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Old December 13th, 2010, 07:56 AM   #2001
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Railway art exhibition at Keihan Naniwabashi Station

This is a small exhibition of railway-related art at the "Art Area B1" exhibition space built into Naniwabashi Station on Keihan Electric Railway's Nakanoshima Line.

Some pics.
Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/

The platforms at Naniwabashi Station are on Level B4 and the faregates on B2. Art Area B1 is located in between the faregate level and surface level.



Scrolls imprinted with old black-and-white images of Keihan stations. To the left is an actual seat from one of the limited express trains that used to operate on the Keihan network.



Included are large reprints of three historic "bird's-eye-view" maps of the Keihan network. These three are all by famed artist Yoshida Saburō, and date from 1913, 1915, and 1926. This type of map was historically a popular method of map design. The one closest is called Mt. Hiei (1926), advertising the rail line that opened to the mountain in 1925. The line is what is now known as the Eizan Electric Railway, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keihan since 2002.



Keihan Line Guide (1913)



Another bird's-eye-view map printed on the floor.



Illustrations of Keihan trains in profile.



In the past, Art Area B1 had had some other interesting exhibitions:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=503
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Old December 13th, 2010, 07:57 AM   #2002
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Izumi Ōtsu Station construction updates

A small update on one of the forgotten projects, a grade separation of 2.4 km of the Nankai Main Line through Izumi Ōtsu City. Both Matsunohama Station and Izumi Ōtsu Station will be elevated. The inbound track (towards Namba in Ōsaka) has already been elevated, and work is proceeding to get the outbound aerial structure completed.

Some recent pics (2010.11) of the work at Izumi Ōtsu Station:
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

Izumi Ōtsu is four-tracked and a semi-major station on the Nankai Main Line, with about 25,250 daily entries and exits. To preserve the cross-platform transfers at the station, the tracks have been elevated two at a time, and both inbound tracks have been in service for some time now. They've already made a lot of progress on the outbound tracks, and the aerial structure at the station is already complete, with work now focusing on the canopy and walls.



Outbound (Wakayama-bound) track is quickly taking shape.



On the temporary ground-level platforms.



Looking northeast towards Namba.



From the elevated inbound platform (Platforms 3 and 4), looking at the outbound platform (Platforms 1 and 2).

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Old December 13th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #2003
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SAPICA to be expanded to Sapporo City streetcars and 3 private-sector bus companies
http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/economic/261519.html

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Three companies operating bus service within Sapporo City—Hokkaidō Chūō Bus (HQ: Otaru), JR Hokkaidō Bus (HQ: Sapporo), and Jōtetsu (HQ: Sapporo)—have finalized plans to introduce the SAPICA integrated circuit (IC) farecard currently used on the Sapporo Municipal Subway by FY2013. In coordination with the rollout, Sapporo City will also rollout the SAPICA system onto the city's streetcars.

On December 10, the Sapporo IC Card Committee, composed of the three bus companies and Sapporo City, will hold an emergency session in Sapporo City and sign a fundamental agreement to introduce the SAPICA system onto buses. In the next two years, special servers to record card usage and card reader units to be installed on buses will be developed, with rollout slated for the spring of 2013.

The With You Card, a joint card currently used across the Municipal Subway, streetcars, and buses, will be discontinued with the rollout of SAPICA on bus services.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #2004
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209-500 series enter service on Musashino Line; Musashino and Shimousa services begin

A couple news items from the Musashino Line as part of JR East's December 4 service changes. The first was the start of service of ex- Keiyō Line 209-500 series units on the Musashino Line, sporting a new paint scheme of orange and brown. The second was the expansion of the existing Musashino service and start of the new Shimousa service, which are direct through-services between the Musashino Line and Ōmiya (Tōhoku Main Line), designed to improve passenger convenience and reduce the need to transfer trains.

First, we rewind back to a few months ago...
A refurbished 209-500 series train is in transport back to the Tōkyō area (2010.09.17), now consolidated to eight cars and painted in the orange and brown belt of the Musashino Line. This particular unit was being transported from Nagano General Rolling Stock Center and was captured here at Fujimi Station (Nagano Prefecture) on the Chūō Line being hauled by electric locomotive. These units were "kicked out" with the introduction of E233 series trains to the Keiyō Line.


Source: ya1964ma on YouTube

With the December 4 changes, the 115 series in Yokosuka colors formerly used on the Musashino service were pushed out. This is the last day of service, 2010.12.03, at Ōmiya Station, where a six-car 115 series unit holds down the Musashino 4 run. The next day, the revamped Musashino and new Shimousa services were operated with 205 series and 209-500 series trains in Musashino Line colors.


Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

A 209-500 series in Musashino Line colors departing Ichikawa Shiohama Station on the Keiyō Line on a through-service run bound for Tōkyō Station:


Source: ESeriesTrain2 on YouTube
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Old December 13th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #2005
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New Skyliner ridership slightly lower than original projections
http://mytown.asahi.com/areanews/chi...012080494.html

Quote:
It was revealed that cumulative ridership on the new [i]Skyliner[i] service operating on the Narita Sky Access, which opened in July, is forecasted to reach approx. 2.34 million at the end of the fiscal year. The figure is 280,000 passengers less than the original estimate.

Takahashi Wataru, chief of general planning, responded to a question by Assemblyman Ai Shin'ya during the open question session of the Prefectural Assembly on December 7.

Takahashi's response was based on information from Skyliner operator Keisei Electric Railway. According to the information, average daily ridership was approx. 10,200 passengers between opening day (July 17) and September 30. The cumulative total through to the end of the fiscal year is now forecasted to be approx. 2.34 million, with average daily ridership of approx. 9,100.

In regards to the new ridership estimates falling short of original estimates, Keisei Electric Railway says, "As a result of the opening of Haneda Airport to international flights, it's believed that passengers using Narita Airport will decrease."
Skyliner clips:


Source: RAILWAYMOVIES on YouTube
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Old December 13th, 2010, 09:48 AM   #2006
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Not being a Skyliner user (actually I depend mainly on the limousine bus service), I'm not familiar with the virtues of the Keisei Route, but on first glance the JRE Narita Express seems to be the more convenient service, with its multiple destinations, especially for people living in southern Kanto (ie Kanagawa Prefecture). Somehow the Nippori transfer seems a bother I'd rather avoid. With the construction of the Asakasa Line bypass (should it occur), the running of Narita-Haneda ltd. expresses will make this route/service much more attractive.

Good point about the Haneda Intl. terminal opening, though. Narita has resorted to running TV ads, something I've never seen before.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 04:15 AM   #2007
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continuing problems for Kobe-built Kawasaki trains delivered to Connecticut, USA

(Danbury, Connecticut, USA) News Times
http://www.newstimes.com/news/articl...ack-900772.php

Quote:
Software glitches disrupt signals, push back debut of M-8 rail cars
Martin B. Cassidy, Staff Writer
Published: 08:49 a.m., Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The promised December debut of the new New Haven Line M-8 rail cars has been pushed back to February, as Kawasaki Rail Corp. works out software glitches that caused the cars to disrupt railway signal systems in recent tests, officials said Tuesday.

Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut and Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Jeffrey Parker said the problem appeared in November during test runs and involves electromagnetic interference from the cars' propulsion system throwing off track-side signal equipment.

That problem should be solved in a week, allowing Kawasaki three to four weeks of simulated passenger runs along the New Haven line, during which the first eight pilot cars must log a minimum of 4,000 track miles without a failure. Parker said the DOT and Gov. M Jodi Rell expected to resolve any issues and make the announced debut that Rell and he in November promised during a news conference and inaugural ride for members of the press.

"At that time, we had every expectation of being able to make that debut," Parker said. "I assure you, the governor is very disappointed."

Kawasaki, the manufacturer of the cars, has already fixed a separate problem involving the cab signalling system which informs engineers when to safely depart and maximum speeds allowable, which also contributed to the delay.

Permut and Parker both said it was preferable to push back the start date than rush an effort to address problems central to safety and reliability of the 342-car fleet, an $866 million investment by Connecticut and Metro-North Railroad.

"This is a critical procurement for the New Haven line," Permut said. "These are the most complicated railcars in North America, the only cars that run on both AC and DC current ... It is a very complicated car but we think it will be an excellent performer."

The DOT initially planned to have the cars delivered, tested, and in service by early 2010 but a range of delays pushed back the debut more than a year.

During 2008, the anticipated production of the cars was stalled when Kawasaki Rail Corp. was unable to obtain the type of agreed-upon steel to build the equipment.

In late 2009, a delay in installing diagnostic software aboard the first cars delivered, halted the start of a battery of tests of mechanical and computer components controlling propulsion, braking, lights, rest rooms, and door systems on the cars.

In early 2010, former DOT Commissioner Joseph Marie predicted that delay could be made up, enabling a late-year debut.

Rich Harris, a Rell spokesman, said the outgoing governor, who ordered the cars in 2005, had hoped to be in office to see the cars in public service.

"This is something she had worked toward for a very long time and was very hopeful that they would be ready to go this month," Harris said. "But it is obviously important that the cars be as safe as they possibly can be to serve Connecticut commuters."

Colleen Flanagan, transit director for Gov.-elect Dannel Malloy said his administration would address possibly delaying the next of an annual series of legislatively enacted percent rail fare hikes if delays in introducing the cars persist.

Tim McCarthy, senior vice president of Metropolitan Transportation Authority capital programs, said any significant failure during the upcoming test runs would require Kawasaki to revamp any faults and begin the 4,000 mile test again.

After the first eight cars meet that standard, subsequent cars arriving from Kawasaki factories in Kobe, Japan and Lincoln, Neb., would need to operate for 1,000 track miles error free before taking on paying customers.

"Kawasaki would be responsible for the costs of any additional testing and also has contractual obligations to deliver the cars," McCarthy said.

. . .
image hosted on flickr

Copyright All rights reserved by ebtmikado
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Old December 17th, 2010, 01:43 AM   #2008
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Manaca Card Update (Nagoya city transit)

Saw this display set up at nagoya station yesterday...

Not much longer to wait until we get our IC cards here!!
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:03 AM   #2009
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TOICA / ICOCA / SUGOCA interoperability to launch March 5, 2011
http://www.data-max.co.jp/2010/12/jr...caicoca11.html

Quote:
On December 13, JR Central, JR West, and JR Kyūshū announced that they will launch interoperability between the TOICA (JR Central), ICOCA (JR West), and SUGOCA (JR East) IC farecards starting March 5, 2011. With only one of the three cards, passengers will be able to use non-Shinkansen JR lines within any of the three IC cards' service areas (except for the Meinohama ‒ Nishi-Karatsu section of the Chikuhi Line and Karatsu Line, where TOICA and ICOCA will not be accepted).

In addition, any card will be accepted as electronic money at any stores affiliated with the electronic money service of any of the three card systems.

Outside of these changes, as part of an IC card service for transferring passengers, the EX-IC service (a membership-based ticketless service for the Tōkaidō / San'yō Shinkansen) will be expanded from TOICA- and ICOCA-area Shinkansen transfer faregates to Shinkansen transfer faregates at Hakata Station and Kokura Station. In addition, passengers will now be able to pass through faregates with a Shinkansen paper ticket and a TOICA, ICOCA, or SUGOCA card, improving the convenience of transferring between the Shinkansen and non-Shinkansen lines.

Tōkaidō / San'yō Shinkansen transfer faregates in the TOICA area and ICOCA area will begin accepting SUGOCA cards starting March 5, 2011. The IC card service for transferring passengers at the Shinkansen transfer faregates at Hakata Station and Kokura Station will rollout on March 12, 2011.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:03 AM   #2010
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Kokura Station photos

Kokura is one of Kyūshū’s major hubs, served by JR Kyūshū conventional lines, JR West’s San’yō Shinkansen, and the Kita-Kyūshū Monorail. Daily station entries are 36,300 for JR Kyūshū (2008) and 9,200 for JR West (2006). Kita-Kyūshū Monorail has 16,700 daily entries and exits (2008) at the station.

Kokura is the central station for Kita-Kyūshū City, although due to historical reasons, it doesn’t bear the name of the city. In the past, there used to be an independent Kokura City, which was later consolidated with some other cities in northern Kyūshū such as Moji City to form Kita-Kyūshū City. Kokura is still retained as the name of two wards of Kita-Kyūshū City, Kokura-Kita and Kokura-Minami Wards.

A few shots of the terminal building:
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

The terminal building stretches across 14 aboveground stories and three belowground levels, with a gross floor area of approx. 76,000 sq m.



The unique part of the terminal building is the monorail tracks that cut straight into the core.



The terminal is in a stacked configuration:
First level: Bus plaza and taxi pool
Second level: Elevated pedestrian deck connected to surrounding commercial buildings
Third level: Station concourse
Fourth level: Monorail station



In addition to transit functions, the terminal building also features a 294-room hotel (Station Hotel Kokura) and a large retail facility (Amu Plaza Kokura) with 150 stores and a total sales area of 16,000 sq m.



Station concourse level, as a monorail train waits on the floor above.



Looking out at the monorail tracks, which travel down the center of Heiwa-dōri. The station in the distance is Heiwa-dōri Station, the original terminus of the monorail. The extension into Hakata Station opened in 1998, but there is no crossover, so on the short section between the terminal building and Heiwa-dōri Station, there is no specific designation for “inbound” or “outbound” track.



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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:05 AM   #2011
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Kashiwara Station photos

Another short tour of a Kansai area station.

This is a station in Kashiwara City, Ōsaka Prefecture on the JR Kansai Main Line (Yamatoji Line) and Kintetsu Dōmyōji Line. The JR half sees 11,000 daily entries while the Kintetsu half sees 6,100 daily entries and exits. In 2008, a new elevated station concourse and public passage was completed, permitting barrier-free access within and through the station.
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

West Exit of the station features a station plaza and pedestrian deck. The red-pavement area is the taxi pool.



This mixed-use redevelopment building, AZALEA Kashiwara, was constructed in coordination with the station improvements. Like typical station redevelopments of this type, it is directly connected to the station by pedestrian deck.



Elevator and stairwell from ground level to the station concourse.





East-west public passage and ticketing hall. Green TVMs on the left are for Kintetsu, grey ones in the back are for JR.



Five-gate array of old-types with the bars. To the right is a Kiosk convenience store, a ubiquitous sight in JR West stations.



There are three platforms (one island + one side) plus one through track for JR, plus one platform for the Kintetsu Dōmyōji Line. In a somewhat unusual configuration, the one JR side platform and the Kintetsu platform are actually two sides of a single, shared island platform, and there is no physical barrier separating the two sides. This is a somewhat rare situation, at least among urban stations.





The Yamatoji Line has been seeing a lot of construction of new, elevated station concourses / public passages recently, including at Kyūhōji, Kashiwara, Hōryūji, Yamato Koizumi, Yamato Kōriyama, and Kizu Stations.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:05 AM   #2012
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Minami-Kusatsu to be added as shin-kaisoku stop; JR West announces other changes for March 2011
http://www.asahi.com/travel/rail/new...012170131.html

Quote:
Following the announcement on December 17 of a new train schedule that will have shin-kaisoku (special rapid) trans stopping at JR Minami-Kusatsu Station (Kusatsu City) starting in March of next year, representatives from the city, Ritsumeikan University, and others who had been continuing lobbying efforts with JR West finally shouted in joy. The number of trains stopping at the station will almost double, and travel time to Kyōto and Ōsaka will also be reduced.

On the evening of December 17, Mayor Hashikawa Wataru and city staff were outside Minami-Kusatsu Station distributing approx. 2,000 flyers to passengers, notifying them of the news and promoting the convenience of the service improvements. Mayor Hashikawa, who had made it a campaign promise to get shin-kaisoku trains to stop at the station, said, "I hope to make this a catalyst for the city's development. We will work to enhance public transit and create a more convenient city."

Governor Kada Yukiko commented, "The Prefectural Government is extremely pleased." In regards to the dilemma surrounding the relocation of the Ritsumeikan University campus, the Governor remarked, "If the number of stopping trains increases, I think crowding on trains will be alleviated. Hopefully, they will take this into account when they are considering development of the campus."

According to the city's Transport Policy Section, Minami-Kusatsu Station opened in September 1994. Daily entries and exits at the time were approx. 8,000 passengers, but this skyrocketed to approx. 44,000 passengers in FY2009 with population growth and the opening of Ritsumeikan University's Biwako / Kusatsu Campus. The station now boasts the third highest ridership in all of Shiga Prefecture, behind Kusatsu and Ishiyama Stations. The city and the local chamber of commerce and industry established a special association in December of last year to lobby for shin-kaisoku trains stopping at the station and continually lobbied JR West, including submitting a petition with approx. 62,000 signatures.
For reference, daily entries and exits (2008) are 56,500 at Kusatsu Station and 48,800 at Ishiyama Station.

This is the first station added as a stop on shin-kaisoku services since Ashiya Station on the JR Kōbe Line in 2003. Service at the station will increase from 170 trains to 293 trains on weekdays and from 156 trains to 266 trains on Saturdays / Sundays / holidays. In particular, current peak hour service is 8 tph maximum (almost all rapid services), but this will likely increase to about 14 tph with the addition of shin-kaisoku services. Travel time between Minami-Kusatsu and Ōsaka will be reduced by 15 minutes to 45 minutes.

Other changes of note announced by JR West to take effect in March 2011 (details here):
  • Increased rapid services on the Hanwa Line, Yamatoji Line, and JR Takarazuka Line directly serving Ōsaka Station.
    • Airport / Kishūji rapid services on the Hanwa Line, which directly connect Ōsaka Station with Kansai International Airport and the Wakayama area, will be increased from 3 tph to 4 tph and operated roughly on a 15-minute cycle.
    • Yamatoji rapid services on the Yamatoji Line, also offering a one-seat ride to / from Ōsaka Station, will be increased from 3 tph to 4 tph and operated roughly on a 15-minute cycle.
    • On the Takarazuka Line, rapid services between Takarazuka and Ōsaka will be increased by 2 tph, bringing the total for rapid services bound to / from Ōsaka Station on the Takarazuka Line to 4 when adding in the Tanbaji rapid.
  • Additional shin-kaisoku services converted to 12-car trains.
    • With the introduction of new 225 series units into service, all shin-kaisoku services on the Biwako Line, JR Kyōto Line, and JR Kōbe Line (Maibara ‒ Himeji) on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays (a total of 129 trains serving Ōsaka Station) will be operated as 12-car formations.
    • Additional weekday shin-kaisoku services will be operated as 12-car formations, bringing the share of 12-car trips to 103 out of 151 trains serving Ōsaka Station (70 percent of the total).
The backdrop for all of these improvements is the opening of Ōsaka Station City and the completion of the Kagoshima route of the Kyūshū Shinkansen, which will hopefully bring more visitors to the Kansai area (and the need to improve service on JR's trunk lines). JR West's "urban network" is already pretty awesome to begin with, but I'm still impressed with their proactiveness for further improvements, including new stations, etc.

The expansion of 12-car trains is also welcome news... The shin-kaisoku services can get quite crowded as they are a popular choice due to their speed. On the weekends, many of the shin-kaisoku are currently operated as 8-car trains, so a bump up to 12 cars (and all day, at that) is a 50 percent increase in passenger capacity.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:07 AM   #2013
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More JR West 225 series videos

Coupled with a 223 series on a 12-car (8+4) rapid bound for Himeji on the JR Kōbe Line (San'yō Main Line), departing Ōsaka Station (2010.12.08):


Source: JRwehksf on YouTube

Another 12-car 225+223 rapid, departing Ōsaka Station bound for Yasu on the JR Biwako Line (Tōkaidō Main Line) (2010.12.01):


Source: JRwehksf on YouTube

Audio recording inside a 225-5000 series on the JR Hanwa Line from Izumi Fuchū to Hineno. VVVF inverter manufactured by Tōyō Denki.


Source: 223keikisyuuzikaisok on YouTube

225-5000 series on a rapid service on the Kinokuni Line, from Fujinami to Wakayama. Lots of commuters and students on this morning run through the beautiful scenery of coastal Wakayama Prefecture.
Source: ksmaster223 on YouTube

Part 1: Fujinami to Minoshima



Part 2: Minoshima to Kainan



Part 3: Kainan to Wakayama

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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:08 AM   #2014
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Kyōto Municipal Subway station retail program successful in boosting ridership
http://mytown.asahi.com/areanews/kyo...012140142.html

Quote:
Kyōto City is pouring its efforts into ekinaka (station retail) business for its subway operations, which are burdened with a large deficit. Following a project at Shijō Station this fall, the city is now proceeding with another project at Karasuma Oike Station and also has plans to launch a renovation of Kyōto Station, the gateway to the ancient capital. Will these new revenue sources help eliminate the subway’s deficit? Some citizens are complaining that high fares are the bigger problem.

Subway operations began in 1981 but due to hefty construction costs, its cumulative deficit reached approx. ¥319.3 billion at the close of the last fiscal year. Far surpassing the finance indicators established in the Sound Finance Act, the city drafted a financial rehabilitation plan, pledging a goal of increasing daily ridership by 50,000 above the current approx. 330,000 passengers. Ekinaka business, which generates tenant fees by luring retail facilities to lease space inside train stations, was identified as the cornerstone of the plan, generating ¥500 million in annual revenue by FY2013.

The first step was opening Kotochika Shijō in October of this year inside Shijō Station (Shimogyō Ward) after investing approx. ¥500 million in the renovation of space inside station passages and mechanical rooms. The lineup features eight stores including gourmet supermarket Seijō Ishii. The atmosphere at donut shop and Kyōto newcomer Krispy Kreme Donuts is frenetic, with long lines day in and day out. The city is forecasting ¥100 million annually in tenant fees.

An interior design that targeted female customers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s was a success. Average daily entries and exits at Shijō Station in October were 81,000 passengers, an approx. 4,000 passenger increase compared to the same month the previous year. Located in part of the most exclusive shopping district in Kyōto, it appears that the project is off to a smooth start.

In May of next year, the city will open a convenience store and cafe near the faregates at another station, Karasuma Oike Station (Nakagyō Ward), and is expecting ¥20 million in annual revenues from lease fees. An interchange station between the Karasuma Line and Tōzai Line, 70,000 passengers daily use the station. A female nurse (60) from Fushimi Ward who was meeting up with someone at the station said, “It’s such a waste with all this open space to use. If they can open stores that can’t be found in the office districts surrounding the station, I’d love to drop by. But I think the fares on the subway are too expensive… It’s hard to use.”

In addition, the city has designated Kyōto Station, the busiest in the network by passenger volume, as a “major node,” and has begun discussions towards possible renovations with representatives from local facilities such as the Porta underground mall. This is the first major renovation of the subway’s Kyōto Station since the opening of the Karasuma Line in 1981.

Spokespersons for the Kyōto City Transportation Bureau say, “Bringing our finances back into shape is difficult with only the ekinaka business. We are looking to increase ridership as well, boosting revenues in a complementary fashion.”
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:10 AM   #2015
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Fukui Railway ridership up 5%; new stations to open March 2011
http://www.asahi.com/travel/rail/new...011180132.html

Quote:
The Restructuring Scheme Administration Committee (Chairman: Fukui Prefectural University associate professor of economics Asanuma Yoshitada), established to confirm the status of the restructuring effort for the Fukui Railway Fukubu Line, held a meeting on November 18 at Fukui Railway headquarters in Echizen City. The railway reported to committee members on the status of ridership figures and the project to establish new stations on the line.

The committee meeting was held behind closed doors. According to the railway, facilities investment, to be covered entirely by funding from the national and prefectural governments, is planned to reach ¥359.07 million. Included in this, the railway said it will complete construction of the two new stations planned between Sanjūhassha and Asōzu Stations and between Harmony Hall and Ebata Stations in March 2011. The construction cost is approx. ¥25 million per station. The railway also explained the details of ¥120 million in funding provided by three local cities to cover the costs of maintenance and repair of tracks and other infrastructure.

As a result of better-than-expected sales of discounted all-day tickets for elderly passengers, the railway says ridership for the first half of this year reached 865,987 passengers, a five-percent year-over-year increase. After the committee meeting, Fukui Railway president Murata Haruo said he believes that the target of 1,706,000 passengers by the end of the fiscal year is "attainable."
Ex-Meitetsu trains on the Fukui Railway:


Source: CUTLASS2305 on YouTube
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #2016
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Fukui Railway / Echizen Railway through-servicing plan downsized; LRV design to be selected by March
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/chub...0245000-n1.htm

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In regards to the through-service between the Fukui Railway (Fukutetsu) Fukubu Line and Echizen Railway (Echitetsu) Mikuni ‒ Awara Line, on November 29 Fukui Prefecture explained the proposed service plan, revised with input from the railway operators, at a project conference held in Fukui City. In the draft plan originally submitted by the Prefectural Government, through-service trips would operate between Nishi-Nagata and Echizen Takefu during the midday period, but after re-evaluations to shorten the through-service to between Nishi-Nagata and Asōzu, reduce the number of trips, and have trains turn back at Asōzu Station, the Prefectural Government estimates that approximately 10 to 20 percent could be shaved off of the operating costs (approx. ¥47 million).

According to the new proposed operating plan, during the morning rush hour (6:00 to 9:00), Fukutetsu trains would through-service via Tawaramachi to as far as Fukudai-mae ‒ Nishi-Fukui, while Echitetsu trains would through-service (from Nishi-Nagata) to as far as Asōzu. During the midday period (9:00 to 15:00), through-service trains would bypass Fukui Station and operate between Nishi-Nagata and Asōzu Stations, with one train per hour—one less than the original plan. During the evening period (15:00 to 19:00), two through-service trains an hour will operate between Nishi-Nagata and Echizen Takefu via Fukui Station. The plan identifies possible future extensions to Nittazuka during the morning rush hour and to the Echizen City area during the midday period.

In the information session, it was also announced that the railway operators would select by the end of the fiscal year a light rail vehicle (LRV) train type to be introduced cooperatively to permit through-servicing. Plans to encourage ridership, including reduction of transfer times and establishing approx. 30 through-service trips a day, were also announced. The through-service is scheduled to be implemented in FY2014 following the completion of facilities improvements at Tawaramachi Station and Asōzu Station in FY2013.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #2017
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manaca to offer rewards points system
http://www.asahi.com/travel/rail/new...011190016.html

Quote:
On November 18, Meitetsu announced a rewards points service for the manaca IC farecard to be introduced together with the Nagoya City Transportation Bureau and others starting in February of next year. Depending on the collected fares and number of rides, the railway will offer additional "mileage points" valid for fare payment. Accumulated points will also be accepted on the subway and bus systems.

According to Meitetsu, two to eight percent of the cardholders' total amount of paid fares each month on Meitetsu trains can be redeemed for mileage points at ticket vending machines after the tenth day of the following month. In addition, three to six percent of the monthly paid fares will be returned to the cardholder, depending on the number of rides taken. For example, when traveling between Meitetsu Nagoya and Higashi-Okazaki (also including partial trips) 22 times a month for ¥12,240 in total paid fares, ¥750 will be returned to the cardholder as rewards points.

Both Meitetsu Bus and the Nagoya City Transportation Bureau are also scheduled to introduce the same mileage points system, and points will be accepted across all operators.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:12 AM   #2018
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Chūō Line stations are key in battle to attract retail customers
http://mytown.asahi.com/tama/news.ph...00001012020001

Quote:
On December 1, Southern Sky Tower Hachiōji, the approx. 160 m tall redevelopment building outside the South Exit of JR Hachiōji Station, celebrated its grand opening, and the battle to attract customers among other JR Chūō Line terminal stations including Tachikawa and Kichijōji is heating up. At Kichijōji, a large-scale retail facility opened on the site of the former Isetan department store that closed its doors, while at the North Exit of Tachikawa Station, plans are currently underway for a 130 m tall redevelopment building.

The lineup in the core districts surrounding Hachiōji, Kichijōji, and Tachikawa Stations has changed dramatically in recent years. According to the national government's retail industry statistics, in the ten-year period between 1997 and 2007 retail sales at Tachikawa have increased thanks to the opening of the Tama Urban Monorail and redevelopment adjacent to the station, while Kichijōji and Hachiōji have entered a slump.

Hachiōji
The Southern Sky Tower Hachiōji mixed-use building (41 stories, 157.5 m) celebrated its grand opening at the South Exit of JR Hachiōji Station. In addition to a supermarket and bookstore that opened early, on December 1 a total of 14 stores and facilities including a clinic and restaurants opened their doors. At the ceremony, the retail area was advertised as a "diverse collection of unique shops," and approx. 500 customers queued up to enter the facility before the grand opening. In the past 30 years, Hachiōji has seen one big-name department store after another close its doors, but many are hoping that the redevelopment outside the station's South Exit will help bring vitality back to the area.

Tanabe Ryūichi, chairman of the Hachiōji Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had high hopes: "An active hub has been created at the South Exit, and the flow of customers will now change. I hope to unify the north and south areas centered around the station."

Ajioka Takashi, chairman of the Hachiōji Station North Exit Retail Association, said, "I hope we can bring energy back to the area, enough to rival Tachikawa and Machida. Our hopes now hinge on getting the many hikers visiting Mt. Takao to stop by Hachiōji Station."

Kichijōji
At Kichijōji, where large stores had been leaving one after another, an urban shopping center known as coppice Kichijōji opened on October 15 on the site of the former Isetan department store. Even before that, atré Kichijōji, the retail facility inside the JR station tenant building, finally celebrated a grand re-opening on September 21 after a major renovation. At a press conference on December 1, Musashino City mayor Murakami Morimasa was not ready to ease up just yet: "We aren't done yet... I hope to make further efforts towards a better community, such as by expanding bicycle parking facilities."

Tachikawa
And then there is Tachikawa City. Noting that the core tenant of the Hachiōji redevelopment building is a supermarket and not a department store, most local shopowners around Tachikawa say they aren't expecting any impact, such as the loss of customers who currently shop in Tachikawa. According to the Tachikawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, after the Isetan at Kichijōji closed its doors, many department store regulars from Koganei and other areas on the eastern part of the Chūō Line are shifting to Tachikawa.

However, director Komatsu Kiyohiro warns, "It's just like a homepage on the Internet. If you aren't constantly updating, the consumers will grow tired."

At Tachikawa Station, there are plans to redevelop parcels around the Daiichi department store on the west side of the North Exit, opening a 130 m tall redevelopment building five years from now. In addition, in an effort to encourage companies to take out space in approx. 8 ha of land owned by the national government located adjacent to the North Exit core district, the city established a subsidy program that basically cuts property taxes in half.

Tachikawa City mayor Shimizu Shōhei says, "The inter-urban battle with Hachiōji and Kichijōji is heating up. We can't just stand by and throw our hands up in the air."
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:13 AM   #2019
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JR East tests LED lighting on Yamanote Line train
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2010/20101212.pdf

Quote:
JR East has developed LED lighting for use in railcars, and will install the lighting on a Yamanote Line train on a trial basis.

Through conversion to LED lighting, it is estimated that electricity consumption can be reduced by approx. 40 percent and corresponding carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by approx. 12 tons compared to existing fluorescent lights (per train, annually).

As a preventative measure against fire, components installed on the ceiling of railcars must be non-flammable. Recently at JR East, we have teamed up with a group company to develop LED lighting that meets "non-flammable" standards as established by the Railcar Material Flammability Standard, making it possible to install the lighting on trains.

Implementation program
Implementation period: Starting 2010.12.15
Targeted trains: One 11-car E231 series Yamanote Line train (deployed out of Tōkyō General Rolling Stock Center)
Implementation details: All fluorescent lights in the passenger cars will be replaced with LED lighting. We will install two types: one type that replaces the existing fluorescent lighting in whole, and another type that only replaces the fluorescent bulb.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #2020
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New South Exit at Shinjuku Station temporarily relocated

The New South Exit (Shin-Minami-guchi) at JR Shinjuku Station was recently relocated as part of the Shinjuku Station South Exit transit hub project (see here). The relocated New South Exit, now located further south opened on Sunday, November 28.

Some pics:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Trying to exit the station through the New South Exit the old way on the east side of the station... The relocation is really more like the opening of a new exit and the closure of an older exit, as the relocated New South Exit is more towards the center of the station. This creates some large detours, but is necessary in order to complete the transit hub work, which requires construction of an expansive artificial deck and four-story transit terminal spanning the eight island platforms and 16 tracks at JR Shinjuku Station. In the map on the right, the orange is the old New South Exit, while the pink is the relocated New South Exit and associated facilities.



The passage to the relocated New South Exit. A small portion of the south wall of the transfer corridor between the old New South Exit and the Southern Terrace Exit has demolished and an entirely new series of passages constructed.



Continuing south down the passage takes us to the relocated New South Exit.
The relocated New South Exit is actually a bit larger in scale than the older version, with an eight-gate array and staffed counter. The new exit is directly connected to the Takashimaya department store and is fairly busy, even on a Sunday evening.



Temporary TVMs (four regular machines plus one limited express machine).



Passage outside the New South Exit. The View Plaza outlet (a JR East ticketing / travel agency service) was also relocated. The opposite side holds a row of retail shops including UNIQLO and NEWDAYS, with Takashimaya a little ways down the corridor.



New passage on the west side of the station near the Southern Terrace area. This part actually loops back north to connect with the Southern Terrace Exit, so there's not much need to use this passage for station passengers, who would just take the more direct route via the Southern Terrace Exit.



East end of the passage leading to Takashimaya. This passage is much busier, as it is on the same side as the old New South Exit. While more convenient to Takashimaya, it requires a bit of a detour for passengers bound for Shinjuku Sanchōme, who will likely shift to the Southeast Exit instead.



Signage upon entering the station through the relocated New South Exit:
Platforms 1-4: Saikyō Line / Rinkai Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
Platforms 5-6: Narita Express, Tōbu Railway through-service limited expresses
Platforms 7-8, 11-12: Chūō Line (Rapid)
Platforms 9-10: Chūō Main Line (limited expresses)
Platforms 13, 16: Chūō-Sōbu Line (Local)
Platforms 14-15: Yamanote Line

Much of the new facilities are boarded up for construction, so there's still plenty of work going on in the area. Seeing as some of the signage is covered up with temporary stickers, it's likely that they will be making several changes to station circulation as portions are completed, etc. Based on the parts that are covered, it's likely that Platforms 3 and 4 will later join Platforms 5 and 6 on the right side of this sign. In the November 28 changes, they had to relocate one of the stairwells to Platforms 5 and 6, which is why they're set off to the right, but it seems likely that Platforms 3 and 4 will get a similar treatment in the near future.



New escalator / stairwell on Platforms 5 and 6. Boxed in by columns on both sides, they could only fit a single-width escalator in.



Walkthrough tour of the relocated New South Exit, and scenes of the construction of the new transit hub building.


Source: karibajct on YouTube
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