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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #2201
quashlo
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ITŌCHŪ wins order for 192 linear motor cars for Guangzhou Metro Line 5
http://www.asahi.com/business/update...102120229.html

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ITŌCHŪ Corporation has teamed up with a firm affiliated with CSR, China’s largest railcar manufacturer, receiving an approx. ¥17 billion order for 192 linear-motor subway cars for Guangzhou, China. With this latest order, ITŌCHŪ will have supplied 688 subway cars for Guangzhou, totaling ¥70 billion in value.

Linear-motor subways use linear motors to move steel-wheeled trains. The technology is well-suited for steep grades, and construction costs can be reduced by making tunnel diameters smaller, since the trains are smaller in size. ITŌCHŪ will export Mitsubishi Electric motors and other equipment to China, where it will be assembled at a CSR plant.

ITŌCHŪ has received orders for 300 subway cars in 2004 and 196 subway cars in 2010. With a population of approx. 10 million, Guangzhou’s subway route length is approx. 300 km, on par with Tōkyō’s subway system. By 2020, however, the network is planned to double in size.

In addition, in Guangzhou City and the surrounding parts of Southern China, plans are underway to construct a region-wide urban transport network reaching as far as Macau. The total route length would reach 2,000 km. ITŌCHŪ intends to continue to strengthen its participation in urban transit projects, including linear motor subways, as well as the export of equipment.

Demand for urban transit is rapidly increasing in emerging nations. The Japanese government has identified infrastructure export as a pillar of Japan’s growth strategy, and it’s likely eyes will be on ITŌCHŪ’s movements in emerging nations.

These are for Guangzhou Metro Line 5. So far, ITŌCHŪ has supplied cars for Line 4, Line 5, and Line 6.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #2202
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Fukuoka City to move forward with environmental assessments for Nanakuma Line extension to Hakata
http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/entame/r...OYS8T00685.htm

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In the proposed extension of the Fukuoka City Subway Nanakuma Line (Hashimoto – Tenjin Minami, 12 km), the city has finalized its intention to construct a 1.4 km extension alignment from Tenjin Minami Station to Hakata Station via large-scale retail facility Canal City Hakata. The city will allocate funds in its draft FY2011 budget for studies in preparation for applications for project approval with the national government.

In regards to the extension, the Fukuoka City Council’s Transport Strategy Special Committee considered four alignment alternatives, concluding that the Canal City route was the most appropriate considering the costs—at ¥45 billion, cheaper than the other alignments—and potential for increased ridership.

According to officials, Mayor Takashima Sōichirō remarked to several City Councilmembers that he believes “the Canal City route is best,” and it’s believed a formal decision to move forward with the project will be made after approval of the draft FY2011 budget.

The cost of the studies is several tens of millions of yen, and will be used towards environmental impact assessments and other documents necessary for applying for project approval.

According to the Fukuoka City Transport Bureau, it’s expected to take 10 years from project initiation to opening of the line.

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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #2203
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Texting, Internet access also planned for Ōsaka Municipal Subway
http://www.japantoday.com/category/t...anned-in-osaka (Kyōdō News)

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The city of Osaka gave the green light Saturday to the idea of enabling subway passengers to send text messages and access the Internet while trains are in motion, following a similar ongoing project for Tokyo subways.

Osaka Mayor Kunio Hiramatsu agreed to the idea during a meeting with Softbank Corp Masayoshi Son, who is set to become a board member of the telecom consortium Japan Mobile Communications Infrastructure Association.

The association consisting of 17 telecom companies including NTT Docomo Inc, KDDI Corp and Softbank Mobile Corp is expected to pay the cost of installing antennas in the eight-line subway system run by the city government in Japan’s second largest business area.

Hiramatsu told the meeting, ‘‘I think we confirmed the direction (of the project). We’ll thrash out the details later.’’ Son said, ‘‘Passengers can read e-mails and online news articles (with the antennas) and it could increase a businessperson’s productivity.’’
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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #2204
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JR Senseki Line to receive world’s first radio-based moving block signal system for urban railways
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/miy...OYT8T00097.htm

Quote:
JR East will introduce ATACS, the world’s first train control system that doesn’t require signals, onto the JR Senseki Line on March 27. The goals of the program are avoidance of service disruptions and stabilization of train operations. The railway will also consider introducing the system to other lines in the future, including those in the Greater Tōkyō area.

The system has been in development since 1995, and will be introduced on approx. 17 km between Aoba-dōri and Higashi-Shiogama Stations. The target section of track was selected for several reasons, including a limited number of rolling stock to receive new equipment since the section does not carry through-service trains with other lines.

In-train signalling equipment featuring antennas and computational functionality will be installed in operator cabs, transmitting train location information wirelessly. A single base station located along the line will evaluate distances between trains, sending a reply transmission to each of the trains containing the necessary interval distance to prevent the trailing train from colliding with the preceding train. Based on this information, each of the trains calculates the appropriate speed.

The equipment installation is simpler than the current system using signal equipment, reducing component failures and keeping down installation costs. In addition, the system more accurately identifies the position of trains, ensuring an optimum distance between trains. Theoretically, the system would allow train distance to be reduced to several hundred meters, allowing for increased frequency.

Some technical articles talking about ATACS from JR East Technical Review (Winter 2010):
The Senseki Line serves the Sendai area.
Window view from a 205-3100 series train on the Senseki Line, from Aoba-dōri to Ishinomaki:
Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube

Part 1: Aoba-dōri to Nakano – Sakae



Part 2: Nakano – Sakae to Tetaru
Arrival into Higashi-Shiogama is at 11:30.



Part 3: Tetaru to Yamoto



Part 4: Yamoto to Ishinomaki

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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:41 AM   #2205
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Keiō Shinjuku Station to receive platform doors
http://www.keio.co.jp/news/update/ne...v02/index.html

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In an effort to improve passenger safety on platforms, Keiō Corporation (HQ: Tama City, Tōkyō Prefecture; President: Nagata Tadashi) will install platform doors at Shinjuku Station on the Keiō Line.

In regards to the installation works, construction will proceed gradually beginning in the first half of FY2011, with platform doors slated to enter service on Track 3 in FY2012 and on Track 1 and Track 2 in FY2013. Total construction cost is projected to reach approx. ¥700 million. In regards to a portion of the construction cost, we have filed a request for funding from the national government, the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government, and Shinjuku Ward.

In the past, Keiō Corporation has actively implemented strategies to prevent accidents on platforms, including installation of emergency train stop buttons at all of our stations. By introducing platform doors to Shinjuku Station, we now aim to further improve safety.



Schedule
Installation work will be carried out across two phases. In the first phase, doors will be installed on Track 3, serving special expresses, semi-special expresses, and other trains, in FY2012. Afterwards, construction will continue, with completion of platform doors on Track 1 and Track 2 by FY2013. Fixed platform fencing has already been installed on the alighting-only platforms.





Total cost
Approx. ¥700 million

Design
  • We will install sensors to ensure passenger safety in the event that passengers or passengers' belongings are trapped in the space between the train doors and platform doors.
  • In order to improve visibility, the door leaves on the platform doors will be designed to allow passengers to more easily assess their footing.
Window view from a Keiō Line semi-special express from Meidaimae to Shinjuku:


Source: Meitetsu6750kei on YouTube
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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #2206
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JR East president hints at possible acceleration of construction schedule for Yamanote Line platform doors
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/na...902000044.html

Quote:
In regards to the plan to install platform doors at all 29 stations on the Yamanote Line, at a February 8 press conference JR East president Seino Satoshi remarked that he "hopes to speed up the project as much as feasible and push forward with the construction." Seino revealed his intention to accelerate the original schedule, which originally targeted completion of the project in FY2017.

At the press conference, Seino expressed his intentions to work towards preventing platform accidents, making reference to an incident in January where a blind man fell off the platform at Mejiro Station and died: "It was a tragic incident, and I pray for him in the next life."

Platform doors were introduced on a trial basis to Ebisu and Meguro Stations last year. Work is beginning at Komagome, Ōtsuka, Ōsaki, and Ikebukuro Stations, and the railway will also begin construction soon at Shin-Ōkubo Station.

The cost of implementing the project at all stations is approx. ¥50 billion. Seino noted that construction could only take place for approx. three hours each night, and indicated that funding from the national and local governments is necessary in order to expand installations to other lines: "If we can get funding assistance, we'd definitely take advantage of it."

In addition, in regards to truncated dome tiles on platforms at major train stations in the Greater Tōkyō area, Seino remarked, "We are doing surveys at approx. 330 stations. We are looking to make improvements immediately if we find deficiencies."
Yamanote Line action at Ebisu Station (2011.01.15), showing the trial platform doors installations. Car 7 and Car 10 stopping locations are still empty as the six-door cars are not completely phased out yet.


Source: KZT00J on YouTube
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Old February 16th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #2207
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
... I remember the proposal about extending the Shinkansen to Haneda... I think it's a great idea, personally, as they're halfway there already because of the car yard...
Why would they need a Shinkansen line (hi-speed line) when they already have the monorail and Keikyu? Isn't there a plan to extend the m'rail to TOKYO station?
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Old February 16th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #2208
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Originally Posted by Rick H View Post
Why would they need a Shinkansen line (hi-speed line) when they already have the monorail and Keikyu? Isn't there a plan to extend the m'rail to TOKYO station?
I also doubt the utility of a Haneda Shinkansen link, unless a study of potential passenger demand otherwise shows a need. What would be the primary markets? I assume those whose final destinations are Nagoya and beyond will fly all the way anyway (either directly or via a transfer to the domestic terminal, if international). Same with Sendai and points north. Now you have Shizuoka and the northern Kanto region (Gunma, Tochigi) and southern Tohoku which may be markets. Shizuoka has an underutilized airport, and I think the northern Kanto region is adequately served by limousine buses serving Narita, which is closer anyway for international travelers from those areas.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 01:41 PM   #2209
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Old news on Tokyo Metro-Toei and musings on Kyoto transit

This is probably old news...

http://www.fukeiki.com/2009/06/tokyo...toei-line.html

Tokyo Metro (Teito Rapid Transit Authority Subway a/k/a Eidan) and Toei Chikatetsu have announced a mutual understanding to merge their businesses.

According to JNN, a draft integration plan will add Toei tracks, station buildings and other assets into Tokyo Metro's operations.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will collect rent and other fees to repay Toei's ~450 billion yen deficit.

Toei's fares are higher and it has lower profit potential, as Tokyo Metro is significantly more convenieny. If integration is achieved, fares would likely decrease, due to elimination of transfer fees between subway operators.

However, recent economic conditions may hinder integration plans, as the Tokyo Metro IPO is a condition of the merger, and it is uncertain when that may happen.

***
Please pardon my translation, my skills pale in comparison to Quashlo's, WWJDIC notwithstanding.

Here in the land of Nippon Sharyo commuter railcars, a friend and I implored Nippon Sharyo representatives at a Japanese-American cultural event last year to build the then-proposed high-speed rail line between Chicago and Milwaukee using Shinkansen technology. However, that is no longer a dream since Wisconsin's Republican governor is strongly against it.

My ¥2 on Kyoto public transit (disclaimer: I studied briefly in Kyoto and lived near Hankyu Sai-in station and Randen Sai station.)

1. It is little wonder the Kyoto subway runs a deficit. Signage marking stations is almost non-existent - if you don't know where the stations are, and don't have a city map, good luck finding them.

Distances between Karasuma line (north-south) stations are mostly within walking distance of one another, with the possible exception between Matsugasaki and Kokusaikan. Kokusaikan is in a suburban area, and probably used mostly by those commuting into downtown Kyoto. (I rode the Tozai line only a couple of times, so can't really comment.)

The distance-based fares seemed far too low (¥210 to ¥340, according to Kyoto City's website) and service far too frequent during the non-rush hours. The few times I had occasion to use it, the stations and trains were literally deserted.

2. The city bus network is extensive, cheap, and extremely easy to use. All-day bus passes were ¥500 - after the second ride, the rest of your daily bus trips were effectively free (unless you went outside city limits, generally where prefectural buses - the red/white ones - ran). There are also ¥100 buses running in the central business district.

3. The trains are astounding - Keihan, Hankyu, Kintetsu, JR, et al. Most of my "training" has been on Hankyu, Randen and JR, need to do more exploring on Keihan and Kintetsu.

I lived behind the Randen line off of Onmae-dori - I'll have to get some pictures next time I'm in Japan. If anyone would like pictures of the Eiden (from Demachiyanagi up to Kurama, where there's a nice onsen) it will give me a good excuse to go up to Hieizan via the connection to the Eizan Keifuku cableway.

Thanks to all, especially Quashlo - hope I didn't ramble too much for a n00b!
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Old February 25th, 2011, 03:44 AM   #2210
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Same deal with Florida as well. These same Republican governors will probably throw all that money towards road projects... Some of which are NEEDED to maintain infrastructure, but most of which just keep the spawl going, and keep up a need for the ineffective airline system we use for long-haul passenger travel today.

Not saying planes are bad-- I love planes, and they serve a need. But if you can't take an airplane, there's only 2 alternatives. Greyhound, or your car. Here in Japan, I have 2 more options-- Shinkansen or Zairaisen (local trains). I've gone 300km on a train for less than ¥3000. I've waxed poetic many times about what America would be like, had it's love affair with cars hadn't turned into an obsession and it could still be married to the train. *sigh*

As for Kyoto-- It's a tourist city, and thousands of tourists, domestic & international crowd those busses everyday. It's also a university town-- I took some classes at Ritsumekan; but there's about 6 more major universities in the area. So the bus reigns supreme. What's interesting though is Kyoto had one of the biggest streetcar networks in the world. The Ran-Den and Keihan line in Otsu are the only survivors. The subway network was supposed to be twice its size now, and there were talks at one point of having the Keihan line thru-run on a loop line around Kyoto city somehow (Less like a Yamanote line, more like Nagoya's Meijo line subway), but the bubble burst, and we now have a stunted system...

Fares are actually high compared to Japan's other metro subway systems. Here in Nagoya, starting fare is ¥200 and goes all the way to ¥320 in some cases. In Osaka, starting fare is ¥160 up to ¥270 IIRC. Tokyo is cheapest-- ¥140 to ¥210. I dunno about Kyoto, but people here in Nagoya complain about the high subway fares sometimes.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 04:02 AM   #2211
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As for Kyoto-- It's a tourist city, and thousands of tourists, domestic & international crowd those busses everyday. It's also a university town-- I took some classes at Ritsumekan; but there's about 6 more major universities in the area. So the bus reigns supreme. What's interesting though is Kyoto had one of the biggest streetcar networks in the world. The Ran-Den and Keihan line in Otsu are the only survivors. The subway network was supposed to be twice its size now, and there were talks at one point of having the Keihan line thru-run on a loop line around Kyoto city somehow (Less like a Yamanote line, more like Nagoya's Meijo line subway), but the bubble burst, and we now have a stunted system...

Fares are actually high compared to Japan's other metro subway systems. Here in Nagoya, starting fare is ¥200 and goes all the way to ¥320 in some cases. In Osaka, starting fare is ¥160 up to ¥270 IIRC. Tokyo is cheapest-- ¥140 to ¥210. I dunno about Kyoto, but people here in Nagoya complain about the high subway fares sometimes.
Except for the part about the bus reigning supreme and the high costs of metro fares, what I quoted applies to Boston as well.

Kyoto and her sister city have quite a bit in common.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #2212
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Summer of 1978, the "last summer" of Kyōto’s municipal tram system:


Source: pinjiang on YouTube

Clips from 1978.09.17 and 1978.09.23.
Service ended on 1978.09.30.

Old ladies selling tickets, plus the crossing with Keihan trains, which at the time still ran on surface streets through Kyōto.


Source: BYR00746 on YouTube

Of course there are still streetcars in Kyōto, like the Randen, but these are private operations and not operated by the city.

In a bit of related news, operation of the 100-year-old ex-Kyōto Electric Railway tram at Meijimura (a museum and theme park in Aichi) was suspended in December. Hopefully, this is just part of a routine maintenance check and refurbishment and not the precursor to permanent removal from service.


Source: stnvstr on YouTube
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #2213
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Satō Kōgyō and Nishimatsu Construction awarded first two contracts for Singapore MRT Downtown Line
http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking...ry_638746.html

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THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded the first two civil contracts for the Downtown Line Stage 3 (DTL3) projects at a total value of $480.38 million.

The $268.68 million contract is for the construction and completion of Bedok Town Park station and its associated tunnels. Bedok Town Park station will also double up as a Civil Defence shelter.

The contract was awarded to Sato Kogyo (S) Pte Ltd, a major civil engineering contractor from Japan.

The second contract is for the construction of tunnels between Ubi and Kaki Bukit, between Tai Seng Facility Building and Bedok Town Park as well as between Tai Seng Facility Building and Ubi.

This was awarded to Nishimatsu Construction Co Ltd at $211.7 million.

Construction of the Bedok Town Park station and the tunnels are scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2011 and is targeted to be completed in 2017.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #2214
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Kinki Sharyō assembles Sound Transit LRVs in local Seattle facility
http://www.mukilteobeacon.com/commun...ns_in_mukilteo

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An international manufacturer of railcars is locally finishing an order for Sound Transit in a Mukilteo facility.

So far, Kinkisharyo International L.L.C. has delivered four of more than 25 trains from a temporary production facility just off of Harbour Pointe Blvd. S.W. to Seattle, and manages to deliver them as fast as one car a week. The last delivery was made Feb. 9.

“They’re doing pretty good,” said Justin Garrod, senior assistant engineer at Sound Transit. “They’re delivering about one every eight days.”

Seattle’s Sound Transit ordered 35 light rail vehicles (LRVs) from Kinkisharyo in 2004 needed to add a link in its light-rail system to SeaTac International Airport. Sound Transit ordered an additional 27 cars for a link to the University of Washington.

The Sound Move Plan, a $200 million project, includes commuter rail to Seattle, Everett and Tacoma, and light rail to the airport and the university.

Kinkisharyo is the No. 1 manufacturer of low floor LRVs in the United States. The parent company is in Osaka, Japan.

Production of the trains started in August and is scheduled for completion by November, said Don Boss, the project manager for Kinkisharyo.

“Our reputation for delivering a high quality and reliable rail transit vehicle on time and on budget is unmatched in this industry – and this project is on track to be delivered on or ahead of schedule,” Boss said.

“The ramp-up time usually takes two months, but we’ve got an excellent staff, they’re very hard working. We’re very fortunate. It’s all clicking away.”

The company’s practice is to locate their production facilities in and around the area where they sold the railcars. For the first order, they were in Everett. Now, for the second order, they are leasing a Boeing facility in Mukilteo.

Boss said local production allows for better communication with Sound Transit during the production process, creates jobs, boosts the local economy and trains a work force that can be hired for future transit maintenance.

A majority of the Mukilteo facility’s 45 employees are from the region.

“It’s a very a well organized process,” Garrod said. “They’ve got the plant down to a science, in that they’re actually able to set one of these facilities up in about six months and get it into operation. It’s very impressive.”

The car shells are manufactured in Japan and sent to the United States for final assembly. At the Mukilteo facility, the cars are assembled, and all of their subsystems installed and tested. Then, they are readied for transport to Seattle.

Delivery of the trains happens after midnight. Because it’s an oversized load, they only get a four-hour window. Kinkisharyo uses a special trailer fitted with rails to transport the railcars.

“We sneak through the neighborhood with a tractor trailer rig 145 feet long and 102,000 pounds. We turn down Harbour Pointe Boulevard, turn down Mukilteo Speedway and head down I-5,” Boss said.

Once in Seattle, Sound Transit goes through its own tests for safety, and preps it for carrying passengers.

The next train is scheduled to be delivered Feb. 28.

Workers from a temporary Mukilteo faciliity of an international rail-transit manufacturer prepare to transport a railcar to Seattle using a special trailer. Sound Transit has ordered 27 cars from the company, Kinkisharyo. (Photo courtesy of Don Boss)
A local Seattle-area article about Kinki Sharyō’s work manufacturing Sound Transit LRVs.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:26 AM   #2215
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New platform doors planned at 285 stations in FY2011 and later
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/new...1150003-n1.htm

Quote:
In the impasse surrounding the installation of platform doors to prevent passengers from falling off train station platforms, after the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) requested that railway operators submit their plans for platform door installations, it was discovered on February 8 that new platform door installations were being planned for a total of 285 stations across Japan starting in FY2011. The MLIT has established an investigative committee to accelerate the installation of platform doors. The first committee session will be held on February 9, and the committee plans to establish standards by this summer to determine which stations should receive priority.

Last month, the MLIT requested that all railway operators across Japan submit their plans (if any) to install platform doors or platform fencing, the construction timeline of such projects, and other details.

According to the MLIT, a total of 14 railway operators including JR East, JR West, and major private railways in the Greater Tōkyō area had plans for new platform door installations.

A total of 127 stations in the Greater Tōkyō area are planned to receive platform doors, including Keiō Shinjuku Station (daily station entries and exits: approx. 980,000 passengers) between FY2011 and FY2013 and Odakyū Shinjuku Station (daily station entries and exits: approx. 500,000 passengers) by FY2012. Installation on all subways across Japan is forecasted to reach approx. 70 percent of all stations.

Meanwhile, many railway operators said they had no plans on installing the systems because of technical issues such as non-uniform door placement on trains and problems surrounding the physical structure of platforms.

Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ōhata Akihiro has said, “In the future, I would like to promote installation primarily at stations in the Greater Tōkyō area, where the danger of platform falls is high due to congestion.”

According to the MLIT, a total of 498 stations across Japan will have received platform doors by the end of March of this year. Only a mere 20 percent of major stations with daily entries and exits of 5,000 passengers or more will have received the installations.
According to the MLIT, these are the 285 stations currently planned to receive platform doors in FY2011 or later:
Source: MLIT



The following are all new to me, or perhaps I haven’t been paying close enough attention to news about platform doors:
  • Keiō Line: Chōfu, Fuda, Kokuryō (makes sense if they are completely rebuilding the stations anyways)
  • Odakyū: Shinjuku
  • Tōkyū: Ōimachi, Tōyoko Line (I suppose the later makes some sense given that the Fukutoshin Line has them)
  • Tōkyō Metro: Ginza Line (makes sense since rolling stock is uniform)
  • Tōkyō Waterfront Area Rapid Transit (Rinkai Line): Ōimachi

A short tour of the new truncated domes at Mejiro Station, recently installed by JR East after a blind man fell off the platform and was struck and killed by an arriving Yamanote Line train:


Source: ikebukurotv1 on YouTube
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:26 AM   #2216
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JR West adds platform staff, implements other measures to prevent platform falls
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/news/1...1550023-n1.htm

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As platform falls continue one after another in areas across Japan, on February 18 JR West announced that it had taken new measures to increase the number of staff at eleven stations in Ōsaka and Hyōgo that become congested during the morning and evening rush hours.

While moving platform doors are effective as a countermeasure against passengers falling from platforms, the high level of investment required has become an obstacle, and progress on implementation is slow.

As a result, JR West will continue other countermeasures for the time being, including increasing staffing at crowded stations, as well as increasing the playing time for audio warnings alerting passengers to the arrival of trains at platforms at major terminal stations. The railway will also install new emergency buttons at 307 stations by FY2012.

JR West president Sasaki Takayuki remarked, “We can’t just sit around and do nothing while we wait (to install moving platform doors).”
Included among the stations to receive additional staff are Amagasaki Station (only 36,000 daily entries, but a major interchange between the JR Kōbe Line, Takarazuka Line, and Tōzai Line) and Tsuruhashi Station (106,000 daily entries). JR West has also implemented some other measures, such as removing or reducing the size of retail kiosks, staff rooms, and other facilities on platforms to increase circulation area.

The new platform doors at Kita-Shinchi Station on the JR Tōzai Line are scheduled to enter service on 2011.03.27. The next station scheduled to receive platform doors is Ōsaka Tenmangū, which has the next highest ridership on the Tōzai Line.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:27 AM   #2217
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JR West announces barrier-free improvements for Settsu Motoyama Station on JR Kōbe Line
http://www.westjr.co.jp/news/newslis...75173_799.html

Quote:
In regards to Settsu Motoyama Station, JR West has been investigating the implementation of barrier-free upgrades in cooperation with Kōbe City, and we have recently compiled a plan regarding elevation of the station’s concourse and construction of a public passage, as well as a basic design for the station building.

Under the plan, from the perspective of coexistence with the local neighborhood, we are aiming for a convenient station that is rich with functions outside of railway transport, including strengthening the station’s service functions (such as implementation of barrier-free facilities through elevation of the station concourse), improvement of north-south flow across the station (through construction of the public passage), creation of new activity (through retail development), and establishment of a community space.

Plan details
  • New station building, with elevated concourse
    Steel-frame, two-story structure, approx. 860 sq m
    Elevators: 2 (one per platform)
    Escalators: 4 (two per platform)
    Multi-function toilets: 2
  • Public passage
    6 m wide, 45 m long
    Elevators: 2 (one each at north and south ends)
  • Stores
    Approx. 630 sq m
Station building design
  • Design concept
    A station building that exudes culture and shines in the midst of a historic, stone-cobbled town
  • Features
    • As a station building exuding culture, fit for a town of culture and a historic, stone-cobbled town, we will encourage harmony with the urban streetscape.
    • Reusing a portion of the construction materials for the old station building, we will retain the nostalgic atmosphere outside the station and memories of the uniqueness of the old station building that remains loved to this day.
Opening timeline
Autumn 2013: New elevated station building, public passage, and public passage’s west-side stairwell open to the public
Spring 2015: Public passage’s east-side stairwell open to the public

Construction schedule
April 2011 to March 2016 (scheduled)
Renderings from the press release:
Source: JR West

North Exit



South Exit

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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #2218
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Platforms extended at Shin-Asahi Station for 12-car shin-kaisoku trains; new snow-melting equipment installed
http://mainichi.jp/area/shiga/news/2...40541000c.html

Quote:
With progress on the conversion of shin-kaisoku (special rapid) services on the Kosei Line and Biwako Line to 12-car trains as part of JR’s spring timetable revisions (March 12), platforms at Shin-Asahi Station on the Kosei Line in Takashima City—which have insufficient length and will be extended—will also become the first in Shiga Prefecture to receive road heating systems to melt snow. Shin-Asahi Station would become only the third station under JR West’s jurisdiction to receive the special platform equipment, following Minami-Imajō Station (Fukui Prefecture) on the Hokuriku Line and Inotani Station (Toyama Prefecture) on the Takayama Line.

According to JR West, the platforms at Shin-Asahi Station can accommodate eight-car trains. The elevated platforms are separated by direction, and both will be extended approx. 80 m (four car-lengths) in the direction of Ōmi Imazu Station. As the extended sections will span above roadways, the railway introduced snow-melting equipment for approx. 10 m above the roadway as a strategy to prevent snow from falling onto the road. The platforms will be warmed using electric heat like a heated flooring system, melting the snow. The system will be controlled remotely from Ōmi Imazu Station during periods of snowfall.

The expansion of 12-car trains on shin-kaisoku services is one of the centerpieces of the latest timetable revisions. An additional 59 services between Himeji and Maibara on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays will be converted to 12-car trains, meaning all 129 trains will be operated with 12-car trains. During weekdays, an additional 31 trains on the same section, primarily during the mornings and evenings, will be operated with 12-car trains, bringing the total to 103 of 151 total trains. On the Kosei Line, current eight-car (a portion are four-car) trains will also be converted: eight outbound (for Ōmi Imazu) trains and all nine inbound (for Kyōto) trains on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, and five out of nine trains in both directions on weekdays will be converted to 12 cars. Eight cars will be decoupled at Ōmi Imazu Station, with four-car trains continuing further north.

The shin-kaisoku service, with its limited stopping pattern, is especially popular with passengers. With the latest timetable revisions, all shin-kaisoku services on the Biwako Line will stop at Minami-Kusatsu Station. On the Kosei Line, inbound rapid trains during the morning will also now stop at Shin-Asahi, Ōmi Takashima, and Kita-Komatsu.
This is on the outer fringes of the JR West’s urban network. Currently, this section of the Kosei Line only sees four- and eight-car trains, so 12-car shin-kaisoku is a huge capacity boost.

Four-car shin-kaisoku turning back at Tsuruga (2010.12.29), the northeastern-most extent of shin-kaisoku service. Another four-car unit is typically coupled together at Ōmi Imazu Station on the Kosei Line. From here to Kyōto takes about 90 minutes.


Source: karibajct on YouTube
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #2219
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Seismic reinforcement of columns on Kosei Line complete
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/sh...102000125.html

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Work on the seismic reinforcement of aerial structure columns on the fully-elevated JR Kosei Line running through western Shiga Prefecture was completed on February 10, and a commemorative ceremony was held at JR Ōtsu-Kyō Station in Ōjigaoka, Ōtsu City.

Of the 7,000 total columns on the Yamashina – Ōmi Shiotsu (74.1 km) section, JR West performed work on approx. 5,000 columns which were identified as needing reinforcement. The railway enclosed the columns in concrete plates and wrapped them in steel wire, increasing the columns’ strength using the railway’s own APAT construction method.

JR West broke ground on the work in February 2006 at a total project cost of ¥12 billion, and says the columns can now withstand an earthquake with an epicenter directly beneath the area similar to the Great Hanshin Earthquake.

At the ceremony, JR West president Sasaki Takayuki greeted the crowd: “We had a strong resolve to complete this work without causing any accidents.” Shiga Prefecture Kada Yukiko unveiled the completed work: “The Kosei Line is a major artery linking Shiga with the Keihanshin and Hokuriku regions. I hope to continue a prefectural administration that ensures safety.”

The work was completed in the vicinity of the Lake Biwa Western Shore Fault Zone, where the national government’s Earthquake Survey Committee forecasted a maximum nine-percent probability of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurring within the next 30 years. After the JR Fukuchiyama Line derailment in April 2005, JR West incorporated the project into its Safety Improvement Plan.

The Kosei Line does not meet the standards outlined in the national government’s policy regarding the seismic reinforcement of railway structures (line sections with more than 10 trains an hour in one direction), but given the proximity of the Lake Biwa Western Shore Fault Zone, JR West added the line to its plans.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #2220
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LEDs for lighting gaining acceptance among Kansai railways
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/new...0230033-n1.htm

Quote:
A movement to use LEDs (light-emitting diodes) in lighting systems and directional signage for stations and trains is growing among Kansai area railways. While they are more expensive on a per-unit basis than fluorescent lamps, they have a long lifetime and consume less electricity, and it’s believed they can reduce overall maintenance costs. As a result, it’s likely that some train operators are hoping to use the opportunity to market themselves as “environmentally-friendly” railways.

On January 19, Keihan Electric Railway installed LED lighting units inside the station building at Yawata-shi Station (Yawata City, Kyōto Prefecture) and turned them on for the first time. The railway laid a series of rough tiles, designed to look like a bamboo grove, on a section of wall near the faregates at the station, and aimed green-colored LED light at the tiles—an homage of sorts to inventor Thomas Edison, who used locally-produced bamboo as a filament in incandescent bulbs..

Approximately 150 LED lighting units are installed at the station. Panasonic Electric Works received the order for its straight-tube LED lamp base-lights, which the company began selling in December of last year. On the outside, they look identical to typical fluorescent lamps, but they consume approx. 40% less electricity. Spokespersons from Panasonic Electric Works’ Light Engineering Department say, “With the reduction in public works projects and the drop in office building demand, we are looking forward to the railway field as a new market for us,” and are marketing introduction of their products to railway companies.

Since December of last year, Hankyū Corporation has been running an eight-car 9000 series train as Mirai no Akari (“Light of the Future”), with all lighting on the train other than the headlights converted to LEDs. The effort was a joint development with the train’s manufacturer, Hitachi. While the lifetime of fluorescent lamps is about one and a half years, LEDs last for ten years or more, and spokespersons say, “Considering the frequency of replacement, the LEDs will help us improve our maintenance efficiency.” Hankyū is investigating whether or not it can introduce the LEDs to other trains, considering the operating situation and other factors.

At JR Shin-Ōsaka Station, set to became the start and end of the line for San’yō / Kyūshū Shinkansen through-service trains beginning service on March 12, train directional signage inside the station and platform directional displays on platforms will be converted to full-color LEDs. Direct-service Kyūshū Shinkansen trains will use orange for Mizuho services and pink for Sakura services. For existing services, Nozomi trains will use yellow, Hikari trains white, and Kodama trains blue.

Even as LEDs are rapidly gaining wider acceptance, the high per-unit price is still an obstacle. When comparing the same brightness levels, the unit price of the LED lighting units introduced at Keihan’s Yawata-shi Station is five times that of fluorescent lamps, and the railway was unable to introduce them all at once. Keihan spokespersons say, “We will gradually introduce the new lighting in coordination with replacement of the aging station building or other improvement works.”

Both domestic and foreign manufacturers are selling a variety of products, but because there are no standards for product quality, some have pointed out problems such as the high light diffusion under certain conditions. However, with the adoption of a unified standard regarding safety, light distribution, and sockets by the Japan Electric Lamp Manufacturers Association in October of last year, Panasonic Electric Works says, “The transition to LED lamps should gradually move forward.”

Yawata-shi Station on the Keihan Electric Railway, where LEDs were introduced into the station’s lighting.
The Mirai no Akari train (a 9000 series unit) on the Hankyū Kōbe Line at Nishinomiya Kitaguchi Station (2010.12.29):


Source: karibajct on YouTube
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