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Old December 29th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #2041
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Tōbu announces renovation of Narihirabashi Station, renaming to "Tōkyō Sky Tree Station"
http://www.tobu.co.jp/file/3114/101227_1.pdf

Quote:
In coordination with the opening of the Tōkyō Sky Tree scheduled for spring 2012, Tōbu Railway (HQ: Sumida Ward, Tōkyō Prefecture) will rename Narihirabashi Station on the Isesaki Line, the gateway to the Tōkyō Sky Tree, to "Tōkyō Sky Tree Station."

We have marketed Narihirabashi Station as an access point to the Tōkyō Sky Tree, but we will now rename the station to Tōkyō Sky Tree Station, making it easier to understand for visitors. The new name is befitting of the gateway to the Tōkyō Sky Tree, slated to become a new landmark for Japan. Together with these changes, we will also conduct a renovation of the station.

Through the station renaming and renovation, we hope to attract more visitors to the Tōkyō Sky Tree and the surrounding Narihirabashi and Oshiage areas, contributing to the development of the entire area focused around the Tōkyō Sky Tree.



Station renovation details
In coordination with the spring 2012 opening of the Tōkyō Sky Tree, we will carry out the following renovations in order to ensure a safe, comfortable, and pleasant experience for all our passengers.

Increased vertical circulation (1 location → 3 locations)
Currently, there is only one location with vertical circulation, but we will increase this to a total of three locations (one escalator location (up and down) and two stairwell locations), allowing passengers to more smoothly board and alight trains.

Relocation and upgrade of elevators
We will upgrade the elevator capacity from the existing eight passengers to 30 passengers and construct the new elevator in the center of the platform.

Expansion of the station concourse
In order to allow for the movement of large volumes of passengers, we will increase the floor area of the station concourse from the current approx. 60 sq m to 700 sq m.

Construction of a new ticketing entrance (1 location → 2 locations)
Currently, there is a single ticketing entrance along Kototoi-dōri, but we will add another location at the Hikifune end of the station, allowing the many passengers visiting the Tōkyō Sky Tree to more smoothly enter and exit the station.

Renovation of the multi-function restroom
We will relocate and renovate the existing multi-function restroom.
TBS news report (2010.12.27):

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Old December 29th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #2042
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Tōkyō Monorail extension will ensure competitiveness against private railways
http://www.morningstar.co.jp/portal/...o?rncNo=391109

Quote:
Plans to extend the Tōkyō Monorail have surfaced. The Tōkyō Monorail Haneda Line connects the 17.8 km distance between Haneda Airport International Terminal Station and Hamamatsuchō Station in 13 minutes.

On October 31 of this year, international flights began operating out of Haneda Airport for the first time in 32 years. Next year, the airport will become a gateway to 17 cities around the world. With the return of international flights, the Tōkyō Monorail opened a new Haneda Airport International Terminal Station on October 21. From the faregates at the station, it's only a one-minute walk to the International Terminal's third-floor departures lobby, a dramatic improvement in convenience.

The problem, however, lies with the terminus at Hamamatsuchō Station. While the station is served by both the Yamanote Line and Keihin-Tōhoku Line, transferring is a hassle. Even when attempting to transfer from the subway at the nearby Daimon Station on the Toei Ōedo Line, for Toei Subway passengers it's more convenient to take the Keihin Electric Express Railway (TYO: 9006) via the Asakusa Line.

The key to resolving the inconvenience of Hamamatsuchō Station is the extension proposal, and an extension to either Tōkyō Station or Shimbashi Station is perceived as the most likely option. The majority shareholder in Tōkyō Monorail is JR East (TYO: 9020). If a convenient connection can be created between the Tōkyō Monorail and JR East's Narita Express, passengers transferring from Narita Airport would only need to change trains once. Reaching Tōkyō Station via the Narita Express is approx. 50 minutes, and if the Tōkyō Monorail were extended to Tōkyō Station, Narita Airport and Haneda Airport would be connected in a little over one hour.

In contrast, Keisei Electric Railway's (TYO: 9009) New Skyliner makes the journey from Nippori Station to Narita Airport in as little as 36 minutes. However, the Airport limited expresses traveling from Keisei Electric Railway and onto the Keihin Electric Express Railway (Keikyū) via the Toei Asakusa Line take 110 minutes from Narita Airport to Haneda Airport. The reason lies with frequent station stops on the Asakusa Line, but there are estimates that say construction of passing tracks would reduce the travel time between the two airports to 65 minutes. In addition, a plan has surfaced in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to connect Keikyū's Sengakuji Station and Keisei's Oshiage Station via an approx. 11 km underground line, connecting Narita Airport and Haneda Airport via Tōkyō Station. If realized, the travel time from Tōkyō Station to Narita Airport will be approx. 37 minutes, and from Tōkyō Station to Haneda Airport approx. 22 minutes. The travel time between the two airports would be reduced to 59 minutes—beating the one-hour mark.

The return of international flights to Haneda Airport has spurred investigations into improving convenience among each of the railway operators, creating substantial merits for passengers. In response to the private railways (Keisei Electric Railway and Keihin Electric Express Railway), the big elephant JR East is finally beginning to make its own move through the Tōkyō Monorail extension.

If the Tōkyō Monorail were extended to Tōkyō Station, it would connect the Tōkyō Monorail and Narita Express at Tōkyō Station, greatly improving convenience. However the problem with such a plan lies in the cost. Estimates peg the pricetag at over ¥100 billion, but if the extension only goes as far as Shimbashi Station, the closer distance to Hamamatsuchō Station keeps the cost down to one-third of the cost of a Tōkyō extension. As far as connections with the Narita Express (N'EX), the only change needed is to have N'EX trains stop at Shimbashi Station, which they currently skip when traveling on the Yokosuka Line. It's expected that the construction timeline for a Shimbashi extension would only take several years, making an early revenue service start possible. As a result, the Shimbashi extension proposal has quickly become a realistic project.

More than anything, JR East (TYO: 9020) has already revealed its intention to carry out a large-scale renovation of Shimbashi Station separate from the Tōkyō Monorail extension. The impetus behind the renovation lies with aging facilities and limited space inside the station that results in an inefficient use of resources. As a result, the railway will invest approx. ¥23 billion into the renovation, aiming for completion sometime in FY2019.

The expansion of the interior of Shimbashi Station may cause observers to link the project with the Tōkyō Monorail extension, but the truth is that the Tōkyō Monorail was originally planned to terminate at Shimbashi Station. Tōkyō Monorail predecessor Japan Elevated Electric Railway was unable to secure land in the vicinity of Shimbashi Station, resulting in Hamamatsuchō Station serving as the current terminus.

Daily entries and exits at JR Shimbashi Station are approx. 500,000 passengers. Including transfers with the subway and other trains, close to 800,000 passengers use the station everyday. If the Tōkyō Monorail directly connects Shimbashi Station and Haneda Airport, the convenience for salarymen will improve dramatically. In addition, Haneda Airport is a 24-hour airport, and the number of overseas flights departing in the late evening will increase. With the increase in flight slots in FY2013 to 407,000 midday slots and 40,000 late evening and early morning slots, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has plans to increase international flight slots to 90,000 annual slots (120 flights a day), further expanding Tōkyō Monorail's role. The key to growth for JR East and Tōkyō Monorail is whether or not the two can achieve a travel time between Narita Airport and Haneda Airport of one hour or less, comparable to competing private railways.

JR East holds shares in construction-related firms including Tekken (TYO: 1815) and Tōtetsu Kōgyō (TYO: 1835). In addition, the railway also holds shares in Nippon Rietec (TYO: 1938) (a merger of Chitose Electric Construction and Hoan Kōgyō) and Nippon Densetsu Kōgyō (TYO: 1950), and investors should also keep their eyes on CSP (TYO: 9740), a security and protection services company in which JR East is the largest shareholder, with 25 percent of shares outstanding.
Tour of Haneda Airport International Terminal Station on the Tōkyō Monorail:


Source: karibajct on YouTube
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Old December 29th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #2043
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New paint schemes for 8800 series, new mascot for Toden Arakawa Line

When I first heard they were introducing new 8800 series cars to the Arakawa Line, I figured it would just be the "rose red" scheme, but recently the purple scheme came out. Now, two more schemes—orange and yellow—made their official debut, together with the new mascot for the Arakawa Line.
Source: karibajct on YouTube

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Old December 31st, 2010, 12:25 AM   #2044
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Tōkyō Metro keen to manage Hanoi's urban railway system
http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/E...n-railway.html

Quote:
HA NOI — Japanese railway company Tokyo Metro was ready to help Ha Noi train the management and staff of its urban passenger railway system, said Tadayyoshi Tohama, a company board member.

He suggested the idea to Nguyen Van Khoi, deputy chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee, at a meeting on Wednesday with a Japanese delegation that specialises in urban passenger railway investment and construction.

The meeting was also attended by representatives from the Japanese Embassy, the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and relevant city departments.

The delegation is on an official visit to explore urban railway investment opportunities.

City buses could not cope with the rising demand for public transport, said Khoi.

Ha Noi has plans for five urban railway routes linking satellite cities and towns such as Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Hung Yen and Thai Nguyen by 2020.

The capital recently began construction of a pilot railway project which will link Tu Liem District's Nhon Area in the west with the downtown area on a 12- kilometre-long line. The Ministry of Transport is the investor.

As a general rule, one urban railway route was needed for every 1 million people, said Tohama, noting that Tokyo Metro built Japan's first urban railway route in 1927.

The foremost requirement for rail routes was absolute safety, he added. — VNS
Thanks to k.k.jetcar for picking up on this one.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 12:26 AM   #2045
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Ōbayashi Corporation shifts to developed countries, wins first project in Canada
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...0844007-n1.htm

Quote:
On December 21, Ōbayashi Corporation revealed that it had won a railway construction project in Canada. This is the first time the company will do work in Canada, after determining that the risk of not recouping costs of construction projects in a country like Canada—with a developed legal system—was low. With this latest win as a stepping stone, the company will begin major efforts to look at expanding its market share. Most general contractors are strengthening their presence in developing markets such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East, where construction is booming, but it's rare to see a contractor strengthening its presence in developed countries.

The project in question is preliminary construction work for a light rail grade-separation in Toronto, Ontario Province in eastern Canada. The bid was a joint effort with local construction firm Kenaidan for an approx. ¥800 million contract. Ōbayashi's share is 40 percent (approx. ¥320 million). Aiming to win the primary work for the project, slated to reach as much as ¥20 billion in value, the company will now participate in the next bid.

While strengthening its presence in Thailand, Indonesia, and other parts of Southeast Asia, as well as elsewhere, the company is also pushing forward with bids for construction work in developed countries such as the U.S., where other general contractors have less of a presence. In terms of work in developed countries, Ōbayashi teamed up with three companies including American firms to win the ¥13.4 billion project to reconstruct a U.S. Navy hospital on Guam. In conjunction with the relocation of the Marine Corps from Okinawa, the company says that there is a frenzy of sewer construction and other infrastructure-related projects in Guam, and it hopes to win ¥50 billion of the construction work across five years.

In addition, the company plans to actively pursue projects in the Oceania region, joining the bidding process for a highway construction project in New Zealand.

In preparation for the strengthening of its overseas presence, Ōbayashi established general offices in San Francisco (U.S.) and Singapore in July of this year. The company has established executive positions at each office and is strengthening its information gathering abilities. The company's overseas revenue for the first half of FY2010 was approx. ¥70 billion, but it hopes to further increase that number by strengthening its presence in developed countries.

General contractors are struggling with a rapid decline in private-sector infrastructure investment and public works projects in the domestic market, and entry into overseas markets is becoming a critical action item. After failing to recoup costs incurred in construction of the subway system in Dubai (U.A.E.) last year, however, both Kajima Corporation and Ōbayashi posted losses. Neither company has been able to secure a stable profit stream in overseas business.

In addition, four general contractors including Kajima and Taisei Corporation have yet to be paid several tens of billions of yen for completed sections of highway in Algeria. In the midst of these problems, Ōbayashi will shift its efforts to developed countries, where a definite return on construction costs can be expected.
Not sure specifically which project in Toronto this is, since the article's a bit vague.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 12:27 AM   #2046
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Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to team up for SRT Red Line bid in Bangkok
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/atmoney/new...OYT1T00317.htm

Quote:
On December 29, it was revealed that Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will jointly submit a proposal in the bidding process for a railway construction project in Bangkok, to be held in January of next year.

Starting with the joint bid in Thailand, both companies are planning to consider an integration of their overseas railway business. If the competitiveness of Japanese firms increases, it's likely to be a catalyst for Japan's "railway export" industry.

The bid is for the elevated Red Line (eight aboveground stations; total length: 26 km) between central Bangkok and the northern areas of the city. The line is aiming for an opening in 2014 at a total project cost of approx. ¥350 billion.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing a Japanese yen loan to the Thai government for railway construction, and it's believed that the Hitachi / Mitsubishi Heavy Industries consortium has a good chance of winning the project. In June, the two companies agreed to a tie-up in their overseas railway business, but this is the first time the two are submitting a joint bid on a project.
The project in question appears to be the section of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Dark Red Line from Bang Sue to Rangsit:
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home...-30136258.html
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home...-30143618.html

However, Hitachi and MHI are not listed among the competing firms (unless they are part of one of the other Japanese teams), so I'm not sure what to make of this.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 05:41 AM   #2047
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Ōbayashi Corporation shifts to developed countries, wins first project in Canada
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...0844007-n1.htm



Not sure specifically which project in Toronto this is, since the article's a bit vague.
This is interesting, since right now Toronto's new mayor has put up Transit City on the chopping block in favour for subway expansion.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 09:51 PM   #2048
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According to this, the Kenaidan-Ōbayashi team also bid for parts of the Spadina subway extension:
http://tunnellingjournal.com/news/oh...spadina-north/
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Old December 31st, 2010, 09:55 PM   #2049
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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries wins Macau LRT tender
http://www.macaudailytimes.com.mo/ma...RT-tender.html

Quote:
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has been granted the MOP 4.688 billion contract to supply the rolling stock and the system for the first phase of the light rail transit, the Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) announced yesterday.

GIT director Lei Chan Tong said in the press conference that after the contract is signed, which is expected to be by mid-February, MHI will be given 47 months to complete all the construction works and after that, two more months until the mass transit should begin operation.
In other words, the first phase of the light rail, that can transport passengers between the Border Gate and Barra in the Macau peninsula and then via the Sai Van Bridge between the Jockey Club and the Pac On ferry terminal across Taipa and Cotai, should be up and running in early 2015, Lei said.

The other two joint ventures, established between Siemens and the state-owned China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (Siemens - CCECC Consortium), and between Canadian group Bombardier and the China Road and Bridge Corporation (BT CRBC LRT Consortium), proposed respectively a bidding price of MOP 6.281 billion and MOP 4.567 billion.

Lei said the two consortiums will be formally notified about their loss after MHI presents a bank guarantee to the Macau Government, meaning it has officially accepted the grant.

According to the GIT chief, the three bids were assessed based on a set of criteria stipulated before the international tender was launched in December 2009, in which the company’s financial status including the bidding price constituted 55 percent of the overall score and the technical skills made up 45 percent.

He disclosed that all the three bidders met the tender requirements, but Mitsubishi has “the lightest trains among the three, does not require the Sai Van Bridge to renew the wires and proposed the smallest amount of changes to the bridge’s main structure”.

In early November, lawmaker Jose Pereira Coutinho accused the GIT in an enquiry sent to the Legislative Assembly of having preselected Mitsubishi as the winning bidder in July and also of having “secret meetings” with the Japanese giant.

When asked about whether Mitsubishi’s win would “further confirm” the allegation, Lei said it was a “misunderstanding” and called it a “rumour”.

He explained that according to the laws, GIT is required to deliver the drafted contract to the highest-score bidder for opinions before the contract is officially granted to it.

“There needs to have a consensus between the two sides before the contract can be signed. During which a lot of discussions and explanations are involved. I believe the public has misunderstood this process,” Lei told reporters.

The model of the Mitsubishi trains is Crystal Mover which is also running in Singapore, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport as well as the Washington Dulles International Airport and the Miami International Airport in the US.

Macau will operate four-cabin trains with a passenger volume of 476, stretching 47 metres long, 2.8 metres wide and 3.9 metres high.

GIT said the LRT phase one will initially aim at transporting 7,800 passengers in each direction per hour, which will soar to 14,100 passengers by 2020.

The rail is set to operate 19 hours a day and with three to five minute intervals.

The office also disclosed that the construction of the main body of the Taipa route is expected to kick off first in mid-2011, followed by the rest of the Taipa/Cotai route and lastly the Macau route.
The light rail construction has suffered major delays. In October 2007 Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si On said the construction should start in the second half of 2008 and the system would become operational at the end of 2011.

A ‘mysterious’ complaint
Meanwhile, a news release signed off by the BT CRBC LRT Consortium with a copy of Chinese calligraphy by ex-Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah congratulating the joint venture for being the lowest-price bidder was faxed to the local media yesterday during the GIT press conference.

When MDT called the China phone number from the release to talk to the “Asia-Pacifc Affairs senior head” listed on the release, a man, named Huang Jin-chuan told the MDT that Mitsubishi did not deserve the contract as it is “very unprofessional” and did not offer the lowest bidding price.

“The Commission Against Corruption must find problems if it investigates into the matter [...] I hope the whole tender could be conducted fairly. We’ll decide whether or not to appeal after discussions,” he said on the phone.

However, managing director of China Road and Bridge Corporation Kan Jun, said he had no idea about the news release and never heard of this “Asia-Pacifc Affairs senior head”.

Kan said the consortium will analyse how the score was assessed before deciding whether or not to appeal the tender results.
I understand there was a lot of controversy over this project (and the selection of Mitsubishi's bid), so I have a feeling this may not be the end of it.
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Old January 1st, 2011, 06:22 AM   #2050
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries wins Macau LRT tender
http://www.macaudailytimes.com.mo/ma...RT-tender.html



I understand there was a lot of controversy over this project (and the selection of Mitsubishi's bid), so I have a feeling this may not be the end of it.
Given the common national origins of two of the other bidders, it's a given that they'd raise a stink if they didn't win the order.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:42 AM   #2051
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Kinki Sharyō delivers North America's first low-floor hybrid LRV to Charlotte CATS
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...111612754.html

Quote:
Charlotte, NC to Debut the LFX-300, KINKISHARYO's Latest Innovation; Other Cities to Follow

WESTWOOD, Mass., Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- KINKISHARYO International, L.L.C. announced the prototype of its LFX-300, a 100 percent low-floor, electro-hybrid streetcar specifically designed for North America, has arrived at the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) in Charlotte, N.C. today. The first streetcar of its kind in North America, the LFX-300 will now be tested by Kinkisharyo's engineers on the CATS light rail line, leading up to the official public unveiling of the LFX-300 on January 21, 2011 in Charlotte.



"We are grateful that the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Area Transit System has extended the courtesy to host the North American unveiling of our LFX-300," said Rainer Hombach, vice president and general manager of KINKISHARYO International. "This is a very exciting time to introduce a 100 percent low floor, electro-hybrid streetcar, particularly in cities that value sustainability and community development. From coast to coast, municipalities are quickly realizing the many benefits of the LFX-300, including lower overall life cycle costs, lower energy usage and emissions, greater access and comfort for all riders, and an unparalleled ability to preserve sensitive and historic areas by operating streetcars without overhead catenary wire," Hombach added.

The LFX-300 is a hybrid vehicle in that it is propelled by either overhead electric catenary or on-board battery power. In battery powered mode, it uses electricity stored from regenerative braking and by charging the batteries while running on catenary, minimizing total power consumption. As an electro-hybrid vehicle, it does not emit fumes that contribute to smog and greenhouse gasses. The LFX-300 has been specifically designed for North America and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Buy America and NFPA-130.

"KINKISHARYO is the number one supplier of low-floor, light-rail vehicles in North America," Hombach said. "We are confident transportation officials and riders alike will enjoy the value and benefits of the LFX-300's low-floor, energy-efficient design engineered for tomorrow's sustainable cities," Hombach added.

KINKISHARYO has been delivering urban transit solutions in the United States for nearly three decades. Its custom-engineered, light rail vehicles can be seen in many metropolitan centers, including Seattle, Washington; Phoenix, Arizona; Jersey City, New Jersey; San Jose, California; Dallas, Texas; and Boston, Massachusetts. KINKISHARYO's parent company, The Kinki Sharyo Co. Ltd., and its affiliates, have been delivering rail solutions around the globe since 1920, including recently announced rail projects in Cairo, Egypt and in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

About KINKISHARYO International, L.L.C.
KINKISHARYO International, L.L.C. is the North American subsidiary of The Kinki Sharyo Co., Ltd., based in Osaka, Japan, one of the most sophisticated rolling stock manufacturers customizing solutions for urban transit agencies worldwide since 1920. Kinki Sharyo has supplied over 15,000 electric railcars—from light rail vehicles to high-speed Shinkansen bullet trains—that have moved hundreds of millions of passengers safely and efficiently. Built on this heritage of technological innovation, tailored solutions and customer service, KINKISHARYO International, L.L.C. is the number one supplier of low-floor, light-rail vehicles in North America. Headquartered in Westwood, MA, KINKISHARYO (www.kinkisharyo.com) has been redefining urban light rail transit systems throughout the U.S. for nearly three decades.
Completely missed this press release since it was in English only...

Front, profile, and top view:


Source: Kinki Sharyō

Full brochure:
http://www.kinkisharyo.com/media/pdf/lfx.pdf
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #2052
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Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyō awarded SMART DMU contract
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...112014219.html

Quote:
NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Sumitomo Corporation of America in conjunction with its car builder partner Nippon Sharyo has been awarded a contract from Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) to supply 18 Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs).

The contract price is about $57 million for 18 DMUs and includes options for SMART and its partner agencies to purchase up to 146 cars. The delivery of 18 DMUs is scheduled from the end of 2013 through the middle of 2014. The new 18 DMUs will be used for a newly prepared commuter rail line both in Sonoma and Marin Counties, and more DMUs may be purchased as an option by SMART and/or other transit agencies.

Gino Antoniello, Vice President, Sumitomo Corporation of America, Transportation Systems Unit, attended yesterday's meeting where the SMART board of directors gave their unanimous vote to award this contract to the Sumitomo led team. He stated, "We are extremely pleased with this strong vote of confidence from the members of the SMART board. We know the length of time and tremendous scrutiny and rigorous analysis that went into determining what the best system would be for SMART, so to receive a unanimous vote from the board should not be taken lightly. This means a great deal to us as we start our new relationship with this customer, and it should mean a lot for residents of both Sonoma and Marin counties to have had their voices heard, and to have their representatives vote with everyone's best interest in mind."

Over the last 30 years, the Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo team has successfully delivered around 900 passenger cars in the US market and will be delivering another 160 Gallery Type bi-level electrical passenger cars to Chicago's Metra in the near future. While the Sumitomo/Nippon Sharyo team continues to supply these existing types of cars, the team has decided to develop a new type of car which has broad applicability. The DMU for this contract is fully compliant with Buy-America and other federal regulations for crash energy management and greenhouse gases and emission controls, and has features that assure complete passenger safety. It also has broad functionality as a Semi-High Speed Rail car and is expected to serve various types of future projects.

Sumitomo has 50 years of contract management experience in bringing transportation systems to life. As a prime contractor, the company has developed, managed and delivered transit systems for Chicago's Metra, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, the Maryland Mass Transit Administration, California's CALTRANS Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the Los Angeles County MTA, and the Virginia Railway Express, and has supplied Automated People Mover (APM) systems for the Washington Dulles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Miami International Airport.

Sumitomo's global network has been involved in building various types of transit systems around the world, including light rail systems in Manila, Philippines, people mover systems at Hong Kong's new airport at Chek Lap Kok, and other systems in Japan.

About Nippon Sharyo
Nippon Sharyo, founded in 1896, has manufactured railroad vehicles for more than 100 years and has annual sales of over $1,100 million. A world leader in the manufacturing of the Gallery car, the company also owns the largest market share of Japanese "Shinkansen" bullet train sets. In October 2010, they announced that they will establish its own passenger railcar production facility in Rochelle, Illinois and the start of operation is expected to be 3rd quarter 2012.

About Sumitomo Corporation of America
Established in 1952, and headquartered in New York City, SCOA operates offices in 10 American cities. SCOA is the largest wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, one of the world's leading traders of goods and services. As an integrated business enterprise, the firm has emerged as a major organizer of multinational projects, an expediter of ideas, an important international investor and financier, and a powerful force for distribution of products and global communications through a network of offices worldwide. For more information visit www.sumitomocorp.com.
According to this older article, Metrolinx of Greater Toronto may also purchase similar DMUs from the Sumitomo / Nippon Sharyō team for the new service to Toronto Pearson Airport:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1801419/

Renders:
Source: Nippon Sharyō







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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:44 AM   #2053
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Wakayama Electric Railway mascot cat Tama will star in Korean Air CM
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00572.htm

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Tama, an eleven-year-old female calico cat who serves as "Super Stationmaster" for Kishi Station (Kinokawa City, Wakayama Prefecture) on the Wakayama Electric Railway's Kishi Line, will make an appearance in a television commercial for Korean Air to be broadcast in Korea. Filming took place at Kishi Station on December 15.

As part of a public relations effort designed to increase passengers on flights to Japan, the airline company selected a scene representative of Japan. Tama wore her stationmaster's hat and showed off her typical relaxed attitude about her work under the supervision of several staff.

The commercial is scheduled to begin broadcasts starting January 8 next year. Spokespersons for Korean Air expressed confidence: "Korean tourists who see the commercial will definitely come more frequently to Japan."

Could this become a maneki-neko that crossed the ocean?
Now she's an international star...
In the past few months, there have been recent additions to the "pet animal as stationmaster" trend, including penguins, goats, rabbits, and turtles.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #2054
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Kintetsu Kyōto Station construction update

Some pics (2010.12) of the renovation of Kintetsu Kyōto Station and construction of a Kintetsu hotel directly above it.
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

There has been a lot of movement at the western end of the site, which is now filling up most of the view.







The hotel creates a nice canyon effect together with JR Kyōto Station to the right. On the other side of the hotel are Kintetsu Kyōto Station and the Shinkansen platforms. The hotel is scheduled to open in autumn 2011.

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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:46 AM   #2055
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Niigata considers new transit system
http://www.nikkei.com/news/local/art...F2F2F2F2F2F2F2

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In Furumachi, Niigata's central district, it's been almost half a year since the Daiwa department store closed its doors. The city has touted introduction of a new public transit route linking the city's central axis as the cornerstone of revitalization. In order to attract riders, however, attractive retail facilities and other factors are vital. The path to revitalizing the Furumachi district remains a difficult task.

Niigata City mayor Shinoda Akira identifies construction of a public transit route replacing buses linking JR Niigata Station and City Hall as the city's most critical role in revitalizing the Furumachi district: "Constructing a new and convenient public transit route is a message of support for the city." Mayor Shinoda garnered attention when he included the project as a campaign promise in November.

Candidate technologies include a small monorail, light rail transit (LRT), and bus rapid transit (BRT). Matsuda Nobuo, chief of the city's Urban Transport Policy Section, says that the project would have multiple benefits, not only improving on-time performance and capacity, but also serving as a "symbol" of the city.

In August, the city established an investigative committee composed of experts, transport officials, and representatives of the commercial district. The committee began discussions of the proposed route, possible transit technologies, and other elements of the project. Firstly, the city will establish exclusive bus lanes in FY2011 along the route envisioned for the proposed transit line. The city will streamline bus lane operations on city streets and make preparations for introduction of a new public transit system.

However, ridership on bus routes inside Niigata City currently operated by Niigata Transport has been declining by three to four percent annually. In the event a new public transit system were to be introduced, a capital investment of at least ¥7 billlion would be necessary, and it's uncertain whether the operator, such as a third-sector railway, would be able to operate the line while securing sufficient operating profitability.

Furukawa Kōichi, chief of Niigata Transport's Transit Bus Department, is calling for an informed debate regarding the new public transit line: "It's not that ridership outpaces the available capacity of the buses... After all, there is surplus capacity available." If a monorail or other new system were to begin operation, it would cannibalize buses and a declining ridership pool, and the company is extremely cautious of the project.

Without a reason to travel to central Niigata City, it will be difficult to secure ridership just by establishing a new means of transport. President Okazawa Osamu of Niigata Underground Development, the operator of the Nishibori Rosa underground shopping arcade adjacent to the former Daiwa store in Furumachi, had a less than pleased look on his face: "We've taken a big hit after being passed up by Shibuya 109 and the young apparel market."

Nishibori Rosa has attracted stores selling general merchandise, food products, and apparel targeting a wide variety of age demographics, with the total number of visitors for April through September of this year reaching 126,000—a 15 percent increase over the same period last year. However, sales per customer have declined dramatically. Total tenant sales were ¥267 million—14 percent lower than the same time last year, when about half of the tenant spaces were empty.

Rosa's previous tenant development policy that focused efforts on younger female customers was a subject of criticism from citizens as a reason for the facility's failure. But in an ironic twist of fate, the change in development policy accelerated the departure of stores that promised sales potential. What supports Rosa now is lease fees from city facilities such as a tourist information center and health care clinic. The more influential the local government becomes, the harder it is for the facility to focus its efforts on a target demographic.

The city's role in the strategy to reuse the site of the former Daiwa store is also garnering attention, and top city officials say that "a lack of a reuse strategy is dangerous." The city believes that the private sector should play the leading part in creating urban vitality, with the government administration maintaining only a supplementary role. Meanwhile, retailers are less than enthusiastic about expanding their business into the Furumachi district, which continues to face growing decay. As both private and public sector are hesitant to help develop a center to attract customers, it's unclear whether or not the new transport system can become the deciding factor in the revitalization of the Furumachi district.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:48 AM   #2056
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JR Akihabara Station construction update

A photo tour of the ongoing work at Akihabara Station (2010.12):
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/helicopter/

First up is atré Akihabara 1, the new four-story station tenant building that JR East opened at the station on 2010.11.19. The Akihabara Department Store Exit that closed off with when Akihabara Department Store closed its doors has now reopened as the atré 1 Gate.



West end of atré Akihabara 1



This wasn't actually a demolition of the old Akihabara Department Store, but a major renovation. Since parts of the building are intertwined with the JR Sōbu Line (local) viaduct, it was impossible to do a demolition and full rebuild.



A Sōbu Line local train passes high above on the steel viaduct. Akihabara has undergone an impressive redevelopment over the past few years, but hopefully they will still keep treasures like this, the Akihabara Denpa Kaikan.



The Akihabara Electric Town Exit of the station has been outfitted with new "digital signage" (basically ads) installations and now looks smart and clean.



Akihabara Electric Town Exit from the south side



atré Akihabara from the southeast side



The Sōbu Line platforms on the fourth floor of the station. The new station tenant building features a fourth-floor cafe that offers views out onto the platforms and trains.





A bonus shot of the construction work for the Tsukuba Express part of the station.

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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:48 AM   #2057
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Tōkyō Metro and Toei Subway likely to sign agreement on expanded convenience for transferring passengers
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/...190071016.html

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It's expected that Tōkyō Metro and the Toei Subway will sign an agreement as early as sometime in January regarding improvements to passenger service, focusing on expansion of the discount for transferring between the two systems. The 500,000 passengers who transfer between the two systems on an average day would reap the benefits, and if the current ¥70 transfer discount were increased by another ¥10, a total of ¥1.8 billion annually would be returned to customers. The two are also scheduled to continue debates regarding the financial merger being proposed by the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government and discuss unification of differing fare structures, bringing the two closer together by expanding convenience at the passenger level.

The two will even begin working towards service improvements at Kudanshita Station (Chiyoda Ward; opened 1964), pointed out by Tōkyō Prefecture vice-governor Inose Naoki as a "symbol of the obstacles to a financial merger."

The station is designed such that the Toei Subway and Tōkyō Metro platforms are separated by a single wall. In order to transfer between the two systems, passengers need to go through the hassle of climbing the stairs, passing through the faregates, and returning back down to platform level, but the two operators have also decided to begin work before year's end on demolition of the wall. As a result, passengers will be able to transfer without needing to pass through the faregates.

Of joint Toei Subway and Tōkyō Metro stations, this would only be the second station after Shirokane ‒ Takanawa Station (opened 2000) where passengers will be able to transfer between the two systems without passing through faregates. Kudanshita Station will be the first to receive design changes to improve convenience for transferring passengers.

A total of 9,000,000 passengers use the Toei Subway and Tōkyō Metro daily. Of these, over five percent are interchanging passengers, expected to increase with the expansion of the transfer discount. As the expansion of the discount would mean a loss of revenues for the Toei Subway and Tōkyō Metro, both companies are looking into how the costs of the measure would be shared.

Since August 2010, the National Government (which owns 53.4 percent of Tōkyō Metro shares) and the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government (which owns 46.6 percent of Tōkyō Metro shares) have sponsored three sessions of a committee to investigate a consolidation of the Toei Subway and Tōkyō Metro. The Tōkyō Metropolitan Government claims that if the two systems merge, the economic benefit would be substantial, reducing company expenses by ¥20 billion in commuting compensation alone. Citing the Toei Subway's long-term debt and other concerns, however, Tōkyō Metro officials have expressed some hesitation, and the path towards consolidation of the two systems is uncertain.

Meanwhile, Tōkyō Metro officials emphasize that service improvements are still possible even without a financial merger of the two systems, and have expressed intentions to continue with platform door installations and barrier-free improvements.

Vice-Governor Inose Naoki, who has been entrusted with the "subway problem" by Tōkyō governor Ishihara Shintarō, has decided that "service improvements cannot be ignored while there is no agreement on a financial merger." A fourth session of the committee meeting will be held in the latter half of this month, at which time the two subway operators will agree to first implement service improvements, under the condition that a dialogue regarding a financial merger continues.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #2058
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New Year's Eve all-night service in Tōkyō

New Year's Eve presents a special opportunity for railfans, as it is pretty much the only chance to see train lines operating all-night service (at very much reduced frequencies, of course) in order to serve passengers making their first temple / shrine visit of the new year or watching the first sunrise of the new year.

First, daytime and nighttime shots of the Keikyū network on 2010.12.31.
Starts out at Keikyū Kawasaki, then travels down the Daishi Line to Kawasaki Daishi Station (home to a major temple that people visit on New Year's Eve) and Kojima Shinden. Afterwards, we return to the Keikyū Main Line and Keikyū Kamata, where we transfer to an Airport Line train to Anamori Inari (home to a famous shrine) and Haneda Airport.


Source: karibajct on YouTube

Next, all-night service on the Daishi Line, where four-car trains were operating at a minimum of every 10 minutes through the night to help meet the demand for passengers heading to Kawasaki Daishi / Heikenji Temple. In contrast, the Main Line only operated every 20 minutes. A Keikyū staff person places a headmark on the 24:00 departure celebrating the Year of the Rabbit. Keikyū has a close connection with Kawasaki Daishi, as the railway's first tracks, laid in 1899, terminated near the temple.


Source: karibajct on YouTube

Next, a couple shots of Odakyū's New Year Express service to Katase Enoshima, using Romancecar trains. Enoshima is a popular spot for watching the first sunrise of the new year.

First, the VSE 50000 series:
Some interesting scenes of the operator accessing the cab located above the passenger seating in the end car.


Source: 88masato on YouTube

Then the MSE 60000 series:


Source: ISO8 on YouTube

Action at JR Yokohama Station:
Source: mizuhide2336 on YouTube

Shōnan-Shinjuku Line train departs, bound for Zushi. The Kamakura area is another popular spot to celebrate the first shrine visit of the new year.


Source: ISO8 on YouTube

Yokosuka Line train departs, bound for Zushi. Yokosuka Line trains were operating between Yokohama and Zushi.

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Old January 4th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #2059
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With renovations thanks to additional room made available due to the Toyoko Line being undergrounded, Yokohama Station platforms 9 and 10 have lots of room, thankfully- nice and wide.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 05:55 AM   #2060
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
With renovations thanks to additional room made available due to the Toyoko Line being undergrounded, Yokohama Station platforms 9 and 10 have lots of room, thankfully- nice and wide.
They haven't finished some of the stairwells yet though. I pass through the station 3x/week during rush hour and sometimes you have to wait in long lines just to get up the stairs because half of the stairwell is closed off for construction work.

It's a shame they can't expand the Tokyo-bound Tokaido line platfroms; based on what I've seen, they need the extra room more than any other line.
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