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Old March 20th, 2011, 09:56 AM   #2321
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Urawa Station construction updates

Track 4 at Urawa Station, which carries outbound Utsunomiya Line (Tōhoku Main Line) and Takasaki Line trains, was elevated between the evening of 2011.03.05 and morning of 2011.03.06. This resulted in one of the longer overnight closures for these track elevation projects, with special modified service taking effect from around 22:00 on 2011.03.05 through to 16:40 on 2011.03.06. The work forced Utsunomiya Line and Takasaki Line trains to use the Tōhoku Freight Line tracks (normally used only by freight trains and the Shōnan-Shinjuku Line) using the crossovers at Kawaguchi Station and other locations. As a result, inbound trains to Ueno did not stop at Saitama Shintoshin or Urawa. The northern section of the Keihin-Tōhoku Line between Kita-Urawa and Ōmiya was also converted to a shuttle service due to signal-related work for the new elevated outbound track.

First, a general overview, starting with a window view from a train passing on the Tōhoku Freight Line as workers are scattered along the right-of-way getting the track ready. Then shots at Urawa of test trains and the first in-service train to use the new elevated outbound track.


Source: karibajct on YouTube

Last evening rush hour at the ground-level Track 4 at Urawa Station (2011.03.05). This is an Utsunomiya Line train bound for Utsunomiya, departing Urawa at 18:10.


Source: fuyukazefox on YouTube
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Old March 20th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #2322
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Peek at new restored domes at Tōkyō Station’s Marunouchi Station Building

A little late on this, but some of the restored domes of the Marunouchi Station Building at Tōkyō Station made an appearance in February.
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/helicopter/

Bird’s-eye view of the construction



The south dome was just peeking through for the first time.







Comparison to a photo from 2010.11.29.

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Old March 20th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #2323
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New Tōkyō Metro wallpapers

Latest wallpapers.
Click on the images for 1600x1200.

December 2010
A Night of Lights at the Chapelle des Anges in Minami-Aoyama
Omotesandō Station (Ginza Line, Chiyoda Line, Hanzōmon Line)



January 2011
A New Year in Your Sunday’s Best at Nezu Shrine
Nezu Station (Chiyoda Line)



February 2011
Jogging Along Uchibori-dōri on a Calm Mornng
Sakuradamon Station (Yūrakuchō Line)



March 2011
Enjoying the Outer Moat Cherry Blossoms on a Spring Day in the Metropolis
Iidabashi Station (Tōzai Line, Yūrakuchō Line, Namboku Line)



I wonder if Aragaki Yui will continue as the “mascot” of Tōkyō Metro or if they will replace her with someone new. I liked this series better than Miyazaki Aoi’s, so I’m almost hoping they keep her on for another year.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 04:19 PM   #2324
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Osaka station is looking amazing! Great update as always.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:36 AM   #2325
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JR Kyūshū to open new Amu Plaza at Ōita Station in 2014
http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/news/nat...OYS1T00178.htm

Quote:
JR Kyūshū has finalized plans to replace the station tenant building at Ōita Station (Ōita City) and open an Amu Plaza specialty retail mall at the station in 2014. The railway is currently moving towards approx. 60,000 sq m of gross floor area for the facility. Elevation of the platforms at Ōita Station is currently underway, with completion scheduled for spring 2012. Afterwards, the railway will construct the new station tenant building using the right-of-way for the current track and other parcels.

JR Kyūshū operates Amu Plaza branches at station tenant buildings at Kokura, Nagasaki, and Kagoshima Stations, and will open a new branch in the new Hakata Station tenant building to open on March 3. FY2009 sales at the Kagoshima branch (approx. 60,000 sq m), which is similar in size to the proposed branch at Ōita, are approx. ¥20 billion.
The Ōita Station Continuous Grade-Separation Project involves elevating 3.7 km of the Nippō Main Line (including 1.6 km of the Hōhi Main Line) and 1.9 km of Kyūdai Main Line, and Hōhi Main Line surrounding Ōita Station, eliminating 10 grade crossings on the Nippō Main Line and 3 grade crossings on the Kyūdai Main Line. The Hōhi Main Line and Kyūdai Main Line were elevated in August 2008, while elevation of the Nippō Main Line is scheduled to be completed in spring 2012.

A basic overview of the project:
Source: Ōita Prefecture

After completion:





Completed work:
Elevated Hōhi Main Line and Kyūdai Main Line tracks



South Exit of Ōita Station



South Exit of Ōita Station



First in-service train on the elevated Kyūdai Main Line platforms

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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:37 AM   #2326
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Keihan to begin offering ICOCA cards starting June 1
http://www.keihan.co.jp/news/data_h23/2011-03-01-4.pdf

Quote:
On March 1, JR West and Keihan Electric Railway announced that JR West’s prepaid IC farecard ICOCA will be available for purchase at all stations on the Keihan network except the Ōtsu Line starting June 1. Keihan will become the first among Kansai’s major private railways to offer ICOCA cards for purchase.

The cards will be available for purchase at the newest ticket vending machines (TVMs) at each station, as well as at the commuter pass vending machines at major stations. Commuter passes on the Keihan network using ICOCA cards and joint commuter passes with JR lines will also be available starting the same day.

Keihan has already introduced the post-pay IC farecard PiTaPa, but hopes to increase passenger convenience by now adopting ICOCA as well.
An interesting development, as you usually don’t see the non-JR farecards being sold by non-JR operators (e.g., you can’t purchase a Suica card at a Tōkyō-area private railway station).
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:37 AM   #2327
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Kintetsu schedule changes take effect March 16
http://www.nikkei.com/news/local/art...F2F2F2F2F2F2F2

Quote:
Kinki Nippon Railroad (Kintetsu Corporation) announced that it will implement schedule changes on March 16. While adding one limited express train on weekdays to the Nara Line, the railway will decrease the number of trains on the Ōsaka Line and others during hours with low ridership. Overall, the railway plans to eliminate 11 trains from the 4,900 trains it currently operates each day.

During the 19:00 hour, Kintetsu will add a limited express train on the Nara Line, departing Ōsaka Namba bound for Kintetsu Nara. On the Ōsaka Line, Kintetsu will add one addition local train during the weekday 8:00 am hour.

Overall, however, the railway will place priority on decreasing the number of trains. On the Ōsaka Line, Kintetsu will eliminate four local and suburban rapid trains in the Saturday, Sunday, and holiday schedules. Kintetsu will eliminate two local trains on the Tawaramoto Line on both weekdays and Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, and four local trains on the Gose Line and Minami-Ōsaka Line on weekdays.

Kintetsu plans a drastic change to its schedules in March 2012, so the scope of this year’s changes was kept small.
Cab view on a Sakura Liner 26000 series limited express from Ōsaka Abenobashi on the Minami-Ōsaka Line to Yoshino on the Yoshino Line.
Source: SuperExpress1 on YouTube

Part 1: Ōsaka Abenobashi to Furuichi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOsaum1YiiE&hd=1
Part 2: Furuichi to Shakudo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxcvRmZVia0&hd=1
Part 3: Shakudo to Kashihara Jingū-mae http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNmW4baWGFU&hd=1
Part 4: Kashihara Jingū-mae to Tsubosakayama http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak9PaGuWdKQ&hd=1
Part 5: Tsubosakayama to Yoshino-guchi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck9hRRqDjT4&hd=1
Part 6: Yoshino-guchi to Fukugami http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnXANkDmvyY&hd=1
Part 7: Fukugami to Shimoichi-guchi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXhEwp4ju1Y&hd=1
Part 8: Shimoichi-guchi to Muda http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mee3TOU96uc&hd=1
Part 9: Muda to Yoshino http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjlxDkp7-9I&hd=1

The 26000 series is also due for a major refurbishment after having been in service for 21 years. The renovated units will make their debut on 2011.04.02.
Source: Kintetsu Corporation

Deluxe car seats



Standard seats

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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:39 AM   #2328
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Ōsaka City moves forward with studies for grade separation of JR Katamachi Line / Tōzai Line near Kyōbashi
http://www.ken-san.com/news_top_detail.php?news_cd=4459

Quote:
In regards to the JR Katamachi Line / Tōzai Line Continuous Grade-Separation Project, Ōsaka City has included ¥12 million in its proposed FY2011 budget for expenses related to planning studies.

The task of evaluating track re-alignment and preliminary design of the structural form of Kyōbashi Station and other elements is slated to be sub-contracted out to JR West.

The project involves undergrounding 1.3 km of the line between Katamachi 2-chōme, Miyokajima Ward and Shigita 2-chōme, Jōtō Ward, completing master plan roads, undergrounding Kyōbashi Station, and eliminating three grade crossings.

In addition to streamlining traffic flow by relieving roadway congestion, the project will eliminate the separation of neighborhoods caused by the rail line and improve the urban disaster prevention functions of the area. The total project cost is estimated at approx. ¥65 billion (approx. ¥60 billion for the city and ¥5 billion for the railway operators).

After being selected in FY2000 by the national government for ground-breaking preparations (i.e., inclusion of the cost of preparing the project for ground-breaking in the budget), the city has conducted geotechnical studies to perform structural design and land surveying to determine the site geography and surface area, and has conducted negotiations and preliminary design with the affected entities (JR West and Kansai Rapid Railway). In FY2011, preliminary design will be conducted to determine route and track alignment as a result of changes to plans for the JR Ōsaka-Higashi Line.

So far, there has been no land acquisition, and the schedule for master planning approval and securing of project approvals is as yet undetermined, and the city is aiming to kick the project into full gear once the general consensus has moved towards getting the project built, based on the progress of other projects and changes in the general social conditions.

In addition, there are plans for basic infrastructure improvements such as roads and re-ogranization of blocks through a land readjustment project to be carried out simultaneously with the continuous grade-separation project.

By promoting the land use changes and active use of residential land, the city aims to strengthen the transport terminal functions of the area and revitalize the surrounding area (such as by developing a high-quality urban landscape), conducting urban planning in line with the area’s function as a central node.
Cab view on a JR West 207 series rapid train on the Katamachi Line (Gakken Toshi Line) – Tōzai Line – Takarazuka Line from Kizu to Takarazuka:
Source: SuperExpress1 on YouTube

Part 1: Kizu to Dōshisha-mae http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzIDDaL4tXU&hd=1
Part 2: Dōshisha-mae to Nagao http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpQFiFbUjUE&hd=1
Part 3: Nagao to Shijō-nawate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWb-FXtYrZc&hd=1
Part 4: Shijō-nawate to Hanaten http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MzIqZRjCtE&hd=1
Part 5: Hanaten to Kyōbashi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szKlCZwIZ9I&hd=1
Part 6: Kyōbashi to Kita-Shinchi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrtsSob1DOs&hd=1
Part 7: Kita-Shinchi to Amagasaki http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Mee_1xikU&hd=1
Part 8: Amagasaki to Itami http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpOXI9XWMVM&hd=1
Part 9: Itami to Takarazuka http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4glwaoSR90&hd=1
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:40 AM   #2329
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JR Ōsaka Station construction updates: Part 8

A set on the South Gate Square after its official opening (2011.03.04):
(2011.03.04):
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/map/

The South Gate Square opened before the official opening of the South Gate Building on 2011.03.16.





Looking south of the station.



Looking down through the open roof onto Basement Level 1 of the station.



West side of the second floor of the South Gate Square





Lots of retail in the new station buildings, including this Starbucks Coffee that opened March 12.



Stairwell down to ground level



Pebble artwork featuring the logo for the new South Gate Building



East side of the second floor of the South Gate Square



At the time of these photos, some of the retail shops were already open.



Stairwell back down to ground level

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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:41 AM   #2330
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JR Ōsaka Station construction updates: Part 9

Southeast corner of the South Gate Square. Apparently, they have yet to connect this passage to the pedestrian deck outside the station.



Ground level, looking east





This is the official Central South Exit to JR Ōsaka Station, leading to the central concourse of the station.



At the time of these photos, the Daimaru entrance was also open.



Ground level, looking west





On the east side, ground level, they’ve built a new “water clock” designed to serve as a meeting spot for passengers and other passersby. At the time of these photos, it wasn’t yet in operation.



From the southeast corner of the square.



Almost looks like more planter boxes or seating, but it’s actually just a vent.



Escalator from Basement Level 1 to Level 2. I think the space to the left is being kept open in case they want to build a second pair of escalators to / from ground level.

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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:42 AM   #2331
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JR Ōsaka Station construction updates: Part 10

Some more recent scenes in differing lighting levels. First, in bright daylight.
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

Quite a fitting new entrance to Ōsaka’s central station.











Switching views down to Basement Level 1. This passage connects the central concourse of JR Ōsaka Station with Hanshin Umeda Station.



Escalators and stairwell from underground level to the station’s central concourse.





Back up to the second level… They probably designed this passage fairly wide to accommodate passenger flow from the future connection with the Umeda pedestrian deck outside the station.



Shuttle elevators. At the time of the photos, they weren’t open yet, but I’m liking the gold doors and opaque blue-tinted glass.

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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:44 AM   #2332
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JR Ōsaka Station construction updates: Part 11

Next, at dusk and nighttime. I think the new exit looks best in this time of day.









Looking south towards the “Diamond District” (i.e., Umeda Itchōme). I was a little unsure at first, but overall a nice design that doesn’t at all look disappointing in comparison to the North Gate Building.

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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:44 AM   #2333
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JR Ōsaka Station construction updates: Part 12

The South Gate Building, in it’s entirety (2011.03):
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

The former Acty Ōsaka has been expanded and renamed as the new South Gate Building.



Exterior turned out nice.



Looks even better at dusk and night, when lights in main entrance and in the all-glass sections at the corners of the building are turned on.





Third-floor atrium space inside Daimaru.



From the west side. Notice the new South Gate Building logo on top of the taller half of the building. The Hankyū Umeda Building is on the right, in the distance.





Building on the right is the Hanshin Department Store, which is planned to be replaced with a new office tower. Because of the oversupply of office space, however, the schedule has been pushed back, so it may be some time before Hanshin decides to move forward with that project.

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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:45 AM   #2334
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JR Ōsaka Station construction updates: Part 13

Next, the new Sun Plaza atop the South Gate Building (2011.03.17):
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

This is one of the eight new public spaces in the station complex, and is located atop the new annex to Acty Ōsaka.



The inspiration for the design was a Spanish-style patio, and like much of the new station building, features “green” design elements including this solar-powered lighting.





Some nice views of the surrounding Umeda area and the Ōsaka skyline.



Nighttime shot, looking at the Hankyū Umeda Building.



Still a well-kept secret since it just opened, but I wouldn’t expect this to last very long.





Next, daytime shots of the new water clock…
Some overseas visitors perhaps? Hopefully they didn’t have too much trouble after the earthquake and tsunami.





Looks like noodles…



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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:46 AM   #2335
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JR Ōsaka Station construction updates: Part 14

Last is the North Gate Building:
Source: http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/

From the red Ferris wheel atop Hankyū’s HEP retail building.



Looks like they beautified the canopies over the Ōsaka Loop Line platforms as well.



Probably my favorite angle of the new North Gate Building, from Yodobashi Camera.



From the Ōsaka Shin-Hankyū Hotel



Pedestrian deck between Hankyū Umeda Station and the North Gate Building. The left half is Hankyū’s side, while the right is JR’s side.



This section of the pedestrian deck recently re-opened, and pedestrian traffic is back in force.



First I’ve seen of the Ōsaka Station City logo.



Just outside the Carillon Square. The stairwell and escalators at left lead down to the station’s first level.





Central ticketing office, where some of the renovation has been finished.



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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:47 AM   #2336
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Toei Subway announces additional improvements to Ōedo Line schedule
http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/news...1102251_h.html

Quote:
At the Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation, on Saturday, March 26, 2011 we will implement changes to the train schedule on the Toei Subway Ōedo Line.

This latest schedule change is designed to improve passenger convenience and increase capacity primarily during the morning and evening rush hours, relieving overcrowding.

Schedule takes effect
Saturday, March 26, 2011 (Saturday, Sunday, and holiday schedules)
Monday, March 28, 2011 (weekday schedules)

Summary of schedule changes
  • Weekday
    Increased capacity during the morning rush hour
    We will add one train departing Hikarigaoka bound for Roppongi and Daimon, and one train departing Kiyosumi–Shirakawa bound for Daimon and Roppongi, relieving overcrowding.
    • Hikarigaoka to Roppongi and Daimon (departing Hikarigaoka 7:30 to 9:00): 26 trains → 27 trains
    • Kiyosumi–Shirakawa to Daimon and Roppongi (departing Kiyosumi–Shirakawa 7:30 to 9:00): 22 trains → 23 trains
    Increased capacity during the evening rush hour
    Between 16:30 and 22:00, we will add two trains departing Hikarigaoka bound for Roppongi and Daimon, one train departing Tochō-mae bound for Iidabashi and Ryōgoku, and one train departing Kiyosumi–Shirakawa bound for Daimon and Roppongi, increasing capacity.
  • Weekend
    Improved convenience from the Hikarigaoka end towards Ryōgoku and Iidabashi starting at 20:00
    We will extend one train departing Hikarigaoka bound for Kiyosumi–Shirakawa to Tochō-mae, improving convenience.
More gradual improvements to the line as ridership picks up… I wonder when we’ll start seeing the 10-car trains.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:47 AM   #2337
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JR East cuts electricity usage, increases power plant output
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2010/20110312.pdf

Quote:
In transport operations, electrical power is needed not only to operate trains, but also to power signaling and train control systems, lighting, and other functions.

At JR East, we have the Shinano River Power Plant (hydroelectric) in Tōka Town and Ojiya City, Niigata Prefecture and the Kawasaki Power Plant (thermal) in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, using our own generated and managed electric power together with electrical power provided by Tōkyō Electric Power (TEPCO) for stable operations of our trains in the Greater Tōkyō area.

Currently, we are making electrical power available by not only increasing the provision of electrical power generated by our two plants to the greatest extent feasible, but also reducing our use of electricity, cooperating in efforts to secure electrical power for the Greater Tōkyō area.

Maximum use of internally-produced electrical power
Shinano River Power Plant
In accordance with proposals by the Tōka Town mayor and direction from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), we have increased the electrical power output of the plant by increasing the intake to the turbines and decreasing the water released compared to before the earthquake. In an effort to match electrical output to peak loads based on demand in the Greater Tōkyō area, we have optimized the timing of water release.
Kawasaki Power Plant
We are generating the maximum electrical power output given our ability to secure fuels.

Reducing our use of electrical power
In order to conserve electricity, we are taking the following steps. We ask for passengers’ understanding and cooperation.
Efforts at stations
  • Turning off or reducing the brightness of lighting in concourses and on platforms during the daytime
  • Stopping operation of escalators (excepting long escalators or escalators without parallel stairways)
Efforts on trains
  • Reducing the number of trains in service
  • Turning off heating, or reducing the target temperature
Electrical power generated internally and corresponding usage statistics
Main lines running with internally-produced electrical power: Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Chūō Line, Takasaki Line, etc.

Code:
                  Before the   After the
                  Earthquake   Earthquake   Difference
                  (March 10)   (March 17)
                  ==========   ==========   ==========
Electrical power    560 MWh     620 MWh      +60 MWh
  provided by                                 (+11%)
  JR East power
  plants

Share consumed      560 MWh     410 MWh      -15 MWh
  by JR East                                  (-27%)
======================================================
Net power                                    +21 MWh
  provided to
  TEPCO
Note: 21 MWh is equivalent to the capacity of the highest-output generator at the Kawasaki Power Plant.

JR East will continue similar efforts into the future.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:32 AM   #2338
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JR Hakata City opens: Part 1

A little late on this, but the new station tenant building at JR Hakata Station in Fukuoka City opened on 2011.03.03 to great fanfare. The building is approx. 200,000 sq m in gross floor area and has three underground floors and ten aboveground floors. Lots of visitors lined up to see the new facilities (including some Kyūshū firsts in the Hakata Hankyū department store and Tōkyū Hands). The pre-opening event on 2011.03.02 recorded approx. 180,000 visitors, while the grand opening on 2011.03.03 recorded approx. 220,000 visitors. The first weekend saw over 300,000 visitors each on Saturday and Sunday, with the grand total reaching 1.821 million visitors for the first week and 3.38 million visitors for the first two weeks.

First, the 60-second CM spot by JR Kyūshū:


Source: jrhakatacitypickup on YouTube

Video report on opening day (2011.03.03).


Source: FITLLC on YouTube

Another tour of the new building on opening day. Ōsaka Station City by JR West seems to get more attention, but JR Kyūshū did a pretty good job with this terminal redevelopment. The small canopy outside the main entrance is a bit reminiscent of Ōsaka Station, too.


Source: rinklifedesign on YouTube
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:33 AM   #2339
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JR Hakata City opens: Part 2

A few pictures. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a good Kyūshū-area blogger so the pictures aren’t that great and are certainly not as comprehensive as for Ōsaka Station.

First, the exterior:
Source: RayMay02 on Flickr

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


Another set:
Source: tomosang R32m on Flickr

image hosted on flickr
image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:33 AM   #2340
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JR Hakata City opens: Part 3

Shots from the roof-level observation deck:
Source: taqmatsu on Flickr

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


A few pics of the third-floor faregate area:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/airlines_log/







With some worried about the potential effects to Canal City and the Tenjin area, and to capitalize on the recent opening of the Kyūshū Shinkansen, Nishitetsu (which also has its main Fukuoka terminal in Tenjin) has started some new bus services including the Tenjin Liner and a shuttle bus between Canal City and Hakata Station to improve access to these established commercial districts.
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