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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #2861
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Tōkyū Tōyoko Line construction update: Part 2

Next, the car yard near Moto-Sumiyoshi Station:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Between Den’en Chōfu and Hiyoshi, the Meguro Line parallels the Tōyoko Line, effectively quadruple-tracking the Tōyoko Line on this section. On most of this section, the Meguro Line runs at the same elevation as the Tōyoko Line, but surrounding Moto-Sumiyoshi Station, there are track connections from the Meguro Line that dip down to ground level to provide access to the Moto-Sumiyoshi Maintenance Yard serving Tōyoko Line and Meguro Line trains.

At the turnouts from the Meguro Line to the maintenance yard, they’ve installed new walls between the viaduct columns to reduce the noise generated by the trains switching tracks. As this a large storage yard, there’s plenty of trains using these tracks during odd hours of the day and night.



From the outside, it looks like this. It’s already been painted in the same blue-line scheme, so that fencing in front is probably temporary and will disappear eventually.



The outside track of the former Moto-Sumiyoshi Station (i.e., before it was elevated in 2006) now features a two-level bicycle parking facility. After the elevation of the Tōyoko Line, the ground-level track had remained for some time, but was eventually removed and replaced with the bike parking. Bike parking is a popular use of the land freed up by these type of railway elevation projects.



From the grade crossing located in the middle of the former ground-level station (the replacement elevated station is actually 200 m closer to Hiyoshi than the original ground-level station), looking north towards the Shibuya end of the line. The bike parking is on the right. The track layout here looks mostly finished, although the pink ribbons at bottom are slightly curious…



Looking in the opposite direction at the tracks that snake about underneath the elevated station. A train is parked on the location of the former ground-level inbound track.



With the elevation of the station, these storage tracks were lengthened, and can now handle multiple trains.

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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:41 AM   #2862
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Tōkyū Tōyoko Line construction update: Part 3

A closer look at the maintenance yard:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

The storage tracks on the outbound (east) side of the station are mostly finished. Improvements here included upgrading the buffer stops and constructing a new walkway for train crews. Judging from the eight-car train at left, we can see that at least the three tracks on the right can now handle 10-car (200 m) trains. Not sure if all five of the tracks can handle 10 cars, though.



Small little “outhouse” underneath the elevated tracks that now houses some electrical systems and maintenance facilities.



Looking at the maintenance facility from the frontage road…



Trains parked in the maintenance facility.



There isn’t much data available about the upgrades to the maintenance yard, which are needed in order to allow it to handle the 10-car trains that will soon be plying the Tōyoko Line. So far, it appears that the bulk of the work has been shuffling around tracks and other facilities to squeeze out more capacity from all the land freed up when Moto-Sumiyoshi Station was originally elevated a few years ago. Even these construction notices show the old layout and yard.



Most of the work appears to be focused in and around the viaduct, while the bulk of the yard west of the station appears to be untouched.

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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:42 AM   #2863
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Minato Mirai Line construction update: Part 1

A look at the platform extensions on the Minato Mirai Line (2011.07.23). Most of the civil works are done, with just the finishing touches remaining.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

First up is Minato Mirai Station, at the south end of the platform on the outbound side (for Motomachi–Chūkagai). They’ve got the paneling already installed on the ceiling and columns. They’ve still got to install the surface tiles for the platform, but as there’s no materials or equipment on the platform, they may just wait until right before the start of through-service with the Fukutoshin Line to finish it.



Inbound side of the platform is the same deal. The extension is located on a curve, but they’ve managed to design it fairly wide, preserving the open feeling of the existing platform space at the station.



Moving to the west end of Bashamichi Station, outbound side. Tthe work here is also mostly complete, aside from the platform tiles and tunnel walls. The white walls along the extended section are still a bit curious… Given how narrow the platform is, I still have a feeling they may only be temporary.



Inbound side



Next, Nihon-Ōdōri Station. This is the east end of the outbound platform.
The facilities that were in the way have since been relocated, and the ceiling and column paneling is partially in place.



Inbound side. The center of the platform is separated by a load-bearing wall supporting the station box, so there’s not much that can be done for access from one side to the other except the existing “portalways”.

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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:42 AM   #2864
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Minato Mirai Line construction update: Part 2

Second part is Motomachi–Chūkagai Station, where switchout of the stairwell at the east end of the station has been completed and they are in the process of switching out the passages near the elevator.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

West end of the station



Moving to the east end of the station… Normally, the stairwell is usually placed alongside the escalator, but this time was relocated further down to the end of the extended platform. This frees up space to the right of the escalator for the platform extension.



From the new stairwell, looking down the side of the platform closer to the bay. To the left, there’s a small passageway underneath the escalator that connects to the existing elevator on the platform on the other side, but not sure if this is only temporary or not.



A look at the small passage, which secures access to the elevator while they finish up work on the extension of the other side of the platform, here blocked off by the green fencing.



The other side of the platform. Most of the construction fencing on the platform edge has been removed to allow them to carry out the work.



Completed stairwell

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Old August 31st, 2011, 08:33 AM   #2865
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Very good update, Quashlo. It still amazes me how you're able get more info on these projects quicker and easier than me-- and I ride the Toyoko line everyday!

I walked up and down the viaduct between Hiyoshi and Tsunashima stations myself, and noticed that "blank spot" where the parking underneath just disappears for about 100m or so; I assume this would be where they'd make a tunnel portal... but I wouldn't know for sure since I've never seen an official notice and alignment on the project.

So the stations are only going to be (starting from Hiyoshi outbound
Shin-Tsunashima, Shin-Yokohama, Hazawa and Nishiya?
Are these stations falling under Sotestu's control, or Tokyu or even a 3rd sector company (like Kobe Rapid Railway)?

BTW I had some free time today so I walked around Daikanyama station to get pics of the construction... I am also really impressed when I go through there on the train at all the construction, but you should see what's going on underneath that viaduct! I'll post them up in a few hours; need to get a rest!
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Old August 31st, 2011, 07:31 PM   #2866
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Most of the photo reports and the accompanying text are from blogs:

http://okiraku-goraku.com/
http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/
http://ameblo.jp/maimai24/

Plus a few others. These are generally some of the best sources as you can get high-resolution pictures and they are updated frequently.

You are correct on the number of stations. I'm sure it's described somewhere, but I believe the official operator will be a third-sector railway, with shares owned by Yokohama City, Sōtetsu, and Tōkyū. Nishiya will probably remain under the management of Sōtetsu, but the rest of the stations and the train operations will likely be contracted out to Tōkyū, as that approach would make the most sense. In some respects, the new line is a quadruple-tracking of the Tōyoko Line (even Shin-Tsunashima is not far at all from the existing Tsunashima), and having both lines under Tōkyū's management will give them more flexibility should a service disruption affect one of the lines.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:47 AM   #2867
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JICA to provide ¥236 billion loan for Delhi Metro Phase III
http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/bus...ii_575601.html

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The devastating tsunami suffered by it notwithstanding, Japan would fulfil its commitment by funding 40% of the total cost of Delhi Metro's ambitious Phase-III project.

The 103.05-km Phase-III, which was cleared by the Empowered Group of Ministers on Mass Rapid Transit System on Tuesday, will have four new corridors and will be built at a cost of Rs 35,242 crore.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which partially funded DMRC's Phase-I and II projects, will provide Rs 14,097 crore -- 40% of the total cost -- as loan, according to the EGoM which cleared the proposal. Though the JICA had informally communicated to Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan last year that it could fund the project, the devastating tsunami that hit Japan in March had cast doubts whether the Agency would fund Phase-III.

However, the Japanese government conveyed to India in April that its assistance and partnership to infrastructure projects would continue as per plans.

While the Centre and Delhi Government will infuse Rs 7,497 crore, which is over 21% of the total cost, as equity, they will provide Rs 5,100 crore as interest-free subordinate debt for land acquisition and Central taxes.

"It also includes loan from Government of Japan (JICA) of Rs 14,097 crore (40 per cent) and grant by DDA of Rs 1,500 crore (4.26%)," an official statement issued after the meeting said. The Delhi Metro will raise Rs 1,586 crore (4.5%) through property development and Rs 5,462 crore (15.5%) through loans from financial institutions, the EGoM headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee decided. The Phase-III is likely to be completed by 2012.

The assurance about fulfilling their commitment on infrastructure projects in India was given by Japanese officials to the then Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao when she visited Japan in April.

A team from JICA had also met senior officials of the Delhi Metro and discussed aspects related to the project in April. Besides the Delhi Metro, Japan is assisting projects like Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and Dedicated Freight Corridor(DFC). It is also partially funding the
Chennai Metro.

This would be the first time that the DDA will fund any Metro project. The Phase-III, which will be completed by 2016, will have a total of 67 stations with 15 inter-change points that will facilitate free movement of people.

Delhi Metro, which currently has a network of 190 km, has already started preliminary work like conducting geo-technical survey, soil and other mandatory tests on all the proposed corridors to save time.

Tenders for certain corridors and constructing third bridge on the Yamuna River have already been floated. The Phase-III will kick off with the construction of a small stretch from Central Secretariat-Mandi House that is aimed at decongesting the over-crowded Rajiv Chowk station.

As part of its preliminary work, Delhi Metro has already completed staff allocation for the Phase-III project and has also appointed project directors, Delhi Metro officials said. The corridors on the Phase-III are -- Mukundpur to Yamuna Vihar, Janakpuri West to Kalinidikunj, Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate and Jahangirpuri-Badli.

Japan was plunged into chaos after a devastating earthquake sent a tsunami crashing through areas along its east coast in March leaving more than 23,000 people dead or missing and causing an estimate loss of USD 300 billion.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:48 AM   #2868
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JICA considers soft loan to fund Mumbai Metro
http://in.news.yahoo.com/japan-consi...073757997.html

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New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Japan is soon expected to finalise concessional financing for the $2.26-billion Line 3 of the mass rapid transit system in Mumbai on the lines of soft-funding the hugely-popular Metro in the national capital.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is in the final phases of deciding the funding for the third line of the Mumbai Metro multi-billion dollar project with a soft loan at an interest of around 1.4 percent per annum, a top Japanese official said.

'We have been requested by the Indian government to provide funding for Mumbai Metro's Line 3. The request is being reviewed positively by the Japanese authorities,' said Yuichiro Sano, the top representative for the Japanese agency here.

'I am hopeful the Mumbai Metro will also be financed on the lines of Delhi Metro. Japan will also be keen to provide technical support,' Sano told IANS in an interview.

The federal government's request to JICA is for the 20-km underground link of Mumbai Metro, referred as Line 3, which will run from Colaba in south Mumbai to Bandra in the northwest of the metropolis, often called the queen of the suburbs.

The foundation stone for the 63-km Phase One of Mumbai Metro was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June 2006. Conceived then in three phases, the total project cost at that time was estimated at $8.03 billion.

Under Phase One, the 11-km Line 1 runs in the suburbs of Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar and the 32-km Line 2 connects Charkop and Bandra with Mankhurd, both being developed by a consortium led by industrialist Anil Ambani's Reliance Group.

Both these are elevated lines under the public-private-partnership mode.

The two projects have a holding arm, Mumbai Metro One, in which Reliance Infrastructure holds 69-percent equity, the state-run Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has 26 percent, while the remaining is with French giant Veolia Transport.

'The third line is mostly underground. It requires a huge investment. Accordingly, it is not seen as a viable public-private partnership project. The cost for this 20-km phase is estimated at over Rs.10,000 crore,' Yuichiro said.

'That's why the Indian government has aproached us for a soft loan.'

As regards the rate of interest, the Japanese official said the standard rate for India is 1.4 percent. 'I hope the new loan will also come at this rate with a repayment period of 30 years and a grace of 10 years.'

Yuichiro said Japan may also make available two other options -- one, an interest rate of 0.80 percent, with repayment period of 20 years and grace period six years; and, two, a rate of 0.70 percent, with repayment period 15 years and grace period of five years.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:48 AM   #2869
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Penta-Ocean awarded construction contract for Singapore MRT Downtown Line
http://www.kensetsunews.com/article....&class=pickups

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Of the construction work for Stage 3 of the MRT’s new Downtown Line, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority has selected Penta-Ocean Construction to execute Section 933. The contract value is approx. ¥13.666 billion and includes construction of Bendemeer Station and associated tunnels. Work is expected to break ground as early as this month. Ten firms participated in the bidding process, with Shimizu Corporation and Taisei Corporation also submitting bids.

The Downtown Line is a new 42 km line stretching in the northwest and northeast directions, with Stage 3 work covering the 21 km northeast leg. Stage 3 connects the central business district and the new urban center in the Marina Bay area, and includes 16 stations. It will connect with the Circle Line and East-West Line, and it is hoped that the new line will improve commuter convenience. Full completion is targeted for 2017.

Penta-Ocean Construction was awarded Section 933, which will involve construction of Bendemeer Station underneath roads, as well as construction of associated tunnels. The plan hopes to improve access to the surrounding retail and office buildings in conjunction with construction of the station.

As for the other sections, Section 923 involving construction of Upper Changi Station and tunnels was awarded to Korea’s Samsung C&T for ¥16.318 billion. Section 923A, which primarily focuses on tunnel work between Upper Changi Station and Tampines East Station, was awarded to China’s Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. for ¥5.787 billion.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:49 AM   #2870
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Tōkyō Metro donates 30 ex-Tōzai Line cars to Indonesia

Tōkyō Metro is donating another 30 cars from the Tōzai Line 05 series to KRL Jabotabek in Indonesia. With the debut of new wide-door 15000 series trains, several of the 05 series trains have been decommissioned, and this set of 30 includes cars from the first through fourth order of the 05 series. Some of these cars were running up until July.

Cars being lifted by 17,000 ton cranes onto the boat at Kawasaki Municipal Pier, in preparation for the journey to Jakarta (2011.08.20):
Source: Pierre2427 on YouTube

Unit 12F, car 05-112:



Unit 05F, car 05-105:



Japan is investing in a lot of infrastructure export to Indonesia (article), and the vice-ministers of transport of both countries met in Tōkyō in late July, so hopefully there’ll be some fruits out of these efforts, such as rolling stock and construction contracts for the mass transit system for Jakarta.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:49 AM   #2871
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Saitama City reveals development options for new station on Saitama Railway extension
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/sa...702000057.html

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In the proposed extension of Subway Line 7 to connect Urawa Misono Station on the Saitama Railway with Iwatsuki Station on the Tōbu Noda Line, Saitama City has revealed the proposed urban plan for the area around the intermediate station envisioned in Iwatsuki Ward. This is the first time the city has revealed the scale of the development and the total project cost for the plan, which is built around two cornerstones: the “environment”, for which the area will feature an accumulation of green industry and function on natural energy, and a “long-lasting society”, for which the area will feature an accumulation of health, medical, and welfare facilities and include a medical mall.

The proposed urban design plan was revealed at the third session of the investigative committee for the extension (Chairman: Takamatsu Yoshiharu) held on August 25. The concepts behind the urban plan are grouped into three types: “environmental” concepts, “long-lasting society” concepts, and concepts applying to the combination of the two. For each of the concept types, the city suggested two development patterns for the neighborhood around the intermediate station, one that is a confluence and exchange of commutes to work and school and one that features increased residential functionality.

The development scale of the alternative that focuses on exchange is approx. 45 ha, with a permanent residential population of approx. 500 people, an estimated railway usage of approx. 600 to 1,000 users a day, and a total project cost estimated at approx. ¥25 billion, including construction of external roads. The development scale of the residential alternative is approx. 65 ha, with a permanent residential population of approx. 4,000 people, an estimated railway usage of approx. 1,200 users a day, and a total project cost of approx. ¥33 billion. Based on this information, the investigative committee will compile a report, including railway ridership projections, by the end of the year. The city is also slated to prepare revisions to the urban master plan sometime next fiscal year, and says it plans to incorporate into the plan the new town hoping to debut around the intermediate station on the extension.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:50 AM   #2872
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Yurikamome in long-exposure

Some awesome long-exposure shots from the Yurikamome from Flickr user AppuruPai… Enjoy!

image hosted on flickr

Wicked by AppuruPai, on Flickr

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City side - take 2 by AppuruPai, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

High speed by AppuruPai, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Warp drive by AppuruPai, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Night speed by AppuruPai, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

smooth curve by AppuruPai, on Flickr

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bluuuuuue by AppuruPai, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

City side by AppuruPai, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Swift by AppuruPai, on Flickr

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Rainy season by AppuruPai, on Flickr

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Wormhole by AppuruPai, on Flickr
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Old September 1st, 2011, 03:51 PM   #2873
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 06:15 PM   #2874
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Platform doors gradually spreading, but obstacles remain
http://www.nikkei.com/life/news/arti...EBE2E2E2E2E2E2

Quote:
Platform doors—preventing passengers from falling off of train platforms. An investigative committee formed of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and railway operators across the country affirmed plans to install them at major, high-ridership stations as a general rule. Following the results of a study that said that close to 40% of people with visual impairments had fallen off a train platform at one time or another, there have been urgent calls for platform door installations. While the development of new technologies will give a push to the spread of platform doors, there is also a need for additional support from the general public, such as through alerting those with visual disabilities when they see dangerous situations.

The JR Yamanote Line’s Ebisu Station, with a daily ridership of about 260,000.
When trains stop at the station, the platform doors—four per car—open, followed shortly thereafter by the trains’ doors. As Car 7 and Car 10 out of the 11-car consists are six-door cars, there are no platform doors on the platform sections where these cars stop, and security guards keep an eye out for passengers.

Of the 29 total stations on the Yamanote Line, JR East installed platform doors at two stations first: Ebisu Station in June of last year, and Meguro Station in August of last year. With the conversion of all cars to four-door cars, platform doors will begin operating at all door locations starting on October 29.

Of the total of approx. 100 cases of platform falls at the two stations between FY2002 and FY2010, there has only been one platform fall since the installation of platform doors, after one intoxicated passenger fell off the section that has no doors installed yet. By late FY2017, the railway plans to install the doors at all stations on the Yamanote Line, excepting four stations where major upgrade works are scheduled.

In March, JR West also installed its first platform doors for a zairaisen (classic line) at the Tōzai Line’s Kita-Shinchi Station, which is located in an entertainment district and suffered from a high platform fall incident rate.

In Tōkyō Prefecture, fatalities occurred at JR Meguro Station in January and at Tsukushino Station on the Den’en Toshi Line in July, both cases where visually-impaired men accidentally fell off the platform. In an effort to prevent repeat tragedy, railway companies are rushing to install platform doors, but there are many issues remaining.

Construction is limited to a short period of time during the late evening. The work also costs several billion yen per station, and the Yamanote Line work is expected to reach approx. ¥50 billion, including rolling stock modifications. Shimazu Masaru, section chief of JR East’s Facilities Department, says, “We are doing creative things to accelerate the construction schedule, but it takes time and money… Even the brick in these old train stations makes the work difficult.”

The number and placement of doors on trains is another issue. Kobelco is proceeding with development of platform doors that can shift location based on the train’s doors, aiming for a working product by FY2013. Chief of the Business Office of Kobelco’s Urban Systems Department Kutsunoya Atsushi says, “We are testing the safety and durability of the system, such as by moving the doors at a speed that won’t scare passengers, and hope to develop a finished product.”

The mid-term report from the investigative committee composed of railway operators in eastern Japan, published on August 10, called for installation of platform doors at stations with ridership of 100,000 passengers or more as a general rule. In the event that installation is difficult, truncated dome tiles indicating the side of the platform away from the edge should be installed within five years. Railway operators agreed to work towards ensuring safety, including through a combination of fixed platform fencing, warning devices to alert passengers of arriving trains, and assistance from station staff.

According to a study compiled by the Japan Federation of the Blind in May, 37% of those with visual impairment had fallen off a train platform, and 60% said they had come close to falling off a platform. Chairman Sasagawa Yoshihiko (77) says, “It’s difficult to use canes in the crowded train stations of Greater Tōkyō, and I myself have fallen off the platform three times. Those of us with visual impairment are walking with a constant apprehension of the danger.” While urgently pushing for installation of platform doors, Sasagawa calls on members of the general public for help: “If you see someone having trouble or in a dangerous situation, please let them know.”

Starting in the fall, the MLIT will launch a campaign concerning the visually impaired. “We are hoping to improve safety at train stations through both hard and soft measures,” says the MLIT.
There was an article earlier this year about JR West working on development of a platform door system that could handle both the three- and four-door cars on their urban network in the Kansai area, but I had no idea about Kobelco’s plans for platform doors designed to move to match the door configuration of the arriving train.

Recent platform door installations in the Tōkyō area:

Edogawabashi Station on the Tōkyō Metro Yūrakuchō Line. These entered service on 2011.08.13.


Source: yurakuchou on YouTube

Kiyosumi–Shirakawa Station on the Toei Subway Ōedo Line. These entered service on 2011.04.23. Stations on the Ōedo Line are getting them about one a month, and they appear to be moving clockwise from Kiyosumi–Shirakawa. Next are Tsukiji Shijō (Tsukiji Market) in late September and Shiodome in early October.


Source: tetsuotawatawata on YouTube

Haneda Airport International Terminal on the Keikyū Airport Line. These entered service last October with the opening of the new International Terminal and Keikyū station.


Source: nuckey111 on YouTube
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 06:16 PM   #2875
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JR West proposes new station on Biwako Line in Kusatsu City
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/sh...902000123.html

Quote:
On August 8, JR West revealed that it has begun preliminary discussions with Kusatsu City towards establishing a new station on the Biwako Line inside city limits. The railway intends to establish the new station between Minami-Kusatsu Station (Kusatsu City) and Seta Station (Ōtsu City). Kusatsu City mayor Hashikawa Ayumu, who was notified by JR West of the railway’s intentions on August 3, was optimistic about the news: “If it will contribute to improving citizens’ convenience, then it’s a proposal worth looking at. I hope to consider the merits of the plan while winning the understanding of locals.”

JR West is proactively considering establishment of a new station citing the continuing population growth within Kusatsu City and the possibility of continuing growth in rail ridership. The railway will now negotiate with the city regarding the location, funding arrangement, and timeline for opening of the new station.

Daily ridership is 45,514 at Minami-Kusatsu Station and 33,940 at Seta Station. The two stations are separated by 2.7 km, but the railway plans to establish a new station within Kusatsu City less than one kilometer from Minami-Kusatsu. The railway says that much of the area surrounding the location is filled with rice paddies. The current city population of 124,185 is forecasted to increase to 135,400 in 2020. In March of this year, shin-kaisoku (special rapid) trains began stopping at Minami-Kusatsu Station.

Aiming to promote railway use and revitalize local neighborhoods, JR West has been proactively carrying out establishment of new stations. The railway opened Sakura Shukugawa Station (Nishinomiya City) between Nishinomiya and Ashiya Stations on the Kōbe Line in March 2007 and Katsuragawa Station between Nishi-Ōji and Mukōmachi Stations on the Kyōto Line in October 2008. The railway is scheduled to open new stations between Rokkōmichi and Nada on the Kōbe Line in Kōbe City in 2016, and between Settsu Tonda and Ibaraki Stations on the JR Kyōto Line in Ibaraki City, Ōsaka Prefecture in 2018.
An interesting change, as Minami-Kusatsu Station originally debuted in September 1994 as a “petition station” requested by the local jurisdiction, Kusatsu City. Of the total cost of Minami-Kusatsu Station (approx. ¥3 billion), the city funded ¥2.5 billion. Condominiums and other residential developments have boomed since the opening, leading to the city’s request to have special rapid trains stop at the station, improving travel times and convenience to Kyōto and Ōsaka.

Approximate location of the proposed station, which is very close to the border with Ōtsu City:
http://maps.google.com/?ll=34.994549...6&vpsrc=6&z=17
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 06:17 PM   #2876
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JR West considering new station on Biwako Line in Ōtsu City
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/sh....html?ref=rank

Quote:
It was revealed that JR West is considering establishment of a new station between Ishiyama and Seta Stations on the JR Biwako Line running in Ōtsu City. Ōtsu City will hold working group sessions with JR West, advancing discussions based on a long-term forecast of five to ten years.

According to the city, the candidate location of the new station is the east bank of the Seta River, but a detailed location, timeline for opening, the city’s share of the funding burden, and other items are as yet undetermined. JR West notified the city of its interest in the establishment of a new station in mid-June, and city spokespersons explained, “While we should certainly welcome the news because of the convenience the new station will bring, there’s currently nothing on paper. We want to begin considering the effects to the surrounding area, such as the ridership potential.”

Population surrounding the station is increasing as a result of residential development, and daily boardings and alightings at the adjacent stations are 48,000 for Ishiyama Station and 34,000 for Seta Station. The two stations are separated by 2.5 km, and the establishment of a new station could mean that the distance to the nearest station would fall below one kilometer.

In an interview with The Chūnichi Shimbun, Mayor Mekata Makoto welcomed the news, saying that the area around the new station would “definitely see improvements in convenience,” but had a cautious tone, including with respect to the possibility of the city needing to shoulder a hefty sum in funding for the station: “It’s still like a dream, 10 years into the future. I can imagine the trains leaving the station and having to brake immediately.”

In February of this year, JR West and Shiga Prefecture became the first in the country to enter into a “comprehensive cooperation agreement” to advance urban planning focused around train stations. Among the items for consideration in the agreement is “establishment of new stations in coordination with urban planning”, and JR West also notified Kusatsu City on August 3 that it is also considering establishment of a new station between Seta and Minami-Kusatsu Stations on the Biwako Line.

In response to the successive expressions of interest from JR West in regards to the establishment of new stations, Shiga Prefecture spokespersons say, “It appears that the agreement has helped catalyze these developments. Shiga is the only prefecture in the Kansai area experiencing a population increase, and JR West is looking to focus investment in Shiga. The new stations are a result of these events.”

Second of the two stations proposed this month by JR West.

Approximate location of the proposed station:
http://maps.google.com/?ll=34.980318...6&z=17&vpsrc=6

Window view on a 221 series rapid on the Biwako Line (Tōkaidō Line) from Kusatsu to Ōtsu, covering both of the new locations:

2:00 Arriving at Minami-Kusatsu
4:30 Location of proposed new station in Kusatsu City, just past the short bridge over the Saru River
5:10 Arriving at Seta
7:45 Location of proposed new station in Ōtsu City, where the tracks flare out to cross the Seta River
8:10 Arriving at Ishiyama


Source: SuperExpress1 on YouTube

In addition to these two stations, JR West has already proposed two new stations on the JR Kōbe Line between Akashi and Nishi-Akashi in Akashi City (article), announced February of last year, and between Himeji and Gochaku in Himeji City (article), announced in September of last year.

Hopefully these latter two plans don’t hurt San’yō Electric Railway too much. The proposed station between Nishi-Akashi and Akashi has particular dangers for San’yō, as it generally “fills in the gaps” on the JR Kōbe Line / San’yō Main Line, which has longer distances between stations. I can imagine the difficulty for San’yō in competing with a far, far larger JR West network with direct access to places all over Keihanshin.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #2877
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Yui Rail applies for operating rights for proposed Urasoe City extension
http://www.nikkei.com/news/local/art...E2E2EBE0E0E5E2

Quote:
On August 29, Yui Rail operator Okinawa Urban Monorail (HQ: Naha City; President: Nakayoshi Ryōji) announced that it will apply for approval of operating rights for the proposed extension from Naha City to Urasoe City. If the project receives approval before the end of the year, construction can begin in FY2012, with a targeted opening date of March 2019. The extension of the line will improve convenience for local residents, but there is also anticipation of economic ripple effects, such as through trackside development.

On August 30, Nakayoshi will request special permission from the Okinawa General Bureau to operate the extension.

The proposed extension covers 4.1 km between Shuri in Naha City and Maeda in Urasoe City, bringing the full length of the line to 17 km. The total project cost for the extension is approx. ¥35 billion.

The proposed extension would construct four new stations past the current terminus at Shuri Station, with an approx. 40 min travel time from the line’s other terminus at Naha Airport Station to the new terminus at Uranishi Station (provisional name). After extension, the line’s daily ridership in FY2020 is forecasted to reach 40% above current levels to 50,166 passengers.

Of the total project costs, construction of the station buildings, tracks, and columns will cost approx. ¥23.1 billion, while the rolling stock, ticket vending machines, and other items will cost approx. ¥11.9 billion. The cost of the station buildings and other infrastructure will be funded by Okinawa Prefecture, Naha City, and Urasoe City, while the cost of the rolling stock and other items will be borne by Okinawa Urban Monorail.

In order to secure the required funds for the extension, Okinawa Urban Monorail will increase its capital, with Okinawa Prefecture, Naha City, and Urasoe City purchasing the stock. In addition, the company will also make use of funding from the national government. The company’s FY2010 cumulative deficit was ¥11.5 billion, and is expected to expand to ¥14.5 billion in FY2017 as a result of new investment for the proposed extension. The company will now aim to expedite pay-off of the cumulative deficit through fare increases and improvements in business efficiency.

Regarding the proposed extension, Urasoe City had expressed some concern that there was “insufficient debate” regarding the allocation of costs should the line operate at a deficit after extension, but Okinawa Prefecture, Naha City, Urasoe City, and Okinawa Urban Monorail have recently agreed on an arrangement for allocating the cost burden. Preparations are now complete for application for operating rights.
Map of the extension:
http://g.co/maps/88cg
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Old September 5th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #2878
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Park-and-ride and smart IC planned for terminus of Yui Rail extension
http://mainichi.jp/area/okinawa/news...40002000c.html

Quote:
A plan to construct a structured parking facility with a capacity of 1,000 automobiles and a smart interchange (electronic toll collection-only booths) around Uranishi Station, the future terminus of the Okinawa Urban Monorail extension being planned, is currently under consideration. A six-party working group featuring Okinawa Prefecture, Urasoe City, Nishihara Town, West Nippon Expressway Company (NEXCO West Japan), the Okinawa General Bureau, and the Okinawa Prefectural Police Department was held in March, and attending parties affirmed intentions to work together on the project.

The parking facility is being planned for the northwest side of Uranishi Station, and the parties will now discuss the details of the project, including the location of the ETC gates.

According to the Prefectural Government’s Urban Planning / Monorail Section, the goal of the project is to promote use of park-and-rides, where cars that currently use the Okinawa Expressway to commute into Naha City would instead park their cars in the parking facility adjacent to the station and commute into Naha City by monorail. The Prefectural Government says the project can reduce commute times and carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles, and contribute to alleviating global warming.

The monorail extension is scheduled to open in 2019, but the completion timeline for the parking facility has currently not yet been determined.

The proposed site for the parking facility has been zoned as an urbanization regulation area where construction of buildings is limited, and revisions to the urban planning are needed to construct the facility.

In preparation for the revisions, Urasoe City is considering a land use plan for the area around the terminal station, including the construction of the parking facility. As the location of the planned ETC gates is outside the land adjustment area, Nishihara Town says that “new infrastructure, including access roads, will be needed.”

NEXCO Japan, which will construct the smart interchange, says, “There are plans, but nothing has been decided yet.”
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Old September 5th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #2879
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LRT, bus lanes being considered for new east-west transit alignment in Sakai City
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/osa...OYT8T01244.htm

Quote:
On August 11, Sakai City presented a proposal to operate light rail transit (LRT) or exclusive-lane buses along the Sakai – Yamato Takada Prefectural Road, creating an east-west link connecting the four railways running north-south through the city. Regarding an east-west connecting axis, a plan to establish an LRT line on the Ōshōji Municipal Road running parallel to the Sakai – Yamato Takada Prefectural Road to the south was scrapped previously, and the newest proposal effectively represents an alternative plan.

Plans to lay an LRT line on Ōshōji Road were put on hold after first-time mayor Takeyama Osami was elected to office in September 2009. This fiscal year, the city established the City Public Transit Investigative Conference composed of citizens and experts, and has been comprehensively discussing a vision for public transit, presenting the Sakai – Yamato Takada Prefectural Road proposal at the second meeting of the conference on August 11.

The city hopes to connect Sakai Station on the Nankai Main Line and Sakai Higashi Station on the Nankai Kōya Line through the east-west link. While Ōshōji Road is only two lanes, Sakai – Yamato Takada Road is four lanes between the two stations and easier to extend out further east and west, but curves off approximately 300 m north of Sakai Station. The city says it would make Ōshōji Road a landmark road prioritizing pedestrian traffic.

The conference saw successive questions regarding the reasoning behind an alignment on Sakai – Yamato Takada Road, which continued to be a topic of debate. The city will decide an alignment by the end of the fiscal year, and plans to continue examining the financial feasibility of LRT and buses.
Superb short film on the Hankai Tramway (2011.05). If only I could take videos this good…


Source: ecran21 on YouTube

Hankai Tramway scenes at Tennōji Station in Ōsaka. Good to see lots of people riding and out on the streets.


Source: panacealand on YouTube
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Old September 5th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #2880
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Sakai – Sakaihama section of LRT would not recoup construction costs
http://mainichi.jp/area/osaka/news/2...10250000c.html

Quote:
Sakai City has compiled results of a study into the feasibility of the light rail transit (LRT) line being planned from outside Sakai Station on the Nankai Main Line to Sakaihama. Cost estimates revealed that the line would never be able to completely pay off construction costs either as a publicly-built, privately-operated line or as a privately-built, privately-operated line. At a press conference, Mayor Takeyama Osami was less than optimistic about the project: “It will be extremely difficult for the line to recoup the costs. I want to carefully consider the project while listening to the voices of citizens and the City Council.”

The study considered the bus ridership and newest land use conditions in the Sakaihama district, projecting a ridership demand of approx. 8,300 people daily who would use the line for round-trip journeys. The study assumed that the city would bear the costs of improvements to roadway facilities.

The financial analysis of the line considered two alternatives: a publicly-built, privately-operated alternative where the city constructs the track infrastructure and purchases the rolling stock but the private sector operates the line, and a privately-built, privately-operated alternative where the private sector undertakes all the work.

The results showed that under the public-private alternative the city’s funding burden would be ¥33 billion, and the line would operate at a loss of ¥5 million annually. Under the private-only alternative, the city’s funding burden would be ¥22 billion, and the line would operate at a loss of ¥500 million annually.

Plans to build an LRT line in central Sakai City originally called for a line from Sakai Higashi Station on the Nankai Kōya Line to Sakaihama, with the goal of strengthening an east-west transit axis, but with the Sakai Higashi Station – Sakai Station section put on hold, the city had said it would evaluate the financial feasibility of the section between Sakai Station and Sakaihama before making a decision on the project.
Map of the various LRT alignments proposed for Sakai City:
http://g.co/maps/95ga
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