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Old April 5th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #2381
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Bus files: Part 1

I figure buses don’t get much attention in this thread, as much of it goes to trains. However, most Japanese cities also have extensive bus services, with the same mix of public and private operators paralleled in the railway network. This set of posts will be simple cab views along bus routes, but I may make this a recurring series if there is enough interest.

This first set will be strictly Tōkyō area. Enjoy!
Source: puku0987 on YouTube

Tōkyū Transsés Daikanyama Loop Line
Route: Shibuya Station to Daikanyama (loop route) (Google Maps)
An interesting local circulator through the trendy Shibuya and Daikanyama neighborhoods in central Tōkyō. Lots of narrow roads, sharp curves, and steep grades—local geography that often gets lost in the mass of buildings. Tōkyū Transsés is probably one of the few bus operators to do English announcements.



Kokusai Kōgyō Bus Akabane 51
Route: Ikebukuro Station East Exit to Akabane Station West Exit (Google Maps)
A nice tour through Toshima, Itabashi, and Toshima Wards. Some long sections on major arterials, but the alignment also includes some narrow two-lane collector roads through mixed-use residential neighborhoods. The route passes by Toshima Hospital, multiple schools, and a national sports complex along the way before reaching Kita Ward’s central train station, Akabane Station.



Keiō Bus Kichijōji 14
Route: Chōfu Station North Exit to Kichijōji Station via Mitaka City Office (Google Maps)
This is a typical suburban line connecting two stations in dense western Tōkyō: Chōfu Station on the Keiō Line / Keiō Sagamihara Line in Chōfu City, and Kichijōji Station on the JR Chūō Line and Keiō Inokashira Line in Musashino City. Follows several narrow (two-lane), but major suburban arterial roads (Mitaka-dōri, Hitomi Kaidō, Renjaku-dōri, and Kichijōji-dōri). Approaching Kichijōji Station, there are peak-period bus lanes along Kichijōji-dōri. Closer to the station, the bus carefully negotiates narrow alleys with heavy pedestrian traffic coming to / from the station.



Kawasaki Tsurumi Rinkō Bus Tsurumi 03
Route: Tsunashima Station to Tsurumi Station West Exit (Google Maps)
Through northeastern Yokohama City (Kōhoku Ward, Tsurumi Ward) from Tsunashima Station (Tōkyū Tōyoko Line) to Tsurumi Station (JR Keihin-Tōhoku Line, JR Tsurumi Line).

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Old April 5th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #2382
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Bus files: Part 2

Sōtetsu Bus Yokohama 5
Route: Yokohama Station West Exit to Kōtsū Saibansho (Traffic Court House) and Kōfukuji Temple (loop route) (Google Maps)
This is a loop route that starts / ends at Yokohama Station’s West Exit but offers some nice contrast, as it runs through both busy central Yokohama and some very narrow and steep roads up in the hills in Hodogaya Ward where there isn’t even enough room for two cars side-by-side.



Odakyū Bus Mukōgaoka Yūen 11
Route: Mukōgaoka Yūen Station to Azamino Station (Google Maps)
Another suburban route between two train stations (Mukōgaoka Yūen Station on the Odakyū Odawara Line and Azamino Station on the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line), traveling through the northern wards of Kawasaki City (Tama Ward, Miyamae Ward, Aoba Ward). There are some narrow and steep roads leading to / from St. Marianna University School of Medicine Hospital, which has a small bus terminal outside.



Kanachū Bus Isehara 10
Route: Isehara Station North Exit to Ōyama Cable Car (Google Maps)
An outer suburban route out of Isehara Station (Isehara City) on the Odakyū Odawara Line. This route connects to the funicular / cable car serving Mount Ōyama, operated under the Odakyū Group as a major tourist attraction. About halfway in, the driving gets dicey as the road narrows considerably and starts to gain elevation. Service is every 20 minutes.



Kanachū Bus Hiratsuka 97
Route: Isehara Station South Exit to Hiratsuka Station North Exit (Google Maps)
Another one out of Isehara Station, but on the south side instead, running through a mix of environments including suburban residential, agricultural, industrial (Mitsubishi Plastics, Yokohama Rubber, etc.), and dense suburban downtown approaching JR Hiratsuka Station (JR Tōkaidō Line, JR Shōnan-Shinjuku Line).

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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #2383
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Nippon Sharyō says earthquake won’t affect TRA orders
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiw.../16/2003498318

Quote:
Plans to purchase commuter trains and tilting train cars from Japan would not be disrupted by Friday’s massive earthquake, as the manufacturer has promised to deliver the order on time, the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) said yesterday.

Prior to finalizing the deals with Nagoya-based Nippon Sharyo this year, TRA had canceled bids for EMU 800 commuter trains 10 times and for the tilting trains on three occasions, either because of insufficient numbers of bidders or because negotiations broke down.

The TRA said it had contacted the Japanese train car manufacturer and was informed that the company’s manufacturing base is in Toyokawa City near Nagoya, about 600km from the earthquake’s epicenter.

Neither the factory nor its equipment were damaged in the quake, it said.

TRA said Nippon Sharyo must start delivering the first batch of the EMU 800 trains in September next year, adding that delivery of all 296 EMU 800 trains must be completed by July 2015.

Meanwhile, the delivery of 136 tilting train cars must also begin in October next year. All the train cars must arrive in Taiwan by 2014, the TRA said.

In other news, TRA passengers traveling between New Taipei City’s (新北市) Banciao (板橋) and Taipei City now need to pay more after a new pricing scheme took effect yesterday.

Many people were unaware of the price increase because most passengers on the route either use concession tickets issued by the TRA or EasyCards. Both allow train passengers to travel at discounted prices.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:50 AM   #2384
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Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyō awarded 12 DMU order for Metrolinx in Toronto
http://www.sumitomocorp.com/docs/new...ment42011.docx

Quote:
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, APRIL 1, 2011--- Sumitomo Corporation of America in conjunction with its car builder partner Nippon Sharyo, entered into contract on March 29, 2011, with Metrolinx in Toronto, Canada to supply 12 Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs). The contract price is $53 million for 12 DMUs and includes an option for Metrolinx to purchase up to an additional 6 cars. If the option is exercised, the total contract would amount to $75 million. These vehicles are scheduled for delivery in 2014, and will be the first vehicle delivery to Canada for the Sumitomo Corporation of America/ Nippon Sharyo team.

The new DMUs will be used for the Air Rail Link (ARL), which is an express rail link that will connect Pearson Airport with Union Station in downtown Toronto – Canada’s two busiest transportation hubs. The ARL service will be operational by 2015, in time for the Pan Am Games, and will offer a critical transit alternative to the five million car trips that take place every year between these destinations.

According to Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx, “We are excited to be taking the next step towards providing a link from the busiest airport to the busiest passenger rail hub in Canada. This rail link is a vital transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, improving traffic congestion and providing passengers with more travel options across the region.”

These unique DMU vehicles are new to North America. In order to have vehicles delivered in time for public use of the Air Rail Link service, prior to the Pan Am Games in 2015, and to receive the benefits of very competitive vehicle pricing, Metrolinx combined their procurement requirements with the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) Procurement Contract and entered formal negotiations to purchase up to 18 DMUs from Sumitomo Corporation of America. The vehicles for Metrolinx will meet the same stringent Tier 4 emissions standards and incorporate Crush Energy management (CEM) features.

Gino Antoniello, Vice President, Transportation Systems Unit, Sumitomo Corporation of America said, “We are very proud of this contract award from Metrolinx. It not only represents our first entry into the Canadian marketplace for our team, but it confirms that the DMU is a remarkable product. This contract highlights the fact that DMUs with Tier 4 engines are a very environmentally-friendly technology. Because diesel propulsion can be modified to electric propulsion, this DMU will suit cities that have plans to build new electric rail infrastructure in the future. I believe we will see more and more municipalities looking at this technology as a way to start up a first-time rail transit system, or use it as a feeder link to larger commuter systems.”

Sumitomo has 50 years of contract management experience in bringing transportation systems to life. As a prime contractor, the company has developed, managed and delivered transit systems for Chicago's Metra, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, the Maryland Mass Transit Administration, California's CALTRANS Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the Los Angeles County MTA, the Virginia Railway Express, and will begin delivery to SMART at the end of 2013. Sumitomo has supplied Automated People Mover (APM) systems for the Washington Dulles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Miami International Airport.

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

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

About Sumitomo Corporation of America
Established in 1952, and headquartered in New York City, SCOA has 10 offices in major U.S. cities, as well as in the major Canadian cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. SCOA is the largest wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, one of the world's leading traders of goods and services. As an integrated business enterprise, the firm has emerged as a major organizer of multinational projects, an expediter of ideas, an important international investor and financier, and a powerful force for distribution of products and global communications through a network of offices worldwide. For more information visit www.sumitomocorp.com.
Looks like this one is official now. This is a piggyback off the Sonoma-Marina Area Rapid Transit (SMART) DMU order in the San Francisco area.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #2385
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Platform doors at Kita-Shinchi Station enter service
http://mytown.asahi.com/areanews/osa...103270106.html

Quote:
Moving platform gates (platform doors) at Kita-Shinchi Station (Kita Ward, Ōsaka City) on the JR Tōzai Line, designed to prevent passengers from falling off platforms and coming into contact with trains, began operating on March 27. This marks the first platform door installation on JR West zairaisen (conventional lines).

The door installation is 1.3 m tall and stretches 140 m long. When a train arrives, the conductor places his hand on a sensor attached to the platform doors to open and close the door leaves, which are aligned with the train’s doors.

Daily entries and exits at Kita-Shinchi Station total approx. 98,000 passengers, 13th largest among stations under JR West’s jurisdiction. In the three-year period starting in FY2008, there were a total of 15 platform falls. The area around the station is home to many restaurants, and the platform doors are aimed at preventing intoxicated passengers from falling off the platform. The construction cost was approx. ¥350 million, with the national government and Ōsaka City each shouldering ¥100 million.

JR West is also slated to install similar platform doors at Ōsaka Tenmangū Station on the Tōzai Line in FY2011.
A few pics:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kyone8020/

Rapid for Kizu



Rapid for Dōshisha-mae



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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #2386
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Liaison committee established for Kita-Ōsaka Express Line extension
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/new...8310000-n1.htm

Quote:
The Kitakyū Extension and Related Urban Planning Liaison Committee, where stakeholder jurisdictions will discuss the northern extension of the Kita-Ōsaka Express (Kitakyū) Line (currently interlined with the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line) and surrounding urban planning efforts, was established. Ōsaka Prefecture’s Minoo City, which is pushing for the extension, says, “Establishing a forum to work towards a consensus on the project is a big step forward.”

The committee is composed of representatives from five bodies: Minoo City, Ōsaka Prefecture, Hankyū Corporation, Kita-Ōsaka Express Electric Railway, and the Ōsaka Semba Fashion Co-operative Association. Minoo City mayor Kurata Tetsurō will serve as chairman, and officials say they will now move forward with sharing of information regarding the status of completion of area roadways and the schedule for establishing consensus for the extension.

Mayor Kurata expressed his anticipations: “While there must be consensus within each of the organizations, we are hoping to reach an agreement and begin the process with the national government as early as this year, with an opening in FY2018.”
This 2.5 km extension north from Senri Chūō would add two new stations: Minoo Senba and Shin-Minoo.

Some images:
Source: Minoo City



Minoo Senba Station



Shin-Minoo Station



Shin-Minoo Station station plaza

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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #2387
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Takenotsuka Station continuous grade-separation project receives urban planning approvals
http://www.ayomi.co.jp/chiku01/detail.php?eid=01989

Quote:
On March 31, the project related to the continuous grade-separation around Takenotsuka Station on the Tōbu Isesaki Line received urban planning approvals. As a result, elevation of the tracks and improvements in the immediate vicinity of the station are ready to begin in earnest.

Urban planning approvals were issued for the continuous grade-separation project between Kurihara 3-chōme and Higashi-Ikō 3-chōme (3.1 km), which includes construction of a new transit plaza at the West Exit of Takenotsuka Station, new roads, expansion of the area near the station’s East Exit rotary, and the opening of an auxiliary Route 261 (modified to an at-grade design), which had been cut off due to the railroad tracks.

The project will conduct field surveys and other studies, aiming for project approval in FY2011.

Takenotsuka Station was the scene of a tragic accident that cost the lives of two victims at the south-side grade crossing on March 15, 2005. As a result, neighborhood residents, together with Adachi Ward and the Adachi Ward Council, banded together to push for the immediate elevation of the tracks, orchestrating petition efforts and submitting petitions to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government.
Details on the grade-separation project are here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=990

Due to limited space at the West Exit, Takenotsuka Station also has an interesting application of a turntable, to allow buses to change directions. This is common in office buildings with limited space to move large vehicles such as service and delivery trucks, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one for buses. This latest project will now provide an actual transit plaza for the West Exit.


Source: jintan7 on YouTube
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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #2388
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Tōkyō Metro announces FY2011 business plan: Part 1

Plan: http://www.tokyometro.jp/corporate/p...plan_h23_1.pdf
Presentation: http://www.tokyometro.jp/corporate/p...plan_h23_2.pdf

Main details:
  • Tōzai Line:
    Efforts to relieve overcrowding and prevent delays on the Tōzai Line.
    • Coordination with affected agencies and negotiations for land acquisition towards a large-scale overhaul of Minami-Sunamachi Station (new track and platform requiring major excavation). Total cost: Approx. ¥30 billion
      Construction of a new track and platform and new crossovers at Minami-Sunamachi Station to allow simultaneous departure / arrival and boarding / alighting in the same direction. Expected completion in FY2018 or later.

      New track and island platform is on the right. This will allow the station to serve two trains in the same direction simultaneously, particularly in the inbound (towards Nakano and Mitaka) direction during the morning rush hour. Although they don’t specifically mention it, this configuration will also allow simultaneous boarding from both sides for the center track.


    • Introduction of 70 wide-door cars (seven 10-car trains), completing the introduction of all 130 wide-door cars (thirteen 10-car trains)
    • Execution of civil works including excavation at Kayabachō Station and Monzen Nakachō Station.
      Kayabachō Station: Relocation of underground objects and execution of civil works to extend and widen platforms. Total cost: Approx. ¥10 billion

      Passengers transferring to the Hibiya Line toward Naka-Meguro concentrate at the escalators located at the end of the Tōzai Line platform, resulting in severe congestion in this area. As a result, the platforms will now be extended 40 m towards Nishi-Funabashi, but only trains bound for the Nakano end will shift over to the new section of platform. A new stairwell and escalator will also be constructed, and the Naka-Meguro-bound platform of the Hibiya Line will be widened. Overall, this will streamline the flow of passengers transferring from inbound Tōzai Line trains to Naka-Meguro-bound Hibiya Line trains and reduce congestion on the Tōzai Line platforms. Expected completion in FY2016.



      Monzen Nakachō Station: Execution of civil works to widen platforms. Expected completion in FY2013.
  • Yūrakuchō Line / Fukutoshin Line:
    Efforts to stabilize operations on the Yūrakuchō Line and Fukutoshin Line.
    • Construction of new track connections to separate level crossings.
      Between Kotake–Mukaihara Station and Senkawa Station, trains from the Nerima and Wakō-shi ends bound for Shin-Kiba and Shibuya must cross tracks inside the underground tunnel. This complex configuration means that delays or service disruptions on one line force trains to wait for trains on the other line at this crossing. This project will physically separate this crossing inside the tunnel and stabilize train operations, reducing the number of delays and allowing for greater recovery ability following service disruptions. Total cost: Approx. ¥20 billion.



      Work in this fiscal year involves excavation and other civil works to allow for reconfiguration of existing structures, creation of new structures for the connecting tracks, and shield tunnel construction. Expected completion is FY2012 from Kotake–Mukaihara Station to Senkawa Station and FY2014 for Senkawa Station to Kotake–Mukaihara Station.
    • Large-scale improvements (construction of turn-back facilities, construction of new exits to relieve congestion generated by redevelopment in the area surrounding the station, etc.). Total cost: Approx. ¥6 billion.

      Replacement of switches and other work to allow the center platforms at Toyosu Station to be used to turn back trains. New ticketing entrance and restrooms, station exit improvements, and new elevators and escalators from platform level to concourse level. Expected completion in FY2013.

  • Ginza Line
    • Relocation and large-scale upgrades to Shibuya Station (relocation and widening of platforms, accessibility improvements, etc.).

      Starting with the launch of mutual through-servicing between the Tōkyō Metro Fukutoshin Line and Tōkyū Tōyoko Line, Shibuya Station’s functions will be upgraded and re-organized, and basic urban infrastructure will be constructed jointly with a station tenant building redevelopment to strengthen the transport hub functionality of the area around Shibuya Station. The Ginza Line’s Shibuya Station will be relocated, with platform congestion relieved through platform widening and convenience improved through connection into the transfer concourse. Barrier-free (accessibility) improvements will also be carried out. Expected completion in FY2021.

  • Platform doors
    Current status of platform doors (as of end of FY2010):
    Marunouchi Line: All 28 stations
    Chiyoda Line: 2 stations
    Yūrakuchō Line: 9 stations
    Namboku Line: All 19 stations
    Fukutoshin Line: All 11 stations

    Network-wide completion:
    End of FY2010: 69 stations (39%)
    End of FY2012: 84 stations (47%)
    • Continuation of installation on the remaining 15 stations on the Yūrakuchō Line. Expected completion in FY2012.
    • Implementation of various studies to install platform doors on the Ginza Line.
      At stations with limited platform space, studies and other work will be conducted for the widening and reinforcement of platforms and the relocation of structural columns on platforms. Platform doors to gradually begin entering operation starting in FY2016.

    • Advancement of installation on other lines after negotiations with through-servicing railway operators.

Some other interesting things in the business plan:

Kudanshita Station improvements
Demolition of walls to allow for easier transfers between the Toei Subway Shinjuku Line and Tōkyō Metro Hanzōmon Line. They are supposed to come to a conclusion regarding fare structure to reduce the fare burden for transferring between Toei Subway and Tōkyō Metro by summer 2011.



Earthquake warning and recovery system
I thought this was interesting, as it describes the response following detection of an earthquake.

Six seismographs along the Tōkyō Metro network are tied into the train control system, together with Japan’s earthquake early warning system (UrEDAS). When an early warning is issued for an earthquake via UrEDAS, train crews are automatically notified to put their trains into emergency stop. Then, the six seismographs kick in. If the seismographs register a peak ground acceleration of 100 gals or more, all trains automatically come to an emergency stop.

Then, the Tōkyō Metro command center examines data from another 33 localized “area” seismographs. For areas where these seismographs register peak ground acceleration of 100 gals or more, staff must go out and walk the tracks to inspect damage. For areas where the ground acceleration is less than 100 gals, train crews are instructed to proceed at caution. Once the safety of the facilities has been confirmed, regular service resumes.

Location of seismographs:
Blue ones are the six primary seismographs, while the pink ones are the 33 localized seismographs.



Distribution business
This year, they will construct two small ekinaka (station retail) facilities (Echika fit Nagatachō and Echika fit Ginza) and open the second phase of Accorde Yoyogi Uehara underneath the elevated viaduct at Yoyogi Uehara.

Echika fit Nagatachō (400 sq m)



Echika fit Ginza (270 sq m)

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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #2389
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Tōkyō Metro announces FY2011 business plan: Part 2

Some background to the business plan:

Kotake–Mukaihara Station
This four-track station is a major bottleneck in the Tōkyō Metro network, with four tracks feeding in (one set of double tracks feeding in from the Wakō-shi end for the Yūrakuchō Line / Fukutoshin Line and another set from the Seibu Ikebukuro Line / Seibu Yūrakuchō Line) and four tracks coming out (two for the Shin-Kiba bound Yūrakuchō Line and another pair for the Shibuya-bound Fukutoshin Line). The problem is that the schedule is designed for all four route options, so trains from Wakō-shi will head to both Shin-Kiba and Shibuya, as will trains from the Seibu Ikebukuro Line (and vice versa in the outbound direction). At Wakō-shi, there is through-service onto the Tōbu Tōjō Line as well, so in reality, there are three distinct operators directly involved in the operation of the Yūrakuchō Line / Fukutoshin Line: Tōkyō Metro, Seibu Railway, and Tōbu Railway.

The track layout at Kotake–Mukaihara also has some conflicts for certain trains going in specific directions due to level crossings. The schedule is tight and carefully orchestrated to avoid the conflict, and under normal conditions, it works OK. But any slight delay on one line can wreak havoc on the other lines, as trains need to be shuffled around. This will all get even more complicated next year when the Fukutoshin Line begins through-service at its other end in Shibuya with the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line, adding a fourth operator to the mix and requiring greater coordination.

The scene at Kotake–Mukaihara following a service disruption on the Yūrakuchō Line caused by an equipment failure at Ichigaya Station around 7:00 am one weekday morning. Because of the complexity of the schedule and through-servicing, dispatchers must shuffle around train schedules. With delays on the Yūrakuchō Line, a through-servicing Tōbu train is forced to switch back at Kotake – Mukaihara, forcing all passengers off the train and onto an already-crowded platform. Overcrowding then causes some platform-door related delays for a Shibuya-bound Fukutoshin Line, as the operator cycles the doors an additional 6 times until they close properly.


Source: se50000t on YouTube

For a few weeks following the earthquake, the severe power shortage forced Tōkyō Metro to run the Fukutoshin Line as a local-only shuttle service between Ikebukuro and Shibuya. Apparently, Yūrakuchō Line riders were pleased because their service became more stable and reliable as a result. Fukutoshin Line service north / west of Ikebukuro (and through-service onto the Tōbu and Seibu networks was restored on 2011.03.31.

Tōzai Line
The most crowded private railway line in Japan (there are more crowded JR lines). A lot of attention has gone to the new 15000 series, with wider doors designed to reduce dwell times, but it seems they will now begin major upgrades at Minami-Sunamachi, Kayabachō, and Monzen Nakachō Stations to further reduce the potential for delays and increase operational flexibility and reliability. The two-track configuration that allows for simultaneous departure and arrival is the same solution used at Shinjuku Station on another high-frequency, high-ridership line—the JR Chūō Rapid Line.

Morning rush hour at Monzen Nakachō:


Source: TheTouzailine on YouTube
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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:56 AM   #2390
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Service on JR Jōban Line between Tsuchiura and Katsuta restored

On 2011.03.31, service on the JR Jōban Line between Tsuchiura and Katsuta was restored and Mito Station reopened, 20 days following the earthquake and tsunami. This means Mito (capital of Ibaraki Prefecture) and Tōkyō are reconnected by direct train service, and local service in and around Mito is starting to return to normal. However, at least for the time being they are only running all-stop services (no limited expresses), with only about half the trains in the normal schedule. They are also running at lower speeds on the repaired sections, so the normally 2-hour journey between Mito and Ueno currently takes 2.5 hours.

Next milestones are the Katsuta – Takahagi section (reopening around 2011.04.09) and the Takahagi – Iwaki section (reopening late 2011.04). They have yet to survey the damage north of Iwaki due to the situation at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. A bit ironic given that they were planning to eliminate direct service from Ueno north of Iwaki anyways. Mito Line between Tomobe and Oyama will reopen in a week or so, while the Hitachi Aoyagi – Asaka–Nagamori and Kami-Sugaya – Hitachi Ōta sections of the Suigun Line will reopen mid-April. The final section of the Suigun Line between Mito and Hitachi Aoyagi will reopen in late April, marking the complete restoration of all JR lines in the Mito area.

Some pics:
Source: Asahi Shimbun

Passengers return to Mito Station.



As for the station tenant buildings, the EXCEL retail facility at the station’s North Exit also reopened, albeit with only some of the stores on the first and second floors and for limited hours. The remaining sections on the third through sixth floors will reopen in a week or so at the earliest.



The new South Exit station tenant building EXCEL Minami was originally scheduled to open on 2011.04.20, but that has since been canceled. They have already restarted the construction work and will gradually open when stores are ready, but no specific dates have been announced.

Some other Jōban Line videos:
A 10-car E531 series near Mito Station sounds its horn as it passes by maintenance workers out in the field (2011.04.01):


Source: ION6323 on YouTube

Some unusual sights in the days immediately following the earthquake, with E531 series units holding down inner-sububan runs between Ueno and Toride. These trains are dual-voltage units and designed for long-distance commuter runs on the Jōban Line, normally coming from Tsuchiura, Katsuta, and as far out as Takahagi. Departing Ueno Station, bound for Toride (2011.03.16):


Source: tetsumaru0630 on YouTube

A ride out on a Jōban Line long-distance rapid from Ueno to Katsuta (2011.04.03).
Views of the closed Kairakuen park, which has a special seasonal train station that opens only during plum blossom season. Also, lots of construction workers scrambling around near Mito Station to repair the tracks, and some views of limited express trains sitting idle by the wayside at Katsuta Station, as there is no limited express service on the newly-restored section.


Source: KITAKIKENTA on YouTube

Mito Station two weeks after the earthquake (2011.03.25).
Source: coza49 on YouTube

First, the South Exit area, where it appears there was some damage to the pedestrian deck, to the ticketing hall:



From the faregates to the North Exit area:

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Old April 8th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #2391
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Hi, I have a question concerning the automated announcement of the Yamanote Line.

While watching some recent videos of the Yamanote Line, I've noticed (well I may be wrong) that the english announcements have been updated.

The stations are now pronounced with the Japanese accent instead of the American accent...

Well why this change? Maybe JR East has noticed that other private railway companies that use automated announcement, do not use a foreign accent for the pronounciation of Japanese stations.

Personnally, I think its way better that way, tourists won't be confused by the different pronounciation.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 10:56 PM   #2392
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Yeah, they changed the English-language half of the Yamanote Line in-train announcements starting in 2010. The station names was one, but then they also changed intonations on things like "subway line"... Like you said, perhaps to be more consistent with the private railway and subway convention (not that there is much of one... they each seem to do things a little differently, but I suppose that's what makes them interesting from a railfan point-of-view).

Yamanote Line from Yoyogi to Shinjuku.
The "Ōedo Subway Line" part sounds different now. They also rerecorded or changed the speed on "The doors on the [left, right] side will open."


Source: o4ppy on YouTube

Thing is, I think they've changed it at least two or three times now. I remember it used to be "shinJUku" (or perhaps I'm confusing with another line), then I think they changed it to sound a little more Japanese sometime in 2008. The station name sounded alright, but the pronunciation of the other lines was horrible ("oDAkyū", "maruNOuchi"):
http://www.geocities.jp/sasatomo231/y231n-shinjuku.mp3

Apparently, the Keihin-Tōhoku Line is getting the same upgrade as well:

Approaching Yokohama.
First part is the old, second part is the new.


Source: guranntuurisumo on YouTube
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Old April 8th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #2393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo
Shin-Minoo Station



Shin-Minoo Station station plaza

These two stations look very similar to the types of TOD found in US light rail stations.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 12:17 AM   #2394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manrush View Post
These two stations look very similar to the types of TOD found in US light rail stations.
Which lines in US?
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Old April 9th, 2011, 03:05 AM   #2395
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Which lines in US?
Like some of the proposed TODs for the Dallas DART lines.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 03:56 AM   #2396
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Like some of the proposed TODs for the Dallas DART lines.
Except I don't see a sea of parking lots like too many of the Dallas Dart stations seem to be afflicted with. That was always something that put me off the Dart system as a whole, the stations outside the city centre have waaaayyy too much parking.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 06:26 AM   #2397
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Except I don't see a sea of parking lots like too many of the Dallas Dart stations seem to be afflicted with. That was always something that put me off the Dart system as a whole, the stations outside the city centre have waaaayyy too much parking.
Well. Dallas doesn't have commuter rail system to get people from the burbs.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 06:32 AM   #2398
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The DART Light rail is essentially the commuter rail. Aside from TRE. I think Dallas-FT Wortth area is generally very car oriented.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 07:33 AM   #2399
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Sorry for derailing the thread. I'll try to stay on topic this time.

Many threads back, quashlo posted something about a Saitama-Gunma LRT. I was wondering if that line is going to use a former mainline railway spur and convert it to light rail standard.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #2400
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Quote:
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Except I don't see a sea of parking lots like too many of the Dallas Dart stations seem to be afflicted with. That was always something that put me off the Dart system as a whole, the stations outside the city centre have waaaayyy too much parking.
I simply believe Americans do not like to take buses which in Japan are utilized as feeder transit throughout the local station area. There are a lot of bicycles parking and some people walking to the station because the immediate area around the station is usually crowded with condos and various other amenities like shopping malls making it a highly convenient and popular place for people to live.
When the station is littered with parking lots it loses it's value due to the high differential of population within the immediate area around the station at off peak hours making it a virtual ghost town not making it an attractive proposition for commerce.
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