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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:54 PM   #2741
starrwulfe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
Speaking of flats, the JR Yokohama Line moreso than others seems to always have units out running with flats. Really annoying when you're a passenger on that not-very-exciting line.
Same as on the Nambu line... Seems those lines always have to make emergency stops due to all the at-grade crossings though. And nearly every line I rode on right after the quake, had flats... they all made ATS induced emergency stops during the main quake.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:05 PM   #2742
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Promotion association formed for Nanakuma Line extension
http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/item/253534

Quote:
On July 11, representatives of the local financial sphere, area universities, and local neighborhoods formed a promotion association with the aim of accelerating construction of the Tenjin-Minami Station – JR Hakata Station extension of the Fukuoka City Subway Nanakuma Line, holding its first general meeting in Fukuoka City. Fukuoka City Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Kawabe Hiroyuki was selected as association chairman, expressing his resolve: “The extension is an absolutely critical project for the development of Fukuoka City, and local support is crucial. I hope to expand a joint public-private effort to get the extension constructed as soon as possible.”

The city has already begun preparations for an environmental impact assessment for the extension. The city will now enter into discussions with the national government regarding funding support, railway project approval, and other issues. The project cost is approx. ¥45 billion, with an opening targeted within about 10 years.

At the general meeting, the promotion association confirmed its action plan, including a petition by the association and Fukuoka City to the national government in August and Novemeber for an accelerated implementation schedule, and joint sponsorship of symposiums to increase awareness regarding the project among citizens. Mayor Takashima Sōichirō, who attended the meeting, made the following remarks: “A 1.4 km extension that takes over 10 years to get built is too late for an era where the rest of Asia is developing at breakneck speed. I hope to aim for an opening of the full line as early as possible.”
Rear-end cab view from Hashimoto to Tenjin-Minami:
Source: shutanet on YouTube



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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:06 PM   #2743
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Chūgoku region operators post operating profits
http://www.nikkei.com/news/local/art...E2E2EBE0E0E4EA

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For the fiscal year ending March 2011, seven out of ten railway and tramway operators (excluding JR) in the Chūgoku region of Japan posted increased profits or shifted from operating deficits to profits. While total ridership on five of the operators decreased, several companies stood out, successfully securing profits by advancing cost-cutting measures. Railway business is structurally at a disadvantage in an area where the private automobile is the primary mode of transport, and with a forecasted decrease in tourists as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the dominant opinion is that it will be difficult for business performance to rebound among railway operators at least for the near future.

Passenger numbers decreased on five companies including Hiroshima Electric Railway and the Mizushima Rinkai Railway (Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture), with another two companies showing flat trends. While ridership on small local rail lines is concentrated primarily on demographic groups that don’t use automobiles, such as students and the elderly, revenue from student commuter passes declined as a result of a lower birth rate. In particular, the effects of population decline are especially apparent along rail lines running in suburban or semi-rural areas.

Amidst these factors, railway operators are striving to cover losses in revenue by reducing expenses. Ibara Railway (Ibara City, Okayama Prefecture) cut down its operating expenses through reducing rolling stock cleaning costs and other expenses. While fuel costs increased for Chizu Express (Chizu Town, Tottori Prefecture) as a result of the increasing cost of diesel fuel, the company reduced its overall operating costs by 2% by cutting sales, general, and administrative expenses.

As a result of increased activity in transport of automobiles, home appliances, and other products, Mizushima Rinkai Railway, whose primary business is freight transport, say freight volume increase by 4%. While passenger numbers decreased by 1%, the company maintained similar revenue numbers as last fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Hiroshima Rapid Transit (Hiroshima City), which operates the Astram Line “new transit” system in Hiroshima City, saw ridership increase for the first time in two years. In addition to more active mid- and high-rise residential construction along the line, concert performances by famous musical artists at nearby music halls helped bolster ridership.

For Sky Rail Service (Hiroshima City), ridership increased 12% year-over-year while revenues increased 4% year-over-year. The company operates a line connecting Seno Station on the JR San’yō Main Line in Aki Ward, Hiroshima City with residential neighborhoods. Households in the residential neighborhoods increased, increasing commuter ridership.

The business environment for railway operators will also be harsh this fiscal year. While the end of the ¥1,000 weekend caps on expressway tolls is a plus factor, Izumo City’s Ichibata Electric Railway, which connects Shimane Prefecture’s tourist landmarks such as Izumo-taisha Shrine, says that “tourist ridership is uncertain due to the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake.” Ridership on the Hiroshima Electric Railway connecting Hiroshima City and the Miyajima area is also forecasted to see stalled ridership growth.
An assortment of clips of some of the operators mentioned:

Sky Rail Midorizaka Line, a unique mini-monorail operation with awesome views.



Hiroshima Electric Railway 3000 series (2011.06.26).
These are three-section articulated trains assembled from secondhand Nishitetsu streetcars that originally operated in Fukuoka City. These have the highest capacity of any cars in Hiroden’s fleet.


Source: nimo5 on YouTube

Snowy New Year’s Day on the Ichibata Electric Railway:


Source: nimo5 on YouTube
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:07 PM   #2744
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Hanshin president talks about business plans
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/new...9560026-n1.htm

Quote:
Hanshin Electric Railway, connecting Ōsaka and Kōbe. While its route length is the smallest among Kansai’s five major private railways, its vast network is it’s strength: Hanshin trains through-service with Kinki Nippon Railway (Kintetsu) via the Hanshin Namba Line (opened in 2009), as well as with San’yō Electric Railway via Hankyū–Hanshin Holdings (HD) group company Kōbe Rapid Railway. We asked Hanshin president Fujiwara Takaoki about the railway’s future strategies.

You’ve said that your focus industries are new businesses…
For Hanshin Electric Railway, the vast knowhow we’ve nurtured through our railway business is an asset. We are looking to bring new ideas and new perspectives to create businesses with high added value. If we can creatively combine our various businesses from railway and real estate to professional baseball and information technology (IT), I think a lot of possibilities will open up.

What specific examples did you have in mind?
For example, we began our Mimamorume service in December of last year. The service uses integrated circuit (IC) card tags, sending an email to guardians’ mobile phones when their children arrive at or leave school.

Hanshin has comparatively large sections of elevated track. What is your plan to reuse the land underneath aerial structures?
Currently, we have approx. 10,000 sq m of unused space beneath our aerial structures. In addition, the Uozaki – Ashiya and Kōshien – Mukogawa sections are also in the process of being elevated, adding another 30,000 sq m or so. We want to use this space as effectively as possible. While there are restrictions regarding noise and vibration, we are looking for creative ways to reuse this space.

Kintetsu has asked to run limited express trains from the Ise area onto the Hanshin Namba Line.
The track gauge and voltage are the same, so it’s not impossible from an engineering perspective. However, Hanshin has a schedule built on a 10-minute cycle of limited express, express, rapid express, and local trains. The issue becomes how we can incorporate through-service limited expresses from Kintetsu into the schedule. In addition, there will be a need for facilities to allow through-service limited expresses to pass local trains and the like.

What is your response in the near future?
We are hoping to work together with Kintetsu to sort out these issues. First, we intend to run irregular service to determine just how much demand there is.
Cab view on a Hanshin–San’yō through-service limited express from Hanshin Umeda to San’yō Himeji.
This is a 1h40m, 91.8 km journey from Ōsaka to Himeji via Kōbe, in direct competition with JR West trains on the JR Kōbe Line / San’yō Main Line. In many places along the line, you can see private and JR tracks running side-by-side (this is also why you see many stations begin with “San’yō”, to distinguish them from their JR counterparts). Interesting scenery all around, from the dense surrounds on the Hanshin corridor to waterfront running and the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge.
Source: SuperExpress1 on YouTube

Part 1: Hanshin Umeda to Amagasaki



Part 2: Amagasaki to Nishinomiya http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFwxGt-W-0g&hd=1
Part 3: Nishinomiya to Uozaki http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdvBZv_Vbf4&hd=1
Part 4: Uozaki to Sannomiya http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTXTi8lrCIw&hd=1
Part 5: Sannomiya to Kōsoku Kōbe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noUoL_Igrc8&hd=1
Part 6: Kōsoku Kōbe to Nishidai http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-q5DTYEVxk&hd=1
Part 7: Nishidai to San’yō Suma http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXtRxo99bDw&hd=1
Part 8: San’yō Suma to San’yō Tarumi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylDnW5hRyeQ&hd=1
Part 9: San’yō Tarumi to San’yō Akashi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leMP8AdfHeQ&hd=1
Part 10: San’yō Akashi to Higashi-Futami http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlP-sX1-MGY&hd=1
Part 11: Higashi-Futami to Takasago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1Tyobl6ox8&hd=1
Part 12: Takasago to Ōshio http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFgMqq3kojk&hd=1
Part 13: Ōshio to Shikama http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A6CkO7FSx4&hd=1
Part 14: Shikama to San’yō Himeji http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgLF9oMmlJ8&hd=1
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:08 PM   #2745
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Hanshin announces upgrades to Kōshien Station
http://www.hanshin.co.jp/company/pre...20110608-4.pdf

Quote:
At Hanshin Electric Railway (HQ: Fukushima Ward, Ōsaka City; President: Fujiwara Takaoki), we have finalized plans to carry out upgrade works to Kōshien Station (Nishinomiya City, Hyōgo Prefecture).

Kōshien Station is a major terminal station on our network—with approx. 50,000 passengers a day (approx. 100,000 passengers a day on baseball gamedays), the third busiest by ridership behind Umeda and Sannomiya. Through these upgrade works, we will transform the station into a local landmark and a comfortable, easy-to-use station fit to serve as the gateway to Hanshin Kōshien Stadium.

As part of this renovation, we will widen the platforms and install elevators, as well as redesign the station building to expand the concourse area. In addition, we will equip a large canopy over the central section of the platforms, drawing from the white color of baseballs and the uniforms of high-school baseball teams. This large canopy will use a membrane-like material to allow natural light through and is designed to allow the beach winds—a trademark of Kōshien Stadium—to blow through.

In addition, we are planning a bright, comfortable, and environmentally-sensitive station that seeks a symbiotic relationship with nature, such as by retaining the large camphor trees growing naturally on the south side of the station and incorporating them into the station building structure.

These upgrade works will take advantage of the Railway Station Comprehensive Improvement Project Funding Program offered by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and other government bodies, and we are scheduled to break ground in autumn 2011 after receiving funding from the national government and local public groups.

Render:



Details

Platform widening
We will widen the inbound platforms (for Umeda, Ōsaka), the outbound platforms (for Sannomiya), and the outbound alighting-only platform. In conjunction, we will eliminate the inbound alighting-only platform.

Barrier-free upgrades
We will install elevators on all platforms (three at the west ticketing entrance and two at the east ticketing entrance). In addition, we will install multi-function restrooms at both the east and west ticketing entrances.

Expansion of the west ticketing entrance
In addition to constructing a new passage connecting to the platforms on the west side of the existing passage, we will redesign the station building to expand the concourse area.

Redesign of the east ticketing area
We will redesign the station building and construct a new East Exit to improve convenience for passengers headed to the area east of the station. In addition, we will separate the passages serving the inbound platform (for Umeda and Ōsaka) and outbound platform (for Sannomiya).

Installation of a large canopy
We will install a large canopy using a membrane-type material above the central portion of the platforms and the Hama Kōshien prefectural road.

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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:09 PM   #2746
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Kōbe Municipal Subway Kaigan Line celebrates 10th anniversary as ridership growth stalls
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...2510004-n1.htm

Quote:
Taking advantage of tourism resources to promote ridership
The Kōbe Municipal Subway Kaigan Line (Shin-Nagata – Sannomiya–Hanadokei-mae, approx. 8 km) will celebrate its 10th anniversary this month. While the line has settled in as a means of daily transport for residents in the city’s waterfront areas, the line’s limited ridership growth has become a major topic of concern. For just the Kaigan Line alone, the forecasted accumulated deficit at the end of FY2010 reached approx. ¥77 billion, and the Kōbe Municipal Transportation Bureau says it “hopes to promote ridership growth by taking advantage of new tourism resources to be built along the line and the attractiveness of local neighborhoods.”

The Municipal Subway Kaigan Line was constructed by the city at a total project cost of approx. ¥240 billion, intended as a “catalyst for reconstruction” following the Great Hanshin – Awaji Earthquake, revitalizing Hyōgo and Nagata Wards, which had faced an exodus of residents and population aging. The line connects the waterfront areas between Sannomiya and Shin-Nagata in 15 minutes.

While the city’s initial ridership projections estimated 80,000 daily riders, actual ridership was less than half, approx. 34,000 passengers. While ridership has continued to increase slightly since then, it still has only reached approx. 42,000 daily passengers in FY2010, about half of the original projections.

The line’s annual operating deficit is approx. ¥4 billion, cancelling out the majority of the annual operating surplus (¥5.3 billion) generated by the Seishin–Yamate Line, which was extended in conjunction with new town development. The entire subway network operates at an annual deficit, with the total accumulated deficit reaching approx. ¥122 billion as of the end of FY2010.

As a result, the city drafted a five-year business plan that includes improvements to passenger convenience and PR efforts for facilities along the line. Areas along the Kaigan Line are home to many archaeological and historical sites related to Taira no Kiyomori, who will be the subject of the NHK Taiga drama to be broadcasted next year, and spokespersons for the Municipal Transportation Bureau say they hope to “publicize the charms of the area to help boost ridership.”
Initial ridership projections were 80,000 pax / day, increasing to 130,000 pax / day five years after opening, but these have been substantially revised down in 2007 to 53,000 pax / day in FY2020, with the complete payoff of the entire subway network pushed back to 2043.

Hopefully the Taiga drama buzz will bring lots of tourists in from all over Japan, just as it has down in the past for other Taiga dramas. The city is also looking at how to redevelop the former west side of the Central Wholesale Market (approx. 6 ha) and the Central Sewage Treatment Plant (approx. 2.4 ha), and is hoping to lure higher-education facilities or other tenants to increase area visitors and population among the younger generations.

Kaigan Line rear-end cab view from Misaki Kōen to Wada–Misaki:


Source: TetsuNico on YouTube
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:09 PM   #2747
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Tōkyū Land and Nankai Shōji to operate ekinaka at Midōsuji Line stations
http://www.asahi.com/housing/jutaku-...107050005.html

Quote:
On July 5, Tōkyū Land announced that a joint project team with Nankai Shōji has been selected as the preferred operating and administrative entity for ekinaka (station retail) businesses at Umeda, Namba, and Tennōji Stations on the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line. The team was selected in a request for proposals for firms to construct a business concept and design layout for retail spaces, select appropriate prospective tenants inside the stations, and manage the completed facilities, all while securing safe transport operations by the Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau.

Both companies will open ekinaka facilities at Tennōji Station in April 2013. Facilities at Namba Station and Umeda Station are scheduled to follow, opening by April 2014.
Renders from the press release:
Source: Tōkyū Land

Umeda Station: Opens April 2014, approx. 473 sq m



Namba Station: Opens October 2013 (excepting some spaces), approx. 953 sq m



Tennōji Station: Opens April 2013, approx. 627 sq m



A tour of Echika Ikebukuro at Ikebukuro Station (Tōkyō), opened last year by Tōkyō Metro as part of its “Echika” family of in-station retail facilities. Shows what’s possible, even in constrained underground spaces. Perhaps the Ōsaka Municipal Subway will be able to replicate some of this success, but they picked some good people (Tōkyū) to help them out with that.


Source: machilogmovie on YouTube
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:10 PM   #2748
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MLIT establishes working group to study KIX maglev
http://www.nikkei.com/news/category/...0E2E2E2;at=ALL

Quote:
In regards to improving access from central Ōsaka City to Kansai International Airport (KIX), on June 23 the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) established a KIX Access Study Working Group to investigate the benefits of linking the two destinations by maglev, and announced that it would hold the committee’s first session on June 27. Representatives from the MLIT, Ōsaka Prefecture, and Ōsaka City will attend.

The MLIT is considering construction of a new rail line—the Naniwasuji Line—cutting through central Ōsaka City, but Ōsaka Prefecture governor Hashimoto Tōru has been pushing a proposal to link Ōsaka City and KIX by maglev, asking the MLIT to establish an investigative committee to study the new access route.

The working group is scheduled to compare the maglev and Naniwasuji Line in terms of financial feasibility, effectiveness at increasing KIX usage, and other aspects. The committee will compile the results of the study this fiscal year.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:10 PM   #2749
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Nagoya Urban Institute proposes LRT network for Nagoya
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/ai....html?ref=rank

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Nagoya City auxiliary organization Nagoya Urban Instititute (Kanayamachō 1-chōme, Naka Ward) compiled its Nagoya Urban Vision 2030, a vision for the future of central Nagoya City drafted in light of the 2027 opening of the Chūō Shinkansen maglev. In order to avoid overconcentration in the Nagoya Station area, the vision calls for advancing unique urban planning in eight areas including Sakae and Meijō and connecting the areas by light rail transit (LRT), with the aim of amplifying the effects generated by the maglev to all of central Nagoya City.

The plan paints an urban vision for a horizon year of 2030, three years after the opening of the maglev between Tōkyō and Nagoya. For the 18 years until the maglev is extended to Ōsaka, the Mei-eki (Nagoya Station) area will serve as a new gateway to western Japan.

The vision defines the Mei-eki area as the “Super Terminal City”, a business center, the Sakae area as the “Fashionable, Sociable Town”, and the Meijō area as the “Nagoya Symbolic Zone”. The remaining five areas are Noritake (home to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology), Tokugawa-en, Tsurumai, Ōsu, and Sasashima, and each would be connected by a circular LRT line or shuttle bus. By developing infrastructure to allow people to easily travel between these attractive neighborhoods, the vision hopes to increase visitors to and residents in the central city.

The vision also calls for introduction of other programs, such as restricting the flow of automobiles into central Nagoya City, promoting urban living, and renting streets and other public spaces for café and event space, returning the profits back to urban planning efforts.

A spokesperson for the Nagoya Urban Instititute is eager about the vision: “If the flow of people is sucked into the Mei-eki area as a result of the maglev, there is the possibility that these neighborhoods will lose some of their depth and charm. We hope to make this vision a springboard for debate.”
A few images from the plan:
Source: Nagoya Urban Institute

Mei-eki (Nagoya Station) Transit Mall
This is proposed for Mei-eki-dōri immediately to the east of the station.



Mei-eki area vision
Green is the LRT.



Conceptual sketches of the transit mall



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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:11 PM   #2750
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Ridership projections for Tōzai Line delayed by tsunami
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2011/07/20110705t11020.htm

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In regards to the Municipal Subway Tōzai Line being constructed by Sendai City, the likelihood that the revision of the line’s ridership projections originally scheduled to take place this fiscal year will be delayed until next fiscal year has become larger. As a result of the tsunami generated by the Great East Japan Earthquake, which devastated the city’s eastern areas, the city is having trouble determining population trends along the proposed line and has been unable to calculate forecasts. The city plans to begin studies after completion of the rebuilding plan, aiming to open the line in FY2015 as originally scheduled.

The revised ridership projections will be conducted as part of a project re-evaluation process according to guidelines established by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). For projects that are not completed within a certain amount of time, an analysis of cost vs. benefits must be conducted and the results presented to the city’s oversight committee.

The city had been moving forward with preparations since FY2010, but the situation has changed completely in the aftermath of the quake. Residents in the city’s eastern areas, which were expected to generate new ridership for the line, have been dispersed as a result of the tsunami, and the city’s Transportation Bureau has been “unable to conduct accurate ridership demand studies at the moment.”

Immediately after the earthquake, the city explained the situation to the MLIT and requested an extension to the re-evaluation process. The MLIT has yet to request an early completion of the re-evaluation, and Mayor Okuyama Emiko says that the city was able to “receive the MLIT’s understanding” on the issue.

In light of the expected concentration of population around Arai Station at the eastern end of the Tōzai Line as described under the city’s vision for reconstruction, the Transportation Bureau says, “When the rebuilding plan is finalized around late October, we will begin ridership studies in earnest. There’s a possibility that publication of the report could be delayed to FY2012.”

Even if the revised ridership projections are delayed, the situation won’t necessarily improve for the better. Some have pointed out that the current ridership projections (119,000 passengers daily) are “overly-optimistic and unrealistic.” Some top city officials are have also said the estimates “must be revised down.”

After the earthquake, citizens’ groups and others have made multiple requests to divert Tōzai Line construction funding to the rebuilding effort and to conduct an accurate ridership analysis, suspending the project if ridership is less than half of the current projections.

Sano Kōji, administrative division chief of the Tōzai Line Construction Department under the city’s Transportation Bureau, says, “If population concentration around Arai Station proceeds as planned, the ridership will most definitely increase as well. Just as the Municipal Subway Namboku Line resumed service immediately after the earthquake, the significance of the Tōzai Line as a means of transport for citizens will remain.”
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:12 PM   #2751
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Kashitetsu BRT increases to 1,000 daily passengers
http://mainichi.jp/area/ibaraki/news...20072000c.html

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Kashitetsu Bus, which connects Ishioka Station (Ishioka City) and Hitachi Ogawa Station (Omitama City) on the former Kashima Railway via an exclusive busway posted an average daily ridership of 1,105 passengers in May, reaching the major milestone of topping 1,000 daily passengers for the first time since the start of service. Officials explain that “use of Ishioka Sports Park increased as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake.”

This latest milestone was announced at the Ninth Conference on Public Transport Strategy for Areas along the Kashitetsu Line (Chairman: University of Tsukuba Graduate School professor Ishida Haruo), held on July 5 in Ishioka City. The Kashitetsu Bus began after Ishioka and Omitama Cities upgraded the former right-of-way for the Kashima Railway, abandoned in March 2007, as a 5.1 km bus-exclusive city road. A private-sector operator, Kantetsu Green Bus, has been running 113 daily trips on weekdays and 84 daily trips on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays since August 30 of last year.

According to spokespersons for both cities, which serve as the executive agencies for the project, weekday daily ridership has been steadily increasing from 850 passengers in September of last year. However, after ridership topped 1,000 passengers, it dropped back down to 982 passengers in June of this year. In regards to the reasons why the line surpassed 1,000 riders, the cities say, “The Great East Japan Earthquake left some of Ibaraki Prefecture’s athletic facilities unusable, and a variety of major sporting events were relocated to Ishioka Sports Park, located along the bus line.”

Meanwhile, ridership on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays is trending flat. From 507 passengers in September of last year, ridership dropped to an all-time low of 367 passengers in January of this year, returning to 502 passengers in June of this year. Many of the users are believed to be high-school students and office workers along the line.

Kashitetsu Bus is currently a trial operation, receiving approx. ¥4.88 million in funding in FY2010 from the national government. While the target is to reach 1,600 weekday daily riders in FY2013, the line will switch to a permanent service in FY2012, making it no longer eligible for funding support. In regards to the issue, Chairman Ishida says, “Let’s not rest easy after surpassing 1,000 daily riders, and continue to work to increase ridership.”
They are also planning schedule changes in September. They will eliminate 13 trips on weekdays and 6 trips on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays during low-demand periods, while extending out the scheduled departure times for the last evening trips (last bus departing Ishioka Station will be 45 minutes later and last bus departing Ogawa Station will be an hour later). They will also increase operating efficiency by improving connections with JR.

Scenes during the last days of the Kashima Railway (2007.03.25):
Source: kuboyon on YouTube



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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:13 PM   #2752
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MLIT releases results of passenger survey on platform doors
http://journal.mycom.co.jp/news/2011/07/05/040/

Quote:
The Railway Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) published a summary of the recently-held 5th Session of the Working Group for the Promotion of Platform Door Installation and the results of a questionnaire survey regarding safety when using railway stations, targeting rail passengers in the Greater Tōkyō area.

Train service is frequently disrupted as a result of “human-related incidents” in the Greater Tōkyō area. Platform doors have been installed on all stations on the Tōkyō Metro Marunouchi Line.


The survey was conducted with cooperation from Keiō Corporation, Odakyū Electric Railway, Tōkyū Corporation, Keihin Electric Express Railway, Tōbu Railway, and Seibu Railway. Questionnaires were distributed at two to three stations on each railway in June of this year, and the results aggregated from over 1,150 responses submitted by mail. Of these, less than 5% said they had fallen from the platform or come into contact with moving trains on the platform, but 20% said that they had experienced a feeling of danger of possibly falling off the platform.

When asked about their sensations of danger on platforms, over 90% of respondents said that “crowded platforms”, “locations where the distance to the platform edge is small”, and “locations where there are large gaps with the train” were “very dangerous” or “dangerous”. In addition, 80% of respondents said they felt “platforms serving passing trains” were dangerous.

Platform doors are frequently installed from the beginning on lines opening in recent years, including the Tsukuba Express (left) and Yokohama Municipal Subway Green Line (right).


Currently, platform door installations are proceeding on the JR Yamanote Line and other lines in the Greater Tōkyō area. However, depending on the station, some installations come with a large pricetag of anywhere from several hundred million to several billion yen.

In response, when asked about using taxes to cover a portion of the costs in an effort to accelerate platform installations, 15% of respondents said that taxes “should be used”, while 60% of respondents said use of taxes was “less than ideal, but necessary”. Meanwhile, in regards to using “additional cost burdens shouldered by users (increased fares)”, 60% of respondents said it was “less than ideal, but necessary”, but only 5% of respondents said that fares “should be increased”, and as many as 30% of respondents did not agree that fare increases should be used to cover the costs.

In addition, in regards to the impacts of platform door installations, respondents were comparatively aware of the “need for increased dwell times at stations”, with 20% of all respondents saying they were aware of the change as an impact of platform doors. However, the study also revealed that 65% of respondents said this was “definitely not a problem” or “not a problem”.

In regards to the impacts of platform door installations, “increased passenger crowding during the rush hour and other periods of the day” and “increased difficulty in through-servicing across lines operated by different companies” were recognized as “very problematic” or “problematic”, with 55% of respondents each. “Limits on the types of trains that could serve the platform” was identified by 45% of the respondent pool.
Misaligned stops on the Yamanote Line (Ebisu Station, 2011.05.29):


Source: nuckey111 on YouTube
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Old July 21st, 2011, 10:14 PM   #2753
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrwulfe View Post
I know a good way to get the Keisei skyliner down to Tokyo station... Combine the effort with the Tsukuba Express to get that tunnel extended from Akihabara. Build one tunnel together, and that way the costs will be combined. Also of interest is the fact that the Chuo Shinkansen will be terminating at Shinagawa Station... And I'm sure the TX people wouldn't mind having their trains terminate there, or even beyond that to Yokohama...
I'm still not entirely convinced of the need for a Tsukuba Express extension to Tōkyō. Remember, there is the Tōhoku Through Line between Ueno and Tōkyō which will feasibly allow for Jōban Line trains to reach Tōkyō and beyond. Someone on the TX would still easily be able to get to Tōkyō Station by transferring at Kita-Senju. At least with the Asakusa Line Bypass, I could see that doing double purpose as a whole new subway line.

Of course, I'm sure TX would love to extend down south and capture the passenger demand that currently transfers to other lines at Kita-Senju. Would probably boost residential influx along their lines if they had direct service to Tōkyō / Ōtemachi area, too.

Also, I think a sharing of the TX extension and Asakusa Line Bypass makes sense from a cost perspective, but I'm curious what TX's take will be since they have completely different rolling stock design and gauge. TX is 1,067 mm gauge, 20 m four-door cars, while Keikyū / Keisei are 1,435 mm gauge, 18 m three-door cars. TX was designed entirely as a new line with all the bells and whistles, including platform doors to avoid "human-related incidents" and full grade separation to ensure on-time performance. Sharing a tunnel with Keikyū / Keisei will mean they won't get platform doors on the extension and they will be more susceptible to outside delays or service disruptions (i.e., happening on the Keikyū / Keisei network).
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 06:50 AM   #2754
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Hiroshima to reconsider proposed Astram Line extensions
http://mainichi.jp/area/hiroshima/ne...10553000c.html

Quote:
Stalled ridership growth… Fiscal troubles
In regards to the extension plans for the Astram Line guideway transit system, Hiroshima City Road and Transport Bureau Chief Takai Iwao was present at a June 28 meeting of the City Council’s Construction Committee, revealing plans to evaluate the proposals, including a possible reconsideration of the extensions. The Astram Line opened in 1994 as a line under third-sector operator Hiroshima Rapid Transit, and proposed extensions had been announced in 1999 during the tenure of previous Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi, but the plans had effectively been put on ice as a result of financial difficulties and other reasons. This is the first time that city officials have made a public reference to re-evaluating the proposed extensions.

Road and Transport Bureau Chief Takai responded, “Hiroshima Rapid Transit’s business situation and funding plans have a substantial effect on the city’s fiscal state. I hope we can consider the proposals from the perspective of the city’s transport policy, including rethinking our vision for the proposed extensions.”

The Astram Line currently stretches a total of 18.4 km between Hon-dōri (Naka Ward) and Kōiki Kōen-mae (Asa Minami Ward). According to the extension plans published in 1999, a total project cost of approx. ¥300 billion would be invested to construct a total of approx. 13 km of new extensions, constructing a loop line in stages: the Seifū Shinto Line (Kōiki Kōen-mae – JR Nishi-Hiroshima, approx. 6.2 km), the Tōzai Line (Nishi-Hiroshima – JR Hiroshima Station, approx. 5.4 km), and the Namboku Line (Hon-dōri – Vicinity of former Hiroshima University campus).

However, ridership numbers during the first fiscal year of service were only 43,575 passengers, falling short of the forecasted ridership of 69,116 passengers. In FY2001, Hiroshima Expressway Route 4 linking Seifū Shinto and central Hiroshima City opened, and ridership growth stalled as a result of competition with bus lines and other factors.

In March 2003, Hiroshima Rapid Transit drafted a ten-year business rehabilitation plan, but current ridership is still only around 50,000 passengers. In addition, the company’s debt reached ¥34.7 billion at the end of last fiscal year, and approx. ¥20 billion is expected in the future for rolling stock and facilities upgrades. Faced with this situation, the company is scheduled to draft another business rehabilitation plan for FY2013 to FY2022, and the proposed extensions will be re-evaluated in conjunction with this effort.
More details according to a separate article in a more “local” paper:
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201106290189.html

The cost to upgrade the line’s 144 cars between 2020 and 2030 is estimated at approx. ¥17 billion, with another ¥3 billion for upgrades to the central control system. The rolling stock upgrades are scheduled to take place in a few years, and the system upgrades will be rolled out with the scheduled spring 2014 opening of the new Hakushima New Station connecting to the JR San’yō Line.

The extension plans estimated the cost of the Phase 1 extension to the Koi area (i.e., the Seifū Shinto Line) at approx. ¥70 billion, with approx. 20,000 daily riders, but a re-evaluation now would show lower land values, resulting in lower land acquisition costs. They will also re-examine the population along the proposed extension, as well as the possibility of using revenues generated from the new Hakushima New Station as a funding source for the extension. The Tōzai Line and Namboku Line have lower priority, as the Seifū Shinto Line is a prerequisite for both those lines.

Some more Hiroshima videos. Hiroshima is definitely rising up on my list of favorite cities in Japan.
Source: nimo5 on YouTube

JR San’yō Main Line and Hiroden Miyajima Line trains crossing the Yawata River (2011.05.22). This corridor has some interesting competition (light rail line vs. mainline railway, the first private and the second ex-public now private).



JR Kabe Line scenes (2011.06.26). Relatively high-frequency for a small JR line (10-minute frequencies during morning rush hour). In addition to the “rapid transit” / Astram Line plans, there are also plans to reinstitute service on previously abandoned sections of this line in northern Hiroshima City in conjunction with new residential development. The Astram Line also makes a cameo appearance @ 7:50.

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Old July 23rd, 2011, 06:52 AM   #2755
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Kōbe Steel (KOBELCO) to promote AGT in Asia
http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni201...JSN01.htm?ep=5

Quote:
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Kobe Steel Ltd. (TYO: 5406) has set up a special task force that will focus on marketing the company's Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) systems in South Korea and other parts of Asia.

An AGT system uses trains that run on rubber wheels along a guideway, in contrast to conventional steel rail lines. The systems are fully automated and unmanned.

Kobe Steel installed the world's first AGT system at the International Ocean Exposition in Okinawa in 1975. Altogether, it has built nine AGT systems in various places in Japan, including Osaka and Hiroshima. But it has received no domestic order for a new transit system since it constructed one in Tokyo in 2008.

For its new push overseas, Kobe Steel will form a consortium with major construction firms and other companies to manufacture both the train cars and the track.

The company's rival in the field of advanced urban transit systems is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (TYO: 7011). That company is also advancing overseas with the business.
Thanks to NihonKitty for spotting this.

KOBELCO has had a hand in several AGT systems in Japan:
  • Kōbe New Transit Port Island Line (Port Liner): Opened 1981.02.05
  • Yokohama New Transit Kanazawa Seaside Line: Opened 1989.07.05
  • Kōbe New Transit Rokkō Island Line (Rokkō Liner): Opened 1990.02.21
  • Hiroshima Rapid Transit Line 1 (Astram Line): Opened 1994.08.20
  • Tōkyō Waterfront Transit (Yurikamome): Opened 1995.11.01
  • Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation Nippori–Toneri Liner: Opened 2008.03.30
They’ve also supplied Skytrain, the people mover system for Taiwan Taoyuan Int’l Airport.

Rokkō Liner cab view from Marine Park to Sumiyoshi:
Source: tetudogaisya on YouTube

Part 1: Marine Park to Minami-Uozaki



Part 2: Minami-Uozaki to Sumiyoshi

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Old July 23rd, 2011, 06:52 AM   #2756
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Platform bypass catwalk at Midōsuji Line’s Tennōji Station complete

I was a little curious how this would turn out for several reasons: the limited ceiling height, the effect of the additional vertical circulation on already narrow platforms, and the visual / shadow effect of the new catwalk. Overall, though, it turned out not too bad.

Tennōji Station is one of the older stations on the line, opening in 1938, and JR took care to not damage or conflict with the existing architectural features of the station. The bypass was constructed above the the west end of the northbound platform (for Namba and Umeda). This location was selected because morning rush hour is generally worse (evening rush hour is more spread out), with passengers transferring from JR and Kintetsu to the Midōsuji Line.

Some pics (2011.06):
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/map/



The bypass is surrounded entirely in glass.
We can see they are still letting some of the truncated dome tiles cure. Vertical clearance looks tight, but I suppose there wasn’t much they could do.



First stairwell



Easternmost stairwell



Looking from the opposite platform, which did not get the same treatment. Looks a little tight where the stairwells touch down, but I suppose passengers will get accustomed and use the stairwells closest to them, avoiding walking on the platform as much as possible.



New platform-to-catwalk elevator

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Old July 23rd, 2011, 06:53 AM   #2757
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Kita-Shinchi Station platform doors

A more complete update on the platform doors at Kita-Shinchi Station on the JR Tōzai Line that entered service on March 27.

These are JR West’s first platform doors for zairaisen conventional lines (they already have them at a some Shinkansen stations). A little surprising perhaps, but understandable given the variety of train types operated by JR. However, the Tōzai Line has a uniform train design, as it doesn’t operate limited expresses or other types of special trains that have atypical door placement, making it a perfect candidate for platform doors.

These are waist-high (1.3 m tall) installations, approx. 140 m long each. Total cost was not cheap either, at approx. ¥350 million, with Ōsaka City and the national government each shouldering ¥100 million and JR West shouldering the rest.

Picture set:
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/map/

Fairly standard implementation.



Door leaves include toughened glass sections to improve visibility.



Operation is controlled by the conductor inside the train.



Moving a little back in time to 2011.03.22, where the doors and pockets have been anchored into place but not activated yet. Platform 2 (for Kyōbashi) doors were erected 2011.03.12 (Saturday), followed by Platform 1 (for Amagasaki) doors on 2011.03.13.



While the doors were erected but not in operation, there were security guards on hand to ensure passenger safety.



On 2011.03.11, before erection. These were taken immediately before the earthquake.



Anchor points for the platform doors.



Scenes at Kita-Shinchi Station (2011.04.29).
Too much wind noise, though.


Source: yos0211 on YouTube

The next station to receive platform doors will be the adjacent Ōsaka Tenmagū Station, with work to be completed this fiscal year.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 06:53 AM   #2758
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Ōsaka Station City redux: Part 1

Well, it’s been a few months since the grand opening of Ōsaka Station City, so let’s take another look at the latest landmark in the Kansai area, as well as a peek at some new stuff that wasn’t yet completed at the time of the grand opening.

First, some nighttime shots of the exterior:
Source: http://blog.osakanight.com/

Classic viewpoint from the Hankyū Grand Building, at dusk.



At nighttime



The canopy isn’t as glassy as the original renders, but it has a nice effect in its own right.



The Carillon Square, which serves as one of the connections to Hankyū Umeda Station and the rest of Hankyū’s buildings in the Umeda area.



From the pedestrian bridge at the southeast corner of the station.



From Nishi-Umeda, immediately west of the station.



The canopy, from the passage connecting the platform bridge and the Carillon Square. The station definitely has two different faces for daytime and nighttime thanks to the special lighting and glass.



The South Gate Building, now home to Umeda’s largest department store, the Daimaru Umeda store, after the expansion.



South Gate



North Gate

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Old July 23rd, 2011, 06:54 AM   #2759
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Ōsaka Station City redux: Part 2

Nighttime shots of the interior:
Source: http://blog.osakanight.com/

Escalators to Time Square



Time Square, facing towards the North Gate Building. To the left is JR Ōsaka Mitsukoshi Isetan (department store), to the right is Lucua (mall).



Facing the South Gate Building



The Time Square also has a café sitting atop it.





Gold and silver clocks are mounted at each end of the Time Square.



One level up, looking down.



Platform bridge and public passage from the west side.



From the east



Fish-eye lens panorama from the South Gate end.



Wind Plaza, atop the North Gate Building.

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Old July 23rd, 2011, 06:55 AM   #2760
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Ōsaka Station City redux: Part 3

Next, the eco-taxi pick-up / drop-off zone and the former Platform 11 at the station.
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/map/

A special “eco-taxi” and “eco-bus” pick-up / drop-off area at the northwest corner of the station. This is exclusively for hybrid and electric vehicles only.



Stairwell to the special taxi area.



The former Platform 11 at the station, in use for 40 years by limited expresses bound for the Hokuriku region (Fukui, Toyama, etc.) before being abandoned four years ago as part of the station renovation project. The platform has been preserved as a passage to the parking structure at the station.



Next to the old platform is the parking garage access road and queuing space for hybrid (HV) and electric (EV) vehicles.



Zoomed out a bit more. This area look a bit temporary and it’s possible that JR West is considering a future conversion of this area into more station tenant buildings as the Umeda North Yard development kicks in.



Eco-taxi area. Behind is the freight terminal.



Those stairs connect to this passage running along the inside of the North Gate Building.



This is on the less busy side of the station and there’s not much foot traffic at all.

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