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Old June 17th, 2009, 07:45 AM   #181
quashlo
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Sakai City to begin LRT construction this year
http://mytown.asahi.com/osaka/news.p...00000904070003

Quote:
Sakai City has set aside over ¥40 billion for a proposed “environmentally-friendly” next-generation tram (LRT) line through the city. For Sakai City, which has only north-south rail lines that connect it with Ōsaka, an east-west rail line has been an earnest desire for many decades, and the municipal government claims the LRT will revitalize the city. Residents, however, have expressed criticism against the project, asking whether the benefits of the line match its pricetag.

“It will contribute to the urban streetscape and become a symbol of the neighborhood”… “With a little bit of work, we can revitalize the city”… “Carbon dioxide emissions are one-fifth that of a car”… These were some of the reasons the city put forth to support the project during a February public workshop at an elementary school along the proposed alignment. The project manager for the city described the benefits of the project by showing images of the LRT system running in Nice, France. But the roughly 300 residents who had gathered at the workshop expressed skepticism of the proposal.

The city plans to begin construction on Phase I of the project, between Sakai Higashi Station on the Nankai Kōya Line and Sakai Station on the Nankai Main Line (1.7 km). Currently, Nankai Bus runs shuttle buses on this route on four-minute headways during the rush hour. According the city’s proposal, the LRT line would stop at most of the same stations as the existing bus service, and travel times and frequency would remain the same. “Then the bus is fine. If we’re concerned about environmental impacts, then just run electric buses,” say residents.

Why is Sakai City so insistent on LRT? While there are three key north-south train lines running through the city and connecting it with Ōsaka City (Nankai Main Line, Nankai Kōya Line, and JR Hanwa Line), the lack of an east-west rail line has “weakened the economic competitiveness of the city,” according to officials. From the Meiji Era, to the Taishō Era and Shōwa Eras, construction of an east-west rail line has been proposed numerous times, but has consistently ended in a stalemate. Part of the dilemma is that the project must be careful not to prevent residents in the southern reaches of Ōsaka Prefecture from being able to pass through Sakai City to reach Ōsaka.

In 1999, the city began considering the possibility of introducing LRT, which is popular in the West. In 2004, the city convened a public transport summit composed of various experts and formally proposed LRT because of its compatibility with other rail lines and low construction cost.

Afterwards, the city began detailed planning for the project. In addition to the Phase I segment between Sakai Higashi and Sakai Stations, the city would upgrade the tracks and procure vehicles for the existing Hankai Line tram line, while Nankai Electric Railway and Hankai Tramway would operate the vehicles, running through-service with the new east-west line. The city has identified approximately ¥1 billion in this year’s budget to cover advance payments for construction of the new line, and plans to begin work this year. “The line will become a catalyst for redevelopment of the city and help lure businesses to the waterfront area, helping us develop in a way fit for a city of our stature.”

But building consensus for the project among residents hasn’t been easy.

One reason is the project’s pricetag. Construction costs for the Sakai Higashi Station – Sakai Station segment are estimated at approximately ¥8.5 billion. Including the planned 5.2-km extension to the waterfront area and through-service with the Hankai Line, the total project cost balloons to ¥42.5 billion. While the city says LRT is “cheaper than other transit modes,” they have so far avoided presenting specific figures regarding the line’s economic benefits, citing difficulties in quantifying the numbers. When residents have commented that bus service is adequate, the city has responded that an LRT line would be able to run through-service with the Hankai Line, but has yet to provide a cost-benefit analysis of buses versus LRT.

Shopowners along the proposed alignment also expressed their concern about not being able to load and unload trucks and delivery vehicles, as roadways would be reduced from two lanes to one lane and converted to one-way operation. “Are you sure that people will come if you build the LRT? How will the city take responsibility if the traffic passing by my store decreases and my revenue goes down?” The city has only responded that the location and number of parking facilities and special loading zones remains “to be determined.”

LRT proposals are currently sprouting up across the country. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, there are a total of 70 proposals in various locations such as Utsunomiya City, but many are at a standstill and have yet to resolve critical issues such as public consensus and construction cost.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 07:47 AM   #182
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Sakai City LRT target opening date postponed
http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/news/20090607-OYO1T00411.htm

Quote:
On June 6, Sakai City stated that it would likely postpone the 2010 opening of the city’s light-rail transit (LRT) project. After a public workshop that evening where many citizens expressed opinions against the project, the city decided that more time is needed to obtain public support for the project.

According to the city’s proposal released last year, the 6.9-km line would run between Sakai Higashi Station on the Nankai Kōya Line to the city’s waterfront. The section between Sakai Higashi Station and Sakai Station on the Nankai Main Line (1.7 km) was designated as the initial phase, with a scheduled opening date in 2010. Residents along this segment objected to the project, as it would require that existing two-lane roadways be converted to one-way, one-lane roadways to accommodate the LRT. Public workshops were scheduled for three school zones, but only one public workshop has been completed so far.

On June 6, the City held a public workshop for the Municipal Elementary School Zone (Sakai Ward), which also hosted the meeting last February. However, echoing public opinion from the February meeting, citizens again expressed resistance to the project, some calling for Phase II west of Sakai Station to be built first, and others calling for the abandonment of the project altogether.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
New station proposed between Ōfuna and Fujisawa
http://mytown.asahi.com/kanagawa/new...00000906120005
I work in Fujisawa. You pretty much need a car to get around the city. And traffic is not good as a result. There is so much centralization with jobs being in Tokyo, Yokohama and other big cities that these bedroom communities have poor transportation-oriented planning and, as a result, public transportation The only thing the trains in Fujisawa are good for are getting you out of the city and back again. As the article mentions, if this station is built, there's a good chance a decent amount of people will need to drive to get there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Sakai City to begin LRT construction this year
http://mytown.asahi.com/osaka/news.p...00000904070003
This LRT does seem quite expensive. The system, already served by buses which run at the same frequency and speed as the planned LRT, is 7km and cost ¥42.5 billion...did someone say recession? I like trains, etc. but I'm a bigger fan of common sense.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
I work in Fujisawa. You pretty much need a car to get around the city. And traffic is not good as a result. There is so much centralization with jobs being in Tokyo, Yokohama and other big cities that these bedroom communities have poor transportation-oriented planning and, as a result, public transportation The only thing the trains in Fujisawa are good for are getting you out of the city and back again.
I'm not sure centralization in Tōkyō and Yokohama has as much to do with it as the fact that the current development pattern is probably too spread out. There are suburbs everywhere in the developed world... I think it's more a matter of how the suburbs are designed that can make the difference in people's choice between auto or transit / bike / walk.

I actually don't think the new station (and the new development) is a bad idea at all, as it is creating a new center within Fujisawa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
As the article mentions, if this station is built, there's a good chance a decent amount of people will need to drive to get there.
I don't think the article said that... It only mentioned the number of riders who would shift from Ōfuna and Fujisawa, which is half of the equation. It didn't give numbers for entirely new ridership at the station generated by the redevelopment area. There was a figure for auto traffic generated by the redevelopment, but that was if the new station didn't go in.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #185
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Blue Ribbon Award goes to Odakyū 60000 series MSE
http://www.jrc.gr.jp/act/ac/pdf/2009bl.pdf

This is an annual award given out by the Japan Railfan Club to the most outstanding new train of the year.

Quote:
The Odakyū Electric Railway 60000 series is the first reserved-seat special express stock with the ability to run through-service on subway lines. The train has earned its name of “Multi Super Express” (MSE), performing its primary duties of weekday through-service with the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line in addition to expanding its reach to Tōkyō’s waterfront areas and Hakone on weekends.

The train builds on the shape of the 50000 series, borrowing the latter’s all-aluminum double-skin body. The livery—Vermeer blue across the whole length of the train—is intended to bring a bit of cheerfulness to the subway. Beneath the passenger windows, the train sports a beltline in vermillion orange, the traditional color of Odakyū’s Romancecar trains.

On the technological end, the train satisfies a variety of restrictions in order to be able to operate inside the subway. The train meets the requirements for emergency exits at the end cars (Cars No. 1 and No. 10 when running in 10-car formation) through the use of a slanted plug door that moves in three dimensions. As a result, Odakyū was able to preserve the streamline shape that has become a hallmark of Romancecar trains. As for the need to be able to join with other trains and ascend sections of steep grade during an emergency, both the 10-car and 6-car formations satisfy the requirements with an increased motor car ratio and increased motor output. To reduce noise both inside and outside, the train uses fully-enclosed traction motors and integrated air compressors.

The interior of the train is equipped to accommodate both commuters and leisure passengers. The train features the highest passenger capacity yet among Odakyū’s special express trains and meets seating needs during commute periods. The design is attentive to passenger needs, with seats that are designed to rotate even if the seat in front is fully reclined. In addition, the backs of seats are equipped with special hooks and straps to hold umbrellas in place. The fold-up tables inside the elbow-rests can accommodate A4-size notebook computers, but are shaped to allow seats to be rotated even while out, improving operational efficiency when trains are turned back at terminals.

In terms of service, the train has food service counters for leisure passengers, as well as washroom facilities designed to accommodate passengers with disabilities. The train also carries automated external defibirillators (AEDs), the first in-train installation in Japan.

Considering the above, the Odakyū Electric Railway 60000 series, as Japan’s first reserved-fare special express train to interline with a subway, satisfies the many requirements of subway service while preserving the strengths of the Romancecar tradition. The train received the votes of many members of the Japan Railfan Club, earning it this year’s Blue Ribbon Award.
The Romancecar sets are Odakyū’s reserved-seat special express trains. The 60000 series was manufactured by Nippon Sharyō and debuted in March 2008, offering direct service to and from the Tōkyō Metro network via a Romancecar train (the other Romancecar trains terminate at Shinjuku Station). The service pattern is as follows:
  • Weekdays:
    • One “Metro Sagami” service during the morning rush hour between Hon-Atsugi on the Odakyū Odawara Line and Kita-Senju on the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line;
    • One “Metro Homeway” service during the evening rush hour between Kita-Senju on the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line and Karakida on the Odakyū Tama Line;
    • Two “Metro Homeway” services during the evening rush hour between Ōtemachi on the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line and Hon-Atsugi on the Odakyū Odawara Line.
  • Weekends and holidays:
    • One roundtrip service between Hon-Atsugi on the Odakyū Odawara Line and Kita-Senju on the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line (morning “Metro Sagami” service bound for Kita-Senju, evening “Metro Homeway” service bound for Hon-Atsugi);
    • Two roundtrip “Metro Hakone” services between Kita-Senju on the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line and Hakone Yumoto on the Hakone Tozan Line.
On some weekends, a special service is run called the “Bay Resort.” In the morning, the train runs from Hon-Atsugi on the Odawara Line through to Shin-Kiba on the Yūrakuchō Line, and in the evening, the train does the return trip. To access the Yūrakuchō Line, the train uses a special service tunnel connecting it to the Chiyoda Line, but must reverse direction at Kasumigaseki Station. The Bay Resort service is aimed at people who live along the Odakyū line who want to visit Tōkyō Disneyland.

Although the trains make a limited number of stops in the subway, because there are no passing tracks on either the Chiyoda Line or Yūrakuchō Line, they actually don’t travel much faster than a regular-service train. The hook for passengers using these services is a comfortable one-seat ride (and the fact that you can get a seat at all).


Source: Wikipedia
Streamlined front, with special plug-door emergency exit.


Source: Wikipedia
“Flat” end of a six-car unit.


Source: Wikipedia
There are a total of two six-car units and one four-car unit, all of which can run individually. However, this is rarely done, and most of the time trains are run in 6+4 configuration.

Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMYVUXvaX1U&hd=1 Source: m6s24hst on YouTube
1. A “Metro Hakone” service in 6+4 configuration, bound for Hakone Yumoto Station, enters Odawara Station.
2. The four-car unit is decoupled and the six-car unit departs the station.
3. The return “Metro Hakone” (back to 6+4 configuration) departs the station, bound for Kita-Senju Station on the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nC8TUJa3h0&fmt=18 Source: nattime54 on YouTube
1. A “Bay Resort” service enters Kasumigaseki Station on the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line, bound for Shin-Kiba Station on the Tōkyō Metro Yūrakuchō Line. The train doesn’t actually pick up or let off passengers here—it only stops so it can reverse direction.
2. The train departs the station, backtracking to access the special tunnel connecting the Chiyoda Line and the Yūrakuchō Line.
3. The train makes a brief stop at Sakuradamon Station on the Yūrakuchō Line. Because there aren’t passing tracks anywhere, the train doesn’t actually go much faster than a regular-service train.
4. The out-of-service train heads back, passing through Shintomichō Station on the Yūrakuchō Line.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:21 PM   #186
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Toyohashi Railroad T1000 series receives Laurel Award
http://www.jrc.gr.jp/act/ac/pdf/2009bl.pdf

These are the runner-ups to the Blue Ribbon Award.

Quote:
The Toyohashi Railroad T1000 series, based on Alna Sharyō’s “Little Dancer” Ua-type LRV, is the first domestically-manufactured 100% low-floor LRV for a narrow-gauge railway.

The cars are three-section articulated vehicles with two bogies (total length 16.2 m). The center “C” section does not have a bogie and is a “floating” construction, supported by the end A and B sections. For 100% low-floor LRVs, the critical requirements are reserving the space above the bogies for the passenger aisle and preserving a minimum aisle width of 800 mm as required by the Transport Accessibility Law. For standard-gauge (1,435 mm) LRVs, precedence has already been established by the Nagasaki Electric Tramway 3000 series, which uses high-reliability and low-maintenance standard bogies with axles. However, 100% low-floor LRVs for 1,067-gauge or other narrow-gauge railways has up until now meant the use of specially constructed bogies developed overseas, featuring independent wheels not connected by axles.

However, the narrow-gauge T1000 series LRVs achieved a 100% low-floor design using standard bogies with axles, and equipment based on Japanese technology. The biggest factor behind this is the motor equipment. In a narrow-gauge environment with limited space, the primary motor equipment was attached to the car body underneath the operator’s cab and the universal joint connected to the drive axle was shifted outside the bogie frame. As a result of these advancements, together with reevaluating the placement of components, the car floor above the bogies was reduced to 480 mm (380 mm in areas not above the bogies) and an aisle width of 820 mm was achieved. In regular maintenance checks after the start of service, it was determined that maintenance costs for the T1000 series are equivalent to the maintenance costs of existing cars, adding credence to their usability.

In Toyohashi, the line was selected under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) LRT General Improvement Program. In an effort to increase ridership by improving convenience and enhancing the symbolic image of streetcars, the steering panel drafted the Toyohashi Streetcar Revitalization Plan and introduced the T1000 series as a new symbol of the city. With its nickname, “Hotram,” the T1000 series is helping to revitalize the central areas of the city and contributing to environmentally-friendly lifestyles among city residents. Other cities have also been selected for the LRT General Improvement Program, helping advance several different proposals throughout the country. Introduction of vehicles similar to the T1000 series on other narrow-gauge railways has also been proposed.

With its unique qualities as a 100% low-floor, narrow-gauge LRV constructed using domestic technology, the T1000 series received high praise from the selection committee and was awarded the Laurel Award.

Source: Wikipedia
T1000 series “Hotram.”

image hosted on flickr

Source: tsuda on Flickr

Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpRNAUOLuO8&hd=1 Source: AGUIMOVIE on YouTube
Toyohashi Railroad action outside Toyohashi Station.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bVtxoOeQjQ&hd=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwErsYzIdIQ&hd=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Sny0y2cu8o&hd=1 Source: AGUIMOVIE on YouTube
Cab view of a T1000 series.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #187
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Keihan Electric Railway 3000 series receives Laurel Award
http://www.jrc.gr.jp/act/ac/pdf/2009bl.pdf

Quote:
With the catchphrase “Comfort Saloon,” the Keihan Electric Railway 3000 series was introduced as a rapid express train for the Nakanoshima Line’s start of service and has become the vanguard of Keihan’s image rebranding efforts. Based on a set of concrete design concepts, both the interior and exterior of the train are completely different from existing Keihan stock, marking a new age in Keihan train design. With a high level of passenger comfort and the use of high-quality materials, the 3000 series’ design is truly befitting of a special express train.

The basic design concept of the train is “modern refinement”—a synthesis of the culture and elegance from the areas surrounding the Keihan Line, and modernity. As an embodiment of these themes, the train uses a “moon” motif throughout, such as the crescent-shaped car ends and interior amenities, contributing to a dynamic new image for Keihan. The livery features a deep blue (“elegant blue”) livery, alluding to the “water capital” Ōsaka, with Nakanoshima at its center, as well as the traditions and social status of Kyōto. To emphase the rapid express as Nakanoshima’s high-grade train service, dark blue was selected as the primary color of the interior, accented by ink-black, wood-grained doors and a car floor reminiscent of cobbles. These features combine to create a space that exudes classic elegance.

While the cars feature three doors per side, the seating between doors is in transverse 2+1 configuration (2+2 configuration behind the driver’s cabs). The direction of the seats can be changed automatically and the seat height was increased over existing trains, improving comfort. For the car ends, longitudinal seating was selected, allowing for a seating configuration that meets the diverse needs of both commuters and leisure passengers on the rapid express. Even the seat fabric is designed for comfort through the use of a soft, suede-like high-quality microfiber material, the first time this fabric has been selected for use in a railway vehicle anywhere in the world.

While railway vehicle production throughout the country is turning to standard construction methods and standard components as means of reducing costs, the Keihan Electric Railway 3000 series is an “image leader”—a critical role for a railway company, where image branding is taken seriously. Through well-defined design concepts, a unique new train was born, with its own complete array of passenger amenities.

For these reasons, the 3000 series received high praise from the selection committee and was awarded the Laurel Award.

Source: Wikipedia:
The seating is in 2+1 configuration between the doors.


Source: kurofunetrain.livedoor.biz
On an express run to Demachiyanagi.

image hosted on flickr

Source: muzina_shanghai on Flickr
Rapid express bound for Nakanoshima.

Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmJbD49tUVg&hd=1 Source: 773ch on YouTube
A rapid express for Nakanoshima arrives at and departs Moriguchishi Station.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7FqjJCdOyk&fmt=18 Source: CUTLASS2305 on YouTube
New 3000 series trains arrive and depart Nakanoshima Station.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:24 PM   #188
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Proposal to grade-separate Keisei Main Line through Ichikawa City
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ch...802000095.html

Quote:
A panel of experts that has been discussing the possible grade-separation of the Keisei Main Line through Ichikawa City has submitted their recommendations to the city. Currently, the Keisei Main Line cuts through the center of the city, splitting neighborhoods into east and west and contributing to traffic congestion in the city. The committee recommended a “compromise” plan that would elevate some sections, underground other sections, and keep at-grade the rest of the 3.22-km segment of the line inside Ichikawa City. The panel is composed of five university professors from the Tōkyō University of Science specializing in fields including transport engineering and urban planning, and was created in October last year. Professor Uchiyama Hisao is chairman of the panel.

According to the panel’s recommendations, the 1.2-km segment between Kōnodai and Sugano Stations would be elevated. From Sugano Station, the line would remain in the existing at-grade configuration. For approximately 1.3 km surrounding Keisei Yawata Station, the line would be undergrounded.

In response to city residents’ desires for a fully elevated line, Professor Uchiyama claims, “Elevating the entire line will overshadow the neighborhoods around the structure. It’s not an appropriate solution for a developed society.”

Omitting land purchases and incidental construction costs, the project is estimated to cost approximately ¥72.9 billion and span over ten years. This fall, the city will decide whether or not to proceed with the project and enter into negotiations with Keisei Electric Railway and Chiba Prefecture.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #189
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JR, Keiō, Keikyū take advantage of filming requests
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/entertainme...090611et06.htm

Quote:
Railway companies aim to improve image and increase revenue
The interiors of trains and stations make regular appearances on television dramas, but where exactly are these locations being filmed? We asked 31 railway companies, most based in the Tōkyō area, about their drama filming opportunities during last year.

The railway company that made the most appearances was JR East (31 times), which began welcoming film crews starting in 2005 as a means of improving the image of neighborhoods along its lines. It seems that having facilities that can respond to a variety of different situations and needs has paid off for the company.

For a drama where the lead character commutes to central Tōkyō on the train, JR East offered the film crew use of the rapid platforms at Asagaya Station on the Chūō Line, which are closed off on Saturdays and holidays. For the drama “Aibō SP” (Asahi Television), which has scenes taking place on the popular sleeper express Cassiopeia, it was difficult to use a revenue service train due to the large number of passengers and confined space. Instead, JR East allowed the crew to film inside a train at Oku Car Center in Tōkyō. To make it seem like the train was moving, the crew used smoke outside the train and machines to blow wind. According to Suzuki Takemasa, chief of JR East Planning, which deals with film requests, “There’s definitely an intangible benefit for us. It’s a good opportunity for our employees to get outside of the daily grind.”

Keiō also made 29 appearances, including for the drama “Last Friends” (Fuji TV). While it’s rail network is fairly small, it’s doing an excellent job nabbing film crews. According to Keiō’s public relations department, “There are several studios along our lines, including Nikkatsu, so we’ve cooperated with the filming requests as best we can.” The fact that it has a line with only two stations, the Keibajō Line serving passengers going to and from the horse-racing track at Tōkyō Racecourse, is also a benefit. Since ridership outside of racedays is so low, extra trains can be run in between normal revenue service just for the film crews. The large platforms along the line also make it possible to film large scenes easily.

The ultimate goal for railway companies in filming requests is to boost their image. “Last year we didn’t have any requests, but we’ll definitely welcome any opportunities with open arms as a means to improve the image of our railway and the neighborhoods around us,” responded Sagami Railway, which opened a special website in March. As for Hokusō Railway which serves far-flung Chiba New Town, where population growth is stagnating, representatives said, “We actively cooperate with filming requests to encourage people to move into this area. We don’t have any filming restrictions, either.” In fact, Tōbu Railway said it refuses to cooperate for requests to be filmed as a substitute for fictional stations or railway lines, as they don’t provide any image-boosting benefit. Companies facing accumulated deficits such as Tōkyō Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Railway and Tōyō Rapid Railway, on the other hand, are after the extra revenue from selling filming rights.

However, ten of the companies surveyed said they didn’t make any appearances last year. According to representatives from Tōkyō Metro, “Our stations and other facilities have a limited amount of space. Filming would have a substantial impact on our regular passengers, so we can’t accept requests.” There were even several complaints: “There have been several cases where the filming crews don’t keep to their allotted time, or the contents of the scene are modified with short notice,” responded Yokohama New Transit. “The station names usually don’t get shown anyways, so there’s little merit to entertaining requests,” said representatives from Yokohama Rapid Railway. It appears that the quantity of cases depends on both the railway company’s stance as well as facility considerations.

President Fujisaki Shin’ichi of Location Japan, which provides information on filming locations, said, “In order to succeed in boosting your image, you need to develop a strategy… You need to build up your knowhow slowly and develop the human resources.” It remains to be seen if there will be another example like the drama “Kin’yōbi no Tsuma-tachi e,” which did wonders in boosting the image of the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line.

Accepted filming requests (2008)
  • Greater Tōkyō (all)
    • JR East: 31
  • Tōkyō Prefecture
    • Keiō Electric Railway: 29
    • Tōkyō Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Railway (Rinkai Line): 5
    • Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation: 5
    • Tama Monorail: 4
  • Kanagawa Area
    • Keihin Electric Express Railway: 20 (includes travel shows, quiz shows, and reenactment dramas)
    • Tōkyū Corporation: 6
  • Saitama Area
    • Seibu Railway: 5
  • Chiba Area
    • Keisei Electric Railway: 5
    • Tōyō Rapid Railway: 5
    • Kantō Railway: 4
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #190
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Men-only cars for Seibu trains?
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...1137005-n1.htm

Quote:
At its 2009 Stockholders’ General Meeting to be held June 24, Seibu Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Seibu Railway, will decide the fate of an unusual proposal by several stockholders to establish men-only cars for the railway. The impetus behind the proposal is to prevent false accusations of groping, marking the third time such a proposal has been submitted. Support for the proposal has apparently broadened as well.

According to meeting notices sent out by Seibu Holdings, following agenda items on surplus dividends and selection of the company director is one item concerning the “establishment of female-only and / or male-only cars.” The proposal made the agenda by obtaining sponsorship from ten shareholders.

“While the policies against groping have achieved some success through the establishment of women-only cars, there is yet to be any strategy to deal with false accusations of groping,” claims the proposal. The proposal also aims to incorporate items into the company’s statutes that say, among other things, that establishing men-only cars is a low-expenditure measure.

The company’s board of directors, however, has expressed opposition to the proposal, citing that “inclusion of individual issues in the company statutes is inappropriate.” Besides the fact that anti-crime measures—such as posters to help improve passenger’s manners—have already had some effect, the board also pointed out that there is little support for such a plan among passengers.

According to stockholders, however, at the 2008 Stockholders’ General Meeting, 47.5 percent of the written stockholder votes (1,703 people) voted yes on the proposal. In order for the proposal to pass and the statutes to be rewritten, two-thirds of the voting stockholders must say yes. Approximately 32 percent of Seibu Holdings’ shares are owned by American investment fund Cerberus Capital Management and the proposal must first overcome that obstacle in order to pass.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #191
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New trains for Tōkyō Metro Tōzai Line
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2009/2009-29.html

Quote:
As part of rush-hour improvements to the Tōzai Line, Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi) will introduce the new 15000 series commuter train, with the first sets entering revenue service in spring 2010.

All doors on the 15000 series will be wide doors, helping to decrease dwell times at stations and improve operations.

The body of the trains will be based on the 05 series (13th order) introduced in November 2004 to the Tōzai Line. Similar to the 10000 series trains for the Fukutoshin Line, the design concepts for the new 15000 series will be improved comfort and ease of use, increased recyclability, better fire resistance, increased car body strength, lower costs, and low-maintenance requirements. The trains will make use of the latest technologies and equipment and meet the accessibility needs of all passengers.

Unique features (compared to the existing 05 series):
  • Operational improvements
    • The width of all doors will be increased 500 mm from existing trains, improving operations during the rush hours by making boarding and alighting smoother and reducing station dwell times.
  • Improved comfort inside the train
    • To improve passenger comfort, air conditioning power will be increased from 48 kW to 58 kW.
    • The shape of seats will be reevaluated and ride comfort improved through use of better cushioning.
  • Improved ease of use
    • The trains will be equipped with LCDs providing more detailed information to passengers, including transfer information, station facility information, travel times, etc.
    • A portion of the overhead racks and standee straps will be placed lower for passenger convenience.
    • The height of the car floor will be decreased, reducing the vertical difference between the train and the platform.
    • To support standing passengers and passengers attempting to stand up or sit down, the train will be outfitted with stanchion poles in front of seats.
    • The floor area around the doors will feature special coloring to improve visibility.
    • Flashing LED lamps will be installed near the doors both inside and outside of the train to alert passengers to the opening or closing of the doors.
  • Reduced environmental impacts
    • Like existing rolling stock, the train will feature an aluminum-alloy body, but with components based on common specifications, increasing recyclability and reusability.
  • Improved fire resistance
    • Fire resistance will be improved, such as by not using materials that will melt at high temperatures and fall.
  • Improved car body strength
    • The body will be a double-skin construction, with improved strength for the four corner columns of the car frame and improved weld placement.
  • Reduced cost and low maintenance
    • Through use of new technologies, the centralization of equipment, and reevaluation of construction methods, the trains will be produced at a reduced cost. Maintenance needs will be reduced through the use of the train information management system and new bolster bogies.
Production amount:
Delivery of 130 cars (13 ten-car units) between the end of 2009 to 2011.

Source: Tōkyō Metro; rail.hobidas.com


Source: Tōkyō Metro; rail.hobidas.com
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 07:33 AM   #192
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Part 3 of my Kansai railway photos…

From Yodoyabashi Station, I got on a Midōsuji Line train to get to Namba. I was headed for Kōbe, so I decided to take a quick peek at the new Hanshin Namba Line, which opened March 20 of this year as an extension of the Hanshin Nishi-Ōsaka Line east from Nishi-Kujō Station to Kintetsu Namba Station. Together with the extension, Kintetsu and Hanshin now run through-service, allowing passengers to get from Kōbe (Sannomiya) to Nara (Kintetsu Nara)—a distance of 60 km or so—via one-train. Since both Hanshin and Kintetsu trains now stop at this station, “Kintetsu Namba” was renamed as “Ōsaka Namba.”

This new directional sign for Platform 3 shows stations on the Hanshin Main Line not previously accessible from Kintetsu Namba. Before the Hanshin Namba Line opened, Platform 3 was only for discharging passengers, and Kintetsu trains would switch back west of the station to board passengers at Platform 2.

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The destination sign for Platform 3 shows the next train as a six-car local for Amagasaki. On the opposite side, passengers wait for trains heading east onto the Kintetsu network, and behind them, a Kintetsu Urbanliner special express waits at the platform. Kintetsu is actually the largest private railway in Japan by track length, and its network stretches from Kansai (Ōsaka, Kyōto, and Nara) all the way to Chūbu (Nagoya). Although they're substantially slower, Kintetsu's special express trains on the Ōsaka - Nagoya route compete with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.

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New platform station sign. The direction towards the right is the new Hanshin Namba Line.

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A Hanshin 9000 series train arrives at Platform 2, on a rapid express run bound for Kintetsu Nara. All trains coming from the Hanshin end run through-service, but because the Kintetsu end has more trains, only some of the Kintetsu trains run through-service.

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The Hanshin Main Line is restricted to six-car (approx. 110 m) trains, so most of the through-services are six cars. During the commute periods, this is increased to 10-car trains, using supplementary 2- and 4- car units which are coupled and decoupled at Amagasaki Station.

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A Kintetsu express discharges its passengers at Platform 3. This train isn’t a through-service, so it needs to switchback to access Platform 2. Since two of the original three storage tracks at the west end were converted for the Hanshin Namba Line, there’s only one storage track at this station now, so Kintetsu trains actually go one station over to Sakuragawa, which was constructed with two new replacement storage tracks.

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After boarding a rapid express, I arrive in Sannomiya, the central district of Kōbe. This is inside santica, an underground retail arcade that connects the various stations in the Sannomiya complex.

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Sannomiya is Kōbe’s primary station, serving trains operated by JR, Hankyū, Hanshin, the Kōbe Municipal Subway, and Kōbe New Transit (Port Liner). If you consider the Hanshin through-services, trains operated by San’yō Electric Railway and now Kintetsu Corporation also make an appearance at Sannomiya. JR, Hankyū, and Hanshin all compete for traffic between Sannomiya and Umeda / Ōsaka.

Because of historical reasons, central Kōbe has an extremely complex railway system for its size. Originally, both Hankyū and Hanshin had their own Sannomiya terminals (the official Hanshin Main Line terminal is actually one station further at Motomachi), and San’yō had its own terminal about 5 km west at Nishidai Station. The Kōbe Rapid Transit Railway Tōzai Line was opened in 1968 to replace the previous surface tram system and connect the three private railway terminals. As a result, Kōbe Rapid Transit Railway (funded partly by Kōbe City and each of the private operators) actually owns the tracks, but doesn’t have any trains to run. Instead, Hankyū, Hanshin, and San’yō operate the services. Since Hanshin Sannomiya is underground and Hankyū Sannomiya is elevated, there are actually two pairs of tracks between Kōsoku Kōbe Station and Sannomiya, each with different stations. To confuse matters, coming from the San’yō end, some trains stop at Hanshin Sannomiya while some trains stop at Hankyū Sannomiya.

This is Sannomiya Station on the Kōbe Municipal Subway (Seishin – Yamate Line).

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My subway train waits at Shin-Kōbe Station before heading back to Seishin Chūō. These retro 1000 series trains were manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and entered service in 1977.

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A few-minutes walk from Shin-Kōbe Station gets me to the ropeway up to Nunobiki Herb Garden. Kōbe is sandwiched by water and mountains, so it has quite a few cable car / funicular / ropeway systems that take passengers up and down the mountains.

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After some time up at Nunobiki Herb Garden, I head over to the Port Liner’s Sannomiya Station. The Port Liner is an automated guideway transit (AGT) system that connects Sannomiya, Port Island (home to the International Convention Center and Exhibition Hall, plus various university campuses, businesses, and hotels), and Kōbe Airport. This is Sannomiya Station.

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An 8000 series Port Liner train waits at the platform before departing for the airport. As a small-capacity system, the trains are only about 50 m long and consist of six small cars, each with one door per side.

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These units were introduced in 1981 by Kawasaki and have been in service seen the Port Liner first opened. They’re showing their age and are gradually being replaced with new 2000 series units.

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The system is driverless, so you get an obstructed view from the front. Another train is arriving at the station to our left.

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A short, quiet ride gets us to Kōbe Airport Station.

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The faregates are placed slightly apart to accommodate passengers with luggage.

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Leaving the airport on one of the 2000 series trains…

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After getting back to Sannomiya, I decide on a Hankyū Kōbe Line limited express to get back to Ōsaka. The trip is about 30 km and takes only half an hour. This is upon arrival at Umeda Station Platform 9, for disembarking passengers only. Passengers bound for Kōbe board from the opposite side of the train.

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My train, a 7000 series unit built by Alna Manufacturing, which was established and owned by Hankyū. Due to increasing debt, however, Alna dropped out of the railcar market several years ago and Hankyū severed its ties. Nowadays, there is still an Alna Sharyō, but they only manufacture trams.

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Walking through the station complex for a bit gets me to JR Ōsaka Station.

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I head up to Platforms 1 and 2, for the Ōsaka Loop Line. The service pattern is complex, as several lines operate through-service in the loop, including the following:
  • Hanwa Line (upper left arm, orange and red): through-service special express and Kishūji Rapid
  • Yumesaki Line (pink arm at the top of the loop)
  • Yamatoji Line (bottom left arm in shades of green): Yamatoji Rapid, regional rapid, and Yamatoji Liner sevices
  • Kansai Airport Line (in light blue): Kansai Airport Rapid
The map is actually turned on its side… The red box at the right, representing Ōsaka Station, is actually at the north end of the loop.

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I take a ride for one half of the loop to Tennōji Station. Here, a 201 series train on the Ōsaka Loop Line discharges passengers at Tennōji. These trains first entered service in the early 80s when JR was still a single, government-operated railway. After privatization and disbanding, the units were carried over, but have pretty much disappeared from Tōkyō’s JR network (they were originally used for the Chūō Rapid Line / Chūō-Sōbu Local Line / Ōme Line / Itsukaichi Line and the Keiyō Line / Uchibō Line / Sotobō Line), although a few still remain. They are still very common in JR West’s fleet, however, and run on many of their lines.

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The train is headed back to Morinomiya Station, where it will be taken out of service and pulled into Morinomiya Yard.

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Tennōji Station is the main southern station on the Ōsaka Loop Line, and is served by JR (Ōsaka Loop Line, Yamatoji Line, Hanwa Line) and the Ōsaka Municipal Subway (Midōsuji Line, Tanimachi Line), and is connected to Ōsaka Abenobashi Station, the terminal for the Kintetsu Minami-Ōsaka Line. There’s also a tram stop for the Hankai Tramway Uemachi Line. This is from the Midōsuji Line platforms, where I board a train back to Namba.

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Service on the Midōsuji Line consists of two service patterns: Senri Chūō – Nakamozu (the full length of the line, plus the Kita-Ōsaka Express extension north of Esaka) and Shin-Ōsaka – Tennōji. Here, a train on the short run between Shin-Ōsaka and Tennōji waits at the platform.

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After getting off at Namba, I make my way through the maze of corridors to my hotel…

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Passing by the Yotsubashi Line’s Namba Station…

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To be continued…
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 07:45 AM   #193
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Part 4…

I made a quick trip to Shin-Ōsaka Station, which is mostly an intercity hub, serving as Ōsaka’s Shinkansen terminal. However, JR West trains on the Tōkaidō Main Line (Kyōto Line, Kōbe Line, Takarazuka Line) serve this station, and together with the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line, connect it with the rest of Ōsaka’s rail network. In between Ōsaka, Kyōto, and Kōbe, JR West’s special rapid service (shin-kaisoku) is generally faster than private railways. And besides providing urban service within Keihanshin, the shin-kaisoku trains actually run further out as intercity trains as far away as Banshū Akō on the JR San’yō Line (~120 km, 90 min. from Ōsaka) and Tsuruga on the JR Kosei Line and Hokuriku Main Line (~135 km, 120 min. from Ōsaka).

A Midōsuji Line train bound for Nakamozu waits at the platform at Shin-Ōsaka.

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Inside a 10 series train.

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Headed back to JR Ōsaka Station… Another picture showing the new station building under construction. In addition to the new station, there is a plan to redevelop the Umeda Cargo Terminal and the surrounding Umeda North Yard area just north of the existing Ōsaka Station. The cargo operations would be moved elsewhere, opening up land for office and residential towers. There are also various line extensions on the table for this area, including the proposed extension of the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Yotsubashi Line north from Nishi-Umeda Station to Hankyū’s Jūsō Station; the undergrounding of the Umeda Cargo Line (used by various special express and intercity trains, and possibly the JR Ōsaka Higashi Line after its extension to Shin- Ōsaka); and the Naniwasuji Line proposal connecting Shin-Ōsaka with Kansai International Airport.

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I wanted to get shots of Hankyū, so I headed over to Umeda Station. Passengers disembark from a Kyōto Line limited express.

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A Kyōto Line local bound for Kita-Senri on the Hankyū Senri Line. The Senri Line is a branch line of the Hankyū Kyōto Line, connecting with the main line at Awaji Station. Some Senri Line trains also run through-service with the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Sakaisuji Line at Tenjimbashisuji Rokuchōme.

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A 3300 series Kyōto Line semi-express enters the station as workers do some checks on the tracks. The 3300 series units first entered service in 1967.

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My real goal was to check out the action at Jūsō Station, which is famous as the junction point where Hankyū’s three main lines meet. Crossing the Yodo River, there are three rail bridges for Hankyū, plus another four-lane road bridge with a pedestrian deck, and a special communications bridge for NTT Docomo.

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After arrival at Jūsō. My Kyōto Line limited express is ready to depart, on its way to Kawaramachi.

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Kyōto Line tracks just north of the station.

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A Kōbe Line local arrives, on its way to Umeda Station.

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Since the rapid trains depart at Umeda at the same time, they also arrive at Jūsō Station at the same time. As the junction point in the Hankyū network, the station sees a lot of transferring traffic, and all trains stop.
At left: Kyōto Line limited express for Kawaramachi
At middle: Takarazuka Line express for Takarazuka
At right: Kōbe Line limited express for Shin-Kaichi

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Takarazuka Line platforms (left is for Takarazuka, right is for Umeda). Takarazuka is famous as the home of the Takarazuka Revue, an all-female theatrical group that specializes in musicals. The group was actually founded in 1913 by the then-president of Hankyū Electric Railway, Kobayashi Ichizō. The group is still part of Hankyū, and its actresses are officially employees of the railway.

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Kōbe Line tracks (left) and Takarazuka Line tracks (right).

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Looking south. You can see the tracks rise in order to cross the Yodo River. Unfortunately, the track configuration here and at Umeda is such that it’s difficult to run a practical through-service train between any of the lines, which would eliminate the need to transfer and increase Hankyū’s competitiveness against JR.

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Kōbe Line limited express for Umeda.

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Kyōto Line semi-express for Kawaramachi.

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Kōbe Line platforms.

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Kyōto Line trains meet.

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Takarazuka Line local for Umeda.

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East-west pedestrian-only connection underneath the tracks.

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One last shot of Jūsō, and it’s back to Umeda.

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To be continued…
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 04:26 AM   #194
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great pictures oh and the spot that you say about the three bridges of railways and such is impressive, wow japan is full of wonders huh.

but wow i am impressed by the bridge wow alot of railways for three bridges, a roadway bridge, a cable bridge and a pedestren bridge all in one crossing wow.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #195
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Guys, I repeat in this thread a question for you.

Winning the olympic bid for 2016 edition, which would be the projects (about metros and metro extensions=) linked to this winner.

Si whixh would be the development and the main projects in case of a winner of Tokyo next 2nd october?

Hoping in Tokyo, best bid in my opinion.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Underground View Post
Winning the olympic bid for 2016 edition, which would be the projects (about metros and metro extensions=) linked to this winner.
I'm not very familiar with the bid, but at one time or another, I believe they were considering the following rail improvements:
  • Extending the Yurikamome from Toyosu to Kachidoki
  • Building a short branch off the Tōkyō Metro Yūrakuchō Line to better serve the events
  • Constructing an entirely new subway line: Takenotsuka (Tōbu Isesaki Line) — Ōji — Ikebukuro — Yotsuya — Tōkyō — Harumi + Olympic facilities — Haneda Airport
However, I believe they've pretty much abandoned these ideas and are looking at low-cost, environmentally-friendly solutions such as BRT or shuttles instead. It makes sense, as frankly, there is decent rail service in the area already. If you look at the map of the venues, virtually everything is planned to be within a five- to ten-minute walk from a train station. I could see the Yurikamome extension though, as I think it's already being considered outside of an Olympic bid context and could easily be put to use after the events are over.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #197
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Toyama Light Rail to be double-tracked in three years
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/toy...OYT8T00058.htm

Quote:
On June 22, Toyama City announced that the proposed double-tracking of portions of the Toyama Light Rail line, which has up until now been a pending question, could be completed within three years “if land purchases proceed smoothly.” With the double-tracking, the roundtrip travel time between Okuda Chūgakkō-mae and Toyama-eki Kita Stations would be reduced from the current 10 minutes to 8 minutes, relieving crowding during the rush hours.

At the City Council’s regular session, city representatives responded to a question from Councilmember Taniguchi Toshikazu (LDP).

According to the city, the section to be double-tracked would run between the existing Okuda Chūgakkō-mae Station to a new station planned at the east foot of the Hattabashi Bridge across the Itachi River, a distance of approximately 250 meters.

The double-tracking project has fallen behind the 2009 completion date in the original proposal, but the city says it has purchased the necessary land from 28 of 32 landowners. The land acquisition process is currently 90 percent complete, based on budget.

The Toyama Light Rail line is single-track, but key stops are designed to allow trains to pass each other. Currently, the section between Okuda Chūgakkō-mae and Toyama-eki Kita takes five minutes one-way, meaning headways are limited to ten minutes, even during the morning rush hour.

By double-tracking this section, the line can recover from delays in the event that automobiles enter the track section during congestion. According to the city’s streetcar promotion office, “Double-tracking will stabilize our operations and reduce crowding inside the trains.”

Source: Wikipedia

[/url]
Source: Wikipedia


Source: Wikipedia

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfAv51yjji8&fmt=18 Source: Hakuto0505 on YouTube
Various shots of the Toyama Light Rail line. The line was previously operated by JR West until February 2006, after which it was transferred to a third-sector company and converted to light rail.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #198
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Through-service returns to Hankai Tramway after 36 years
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/trend/...2222011-n1.htm

Quote:
On June 22, Hankai Tramway, which operates trams connecting southern Ōsaka City and Sakai City, announced it will revive through-service between Tennōji Eki-mae (Abeno Ward, Ōsaka City) and Hamadera Eki-mae (Nishi Ward, Sakai City) Stations after 36 years.

Service currently runs between Ebisuchō (Naniwa Ward, Ōsaka City) and Hamadera Eki-mae, but taking a cue from the redevelopment of Tennōji, the company will switch the service to start at Tennōji Eki-mae, hoping to boost ridership.

According to Hankai Tramway, current tram services out of Tennōji Eki-mae are bound for either Sumiyoshi Kōen (Sumiyoshi Ward, Ōsaka City) or Abikomichi (Sumiyoshi Ward, Ōsaka City). To reach Hamadera Eki-mae, passengers must transfer at Abikomichi to trams that depart from Ebisuchō.

The line between Ebisuchō and Hamadera Eki-mae is the company’s bread-and-butter, and in 1975, the line recorded approximately 130,000 passengers a day—20,000 more than the passengers on the line out of Tennōji Eki-mae. But as a result of declining population along the line, ridership dropped to a mere 8,000 a day in 2005, approximately 6,000 less than the Tennōji Eki-mae line.

With a switch in ridership along the network and the redevelopment of Tennōji, ridership on the Tennōji Eki-mae line is expected to see ridership gains, leading the company to prioritize service between Tennōji Eki-mae and Hamadera Eki-mae. Except during morning and evening rush hour, trams on the Ebisuchō end will only shuttle back and forth between Abikomichi.

“In the past, you couldn’t get on unless you pushed your way in. We’re counting on Tennōji Eki-mae, where the tallest skyscrapers in Japan will be built,” says the company.

Source: Wikipedia


Source: Wikipedia


Source: Wikipedia

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVCs6bc6hSY&fmt=18 Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube
Some clips of Hankai trams.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:49 AM   #199
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For new trains, trip from factory to carbarn is long
http://mytown.asahi.com/saitama/news...00380906200001

Quote:
In the past, there was a comedian who asked how subway trains found their way into the subway. We’ll answer that question today…

As we speak, the 209 series trains on the Keihin-Tōhoku Line are being replaced with wider E233 series trains. Most of these new units are built at JR East’s own Niitsu Car Factory in Niigata City.

But after the trains are finished at the factory, they can’t simply travel wherever they want. They receive additional modifications at the car yard and only become “Keihin-Tōhoku Line trains” after passing all the tests. As a result, the trains are hauled by locomotive from Niitsu Station, making their way to the car yard in Saitama City via a route along the JR Shin’etsu Line, Jōetsu Line, and Takasaki Line.

But E233 series trains are also made by other car manufacturers outside of Niigata. Trains built at Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ Hyōgo Factory (Hyōgo Ward, Kōbe), for example, are transported from the JR San’yō Line’s Hyōgo Station via the Tōkaidō Line and Musashino Line. In these cases, the train is hauled by a JR Freight locomotive and is transported as “cargo.”

And what about trains in Saitama Prefecture?

For Seibu Railway, new trains are hauled to Shin-Akitsu Station on the Musashino Line by JR Freight locomotives, who then hand the baton over to Seibu Railway locomotives. From Shin-Akitsu, there is a service track that connects up with the Seibu network.

Many of Seibu’s most recent new trains were manufactured at Tōkyū Car Company’s Yokohama Factory (Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama), and are transported from Zushi Station on the JR Yokosuka Line. Between the factory and Zushi, there is a special service track just for transporting new cars, but most of it is shared with the Keikyū Zushi Line between Kanazawa Hakkei and Jinmuji. Since Keikyū tracks and the service track are different gauges, the track is an unusual dual-gauge, using three rails.

For Tōbu Railway, new trains are hauled by JR Freight to Kumagaya Cargo Terminal Station on the Takasaki Line. From there, Tōbu’s locomotives transport the train via a cargo-only track on the Chichibu Railway, arriving at either Hanyū or Yorii Stations. From there, the trains finally make it onto Tōbu tracks. However, since Tōbu doesn’t own any locomotives, some of the older passenger trains are used to haul the new train to the carbarn.

Many of Tōbu’s new trains are manufactured at Hitachi’s Kasado Factory (Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture). The trains are transported from Kudamatsu Station on the JR San’yō Line to Kumagaya Cargo Terminal Station, a journey that takes a full two days (34 hours).
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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #200
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Aichi Loop Line continues ridership gains
http://mytown.asahi.com/aichi/news.p...00000906230002

Quote:
The third-sector Aichi Loop Line Railway (President: Kanda Masaaki, Governor of Aichi Prefecture), a 45.3-km railway connecting Okazaki City and Kasugai City, announced on June 22 that ridership for 2008 was 14.06 million, an increase of 11 percent over the previous year. Outside of 2005, when the line served as the primary means of transport to the Aichi World Expo, last year’s numbers are the highest in the line’s history. The gains are likely a result of the double-tracking of the section of the line near Toyota Motor Corporation Headquarters, which increased capacity. However, the worldwide economic slump is beginning to take its toll and ridership growth has slowed down since last autumn.

In March 2007, the Aichi Loop Line Railway (Aikan) completed double-tracking of the 3.6-km section of the line between Shin-Toyota Station and Mikawa Toyota Station (nearby Toyota Headquarters). During the morning rush hours, the railway began operating shuttle trains on the double-tracked section, doubling the number of trains. As a result, average daily station entries and exits at Shin-Toyota Station increased by 18.2 percent over 2007, while Mikawa Toyota Station increased by as much as 24.7 percent.

At the request of Aikan, Toyota discontinued its free employee shuttle bus between the headquarters and Meitetsu Toyota-shi Station, which is adjacent to Shin-Toyota Station. Aikan says passengers from the free shuttle have been shifting to the rail line.

Ridership growth began to slow down starting last autumn, however, when Toyota’s operations began to take a turn for the worse. In November 2008, ridership growth had dropped to single digits (8.3 percent over November 2007), reaching as low as 4.9 percent in March of this year. Aikan expects that ridership will be largely even with the previous year, even after the start of the new fiscal year.

“Business negotiations have decreased due to the recession, and as a result people are traveling less. We plan on holding off on major improvements to our facilities and staying steady with our operations until the economy recovers,” says Transport Department Head Katō Yukio.

Aikan ridership has been increasing since 2000, when it was 7.51 million, reaching a record 19.67 million during 2005, which featured the Aichi World Expo. While ridership in 2006 dropped back to 11.67 million, ridership in 2007 posted a 9 percent increase, to 12.71 million. Aikan says the ridership growth is due to strengthened environmental awareness efforts by local jurisdictions and efforts by companies to encourage employees to use trains.

Aikan’s 2008 performance results will be released at the investors meeting on June 25.

Source: Wikipedia
Aichi Loop Line, showing connecting railway lines in the Nagoya area.
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