōhoku!”) CM (30s)
「東北6県」篇 “Six Prefectures of Tōhoku”



A cute, low-budget JR West local CM for a special crab-eating + hot springs tour on the San’in Line:



Not really an AKB48 fan, but I thought this was a clever amateur rendition of the famous JR Central X’mas Express CM series, but using Kitahara Rie.



For comparison, the original X’mas Express CMs from many years ago… A lot of people remember this CM series fondly.

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Old January 31st, 2012, 12:00 AM   #1012
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Recent late-night testing of the E6 series on zairaisen (conventional lines):

No date, but sometime early or mid-January.



2012.01.21:



2011.01.23:

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Old January 31st, 2012, 02:43 PM   #1013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krnboy1009 View Post
14 TPH is a frequency of a metro isnt it? Who takes Tokaido Shinkansen? Commuters?
With modern signalling 14tph on a mainline railway is not a problem. There are several lines in the world that have even higher levels of traffic. Modern signalling systems allow 3' headways on high speed lines, so 20tph is theoretically possible.
What is impressive in the case of the Tokaido Shinkansen is that they pull this off with trains having different stopping patterns.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 01:46 AM   #1014
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MLIT considers variable-gauge train for Hokuriku Shinkansen
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/...na014000c.html

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The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is considering introducing free-gauge trains for through services between the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line and a local line to the Kansai region around Osaka, a ministry official has disclosed.

At a Feb. 1 meeting of an experts' panel, an official said that the ministry is considering using trains with variable gauge axels to connect services between the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line and a local line into the Kansai region to enhance convenience and to increase the lines' profitability.

Since the gauges of superexpress lines and local lines are different, free-gauge trains are indispensable for through services between the two types of lines. Shinkansen lines use the standard gauge of 1,435 millimeters while a narrow gauge of 1,067 millimeters is used for local tracks.

Late last year, the national government gave the green light for the construction of the planned Hokuriku Shinkansen Line section between Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture and Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture.

However, the construction of the Kanazawa-Tsuruga superexpress line is estimated to cost 1.13 trillion yen and the maintenance of free-gauge trains is expected to cost more than ordinary trains, posing a challenge to West Japan Railway Co. (JR West), the operator of the line.

Superexpress trains are currently in service on the Tokyo-Nagano section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, which is nicknamed the "Nagano Shinkansen." Services on the line's Nagano-Kanazawa section are expected to begin in fiscal 2014, and the Kanazawa-Tsuruga section is expected to be completed by fiscal 2025, offering direct train services between Tokyo and Tsuruga. "Thunderbird" limited express trains are currently operated between Osaka and the Hokuriku region via the JR Kosei and Hokuriku lines.

Even though the government plans to eventually extend the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line all the way to the Kansai region around Osaka, its route between Tsuruga and Kansai has not been determined yet. Also due to a shortage of financial resources, it remains to be seen whether and when work will start on the remaining section of the line.
The basic concept of this plan is to reduce the construction cost on the remaining section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Tsuruga and Ōsaka. The alignment of the Hokuriku Shinkansen west of Tsuruga has not been determined yet, with three alternatives, all assuming full-standard Shinkansen, under consideration: the Obama route via Obama City, the Kosei route via the west side of Lake Biwa, and the Maibara route via east side of Lake Biwa. Before this news, the Maibara route, tying into the Tōkaidō Shinkansen at Maibara, seemed like the most likely option. This latest proposal would forego a full-Shinkansen line on this section, instead converting the existing Thunderbird limited express service using the JR Kyōto Line and Kosei Line to variable-gauge trains.

Not surprisingly, the cost of one car in a variable gauge train is about ¥300 million, about 10% higher than an equivalent Shinkansen car. As the trains must fit the smaller loading gauge of zairaisen, the seats are limited to 2+2 instead of the 2+3 on regular Shinkansen. When changing gauge, the train must also drop speed below 10 km/h.

Second Free-Gauge Train (FGT) prototype undergoing durability testing in a three-car formation in Shikoku on the Yosan Line between Kan’onji Station and Toyohama Station (2011.12.18):



The testing last year for running speed on curves went well and the train has succeeded in meeting the required 130 km/h on zairasen, so I believe they will soon be working on the third prototype, looking at ways to reduce the weight of the train.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 10:57 AM   #1015
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Changing gauge while moving sure it very cool, and I guess for a route that's not the busiest it makes economic sense not to re-gauge the entire line. Also "Obama City"? sorry I couldn't resist......
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Old February 4th, 2012, 10:48 AM   #1016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Changing gauge while moving sure it very cool, and I guess for a route that's not the busiest it makes economic sense not to re-gauge the entire line. Also "Obama City"? sorry I couldn't resist......
There's also a town somewhere called Osama, I believe.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 03:52 PM   #1017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
MLIT considers variable-gauge train for Hokuriku Shinkansen
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/...na014000c.html



The basic concept of this plan is to reduce the construction cost on the remaining section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Tsuruga and Ōsaka. The alignment of the Hokuriku Shinkansen west of Tsuruga has not been determined yet, with three alternatives, all assuming full-standard Shinkansen, under consideration: the Obama route via Obama City, the Kosei route via the west side of Lake Biwa, and the Maibara route via east side of Lake Biwa. Before this news, the Maibara route, tying into the Tōkaidō Shinkansen at Maibara, seemed like the most likely option. This latest proposal would forego a full-Shinkansen line on this section, instead converting the existing Thunderbird limited express service using the JR Kyōto Line and Kosei Line to variable-gauge trains.

Not surprisingly, the cost of one car in a variable gauge train is about ¥300 million, about 10% higher than an equivalent Shinkansen car. As the trains must fit the smaller loading gauge of zairaisen, the seats are limited to 2+2 instead of the 2+3 on regular Shinkansen. When changing gauge, the train must also drop speed below 10 km/h.

Second Free-Gauge Train (FGT) prototype undergoing durability testing in a three-car formation in Shikoku on the Yosan Line between Kan’onji Station and Toyohama Station (2011.12.18):



The testing last year for running speed on curves went well and the train has succeeded in meeting the required 130 km/h on zairasen, so I believe they will soon be working on the third prototype, looking at ways to reduce the weight of the train.
Spain has been at the forefront of gauge-changing high speed rail technology. At the risk of coming off as oversimplistic, why couldn't they just get off-the-shelf technology? It seems to me like they've been going at the GCT train for some time now.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 07:02 PM   #1018
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I think that the main reason why they have stuck at it is the difference in rail-gauge compared to Spain (1067-1435 vs. 1435-1668) which might make the technology incomparable, and the fact that they use motorized axles (motors mounted on the axles themselves compared to in the boogie.

Or it's just a way for them not to rely on foreign technology, which is pretty common in Japan as I see it.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 05:40 AM   #1019
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When you possess world-class technology and most importantly the engineers and their cumulative knowhow to implement it, not to mention intimate knowledge of the local conditions, it makes sense that you would first look domestically to tackle a problem, right?
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Old February 5th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #1020
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Switzerland is working on a variable gauge bogie (1435-1000, for passenger coaches), as it was considered impossible to adapt the Spanish systems to such a big difference and with a smaller gauge, even only for motorless vehicles.
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