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Old February 16th, 2014, 08:35 PM   #1581
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It's interesting to see that Japanese commuter train design is conservative, differently of Shinkansen trainsets.
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Old February 16th, 2014, 09:09 PM   #1582
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
It's interesting to see that Japanese commuter train design is conservative, differently of Shinkansen trainsets.
Well, most commuter trains in Japan go at best 130 km/h (81 mph), even on private railway 1,435 mm (standard) gauge lines. As such, there is less need for a really aerodynamic body design like those needed for the Shinkansen, where current trainsets top out somewhere between 260 and 320 km/h (168 to 199 mph).
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Old February 17th, 2014, 11:44 AM   #1583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
It's interesting to see that Japanese commuter train design is conservative, differently of Shinkansen trainsets.
As sacto7654 said above, they are in two different speed categories. Trains with a Vmax of 200 km/h don't really need to be that aerodynamic, and above that speed then the the drag from the sides of the train is usually higher than the front anyway.

But there are other things that decides the design of each type of train.
A commuter train is essentially a box on wheels designed to haul as many passengers as possible in a specific space envelope, and you can't really do much better than a box in that case, this really limits the design possibilities of commuter trains. But there have been a change in the design in the past few years, they have introduced a "Wide-body" to most new trains, which increases the internal space a bit more to squeeze in a few more passengers.

Shinkansen trains on the other hand aren't really designed as such, but made to be aero-dynamical in such a way that they reduce the wind noise of the train at speed, due to extremely stringent limits on how much noise they are allowed to generate, the E5 and E6 have this unique look for them to reduce effects like "tunnel booms", this is extra important on this stretch since there are several tunnels on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 03:03 PM   #1584
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loefet View Post
A commuter train is essentially a box on wheels designed to haul as many passengers as possible in a specific space envelope, and you can't really do much better than a box in that case, this really limits the design possibilities of commuter trains. But there have been a change in the design in the past few years, they have introduced a "Wide-body" to most new trains, which increases the internal space a bit more to squeeze in a few more passengers.

Shinkansen trains on the other hand aren't really designed as such, but made to be aero-dynamical in such a way that they reduce the wind noise of the train at speed, due to extremely stringent limits on how much noise they are allowed to generate, the E5 and E6 have this unique look for them to reduce effects like "tunnel booms", this is extra important on this stretch since there are several tunnels on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line.
A couple of comments:

1. Modern commuter trains in Japan have become wider, thanks to the use of tapered body designs to accommodate wider passenger areas even with the zairaisen standard loading gauge. A very good example of this is to do this comparison of different age EMU's on the JR East Saikyo Line:

JNR 205 Series EMU:



JR East E233 Series EMU:



Note that with the E233 Series EMU, by using a tapered body design, the result is a wider passenger space but still fully compatible with the zairaisen loading gauge.

2. If you look at the E5 Shinkansen design:



The "duck bill" nose design not only reduces the "tunnel boom" noise, but also results in lower aerodynamic drag. This is why the E5 trainset can now top out at 320 km/h between Omiya and Morioka on the Hayabusa trains, and is expected to top out at 360 km/h later this decade. The "duck bill" design may also eventually allow speeds of 300 km/h or higher through the long tunnels north of Morioka and (likely) through the Seikan Tunnel when the Hokkaido Shinkansen line from Shin-Aomori to the new Shin-Hakodate Station opens in March 2016.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 10:52 PM   #1585
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So, this "duck bill" was projected to reduce the effects of "tunnel boom"? I didn't know...
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Old February 17th, 2014, 11:10 PM   #1586
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Some EH200 snowplowing action in Yamanishi and Kofu,





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Old February 18th, 2014, 06:51 PM   #1587
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Hokuetsu Express (北越急行)’s plow car, the MR600:
http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/.../post_411.html





















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Old February 19th, 2014, 12:46 AM   #1588
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Sleeper reservations for last Akebono service sell out in less than a second
発売から0秒台で完売 あけぼの最終列車の寝台券

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG2G2RBFG2GUBUB001.html

Sleeper reservations for the last Akebono sleeper services, operating between Ueno and Aomori, went on sale nationwide on 2014.02.14 and sold out in less than a second. The sleeper service will be discontinued with the March regular timetable changes, and tickets for the last service were made available starting one month before the last trips on 2014.03.14.

The service is operated with 10-car trains, each capable of handling a total of 221 passengers in a mixture of accommodation types including suites and beds. According to JR East spokespersons, tickets were already unavailable less than one second after they were offered for purchase.

The elimination of “blue train” (ブルートレイン) sleeper services over the last several years has resulted in a ticket frenzy among railfans eager to ride the services for the last time. Sleeper reservations for the Sea of Japan (日本海) service between Ōsaka and Aomori, axed in 2012, sold out in about 15 seconds.

The final inbound service for Ueno will depart Aomori Station at 18:23 on 2014.03.14.



===

On the Ōu Main Line during snowfall (2014.02.14):



Full videologue on a trip from Aomori to Ueno (2014.01.22 to 2014.01.23):

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Old February 19th, 2014, 12:59 AM   #1589
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The last blizzard also affected the Seven Stars in Kyūshū service, with the train having to weather it out at Tateno Station in Kumamoto Prefecture for some time:

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Old February 19th, 2014, 08:51 AM   #1590
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New Year’s period ridership statistics

All six JR companies recently released ridership statistics for the New Year's period (2013.12.28 to 2014.01.06). Here are the stats for the big three plus JR Kyūshū.

Starting off with JR East:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20140101.pdf

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Old February 19th, 2014, 08:53 AM   #1591
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JR Central:
http://jr-central.co.jp/news/release/nws001358.html

New Year's period ridership on limited express trains (2013.12.27 – 2014.01.05):
Shinkansen: 3.501 million (106% of last year)
Zairaisen: 0.212 million (110% of last year)
Total: 3.713 million (107% of last year)

Ridership on peak day of travel
As indicated earlier, the 296,400 passengers inbound on the Shinkansen on 2014.01.04 is an all-time record high for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen for single-day, one-way ridership during the New Year’s period.



Nagoya area ridership (boardings on main line sections only)
31.78 million (104% of last year)

New Year's period ridership on limited express trains (detail) (2013.12.27 – 2014.01.05):



New Year's period ridership on regular trains (detail) (2013.12.27 – 2014.01.05):

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Old February 19th, 2014, 08:54 AM   #1592
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JR West:
http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/articl...page_5016.html

New Year's period ridership on limited express and express trains



Keihanshin area short-distance ticket sales
1,106,000 tickets per day (106% of last year)

Daily boardings at major stations
Ōsaka: 132,000 (107% of last year)
Kyōto: 59,000 (106%)
Sannomiya: 43,000 (102%)
Tennōji: 57,000 (108%)
Universal City: 25,000 (140%)
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Old February 19th, 2014, 08:55 AM   #1593
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JR Kyūshū:
http://www13.jrkyushu.co.jp/NewsRele...3?OpenDocument

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Old February 20th, 2014, 08:17 PM   #1594
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Hitachi CBTC product obtains EU certification
http://www.hitachi.com/New/cnews/140220.html

Quote:
Tokyo, Japan, February 20, 2014 --- Hitachi, Ltd. ( TSE:6501, "Hitachi") announced today that it received Safety Integrity Level 4 (SIL 4 *1), an international safety standard*2 for reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS *3) in wireless signaling systems for urban transport. SIL 4, the highest safety level attainable, conforms with the IEEE 1474 Standard for Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC *4) Performance and Functional Requirements. This is the first time*5 that a Japanese company has received SIL 4 certification from the European Certification Agency.

CBTC refers to signaling systems for suburban trains, subways, monorails, and other forms of urban transport. When wireless communication is used to transmit control information or information on trains' positions, there is no need to install train detection facilities on the ground. This makes it possible to dramatically reduce costs; for example, the costs of installing and maintaining cables along the railway lines. Furthermore, because the trains' positions can be monitored in real time, it is possible to dynamically maintain the minimum allowable intervals between each train as required to ensure safety. This in turn enables increased transport capacity through high density operations. These systems can also be applied to unmanned train operations.

Hitachi decided to adopt CBTC on Line 1 of the Ho Chi Minh City metro, for which it received an order in June 2013. Hitachi will continue to roll out the railway signaling system business on a global scale, by expanding sales of its CBTC systems.

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for conformance with international standards during bids for overseas railway signaling system projects, and for products that have received certification from public agencies for international safety standards. There are two main types of international standards for railway signaling systems: CBTC, which covers urban transport systems, and ETCS *6, which covers long-distance, transport between different cities. Hitachi released on-board signaling equipment in conformance with ETCS standards in December 2013. CBTC has been adopted on approximately 100 *5 train lines worldwide, mostly suburban trains, subways, and monorails. Hitachi delivered CBTC systems for the Chongqing Rail Transit Line 3 in China, for which it received an order in February 2009. Commercial operations on that line began in September 2011.

Hitachi has obtained RAMS certification for a variety of CBTC systems, including Automatic Train Supervision (ATS), which transmit instructions for setting train routes; interlocking systems, which set and cancel train routes based on instructions from ATS; Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems, which detect trains' positions and control the distance between those trains; and Automatic Train Operation (ATO) systems; as well as for wireless communication systems that transmit information between trains and ground facilities. Hitachi has obtained SIL 4, the highest safety level available among international safety standards, for its ATP systems and interlocking equipment, which are particularly important in terms of ensuring safety.
With the receipt of this and other certifications, Hitachi will continue to strengthen its business in railway signaling markets around the world, thereby expanding its railway systems business on a global scale.



*1: Safety Integrity Level 4 (SIL 4): SIL is a measure of safety defined in international standards on a scale of Level 1 to Level 4. SIL 4 is the highest safety level attainable.
*2: Segments of the IEC61508 international safety standard were modified into three categories to apply specifically to railway systems in Europe: EN50126 (RAMS); EN50128, which covers railway related software applications; and EN50129, which covers system safety. These three standards were later redefined as the international IEC standards IEC62278, IEC62279, and IEC62425, respectively.
*3: Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS): RAMS stipulates activities to be conducted in all phases of railway operations, from the conceptualization of railway systems to disposal after use.
*4: Communication Based Train Control (CBTC): Railway control systems for urban transport. Adopted as part of the IEEE 1474 standard by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
*5: As of February 2014. Source: Hitachi survey.
*6: European Train Control System (ETCS): Refers to train control systems for transport between different cities railways. This standard was adopted in Europe to enable mutual operations among trains operating on routes that cross national borders.
More details on that article from a few days ago, now that Hitachi has actually published a press release.

Japanese version:
http://www.hitachi.co.jp/New/cnews/m...4/02/0220.html
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 12:07 PM   #1595
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Photo by me, noon time today (Japan standard time):







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Old February 23rd, 2014, 05:33 PM   #1596
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It wasn't a bad accident was it? How was the driver of the vehicle that was hit?

Shame though, that's really nice rolling stock! I always liked the Keihin-Tohoku line.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 04:55 AM   #1597
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That's the second serious accident Japanese mass transit system had in a month, after that subway collision. Sheer bad luck?
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Old February 24th, 2014, 08:10 AM   #1598
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
It wasn't a bad accident was it? How was the driver of the vehicle that was hit?

Shame though, that's really nice rolling stock! I always liked the Keihin-Tohoku line.
Two people suffered minor injury. It happened on the way to train base after the day's operation.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 11:54 AM   #1599
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What actually happened? Where are the news reports?

EDIT: Ah, it hit a maintenance vehicle left on the tracks at a siding.

The first crash was caused by the blizzards and wasn't really avoidable, however this one is likely to have quite a harsh investigation into it.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 08:02 PM   #1600
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The cause is already known.

The accident happened at 01:00 in the night. The train was out of service returning to the yard after it's final service. The maintenance vehicle was not left on the track, it was actually on route to the location where the night time maintenance was about to start.

The driver of the maintenance vehicle has admitted that he made a mistake with the time, he drove his vehicle onto the track before it was officially closed down for regular services. A criminal investigation is underway against the driver to see if this is a case of professional negligence resulting in bodily injury.

It was an unlucky human error, something that is hard to prevent other then reconfirming the safety measures that are already in place anyway.


ps. Service resumed fully on Monday morning, therefor it didn't cause any disruption to services on the 1st workday of the week.
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