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Old April 9th, 2011, 10:32 AM   #2401
quashlo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manrush View Post
Sorry for derailing the thread. I'll try to stay on topic this time.
I don't think it's off-topic. It was a perfectly valid comment. Doesn't hurt to have some somewhat serious discussion here anyways, instead of just me posting news.

In response to your comment:
I can also see some similarities between the sketches and typical suburban TODs in the U.S., but the land use is likely substantially denser and more mixed. Those buildings that look like townhomes—a fixture in suburban TODs in the U.S.—are actually a small retail complex (by none other than Tōkyū Land Corporation). That entire block and the buildings on the west side of the main road (Shin-Midōsuji, or National Route 423) are all retail / entertainment, and include an Aeon shopping mall (the complex connecting into the north end of the station) housing a Carrefour; a Namco Land (huge video arcade center); a “big-box” sports equipment retailer; a cinema complex; and another Tōkyū mall.

The area in the immediate vicinity of the future station has already undergone "land readjustment" (basically a zoning and reorganization of lots in preparation for the station) as part of the so-called Minoo Shin-Toshin (“Minoo New City Center”). These new retail uses all came in a few years ago as a result of that process. What hasn’t come online yet are all the midrise apartment blocks surrounding the retail center and station, which will pop up if / once the extension moves forward. Once complete, the area will probably look a lot like Minami-Senri Station or Yamada Station on the Hankyū Senri Line, but with more intense retail use.

To make it easier to explore the area along the proposed extension using aerials or Street View, I made a Google Map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,0.084543&z=14

There's plenty of examples in Japan of what we would call "TOD" (albeit generally denser and more mixed-use), and good suburban examples in suburbs north of Ōsaka, as a good chunk of it is part of the Senri New Town development. The Hankyū Senri Line, Kita-Ōsaka Express Line, and the Ōsaka Monorail were all built or extended to serve the New Town.

The premier TOD in this area is probably the existing terminus of the Kita-Ōsaka Express Line at Senri Chūō (“Senri Central”): a large office district, two department stores (a Daimaru and a Hankyū), a Yamada Denki (electronics retailer), a huge mall, a library, a hospital, and dense midrise apartment blocks all surrounding the station. It's basically the heart of Senri New Town.

============

As for DART, I don't see how they would be able to do without some substantial amount of parking. If we're talking about suburban stations, these people will be driving in. It seems the best they could do is try and put the parking in structures either above- or belowground to minimize the inefficient use of land, and then build something else on the area that was freed up.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #2402
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Here's Senri Chūō:

Building at left is the Senri Chūō Hospital, building at right is the Senri Life Science Center (office building, plus exhibition / conference space).

image hosted on flickr

Source: Наканеков on Flickr

Same view at night, with Hankyū buses lined up and the ubiquitous pedestrian decks / bridges.

image hosted on flickr

Source: Наканеков on Flickr

Station building

image hosted on flickr


Looking north from the station building. Note the overflowing taxi pool to serve passengers arriving at the station.

image hosted on flickr

Source: Leo.C.2010 on Flickr

Senri Selcy, the mall

image hosted on flickr

Source: yuko chan on Flickr

There’s also an Ōsaka Monorail station at Senri Chūō. To the left is the Chūgoku Expressway, to the right is the southern end of the suburban downtown just to the west of the station. There’s also plenty of apartment blocks fanning out in all directions from the station.

image hosted on flickr

Source: as365n2 on Flickr
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Old April 9th, 2011, 09:37 PM   #2403
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I read that there was a planned Matsudo extension to Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line. But since new subway line construction is over, it won't happen. Where there any other extensions planned or new full lines talked about?
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Old April 10th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #2404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manrush View Post
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.
If built, it would use former railroad ROW north of Kumagaya, between Kumagaya Station and Menuma Station (abandoned) in Kumagaya City and between Nishi-Koizumi Station and Sengoku Gashi Station (abandoned) in Ōizumi Town. The former was part of the Tōbu Kumagaya Line, which has since been abandoned, while the latter was part of the Tōbu Sengoku Gashi Line, an extension of the Tōbu Koizumi Line.

The ROW of the Tōbu Kumagaya Line between Kumagaya and Ōhata remains, although the tracks have all been removed except for some portions near Kumagaya, I believe. North of Ōhata, the ROW was converted to a road. I believe most if not all of the ROW of the Tōbu Sengoku Gashi Line has been converted to a bike / ped path. The freight terminal at Sengoku Gashi Station just north of the Tone River is now a giant park. There were originally plans to extend the Kumagaya Line north of Menuma and across the Tone River to connect into the Sengoku Gashi Line, and they had already done some construction for this, but it never happened.

You can follow the ROW here:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,0.676346&z=11

As for the line south of Kumagaya, that is probably either all-new ROW or somehow converting or sharing existing ROW for roads, etc. There's an improved bike path that leads from Shinrin Kōen Station on the Tōbu Tōjō Line to Musashi Kyūryō Shinrin Kōen (Musashi Kyūryō National Government Park), and the alignment I chose converts that for LRT use.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #2405
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dumbfword View Post
I read that there was a planned Matsudo extension to Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line. But since new subway line construction is over, it won't happen. Where there any other extensions planned or new full lines talked about?
New subway construction isn't "over" per se... More like Tōkyō Metro said they don't want to invest any more of their own money in expanding the network, at least for the time being. There's nothing barring various government bodies banding together, footing the bill for an extension, and later contracting out the operations to Tōkyō Metro.

I guess the following are the most advanced plans for extensions or new lines in Tōkyō, either already under construction or very likely to be built.
  • Sōtetsu-JR Through Line, a conversion of the Tōkaidō Freight Line to passenger use from Nishiya, via Yokohama Hazawa, to around Tsurumi (already under construction)
  • Tōhoku Through Line, new track from Ueno to Tōkyō for Utsunomiya Line / Takasaki Line / Jōban Line (already under construction)
  • Sōtetsu-Tōkyū Through Line, new track from Yokohama Hazawa to Hiyoshi (in planning)
  • Toei Ōedo Line extension northwest from Hikarigaoka to Ōizumi Gakuenchō (in planning)
  • Toei Asakusa Line bypass between Oshiage and Sengakuji, with a connection into Tōkyō Station (in planning)
  • Kawasaki Rapid Railway, new line between Shin-Yurigaoka and Kawasaki (in planning)
It also looks like the Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line extension may be picking up steam (I posted an article a few weeks ago), and there are other extensions that have been proposed (Sōtetsu Izumino Line to Kurami, Tōkyō Monorail extension to Shimbashi or Tōkyō, Saitama Railway Line extension to Iwatsuki, etc.).
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Old April 10th, 2011, 08:12 AM   #2406
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Cool. Thank you
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Old April 10th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #2407
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Bus files: Part 3

I’ve decided to continue, at least for the time being… This guy has a lot of Tōkyō-area bus cab views on YouTube, giving a great tour of parts of the metropolis that most people don’t even know about.

This set is on Shōnan / Yokohama area buses in Yokohama City, Kamakura City, and Zushi City.
Source: puku0987 on YouTube

First, a more urban-type route:

Keihin Kyūkō (Keikyū) Bus Kami-Ōoka 1
Route: Kami-Ōoka Station to Minami High School (Google Maps)
Short but sweet route in Kōnan Ward, Yokohama City, from Kami-Ōoka Station (Keikyū Main Line, Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line) to Minami High School. Kami-Ōoka is one of Yokohama’s “subcenters”, but is located a distance away from central Yokohama. Lots of pedestrian traffic on narrow, curvy streets, with some elevation changes as the bus approaches Minami High School. At the end, there’s some scenes at the mini terminal at Minami High School—with barely enough space for three bus berths—as staff control road traffic while the bus attempts to back into one of the berths. During the peak hours, this particular route runs every 5-6 minutes to shuttle students headed to school and commuters headed to the station.



Now, some more suburban-type routes:

Keihin Kyūkō (Keikyū) Bus Kamakura 24
Route: Kamakura Station to Kanazawa Hakkei Station (Google Maps)
Suburban route out of JR Kamakura Station (JR Yokosuka Line, JR Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Enoshima Electric Railway). This video is only part of the route, from Kamakura Station to right after entering Yokohama City. First passes down the main boulevard outside Kamakura Station, and then follows a narrow two-lane arterial that twists its way through the hills separating Kamakura City and Yokohama City.



Enoden Bus Kamakura Station → Hongōdai Station
Route: Kamakura Station to Ōfuna Station and Hongōdai Station (Google Maps)
Operated by the bus subsidiary of Enoshima Electric Railway. This route mostly parallels the Yokosuka Line all the way to Ōfuna Station (JR Tōkaidō Line, JR Yokosuka Line, JR Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, JR Keihin-Tōhoku Line / Negishi Line, Shōnan Monorail) before peeling off towards Hongōdai Station on the JR Keihin-Tōhoku Line / Negishi Line. This video is only the Kamakura to Ōfuna part, which follows some narrow arterials and crosses the Yokosuka Line at-grade twice. At the first crossing (6:50), the bus waits for full-length (11+4) Yokosuka Line trains in both directions. There’s a lot of ped traffic on the road leading up to this grade crossing, bound for either JR Kita-Kamakura Station or for the various temples and shrines in the area which are a major tourist attraction, including Engakuji Temple and Kenchōji Temple. Toward the end, there's a nice view of the Shōnan Monorail aerial structure weaving its way into Ōfuna Station.



Keihin Kyūkō (Keikyū) Bus Kamakura 40
Route: Zushi Station to Kamakura Station via Zushi Marina (Google Maps)
Suburban route through Zushi City and Kamakura City. Starts at Zushi Station (JR Yokosuka Line, JR Shōnan-Shinjuku Line), passing through quaint residential neighborhoods along the Shōnan coastline, to JR Kamakura Station (JR Yokosuka Line, JR Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Enoshima Electric Railway). At 12:45, the bus enters Riviera Zushi Marina, a large “lifestyle” planned development on the waterfront complete with palm tree-lined avenues and its own marina for boats.


Last edited by quashlo; April 11th, 2011 at 07:12 PM.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #2408
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Bus files: Part 4

Switching it up a bit with a set focusing on Shinagawa Ward, Tōkyō proper. These particular routes are all out of the East Exit at Shinagawa Station.
Source: puku0987 on YouTube

Toei Bus Shinagawa 99
Route: Shingawa Station East Exit to Shinagawa Pier (loop route) (Google Maps)
An interesting circulator looping through various parts of the Kōnan district. Starts off with dense commercial and residential through 2-chōme, 4-chōme, and 3-chōme, but then crosses over to 5-chōme, passing by the Tōkyō office of the Immigration Bureau of Japan (5:53)—perhaps why some of the announcements are in English—and various large industrial uses including the Shinagawa power plant (7:10). The route follows a portion of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen aerial structure to / from the main car yard (8:00), and there is one Shinkansen train headed to the yard that can be seen (13:35). This is another frequent route, with buses every 3 minutes during the peak and every 5 minutes off-peak (during the midday period, half of the buses terminate at the Immigration Bureau).



Toei Bus Shinagawa 98-Kō
Route: Shingawa Station East Exit to Ōta Market (Google Maps)
This route serves industrial uses, although there is a short section on Tennōzu Island (starting at 2:45), a primarily commercial mixed-use area. In general, however, the running environment is mostly waterfront industrial uses, with plenty of trailer trucks parked or in movement all over the place. Starting at 16:30, the bus enters the massive Ōta Market (a major wholesale market akin to Tsukiji), driving around the perimeter from the North Gate to the main entrance on the South Gate. There is actually a freight rail spur off the Tōkaidō Line that runs beneath the market which is proposed for conversion to passenger rail use to improve access into Haneda Airport and provide a bypass to the busy lines on the Keihin corridor (Tōkyō – Kawasaki – Yokohama).



Toei Bus Shinagawa 96-Otsu
Route: Shinagawa Station East Exit to JAL Building (Google Maps)
Short route serving the Japan Airlines (JAL) HQ building (formerly “JAL Building”). After the rights to the building name were sold off, the destination of this route is now just denoted as “Rinkai Line Tennōzu Isle Station”. Service is frequent all day, reaching four-minute headways during the peak, and there is a morning-rush-only Shinagawa 96-Kō service that terminates partway at the Tōkyō Monorail’s Tennōzu Isle Station. Passes by the Tōkyō University of Marine Science and Technology (3:30) and the Tōkyō Monorail’s Tennōzu Isle Station (6:00), where there is an off-street small bus terminal underneath the monorail tracks.



Toei Bus 01-Shutsunyū
Route: Shinagawa Station East Exit to Tōkyō Teleport Station (Google Maps)
This route serves Odaiba. This is a limited service route, with only a few trips here and there, primarily concentrated in the morning and evening rush hour for buses leaving from and returning to (shutsunyū) the bus yard. This one crosses the Rainbow Bridge and parallels much of the Yurikamome route on Odaiba.

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Old April 10th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #2409
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Bus files: Part 5

Moving to Shinjuku Station for some more urban routes.
Source: puku0987 on YouTube

Seibu Bus Shinjuku 20
Route: Shinjuku Station West Exit to Ikebukuro Station East Exit via Higashi-Nakano Station (Google Maps)
Connects two major central Tōkyō terminal stations. Follows several major roadways, including Yamate-dōri (a major boulevard carrying both the Central Circular Route of the Metropolitan Expressway and the Toei Ōedo Line underground), Mejiro-dōri, and Meiji-dōri.



Keiō Bus Shinjuku 51
Route: Shibuya Station West Exit to Shinjuku Station West Exit via Yoyogi Park (Google Maps)
A similar route, but between Shibuya and Shinjuku. Peak-period frequency is every 6-7 minutes, every 8 minutes midday and every 10 minutes other times.



Toei Bus CH01
Route: Shinjuku Station West Exit to Tōkyō Metropolitan Government Building (loop route) (Google Maps)
A quick loop starting at the West Exit of Shinjuku Station inside the sunken taxi / bus plaza, proceeding down the tunnel to the TMG Building (beneath this tunnel is also the Toei Ōedo Line). Then, a loop around the TMG and through the parking garage of the Tōkyō Metropolitan Assembly Hall before heading back to the West Exit of the station. Note the massive queue of taxis waiting to pick up passengers from the station. This route is jointly operated with Keiō Bus, and frequency during the peak hour is a bus every 2 minutes.



Keiō Bus S01
Route: Shinjuku Station West Exit to Shinjuku Subcenter (loop route) (Google Maps)
Another circulator route in the West Shinjuku area, operated by Keiō Bus, with stops at the TMG Building and the Park Hyatt Tōkyō.

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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #2410
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Disaster could upset Auckland plans to borrow Kawasaki LRV
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/transport/...ectid=10712746

Quote:
The earthquake disaster in Japan could upset plans for a light-rail trial on the Auckland waterfront during the Rugby World Cup.

Waterfront Auckland has been talking to Japanese company Kawasaki about borrowing a light electric railcar to run on a 1.5km circuit of Wynyard Quarter at cup time.

Chief executive John Dalzell was not sure what effect the earthquake would have on the trial. An officer from Auckland Transport was to have gone to Japan next month to discuss the details.

Even if the light railcar does not make it to Auckland, two heritage trams from a museum in Bendigo, Victoria, are expected to be running between Jellicoe, Halsey, Gaunt and Daldy Sts by mid-August.

It is hoped the $8 million project will be the catalyst for a possible light-rail extension from Wynyard Quarter, across Viaduct Harbour to the Downtown ferry terminal, Queens Wharf, or even further along the waterfront.

Visiting Wynyard Quarter yesterday, Mr Dalzell said the area resembled organised chaos, but he was confident that six public projects costing $120 million would be ready for the cup.

Most advanced are the $32 million Viaduct Events Centre at the end of Halsey St with its distinctive wave-like roof and the North Wharf promenade.

The wharf will still be used by the fishing industry to unload catches, original features will be kept, such as old rail tracks with strip lighting inserted into them, and two new buildings have gone up on either side of a 1930s Auckland Harbour Board shed.

The three buildings are 80 per cent leased to cafes and restaurants, many of which will be seafood-based.

On the other side of North Wharf, work is progressing on turning Jellicoe St into a tree-lined boulevard and Jellicoe Plaza, where sculptor Michio Ihara's Wind Tree will be resited.

The tapestry of stainless-steel tubes was Auckland City's 1971 centennial present to itself but has lain in an Onehunga storeroom since it was moved from the wharf end of Queen St to make way for the Britomart bus and rail station.

The other projects due to be ready for the cup are the $12 million Silo Park at the western end of Jellicoe St and the $3.7 million pedestrian and cycling bridge linking the Viaduct Harbour with Wynyard Quarter.

The bridge leads to the $5.5 million Gateway Plaza featuring seating, art and steps down to the water's edge.
Missed this since I’ve been so busy with work past few weeks.

Anyways, it appears this is probably the SWIMO (see here). Had no idea that Kawasaki was already in talks with potential clients.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:42 PM   #2411
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Fuji Electric to supply electrical equipment for WMATA train order
http://www.fujielectric.com/company/.../11040501.html

Quote:
Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. announced today that Fuji Electric Corp. of America, a wholly-owned subsidiary, was selected to manufacture linear door and auxiliary power supply (APS) systems for the new WMATA 7000-series subway cars. This order is in connection with a project, which WMATA awarded Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., an American-based subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., to manufacture an initial order of 364 subway cars. The contract allows for a total of 748 subway cars when WMATA exercises options included in its agreement with Kawasaki Rail Car. Fuji Electric will start delivering the equipment in the summer of 2011, for an initial order of 364 cars.

Overview of the Products:
Linear Door System
Order for 2,184 door systems for 364 subway cars
Linear door systems are used to open and close the sliding passenger doors of rail cars. Fuji Electric's linear door systems are electronically controlled to achieve a high level of precise control over door movement. The system offers reduced maintenance, higher reliability, and improved safety compared to other conventional driving systems for sliding doors.

APS System
Order for 364 units (82.4kVA; 750VDC/230VAC, 120VAC; and 37.5VDC)
APS systems convert the electricity supplied by an overhead catenary or third rail (Note 1) into appropriate voltages to feed power to the air conditioning, lighting and other systems in rail cars. Fuji Electric's power electronics technologies draw on its many years of expertise in the field of power conversion related to inverters and battery chargers.

Production of the Products:
Since the Buy America Act (Note 2) applies to the production of the linear door and APS systems that have been ordered for this project, Fuji Electric Corp. of America will carry out production in cooperation with TOYO DENKI USA, INC., a U.S.-based subsidiary of TOYO ELECTRIC MFG. CO. LTD., with which Fuji Electric has established a business partnership (Note 3) in the field of electrical equipment for railway cars.

Along with this project and other contracts for orders already concluded in the North American market, Fuji Electric is accelerating its efforts to participate in new overseas projects by aggressively seeking orders in projects being planned around the world. The targets include the projects for upgrading urban transit systems and constructing new high-speed railway lines connecting major cities.

Notes:
1. The third rail is a method of providing electric power to passenger trains through the installation of an additional rail running alongside the train.
2. The Buy America Act is a provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act that requires preference to be given to American companies in mass-transit-related procurements.
3. For more information, please see the following press release regarding collaboration with Toyo Electric Corporation in the overseas market (in Japanese).

Fuji Electric's APS System


Fuji Electric's Linear Door System
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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:42 PM   #2412
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New Flyer and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries team up for prototype electric bus
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/bre...119536124.html

Quote:
The provincial government will roll out a number of projects on electric vehicles over the next year, Manitoba’s Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak said today.

Some of the projects fall under a one-year memorandum of understanding the province signed in December with Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop a prototype electric bus with New Flyer Industries. Mitsubishi is testing a bus in Japan.

Chomiak, speaking Saturday at this weekend’s annual NDP convention, said the deal encourages the development of new technologies for the full "electrification" of vehicles, and explores opportunities for cold-weather testing of products MHI has developed.
"Mitsubishi sought us out because they knew we were both environmentally friendly and energy endowed," Chomiak said.

He added its hoped the province can develop technology in energy-efficient vehicles rather than become a Detroit of the north to make electric cars and buses.

"We think with our capacity here with composites, our innovation and with our electricity we can be a significant player in the future of both power grid and the functioning of electric vehicles, in the short term not necessarily for domestic use, but certainly for national use and international use," he said.

He also said the long-term goal is to help in the development of a full-scale electric vehicle.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:19 AM   #2413
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JR West rescinds reduced service plans after news of replacement carbon brushes
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/new...4520026-n1.htm

Quote:
On April 6, JR West announced that it will terminate the reduced train service that had been implemented starting April 2 due to difficulties in procuring components following the Great East Japan Earthquake, restoring normal schedules starting on April 8. A replacement production source has been determined, and the railway says it will now be able to procure the components. JR West will forego the reduced service on the Ōsaka Loop Line and other lines in the Keihanshin area that was originally planned to begin on April 11.

The particular component in question is a consumable component known as a direct-current (DC) motor brush used in DC motors on trains. The source for the components is Hitachi Chemical, but the company’s subsidiary that performs final processing of the component, Namie Hitachi Chemical (Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture), is located within the exclusion zone surrounding Tōkyō Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and there is no schedule for when the factory can reopen.

However, Hitachi Chemical’s Yamazaki plant (Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture), which produces the carbon blocks that are necessary for the component, restarted some of its operations on April 5. After Hitachi Chemical approached the Japan Carbon Association (HQ: Chiyoda Ward, Tōkyō), a group which represents the industry, about subcontracting final processing to member firms, several companies including Tōkai Carbon informally consented to an arrangement.

It’s expected that new shipments of the component will reach railway operators by June. JR West has said that it will be able to meet the needs of normally-scheduled service until then by using supplies of the component it already has in stock.

Starting on April 2, JR West reduced midday services on the Hokuriku Line, San’yō Line, San’in Line, and other lines by as much as 50%, and shortened consists running on a portion of its limited express trains.

On April 6, JR West vice-president Nishikawa Naoki held a press conference and explained that “part of the problem was over-reliance on a single vendor.” The railway now plans on rethinking its procurement methods, including splitting its orders across multiple vendors.

Kinki Nippon Railroad (Kintetsu Corporation), which also uses the same component, said that it “had not received notice from the manufacturer,” but that it had a one- to two-month supply of the components in stock. Hankyū Electric Railway, Keihan Electric Railway, Nankai Electric Railway, and others say they have a four- to six-month supply of the components in stock. Nankai spokespersons say, “For the time being, there won’t be any impacts to train operations.”
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:21 AM   #2414
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Ōsaka City, Higashi-Ōsaka City agree on new station on JR Ōsaka Higashi Line
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/osa...OYT8T00055.htm

Quote:
Ōsaka City, Higashi-Ōsaka City, and others have agreed to establish a new station between Nagase Station and Shin-Kami Station on JR West’s Ōsaka Higashi Line, a portion of which is currently already in service.

The new station would be established in a location that spans both Kami-Kita 5-chōme in Hirano Ward, Ōsaka City and Kizuri 5-chōme in Higashi-Ōsaka City. Both cities will invest half each towards the total project cost of ¥2.0 billion to ¥2.5 billion. Field surveys and detailed design, as well as filing a formal application with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), will take place in FY2011. The cities will aim for an opening before spring 2019, in time for the opening of the full length of the line.

The Ōsaka Higashi Line spans 20.3 km between Shin-Ōsaka and Kyūhōji. The section between Hanaten and Kyūhōji (9.2 km) opened as the first phase in March 2008.
Approximate location of the new station:
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=3...,0.010568&z=17
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #2415
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Last section of Sendai Municipal Subway will reopen April 29
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2011/04/20110407t11027.htm

Quote:
On April 6, the Sendai City Transportation Bureau announced a reduction in the timeline of restoration work for the Dainohara – Izumi Chūō section of the Municipal Subway Namboku Line—which had been out of service as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake—of approximately a month. The Transportation Bureau will reopen the full length of the route with the start of service on April 29.

Outside of rush hours, trains are largely expected to operate on normal schedules. The transport artery linking suburban Izumi Ward to the city’s central district will finally return to normal. As a result, service will be restored in time for the home opener of Sendai’s J1 soccer league team (against Urawa) to be held on April 29 at Yurtec Stadium Sendai. The closest station to the stadium is Izumi Chūō Station.

According to the Transportation Bureau, the damage to the subway was concentrated in approximately one kilometer of viaduct from around Yaotome Station to Izumi Chūō Station in Izumi Ward. Damage to bridge piers over the Nanakita River and to the canopy over Yaotome Station was particularly severe, and the Bureau had originally forecasted a full reopening of the line in late May.

Struggling to quickly restore service on the damaged section of the line, the Bureau asked for assistance from the Tōhoku Transport Bureau and JR East. With engineering advice from JR East, which has knowhow in repairing Shinkansen viaducts following earthquake damage, and intermediation from contractors, the Bureau switched to a new construction method that ensures sufficient strength on a tight schedule. The cost of the repair work is estimated at approx. ¥1.1 billion.

In coordination with the reopening of the full length of the line, the Bureau will terminate on April 28 the free bus substitution service between Dainohara and Kuromatsu Stations and between Dainohara and Izumi Chūō Stations. The Bureau says that extending the last bus departures past 8:30 is currently not possible due to inability to secure a sufficient number of drivers.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:23 AM   #2416
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Mito Line reopens; Jōban Line re-extended to Takahagi
http://www.ibaraki-np.co.jp/news/new...13021793187201

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The JR Mito Line between Oyama and Tomobe, where service had been suspended following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, was re-opened on April 7—27 days after the earthquake struck. In addition, the Takahagi – Katsuta section of the Jōban Line also reopened on April 7, albeit with only local (all-stop) trains.

According to JR’s Mito Branch Office, the Mito Line will operate at slower speeds than usual to ensure safety, and the number of trains in service will only be 70 percent of a normal schedule.

The Jōban Line is operating 60 percent of its normal schedule of services, but local trains on the Katsuta – Ueno section of the line began operating on the normal schedule on April 7. The railway is now accelerating other repair work, and is scheduled to reopen the Takahagi – Iwaki section of the line around April 11. The railway is aiming to restore limited express services on the Takahagi – Ueno section sometime mid-month.

At Shimodate Station on the Mito Line in Chikusei City, high-school students and commuters who normally take the train to work or school were back once more after a long hiatus. Serizawa Ai (20) from Chikusei City, who was waiting on the platform for a train in order to commute to a vocational school in Mito City, was all smiles: “I was a little worried about when it would reopen, but I’m happy that I’ll be able to make the opening ceremony of the school term today.”

Taxi driver Nozawa Toku (73), who was waiting outside the station, eagerly anticipated the complete restoration of service as quickly as possible: “I think the taxi customers, including the office workers coming from the Tōkyō area on work-related business, will gradually come back. I really hope things return to normal quickly.”

Meanwhile, at Hitachi Station on the Jōban Line in Hitachi City, there were passengers taking pictures from the station passages and waiting for trains outside the faregates. Office workers and high-school students were lining up at the counters to purchase tickets and commuter passes.

Yabuki Hiroko (50), a custodian from Ogitsuchō, Hitachi City, was pleased about the restoration of service: “I commuted by bus, but the roads were all congested, and it took 30 minutes longer than usual. The trains are great, they always run on schedule.”

Kojima Kazuhiro (17), a third-year high-school student at Ibaraki Prefecture’s Hitachi No. 1 high school from Arakawa, Takahagi City, came out for some fun with two of his friends: “I can’t get around if there’s no trains. I’m really happy they reopened the line.”
The Takahagi – Iwaki section of the Jōban Line was reopened yesterday (2011.04.11), although there have been a string of large aftershocks recently. Of course, there was the big one on 2011.04.07, a JMA 6+ (M7.4) off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, but it appears that the timeline for service restoration was not drastically affected. However, there have been a slew of smaller, but still large aftershocks yesterday (2011.04.11) and today, including JMA 6- (M7.0) in Fukushima Prefecture at 5:16 pm yesterday, and today three more: a JMA 5 (M5.6) in Nagano Prefecture at 7:00 am, a JMA 5 (M6.4) in Chiba Prefecture at 8:00 am, and most recently a JMA 6- (M6.3) in Fukushima Prefecture at 2:07 pm. Hopefully, this doesn’t delay the repair work too much… I think the full Shinkansen reopening got pushed back from late April to early May as a result of the April 7 aftershock.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:24 AM   #2417
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Rapid service begins on JR Nambu Line

The scheduled start of rapid service on the JR Nambu Line on 2011.03.12 had been delayed as a result of the earthquake and the resulting push to conserve electricity, but with the power situation looking better, JR East officially began operating rapid trains on the line on 2011.04.09.

This marks the “return” of rapid service 33 years after JNR eliminated rapid trains in 1978. JNR initially began the service in 1969, but after introducing new trains with higher performance, later converted all the trains to local services. Population growth and large redevelopments, particularly in the Musashi Kosugi area, have pushed JR East to reinstate the service. The new rapid services will be operated twice hourly between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, bringing the number of local trains down to six per hour. Between Kawasaki and Noborito, the rapid trains will stop at only half of the stations (Kawasaki, Kashimada, Musashi Kosugi, Musashi Nakahara, Musashi Shinjō, Musashi Mizonokuchi, and Noborito), shaving five minutes off the schedule compared to local trains.

Rapid trains in service (2011.04.09):


Source: karibajct on YouTube

As for other news on the Nambu Line, the cherry blossoms along the line are in full bloom now.
A few scenes from Kanagawa Shimbun near Shukugawara in Tama Ward, Kawasaki City:

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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:25 AM   #2418
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Tōkyō trains mostly back to regular schedules

Starting last workweek (2011.04.04), most train services in the Tōkyō area were running back on a normal schedule (actually, a few railways had already returned to normal schedule even before this). The power crunch has lightened somewhat, but more importantly, April is the start of the new school year and work year, so there’s a lot of students and new employees that need train service. As a result, most operators are running regular rush-hour schedules and through-servicing, but cutting the excesses elsewhere, such as reducing midday service or eliminating some limited express or other special services.

The TJ Liner, a special “home-liner” service on the Tōbu Tōjō Line that offers reserved seats leaving Ikebukuro during the evenings for a small premium, was restored on 2011.04.01. Some scenes (2011.04.01):


Source: karibajct on YouTube

While TEPCO has announced the end of the rolling blackouts, railway operators are still conserving electricity where they can, including turning off lighting inside trains, particularly those running aboveground. Lights off inside a Keiō 8000 series train from Daitabashi to Meidaimae:


Source: karibajct on YouTube

Even smaller lines like the Ryōmō Line and Sagami Line, where service was not fully restored, are now fully reopened. It seems that at least JR is 100% back to a regular schedule (even midday) except for the following sections / lines:
  • Itō Line (Atami – Itō): Some trips cancelled (through-service with Izu Express Line suspended)
  • Tōhoku Main Line (Kuroiso towards Shin-Shirakawa): All service suspended (expected resumption mid-April)
  • Jōban Line (Katsuta – Iwaki): Running on a special schedule at slower speeds
  • Mito Line / Suigun Line: Running on a special schedule at slower speeds; substitute bus service provided for Suigun Line between Mito and Hitachi Aoyagi
  • Narita Line (Abiko – Narita): Running on a special schedule
  • Kashima Line (Nobukata – Kashima Jingū): All service suspended (expected resumption 2011.04.16)
So despite a few hiccups here and there, things are mostly back to normal. However, there is some worry about what will happen in the summer, when the load on the electrical grid will increase.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #2419
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JR East decision to cancel all Tōkyō services on day of earthquake draws criticism
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/new...8000048-n1.htm

Quote:
“The Great East Japan Earthquake dealt a huge blow to the railway network in Greater Tōkyō, but JR East promptly decided on the day of the earthquake (March 11) to cancel all services that day, pulling down the shutters and forcing passengers out of the stations. But while some private railways and subway lines had restored service by nighttime, running service through the night and into the morning, don’t you think JR’s response to the disaster was inconsiderate?” remarked one male office worker (55) from Kita Ward, Tōkyō.

JR East president apologizes
In the magnitude 9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake—the largest recorded in Japan—parts of Tōkyō recorded high 5’s on the JMA scale, paralyzing any and all transport in the National Capital Region. With the earthquake striking only three hours before the start of the evening rush hour, the streets were overflowing with “commute refugees” from the evening onwards.

According to the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government, the number of stranded commuters that had made their way to the 1,030 public facilities and other shelters opened to the public was approx. 94,000 at 4:00 am the following morning, March 12. At the peak, it’s believed the number was well over 100,000. Faced with the crisis situation, many private railway and subway operators including Keiō Electric Railway, Odakyū Electric Railway, and Tōkyō Metro gradually restored service the night of the earthquake, running all-night service to get stranded commuters back home.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum, there was JR East. Around dusk on March 11, the railway formally decided to cancel all services on all of its lines for the rest of the day, saying it would “take time to conduct safety checks.” Excepting Tōkyō Station and a few others, JR East pulled the shutters down at most of its major terminals, sealing off stations. Passengers, with nowhere to go, stayed the night around JR terminals, resulting in some frustrated customers shouting at station staff.

Criticism has focused on JR East’s decision, with Tōkyō governor Ishihara Shintarō remarking, “Their level of preparedness has been exposed. This was unacceptable.” At the regular press conference on April 5, JR East president Seino Satoshi explained, “Allowing passengers to gather inside the station when the trains weren’t moving would result in chaos.” However, Seino apologized, acknowledging that the railway’s efforts to direct passengers to emergency shelters and other duties were insufficient.

A prioritization scheme for restoring service
Toriumi Shigeki, an assistant professor of social systems engineering with Chūō University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, says, “From a safety standpoint, the decision to seal off stations is somewhat unavoidable.” However, Toriumi also points out, “Stations also serve as facilities where people gather to obtain information. JR East should have ensured its duties in properly guiding these people.”

According to Assistant Professor Toriumi, there are about eight million commuters to work and school who use railways in the Greater Tōkyō area every day. Of these, over half spend an hour or more to commute to work or school, and for all practical purposes, there is no high-capacity transport mode to serve as an alternative.

With JR East—the undisputed leader in terms of number of lines—suspending service on its entire network, passengers swarmed onto parallel private railways that had restored service, exceeding the capacity of these lines and potentially resulting in a dangerous situation. In actuality, on March 14—the start of the first workweek following the earthquake—Tōkyō Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced rolling blackouts. As a result, JR East decided to suspend service all day on all of its lines except for the full length of the Yamanote Line, and portions of the Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Chūō Line, and others, causing commuters to shift in droves to parallel private railways, which were operating a reduced number of trains.

Assistant Professor Toriumi suggests, “In disaster situations, railway companies need to coordinate amongst each other as they determine the timeline for restoring service.”

In addition, it’s also perceived that JR East’s stricter guidelines regarding safety checks following earthquakes had a role to play in foregoing a restoration of service the day of the disaster.

In terms of threshold values for earthquake-related standards, railway companies generally use gals, which measure the acceleration generated by the shaking, but since 2003, JR East has been using kines (a measure the velocity of the shaking and a better indicator of the effect of an earthquake on structures) for its zairaisen (conventional lines). When seismographs placed along its lines record 12 kines or more, JR East calls for halting all train operations and performing maintenance checks on foot of the entire line. In the latest earthquake, the seismographs recorded a maximum velocity of 44 kines.

In the 2005 M6.0 earthquake centered in northwestern Chiba Prefecture, JR East’s seismographs recorded a maximum of 26.5 kines. Large-scale cancellation of train services in the Greater Tōkyō area ensued, with restoration of service on all lines taking as long as seven hours. Based on this experience, JR East judged that more time would be required to restore service following this latest earthquake: “In order not to incite chaos, we decided early on to cancel services for the rest of the day.”

“In the end, we may have been able to restore service late that evening, but when considering safety, we cannot accept responsibility and ask passengers to ride our trains without completing all of our safety checks. What if we had not performed due diligence in the checks and trains derailed?” explains JR East president Seino.

In response, Fukuda Nobuaki (37), vice-director of the Tōkyō Disaster Volunteer Network (which carries out disaster prevention programs in preparation for a large-scale disaster affecting the Greater Tōkyō area), says, “I have no doubt that JR East was working hard (after the earthquake), but in order to resolve the problem of stranded passengers, perhaps they needed to place their priorities on getting the primary lines with large ridership, such as the Chūō Line and Keihin-Tōhoku Line, back up and running first.”

According to a report released by the national government’s Central Disaster Prevention Council in 2005, it’s estimated that there would be approximately 6.50 million stranded commuters in Tōkyō, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba Prefectures should an earthquake centered directly beneath the nation’s capital disrupt the entire rail network in the Greater Tōkyō area. There are many lessons for not just JR East but all public transit operators to learn in this latest earthquake.

The status of train service and restoration among JR East, major private railways, and subways on the day of the earthquake.
JR East: All trains cancelled
Keiō Electric Railway: Service on all lines restored around 10:10 pm → all-night service
Odakyū Electric Railway: Service largely restored early morning of March 12 → all-night service
Seibu Railway: Service largely restored around 10:00 pm → all-night service
Tōkyū Corporation: Service on all lines restored around 10:40 pm → all-night service
Sagami Railway: Service on all lines restored around 9:40 pm → all-night service
Tōbu Railway: All trains cancelled
Keihin Electric Express Railway: All trains cancelled
Keisei Electric Railway: All trains cancelled
Tōkyō Metro: Service gradually restored starting 8:40 pm → all-night service
Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei Subway): Service on all lines restored by 10:00 pm → all-night service



Exhausted passengers sit on the floor. Many passengers watched the earthquake-related news on TV screens installed in the station. (Early morning of March 12; JR Chiba Station, Chūō Ward, Chiba City)


Crowds of passengers wait to queue up enter Keiō Shinjuku Station. (March 12 7:40 am)
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Old April 14th, 2011, 09:59 AM   #2420
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Yokohama Station Yokosuka Line platform construction updates

Just a quick tour of the widened Yokosuka Line platforms at Yokohama Station. It’s been almost a year since the platforms were widened, but here’s another look after things have settled down. They are still doing some minor finishing work and escalator installation.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

On the Yokosuka Line platforms, looking northeast in the direction of Tōkyō.
As the work was conducted overnight between 2010.04.24 and 2010.04.25, they didn’t have time to do everything in one shot. When the widened sections opened the next day, they were covered in curing blankets, but since then JR East has been gradually installing tiles.



A Tōkyō-bound train (or perhaps beyond to Chiba) waits on the inbound side of the platform, which was the side that got the extra width. This is the center platform section, where the tiling has been completed. I’m really liking these types of canopies, as they let in a lot of light. Since there is supposed to be a major station tenant building project (a joint development between Tōkyū and JR), maybe they will give the other JR platforms the same treatment.



The south end of the platform is still covered in curing blankets. The escalator on the right is supposed to be new, and looks finished. However, it’s chained off at the moment, so perhaps they’re still working on it, or they may be doing some work on the concourse level beneath.



They are still in the process of installing an escalator at this location.

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