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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #241
quashlo
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Top two most crowded lines in Japan
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...907080204.html

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The second worst private railway line in Japan, the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line, will receive the ultimate in overcrowding countermeasures when it become quadruple-tracked on a portion of its route starting July 11. On the other hand, the number one worst private railway line, the Tōkyō Metro Tōzai Line, will attempt to ease passenger loads by introducing new rolling stock and optimizing train schedules. Just how will these two “unshakeable” train lines change?

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), average maximum passenger loads in 2007 were 199 percent of capacity for the Tōzai Line (between Kiba and Monzen-Nakachō) and 198 percent of capacity for the Den’en Toshi Line (between Ikejiri Ōhashi and Shibuya). For the five years leading up to 2007, average maximum passenger loads on both lines were in the 190 to 200 percent range, cementing the Tōzai Line and Den’en Toshi Line as the worst and second worst private railway lines for overcrowding.

On July 11, a 2-km aboveground section of the Den’en Toshi Line between Mizonokuchi and Futako Tamagawa will be quadruple-tracked, and the Ōimachi Line (Ōimachi – Futako Tamagawa) will be extended to Mizonokuchi. For passengers coming from Kanagawa Prefecture bound for central Tōkyō, it will now become easier to get to Shinagawa via the Ōimachi Line express, and Tōkyū hopes that passengers that head for Shibuya via the Den’en Toshi Line will shift.

It has been 16 years in the making. “This is our last major capacity improvement for the line. Hopefully, this should bring the passenger loads down to below 190 percent,” says the project manager for Tōkyū.

In February 2005, Tōkyū introduced six-door cars on some trains on the line, with no seats during the rush hour. This reduced dwell times at Shibuya Station by three seconds. In April 2007, Tōkyū downgraded inbound expresses arriving at Shibuya during the weekday rush hour to semi-expresses, which make all stops between Futako Tamagawa and Shibuya. Travel times on that section increased by two minutes, but Tōkyū succeeded in equalizing passenger loads between trains.

On the other hand, there’s the Tōzai Line. In March 2010, Tōkyō Metro will introduce new rolling stock with doors 50 centimeters wider than current trains. At a width of 180 centimeters, the new doors are expected to reduce dwell times at stations by three to four seconds.

And in March of this year, all trains during the morning rush hour now stop at all stations from Urayasu to central Tōkyō. In the past, rapid trains would skip the three stations after Urayasu, but ridership has jumped at Kasai and Minami-Sunamachi as a result of development. As a result, passengers would congregate on the local trains, contributing to delays on the line.

And yet the most crowded portions of both the Den’en Toshi Line and Tōzai Line are still the underground sections beneath central Tōkyō. Because widening tunnels and extending platforms would take an inordinate amount of time and money, both Tōkyū and Tōkyō Metro say that increasing frequencies or train lengths is virtually impossible.

Both JR East—which has lines with more severe crowding than either the Den’en Toshi Line or the Tōzai Line—and Odakyū Electric Railway, the third most crowded private railway, are also currently extending, quadruple-tracking, and undergrounding lines, with completion dates for 2013.

For JR, once the Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Jōban Line are extended from their current terminus at Ueno Station to Tōkyō Station as part of the Tōhoku Through Line (3.8 km), it’s expected that passenger loads on the parallel Yamanote Line and Keihin-Tōhoku Line will drop by over 20 percent. After completion of Odakyū’s quadruple-tracking project (11.1 km), loading will decrease from the current 192 percent to the 160 to 170 percent range.

Railway passenger loading: A calculation of an average passenger load for all trains in an hour, based on faregate passenger flows. A load of 150 percent of capacity is equivalent to being able to comfortably read a newspaper on the train, while a load of 200 percent is equivalent to being under body pressure from the passengers around you, but still being able to read a magazine with difficulty.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #242
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Grade-crossing victim calls for more thorough investigation
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/dis...1246005-n1.htm

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On July 9, Kayama Keiko (54yo), who lost her mother (75yo at the time) in a 2005 incident at an at-grade crossing at Takenotsuka Station (Tōkyō Prefecture) on the Tōbu Isesaki Line, gave a speech at the Safety Engineering Symposium in Tōkyō concerning efforts to prevent railway-related accidents. She urged appropriate agencies and railway operators to investigate all incidents and demanded development of countermeasures against further cases.

In response to the July 8th indictment of JR West president Yamazaki Masao for corporate manslaughter in the JR Fukuchiyama Line derailing incident in Amagasaki City, Kayama said, “I hope this brings to light the problems in JR West’s corporate structure.”

Kayama, who is aiming for the complete elimination of incidents involving grade crossings, has visited the scene of several past incidents, including a 2006 incident on the JR San’yō Line in Higashi-Hiroshima City in Hiroshima Prefecture and three incidents where three victims were injured at grade crossings in Nagano Prefecture by JR East’s Super Azusa limited express trains. At each of the locations, schools or homes were located nearby.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #243
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Odakyū introduces PASMO park-and-ride
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/kant...1435000-n1.htm

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On July 10, Odakyū Electric Railway (HQ: Shinjuku Ward, Tōkyō) teamed up with Park24 (HQ: Chiyoda Ward), operator of Times paid parking facilities, to inaugurate a new park-and-ride service that allows parkers to use PASMO cards to pay for parking.

The service is available at facilities near Mukōgaoka Yūen, Higashi-Rinkan, and Odakyū Nagayama Stations. Passengers can touch the same PASMO card used when exiting the train station on the parking facility card reader and receive a ¥300 discount on parking. The service is aimed at encouraging the use of trains together with cars, easing congestion and counteracting the environmental impacts of car use. Odakyū Electric Railway says it plans on expanding the service in the future.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #244
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New faregates and exit debut at Shinjuku Gyoen-mae
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2009/2009-33.html

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Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi) has been renovating Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station on the Marunouchi Line, and this coming July 11, 2009 will open the new faregates and station exit.

The renovation of the Marunouchi Line’s Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station incorporates a design intended to make it easier for passengers to identify the station, which is the closest station to Shinjuku Gyoen, an “oasis in the center of the city.” Based on the theme of a “pleasant, active, and intimate station,” exits, platforms, and restrooms at the station were renovated and a new set of faregates and station exit with an elevator to street level were constructed.


New exit


Rendering of renovated platforms
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:46 AM   #245
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Renovated Suzumenomiya Station to open in 2011 
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/kant...0310002-n1.htm

Quote:
On July 9, JR East announced that it will start construction July 13 on an elevated concourse level connecting the two platforms at Suzumenomiya Station on the Utsunomiya Line. The project also involves creation of an east-west public passageway, with the new station structure set to open to the public in spring 2011. Construction will be fully complete by summer 2011.

According to JR East’s Ōmiya Branch Office, the new station building will be a steel-frame three-story structure, with a gross floor space of approximately 1,670 square meters. The third floor will contain the public passageway. The passageway, approximately 100 meters in length, will run below the Tōhoku Shinkansen elevated structure on the east side of the station and connect with a transportation plaza being constructed by Utsunomiya City on the east side of the Shinkansen tracks.

The current station only has one exit on the west side, and Utsunomiya City requested the new passage to improve access for passengers on the east side of the tracks, who until now have been cut off. In mid-October, a temporary station building will be constructed and the existing building demolished. The east-west passageway and new station building will then be constructed.

On July 13, officials will gather at the West Exit and hold a groundbreaking ceremony.

Source: Wikipedia
Suzumenomiya is a small station in Utsunomiya City, served by JR Utsunomiya Line (Tōhoku Main Line) and Shōnan-Shinjuku Line trains.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #246
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Nishitetsu Group launches EcoRide campaign
http://www.nishitetsu.co.jp/release/2009/09_050.pdf
http://www.tetsudo.com/news/386/%E3%...3%80%80nimoca/

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Nishitetsu Group has launched a “Bus and Rail “EcoRide” Campaign that allows passengers to receive bonus points for transferring between trains and buses using nimoca IC cards. The bonus points are awarded for travel on weekends and holidays between July 4 and August 30, as well as August 13 and 14.

Buses and trains are able to carry many passengers at once and compared to private automobiles, result in fewer carbon dioxide emissions. This campaign is aimed at encouraging use of environmentally-friendly public transportation (buses and trains).

On selected days within the campaign period, Nishitetsu will award passengers bonus “EcoRide” points (in addition to regular travel points) when they use nimoca to transfer between Nishitetsu buses and trains within 90 minutes. For each transfer on the selected days from bus to train or from train to bus, passengers will be awarded 20 nimoca points.
Quote:
nimoca allows passengers to earn points based on how frequent they use the cards for buses, trains, and shopping and how much money they use. One point is equivalent to ¥1.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #247
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Shibuya East Exit redevelopment breaks ground
Practical use of trackside properties
http://www.business-i.jp/news/ind-pa...907090006a.nwc

Quote:
On July 8, Tōkyū Corporation broke ground on a large redevelopment project at the East Exit of Tōkyō’s Shibuya Station. The project site is on the former location of the Tōkyū Bunka Kaikan and several adjacent parcels. The total cost of the project is approximately ¥100 billion, with the 34-story tower housing offices and a theatre scheduled to open in spring 2012.

The project is being undertaken by the Shibuya New Cultural District Project Promotion Committee, in which Tōkyū Corporation plays the central role.

The former Tōkyū Bunka Kaikan was a mixed-use cultural facility which included a planetarium and four movie theaters. According to the plan, the new project would inherit the “DNA” of the old Bunka Kaikan, housing a 2,000-seat theatre venue primarily for musicals and establishing an academy to cultivate a creative and talented pool of people. In addition to this strong cultural and arts aspect, Tōkyū Executive Director Nomoto Hirofumi says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the project also lured tenants in the research and development industry.” The bottom floors of the tower would house the Tōkyū Department Store.

Shibuya Station is one of Japan’s premier terminals, serviced by eight different rail lines. However, the area surrounding the station is a hodgepodge of buildings large and small, giving an impression of chaos.

As a result, it was declared as an Urban Redevelopment Emergency Improvement Area in 2005, and will undergo several changes including renovation of the station plaza and relocation of the Tōkyō Metro Ginza Line’s Shibuya Station.

Tōkyū’s redevelopment project will start ahead of the other projects, and Executive Director Nomoto hopes it will further expand Tōkyū’s potential.

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

Putting trackside assets to practical use

It’s been 50 years since Gotō Keita, the de facto founder of the Tōkyū Group, passed away. Gotō’s biggest legacy was the creation of a railway empire criss-crossing the southwest corner of Greater Tōkyō and the creation of an upscale residential area known as the Tōkyū Tama Garden City. But the old business model of developing large parcels of land and selling homes one-by-one is now outmoded. It’s mostly a result of a dwindling number of parcels large enough to be appropriate for development and the end to the era of ever-increasing land values.

As a result, Tōkyū is revolutionizing its business model. As part of this change, it has been focusing on reuse of trackside property in its mid-term three-year plan from 2008. Analyst Hitotsuyanagi Hajime from the Daiwa Institute of Research’s Corporate Research Department says, “Revitalization of terminal stations plays an important role in increasing the value of the line and its surrounding areas.” As a result, redevelopment is progressing at main terminals such as Futako Tamagawa and Tama Plaza, in addition to this project at Shibuya. At the same time, Tōkyū is strengthening its rental property business as a means of maintaining a stable cash flow. This series of strategic moves should contribute substantially to the company’s earnings starting in 2011.

Tōkyū estimates that ridership will continue to grow along its network until 2035, but as residents begin to age and the next generation takes over, the company won’t necessarily be able to maintain the brand image of its neighborhoods. As a result, it’s extremely likely that Tōkyū will continue looking to invest elsewhere as a means of increasing added value.


New 34-story tower

Source: Wikipedia
View of Tama Plaza Station under renovation / construction (May 30, 2009).
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #248
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Tōkyō: Part 3

At Musashi Kosugi Station, we transfer to Tōkyū.
This is Tōkyū Musashi Kosugi.

image hosted on flickr


I board a Tōyoko Line train and get off at Motomachi – Chūkagai on the Yokohama Rapid Railway Minato Mirai Line. The Minato Mirai Line was completed in 2004 and was built partially to spur redevelopment of the Minato Mirai 21 area in Yokohama. Yokohama Rapid Railway (officially Yokohama Minatomirai Railway) is partially owned by Tōkyū Corporation, and all Tōyoko Line trains run through-service with the Minato Mirai Line, and the two operate as one line, with integrated service patterns (express, local, etc.).

Here, a Yokohama Rapid Railway Y500 series waits at the platform before departing on an express run to Shibuya back in central Tōkyō. These units are pretty much identical to the Tōkyū 5000 series, with a few minor modifications.

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On the opposite side (Platform 2), a local for Shibuya waits until departure. This is a Tōkyū 5050 series, which is an adaptation of the Den’en Toshi Line’s 5000 series for use on the Tōyoko Line. The major difference is train length, as the Den’en Toshi Line is all ten-car trains, while the Tōyoko Line is all eight-car trains.

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Motomachi – Chūkagai Station is the closest station for Yokohama’s Chinatown. On certain days, special services will run from Urawa Misono on the Saitama Rapid Railway, Kita-Senju on the Tōkyō Metro Hibiya Line, and Takashimadaira on the Toei Subway Mita Line through to the Minato Mirai Line, bringing tourists and visitors to some of Yokohama’s more famous landmarks and destinations.

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Following the trend among newer urban lines being constructed, a high level of attention was placed on quality station design. The line is a mere 4.1 km and completely underground, with six stations at Yokohama (shared with the Tōyoko Line), Shin-Takashima, Minato Mirai, Bashamichi, Nihon-Ōdori, and Motomachi – Chūkagai. The total project cost was approximately ¥300 billion, but ridership has been steadily growing and reached 161,000 passengers a day for 2008.

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A map located in the station. The right half is a simplified line map showing major destinations. Although the line is short, it needed to cross underwater at several locations, as well as below existing rail lines and freeways, which contributed to the high cost of the line. The left half of the display is a diagrammatical rail map for Yokohama and southwestern Tōkyō. There are proposals to extend the Minato Mirai Line past Motomachi – Chūkagai to Negishi Station on the JR Negishi Line, and / or extend the recently-opened Yokohama Municipal Subway Green Line south from Nakayama in a loop to connect with the Minato Mirai Line.

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These black-and-white photos imprinted on the wall celebrate the history of Yokohama as a major port town and a point of contact with the outside world.

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I decided to head back to Yokohama. This is the interior of a Tōkyū 9000 series train. The first of these units debuted on the Tōyoko Line in 1986.

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The right ad announces the first set of schedule changes June 6 related to the Ōimachi Line extension. Another set of changes will take place July 11 when service begins on the extension.

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The overhead shelves for holding luggage or other personal belongings are a mesh-style, but newer trains have been moving towards pipe-style supports. Some newer stock, such as Tōkyō Metro 10000 series for the Fukutoshin Line and Yūrakuchō Line, use glass instead of metal materials. The curtains on the windows are common on Japanese trains.

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Priority seating area. One side of the area has box seats. There is a door on only one side of the gangway, to cut down on costs.

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We arrive at Yokohama Station.

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As part of the opening of the Minato Mirai Line, the original Tōyoko Line Yokohama Station, as well as the section between Yokohama and Sakuragichō, were decommissioned and replaced by new underground facilities. The new station is located five floors underground.

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Passengers exiting the faregates.

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Walking through the concourse. Yokohama is a massive station serving nine to ten major lines and is the city’s central station. Besides being a major JR hub served by the Tōkaidō Line, Yokosuka Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Negishi Line, and Yokohama Line, the station is also served by the Tōyoko Line / Minato Mirai Line, the Keikyū Main Line, the Sagami Railway (Sōtetsu) Main Line, and the Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line.

JR competes with Tōkyū for Shibuya-bound passengers. A trip on the Tōyoko Line between Yokohama and Shibuya takes 25 minutes on a special express and costs only ¥260, and service is frequent. A trip on the Shōnan-Shinjuku Line is more expensive (¥380) and service is less frequent, but JR can be more convenient if you are going to other places on the Yamanote Line loop, such as Shinjuku or Ikebukuro. However, once through-service starts between the Tōyoko Line and the Fukutoshin Line, the dynamics may change yet again, as the Fukutoshin Line stops at both Shinjuku and Ikebukuro.

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To the right in the background is the Central South Exit for JR Yokohama Station.

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We’ve now entered the Sōtetsu area of the station. Sōtetsu serves Yokohama and western Kanagawa Prefecture with two lines (the Main Line and the Izumino Line, which is a branch of the Main Line), and is somewhat insulated from the rest of the rail network in the Tōkyō area. However, it has its own expansion plans to run through-service with JR and Tōkyū, providing direct access to central Tōkyō.

Here, an express bound for Ebina waits at Platform 2. This 8000 series train manufactured by Hitachi entered service in 1990. On Platform 1, a 7000 series train on a local run for Shōnandai on the Sōtetsu Izumino Line boards passengers.

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Arrival at the terminal Ebina, 25 km and 30 minutes later. There are approximately 120,000 daily entries and exits at Ebina Station for Sōtetsu alone, and due to large crowds during the rush hours, the single island platform at the station was recently widened by four meters. In this picture, you can see the location of the old platform edge, as well as the new roof and column supports for the platform extension.

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Odakyū station building for the Odawara Line, with bus plaza and taxi zone below. A pedestrian deck connects the Odakyū and Sōtetsu stations, which are adjacent to each other. JR Ebina Station, for the Sagami Line linking Chigasaki in southwest Kanagawa Prefecture with Hashimoto in the north, is about 100 meters to the north via the pedestrian deck. The Sagami Line station is very small in scale and not used much, but Odakyū Ebina Station sees 135,000 daily entries and exits.

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Time to head back to Shinjuku. At about 80 km, the Odawara Line is one of the longer private railway lines in the Tōkyō area. I catch this local to Sagami Ōno, where I transfer to an express to get me to Shinjuku. The 40 km trip takes about an hour and costs ¥480. This eight-car second-generation Odakyū 3000 series train was manufactured in 2005 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, but lacks the emergency exit door typically seen on the ends of Japanese subway trains, as it does not run through-service with the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line.

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The next day…
In the fray at the South Entrance of JR Shinjuku Station during the morning rush hour. Nine major lines across five operators serve the station, with an additional two lines and another operator if you include nearby stations that are connected to the main complex by underground passages. JR has four major lines (Yamanote Line, Saikyō Line / Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Chūō Rapid Line, Chūō-Sōbu Local Line) and 8 island platforms (16 platforms total) at the station. While Shinjuku is largely a local and regional train station, JR also runs hourly Azusa and Kaiji limited expresses to Matsumoto (Nagano Prefecture) and Kōfu (Yamanashi Prefecture). The LED departure boards are common at most major stations.

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We head over to the Keiō Line’s Shinjuku Station. Because of through-servicing, there are actually two different Keiō lines serving the station. The Keiō Line is older and carries trains bound for the Keiō terminal at Shinjuku Station, while the underground Keiō New Line opened in 1978 and carries through-service trains bound for the Toei Subway Shinjuku Line. As a result, there are two different Keiō Shinjuku Stations: Keiō Line Shinjuku and New Line Shinjuku.

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A Keiō 8000 series train enters the station, as passengers line up to board. It’s signed as a semi-special express for Keiō Hachiōji.

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Passengers disembark on the opposite platform.

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To be continued…
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Old July 11th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #249
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What do you guys think of this person's story?
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Old July 11th, 2009, 08:16 PM   #250
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Of course, I don't wish what he went through on anyone, and it's difficult to make judgments with limited information, but why was he "throwing up on the rails"?

Sounds to me like he was intoxicated and his judgment was impaired... He didn't realize he was in the right-of-way and he got hit. It sounds like everything was of his own doing, although it seems he doesn't want to admit it... Hardly a tragedy, considering the other types of incidents, like people accidentally (in some cases, intentionally) pushing other passengers off the platform onto the tracks and into the way of an oncoming train. Those are tragedies.

It's true that these at-grade crossings aren't the safest, but the same thing could be said of any crossing, such as a crosswalk at an intersection. You are expected to obey the signals and crossing arms, and if you choose not to heed them--or willfully impair your judgment to the point that you do not notice them--you put your own life at risk.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #251
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Thanks quashlo and keep up good work!

Keikyu 110th anniversary train? arriving at Shinagawa.


Ticket to Ltd. Exp. Metro Hakone, (Kita-Senju - ) Ootemachi - Machida ( - Odawara - Hakone-Yumoto).
Awesome train but slow.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:37 AM   #252
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Visually-impaired urge for platform doors
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/kan...YT8T00140.html

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After an incident resulting in the death of two men at JR Ōfuna Station in Kamakura, the visually-impaired in Kanagawa Prefecture have restarted efforts to have platform doors and gates installed at stations to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks or coming into contact with trains. Among the approximately 380 stations within Kanagawa, currently only 16 percent (approximately 60 stations) have received such installations. “Station platforms are like bridges without guardrails… We need a safety strategy, even for the sake of perfectly healthy people,” say various advocacy groups for the visually-impaired.

Two fatalities at Ōfuna Station
The incident at Ōfuna Station resulting in two fatalities occurred the night of July 2. The victims were a 42yo office worker and 54yo temp worker who had just alighted an outbound Tōkaidō Line local train (15 cars) that arrived at the station at 10:26 pm. According to the top brass at Ōfuna Precinct, the two entered into an argument after bumping shoulders. The argument continued until two minutes later, when the two fell onto an outbound rapid train (15 cars) that had just departed from the opposite platform. The two were struck by Car No. 12 and Car No. 14 in succession and died immediately of cerebral contusion. There are no doors or gates on the platforms, and the accelerating train was traveling at approximately 60 kph.

One week later on July 9 at approximately 10:05 pm, an intoxicated man (77yo) was walking along the platform and fell onto the tracks and died after being struck by an outbound local train.

One after another in Kanagawa
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), among all railway incidents in Japan in 2007 (excluding incidents at grade crossings), approximately 424 cases involved people with physical disabilities. Approximately 46 percent (146 cases) were a result of falling into the trackway or coming into contact with trains at platforms.

In Kanagawa, a male temp worker (31yo) using his mobile phone fell from the platforms at JR Tsurumi Station and was killed after being struck by a Keihin-Tōhoku Line train. Last September, another incident involved a man (43yo) at Keikyū Horinouchi Station who stuck his head out from the platform to look for the train. His head came into contact with the train and he died.

Everyone’s experienced falling before
These types of incidents are a frequent occurrence at stations without platform doors or gates, and the group most vulnerable to the problem are the visually-impaired. “There are detection tiles for the blind on the platform… But I’m always afraid of falling off,” says telephone operator Koizumi Akemi (45yo) from Kōnan Ward, who is completely blind.

Suzuki Takayuki (52yo), director of the Kanagawa Prefecture Welfare Association for the Visually-Impaired, the largest such advocacy group in Kanagawa, says, “All visually-impaired passengers have fallen at least once.” Director Suzuki Kazuko of the Kanagawa Society for the Livelihood and Rights of the Visually-Impaired says she’s fallen twice. “If we had platform gates, the number of incidents would drop. One by one, it’s slowly becoming safer, but there’s still not enough being done.”

JR: “Currently difficult”
The Transport Accessibility Law enacted in 2000 and the 2006 amendments (the New Accessibility Law) require railway operators to make good faith efforts to install equipment to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks, including platform doors and gates and tactile detection systems.

But while the tactile detection installations are virtually universal at all stations in Kanagawa, platforms doors or gates are currently only installed in 40 stations on the Yokohama Municipal Subway, 14 stations on the Seaside Line, a handful of stations on the Tōkyū Meguro Line, and on stations along JR’s Tōkaidō Shinkansen.

After installation of platform doors, the doors on every train must open and close at the exact same location. For JR, which has cars with everything from two to six doors on a side, installation would require construction on platforms and uniformity in rolling stock. “We’d love to install them, but to do so is currently difficult,” says JR East’s Yokohama Branch Office. Faced with this reality, Director Suzuki says, “I hope they understand that the situation is dangerous for people without disabilities, too.”


The Tōkaidō Line platforms at JR Ōfuna Station, where two men died after coming into contact with a train.


Platform doors on the Yokohama Municipal Subway open with the arrival of the train (Kannai Station).
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:38 AM   #253
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Ōimachi Line extension opens

Cab view from Mizonokuchi to Futako Tamagawa during the weekday morning rush hour
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PiNqaPxolM&fmt=18 Source: kishapoppostaff on YouTube

Various clips from the west end of Mizonokuchi Station, showing layover tracks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsEwBlqIKv4&fmt=18 Source: 2e26tenW on YouTube

Express enters Mizonokuchi Station on the first morning of service (Saturday)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMTggDaAI0Y&hd=1 Source: tsu1112k on YouTube

Ōimachi Line trains pass each other at Futako Shinchi Station on the first day of service
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPLH47lpTQ0&fmt=18 Source: CHARLYK0000 on YouTube
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:39 AM   #254
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Naniwasuji Line: Nankai Namba route also under consideration
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/po...2056007-n1.htm

Quote:
On July 15, a committee of experts from local jurisdictions gathered in Ōsaka to discuss the Naniwasuji Line, a new rail line proposed to improve access to Kansai International Airport (KIX) from central Ōsaka. The group formally decided to include a route via Nankai Namba Station as a possible alignment alternative. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) will begin its studies to estimate ridership demand and financial feasibility, but will also consider the most appropriate alignment for the proposed line, keeping in mind the goals of improving access to KIX and connecting with the center of Ōsaka.

The Naniwasuji Line (10.2 km) would travel south from JR Shin-Ōsaka Station, passing through a new station on the north side of Ōsaka Station and connecting with JR Namba and Nankai Shiomibashi Stations. From there, the line would travel via the JR Hanwa Line and Nankai Main Line, and is expected to allow passengers to travel between central Ōsaka and KIX in about 30 minutes. In a 2004 Kinki Region Transport Council report, the new line was identified as a mid-term improvement.

Members of the committee agreed to improve access to the airport, whose revitalization is critical to the development of the Kansai region, and reaffirmed the benefits of the Naniwasuji Line in the greater railway network. In addition, representatives from Nankai stressed that the line could also connect the two central districts of Ōsaka, Kita and Minami, proposing that a route connecting to Namba Station and the Nankai Main Line also be considered in addition to an alignment through Shiomibashi Station.

The MLIT will begin preliminary studies in August, estimating ridership demand and the effectiveness of the new line. After considering the additional alignment through Nankai Namba Station, the ministry will spend another one to two years investigating the project’s administration structure and financial feasibility.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #255
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Urawa Station elevation and redevelopment

Websites:
http://www.city.saitama.jp/www/genre...610/index.html (Saitama City)
Construction start: 2004
Construction end: 2012

Benefits:
  • Redevelopment and unification of areas east and west of the station
  • Installation of barrier-free facilities
  • Reduced transfers and improved service to central Tōkyō and northern Saitama
This project involves the following elements:
  • Elevation of 1.3 km of the Keihin-Tōhoku Line and Tōhoku Main Line (Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line) around Urawa Station and installation of elevators and escalators
  • Construction of a new 25 m-wide east-west passageway inside the station, as well as three 8 m-wide east-west passageways for bicycles and pedestrians only
  • Construction of an island platform for the Tōhoku Cargo Line, allowing Shōnan-Shinjuku Line trains to stop at the station
In addition to the above station improvements, one roadway at the southern end of the station (Tajima – Ōmaki Route) that currently crosses the tracks at-grade will also be widened to separate pedestrians from vehicles and improve safety. Overhead cables in the area will also be undergrounded to improve the streetscape.

Land was obtained on the east side of the existing right-of-way, allowing the new elevated structure to be built from the east to the west, slowly transferring each set of tracks from ground level to the evelated structure. The Tōhoku Cargo Line, which carries primarily Shōnan-Shinjuku Line trains, is already elevated. Construction began in 2004 with the new Keihin-Tōhoku Line tracks, with the Tōkyō-bound track entering service in January 2007 and the Ōmiya-bound track entering service in May 2008. Completion of work on the Tōhoku Main Line tracks is scheduled for 2010, while completion of the new Shōnan-Shinjuku Line platforms and east-west passage is scheduled for 2012. Elevators and escalators will be installed on all platforms to improve access for the disabled.

The addition of new platforms for the Shōnan-Shinjuku Line will eliminate the need for passengers using Urawa Station to transfer at Akabane Station, currently the nearest Shōnan-Shinjuku Line stop, improving access to the west side of the Yamanote Loop (Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Shibuya) and beyond.

The construction schedule at the start of the project called for elevation of the tracks to be completed in 2008 and the new Shōnan-Shinjuku Line platforms to be completed in 2009, but this was later pushed back due to difficulties in obtaining the necessary land.


Source: Saitama City
Rendering after elevation.


Source: Wikipedia
A November 2006 view showing construction workers preparing the Keihin-Tōhoku Line platforms (Platforms 1 and 2) as a Shōnan-Shinjuku Line passes by.


Source: Wikipedia
New Keihin-Tōhoku Line platform, July 2008. This island platform accommodates 10-car trains (200 m), while the Tōhoku Main Line and Shōnan-Shinjuku Line platforms will be designed to accommodate 15-car trains (250 m).


Source: Wikipedia
New Keihin-Tōhoku Line platform, August 2008.


Source: Wikipedia
An August 2008 view taken from the new Keihin-Tōhoku Line platform looking west at the rest of the station. Construction is proceeding on the new Ueno-bound track for the Tōhoku Main Line as a train waits at the existing platform. On the Tōhoku Cargo Line in the background, a Narita Express train passes the station.


Source: Wikipedia
A May 2008 view from the Tōhoku Main Line inbound platform, looking east.


Source: Wikipedia
November 2006 view of the old East Exit.


Source: Wikipedia
April 2007 view of the new East Exit.


Source: Wikipedia
August 2008 view of the new East Exit.



Source: Wikipedia
The newly widened roadway, as a Keihin-Tōhoku Line train passes above on the new elevated structure. August 2008.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #256
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Keikyū Daishi Line grade-separation: Higashi-Monzen – Kojima Shinden

Websites:
http://www.city.kawasaki.jp/53/53rit.../daishisen.htm (Kawasaki City main page)
http://www.city.kawasaki.jp/53/53rit...ren-rittai.pdf (Phase I brochure)
Construction start: August 2006
Construction end: Spring 2015

Benefits:
  • Unification of areas surrounding the rail line
  • Installation of barrier-free facilities at new stations
  • Reduced traffic congestion on major roadways due to at-grade crossings

The Keikyū Daishi Line is a branch of the Keikyū Main Line at Keikyū Kawasaki Station, and is located entirely inside Kawasaki City. The line is 4.5 km long and serves seven stations. Trains are four cars (72 m) long, with base service of 6 tph, doubling to 12 tph during the morning rush hour. During races at the nearby Kawasaki Racecourse, additional trains are provided, but the line is very much a neighborhood-type line and there are no through-services between the Daishi Line and the Main Line. This aspect makes the undergrounding project somewhat of an interesting anomaly.

This project involves the following elements:
  • Removal of 14 out of 15 existing at-grade crossings
  • Undergrounding of the line, partially along a new alignment
  • Construction of new stations and replacement stations designed for universal access


Source: Kawasaki City Public Works Bureau
The thick dotted line at the very left of the image represents the JR Tōkaidō Line and Keihin-Tōhoku Line. The thick solid line a little to the right represents the Keikyū Main Line, with the existing Daishi Line shown as a dotted line going up and out of Keikyū Kawasaki Station. The thick line in red is the new line, with the circled numbers representing the existing at-grade crossings on the line. Both yellow and orange crossings will be removed, but the orange crossings represent critical bottlenecks. The blue crossing (No. 15) will remain.

As shown in the image, the east end of the new underground line will follow the alignment of the existing Daishi Line. The west end, however, will swerve south and serve an all-new station (tentatively called Miyamae), in addition to replacement stations for Minatochō and Suzukichō. The new alignment would increase the length of the line to approximately 5.0 km.

A new set of platforms at Keikyū Kawasaki Station is also planned, partially in anticipation of the proposed Kawasaki Rapid Railway between Shin-Yurigaoka on the Odakyū Line and Kawasaki Station. Although the full details of that proposal have yet to be determined, an extension was proposed in the past to allow for thru-service with the Keikyū Daishi Line, but issues such as gauge (the Keikyū lines are standard gauge) remain to be resolved.

All stations on the new line would be underground, with the exception of the eastern terminus of Kojima Shinden Station, which would remain above-ground.

Project construction is proceeding in phases. Construction of Phase I, which encompasses 980 m between Higashi-Monzen Station and Kojima Shinden Station, began in August 2006, with the intent of eliminating traffic congestion caused by the rail line as quickly as possible. Phase I would remove three crossings, including the bottleneck location at Sangyō Dōro (trans. Industrial Road). With the replacement of the existing above-ground Sangyō Dōro Station, the existing in-station crossing will also be removed. The new underground Sangyō Dōro Station will be equipped with escalators and elevators.


Source: Wikipedia
A January 2008 view of Sangyō Dōro Station. To the left and right, construction proceeds behind the white barriers surrounding the platforms. In the distance is the in-station crossing to be removed with the new underground station. Many stations on the Daishi Line have similar arrangements where passengers enter the station from one side of the tracks, but after passing through the faregates must cross the tracks to board trains in the opposite direction.


Source: Wikipedia
Platform view of Higashi-Monzen Station, November 2008. In the distance, fences surround the track, as construction proceeds immediately east of the station. Higashi-Monzen and stations west will not be undergrounded under Phase I.


Source: Wikipedia
January 2008 view of Suzukichō Station. Both Minatochō and Suzukichō Stations will be moved to new locations as part of the new alignment west of Kawasaki Daishi Station.


Source: Wikipedia
January 2008 view of Minatochō Station.

image hosted on flickr

Source: poweredy_siemens on Flickr
Nighttime view of the Daishi Line platforms at Keikyū Kawasaki Station, January 2009. These platforms would be removed and new platforms constructed in a new location south of the existing location in anticipation of the Kawasaki Rapid Railway project.

Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQblgmkRx5Q&hd=1 Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube
A window view from January 2009 on the Daishi Line between Keikyū Kawasaki and Kojima Shinden. At around 7:00 into the video, the train arrives Higashi-Monzen Station. After departing Higashi-Monzen, you can see construction work for the new underground segment proceeding adjacent to the tracks.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:38 PM   #257
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Station redevelopment proposals in rough waters
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/sai...OYT8T01241.htm

Quote:
Redevelopment projects under construction adjacent to Hasuda and Higashi-Matsuyama Stations are on the rocks because of worsening performance results posted by developer Sekisui Chemical (HQ: Minato Word, Tōkyō).

Hasuda City, Sekisui Chemical, and various other companies made a basic agreement for an urban redevelopment project outside JR Hasuda Station’s West Exit. According to the city’s West Exit Redevelopment Office, the project would construct a 23-story tower on 1.9 hectares at the west exit of the station, improve roadways, and install a new West Exit station plaza. The tower, with a gross area of 41,000 sq. m., would include retail on the first floor; public facilities, including lifelong study and daycare facilities, on the second floor; and residences on the third floor and above.

This May, however, executives from Sekisui Chemical visited Hasuda City Hall and declared their intention to back out of the project due to the company’s worsening financial situation. Shortly thereafter, Mayor Nakano Kazunobu petitioned Sekisui Chemical President Negishi Naofumi to continue the project, but the scheduled 2010 construction start would be difficult to meet. In accordance with the Urban Redevelopment Law, the city will take requests for a “special contractor” to undertake construction of the project.

Sekisui Chemical is also undertaking another redevelopment project for Higashi-Matsuyama City at the East Exit of Higashi-Matsuyama Station on the Tōbu Tōjō Line, but according to the city’s Urban Improvement Department, executives from Sekisui Chemical asked for a schedule extension.

Beginning this month, however, Sekisui Chemical told the city that it would have difficulties undertaking construction of Area B of the project. On July 15, Mayor Sakamoto Yūnosoke visited Sekisui Chemical and requested that the company continue with the project, but the company refused citing extreme difficulties.

According to Sekisui Chemical’s PR group, “The financial situation is still severe… Because of declining demand for high-end apartments, the real estate market is in an extended slump, so we’ve decided to back out of the Hasuda project. Regarding the Higashi-Matsuyama project, we cannot comment on the status.”


Development site in Higashi-Matsuyama City. Construction has yet to formally begin, and the site is only being used as for staging.
JR Hasuda Station is a station on the Tōhoku Main Line approximately 40 km from Tōkyō Station, serving Utsunomiya Line and Shōnan-Shinjuku Line trains. Daily station entries were 21,965 in 2008.


Source: Wikipedia
JR Hasuda Station, East Exit (June 2005).


Source: Wikipedia
JR Hasuda Station, West Exit (May 2008).

Higashi-Matsuyama Station is a major station on the Tōbu Tōjō Line, approximately 50 km from the terminal at Ikebukuro. All regular-service Tōjō Line trains stop. Daily station entries and exits were 31,471 in 2008.


Source: Wikipedia
Higashi-Matsuyama Station, new station building at the East Exit (June 6, 2008). The building temporarily opened to the public on June 14, 2008.


Source: Wikipedia
East Exit bus and taxi plaza (August 2008).
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:38 PM   #258
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Tōbu Museum to reopen July 22
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/tok...OYT8T00133.htm

Quote:
The Tōbu Museum (Higashi-Mukōjima Yonchōme, Sumida Ward), which features several exhibits including information about the history of Tōbu Railway, has just completed its renovation, holding a press conference on July 17. The museum now features an expanded hands-on corner that includes a train simulator, and will open to the public on July 22.

The museum first opened in 1989 beneath the elevated structure at Higashi-Mukōjima Station on the Isesaki Line. The renovation project began last December and now features an expanded exhibit for rolling stock, including one car from Tōbu’s first post-WW II limited express Romancecar series. A total of twelve cars in the 5700 series were manufactured, and Moha (motor car) 5701 was added to the museum’s exhibits.

Moha 5701 operated between Asakusa and Nikkō / Kinugawa Onsen, and after being transferred to expresses on the Isesaki Line, was decommissioned in 1991. The car was returned to its original appearance, including a headmark and streamlined “cat’s whiskers” car end.

Visitors can also see Tōbu’s first electric locomotive, No. 101 manufactured in England. In 1973, No. 101 was transferred to Shiga Prefecture’s Ōmi Railway, and after retiring in 1986, moved cars stored at Hikone Station.

The layout of the large diorama recreating the Isesaki Line and surrounding areas has also been redone. The diorama also features a model of the new Tōkyō Sky Tree tower set to open in 2012 adjacent to Narihirabashi Station.

The train simulator exhibit, a hit with young children, has also been renovated, and allows visitors to experience operating a train using full high-quality video taken from the operator’s cab. Out of the three simulators, one is a faithful reproduction of a 10000 series cab. The car vibrates as the train departs and the 202-inch screen (approx. 2.5 m tall and 4.5 m wide) displays views from the Isesaki Line and Tōjō Line. The sound of motors, grade crossings, and trains passing in the opposite direction were recorded by placing a microphone in a real train. Great care has also been taken in reproducing the needles on the various devices along the dashboard.

The unit was created by railway simulation production company Ongakukan, headed by 52yo Mukaiya Minoru, member of fusion band Cassiopeia. “This is one of my masterpieces, and has a seal of approval from actual operators,” boasts Mukaiya.

On July 17, the museum held a special ceremony. “I hope both children and adults enjoy their time at the museum,” said Tōbu Railway President Nezu Yoshizumi.

Source: Wikipedia
Tōbu 5700 series at Tōbu Nikkō Station on a Daiya rapid express run.

Tōkyō Sky Tree is a massive redevelopment project (total cost: ¥50 billion) adjacent to Narihirabashi Station being undertaken by Tōbu Railway on the site of land owned by the railway that was formerly used as a cargo terminal. The 610 m tower will be used for broadcasting and is meant to replace the existing Tōkyō Tower, which is no longer tall enough. The tower will also house an observation deck and some commercial space. An adjacent 160 m tower will primarily contain office uses.


Source: Wikipedia
Computer rendering of Tōkyō Sky Tree.


Source: Wikipedia
Site of the Tōkyō Sky Tree, before construction begins, from the Narihirabashi Station inbound platform (April 2008).


Source: Wikipedia
Construction of Tōkyō Sky Tree, from the same platform (July 14, 2009). Construction has been going on for a year.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:39 PM   #259
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New experimental ad displays at Sendai Station
http://mytown.asahi.com/miyagi/news....00000907180003

Quote:
On July 17, new electronic advertisement displays made a debut inside JR Sendai Station. The displays were developed by Dai Nippon Printing (HQ: Shinjuku Ward, Tōkyō). In cooperation with JR East Planning (HQ: Shibuya Ward), the displays will be on a trial run until October 6, and will be evaluated for their effectiveness as a new advertising medium.

Large 42-inch displays are assembled in two columns and six rows, forming a screen approximately two meters tall and 3.6 meters wide. The screen displays videos, including clips of travel products from JR East. The screen can also be broken down into smaller displays if desired.

JR East’s Sendai Branch Office also opened i-Station Sendai on the second level of the station and installed an information outlet consisting of a touch-panel display allowing passengers to search schedules and maps.

More images:

http://digitallife.jp.msn.com/pictur.../sequenceno=1/
One unit showing multiple images

http://digitallife.jp.msn.com/pictur.../sequenceno=2/
Rendering of i-Station Sendai
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #260
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New audiovisual advertisement displays on Marunouchi Line
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2009/2009-34.html

Quote:
Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi) and Metro Ad Agency (HQ: Minato Ward, Tōkyō; President: Ushigome Akihiro) will begin displaying advertisements through the “Station Vision” digital signage system at six main stations on the Marunouchi Line starting Thursday, October 1. Trials of the displays will begin September 14.

The Station Vision project involves installation of 12 65-inch displays each at Marunouchi Line platforms at Tōkyō Station, Ginza Station, Akasaka-Mitsuke Station, Shinjuku Sanchōme Station, and Nakano-Sakaue Station, for a total of 72 displays. The displays, connected to each other via network, will display visual advertisements (with sound), and are the largest such installment of digital signage in Japan.


Akasaka-Mitsuke Station
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