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Old May 4th, 2011, 10:29 AM   #2501
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Natori – Mitazono section of Sendai Airport Line to reopen late July
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2011/04/20110421t13018.htm

Quote:
In regards to the Sendai Airport Line, where train service is currently suspended as a result of damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake, Miyagi Prefecture finalized a plan on April 20 to resume service on the Natori – Mitazono section of the line by late July. At Natori Station, trains would enter the JR Tōhoku Line, operating through-service all the way to Sendai. The Prefectural Government is aiming for a complete reopening of the line along its full length by late September.

According to the Prefectural Government, the mechanical devices in the train control room in the first floor of Sendai Airport Station suffered irreparable damage as a result of the tsunami, and railway operator Sendai Airport Transit will temporary establish train control facilities at Mitazono Station.

Removal of debris inside the tunnel within the airport grounds, flooded with seawater, has now been completed. Officials expect to complete pumping out of the water on April 21.

Regarding the work to restore the Sendai Airport Line, Miyagi Prefecture has relieved the railway operator of all costs, and has requested to the national government that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) bear most of the costs.

The Prefectural Government’s Civil Works Department says, “The Airport Line is not only used by airport users, but also serves as a critical lifeline transport for local residents. We are fully supporting Sendai Airport Transit in their work to restore service, and are aiming to resume train operations as quickly as possible.”

Currently, substitute bus service is running between Sendai and Sendai Airport.

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Old May 4th, 2011, 10:30 AM   #2502
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Ueno Juri is new mascot character for Keiō Electric Railway

Keiō Electric Railway (i.e., Keiō Corporation) has launched a new ad campaign for Mt. Takao, replacing the previous ad campaign starring actress Hirosue Ryōko. Her replacement is Ueno Juri, currently in the spotlight as the heroine of this year’s Taiga drama, . Music is by Japanese-Brazilian artist Lisa Ono.

Official website:
http://www.keio.co.jp/kinosato-takaosan/



15 s CM: “Forest Village”
The slogan is “To the forest village, Mt. Takao…”


Source: futarichan on YouTube

There’s another CM airing, but it’s not on YouTube… Will have to wait till later. It appears they will follow the same pattern of at least one CM each for spring and autumn.

Last edited by quashlo; May 21st, 2011 at 03:46 AM.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:20 AM   #2503
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Nagasaki Electric Tramway 5000 series enters service

Thanks to nouveau.ukiyo’s pictures from a while ago for reminding me about the new 5000 series LRV that debuted for Nagasaki Electric Tramway on 2011.02.15. These are three-section super-low-floor “Little Dancer Ua-type” LRVs manufactured by Alna Sharyō. Two bogies per unit (center section is floating). Unit is 16.3 m long (1.2 m longer than the 3000 series) and 2.3 m wide. Cost was ¥230 million per unit.
Here’s some more pics and videos to cover the new member of the Nagaden fleet.

Operator training at Urakami Yard:


Source: mitzseHBF on YouTube

Window view on a 5000 series train on Line 5, from Ishibashi to Hotarujaya (2011.02.19):
Source: seasidetrains on YouTube
Part 1: Ishibashi to Ōura Tenshudō-shita http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6ipmOGFVGo&hd=1
Part 2: Ōura Tenshudō-shita to Tsukimachi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsmCFKKmrLo&hd=1
Part 3: Tsukimachi to Nishi-Hamanomachi Arcade Iriguchi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4pyDoG8ank&hd=1
Part 4: Nishi-Hamanomachi Arcade Iriguchi to Kōkaidō-mae http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tRUsuetC5w&hd=1

Pics:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/dejima005/











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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:21 AM   #2504
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Tram medley in Hiroshima

Recent tram scenes from Hiroshima (2011.05.01):
Source: nimo5 on YouTube

At Kōjinbashi. This is the Hiroden Main Line out of JR Hiroshima Station, serving Routes 1 (for Hiroshima-kō via Kamiyachō Higashi), 2 (for Miyajima-guchi), 5 (for Ujina 2-chōme and Hiroshima-kō via Hijiyama-shita), and 6 (for Eba). There are proposals to completely eliminate this jog and streamline access into and out of JR Hiroshima Station by moving the alignment to Ekimae-dōri, the main boulevard radiating south from the station.



The Hiroden Yokogawa Line, from Yokogawa Station (connection to JR San’in Main Line and Kabe Line) to Tōkaichimachi. Starts off at Tōkaichimachi (a major wye junction with five routes passing through—2,3,6,7, and 8). Then, a ride inside to the canopied terminal at Yokogawa Station, served by Routes 7 and 8.



Scenes at Hiroden Nishi-Hiroshima (Koi) Station, another major terminal connecting the Hiroden Main Line and Hiroden Miyajima Line, served by Routes 2 and 3. The track layout here is fairly complex and makes for some interesting watching.

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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #2505
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Restored Himeji City Monorail train on display

A new exhibit inside Tegarayama Central Park (Nishi-Nobusue, Himeji City) showcasing the former Himeji City Monorail that ran from 1966 to 1974 was opened to the public on 2011.04.29. Admission is free, and the display includes a restored monorail train. The system was built using Lockheed’s monorail technology and connected Himeji Station and Tegarayama Station, but it’s short-lived existence had earned it the name “phantom monorail” among Japanese railfans. The City has spent a good amount of time restoring the one train that had been preserved in storage and creating an exhibition space for it inside the former Tegarayama Station. The line was originally built for the Himeji Expo, but ridership dropped afterwards, and the monorail was eventually shut down. Thankfully, they preserved one of the two 2-car trains, providing a fascinating look at one small chapter of Himeji City’s history and Japan’s post-war growth.

Kōbe Shimbun report (2011.04.27).
The press debut was on 2011.04.27, two days before the general public got to see the restored train.



A thorough tour of the exhibit in HQ (2011.05.03).
At the end is a zoom on one of the remaining sections of the monorail’s aerial structure.
I will definitely have to visit next time I go to Himeji.

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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #2506
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JR West expands women-only cars to all-day, 7 days a week
http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/shakai/0003973655.shtml

Quote:
On April 18, JR West expanded the women-only train cars previously restricted only to rush hours to all-day service. This is also the second example, following the Kōbe Municipal Subway (including the Hokushin Express Railway), of women-only cars operating seven days a week, including Saturdays and Sundays.

The women-only cars have been introduced to local trains on the Kōbe Line, local and rapid trains on the Takarazuka Line, and other services. They had been restricted to weekdays from the start of service to 9:00 am and from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, but with a high number of reported cases of chikan (groping) outside of the rush hours or on weekends, the railway made the big step of expanding the cars to all-day and seven days a week. The expansion of the program was supposed to take effect on April 4, but was postponed as a result of reduced service following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

At JR Kōbe Station in Chūō Ward, Kōbe City, the railway notified passengers of the expansion through in-station announcements and posters. One young woman (18), a vocational school student from Hyōgo Ward, Kōbe City who frequently uses the trains, said the news was welcome: “Sometimes men lean against me, and it was very unpleasant. I can ride at ease now that there are women-only cars all day.”

Meanwhile, there were some men who accidentally boarded the women-only cars after 9:00 am. One man (71) who boarded without realizing that the service had been extended to all-day said, “I always boarded this car since it was near the stairs. I’ll be more careful tomorrow.”

New “women-only car” stickers placed at stopping locations along the platform. (April 18, morning; Chūō Ward, Kōbe City; JR Kōbe Station)
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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:24 AM   #2507
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ICOCA reaches 6 million cards in circulation, 2 million monthly electronic money transactions
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/new...1210011-n1.htm

Quote:
This March, the electronic money functionality of JR West’s ICOCA IC farecard, accepted at retail stores, topped two million monthly transactions for the first time since the service began. It’s believed that the frequency of use increased after the railway added more affiliated stores, including other JR retail shops and convenience store giants. JR West will improve convenience for ICOCA card holders, such as by installing ICOCA reader units primarily at restaurants, general merchandise stores, and other shops—including the Ōsaka Station Building to celebrate its grand opening on May 4—and upgrading drink vending machines on platforms to ICOCA-accepting models. JR West also hopes the efforts will capture ridership on its lines.

ICOCA launched its electronic money service in October 2005. At the time, the number of affiliated stores was limited to convenience stores inside stations and other locations, but with the introduction of ICOCA-compatible reader units by supermarket giant Aeon at its stores in the Keihanshin region in October 2007, the number of stores outside of train stations accepting the card increased.

In March of this year, outlets of convenience store giant 7-11 Japan also began accepting the card, with the number of stores affiliated with ICOCA’s electronic money system reaching approx. 16,000 as of the end of March. Including stores affiliated with other JR group cards from JR East, JR Central, and JR Kyūshū with which ICOCA has farecard interoperability, ICOCA is accepted at a total of approx. 120,000 stores nationwide. Minami Takahiro, acting chief of the Financial Business Team Division at JR West’s Creative Department, was proud of the card’s achievement: “The number of affiliated stores jumped, and we’re able to tap the power of an IC farecard that can easily handle shopping payments of several hundred yen.”

JR West can not only expect increased sales at railway group stores and payment settlement revenue from stores outside of the JR West group, but also hopes that increased convenience for ICOCA card holders will help capture demand for the railway’s lines. The cumulative circulation of ICOCA cards reached over 6,000,000 cards as of the end of March, third in size behind JR East’s Suica card and the PASMO card used by Greater Tōkyō area private railways and subways.

JR West says that surpassing 2,000,000 monthly electronic money transactions marks a milestone for the card, but plans on continuing to increase the number of stores accepting the card near train stations in an effort to “focus on building an environment that allows users to casually use ICOCA when out and about.”
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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #2508
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Kintetsu to begin accepting ICOCA in fall 2012
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/new...7570024-n1.htm

Quote:
On May 6, Kinki Nippon Railway (Kintetsu Corporation) announced that it will begin introducing JR West’s pre-pay IC farecard ICOCA starting in autumn 2012, selling Kintetsu tickets and commuter passes and joint commuter passes across both Kintetsu and JR.

Kintetsu has already introduced the post-pay IC farecard service PiTaPa, but passenger convenience will increase with the addition of ICOCA. Among Kansai’s major private railways, Keihan will also introduce ICOCA starting from June 1.

Kintetsu also announced that it will begin a groupwide rewards point system valid across all Kintetsu railways, department stores, hotels, and other group companies. The railway will first introduce a points card doubling as a credit card, followed by an ICOCA-based points card in autumn 2012.

Passengers can accumulate points at Kintetsu train stations, Kintetsu department stores, and Kinshō Store supermarkets, using them when making payments at the railway group’s various stores.

Diagram showing the extent of planned ICOCA interoperability from the Kintetsu press release:


Source: Kintetsu Corporation

Basically, it’s the entire Kintetsu network from Ōsaka to Nagoya, excepting some of the really minor lines. Guess this resolves the issue of how they were gonna get Kintetsu to fit in with the planned interoperability between TOICA (JR Central) and manaca (Meitetsu, Nagoya Municipal Subway, Toyohashi Railroad, et al.) in the Chūbu region. In the Nagoya (Chūbu) area, Kintetsu is the only major non-JR operator to not have adopted manaca, as it had already adopted PiTaPa due to most of its operations being based in the Kansai area, where PiTaPa had already been in service for some time. Bringing ICOCA interoperability onto its Nagoya-area lines will likely mean that Kintetsu will also accept manaca at some point (TOICA is already interoperable with ICOCA, and manaca will be interoperable with TOICA next year).
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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #2509
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Dbl post

Last edited by quashlo; May 8th, 2011 at 08:36 AM.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #2510
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Kintetsu boosts promotion efforts through movie, TV location shots
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...2128010-n1.htm

Quote:
“Hankyū Densha” (lit. “Hankyū Line”), which made an early debut in Kansai area movie theaters on April 23, was filmed entirely in the Kansai area and features Hankyū Electric Railway’s Imazu Line as a backdrop, but Kinki Nippon Railway (Kintetsu Corporation) has also begun expanding its efforts to secure location shots in movies and television dramas in an effort to boost the image of trackside neighborhoods and increase ridership. As a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake, filming scenes in the Kantō and Tōhoku regions has become difficult, and requests from Tōkyō-based television stations and others have increased, likely bringing an opportunity for Kansai’s trackside neighborhoods to shine on movie and TV screens.

On April 1, Kintetsu established Kintetsu Location Service, a special department devoted exclusively to working with television stations and film production companies. The department will offer not only stations and trains but also Kintetsu Group buses and lodging facilities, as well as leisure facilities such as Shima Spain Village, as filming locations.

In addition, the railway will take advantage of its group network to market its convenience, meeting the various necessary arrangements for filming such as supplying boxed bentō lunches, lodging, and security.

Kintetsu offered filming locations and prepared charter trains just for filming for the Fuji TV drama “Shika-Otoko Aoniyoshi” that aired January-March 2008. After the filming, the railway says that visitor levels at tourist landmarks were close to twice what they were before the show aired. Fukuhara Toshihiro, who was involved in the creation of the new filming division within Kintetsu’s public relations department, says there are many charming sightseeing areas along the Kintetsu network, and is working to publicize areas along Kintetsu’s rail lines.

As a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, many films and television dramas were forced to temporarily suspend filming. Among the smaller local lines running through picturesque locations, many are as yet unable to resume train services, and requests for filming permission are apparently flooding Kansai area railway companies.

The requests are coming from Tōkyō-based television networks and film production companies looking for filming locations for TV dramas and other productions. Many are also considering filming locations in the Greater Tōkyō area in parallel, but Fukuhara says, “Even if they end up choosing somewhere in Tōkyō, it’s important for us to constantly promote what the Kinki region has to offer in terms of visual material.”

JR West and Nankai Electric Railway also have similar filming departments. Since 2004, JR West has been accepting more than 200 filming requests a year. Nankai launched its department in January 2005 and has accepted about 200 filming requests since then. Nankai says that many of the requests are for the Shiomibashi – Kishisato–Tamade section of the Kōya Line, which has comparatively fewer trains.

“Hankyū Densha”, which made an early debut in the Kansai area on April 23, was produced by Hankyū Group company Tōhō, and the railway cooperated with filming, with Hankyū-Hanshin Holdings’ Group Business Planning Department as the lead. While the work involved filming movie scenes while maintaining regular train services, the movie has safely made it to theaters, and Hankyū spokespersons say, “We are hoping that the movie will be a chance for people who used to live along the rail line to come back and visit.”

Filming at Uji Yamada Station in Ise City, Mie Prefecture (Courtesy of Kintetsu).
Small promo for “Hankyū Densha”.
A bit interesting since they had to film in the daytime, while normal service was running. Hankyū schedulers had to draft a special operating plan to allow the film train to fit in with regular service. A total of 59 roundtrips were made on the line using the special train. Apparently, it wasn’t easy—director was picky about specific scenery outside the train windows, so if the actors or actresses made a blooper, it meant doing another roundtrip to get back to the same location. They also invited 3,000 extras on the train scenes, many of whom are lucky locals who get to see both a line they ride regularly and themselves on the movie screen.


Source: ilove888miki on YouTube

Trains and stations often get spotlighted in movies and TV shows. Particularly frequent locations include platforms (waiting for someone arriving on a train, dashing onto the platform to catch a train, etc.), grade crossings (chasing after someone who darts just behind a passing train, saving someone trying to commit suicide, etc.), or inside trains (chikan, harassment by a drunk salaryman, etc.).

One recent example:
Yachiyo Midorigaoka Station (Yachiyo City, Chiba Prefecture) on the Tōyō Rapid Railway makes several appearances in the TV drama “Arifureta Kiseki” (“Overflowing Miracles”) (2009). If I remember correctly, this is the opening scene, or at least in the first episode… Two of the protagonists save a third, who is appears to be attempting to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train. This scene features Yukie Nakama, Kase Ryō, and Jinnai Takanori.


Source: DetPrendergast on YouTube

For another take, it’s not uncommon to see trains in music videos…
Great shots of Hiroshima Electric Railway (Hiroden) in this PV—“Romen Densha ni Noreba” (“On Board the Streetcar”) by Ishii Anna, a Hiroshima native. Seems they were careful to only show the older units for atmospheric purposes?

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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:27 AM   #2511
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Nankai 12000 series in testing

This is the new series for the Nankai Electric Railway’s Southern limited express. They’ve been testing it quite extensively in preparation for the start of service this fall. Two four-car units have been manufactured to replace the aging 10000 series units.

At Nankai Namba Station (2011.04.20). There’s quite a few Nankai staff who get on for the ride, and the curtains are drawn down the entire length of the train, keeping the interior of the train a “secret” (perhaps they are still fiddling around with the interior?). The train has LED destination signs at the train ends and along the car sides, but for some reason they’re using paper “Out of Service” signs inside the display box (?). The LED signs on the car sides in particular are quite large (some of the largest I’ve ever seen on Japanese trains). They’ve also done some special branding, including the “SOUTHERN Premium” logos and the fat “Nankai” logo on the side of the end cars showing a simplified diagram of the Nankai Main Line. Pantographs are single-arm.


Source: HINTEL1824TRAIN on YouTube

Near Sakai Higashi Station on the Kōya Line:


Source: MARUZOOM21003 on YouTube

And the units they will be replacing…
A 10000 series Southern (coupled with a 7000 series train) departing Namba:


Source: JRtoukaiN700 on YouTube
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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #2512
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Fukui Railway posts ridership increase for FY2010
http://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/localn...ety/27686.html

Quote:
FY2010 ridership on the Fukui Railway reached 1,730,919 passengers (pre-final base), an increase of 91,415 passengers and 5.6 percent above last year and the first time the railway returned to 1.7 million plus passengers in nine years. The last time the railway recorded an increase of five percent or more was 47 years ago. In the second year of the plan to bring the railway back on its feet with financial support from the national government, prefectural government, and local cities along the line, the impacts of the various soft and hard strategies to increase ridership—including a preferential treatment system for passengers 70 years or older and the opening of new stations—has paid off.

According to Fukui Prefecture’s Transport and Urban Planning Division, non-commuter pass ridership reached 964,671 passengers (a year-over-year increase of 47,591 passengers) while adult commuter pass ridership was 243,348 passengers (a year-over-year increase of 26,544 passengers). Student commuter pass ridership was 522,900 passengers (a year-over-year increase of 17,280 passengers).

The factors behind the increase include the sale of approx. 27,000 one-day tickets (¥400) targeting people 70 years or older in Fukui, Sabae, and Echizen Cities along the line, as well as the capture of new demand through the opening of Sports Kōen Station (“Sports Park Station”) (Echizen City). Strategies to improve convenience, such as operating residential circulator buses out of Asōzu Station and buses connecting Seki-Jūji-mae Station (“Red Cross Station”) and the Fukui Red Cross Hospital, have also paid off.

Fukui Railway president Murata Haruo said, “It’s impressive that we were able to return to our ridership levels nine years ago in such a short time thanks to a public funding structure and improvements to our business environment. We owe this to the citizen support.”

The last time the railway recorded a year-over-year increase of five percent or more was in 1964, when annual ridership reached a peak of 9,715,467 passengers—a 13.6 percent year-over-year increase. FY2010 ridership surpassed the target of 1,706,000 passengers and largely returned to the 1,746,445 passengers recorded in FY2001.

The FY2011 target is 1,808,000 passengers. In order to meet the goal, the railway must increase ridership by approx. 77,000 passengers above FY2010 levels. In March, Taichō no Sato Station and Seimei Station (both in Fukui City) opened, and with timetable changes, the railway improved connections with the Echizen Railway at Tawaramachi Station. The railway has also pushed back the last outbound trains on weekdays, aiming for an all-around increase in ridership.

In addition, the railway plans to increase ridership by offering the Friday-only one-day tickets to companies along the line, as well as capturing demand in and around the new stations and from children’s events.

However, non-commuter pass ridership in March dropped 3,357 passengers to 85,855 passengers. There are also some worrying trends, with the prefectural Transport and Urban Planning Division saying the general self-restraint following the Great East Japan Earthquake may have had a role in the decline. It’s likely that efforts to attract ridership from the Golden Week holiday period to summer will become a focal point of efforts to bring the railway back on its feet.

A train on the Fukui Railway’s Fukui Line, where ridership returned to 1.70 million plus riders in FY2010. (April 21; Chūō 1-chōme, Fukui City)


First, some images of the two new stations that opened 2011.03.20: Taichō no Sato Station and Seimei Station.

Rendering (both stations are exactly the same design)


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

Had some trouble finding photos… Not surprising since this is Fukui and a very minor private railway.

Set 1:
Source: http://moritarail.blog108.fc2.com/

Taichō no Sato Station





Train arriving at Seimei Station



Couple more of Taichō no Sato:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/nasurio/





Couple more of Seimei:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/nasurio/



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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #2513
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New IC card debuts in Fukui City
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/fu...202000107.html

Quote:
Among railway companies and the distribution industry, electronic money is continuing to become a part of daily life for people. The Fukui Town Management Organization (FTMO), a third-sector operator formed by Fukui City and other entities, has rolled out its ICOUSA electronic money-compatible IC card, accepted on community buses and affiliated retail stores. In the future, the card will be accepted throughout urban Fukui City, with the hope of becoming a catalyst to bring people to the city.

Electronic money-compatible IC cards allow customers to make payments without bringing cash, using monetary value preloaded onto the card. For some time, FTMO has been considering introduction of an IC card with the aim of improving convenience around town and revitalizing the city, and rolled out the card service on March 20. This is the first local IC card service among the three prefectures in the Hokuriku region that is not only accepted at transport agencies but also accepted when shopping. Funding from the national government of ¥65 million was used towards the cost of implementing the project.

ICOUSA is a plastic card about the size of a business card, and a maximum of ¥20,000 can be loaded onto the card in increments of ¥1,000. The card can be used on the Smile Bus running through urban Fukui City and four stores near Fukui Station offering locally-produced goods, including Faire Fukui. Users swipe or tap their card at reader units at bus entry doors and inside stores. The cards are issued at any of the four stores and the Keifuku Bus information center.

Within the first week of service, approx. 300 cards had been issued. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, special PR events for the card were cancelled, and the card didn’t reach the target circulation of 800 cards, but users were pleased with the system.

Iwasa Sachiko (69), a housewife from Kasugachō, Fukui City who uses the Smile Bus three or four times a week, was pleased: “Up until now, I didn’t know much about IC cards, but they’re convenient because you don’t have to worry about carrying change around.” Senda Mitsue (55), a housewife from Wakasugihama, Fukui City, said, “I do a lot of shopping near the station, so I hope they further increase the number of stores accepting the card.”

The FTMO program manager says, “We want to make this a uniquely local card, not just for electronic money but also for payment at paid parking garages, and we are looking to offer rewards points.” In addition to improving awareness of ICOUSA, FTMO will now canvass a wide range of public opinion and aim to expand the service.

A customer uses an ICOUSA IC card to make a purchase. (Fukui City)
A small rollout, but hopefully we will see this take hold.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:29 AM   #2514
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MLIT investigates post-disaster response in Tōkyō
http://www.asahi.com/travel/rail/new...104230089.html

Quote:
All railways in the Greater Tōkyō area suspended service immediately following the Great East Japan Earthquake, leaving many commuters stranded and unable to get home. The resumption of service varied widely from one operator to another, and major terminals and arterial roads were overflowing with people. Finally, more than a month after the earthquake passed, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) began a study into how the various decisions made by operators differed.

Chief Cabinet Secretary’s press conference was fork in the road
On the night of March 11, people trying to head home amassed at major train terminals in central Tōkyō. Railway company officials and the MLIT were waiting on news that they could resume train operations. At the time, the MLIT’s Railway Bureau believed that resuming train service would allow for the dispersal of people stranded in central Tōkyō.

Seismographs in central Tōkyō registered the earthquake as a JMA 5+, but there were no accidents in the Greater Tōkyō area involving derailed trains and no casualties. According to the manuals among the MLIT and railway companies, after doing maintenance checks for damage to tracks and equipment, railway operators could resume train service after operating between two to five test trains.

However, at a press conference at 5:30 pm, Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano Yukio urged people not to return home, and instead to wait out the crisis at their office or other safe places.

This news marked the fork in the road after which the various railway companies made one of two possible choices.

At 6:20 pm, JR East announced that it would cancel the remaining service that day on all lines in the Greater Tōkyō area, including the Yamanote Line and Chūō Line, saying it could not complete safety checks. Many people were left stranded at Shinjuku Station and Shibuya Station, overflowing onto roads outside the station and into passageways connecting to other train lines.

JR East president Seino Satoshi vindicated the railway’s response, saying, “If we had (reopened a portion of our lines and) operated a reduced number of trains, if would have instead led to chaos at the stations.” The MLIT was less approving of the railway’s response: “Not reopening the Yamanote Line (which offers connections to multiple lines) was a mistake.” Tōbu Railway, Keisei Electric Railway, and Keihin Electric Express Railway also did not resume service on March 11. All have long lines spanning multiple prefectures.

Meanwhile, service on the Tōkyō Metro Ginza Line resumed at 8:40 pm—the track segments to be checked were short, and there was a security force in place to prevent chaos at the terminal at Shibuya Station. The Toei Subway Ōedo Line also began running at the same time. But because other lines at Shibuya Station such as the Yamanote Line had not resumed service, passengers swarmed onto the Ginza Line. There weren’t enough security guards present, and some panic ensued as train service on the line was suspended temporarily several times.

At around 10:00 pm, Seibu Railway, Keiō Corporation, and Tōkyū Corporation completed their safety checks and opened one after another. Tōkyō Metro and Tōkyū also coordinated to begin through-services of the Hanzōmon Line and Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line. Many operators including Tōkyō Metro ran all-night, gradually reducing the number of stranded commuters.

One private railway spokesperson says, “JR decided early on to cancel all train services, and central Tōkyō was filled with stranded commuters. We had no choice but to get our lines back in operation.”

“Centralization of information critical”
Along arterial roads, people who had given up on taking the trains headed home on foot, and women, children, and the elderly were forced to make long journeys that lasted into the late evening.

The MLIT says, “In an earthquake directly beneath the capital, as is predicted in the future, there is the possibility that the tracks themselves would receive damage and there would be breakouts of fires. The chaos would likely be more severe than what we saw this time.”

Immediately after the earthquake, railway phones connecting the MLIT and the various railway companies and other networks were still in operations, but mobile phones and fixed phone lines were not in operation due to regulation of communications. During some periods, the MLIT did not receive reports from the various railway operators at all, and was forced to send its staff to the train control rooms of each of the operators to gather information. While manuals in case of an all-around cancellation of train operations were in place, MLIT spokespersons say, “The manual doesn’t contain information about which train lines to resume first and how.”

A spokesperson for one private railway that resumed service on March 11 says, “This was chaos far beyond what we had envisioned, and we were already busy focusing on restoring any bit of service on our own lines.” He also points out, “There is a need to exchange information from the perspective of how to get the entire railway network in the Greater Tōkyō area back in operations, such as coordination between companies on the resumption of train service.”

Chūō University associate professor of information engineering Toriumi Shigeki, who is studying the damages suffered by railway users after the earthquake, recommends, “We should consider constructing a center to collect each railway company’s information, using a simulation based on the time period and other factors to inform officials of the optimum service resumption strategy to minimize chaos.”

If train operations are coordinated between not only through-servicing operators but also competing lines such as JR and private railways, passengers will not need to overload a handful of operators.

Coordination with local jurisdictions and police to prevent overcrowding at train stations and on roads is also critical. Creative strategies—such as restricting private automobile flow on arterial roads to allow for smooth bus operations and directing visitors to the Tōkyō area on business and people unfamiliar with the Greater Tōkyō railways to refuge shelters—are also necessary.

On April 20, the MLIT established a committee to discuss with the various railway companies on how to resume service in the event of a future earthquake. The MLIT will gather information regarding the provision of information to passengers and the time needed to perform safety checks, and will compile a report by May to be distributed to all the railway companies. While it’s now over a month since the earthquake, the MLIT admits the lag in examining the post-earthquake response: “We’ve been beset by having to deal with both rolling blackouts and aftershocks, and there are many cases where we did not know about the details of railway companies’ day-to-day movements.”

Shibuya Station overflowing with stranded commuters unable to get home. (March 11, 6:00 pm; Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō).


Resumption of service for major lines:
Thick red: Reopened by 22:00
Thin orange: Reopened by 23:00
Thin black dotted: Reopened by 00:00

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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #2515
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Tōkyō Metro announces platform door schedule for next four stations on Yūrakuchō Line

Installation of platform doors on the Yūrakuchō Line is proceeding, with the latest installation entering service at Gokokuji Station on 2011.03.26.

According to Tōkyō Metro, the next stations scheduled to receive platform doors:

Y-12 Edogawabashi: 2011.08.13
Y-13 Iidabashi: 2011.09.17
Y-14 Ichigaya: 2011.10.15
Y-15 Kōjimachi: 2011.11.12

When the doors at these four stations begin operations, platform door installations will be complete at 73 of Tōkyō Metro’s 179 stations.

Platform doors at Gokokuji Station.
Source: yurakuchou on YouTube

Tōbu 50070 series at Platform 1 for Shin-Kiba



Tōkyō Metro 10000 series at Platform 2 for Wakō-shi

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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:31 AM   #2516
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New railway expansions stall despite Saitama City incorporation
http://mytown.asahi.com/saitama/news...00001105070003

Quote:
Of the various railway expansion projects championed during the incorporation of Saitama City, only a handful have been realized. The plan to extend the Saitama Railway (SR, Subway Line 7)—which celebrated its 10th anniversary in March—to Iwatsuki is running up against obstacles such as financial feasibility despite Mayor Shimizu Hayato’s repeated claims of a FY2012 target date for beginning the project.

On May 1, SR’s Urawa Misono Station (Midori Ward, Saitama City) was abuzz with visitors to the Saitama Local Cheap-Eats Championship held outside Saitama Stadium.

A long queue of visitors waited at the bus stop for shuttle buses bound for the event site. Walking to the site takes 15 minutes. One male office worker (37), part of a family of four from Kawaguchi City, remarked, “I come often, for soccer matches and such. It’d be really convenient if we could just get to the stadium on one train (without having to transfer to a bus).”

Many eager about extension
The SR interlines with the Tōkyō Metro Namboku Line at its southern end, Akabane Iwabuchi Station (Kita Ward, Tōkyō). There is a plan to extend the line about seven kilometers from its northern end, Urawa Misono Station, to Iwatsuki Station on the Tōbu Noda Line, with several new intermediate stations along the way including a Saitama Stadium Station (provisional name).

Tanaka Mineo, chairman of a citizens’ committee formed of Iwatsuki Ward neighborhood councils and commercial associations to help get the extension built, says, “We’ve been waiting eagerly since Iwatsuki City was annexed into Saitama City (in 2005). If we can’t get the extension built, what was the point of the incorporation?”

SR is a third-sector railway funded by Saitama, Hatogaya, and Kawaguchi Cities. Daily ridership in FY2009 was 83,700 passengers, below the original forecast of 96,000 passengers. With the effects of the “Lehman shock” in 2008, the railway reduced its forecast to 95,300 passengers in its FY2010-12 business plan. In its FY2009 end-of-year statement, SR’s accumulated deficit had reached ¥55 billion.

A preliminary estimate in 2005 pegged the construction cost for the extension at ¥78 billion at the time. After Saitama City forked out ¥20 million and hired outside consultants to prepare a study on the financial feasibility of the extension in 2009, estimates showed that the residential population near the intermediate stations would be 4,000. However, the city’s Subway Line 7 Extension Strategy Division explains, “There’s a lot of inter-related factors, and we haven’t yet analyzed whether or not the extension is financially feasible.”

If the extension makes it off the drawing board, it’s expected that the massive capital investment will be reflected in the fares, resulting in slightly higher fares than normal. For reference, the fare from Ōji Station (Kita Ward, Tōkyō) to Iwatsuki Station via a transfer from JR to Tōbu at Ōmiya Station is ¥570. In comparison, the fare to Urawa Misono Station via the Namboku Line and SR is ¥620—already ¥50 higher.

Plans for new stations stalled
The “New City Construction Plan” crafted by the three former cities (Urawa, Ōmiya, and Yono) that are now part of Saitama City included a number of railway expansion projects outside of SR.

One of those was the plan for new stations, including on five specific sections on JR lines and the Tōbu Noda Line. However, the only new station realized so far is Nishi-Ōmiya Station—opened in 2009 between Nisshin and Sashiōgi Station on the JR Kawagoe Line—where a population increase could be expected as a result of land readjustment in the surrounding area. There are currently no definite prospects on the new stations originally planned for the four other sections, which include the Ōmiya – Nisshin section of the Kawagoe Line and the Minami-Urawa – Higashi-Urawa section of the Musashino Line.

“Urban planning and prospects for ridership increase are critical to the establishment of new stations,” says the city’s Urban Transport Division. The city files a request with the railway company regarding the new station, but the construction is entirely a city project. Nishi-Ōmiya Station cost approx. ¥4.9 billion.

In regards to new stations, JR East’s Ōmiya Office says that it considers requests from local jurisdictions and actively cooperates in such projects. However, new stations can impact train timetables, and the railway spokespersons explain, “We can’t build new stations all at once, and instead have to strategize how to deal (with the various projects).”

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Old May 8th, 2011, 12:34 PM   #2517
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I was wondering, if anyone has pics of the Odakyu Line before it got upgraded to four on the section from Umegaoka towards Odawara?
I'm curious how it looked like
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Old May 8th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #2518
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Gōtokuji Station (1991.01.26).
This is facing northeast—the closest track would be inbound (or "up") to Shinjuku.


Source: makkoi55 on YouTube

Gōtokuji Station (2009).
On the outbound (or "down") platform, facing northeast first then panning to southwest.


Source: ayokoi on YouTube

Or, you can also try decihering this cab view from a Romancecar limited express (1990.10).
Starts at Shinjuku, ends at Machida… Some highlights along the way to orient yourself:

1:45 Minami-Shinjuku Station
2:07 Yoyogi Uehara Station
2:37 Higashi-Kitazawa Station
2:42 Shimo-Kitazawa Station
2:50 Former Odakyū Kyōdō Factory
3:08 Kyōdō Station (a four-track at-grade station then, now an elevated station—the big “mansion” to the north of the station has been demolished and replaced with the recently-opened Kyōdō Corty)
3:57 Soshigaya–Ōkura Station (a two-track at-grade station then, now an elevated four-track station)
4:20 Seijō Gakuen-mae Station (a four-track at-grade station then, now underground)

4:55 Aerial structure under construction near Kitami Station
5:05 Komae Station
5:20 Izumi Tamagawa Station (a two-track at-grade station then, now an elevated four-track station)
5:35 Crossing the Tama River
5:49 Noborito Station (a two-track station then, now a three-track station, soon to be a four-track station)
6:08 Mukōgaoka Yūen Station
7:03 Ikuta Station
7:45 Yurigaoka Station
8:00 Tunnels underneath Tamagawa University
8:40 Tamagawa Gakuen-mae


Source: lylehsaxon on YouTube
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Old May 9th, 2011, 05:00 AM   #2519
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Thanks a lot!
I take this line everyday (Seijogakuenmae - Shinjuku) and really wanted to know how it looked like before.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #2520
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Dbl post

Last edited by quashlo; May 9th, 2011 at 10:13 AM.
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