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Old April 20th, 2014, 08:44 PM   #1661
00Zy99
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That's why I'm asking for a grade profile. Where does it go up? Where does it come down?

When in operation, they used EF63 pushers over Usui Pass. Maybe a new series would be more economical?
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Old April 20th, 2014, 09:04 PM   #1662
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Although the So Paulo-Santos railway has a 110‰ incline equipped with rack, basically no freight mainline in the world exceed 40‰, and even grades higher around 25‰ are seen as high (European target for new lines is even as low as 12‰). How could a 67‰ line carry economically a lot of freight?
I believe so.

Nagano Prefecture has up to 2,200,000 inhabitans, what does create a great demand for various types of products. There are some industries in Nagano, that use trucks to carry their products of others regions of Japan and Yokohama Port.

Nowadays, to reach Nagano, trains would use Minobu, Chuo and Shinonoi lines. With Usui Pass, the journey of freight trains between Nagano and Tokyo (or Yokohama) port would reduce in 151 Km... As Japan import all oil used by move trucks, the use of electric freight trains between Niigata, Nagano and Kanto would be economical. Other point in favor of freight train is toll in Japan expressways is very expensive.

I know So Paulo-Santos rack railway, because I live near this line. With grade of 11%, It operates 500-ton trains types with two Stadler rack locomotives.

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Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
That's why I'm asking for a grade profile. Where does it go up? Where does it come down?

When in operation, they used EF63 pushers over Usui Pass. Maybe a new series would be more economical?
No doubt. EF63 locomotives are old, obsolete machines. Japanese companies has technology to project new pusher electric locomotives to freight trains in Usui Pass.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:23 PM   #1663
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Anyway, a tunnel no longer than 10 km (probably easy to build nowadays) could avoid the steep section.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 10:55 PM   #1664
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It is also a good idea. Japan has one of best technology and "know-how" to build tunnels.

With a new freight line in Usui Pass, It could be possible a line with grade of 2%, with two spiral-style tunnels: one near Karuizawa and other in the middle of stretch.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 02:48 PM   #1665
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I do think that Usui Pass is being considered for reopening for freight use only. They could assign EF210 into banking locomotive service between Karuizawa and Yokokawa--and the EF210 is a very modern locomotive.
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Old April 21st, 2014, 02:49 PM   #1666
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Really, re-opening the Usui Pass Line for freight, much less rebuilding it, would be tremendous waste of money. First of all, railfreight has a very small share of the total freight shipping market in Japan (I have seen single digit figures, such as 4%). Actually railfreight has always been a minority mode of transport even in the days of small town freight stations and LCL freight trains, with most of the bulk freight (where rail has an advantage vs. road transport) going by coastal shipping-remember, almost all of the cities in Japan are on the coast or within 100km of the coastline. High value freight up to medium distances is more convenient to ship by truck, and more time sensitive. Railfreight does have a competitive advantage on very long-distance routes, such as Fukuoka-Sapporo, but these routes are not so numerous. Second, Nagano is already served adequately by freight trains via the Chuo Line/Shinonoi Line routing (which also serves Matsumoto on the way). JR Freight is actually moving toward cutting freight services (specifically the oil tanker trains from Negishi refineries) to Nagano- JRF is aiming to ship using only containers in the future. Despite all their rhetoric of modal-shift, their business strategy seems more in the direction of downsizing.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 02:43 AM   #1667
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Could I see a gradient profile for Usui Pass?

Where does it go up/come down?

Is the land that much higher on one side than the other?
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 03:26 AM   #1668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
Really, re-opening the Usui Pass Line for freight, much less rebuilding it, would be tremendous waste of money. First of all, railfreight has a very small share of the total freight shipping market in Japan (I have seen single digit figures, such as 4%). Actually railfreight has always been a minority mode of transport even in the days of small town freight stations and LCL freight trains, with most of the bulk freight (where rail has an advantage vs. road transport) going by coastal shipping-remember, almost all of the cities in Japan are on the coast or within 100km of the coastline. High value freight up to medium distances is more convenient to ship by truck, and more time sensitive. Railfreight does have a competitive advantage on very long-distance routes, such as Fukuoka-Sapporo, but these routes are not so numerous. Second, Nagano is already served adequately by freight trains via the Chuo Line/Shinonoi Line routing (which also serves Matsumoto on the way). JR Freight is actually moving toward cutting freight services (specifically the oil tanker trains from Negishi refineries) to Nagano- JRF is aiming to ship using only containers in the future. Despite all their rhetoric of modal-shift, their business strategy seems more in the direction of downsizing.
Only 4%?

I don't know... The traffic of trucks in Japanese Expressways are very high. While trucks uses imported oil, trains can move with local-produced electricity, and this fact could help the country to reduce depedence of Arabic oil.

It is very hard, but JR Kamotsu would head Its business to increase the use of freight trains, making the truck as "the last mile" in Japanese cities. That would be more for an environmental issue and to energy security.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 09:05 AM   #1669
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Both electricity and imported oil is a problem.

After all the nuclear power stations were shut down there's almost no locally produced electricity anymore. All the oil and gas needed to fuel to power stations also has to be imported. This will be eased a bit when more nuclear power stations being restarted. But then you still have a lack of freight rail infrastructure to make a significant shift in the modal split from road to rail on the short term.

A large investment is needed to make it even possible, but who's going to pay for that? Because of the privatization of the JR it's not as simple anymore, the government cannot just make all these investments. They have to get the JR Freight behind them and since the infrastructure is shared with the passenger operations they will also need the cooperation of the all the passenger JRs. It's not unlikely that they will resist against a big increase in the number of freight trains. Their passenger networks are already as congested as can be. Especially around the larger cities that also have the harbors/industrial areas where all the goods that are being transported throughout the country come from.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 09:47 AM   #1670
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I guess Japan will be the biggest beneficiary from future fusion power stations.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 11:07 AM   #1671
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE0GRAD View Post
I guess Japan will be the biggest beneficiary from future fusion power stations.
We may not see commercial fusion power for another 20, maybe 50 years. It's hard to base policy on a technology that doesn't even work experimentally yet.

What Japan needs in energy is a better mix. They won't reduce fossils to zero any time soon, but they need to make up for the 20, 30 years they fell behind on alternative energy because they thought nuclear power will work forever.

Biomass, wave, geothermic, tide, offshore wind, solar... Japan also has huge amounts of unused sugi timber that could be used to make wood pellets.

They also need a cultural change where they understand that you don't need to light up streets at 3 am, that not every stair needs an escalator, and that traditional unisolated building methods make no sense in the age of airconditioning.

/enough about energy off-topic

As for rail freight... Yes Japan could do more but I really don't see where Usui pass is relevant to that. If you have a lot of freight, you can nearly always build close to a port in Japan. Where is the freight demand supposed to come from?
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Old May 11th, 2014, 05:17 AM   #1672
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Nankai rapi:t limited express Gundam design in Shin-Imamiya and Osaka-Namba terminal:



























Source: http://saitoshika-west.com/
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Old May 11th, 2014, 06:06 AM   #1673
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That's no Gundam!

Sieg ZEON!!!!!!!!!!!

Clearly, someone's a Char fan.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 06:43 PM   #1674
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I like this train in red because the combination of being red, the "offbeat" oval windows, and the stern yet comical end cap, IMO, is a great "inside" joke directed at the Shinkansen aesthetic.

Of course, I wonder if the train is not going to stand up and glare down at the world through windshield yes.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 01:18 AM   #1675
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr.Horn View Post
Nankai rapi:t limited express Gundam design in Shin-Imamiya and Osaka-Namba terminal:
Just simply great! Only issue is that you can't meet Char or Mineva on this train
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Old May 12th, 2014, 01:30 AM   #1676
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Sayonara, Esashi Line!


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Old May 12th, 2014, 03:13 PM   #1677
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The replacement bus service began today. 6 round trips/day, the same frequency as the train service. The bus service will take 20 minutes longer than the train, and cost 190 yen more (Kikonai-Esashi). Tellingly, the bus to be used is a small Hino Poncho, with a capacity of about 30 passengers. It's obvious why this line was closed.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 02:41 PM   #1678
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Hmm there does seem to be very low ridership.

However I wonder since there is going to be a Hokkaido Shinkansen station at Kikonai, would it not at least be a good idea to wait until 2016 to close off the Esashi Line? Or to spurn the line off to the third sector.

I do hope that if the bus ridership does actually increase with the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, the Esashi Line would still be in a good shape to reopen.

As an aside, I just came back from a 2-week trip to Japan. One of the highlights was going to Sapporo on the Hamanasu Express Heated Carpet Car. Apparently this was supposed to be hard to book but I managed to book twice and for two people side by side each time! Must have been lucky haha
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Old May 13th, 2014, 02:55 PM   #1679
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The area is suffering from aging/depopulation so the prospects of an uptick in ridership are nil.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 03:01 PM   #1680
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As are a bunch of areas of rural Japan. I used to live in rural Shikoku (Yodo line) before I moved to Tokyo, and every time I rode the single-car DMU's, I was always alone. Every once in a while an ancient lady would get on and ride from a desolate station to another, or a random student might get on.

I'm surprised only the Esashi line was closed, but I'm sure they are studying closing other lines as well in Hokkaido.
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