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Old September 18th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #2941
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Testing in preparation for Tōyoko Line / Fukutoshin Line through-service

The past weeks offered some unusual sights along the Tōbu, Seibu, and Tōkyū networks in preparation for the launch of through-services between the Tōyoko Line and Fukutoshin Line, scheduled to begin next year.

Tōkyū 4102F parked inside the Tōbu Tōjō Line’s Shinrin Kōen Maintenance Yard in Namegawa Town, Saitama (2011.08.23). Testing on the Tōjō Line began the day before (2011.08.22) between Shinrin Kōen and Ikebukuro, marking the first time that Tōkyū trains traveled on the Wakō-shi – Ikebukuro and Shiki – Shinrin Kōen sections of the Tōjō Line. We can see it’s been outfitted with a special PQ wheelset to measure the derailment coefficient on the line. The second half of the video has shots of the old Tōbu 8000 series trains sitting in the yard.


Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Tōkyū 4102F, one of the new 10-car units for the Tōyoko Line, out for late-night testing at Fujimino Station on the Tōbu Tōjō Line (2011.08.28):


Source: tayanstation on YouTube

More recently, the same unit was again lent out for testing, but to Seibu Railway this time.
Parked at the Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Kotesashi Yard in Tokorozawa City, Saitama (2011.09.05):


Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Out testing the early morning of 2011.09.12 at Ikebukuro. Again, this is the first time a Tōkyū unit traveled on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. The itinerary was Kotesashi → Bushi → Ikebukuro → Bushi → Kotesashi.


Source: tokyoufo1976 on YouTube

Lastly, Seibu trains also joined the party… Here’s 6154F leaving Kotesashi Yard the early morning of 2011.09.12, bound for test runs on the Tōyoko Line. The unit was afterwards stationed at Moto-Sumiyoshi Maintenance Yard on the Tōyoko Line.


Source: h057539 on YouTube

Not much longer to go!
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Old September 20th, 2011, 06:50 PM   #2942
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Saw this post and immediately ran down the street to Motosumiyoshi Yard, and look what I found!



That's that same Seibu train laying over next to new Tokyu 10 car trainset 4001. (it's actually missing it's 2nd and 3rd car as it's testing in revenue service right now and the platforms are still only 8 cars long)

The other night, I was coming home from Shibuya and I could swear I saw a Tobu train out on the line too, but I didn't think to much about it then... But now that I see this, it's possible. Another thing I noticed is some trains are numbered so that 2 cars can be inserted in there at a later date... today I saw this with a Y-series Minato Mirai train. Perhaps all trains and all platforms will be expanded someday...

One thing I do wanna ask is how are these trains moving around from system to system if there's no physical connection to the Fukutoshin line yet? I scanned every inch of Google maps looking for an alternate connection and can't figure it out. I don't think any of these cars can fit in the Hibiya line due to the tight curves there vs. the length of these cars. The Den'en-Toshi line is a possiblility but where's the physical connection with the Toyoko line? Maybe the Oimachi line is being used at night to shift trains around that way? It would make for some really complicated movements...

In other news, the Motosumiyoshi Yard Inspection Area construction is moving along at a steady pace...


That's just to the southwest of the station area. That explains why things were tight in there the last few weeks (and also where they'll be storing those 4000 series trains)
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Old September 20th, 2011, 07:16 PM   #2943
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Quote:
One thing I do wanna ask is how are these trains moving around from system to system if there's no physical connection to the Fukutoshin line yet?
Apparently the routing is: Yurakucho Line to a short connection with the Nanboku Line, then onto the Tokyu Meguro Line, which has a connection with the Toyoko Line at Den-en-chofu.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #2944
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrwulfe View Post
The other night, I was coming home from Shibuya and I could swear I saw a Tobu train out on the line too, but I didn't think to much about it then... But now that I see this, it's possible.
I guess I missed it when I checked a few days ago, but Tōbu trains were also involved. A Tōbu 9050 series unit (typically used on the Tōjō Line) was also stationed at Moto-Sumiyoshi for some time:


Source: masa4471 on YouTube

Tōbu 9050 series testing horizontal clearances on the Tōyoko Line. Itinerary on this particular test run was Musashi Kosugi → Motomachi‒Chūkagai → Shibuya → Musashi Kosugi.


Source: jnr381shinano on YouTube
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:07 PM   #2945
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Tōkyū 5050-4000 series enters service

Been so busy with work past few weeks that I missed this bit of news on Tōyoko Line, too…
First day of service was 2011.09.09, when the top number unit 4101F began running. Right now, it’s only operating in an eight-car formation due to the platform lengths.

TOQ Vision LCD screens, on board a local for Motomachi‒Chūkagai (2011.09.16).
Overall, these new units are basically the same as the previous 5000 series for the Tōyoko Line, but the LCDs have been increased in size from 15 in to 17 in and the overhead racks have been switched from pipe-style to shelf-style. I guess perhaps they don’t have ads loaded yet, or maybe because it’s a new train, the left-side ad display was simply set to “Thank you for riding”.
Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

On the Tōyoko Line:



On the Minato Mirai Line.



In service, at Jiyūgaoka and Motomachi‒Chūkagai (2011.09.16):

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Old September 20th, 2011, 10:15 PM   #2946
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Just how often do Japanese really use offset car-end doors through a cab, because the Japanese seem to devise the door into every EMU fleet they own? I can see the squarely-centred cab car-end doors being used, but not the offset ones...
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Old September 21st, 2011, 01:56 AM   #2947
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Offset configuration is pretty common. Generally, when they are offset, they serve only as emergency doors to help passengers and crew exit the train when inside tunnels. Other times, they are not needed, so they are offset to increase seat area for the train operator and optimize cab layout.

I think center cab doors were more common in the past, when there was more coupling / decoupling of units and a need to allow access between units for passengers. Nowadays, particularly in Tōkyō, there's less of this, as many lines are just run with single-unit formations or if they are coupled, there's no through-access for passengers. The Tōkyō Metro 16000 series for the Chiyoda Line, one of the newer series, was switched from center to offset position mid-order.

Center (first 5 units, 16101F through 16105F):
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%...etro16103F.jpg

Offset (remaining units, 16106F through 16116F):
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%...000_16107F.jpg

Even some trains that are frequently coupled together like Keikyū 2100 and Keikyū 1000 are still offset.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 09:00 AM   #2948
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Kinki Sharyō’s ameriTRAM to make showing at APTA Expo
http://www.ameritram.com/newsroom/ki...o-october-3-5/

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WESTWOOD, Mass. – SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 – KINKISHARYO International, L.L.C., the number one supplier of low-floor, light-rail vehicles in North America, will have ameriTRAM™—its prototype of the 100 percent low-floor, electro-hybrid streetcar specifically designed for North America—in booth #5732 at the American Transportation Association Expo in New Orleans. This will be the final destination of a year-long tour that included stops in Charlotte, Dallas, Austin, Kansas City, Phoenix and Tempe.

“We have had enthusiastic support and response from local government, transit officials and the public everywhere we have been with ameriTRAM,” said Bill Kleppinger, project manager of KINKISHARYO International. “Plus, we also drew attendees from cities all over the country to the various events. Being on the show floor at APTA will give everyone who was unable to make any of the city events a chance to see this revolutionary vehicle up close and get all their questions answered.”

ameriTRAM ™ is a 100 percent low-floor streetcar powered by e-Brid™, a propulsion technology that enables operation powered by overhead catenary or on-board lithium-ion batteries. e-BridTM charges the batteries while running on catenary power and when braking. In battery mode, e-BridTM uses the stored electricity to operate at full performance without overhead wires. Depending on conditions, ameriTRAM™ can run on battery power for up to five miles.

The e-Brid™ propulsion system offers compelling advantages. Less electrification equipment and maintenance means that e-Brid™ saves municipalities millions of dollars in capital investment and operational costs, including $5 – $6 million for every mile of catenary avoided. Eliminating overhead catenary wires allows ameriTRAM™ to serve sensitive historic preservation areas and areas where installing overhead wires is just not practical, such as under low bridges. Also, because e-Brid™ enables battery-powered operation for up to five miles, ameriTRAM™ delivers immediate savings through lower power consumption and also eliminates harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

ameriTRAM™ was specifically engineered for North America and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Buy America, NFPA-130 and ASME RT-1. What’s more, ameriTRAM™ has a modular design allowing the length of the cars to be increased thereby increasing passenger capacity without increasing the total fleet size.

“Not only did we engineer ameriTRAM to comply with North American regulations and standards, we also integrated ideas from transportation officials and riders alike,” added Kleppinger. “ameriTRAM’s 100 percent low-floor, energy-efficient and cost effective design is uniquely engineered for North America’s sustainable cities.”
The prototype was on display with Valley Metro in the Phoenix / Tempe area on 2011.09.18, where it was being marketed for the Tempe Streetcar project. East Valley Tribune news report:



Looks like they gave it a new paint job, too.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 09:01 AM   #2949
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Japan keen about Dhaka's metro scheme
http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=205832&cid=2

Quote:
Dhaka, Sep 12 (bdnews24.com) — Japan is keen to lend money for a metro rail in Dhaka, the communications minister says.

Syed Abul Hossain said on Monday that the Japanese aid agency, JICA is interested to lend some $1.7 billion for Dhaka's metro.

The minister said that agency has sought the Bangladesh government's opinion regarding a plan that connects Pallabi with Motijheel. The government will have to respond within a month.

JICA director Tomohide Ichiguchi, who led a four-member team at a meeting with the minister, said the agency would be able to provide the money by January if Bangladesh clarified its position within a month.

"Otherwise, you have to wait another year clearance of the fund," Ichiguchi was quoted as saying by Hossain.

JICA drafted the latest report after its last effort in February to finalise a metro rail route for Dhaka city fell through after opposition from several authorities, including the University of Dhaka. That plan also suggested acquisition of land, he added.

Hossain said the air force opposed the new plan as it suggests linking Pallabi with Motijheel via Bijoy Sarani, which is adjacent to the old airport.

The air force suggested re-drawing the route from Pallabi to Khamarbari at Farmgate and Khamarbari to Motijheel to avoid Bijoy Sarani, he said.

The minister, however, said a ramp from four-lane elevated expressway, which will be built from Shahjalal International Airport to Kutubkhali on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway via Kuril, Banani, Mohakhali, Tejgaon, Satrasta, Moghbazar, Kamlapur, Khilgaon and Golapbagh, would be located at Khamarbari.

In that case the route for the elevated expressway could hamper the proposed metro route, he said.

"JICA opposed the route. Meetings are on with both sides," Hossain added.

A decision in this regard would be taken soon, he said and expressed hopes that it would be possible to start the metro project next year.
Still appears to be some uncertainties surrounding this project…
http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=205873&cid=4
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Old September 21st, 2011, 09:01 AM   #2950
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New station planned on Kotoden Kotohira Line in Ayagawa Town
http://www.shikoku-np.co.jp/kagawa_n...20110916000201

Quote:
It was revealed on September 15 that Ayagawa Town is planning to construct a new station on the Kotoden Kotohira Line between Sue and Takinomiya. The planned location (Kayahara, Ayagawa Town) is surrounded by a concentration of large shopping malls and other facilities, and the aim is to improve convenience and revitalize the town’s central area. The town will now move forward with discussions with locals and the Takamatsu‒Kotohira Electric Railroad (Kotoden), aiming for a completion sometime in FY2012.

According to the town’s General Affairs Division, in addition to construction of the new station, the town will also construct a station plaza and access roads, as well as acquire the necessary land for these facilities, and is envisioning a total project cost of approx. ¥700 million. The town’s share of the costs is expected to be around ¥450 million, with the remainder expected to be covered by funding from the national government and other sources.

The town says it has already notified Kotoden and Kagawa Prefecture of the plan, and has petitioned Kotoden to increase the number of scheduled trains and extend the schedule for the last train.

According to the plan, the new station is planned on privately-owned land approx. 700 m east of Takinomiya Station. The town hall building and Takinomiya General Hospital are located in the surrounding area, as well as large shopping malls such as the Aeon Ayagawa Shopping Center, located on the opposite side of National Route 32.

The station would be unstaffed, but faregates accepting Kotoden’s IruCa IC farecard would be installed. The town will also construct an approx. 3,000 sq m rotary big enough to allow large buses to enter and exit.

While construction of new stations was included in the plan compiled by the Kotoden Revitalization Committee, which discusses a vision for regional public transit centered around the Kotoden, project screenings intended to slash government spending meant that funding from the national government could no longer be expected. As a result, the town had been grasping in search of a different funding support system.

While the General Affairs Division admits it is still “uncertain” whether or not the project will get funding from the national government, spokespersons say, “If frequencies can improve with the establishment of the new station, there will be huge merits for the revitalization of the entire town. We hope to actively pursue this project.”

Approximate location of the new station:
http://g.co/maps/dxyvw

Winter night scenes on the Kotoden, from the eyes of a French railfan:


Source: Dotaku on YouTube

Kotoden just purchased another batch of four ex-Keikyū 1000 series cars that retired in June of last year, now designated as Kotoden 1300 series. These four cars joined another batch of four from the same series that Kotoden purchased in 2007. Two of the four new cars were produced in October 1979. After being repainted and undergoing tests at Keikyū’s maintenance facility in the Yokohama area, the cars departed the Port of Yokohama on 2011.08.20, arriving at the Port of Takamatsu on 2011.08.22. As the series has now been decommissioned from the Keikyū network, the Kotoden lines are the only place to see these old trains still in service.

Being loaded onto bogies at the railway’s Busshōzan Works:


Source: shikokuism on YouTube

Photo sets of the cars being transported to Port of Yokohama and being off-loaded at the Port of Takamatsu:
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/blog-entry-525.html
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/blog-entry-527.html
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Old September 21st, 2011, 09:02 AM   #2951
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JR West plans new turnback tracks at three stations to reduce impact of service disruptions on Tōkaidō, San’yō Lines
http://mainichi.jp/area/hyogo/news/2...20233000c.html

Quote:
At a September 14 press conference, JR West president Sasaki Takayuki revealed that the railway will construct new reversing equipment at a total of three stations in order to allow trains to turn back at these locations, reducing the impact to commuter trains in the Keihanshin region—such as the shin-kaisoku (special rapid) trains on the Tōkaidō and San’yō Lines—when incidents or other events result in service disruptions. The railway plans to begin using the new facilities by March of next year.

When an accident occurs anywhere between Kyōto and Himeji, the railway has currently been stopping service on all shin-kaisoku runs, but if it can increase the number of turnback locations, it can operate as many as four shin-kaisoku trains per hour. As a result, it will invest approx. ¥1.7 billion in extending the sidings at Amagasaki Station and in constructing tracks to connect the inbound and outbound tracks at Suita and Nada Stations.

On the 15 lines centered around the urbanized areas of the Keihanshin region, there were approx. 300 instances last year of suspended service or delays of 30 minutes or more. A JR West spokesperson says, “The impact to the Tōkaidō Line and San’yō Line is severe. With these improvements, we can alleviate the inconveniences quite a bit.”
A conceptual diagram of the effect of the turnback tracks at Suita:
http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/articl...0914_suita.pdf

In the event of a service disruption between Suita and Kyōto on the Tōkaidō Line, JR West suspends shin-kaisoku service (4 tph), bringing service down from 16 tph to 12 tph. The new turnback tracks at Suita will allow local (8 tph) and rapid (4 tph) trains to turn back at Suita instead of at Ōsaka, providing enough slots to operate the four shin-kaisoku runs on the San’yō Line by turning them back at Ōsaka.

Likewise, the new turnback tracks at Amagasaki Station will allow for continuation of shin-kaisoku service between Kyōto and Ōsaka should there be a service disruption between Amagasaki and Nishi-Akashi. The improvements at Nada will allow local trains to turn back at Nada Station instead of at Nishi-Akashi in the event of a service disruption between Nada and Ōsaka.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 09:03 AM   #2952
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Tōkyō Station makeover may lure tourists to financial area
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...-district.html

Quote:
East Japan Railway Co. (9020)’s 50 billion yen ($645 million) re-fit of Tokyo Station may help transform the financial district of Japan’s capital into a tourist destination, said President Satoshi Seino.

“We want to make it a symbol of Tokyo,” he said in a Sept. 7 interview. “We want people to come and see it and stay in the hotel.” He declined to comment on sales forecasts.

Work on the station in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district, most of which is due to be completed in June, includes the restoration of rooftop domes destroyed in World War II and the construction of a plaza that will be lit up at night. The enlarged 150-room station hotel and a gallery will open in October 2012.

JR East, Japan’s largest train operator, also intends to open a 13-story building with 13,800 square meters (148,500 square feet) of retail space at the station in August to help offset a slowdown in travel growth caused by Japan’s shrinking population. The Tokyo-based company plans to increase the share of revenue it gets from shops, hotels and office buildings to almost 40 percent by fiscal 2018 from 30 percent now, Seino said.

“The number of people living in Tokyo is still increasing,” he said. “We want to tap into that demand.”

Tokyo Developments
JR East is also constructing a new building at Tokyo’s Shinjuku station, the nation’s busiest. It has already completed developments at other stations in the city, including Shinagawa.

Tokyo station handled an average of 384,000 passengers a day in the year ended March 2010, making it the capital’s fourth-busiest terminus, according to JR East. The Marunouchi district houses offices for companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. and Nippon Life Insurance Co., Japan’s largest life insurer.

JR East rose 0.6 percent to 4,725 yen at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Tokyo as the Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.6 percent. The railway operator has dropped 11 percent this year.

The company’s bullet-train services to northern Japan have resumed service following the March 11 earthquake, which damaged tracks, bridges and tunnels. The company deployed 8,500 engineers and spent seven weeks undertaking repair work.

Sales from railway operations rebounded last month to year- earlier levels for the first time since the earthquake. They slid 2.4 percent in July, the fifth straight month of declines.

The company expects sales across all of it businesses to decline 1.5 percent this fiscal year to 2.5 trillion yen.

Satoshi Seino, president of East Japan Railway Co. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg




A model of Tokyo station is displayed at the East Japan Railway Co.’s head office. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg
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Old September 21st, 2011, 08:09 PM   #2953
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Has anybody here had first-hand experience entering or exiting an elevated subway station in Sapporo? Do you remember how drafty the elevated station(s) was when trains were either coming or going up above? Is its draftiness (wind) difficult for senior citizens at entering or exiting the station?

▲▲ ▼▼

ここで誰かが最初の手の経験は、入力または札幌で上昇地下鉄の駅を出てきた?この列車はどちらか来るか、上記まで行っていた時に高架駅がどれだけ隙間風覚えていますか?その虚は、駅を出入りする時の高齢者のための難しいですか?
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 01:26 AM   #2954
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I'm actually riding Toyoko train #4101 for my commute. Very unplanned as I never take the train at this time...
Wouldn't have noticed this one over a regular 5000 series train except those 17" LCD screens.
Still says ご乗車頂いてありがとうございます though.




Here she is sitting in the yard 3 days ago next to a Seibu train in for testing on the line (in case you don't wanna scroll up )

Last edited by starrwulfe; September 22nd, 2011 at 10:16 AM. Reason: added pix
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Old September 24th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #2955
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EMUs from JAPAN have now arrived in the Philippines...
thanks Japan...

From the Philippine Forums:

Quote:
Originally Posted by happosai View Post
The EMU's have arrived!! 5 units spotted at Tutuban yard.



























just being transferred from the harbor today... other sets include the Kiha series or something..

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Old September 25th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #2956
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Those 203 units will apparently be used as passenger cars pulled by diesel locomotives- talk about a dog's breakfast appearance wise. However, they must be hooked up to a electrical generator in order to run A/C, or else they have to open the windows. The 14 series were junked because PNR didn't (or couldn't) run the aircon, resulting in passenger complaints about the sauna-like interior.

可愛そうに、12系と同じ運命に・・・
Comment by a Japanese poster on the delivery of these units: "I feel so sorry for them, they will share the same fate as the 12 series coaches..."
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Old September 25th, 2011, 06:57 PM   #2957
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those 12 series are due to be refurbished once they get the replacements, so don't have to worry about them..

and yeah, probably a gen set--they'll work it out... the 14 series used in the long distance service works just fine... railfans here in SSC commented on the very cold aircon setting actually...
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Old September 26th, 2011, 08:59 AM   #2958
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I’ve been busy with Illustrator the past few days…

First, a simple Yamanote Line diagram that lists all the connecting lines at each station. Click for full-size.



Next, I’ve been cleaning up the base for my Tōkyō area map, retracing the land and bodies of water and adding in parkland, etc. Still a work in progress, but the results are looking pretty good so far. Click for full-size.

Southern Yokohama, Kamakura, Yokosuka, and Miura



Central Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Ōta Ward



Eastern wards of Tōkyō

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Old September 27th, 2011, 11:12 AM   #2959
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Bikes on trains: Germany’s example
http://business.nikkeibp.co.jp/artic..._updt&rt=nocnt

Quote:
By Itō Ken

Let’s talk about something that I’ve puzzled over for a long time now but had yet to put to paper.

We’ve all ridden bikes, I presume? There are heaps of bikes used by commuters heading to and from work or school piled up outside suburban train stations and other locations.

But why aren’t we allowed to bring our bikes straight onto trains and subways?

“Don’t be stupid! How do you expect to allow bikes on board trains when it’s already packed to the gills will passengers?” I’m sure some of us will be thinking this very same thing, but we might as well start our discussion here…

Bringing bikes on board German subways
If we take a look at Germany, for example, passengers regularly board trains with their bikes, regardless of whether it’s long-distance trains, suburban trains, or subways running through the central cities. Let’s take some time to explore this phenomenon.

Bringing bikes on the subway.


German train stations generally do not have “faregates”. Passengers trying to board trains or subways with their bike are required to purchase a special ticket for their bike in addition to their regular ticket. In other words, as long as you purchase the special ticket, you are allowed by principle to bring your bike with you on board trains.

On Berlin’s subway, the shortest-distance fares for passengers are about ¥150 while mid-distance fares are around ¥250—in Japan, this would be similar to subway fares in the Kansai urban area. In addition to this fare, passengers can purchase a bicycle ticket for about ¥160, allowing them to bring their bikes on board with them. There are even commuter passes for bicycles.

It’s common day in and day out to see passengers entering the station with their bikes under their arms, riding the escalator up to the platform.

Of course, passengers aren’t allowed to board with their bikes everywhere—some cars are marked as off-limits to bikes, and passengers must obey these rules. In addition, bikers also have a widely-accepted independent etiquette system, and you will never see them trying to shove their bikes onto crowded cars. Perhaps this has to do with the strong sense of individualism.

Bike-permitted car


Bike-prohibited car



Perhaps the idea of trains that allow passengers to bring their bikes on board is a bit off-kilter for Japanese. However, the Germans’ treatment of “vehicles” inside trains is collective—in other words, strollers, wheelchairs, and bikes are frequently grouped together.

The concept of “vehicular space inside trains”
In reality, the specially-designated space inside trains is sometimes right near the doors, securing a large area, or sometimes there are foldable seats along the wall, and there is an environment in place that allows passengers to board these special cars safely.

The specially-designated spaces inside trains cover a wide range of uses, including for baby carriages, wheelchairs, and bikes.


Suburban trains running aboveground frequently feature large images of bikes painted on train windows. And among those who use bikes to commute to and from work or school, many know beforehand exactly where they will be boarding the train. European trains rarely see the sardine-can crowding of the morning rush hour in Japan.

While in Japan certain especially crowded lines have become hot spots for chikan (groping) and pickpocketing, it’s almost as if Europeans consciously try to avoid the level of intrusion of personal space seen with Japan’s crush loads.

It’s rare to see crowding to the point where passengers are crammed together, hemmed in by the bodies of strangers. I also feel as if the social significance of trains is somewhat different. And yet, there are times when it does get somewhat crowded.

During those times, passengers might be packed inside the train with little to no space to place their feet, but it won’t be especially uncommon to see one or two bikes also joined in the mix. Bike riders also need not feel especially ashamed or sorry for bringing their bike—I’d say it’s the same feeling as bringing a baby carriage or wheelchair on board.

The specially-designated space secures a wide area after folding the seats up to the wall.




Considering the differences in social system
It’s the same impression I get with regards to the bicycle lanes frequently seen on roads in Europe, but the treatment of cars or bikes in Europe is slightly different from that in Japan.

My feeling is that the first reason has to do with the presence of horse-drawn carriages that were historically in use for several hundred years, and the continuance of the habits developed then into today. But let’s leave that discussion for another day. The concept of on-street parking, for example, is completely different between Japan and Europe. If you really take the time to think, I get the impression that there are some curious factors behind these differences.

While it’s most definitely unlikely, let’s assume for example that bikes were allowed on board trains during the commute periods… I have a feeling that bikers would be monopolizing the space inside trains, causing confrontations and problems. I remember when I was in middle and high school, commuting to and from the closest station to my house by bike, the bike parking outside the train station was frequently a battlefield, with bikes piled in heaps in competition for the best parking spot.

While I don’t believe a policy of allowing bikes on board trains can be directly applied to Japan, I also feel that there are still some facets where the concept certainly excels.

Bringing exercise into daily lifestyle
In Berlin, for example, let’s assume that we’re going to some gathering a fair distance away, or even some short trips to the library or the copy place. Since there isn’t anything quite as handy as Japan’s convenience stores, we are forced to travel for at least a short distance.

In those instances, we can take our leave the house with our bike and take it straight onto the train. At our destination station, it might be a 10- or 20-minute walk, or we could ride the bus, but riding a bike offers a refreshing experience. We can also save on time and money.

When thinking of our health, riding bikes is also quite attractive from the perspective of bringing exercise into our daily lifestyles. Katsuma Kazuyo frequently uses her bike to get around central Tōkyō, and I had the opportunity to spend some time with Katsuma once for a meeting she had biked to.

If we were able to bring our bikes on trains and subways, a sudden downpour on the way back wouldn’t pose much of a threat to bike riders, who could simply take the train back, bringing their bike back with them. It could also be convenient when you’ve had a long day at work or if you want to grab a drink on the way home.

I believe the differences in social and historical circumstances make transporting the “bikes-on-trains” concept into Japan difficult. But from a variety of perspectives such as recovery following an earthquake, energy conservation, or maintaining health in an aging society, I feel that there is some value in rethinking the situation and combining these two intimate modes of transport.
I’m pretty skeptical of actually allowing bikes on the trains, just given the crowding levels. While rush hour is worst, it can quite easily get crowded during off-peak times, as well as on weekends. However, if there is no crowding problem, like on some smaller lines out on the periphery (where a good share of passengers may want to use a bike at both station ends), then I think it makes sense.

Even without the ability to bring bikes on trains, bike use is already very high, and it’s one of the top access modes to / from stations. Hōchi jitensha (illegal parking of bicycles) is a widely discussed urban problem, as train commuters will often park their bike anywhere on the street or sidewalk near the station, leaving it there for the whole day.

Tōkyō MX news feature (2010.09.13) on bike parking problems at Tachikawa Station in western Tōkyō. Construction of a new 1,200-space bike parking facility last year helped resolve many of those issues. Tachikawa City just started a small trial bikesharing program at this bike parking tower this month.



Given these considerations, I think continuing the current strategies of increasing the amount of bike parking and implementing larger-scale bikesharing programs would be the most effective way to resolve current issues with illegal bike parking while encouraging more bike use. Bikesharing programs are really starting to catch on last few years:

AFPBB News feature on the solar-powered electric bike bikesharing program in Setagaya Ward (2010.5.17):



Introduction of the Setagaya Ward system:


Source: energietaikenland on YouTube

Tōkyū is also getting into the bikesharing business with a new bikesharing station at Shin-Maruko Station on the Meguro Line. They tend to be more pioneering than other private railways in side businesses that feed off and support the railway business, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Odakyū or Keiō will follow next, particularly as bikesharing becomes more and more popular.
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_inde.../110722-2.html
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Old September 27th, 2011, 11:13 AM   #2960
quashlo
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Farewell for 113 series

The 113 series ended its service in JR East’s service area on 2011.09.24 after completing a series of special charter runs. End of regular revenue service was 2011.09.01. While there are other 113 series units scattered elsewhere in Japan, they are now gone from the Tōkyō area (and the rest of JR East’s service area).

This was definitely one of the more favored series among railfans, debuting in 1963 as JNR’s new suburban EMU for the Tōkaidō Line, Yokosuka Line, Sōbu Line, and the Chiba area lines (Narita Line, Sotobō Line, Uchibō Line, etc.). The series sported some very distinctive color schemes—the sunset orange / moss green “Shōnan” livery and the navy blue / cream “Yokosuka” livery—that still remain today, inherited by JR East’s newer suburban EMUs like the E231 and E233, although they are now limited to a simple stripe along the sides instead of full-body paint. Other unique characteristics included the high operator seat to improve visibility and the connecting gangway on the end cars, making it possible to run them in the Tōkyō Tunnel between Shinagawa and Kinshichō—JNR’s first urban tunnel—and operate through-service with the Yokosuka Line starting in 1972, one of the first examples of suburb-to-suburb through-service through central Tōkyō.

The trains had already been taken off the Sōbu Rapid Line and Yokosuka Line starting in 1994 with the introduction of the E217 series, but continued running on the Bōsō Peninsula (Chiba area) and on the Tōkaidō Line for some time. The last straw was the refurbishment of 209 series trains from the Keihin-Tōhoku Line and their deployment in the Chiba area, replacing the 211 and 113 series trains.

Videos:

Last charter run on the Yokosuka Line (2011.09.18).


Source: QSANDQSAND on YouTube

On one of the special charter runs on 2011.09.23 (the cameraman was lucky enough to get a ticket). Formation was 4+4. Itinerary was from Ryōgoku (the original Tōkyō terminus for Bōsō Peninsula trains) to Chōshi via the Sōbu Rapid Line and Sōbu Main Line, then from Chōshi back to Ryōgoku via the Narita Line and Sōbu Rapid Line. Some great sounds and views with the window down. Paint job still looks new.
1:45 Views of the Tōkyō Sky Tree while departing Ryōgoku from Platform 3, generally off-limits to passengers unless for special events like this.
2:40 211 and 209 series trains at Chōshi.
4:23 Special LED programming, including a pictogram of the series. Usually, they just show “charter run”.


Source: ayokoi on YouTube

Charter runs on 2011.09.24 consisted of separate four-car units running on the Sotobō Line and Uchibō Line, headmarked as Shiroi Suna (“White Sand”) and Aoi Umi (“Blue Ocean”) respectively, in honor of the Yokosuka paint scheme.


Source: ayokoi on YouTube

Scenes on the Sōbu Rapid Line and Yokosuka Line from 1989 to 1992. Includes plenty of 113 series, alongside 183 series limited expresses. At 11:15, we get three units together, with Shōnan and Yokosuka paint schemes side-by-side. Ends with some intimate scenery in the Kamakura area.


Source: Sintosya on YouTube
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