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Old December 29th, 2012, 12:55 PM   #1181
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Are all trains in Japan Air conditioned?? (Suburban, metro, long distance)
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Old December 29th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #1182
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I would say most.
I'm pretty sure that all new trains are Air-conditioned, there are however loads of old trains that don't have them. But as they are being phased out over the time then the number of non-air conditioned trains in Japan.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 09:52 PM   #1183
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I can't think of any rolling stock that's not air-conditioned now. Maybe some very small private railways have some, but otherwise, it's all got a/c, either as designed or retrofitted.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:23 AM   #1184
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Overseas interest in JR Kyūshū luxury train
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/economy...AJ201301020014

Quote:
FUKUOKA--The "Seven Stars in Kyushu" luxury sleeper cruise train, which will start making the rounds of Kyushu next autumn, has been quick to catch on with well-off people not only in Japan but also in the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Artist's renditions are about the only things so far available about the cruise train, which is scheduled to start operating only in October 2013. Despite that, there is strong customer interest in what Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu), the train operator, touts as Japan's first land-based cruise package.

During a trade fair for luxury travels held in the southern French resort of Cannes, Hironobu Yanagawa, a 35-year-old public relations official at JR Kyushu, was approached by a female representative of a travel agency from the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 4.

"I am here today precisely for the 'Seven Stars,' " Yanagawa quoted the representative as saying. "The plan will click with well-off people in the UAE."

Yanagawa said she had learned about the "Seven Stars" by word-of-mouth and had closely studied the package's English-language website. The two talked about tour plans, which offer scenic views outside large train windows and visits to hot springs and gardens, and also discussed Japanese food.

A Hong Kong travel agency offered to rent an entire car, along with a firm request that hot dishes, instead of cold ones, be offered in lunch boxes.

The name of "Seven Stars in Kyushu" was derived from the seven prefectures on Kyushu island and the seven cars that constitute the dedicated train. The package touts a "mind-relaxing space, one of the most luxurious in Japan." JR Kyushu plans to spend 3 billion yen ($36 million) on building the cars, which will run along dedicated routes.

Some regulations are reminiscent of five-star hotels. Elementary school pupils and younger children are not eligible for the cruises, which involve dress codes.

The train will make the rounds of Kyushu's select tourist destinations.

A three-night, four-day plan involves a stop at Kagoshima Chuo Station, from where the passengers are taken to a service at a tea ceremony hall that is disclosed to the public only once a year. The tea ceremony hall is part of the "Kiln of 15th Chin Jukan," a studio of the eponymous master of Satsuma-yaki pottery.

Subscribers of a one-night, two-day plan will be greeted by a traditional dragon dance on arriving at JR Nagasaki Station.

All 14 compartments on the train are suite rooms, which range between 10 and 21 square meters in size. Prices start at 150,000 yen per head, with the most luxurious suite for the four-day plan costing 1.1 million yen for a pair. Apart from the passenger compartments, the trains will also have a lounge car, complete with a bar counter, and a dining car.

JR Kyushu officials said the company wants foreigners to account for half of all customers in the future, but it is mostly domestic travelers that have so far caught on to the novel allure of cruises that do not take place on the ocean.

JR Kyushu received 814 applications for eight trips that depart between October and December 2013, more than seven times the number of available slots. The applicants averaged 57.8 years of age, with nearly 30 percent of them aged between 60-69. More than half of the applicants were from the Kanto and Kansai regions, and the most luxurious compartment in the inaugural service went to a man in his 60s living in Chiba Prefecture.

JR Kyushu plans to revamp the cruise routes of the Seven Stars every six months to one year. Company officials believe such frequent route reviews will help spread the word about topnotch attractions from around Kyushu, increase their fan base, and keep presenting something new to the 60-something baby-boomers in Japan, who have connoisseur's eyes and palates, and, hopefully, also to millionaires overseas in the future.



An artist's rendition of the lounge car of Japan's answer to the Orient Express, Kyushu Railway Co.'s forthcoming "Seven Stars in Kyushu." The train will first carry passengers in autumn 2013. (Provided by Kyushu Railway Co.)
I hadn’t realized this was going to be such a huge deal… They had a special press event in November of last year just to select the first passengers:

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Old January 4th, 2013, 06:44 PM   #1185
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Kawazaki JR station



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Old January 6th, 2013, 09:54 PM   #1186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Overseas interest in JR Kyūshū luxury train
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/economy...AJ201301020014
I thought this was a cool idea until I read that no kids are allowed, there is a dress code and the average age of applicants is 57.8...sounds like it's too fancy schmancy for me.

Last edited by nouveau.ukiyo; January 6th, 2013 at 11:48 PM.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 11:34 PM   #1187
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Originally Posted by Gadiri View Post
Kawazaki JR station




The World's Shortest Escalator
The funniest thing about this escalator is that it ends half way. You can see halfway the video that you still have to go down a couple of regular steps, making it even more pointless then it already is.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 07:23 PM   #1188
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Hisatsu Orange Railway to introduce new dining car express train
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/s/article/...101000943.html

Quote:
 熊本県と鹿児島県を結ぶ肥薩おれんじ鉄道(熊本県八代市)は、3月24日から初の観光列車「おれんじ食堂」を運行する。九州西海岸の風景を眺めながら、地元食材の料理を堪能できる「ちょっとぜいたくな鉄道旅行」が人気を集めそうだ。

 魚介類や果物など沿線の特産品をふんだんに使った料理や飲み物が売りで、完全予約制。JR新八代(熊本県)から川内(鹿児島県)までの約120キロを、海沿いの区間では減速しながら片道約3時間かけて走る。

 車両はJR九州が10月から運行する豪華寝台列車「ななつ星in九州」も手掛けた水戸岡鋭治さんがデザインした。
Surprised that they are only just announcing this, but Hisatsu Orange Railway—third-sector railway operating on the Yatsushiro – Sendai section of the Kagoshima Main Line transferred out of JR Kyūshū hands with the opening of the parallel segment of the Kyūshū Shinkansen—will begin operating a special Orange Restaurant Express train starting 2013.03.24. The service will use a specially-designed train (designed by Mitooka Eiji) and will be focused around a gourmet dining service, allowing passengers to enjoy local seafood, fruits, and other food products on a 120 km, three-hour (one-way) journey along the western coast of Kyūshū between Shin-Yatsushiro in Kumamoto and Sendai in Kagoshima.

Official website:
http://www.hs-orange.com/kankou/

Artist sketches:

Two-car formation. Car 1 is the dining car, Car 2 is the lounge car.



Drink counter and ocean-view seats



Kitchen and dining tables



In addition to the ocean-view seating, the train will also offer booth-style seating. All seats will be reserved.



Some of the scenery along the line:











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Old January 12th, 2013, 07:15 PM   #1189
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JR Kyūshū ponders tourist train service for Nagasaki and Saga
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...301080016.html

Quote:
 【土屋亮】JR九州の唐池恒二社長は8日、長崎県や佐賀県を通る新しい観光列車を、2014年以降に走らせる構想を明らかにした。今夏から、ルート策定などの作業を急ぐ。

 具体的なルートはこれから詰めるが、大村線(早岐―諫早)、筑肥線(姪浜―伊万里)、唐津線(久保田―西唐津)で検討する。九州新幹線は、佐賀を経由して長崎方面まで延びる計画で、今後の観光需要の高まりも見込んでいる。

 唐池社長は朝日新聞のインタビューに対し「九州に観光列車はあと1~2本つくれる。沿線住民の盛り上がりをみて決めたい」と話した。九州を一周する豪華寝台列車「ななつ星」が今年10月に運行を始めるのに続けて、鉄道ファンの取り込みをねらう。

 JR九州の観光列車は現在、「ゆふいんの森」など9本。しかし、長崎や佐賀はまわらないことから、エリアを広げる。

On 2013.01.08, JR Kyūshū announced plans to begin a new tourist train service through Nagasaki and Saga Prefectures starting in 2014. They will identify the designated route(s) this summer in preparation for the service, and are currently looking at the following potential routes:

Karatsu Line: Kubota – Nishi-Karatsu
Chikuhi Line: Meinohama – Imari
Ōmura Line: Haiki – Isahaya

With the upcoming opening of the Nagasaki route of the Kyūshū Shinkansen, JR is envisioning increased tourist demand in this part of the island. None of the railway’s nine existing tourist trains currently serve the Nagasaki / Saga area, although the Nanatsu no Hoshi (Seven Stars) luxury train to begin running this October will serve the area. Since they are considering the Chikuhi Line, would be interesting if they brought it straight through to central Fukuoka via the Fukuoka City Subway Airport Line… Unlikely to happen, but it would mean you could get off the airplane or Shinkansen and immediately get on the train at Fukuoka Airport or Hakata.

Existing JR Kyūshū tourist trains:

Yufuin no Mori: Hakata – Beppu
Cross-Kyūshū Limited Express: Beppu – Kumamoto – Hitoyoshi
Asoboi!: Kumamoto – Miyaji
Let’s Take the A Train: Kumamoto – Misumi
Hitoyoshi Steam Locomotive: Kumamoto – Hitoyoshi
Isaburō / Jinpei: Hitoyoshi – Yoshimatsu
Hayato no Kaze: Kagoshima Chūō – Hayato – Yoshimatsu
Ibusuki no Tamatebako: Kagoshima Chūō – Ibusuki
Umi-Sachi Yama-Sachi: Miyazaki – Nangō
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Old January 12th, 2013, 07:17 PM   #1190
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Promoting “Kyūshū” brand key to success of JR Kyūshū luxury train
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...3340002-n1.htm

Quote:
 JR九州がついに欧州に目を向け始めた。欧州の複数の旅行会社と豪華寝台列車「ななつ星in九州」のツアー販売契約が締結されれば、観光資源に恵まれながらも知名度不足に泣いてきた九州が、国際観光地としてのステータスを確立する効果も期待できる。(小路克明)



 「ななつ星のためだけにカンヌに来ました」

 昨年12月、南仏・カンヌで開かれた富裕層向け旅行商談会「インターナショナル・ラグジュアリー・トラベルマーケット(ILTM)」で、独、仏、イスラエルなどの旅行会社の担当者が、JR九州社員に次々と声をかけてきた。

 これを聞いた唐池恒二社長は膝を打った。「そんなに欧州で関心が高いのか」。これを機にJR九州は、欧州の複数社とツアー販売に向け本格協議に入った。今夏にも契約が締結される見通しで、平成26年4月出発分の第3期以降から欧州客のななつ星ツアーが実現しそうだという。

 欧州勢がいち早く、ななつ星の商品価値を見い出したのは、鉄道旅行に長い歴史と文化があるからだ。世界でもっとも有名な豪華列車「オリエント急行」の運行開始は1883年。列車に揺られながら国境も越える旅は130年の歴史を持っている。

 タイ・バンコクとシンガポールを結ぶ「イースト・オリエント急行」も欧州で人気が高く乗客の大半が欧州富裕層が占める。欧州旅行会社がななつ星に注目したのは当然ともいえる。

 一方、ななつ星で年間5億円の利益を見込んでいるJR九州にとっても欧州旅行会社のツアー販売申し出は「渡りに船」だった。

 ななつ星で「世界最高の列車の旅」を演出したいともくろむ唐池氏は、世界各地の豪華列車を知り尽くした欧州富裕層を誘客すれば、サービスの向上にもつながると考えたようだ。

 しかも豪華列車の国際競争に勝ち抜けば、JR九州だけでなく、九州の観光地としてのブランド力も必然的に高まるはずだ。豊かな自然、温泉、食材に恵まれた九州の魅力が海外で広まれば、観光だけでなく地場産業の活性化にも一役買うこともできる。

 そのためにも、九州の各自治体には、観光地を個別に宣伝するのではなく、一丸となって「九州ブランド」確立に向けた戦略を練ることが求められる。
More on overseas interest in this service… In addition to the UAE travel agency, the railway has received a favorable response from travel agencies in Germany, France, and Israel.

Good to see JR Kyūshū being very proactive about taking advantage of a huge resource (Kyūshū tourism) and maximizing the efficiency of their smaller lines, which normally wouldn’t make much money, if any at all. Some of the more recent efforts including the Nanatsu no Hoshi and the Nagasaki / Saga train have likely been spurred by the complete opening of the Kyūshū Shinkansen in 2011, which has made it easier to access this part of Japan, but more importantly, increased recognition of Kyūshū as a whole.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 07:18 PM   #1191
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Shots of the new EH800 series freight locomotive for shared track segments with Hokkaidō Shinkansen being delivered (2013.01.08). The unit was manufactured by Tōshiba at their Fuchū plant, so these clips are all in the Tōkyō area:

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Old January 21st, 2013, 09:01 PM   #1192
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New 1500 series DMUs delivered to JR Shikoku

This is the 7th order of 1500 series DMUs, encompassing only two cars. Unlike the previous orders, the contract was given to Kinki Sharyō instead of Niigata Transys, and the cars look quite a bit different exterior-wise from the earlier sets.

Passing Suita en route to Shikoku from the Kinki Sharyō plant in the Kansai area (2013.01.07):



Testing and burn-in at Tokushima Station (2013.01.11):

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Old January 21st, 2013, 10:37 PM   #1193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Shots of the new EH800 series freight locomotive for shared track segments with Hokkaidō Shinkansen being delivered (2013.01.08). The unit was manufactured by Tōshiba at their Fuchū plant, so these clips are all in the Tōkyō area:
So it is confirmed that narrow and standard gauge trains will share the Seikan tunnel? Has it been decided to slow down the passenger trains to do so (like it has been decided for the new Gotthard tunnel) or will freight trains only run at night?

Still on this topic, are there recent statistic of traffic in the Seikan tunnel (like number of trains a day, passengers and tonnes transported)

Thank you.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 08:35 PM   #1194
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Steam action, 2012:

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Old January 22nd, 2013, 09:01 PM   #1195
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Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
So it is confirmed that narrow and standard gauge trains will share the Seikan tunnel? Has it been decided to slow down the passenger trains to do so (like it has been decided for the new Gotthard tunnel) or will freight trains only run at night?

Still on this topic, are there recent statistic of traffic in the Seikan tunnel (like number of trains a day, passengers and tonnes transported)
Yes, they are already dual-gauging the tunnel.

This is the latest news:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=486

For the first two years of Shinkansen service, Shinkansen trains will slow to 140 km/h. Starting in FY2018, they will time-slot the freight traffic to open up a 2-hour window for Shinkansen that will allow those particular trains to operate at 200+ km/h.

Regarding traffic statistics for the Seikan Tunnel:

JR Freight runs 51 trains a day through the tunnel, as follows:
To / from Tōhoku: 7 trains
To / from Kantō: 25 trains
To / from Tōkai: 7 trains
To / from Kansai: 12 trains
To / from Kyūshū: 2 trains

Annual freight volume through the tunnel is approx. 4.7 million tons, or 8.5% of the freight traffic between Hokkaidō and points outside of Hokkaidō.

Currently, there should be about 60 passenger trains a day through the tunnel.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 10:15 PM   #1196
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JR Kyūshū unveils design for Seven Stars in Kyūshū bus

Press release:
http://www13.jrkyushu.co.jp/NewsRele...3?OpenDocument

This is the connecting bus service for their new luxury train ななつ星in 九州 (Seven Stars in Kyūshū), designed with a lot of the same features. It will be a ¥30 million rehab of an existing JR Kyūshū bus, and will be used to tour sights at the various stations served by the train. Planned routes are in Fukuoka, Yufuin, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Aso – Bungo Mori. The bus will also be used as a backup in case train service is disrupted up in the mountains.

Design sketches:







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Old January 23rd, 2013, 10:16 PM   #1197
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Basic business plan announced for third-sector operator of Shin’etsu, Hokuriku Main Lines
http://mainichi.jp/area/niigata/news...20086000c.html

Quote:
 北陸新幹線開業に伴い並行在来線の経営をJRから引き継ぐ第三セクターの旅客鉄道10+件会社「えちごトキめき鉄道10+件」が22日、経営基本計画素案を発表した。素案では、利便性向上を図るため、運行本数は利用者が多い朝夕のラッシュ時などに増便。首都圏や関西圏からの観光客増も狙い、リゾート列車も運行する考えだ。ただ運賃については「県や周辺自治体と協議しながら決めたい」として明示しなかった。

 同社が経営を引き継ぐ新路線は、日本海ひすいライン(直江津−市振)▽妙高はねうまライン(直江津−妙高高原)。素案は同日、新潟市内で開かれた取締役会で承認された。

 素案では、運行本数は「全体では現行を超す本数を確保したい」とし、特に朝夕のラッシュ時と金曜日夜間に増便する。車両編成は、「ひすい」は利用者が少ないため、現行の3両から1両に減らしコスト削減を図る。

 導入車両は「ひすい」は新型ディーゼル車、「はねうま」はJRが使用する新型を検討する。一部住民からディーゼル車の安全性や環境汚染を懸念する声もあったが、同社は新型導入により解決できると判断したという。

 終了後、記者会見で嶋津忠裕社長は「経営の合理性を図ると共に、利便性と快適性を考慮した」と述べた。

同社は今後、住民説明会を開く。また3月8日まで素案への意見を募集する。詳細は同社ホームページ(http://www.echigo-tokimeki.co.jp/)。【山本愛】
This is the third-sector railway to inherit ownership and control of the Naoetsu – Ichiburi section of the Hokuriku Main Line and Naoetsu – Myōkō Kōgen section of the Shin’etsu Main Line once the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension to Kanazawa opens. These sections will be renamed the Nihon-kai Hisui Line and the Myōkō Haneuma Line, respectively. According to the business plan, service will be beefed up during the high-ridership morning and evening rush hours and Friday evenings, and special “sightseeing trains” will also be operated cater to tourists coming from Greater Tōkyō and the Kansai region. The total number of trips will be increased from the existing service, but this will be countered by a reduction in train length from 3 cars to 1 car on the Hisui Line. Both lines will operate with new trains, with the Hisui Line using DMUs and the Shin’etsu Main Line using new EMUs similar to those operated by JR.

Mountain scenes on the Shin’etsu Main Line (2012.02):

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Old January 23rd, 2013, 10:18 PM   #1198
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Passenger satisfaction with Kesennuma Line BRT increasing, but some still push for return to rail
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00035.htm

Quote:
 津波で被災したJR気仙沼線で22日、バス高速輸送システム(BRT)の本格運行開始から1か月を迎えた。

 鉄道での運行時より便数が増えて利便性が高まり、学生ら利用者の評価は上々だ。一方、行政を中心に鉄道の復旧にこだわる声は根強い。BRTをどう復興に結び付けるかは不透明なままだ。

 BRTの70人乗りバスは、朝夕を中心に学生らでにぎわう。最も利用者が多い気仙沼―本吉駅間は鉄道時代の約3倍の1日63本の便が走る。BRT専用道は気仙沼線全体(55・3キロ)のうちまだ4・4キロだが、運行は順調だ。BRTで通学する気仙沼向洋高3年生(18)は「(BRT導入前の代替バスに比べても)本数が多くて渋滞も少ない。本当に便利」と喜ぶ。

 安全対策も着々と進む。これまでに2件の交通事故が起きていることを踏まえ、JR東日本は1月上旬、専用道と一般道の間に信号機と遮断機を増設したり、立ち入り禁止の案内看板を増やしたりする対策を始めた。

 利用者の評価は高いが、観光や経済への効果は疑問視される。BRTの駅前にある宮城県南三陸町の仮設商店街の関係者は「BRTに乗って来るお客さんはほとんどいない。地元の人は車での移動がほとんど」という。気仙沼観光コンベンション協会も「学生の利用率が圧倒的で、観光客の利用は少ない」と指摘する。

 一方、行政などは依然として鉄道復旧を強く求めている。同県気仙沼市震災・復興企画課は「地元の利用者の利便性などを考えれば鉄道は不可欠で、BRTはあくまで仮復旧」と語る。気仙沼地方は鉄道の普及が遅く、同線の全線開通は1977年。南三陸町復興企画課は「気仙沼線沿線の住民にとって鉄道は長年の夢、誇りだった」と話し、妥協することは難しい。

ただ、国の試算では気仙沼線の鉄道復旧には最大900億円が必要という。BRTなら「10分の1以下」(東北運輸局)で済むため、JRも国の財政支援がない限り、鉄道復旧には及び腰だ。JR東日本仙台支社は「引き続き地域の方の利便性やニーズを考えながら運行していきたい」と述べるにとどまっている。

本格運行から1か月がたち、多くの通学者に利用されるBRT(22日、気仙沼市の陸前階上駅で)
The BRT operates about 3 times as many trips (63 trips / day) as the previous rail service on the busiest section between Kesennuma and Motoyoshi. Currently, the bus-only ROW only covers 4.4 km of the entire 55.3 km Kesennuma Line, but so far, it seems to be popular among students, who comprise a good portion of the ridership. There’s been a couple of accidents at grade crossings since service started, so in early January, JR East also installed some signals and crossing gates, as well as new signage.

However, some local business owners and tourism leaders are skeptical of the benefits, and they say that the BRT isn’t bringing any visitors in. Instead, the vast majority of the riders are students. Full rebuilding of the line to rail service would cost as much as ¥90 billion, but BRT would require only one-tenth of the cost.

Tour of the system (2012.12.30):

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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:35 PM   #1199
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A bit of railfan-oriented news…

The last flap-style departure boards on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen were replaced on 2013.01.23. The last units were at Mikawa Anjō Station in the Nagoya area, but will now be replaced with modern LED signs. The flap-style signs were introduced in 1991, replacing the original rollsigns in service since the opening of the line. Each segment was capable of displaying up to 50 different tiles and they consumed less energy than the rollsigns.

FNN news report (2013.01.23):



Keikyū, one of the major private railways in the Tōkyō area, is famous among railfans for some fairly elaborate versions of these types of signs, although they may not have much time left:

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Old January 28th, 2013, 08:55 PM   #1200
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Ōfunado Line BRT to begin service 2013.03.02
http://www.iwate-np.co.jp/cgi-bin/to...cgi?20130127_3

Quote:
 東日本大震災で被災し休止中のJR大船渡線の気仙沼―盛駅間で仮復旧として導入するバス高速輸送システム(BRT)について、JR東日本が3月2日に運行を開始する方向で地元と最終調整していることが26日、関係者への取材で分かった。同社は学校の新学期に合わせて今年春までの運行開始を目指していたが、震災から2年となる3月11日以前の運行開始となる。近く正式に発表する見通しだ。

 関係者によると、3月11日より前に運行を開始したいとの意向で、工事や運行開始の手続き、地元との協議が進められている。専用道化の工事も順調に進んでおり、JR側はすでに、関係機関に3月2日の運行開始を伝えているもようだ。

 同社は昨年11月、大船渡線の大船渡駅(同市大船渡町)―田茂山踏切(同市盛町)間約1・9キロで専用道の工事に着手し、3月までには完成する見通し。小友(陸前高田市)―大船渡駅間の約11キロの専用道工事も早ければ今月中に始まり、同区間は今秋までの完成を目指している。
JR East is working with local governments on getting BRT service started beginning 2013.03.02 on the section of the Ōfunado Line between Kesennuma and Sakari, which has been out of commission since the earthquake and tsunami. Work on converting the rail ROW into an exclusive BRT ROW began as early as November of last year, on about 1.9 km of the line between Ōfunado Station and the Tamoyama grade crossing. Work on an 11 km segment between Otomo Ōfunado could begin as early as this month, with completion by this autumn.
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