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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #2221
quashlo
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Hankyū to operate new sightseeing train between Ōsaka and Kyōto
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...102220013.html

Quote:
On February 21, Hankyū Corporation announced that it will launch service of a new KyōTrain sightseeing train linking Umeda in Ōsaka with the Kyōto area on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays starting March 19.

The train will be operated as a new rapid limited express with fewer stops than the current limited express services.

The train will have six cars, two of which will feature lattice-frame decorations near the doorways designed to look like the entrances to Kyōto’s town houses. The railway also used tatami mats in the seat backs. The train will provide information on station stopping pattern and Kyōto sightseeing in English, Korean, and Chinese.

One roundtrip a day will operate to and from Arashiyama until May 8. Starting May 14, four roundtrips will be offered to and from Kawaramachi. All of the trains will skip Ibaraki-shi, Takatsuki-shi, and Nagaoka Tenjin, which are currently stops on all trains.
This is one of the 6300 series units that was removed from regular service on the Hankyū Kyōto Line a year or so ago, but it looks like it’s now getting a second life. Design concepts are “Japanese” and “modern,” and there are lot of features designed to evoke images of Kyōto.

Images:
Source: http://journal.mycom.co.jp/

Car No. 1 exterior, featuring a Kyōto fan.



Car No. 2 exterior



Deck areas on Cars No. 3 and No. 4 will feature these lattice frames found on traditional houses.



Each two-car pair in the six-car unit will have a different theme:
Cars No. 1 and No. 2 (closest to Ōsaka): orchid blooms
Cars No. 3 and No. 4: Kyōto town houses
Cars No. 5 and No. 6: hemp leaves

The interior of Car No. 3 and No. 4 features box-style seating, with tatami seat backs and translucent partitions designed to look like shōji (paper sliding doors).



The other cars feature a motif of Kyōto-style printed paper, a traditional design used in the Katsura Imperial Villa and in Kyōto’s temples and tea houses.

Interior of Cars No. 1 and No. 2 (orchid blooms)



Interior of Cars No. 5 and No. 6 (hemp leaves)



All cars will feature posters using washi (Japanese-style paper), produced by washi maker Horiki Eriko, who is based in Kyōto.

The schedule through May 8 is designed for day-trips to Arashiyama, departing Ōsaka Umeda at 9:51 am and arriving at Arashiyama at 10:42. The return journey leaves Arashiyama at 16:38, arriving at Umeda at 17:27. Stops will be at Jūsō, Awaji, Katsura, Kami-Katsura, and Matsuo.

Starting May 14, Hankyū will revise its Saturday / Sunday / holiday timetable, and the service will run between Umeda and Kawaramachi instead: departures from Ōsaka Umeda at 9:52, 11:52, 13:52, and 15:52, departures from Kyōto Kawaramachi at 11:01, 13:01, 15:01, and 16:42. Stops will be at Jūsō, Awaji, Katsura, and Karasuma.

In addition to the KyōTrain, Hankyū will also be running other through-service to Arashiyama, from Umeda, Takarazuka (via the Imazu Line), Kōsoku Kōbe, and Kawaramachi.

Window view from an Arashiyama Line train between Katsura and Hankyū Arashiyama on a snowy New Year’s Eve in Kyōto (2010.12.31):


Source: seityan1990 on YouTube
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:32 AM   #2222
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New Nankai 12000 series makes appearance in Wakayama
http://www.wakayamashimpo.co.jp/news...0210_9633.html

Quote:
The new 12000 series (two four-car trains; eight cars total), to be introduced by Nankai Electric Railway (HQ: Ōsaka; President: Watari Shinji) this fall on its Southern limited express service, made an appearance at Wakayama-shi Station on February 10.

The cars were pulled by diesel locomotive from JR Wakayama Station to Nankai’s Wakayama-shi Station, arriving at the station at 5:20 am. The cars were being delivered to Nankai from the manufacturer, Tōkyū Car Company.

The 12000 series is the first among major private railways to feature Sharp’s Plasmacluster air purifying technology that inhibits viral activity and removes airborne molds, ensuring a comfortable in-train environment. The backs on all seats feature AC power outlets and a 43 cm wide, 24.5 cm deep table, making it easier for passengers to use their personal computers. In addition, the railway widened the seat width and redesigned the shape with a wrap-around head portion, making it easy for passengers to relax.

Nankai’s spokespersons say, “Even as we introduce new trains, we want to be the same railway company our passengers love.”

Tests on the new cars in preparation for their debut in regular service will be conducted at the railway’s Chiyoda Yard in Kawachi Nagano. The operating schedule of the new trains will be announced in the fall.
I expect to get better pictures and a more thorough tour of the entire train later when it’s officially unveiled to the press, so for now, a video. Here, the two four-car trains are in transport from the Tōkyū factory in Yokohama area to Wakayama (2011.02.08). These are shot at Sakuragichō, Tsurumi, and Shin-Kawasaki—all in the Tōkyō / Yokohama area. With “Southern Premium” in big English block letters on the sides, it could almost pass as a foreign train.


Source: tobu2181 on YouTube
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:33 AM   #2223
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IC farecard manaca debuts in Nagoya area
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/na...202000017.html

Quote:
IC farecard manaca, jointly accepted on the Nagoya Municipal Subway, municipal buses, Meitetsu, and other transit services, began service on February 11. While there were no major hiccups to speak of, there were queues to pick up reserved cards and conduct other administrative tasks, with some users complaining about the situation.

The card is being sold at ticket vending machines and ticket counters at subways on the Municipal Subway. In the morning period alone, Meitetsu had sold 15,000 cards, while the Nagoya Municipal Subway had sold 11,000 cards by 1:00 pm.

At Nagoya Station on the Municipal Subway, outfitted with ticket counters to pick-up manaca cards reserved under personal names or to move commuter passes to manaca cards, queues of over 100 passengers developed at each counter. Passengers had difficulty determining which line went to which counter, and several passengers complained about the situation.

manaca cards can be reused by reloading value onto the cards at ticket vending machines, and feature electronic money functionality that allows them to be used for shopping. Including users transitioning from commuter passes, Meitetsu is aiming for 1 million cards in circulation and the Municipal Subway 1.2 million cards in circulation in the first year.

On the morning of February 11, a commemorative ceremony was held at Asunal Kanayama in Naka Ward, Nagoya City, with Nagoya City mayor Kawamura Takashi greeting the crowd: “Nagoya is aiming to develop a fascinating urban community. I hope passengers will use manaca everywhere they go.” Attendees celebrated the launch of the card by breaking open a kusudama.
Short news feature on manaca (2011.02.10).
Unfortunately, there’s not much up on YouTube yet, and I don’t feel like scrounging around personal blogs, so maybe starrwulfe can post some pictures of opening day.


Source: celockable on YouTube
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #2224
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Yotsuya Station will become JR East’s first ecoStation
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...402000029.html

Quote:
As the first in its ecoStation environmentally-friendly model stations, JR East will break ground on improvements at Yotsuya Station on the Chūō Line in Shinjuku Ward this spring. Through the use of energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and natural energy sources, the railway will aim for a substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Completion is scheduled for some time in FY2011.

In addition to converting the platform and concourse lighting systems to LEDs and introducing high-efficiency air conditioning and skylights to let in natural light, the railway will also install solar panels on the roof of the station tenant building and station building. A 525 sq m pocket park will be constructed on the roof of the station building and open to the public, featuring plants that capture the changing of the seasons.

The platform canopies and walls will also feature greening, aiming for an aesthetic harmony with the abundant greenery of the surrounding area, along the outer moat of Edo Castle.

After completion of the work, the active participation of railway staff in energy-conservation efforts is expected to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 189 tons—approximately 38 households worth of emissions. The project cost is approx. ¥1 billion.
Images from the press release:
Source: JR East





The railway is considering Kaihin Makuhari Station on the Keiyō Line as the next candidate in the ecoStation program.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:35 AM   #2225
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Keiō Corp. unveils train security cameras targeting gropers
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/...na022000c.html

Quote:
Keio Corp. has unveiled new train security cameras slated to be installed on the Keio Line on a trial basis from Feb. 28 to crack down on molesters.

Though security cameras earlier went into operation on trains on the JR Saikyo Line, this is the first time for a private railway operator in Japan to use them. Keio plans to consider whether to officially introduce the anti-groping cameras after examining the response of passengers and the devices' effectiveness.

The cameras, which were unveiled at the Wakabadai railyard in the Tokyo city of Inagi, will be tested in one train at first, and from the end of March the company will add them to another train, except on the Keio Inokashira Line and the Keio New Line directly connected to the Toei Shinjuku Line.

From Feb. 28, Keio will install four cameras on the roof of the sixth car of one of its 10-car trains, and place stickers on windows saying security cameras are in operation. Footage will be stored for a set period of time and provided to police only when requested.

"We hope the cameras will help passengers feel safe using our trains," the chief of Keio's passenger services department said.
A total of two 7000 series trains are targeted for this program, with cameras being installed on Car No. 6 in each unit. The first unit with cameras will enter service on 2011.02.28, followed by the second unit in late March. Hopefully, this will become a new trend on the more crowded operators, including Tōkyū and Odakyū.

TBS news report (2011.02.25):



A recent local Chōfu City TV report (2011.01.16) on the construction to underground the Keiō Line and Keiō Sagamihara Line in and around Chōfu Station. According to the Keiō guy giving the tour, the work is already 80 percent complete. Good to finally see recent activity under the ground, since there’s not much to see at surface level for an extensive project to build four tunnels in a stacked configuration underneath an existing line. It appears that the platforms will be substantially wider after completion, facilitating ingress / egress and transfers between the Main Line and Sagamihara Line and between faster and slower services.



One of my favorite sports on the Keiō network, Chōfu Station.
Undergrounding of the line is proceeding directly beneath the in-service tracks.


Source: chiyodarapid on YouTube
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Old February 28th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #2226
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Kinki Sharyō assembles Sound Transit LRVs in local Seattle facility
http://www.mukilteobeacon.com/commun...ns_in_mukilteo



A local Seattle-area article about Kinki Sharyō’s work manufacturing Sound Transit LRVs.
I hope Kinki-Sharyo wins some more contracts Stateside.

It would be nice to see them building the next LA Metro light rail vehicles (P3010) and the next Boston Green Line train (Type 9).
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:05 AM   #2227
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Sumitomo / Nippon Sharyō win order for 12 2-car Toronto Metrolinx DMUs for Pearson Airport service
http://www.thestar.com/news/transpor...el-trains?bn=1

Quote:
The board of Metrolinx has approved the purchase of 12 “clean” diesel trains from Sumitomo Corp. in the U.S. for $53 million to run between Union Station and Pearson.

The deal, which piggybacks on a Sonoma-Marin, Calif. train order, also includes an option to buy six more trains for $22 million.

The price is about half that anticipated in the original project estimates, said Metrolinx chair Rob Prichard.
The trains, known as diesel or electrical multiple units, would be converted to run on electricity if a plan to electrify the rail corridor proceeds.

The Ontario government has approved funding for an environmental assessment of the electrification plan.

Residents living along the train corridor, members of the Clean Train Coalition, who believe the line should be electric from the outset, protested the purchase outside Metrolinx's offices at the foot of Bay St.

“This is pennywise but pound foolish. Clearly electric is better. This is an experiment that will cost us more,” NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo told the board.

A prototype of the new trains will be delivered in the summer of 2013 and the remainder would arrive in fall 2014.

The air-rail shuttle, which would run every 15 minutes in both directions, is supposed to open in time for the Pan Am Games in summer 2015.

But Metrolinx says it will take at least seven to nine years to electrify the line that will run up the Georgetown GO corridor to a spur into the airport.

The trains run in two-car configurations with the engines incorporated in the 63-seat coaches.

The trip envisioned as a 25-minute premium service hasn't yet been priced but is expected to cost more than double the price of a GO ticket.

Metrolinx is spending $3.8 million per train, more than the $3.1 million base price because the Toronto models will have luxurious interiors. “It'll be cheaper than a limo or taxi... But it will be priced competitively,” said GO Transit president Gary McNeil.

The trains will almost replicate a plane interior with overhead baggage bins and they will include air conditioning and heating suitable for the Canadian climate, he said.

The train will stop at Bloor and Weston when it begins but will eventually stop at Eglinton if a planned light rail line is built.

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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:10 AM   #2228
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Public passage opens at JR Fukuma Station on February 5
http://mainichi.jp/area/fukuoka/news...40351000c.html

Quote:
A public passage linking the East Exit and West Exit station plazas at JR Fukuma Station (Fukutsu City) has been completed, and escalators (up and down), elevators, and restrooms at both East and West Exits were simultaneously opened to the public.

Walls on both sides of the public passage (approx. 60 m long and 6 m wide) feature panel displays of 75 scenic photographs submitted to the city by members of the public, all based on the theme of “My Own Scenery,” including the winning pieces Miyajihama Shore, Hiyoshi Jinja (a shrine), and Rural Scenes from Katsuura.

The public passage is directly connected to the faregates and is open to the public 24 hours a day, with a total of 9 surveillance cameras (including those inside elevators) installed to strengthen crime prevention. The total project cost is approx. ¥1.3 billion.

In addition, in coordination with the opening of the public passage, a city administration and tourist information station (approx. 108 sq m) was established outside the station’s faregates. The Fukutsu City Sightseeing Association will use the space to provide information on lodging facilities and tourist landmarks, but an automatic machine that issues certificates of residence and tax declaration certificates was also placed at the information station.
A couple of photos of the completed work:
Source: http://ameblo.jp/fu-hideo/

They built the new station building and elevated concourse about a year ago, but they have now added the barrier-free upgrades and the public passage. Here, the escalator on the right is a new addition (previously passengers used stairs or the elevator to access the third-floor concourse).



New escalators (both directions)



New public passage is actually pretty wide.



East Exit (Saigō Exit) is still under land readjustment / redevelopment. Cars cannot access from this side yet, but there is a pedestrian path. Eventually the new development surrounding the East Exit will be home to 9,000 residents.

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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:33 AM   #2229
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Kakogawa Line played critical role in Great Hanshin Earthquake aftermath
http://www.asahi.com/travel/news/OSK201101110063.html

Quote:
The approx. 50 km JR Kakogawa Line runs through the mountainous areas of Hyōgo Prefecture. While railway fans enjoy taking long “detours” on the semi-circular line, ridership dropped to its lowest levels ever last fiscal year. But there were days 16 years ago after the Great Hanshin Earthquake when the line was flush with activity, serving as a detour route connecting Ōsaka and Kōbe.

The JR Kakogawa Line connects Kakogawa Station (Kakogawa City) on the Kōbe Line with Tanikawa Station (Tanba City) on the Fukuchiyama Line. A total of 18 daily arrivals or departures serve Tanikawa Station. One-car trains make the 48.5 km single-track journey in as little as one hour and 16 minutes.

On weekends, railfans come out, purchasing tickets for a one-station journey but taking the long way around. At Kakogawa Station, fans purchase ¥180 tickets for the 3.6 km journey to the next station down the line (Higashi-Kakogawa Station), but take a 182.4 km detour via the Kakogawa Line and transfer to the Takarazuka Line to Amagasaki Station, where they take the Kōbe Line back. One housewife (59) who made the trip with friends last summer says, “We talk, we have some bentō on the platforms. It was good fun.”

However, only about ten people on weekends take the long way around. That number reached 4,000 people immediately following the January 17 Great Hanshin Earthquake. After the quake, the 27.5 km section of the Kōbe Line between Kōshien-guchi Station (Nishinomiya City) and Suma Station (Suma Ward, Kōbe City) was out of commission, with service on the entire line only being restored on April 1.

As a result, the Kakogawa Line served as a detour connecting Ōsaka and Kōbe. At Tanikawa Station, the interchange with the Fukuchiyama Line, the 260 average daily passengers transferring between the two lines surged to 8,500 passengers. In early February, direct-service trains (Kakogawa – Tanikawa) were increased from nine trains a day to 45 trains a day, with the railway scrounging up diesel units from all across Japan.

The Kakogawa Line first made its debut in 1913, when tracks for a portion of its predecessor, Banshū Railway, were laid. With population growth along the line, ridership increased by 100,000 annually after 1955, the earliest year census data is available. After reaching approx. 5.17 million passengers in FY1966, ridership began to decline, dropping to 2.72 million—a mere half of ridership during its heyday—in FY1993, before the earthquake. While there were some talks of abandoning the line, the line’s fortunes turned for the better in the aftermath of the earthquake, and in 2004, the entire line was electrified at the cost of ¥4.5 billion.

And yet, ridership continued to decline, reaching an all-time low of approx. 2.16 million in FY2009. Local jurisdictions and other officials are making efforts to increase ridership, operating special trains designed by Nishiwaki City-born artist Yokoo Tadanori and reconstructing station buildings. The region as a whole is cooperating in the effort, with local residents along the line displaying artwork by nursery school students inside the train and holding morning markets at stations.

In November of last year, a special charter train featuring live bands and an energetic choir performance ran on the Kakogawa Line, draped in the changing color of autumn leaves. Residents have also been holding a singing competition train twice yearly since 2005. Popular among older folks who have vivid memories of children’s songs and ballads, the tenth running of the train had capacity for only 90 passengers, but close to 8 times that number applied.

Mimura Osamu (69), spokesperson for a Kakogawa City citizens’ group working to revitalize areas along the line, says, “I hope we can increase the number of people who ride the Kakogawa Line once or twice a year and know about the charms of this area.”

Detours
According to JR’s passenger railway business policy, passengers are given special permission to ride on long detours on specified sections (“inner suburban” sections) in the Tōkyō, Ōsaka, Fukuoka, and Niigata areas. Unrelated to the actual distance traveled, passengers are assessed the fare for the lowest-priced itinerary. Passengers cannot pass the same station twice, and there must not be overlap in the trip itinerary. The trip must occur within a single day, and passengers disembark midway. In the Kinki region, a route around Lake Biwa via the Kosei Line and other lines is also famous.

The JR Kakogawa Line, running through bucolic mountain areas. (Nishiwaki City, Hyōgo Prefecture; early December 2010)



JR Tanikawa Station, crowded with passengers taking the detour after the earthquake. From “Railways Reborn: A Record of the Restoration of Railways after the Hanshin / Awaji Great Earthquake.”



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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:34 AM   #2230
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Seminar attendees debate options for improving KIX access
http://www.nnn.co.jp/dainichi/news/1...110211026.html

Quote:
On the second and final day of the Kansai Economic Seminar, the fifth subcommittee debated the problem of access between Kansai International Airport and central Ōsaka City, and attendees vigorously exchanged opinions regarding construction of new train lines and active use of existing train lines.

Kansai International Airport (KIX) vice-president Takeuchi Takeshi showed signs of anxiety: “KIX has a reputation of being far away, expensive, and inconvenient. How will we improve (access from) Ōsaka Station and Shin-Ōsaka Station to KIX? There are proposals for the Naniwasuji Line, the KIX maglev, and an airport Shinkansen, but we need to act quickly.”

JR West director Kondō Takashi made the following proposal: “While the maglev and the Naniwasuji Line would also solve this problem, there are plans to underground the Haruka limited express running along the west side of Ume-Kita and construct a new station adjacent to Ōsaka Station. This will create a network connecting from KIX to Ōsaka Station, and from the perspective of optimizing use of what’s already out there, I think this proposal has some merit for both KIX and Ume-Kita.”

In regards to access between Kyōto and KIX, Bank of Kyōto chairman Kashihara Yasuo pointed out, “The problem with the Haruka is that it takes over 100 minutes during the mornings and evenings. Among international airports, those without high-speed rail connections are rare. We must carefully consider the possibility of a Shinkansen from KIX to Ōsaka, Kyōto, and Shiga.”

In response, JR West director Kondō responded, “There is the problem of whether we prioritize local transport or the few passengers who need access to and from KIX, but the argument that trying to work out the issues on existing lines is troublesome and we should just build a new line is illogical. We need to think about how we can optimize use of what we already have.”
Ume-Kita is the new name for the Umeda North Yard area, currently a freight terminal being redeveloped into a mixed-use (primarily office) district.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:36 AM   #2231
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Kishibe Station construction update
http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/blog-entry-931.html

Some recent updates (2011.02) of the construction at Kishibe Station on the JR Kyōto Line to build a new barrier-free station building, including an elevated concourse, public passage, and pedestrian bridge spanning the future Suita Freight Terminal (see here, here, and here).
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

Structure for the new station building is taking shape above the platforms. The pedestrian bridge / public passage on the right looks almost done, so perhaps they are planning to put that into service as soon as possible.



There is a lot of development going on at major stations on the Kyōto – Ōsaka section of the JR network such as Takatsuki, and Kishibe is just one of these locations.



Pedestrian bridge spanning the former marshalling yards and future freight terminal. This is part of the 6 m wide north-south public passage connecting the north and south sides of the station.



The bridge should give some great views of the work to redevelop the marshalling yards.



The roof of the public passage features a translucent glass fiber material that lets sunlight in.



Zoom-in of the North Exit, which will feature a new bus plaza. Given how fast this is progressing relative to the rest of the project, I suspect they may try and open this early to provide easier access to the station for passengers coming from the north side of the station.

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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:37 AM   #2232
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JR Takatsuki Station construction update

Some recent photos (2011.02) of the various construction work going on around Takatsuki Station on the JR Kyōto Line. In addition to a major redevelopment project just northeast of the station, a series of pedestrian bridges opened to the public on 2010.12.24, replacing an infamous akazu no fumikiri (grade crossing that never opens).
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

JR West 207 series, in front of GeoTower Takatsuki Muse Front, one of multiple towers going up as part of Muse Takatsuki, the largest active redevelopment project in western Japan. This particular tower, being partially developed by Hankyū Realty, will be a mixed-use building with restaurant / retail and 170 dwelling units. There will be another tower to its right with 450 dwelling units.



The new Kansai University Takatsuki Muse Campus:



The new Aijinkai Rehabilitation Hospital.
In addition, there will also be a new Seibu department store on the Muse site.



The new pedestrian bridge that opened 2010.12.24 is quite long, consisting of the 78 m long Benten Track Bridge over the JR tracks and the 68 m long Benten Pedestrian Bridge. This replaces the 40 m long former Benten Grade Crossing at this location that was infamous for rarely opening and was the scene of at least one fatality in recent years. During the morning peak hour, the crossing arms were down for a cumulative total of 46 out of 60 minutes. The crossing was actually closed permanently in October 2009 to prevent further accidents, but this 4 m wide bridge now provides safe access across the tracks.



The bridge is fairly high off the ground, and access is provided by stairwell, elevator, and bike slope.



The bicycle slope includes a conveyor to lift the bike in the up direction.





Takatsuki is already a major station (61,300 daily entries (2009)), but the Muse development should bring even more activity to the area. The Hankyū Kyōto Line and Takatsuki-shi Station are also only 600 m away to the south (to the left in the picture). Below, a 205 series from the Hanwa Line is out testing on the Kyōto Line. Apparently, there’s some fleet reshuffling going on as part of the introduction of the 225 series to the Hanwa Line and the installation of platform doors at Kita-Shinchi Station on the Tōzai Line (accepting four-door cars only).

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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:38 AM   #2233
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Timetable revisions to Sakaisuji Line for additional through-service with Hankyū Kyōto Line
http://www.kotsu.city.osaka.jp/news/...ji-kaisei.html

Quote:
In an effort to increase passenger convenience, starting Saturday, May 14, 2011, the Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau will implement timetable changes to run all Saturday, Sunday, and holiday midday trains on the Municipal Subway Sakaisuji Line as through-services with the Hankyū Electric Railway Kyōto Line, and operate new direct-service trains between Tengachaya and Kawaramachi.

Details of Saturday, Sunday, and holiday timetable revisions to the Municipal Subway Sakaisuji Line (no changes to the weekday timetable)
  • Date of timetable change: Saturday, May 14, 2011
  • Main details:
    1. We will operate all midday trains as through-services with the Hankyū Electric Railway Kyōto Line. Affects inbound departures from Tengachaya between 9:57 and 16:09.
    2. During the midday period, we will operate a direct-service semi-express train between Tengachaya Station and Hankyū Electric Railway’s Kawaramachi Station at 20-minute headways. Total of 19 inbound departures from Tengachaya between 9:37 and 15:37 and 19 outbound departures from Kawaramachi between 8:45 and 14:45.
      Stops: Tengachaya ↔ (all stations on the Municipal Subway Sakaisuji Line) ↔ Tenjinbashisuji 6-chōme, Awaji, Kami-Shinjō, Minami-Ibaraki, Ibaraki-shi, Takatsuki-shi ↔ (all stations) ↔ Kawaramachi
    3. During the midday period, we will adjust the headways on the section between Tengachaya and Tenjinbashisuji 6-chōme from 5 minutes to 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Affects inbound departures from Tengachaya between 9:57 and 16:09.
Formal details on the additional through-service between the Sakaisuji Line and Hankyū Kyōto Line. Not sure why they are decreasing frequency on the Sakaisuji Line section, since the Hankyū Kyōto Line is a 20-minute cycle anyways… Seems like a five-minute headway would be a better fit for a 20-minute cycle, but perhaps they were trying to “slip in” a service reduction. These changes will also eliminate midday through-services with the Hankyū Senri Line (3 tph), instead shifting those to the Kyōto Line.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:40 AM   #2234
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Midōsuji Line Tennōji Station platform improvements update

A few photos to update the progress on the platform improvements at Tennōji Station on the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line (2011.02). Congestion on platforms, particularly on the oldest sections of the line between Tennōji and Umeda, is severe, increasing danger to passengers. While there are long-term plans already in the works to install platform doors on the entire line, a short-term improvement at Tennōji Station involving construction of bypass catwalks above the inbound (for Namba and Umeda) platform is already being implemented. The bypass should also help deal with the increased ridership at the station expected as a result of the redevelopment in the surrounding area, including Kintetsu’s Abenobashi Terminal Building (to become Japan’s tallest building) and the Abeno redevelopment by Tōkyū Land Corporation.
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/



They are taking advantage of the traditional high ceilings characteristic of the Midōsuji Line’s older stations to build a bypass directly atop the platform. The most crowded part of the inbound platform is for Cars No. 1 and No. 2, closest to Namba and Umeda. The bypass allows disembarking passengers to skip the platform congestion in this area.



The bypass is quickly taking shape. It appears that they are using the same tile design as the other parts of the station .



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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:40 AM   #2235
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Shiromaru, Kawai, Musashi Masuko Stations receive new station buildings
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...9530005-n1.htm

Quote:
Three aging station buildings on the JR Ōme Line and Itsukaichi Line will be reborn this spring with refreshing new designs. Young employees in their second and third years with JR East’s Hachiōji Office were responsible for conceptual planning to detailed design of all three stations. Construction has already been completed at Shiromaru Station (Okutama Town, Tōkyō) on the Ōme Line, and the new station building will make its debut on February 14.

In an effort to make the three station buildings into spaces appropriate for gateways to local neighborhoods, the railway’s Hachiōji Office tasked three young railway staff with the three projects, beginning work in November of last year.

Design of the new Shiromaru Station was handled by a female railway employee (26) in her third year with the company. The station is surrounded on three sides by mountains and gets little sunlight. In order to create a relaxed space, the station building uses a membrane roof that lets in natural light.

Design of the new Kawai Station (Okutama Town, Tōkyō) was handled by a second-year male railway employee (27). As a sightseeing station inside the grounds of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, the new design blends with Okutama’s natural beauty, using locally-produced wood. The new station building is scheduled to open in late February.

Design of the new Musashi Masuko Station (Akiruno City, Tōkyō) on the Itsukaichi Line was handled by a second-year male railway employee (31). As a commuter station surrounded by three cherry trees, the walls use glass blocks that allow passengers to view the cherry blossoms. The new station building is scheduled to open in late March.
These are all comparatively small stations, and the station “buildings” are really more like little kiosks or waiting areas.

Sketches:
Source: JR East Hachiōji Office

Shiromaru Station
85 daily entries (2009)



Kawai Station
200 daily entries (2009)



Musashi Masuko Station
2,700 daily entries (2009)

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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:43 AM   #2236
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Odakyū 5000 series 6-car units retired

The Odakyū 5000 series comes in 4- and 6-car formations. The 4-car units were first introduced much earlier in 1969, while the 6-car units followed later in 1978. In their heyday, there were as many as 20 6-car units (120 cars total) operating all over the Odakyū network, becoming a fixture for many Tōkyō area commuters. However, due to their age and newer replacements in the (second-generation) 4000 series, however, the railway recently retired the 6-car units from regular service. This retirement also eliminates 10-car all 5000 series trains running in 4+6 formation.

Last day of service for these units was 2011.01.30. That weekend, the railway held several farewell runs and railfan events. Ironically enough, the older 4-car units will still continue running in regular revenue service, although only on a few trips.

Clips in regular service in 4+6 formation:


Source: ayokoi on YouTube

Crowd gathered around Track No. 1 at Shinjuku Station to catch a last glimpse of the 6-car units and 4+6 10-car formations (2011.01.30):


Source: ayokoi on YouTube

Farewell invitation-only runs, captured here near Yurigaoka Station (2011.01.29) and Mukōgaoka Yūen Station (2011.01.30).


Source: hellokt21 on YouTube
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:44 AM   #2237
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Minato Ward plans new shuttle buses to Odaiba from Shinagawa, Tamachi Stations
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/...290135927.html

Quote:
In an effort to attract foreigners arriving at Haneda Airport, recently upgraded to an international airport, to popular landmarks in the Odaiba area, a new direct-service shuttle bus linking the gateway to the airport—JR Shinagawa Station—with the Odaiba area will make its debut in the new fiscal year. Tōkyō’s Minato Ward allocated ¥39.92 million in related program costs in its proposed budget for next fiscal year. Once the line opens, it will likely become a popular new sightseeing route.

Odaiba, built on reclaimed land in Tōkyō Bay, features a multitude of retail facilities and hotels, and is bustling with both domestic and foreign tourists. However, direct connections with Shinagawa Station, a stop on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, are currently only provided by seven trips a day on a Toei bus line. It’s hoped that the shuttle bus will improve convenience.

On the other hand, while Odaiba is also home to approx. 5,000 residents, there are no bus routes linking the area with Tamachi Station, home to many ward facilities including sports centers and consumer centers. Access to Shinagawa Station, a new subcenter of Tōkyō and home to big-name corporations, is also inconvenient. In response to requests from residents to improve the transport situation, the ward government agreed to establish a route to not only Shinagawa Station but also Tamachi Station.

Now, an operations committee formed of local residents, corporate representatives, bus operators, and the ward government will draft a detailed plan for route alignment and number of trips, with the start of service before the end of this fiscal year.

Minato Ward spokespersons are hopeful: “If the number of visitors coming to Odaiba from Haneda Airport and the Shinkansen increases, it will lead to revitalization of these areas.”
For reference, the MLIT’s Transport Policy Council has also identified a future rail connection from Haneda Airport to the Rinkai Line and Odaiba.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:45 AM   #2238
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Tōkyō Metro officials propose increasing transfer discount with Toei from ¥70 to ¥100
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...102030379.html

Quote:
On February 3, a committee session between the national government and the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government regarding a merger between Tōkyō Metro and the Toei Subway was held at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). In regards to expanding the transfer discount, currently set at a flat ¥70, the committee agreed to reach a conclusion by this summer. Attending officials also agreed to continue discussions towards the financial consolidation being pushed for by the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government.

According to the MLIT, Tōkyō Metro representatives have submitted a proposal to increase the transfer discount to ¥100. In addition, the committee also has plans to establish a policy by this summer regarding whether or not to introduce an integrated fare structure in the future.

In order to reduce the walking distance when transferring, the committee also agreed to remove the wall separating the platforms for the Tōkyō Metro Hanzōmon Line and Toei Subway Shinjuku Line at Kudanshita Station by the end of the year.
I think I missed this particular tidbit about the transfer discount plan in recent updates.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:45 AM   #2239
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Ginza Line to receive new 1000 series trains
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2011/p...0110217_02.pdf

Quote:
At Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi), we will introduce one unit of the new 1000 series trains to replace the Ginza Line 01 series trains in spring 2012, and gradually introduce mass-production units starting in spring 2013.

The new 1000 series to be introduced features a body design that is reminiscent of the Orient’s first subway, but is also a creative and comfortable train that incorporates a multitude of cutting-edge technologies.

The car body is based on the former 1000 series trains that were beloved by passengers for 40 years since the line first opened in 1927, and is designed in a retro style, replicating the original paint scheme at the time.

As for the interior of the train, we have improved passenger comfort, increasing air conditioning capacity and using transparent toughened glass in a portion of the car ends and in partitions on the sides of seats. In addition, we have actively incorporated cutting-edge technologies to reduce electricity consumption, improve ride comfort, and decrease running noise.



Features of the new 1000 series trains
  • Increased interior comfort
    • In order to make the interior space comfortable, we will introduce air conditioning units that are smaller and about 1.4 times more powerful than existing equipment.
    • In order to improve ride comfort, we will increase the seat width per passenger and improve cushioning.
    • In order to reduce screeching noises due to friction generated between the rail and wheels when running on curved track, the train will use new steering bogies (details below).
    • In order to ensure an open interior space, car ends, seat partitions, and overhead racks will use transparent toughened glass.
  • Interior amenities
    • In order to provide more information such as transfer guidance and station facilities information in an easier-to-view and more comprehensive manner, the train uses 17 in wide liquid crystal display screens above each door, serving as information displays.
    • In the interest of providing support while standing and assistance when sitting down or standing up, we will install stanchion poles in front of seats.
  • Reduced environmental impacts
    • In addition to use of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs), we will use the latest controller equipment, reducing propulsion-related electricity consumption by approx. 20 percent compared to VVVF inverter controller systems on the current 01 series.



Comparison to 01 series
Code:
Item                      01 series               1000 series
====                      =========               ===========
Air conditioning power    16.3 KW × 2 units/car   23.3 KW × 2 units/car   
Seat width                440 mm                  460 mm
In-train LCD screens      None                    17 in LCD screens × 2 screens
Overhead rack height      1,800 mm                1,700 mm
Standee strap height      1,660 mm                1,580 mm
  (at car ends)
Steering bogies
Since the axles on typical bogies cannot move in conjunction with the curves, noise and vibrations are generated as a result of friction between train wheels and the rail when traveling on curved track sections. Just like a steering wheel on curved sections, steering bogies are designed to automatically change direction when passing along curved track. As a result, friction between the train’s wheels and the rails is reduced, generating less noise and vibrations and making it possible to more smoothly negotiate curves compared to existing bogies. On subways, which tend to have a number of curves, the steering bogies can generate substantial effects in the reduction of noise and vibration.



About the former 1000 series
The former 1000 series, which serves as the design theme for this new series, was introduced by Tōkyō Metro predecessor Tōkyō Underground Railway as Japan’s first subway train.

Because the series was designed for subways, the cars were designed as all-steel units—a departure from the wood frequently used at the time—and featured inflammable materials. The train was cutting-edge for its time, with an ATS (automatic train stop) system to serve as a safety device.
In other Ginza Line news, the oldest underground retail arcade in Japan—Sudachō Store, at Kanda Station—recently closed its doors. The last four stores, including a shoe store and a barber shop, vacated their spaces at the end of January. The space will be converted for station administrative use. The retail area first opened in 1932, one year after the opening of Kanda Station on the Ginza Line.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 04:22 PM   #2240
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I wonder if this new design for Ginza line trains will soon find its way to the Marunouchi line as well. The trains between the two lines are very similar.
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