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Old April 3rd, 2013, 01:30 AM   #1261
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he'd have 6 minutes at Kagoshima, half of which would be expended walking from the train platform to the tram platform. Perhaps he could have ridden the Fukuoka Subway Airport Line for one station and back in the 16-minute layover at JR Hakata-eki?
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 01:54 AM   #1262
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No, I don't think the record permits that (traveling on the same segment of a line more than once)... Else you could just ride your fastest service back and forth.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 01:55 AM   #1263
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JR East accelerates forays into environmentally-friendly railway design
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...20C13A3000000/

Quote:
東日本旅客鉄道(JR東日本)が最先端の環境技術の導入を急いでいる。鉄道はもともと環境負荷が少ない交通手段として知られるが、近年はライバルの自動車などのエネルギー効率化も加速。人口減少に直面する鉄道事業者にとって、成長路線を維持するには将来を見据えた技術革新が不可欠な時代に突入した。環境技術でも国内鉄道事業者の「雄」へ――。新たな鉄道の可能性を切り開こうと、JR東日本の挑戦が本格化している。

 2020年度に鉄道事業のエネルギー使用量8%削減(10年度比)、自営電力の二酸化炭素(CO2)排出係数30%改善(1990年度比)。昨秋にJR東日本が発表した「グループ経営構想V」では安全対策や鉄道ネットワークの拡充、地域との連携などと並び、「エネルギー・環境戦略の構築」を大きな目標に掲げた。社内に設置した「技術革新戦略委員会」が中心となり、果敢な目標設定と課題・方針の明確化、研究開発投資を重点化して技術革新を強力に推進すると明記。「従来の発想にとらわれない新たな鉄道システムづくりにまい進する」。冨田哲郎社長は力を込める。

 確かに、JR東日本の戦略で特徴的なのは鉄道業界の前例にとらわれず、初の試みに果敢に挑む姿勢だろう。栃木県の烏山線に14年春ごろに登場する新型車両が代表的だ。国内で初めて非電化区間を充電した電力で走る「蓄電池駆動電車」の営業運転に乗り出す。現行のディーゼル車に比べCO2の排出量を約6割削減できるという。

 この蓄電池電車、まずは2両1編成を走らせる。電化区間の宇都宮駅―宝積寺駅では普通の電車と同様、架線から電気を取り入れて走行しながら、蓄電池にも充電。非電化区間の宝積寺駅―烏山駅間は蓄電池の電力を使って走る。烏山駅には充電設備を設置し、折り返し運転する流れだ。最高時速は100キロメートル。将来は烏山線の車両をすべて蓄電池搭載電車に切りかえる構想だ。

 近年は国内各地で設置が花盛りのメガソーラー(大規模太陽光発電所)だが、JR東日本の場合、ひと味違う。売電収入を見込む他社と異なり、発生させた電力を自前で活用する計画なのだ。太陽光発電を電車の運行に利用するのは、国内の鉄道事業者では過去に例がないという。

 JR東日本にとって初めてのメガソーラーは千葉市内にある「京葉車両センター」構内の未利用地、約6600平方メートルを活用する。13年度中の稼働を目指す。ここで発電した電力は、同社の配電線を介して鉄道の運行に活用するほか、京葉車両センター内で消費する仕組みだ。電力量は1日平均約2700キロワット時。山手線の1編成が約4周、走行する際に使う電力量に相当するとしている。

JR東日本は国内の鉄道事業者では唯一、川崎市や新潟県に自営の発電所を保有。現状では電力使用量の5割以上を自営で賄っている。大量の電気を消費する鉄道事業者にとって、省エネは社会的に強まる節電への要請に応え、コスト減にもつながる重要な課題だ。メガソーラーで発生させる電力はまだわずかながら、いち早く導入することで、技術の蓄積などにつなげる考えだ。

電車が停止する時に発生する「回生電力」を有効活用するための研究も進む。運転士のブレーキとともに自動的に発電されるため、現在も近くを走る別の電車に供給するが、近くに走行車両がない場合は利用できないのが課題だった。

 JR東日本は東京都西部の青梅線の変電所などの一部に蓄電のためのニッケル水素やリチウムイオン電池を設置。別の電車が同じ変電所区間内を通った時や、発電した電車自身が再び加速する際に使用。青梅線の場合、従来に比べ年間約5%の電力削減が期待できる。電流を分析、調整することで、従来は回生電力のやりとりが難しかった交流を使う変電所同士でも送受電できるようにする。新たな電力融通装置などの開発を進め、13年度の下期には常磐線の一部に導入する方針だ。

 将来をにらんだ技術革新と並行し、足元の環境対応も急ぐ。省エネや再生可能エネルギーなど様々な環境技術を駅に導入する「エコステ」活動を展開中。12年3月にはモデル駅の第1弾として中央本線の四ツ谷駅(東京・新宿)が本格稼働。世界文化遺産に登録された「平泉」の玄関口、東北本線の平泉駅(岩手県平泉町)も昨夏、エコステに生まれ変わった。平泉駅は太陽光発電と蓄電池を組み合わせ、晴天日には使用する電力をこれですべて賄い、CO2の排出をゼロにする「ゼロエミッションステーション」を実現する計画だ。

 基幹の山手線の車内照明の発光ダイオード(LED)化も14年春までに完了する。全車両(52編成、572両)が対象で今夏以降、順次、取り換えを進める。現在、使用する蛍光灯に比べ消費電力は約4割削減。全車両に導入されると、CO2排出量も年間約624トンの削減につながる見通し。今春以降、埼京線や横浜線などに導入する新型車両にもLED照明を採用していくとしている。

JR東日本が環境の先進企業へ変貌しようと歩みを進める理由は何か。時代に対応した事業構造に改革するだけでなく「グループを挙げて技術革新にまい進することが、結局は社内・組織の活性化につながる」。冨田社長は力説する。環境技術へのあくなき挑戦が、約6万人の社員のベクトルの方向を一致させる原動力にもなる。

JR東日本が2014年春ごろに烏山線(栃木県)に導入する「蓄電池駆動電車」のイメージ


JR東日本は四ツ谷駅(東京・新宿)の各ホームの屋根にコケによる緑化システムを導入した
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Old April 4th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #1264
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MetLife acquires stake in Hitachi Rail consortium for IEP
http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2013/...onsortium.html

Quote:
GLOBAL insurance provider MetLife Inc. is taking a minority stake in the Hitachi-led consortium that is to produce a new fleet of trains under the Intercity Express Programme at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

MetLife Private Capital Investors group announced it is acquiring an interest in Agility Trains West Ltd., a consortium consisting of Hitachi Rail Europe and John Laing Investments.

Explaining its decision, MetLife Inc. said in a statement issued to the London and New York Stock Exchanges: “Agility Trains West represents the first phase of the UK Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, a project worth an estimated £4.5 billion, consisting of the delivery of new trains, maintenance depots, and route upgrades, with Network Rail undertaking the infrastructure upgrades to allow the new trains to operate on the network. The portion of the contract for Agility Trains West is estimated at £2.4 billion.”

Scott Inglis, global head of MetLife Private Capital Investors, said: “This investment in Agility Trains West reflects MetLife Private Capital Investors’ growing interest in expanding our global portfolio of direct investment in global infrastructure equity and private debt placements in well-structured, long-term infrastructure assets and projects.

“Our involvement in the Intercity Express Programme in the UK demonstrates MetLife’s ability to partner with strategic and diverse sponsors and investors in competitive transportation and infrastructure sectors.”

Hitachi says the new factory in County Durham will create 200 jobs in the construction phase and will go into full production in 2016. The facility is planned to be capable of producing up to 35 vehicles per month and employing up to 730 people, including a UK Research and Development facility.

The first Intercity Express trains are destined for the Great Western Main Line and will replace diesel HSTs which are approaching 40-year-old, with subsequent units intended for the East Coast Main Line

According to Hitachi, the new trains “will provide a significant increase in capacity on both routes to adapt to growth in passenger numbers. With a considerable reduction in weight per seat when compared to the trains currently running on the line, the fleet of trains will use less energy to deliver improved journey times.”

Hopefully this will give a bit more urgency and “reality” to this project… I don’t follow it very closely, but when I see news on it, it always tends to be bad.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 11:29 AM   #1265
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New tourist train delivered to Kinki Tango Railway
http://www.nnn.co.jp/news/130331/20130331004.html

Quote:
 京都府と兵庫県を走る第三セクター鉄道「北近畿タンゴ鉄道」(本社・京都府福知山市)は4月14日から、観光目的にデザインを改良した列車「丹後あかまつ号」「同あおまつ号」を運行する。鮮やかな赤・青の車体と乗務員の観光案内が行楽気分を盛り上げる。

 沿線の海岸線の眺めなどを楽しんでもらおうと、現行の普通車両をリニューアル。個性的なJR九州の車両などを手掛けたデザイナー水戸岡鋭治さんが設計とデザインを担当した。

 天橋立など日本海の白砂青松を象徴する松をモチーフに内装には木材を使用。カウンター席を設置し、飲食物の販売や地元工芸品の展示もある。サービス乗務員が沿線の観光スポットを案内。個性豊かな車内から景観を楽しめる。

 両号とも赤色が基調のあかまつ車両と青色のあおまつ車両を連結した2両編成。1両は35人定員制、もう1両は自由席車。偶数日に運行するあかまつ号は宮津線(西舞鶴-豊岡駅間)、奇数日運行のあおまつ号は同線(西舞鶴-天橋立駅間)と宮福線(福知山-宮津駅間)を走る(6月17~21日は車両検査のため、タンゴ悠遊号が代行運行)。

 4月12日に豊岡-網野駅間で無料の体験試乗がある。対象は豊岡市内在住、在勤、在学者。申し込み締め切りは同5日。豊岡駅集合。

あかまつ車両のイメージ図。色鮮やかな車体と工夫を凝らした内装が楽しい鉄道の旅を演出する((c)EIJI MITOOKA + DON DESIGN ASSOCIATES)
This is the new Akamatsu + Aomatsu set. It was recently delivered from the factory in Ōsaka up to Nodagawa Station on 2013.03.29:

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Old April 6th, 2013, 11:34 AM   #1266
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Watarase Keikoku Railway to operate special charter train to Sky Tree
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...00C13A4L60000/

Quote:
 わたらせ渓谷鉄道(群馬県みどり市)は東武鉄道の臨時特急列車「スカイツリートレイン」をチャーターして東京スカイツリーを訪ねるツアーを発売する。赤城駅(みどり市)からスカイツリーまで、貸し切り列車を使って乗り換え無しで行ける点を売り込む。

 5日、第1弾として上毛電気鉄道(前橋市)と共同で企画したツアーを開催した。わたらせ渓谷鉄道の人気キャラクター「わっしー」の着ぐるみが駅のホームからツアー客を見送った。

 スカイツリートレインは東武鉄道が展望列車として企画したもので、一部の座席が窓に向いており、運行中の景色を楽しめる。これまで県内では太田駅(太田市)と館林駅(館林市)のみ発着しており、赤城駅から出発するツアーでは1度乗り換える必要があった。

 わたらせ渓谷鉄道は7月と9月、10月の第1金曜日に同様のツアーを企画する。料金は1人1万円程度となる予定。
Tōbu already operates a large variety of interesting limited-express through-services, particularly the ones to Aizu Wakamatsu all way up in Fukushima Prefecture. This will be a new seasonal service jointly offered by two smaller railways up in the mountains just north of the Tōkyō (Watarase Keikoku Railway and Jōmō Electric railway), with cooperation from Tōbu Railway, targeting tourist demand to the Tōkyō Sky Tree.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 06:40 PM   #1267
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It appears to be merely a joint promotion, no actual run-through operations occur (the train remains on Tobu trackage the whole of the journey, especially so as the Watarase is not electrified).
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Old April 6th, 2013, 08:24 PM   #1268
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Sorry, yes, you are 100% correct on that... Too late at night when I was posting. (-_-; )
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Old April 7th, 2013, 06:59 AM   #1269
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Alstom CEO: “Japan should open up domestic rail market”
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...00C13A4FF1000/

Quote:
 【パリ=竹内康雄】フランスの重電・鉄道大手アルストムのパトリック・クロン最高経営責任者(CEO)は日本経済新聞記者と会見し、日本と欧州連合(EU)の経済連携協定(EPA)交渉で、鉄道事業の日本市場開放を求める考えを示した。主なやり取りは以下の通り。

 ――日・EUがEPA交渉開始で合意した。

 「いいニュースだ。アルストムは鉄道や発電事業を世界100カ国以上で展開している。日本でも100年以上の歴史があり、300人の従業員がいる。売上高は約2億ユーロで、世界全体の1%程度。電力関連などのビジネスを手掛けているが、一部の分野では海外企業という理由で日本市場での参入を阻まれてきた。特に鉄道分野だ」

 ――日本の鉄道市場の問題点は何か。

 「日本独自の安全規格が海外企業の参入を妨げている。海外企業は入札で日本企業と平等な機会を与えられていない。安全基準を引き下げるべきだと言うつもりはない。アルストムの列車は安全だ。仏高速鉄道TGVで20億人以上を輸送した実績が証明している」

 「日本の同業他社は、アジアや欧州など海外市場で活発に事業を展開している。日本市場も、海外企業が日本企業同様に入札などに参加できるようにすべきだ。最近前向きな動きがあった。東日本旅客鉄道(JR東日本)による鉄道の信号システム導入計画に我々も参加することになった。交渉を通じ、さらに良い方向に向かってほしい」

 ――日本市場をどう開拓する?

 「私は東日本大震災からの迅速な復興に感銘を受けた。ただ復興はまだ第1段階が終わったばかりだ。鉄道はもちろん、発電所の需要もあるだろう。アルストムはトラム(路面電車)にも強みがある。日本の小規模な都市にはうってつけの移動手段だ」

 「交渉がまとまって日本市場が開かれれば、アルストムの売上高もかなり伸びるとみている。多くの国際企業がそうであるように、アルストムも新興国での売上高比率が伸びている。ただ日本を含め先進国にも確実に需要はある。経済危機に関係なく、人を運ぶ鉄道は必要だからだ」
Translation:

Quote:
Japan and the EU have agreed to begin negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement.
It’s good news. Alstom’s railway and power generation businesses have expanded to over 100 countries across the globe. We also have over 100 years of experience working in Japan, with 300 staff. Our revenues in Japan are about 200 million Euro, about 1% of our total global sales. We’ve been working on electricity-related projects, but in some areas, particular the railway industry, our entry into the Japanese market has been hindered by being an overseas firm.

What are the obstacles to entering the Japanese railway market?
Japan has particular safety standards that make it difficult for overseas firms to enter the market. Overseas firms aren’t given an equal opportunity on bids compared to Japanese firms. I have no intention of telling Japan to relax its safety standards… But Alstom’s trains are safe. The French high-speed railway, the TGV, has carried over 2 billion people.

Our counterparts in Japan are eagerly expanding their businesses into overseas markets such as Asia and Europe... The Japanese market should also allow overseas firms to participate in bids just like Japanese firms. There’s been some optimistic trends lately—we’ve been selected to participate in a railway signaling project for East Japan Railway (JR East). I only hope that we can further expand this trend through negotiations.

How will you expand into the Japanese market?
I was impressed with the rapid reconstruction following the East Japan Earthquake. But only the first phase of reconstruction efforts has been completed. Of course there will be demand for railways and power plants—one of Alstom’s strengths is trams. It’s a perfect means of travel for Japan’s smaller cities.

If the negotiations are successful and the Japanese market opens up, we believe that Alstom’s sales will grow substantially. Just as with many international firms, Alstom is expanding our revenue growth in developing countries. But there is still definitely some demand in first-world nations like Japan. Regardless of the economic crisis, there is always a need for railways to transport people.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 01:56 PM   #1270
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Excuse me?
How many Japanese made train models are there in Europe? As far as I know just one and it was for the UK which has almost no train builders of it's own left. How many foreign made train models are there in France? Up to a few years ago: none. In fact take a look at any European country that has it's own train building industry and you'll notice very little foreign models in that country.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 03:13 PM   #1271
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"Japan should open up..."
Japan should
should

Entitlement
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Old April 8th, 2013, 04:29 PM   #1272
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I think the European Big 3 got nervous when Hitachi won the IEP contract, coupled with the success of the Class 395, as they saw it as a shot across the bow in their backyard of Europe. I really don't see the Japanese market as a big opportunity for them, as it is pretty saturated (you could say there are already too many builders) and low growth compared to other markets. Their complaints about the "closed" Japanese market seem like sour grapes given their overall dominance of the markets outside Japan. Certainly, companies like Alstom have something to offer to Japan in terms of traffic control/signal systems and the aforementioned low floor trams, but as far as other rolling stock, what sets them apart from what Japanese builders offer?
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Old April 8th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #1273
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I believe they are trembling, seeing flashbacks of the 80's and 90's of the auto industry when the Japanese auto industry took the global market with a storm.
In a way there are various similarities the only difference is that there are no American players and Japan has already established a foothold in that market.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 04:50 PM   #1274
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Quote:
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I believe they are trembling, seeing flashbacks of the 80's and 90's of the auto industry when the Japanese auto industry took the global market with a storm.
In a way there are various similarities the only difference is that there are no American players and Japan has already established a foothold in that market.
I bet you that in European nations with native builders (France, Germany, Italy, most notably), you will never see a Japanese maker win a big contract, though Japanese makers will be allowed to bid (it happened in Italy for an HSR trainset tender, which I believe KHI participated in, unsuccessfully). The areas where Japan has a chance is Great Britain (already looking good) and Eastern European markets where national railways are looking to replace life expired rolling stock with more efficient stock. I hope the Japanese builders have success there- I think most railfans would rather not have Desiros running everywhere they look.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #1275
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The new sightseeing trainset for Kinki Tango Railway was on display at JR Kyōto Station on 2013.04.07:

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Old April 9th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #1276
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(you could say there are already too many builders)
There used to be. Apart from Hitachi and Kawasaki allmost all the other builders are (partly) owned by a railway company.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 12:11 PM   #1277
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There used to be. Apart from Hitachi and Kawasaki allmost all the other builders are (partly) owned by a railway company.
I don't see why that makes them irrelevant. Nihon Sharyo for example is probably one of the biggest in Japan that develops and manufactures various design to various operators.
Kinki Sharyo has a manufacturing facility in the US and delivers to many US transit operators as well.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #1278
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三菱電機長崎、列車空調機をモジュール化
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...00C13A4LX0000/

Mitsubishi Electric’s Nagasaki plant (Togitsu Town, Nagasaki Prefecture) has completely revamped their production line, modularizing their units to reduce production costs and accelerate delivery schedule.

Mitsubishi Electric has a 70% share of the domestic market for roof- and floor-mounted air conditioning units for railcars. In the past, they’ve focused on client-specific designs for each contract, but modularization will allow them to prepare a handful of production units to handle all eight of their main products, including compressors, heat exchangers, control units, and AC units. The measures are intended to help them stay competitive in the international market, where they have only a 16% share. They are especially eager to enter the European market, where there is strong local competition and strict standards. They’ve had some success, securing a contract for equipment for high-speed railcars in Italy, but they are looking to further reduce costs and shorten delivery schedules, eventually hoping to double revenues and secure 30% global market share in five years.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #1279
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I don't see why that makes them irrelevant. Nihon Sharyo for example is probably one of the biggest in Japan that develops and manufactures various design to various operators.
Kinki Sharyo has a manufacturing facility in the US and delivers to many US transit operators as well.
I meant: For their home market they can build most of the trains themselves, because they (partly) own their own rolling stock builders. For the bigger projects they rely on cooperation between several builders, preferably with the independent ones like Hitachi and Kawasaki. That basically leaves little to no room on their home market for foreign builders.
Why would you want to have trains build by companies with no experience in your market and, maybe except for Alstom, a not so good reputation on reliability and on time delivery?
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:39 PM   #1280
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I doubt that Alstom is looking at building complete trains for Japan, but they can always sell technology to the Japanese manufactures or cooperate even further. I can see a train where the mechanical parts are completely Japanese and the complete electrical system made by Alstom.
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