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Old February 4th, 2014, 11:27 PM   #1561
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
The prototype trainset will consist of a 9-car base formation and a 3-car supplemental formation (12 cars total)...

[...]

Of note is the difference in the formations (E351 was 8+4 in 4M4T+2M2T, but they will add one powered car to the base formation for the E353, which will be 9+3 in 5M4T+2M1T).
What do you mean with "base formation" and "supplemental formation"? Maybe that the minimal standard configuration is 9 cars, with some 3 car sets used to lenghten the 9 car sets on peak hours only?
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Old February 4th, 2014, 11:27 PM   #1562
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I was hoping that the new trainset would look something like the E657 used on the Hitachi service on the JE East Jōban Line. As such, I'm not thrilled by the design from the end car of the new E353....
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Old February 5th, 2014, 12:10 AM   #1563
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
What do you mean with "base formation" and "supplemental formation"? Maybe that the minimal standard configuration is 9 cars, with some 3 car sets used to lenghten the 9 car sets on peak hours only?
Yes, that's correct.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 01:36 AM   #1564
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JR East parked the newly-restored steam locomotive C58 239 at Morioka Station on 2014.02.02 for an open house display, offering the public a peak at the new SL Ginga (SL銀河) trainset to begin operating a leisure service on the Kamaishi Line. Whistle at 1:10 is pretty sweet.



More testing at Morioka Station (2014.02.04):

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Old February 5th, 2014, 01:40 AM   #1565
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JR East to introduce special sake train for Niigata area in May
酒蔵モチーフの列車、5月デビュー

http://www.niigata-nippo.co.jp/news/...128091755.html

JR East’s Niigata office announced that it will introduce a special sake-themed train to the Niigata area starting 2014.05.02. The train will be called the Koshi no Shukura (越乃Shu*Kura), and will primarily operate on weekends between Takada (高田) Station in Jōetsu City (上越市) and Tōkamachi (十日町) Station, part of an attempt to attract visitors to Niigata as part of a prefectural tourism campaign taking place this spring between April and June.

The train will feature sake-based motifs and offer locally-produced versions of the drink for sale on board the train. The train’s route will pass through Kashiwazaki (柏崎) and Nagaoka (長岡), allowing passengers to enjoy the scenery along the Sea of Japan coast together with a glass of sake. The train will be a three-car formation with all-reserved seating, including some window-facing seats oriented towards the coast.

===

Press release:
http://www.jrniigata.co.jp/press/20140127dc1.pdf

Another special train... These seem to be making a rebirth with increased tourism and leisure train travel.

Exterior



Route map (in red)



Car 1
Window-facing counter and box seats



Standard box seats and common area



Car 2
Event space and service counter



Car 3
Reclining seats and commons area

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Old February 5th, 2014, 05:24 AM   #1566
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JR East studying Haneda AP connection

In addition to the announcement of the E353 design at the Feb. 4 press conference, there was mention made of the proposed Haneda Airport connection. This concept has been mentioned before, but JR-East seems to have formally started feasibility studies.
-they are looking at construction costs, as well as the availability of space underground at Haneda Airport
-at this point, if construction is given a green light, it will not be completed in time for the 2020 summer Olympics.
-opens the possibility of running trains from northern Kanto into the airport line, via the soon to be opened Ueno-Tokyo Line (ex-Tohoku Junkan Line)*

*this may prove useful to dump those extra Joban Line through trains Ibaraki wants JR-E to run through via the new line, without clogging the Tokaido Line from Shinagawa south.

Short online news article (print version was more detailed):
http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG2461G3G24UTIL031.html
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Old February 5th, 2014, 07:39 AM   #1567
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I'm not surprised they're doing that nihonshu-themed train. It's been said the best rice (and along with it the best nihonshu) in Japan comes from Niigata Prefecture, specifically the Uonuma area.
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Old February 13th, 2014, 07:07 PM   #1568
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Scenes of the Esashi Line in its last winter before abandonment:
http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/.../post_429.html

Last fall colors, on the Amanogawa No. 1 Bridge (第一天ノ川橋梁) between Miyakoshi (宮越) and Yunotai (湯ノ岱) (2013.11.01):



Between Kaminokuni (上ノ国) and Esashi (江差), against the backdrop of the Sea of Japan (2013.11.24):



Women wash daikon radishes for freeze drying before winter arrives in full force, as a train on 4177D travels along the Todagawa Bridge (椴川橋梁) (2013.11.06):



Railfans try to get their last runs in before the line is abandoned, lining up at Esashi Station to board the next train (2013.09.21):



Passing Amanogawa No. 2 Bridge (第二天ノ川橋梁) (2013.11.13):



The Esashi Line is no stranger to snow, with the plows frequently out on consecutive days to clear a path for the trains (2013.11.28):

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Old February 13th, 2014, 09:01 PM   #1569
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JR Hokkaido would think to operate a tourist train hauled by a steam locomotive in Esashi Line...
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Old February 14th, 2014, 04:52 AM   #1570
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Perhaps... That might be the only real solution if they wanted to keep the line running, but I'm not sure how practical that would really be.

Basically, whoever owns the tracks still has to do upkeep, pay taxes, etc., so any steam service would have to be relatively profitable to cover the additional costs, plus cover the deficits from the local passenger services, which are deep in the red and carry very few riders. I've never taken this line (perhaps k.k.jetcar has), and while I imagine there is some scenic value, Hokkaidō is still a small market... To be successful, they would probably have to operate it out of Hakodate.

I don't think they'd want to consider doing something like this now... They are still under a lot of pressure to clean up after their string of high-profile incidents. They are operating only a fraction of their regular timetable, and at substantially reduced speeds for safety reasons.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 04:53 AM   #1571
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JR West to introduce luxury sleeper service along Sea of Japan coast
豪華寝台列車、来年春から JR西、日本海側に投入

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/news/1...0080009-n1.htm

At a press conference on 2014.02.13, JR West president Manabe Seiji (真鍋精志) announced the railway’s plans to begin operating a luxury sleeper train starting in spring 2017. The original schedule called for a launch sometime in FY2017, but the railway hopes to begin the service in the spring, targeting demand from older passengers looking for a travel experience with more added value.

According to the railway, the train will be introduced first on a route along the San’in Main Line and Sea of Japan coast, departing Kyōto for Tottori and Shimane on a journey that would take several days. It’s likely that potential tours as part of the sleeper service will include itineraries to the famous Izumo Taisha shrine (出雲大社) in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture and other major sights. Tickets will be lower than the similar Seven Stars in Kyūshū service debuted by JR Kyūshū late last year, where 3-night, 4-day itineraries for trips starting in August 2014 range anywhere from ¥430,000 to ¥700,000 per person).

The railway has already established an internal project team to plan and develop the service. Based on the response to the Sea of Japan service, the railway is also looking to consider a route along the Seto Inland Sea, including Itsukushima Jinja shrine (厳島神社) in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture and other sights.

The official name and design of the train will be decided as early as before fiscal year end.

===

According to the press release provides, they expect to be able to announce the selected designer of the train before June:
http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/articl...page_5171.html
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Old February 14th, 2014, 10:19 AM   #1572
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Perhaps... That might be the only real solution if they wanted to keep the line running, but I'm not sure how practical that would really be.

Basically, whoever owns the tracks still has to do upkeep, pay taxes, etc., so any steam service would have to be relatively profitable to cover the additional costs, plus cover the deficits from the local passenger services, which are deep in the red and carry very few riders. I've never taken this line (perhaps k.k.jetcar has), and while I imagine there is some scenic value, Hokkaidō is still a small market... To be successful, they would probably have to operate it out of Hakodate.

I don't think they'd want to consider doing something like this now... They are still under a lot of pressure to clean up after their string of high-profile incidents. They are operating only a fraction of their regular timetable, and at substantially reduced speeds for safety reasons.
Hum, you're right.

And a possible "joyful train" between Hakodate and Esashi only in weekends and holidays with a special-decorated KiHa 40 railcar?
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Old February 14th, 2014, 08:15 PM   #1573
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It wouldn't be much different than the steam option you suggested, although maybe a bit cheaper and easier to implement, since you wouldn't need special rolling stock (a functional steam loco) to do it.

Usually, when a railway wants to abandon service in Japan, the local towns and cities will raise a huge fuss about it and successfully make an arrangement with the railway where the ownership is transferred to public hands or substantial amounts of government funding are used to keep the service running. The fact that this wasn't the case here is a pretty telling reason why the line is being abandoned... In essence, nobody rides it.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 08:55 PM   #1574
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Hitachi to target Southeast Asia, Middle East for signaling systems
日立、東南アジアや中東に鉄道信号売り込み

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...4A210C1TJ1000/

Hitachi Ltd. (日立製作所) will market a new signaling system to control headways between trains to markets in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The system is designed for subways and other railway systems and is a new product that received EU railway standard certification in the first half of FY2014. In order to achieve system design to meet local needs, Hitachi will take advantage of a new hub in low-cost India, targeting new rail lines in rapidly urbanizing southeast Asia.

The system is called Communications Based Train Control (CBTC), and is frequently used on subways and inner suburban railways. Hitachi will develop a CBTC product compliant with EU standards as early as FY2014. Such signaling systems based on EU standards are frequently a prerequisite for contracts in developing countries in Asia and other areas.

Hitachi will use a local base in India’s Delhi, taking advantage of low personnel costs to adapt the system to the needs of each client country. Core components will be exported out of Japan, but Hitachi is also considering subcontracting assembly and other tasks to local firms.

Hitachi already received EU certification on a separate signaling system for mainline railways at the end of last year. According to Hitachi, only a handful of companies are capable of providing signaling systems for both mainline railways and inner-suburban or subway lines. Hitachi aims to establish a business structure that will allow it to offer a full railway system to clients, including rolling stock, electrical equipment, and signaling systems, in an effort to compete against major global railcar manufacturers such as Germany’s Siemens.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 04:40 PM   #1575
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Quote:
Hum, you're right.

And a possible "joyful train" between Hakodate and Esashi only in weekends and holidays with a special-decorated KiHa 40 railcar?
As quashlo mentioned, whoever operates the line has to cover the costs. Currently this line has the fewest riders of all JR Hokkaido's lines (approx. 40 passengers/day- practically empty, considering this is about the seating capacity of one kiha 40 railcar). Obviously the local residents prefer to drive their cars. Any special trains, including steam, are seasonal, so there is very peaky revenue stream, at best.

I actually will ride this line next weekend, coupled with a stay in Hakodate. Apparently it is a quite scenic line (many bridges). However I figure autumn was the best time to visit, everything is covered with snow right now.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 09:40 PM   #1576
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With only 40 passengers/day, It isn't feasible to operate a bus service in Esashi line...

There is some debate in Japan about adoption of open-access system in JR network?
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Old February 15th, 2014, 10:59 PM   #1577
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Will that signaling system be japaneese version of ETCS?
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Old February 16th, 2014, 05:01 AM   #1578
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
With only 40 passengers/day, It isn't feasible to operate a bus service in Esashi line...

There is some debate in Japan about adoption of open-access system in JR network?
Likely it will be a bus. The few passengers are likely concession fares (elderly and HS students), their passes are subsidized, and the bus service is much cheaper to operate than a rail line (i.e. local municipalities and/or the prefecture can cover the costs).
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Old February 16th, 2014, 06:20 AM   #1579
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Quote:
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Will that signaling system be japaneese version of ETCS?
The article is a bit confusing (uncharacteristic for the source newspaper, the Nikkei Shimbun), but it appears to be talking about two different products. I was initially confused when I first translated it, and after going back to re-read it, it still sounds a bit funny.

Anyways, the first system is an ETCS product, which was tested on National Rail in UK and has already received EU certification. Obviously, this would be for mainline / legacy railways, like most ETCS implementations.
http://www.hitachi.eu/about/press/pr...se.jsp?id=1088

The other system mentioned in the article for development at their new Delhi office would would appear to be a CBTC system for subways and other urban operations.
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Old February 16th, 2014, 08:19 PM   #1580
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JR Yokohama line series E233-6000 debut

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