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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #321
quashlo
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Surutto Kansai hits rough waters after counterfeiting
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/cri...1408026-n1.htm

Quote:
Sales of the prepaid magnetic farecard Surutto Kansai, valid on private railways and subways throughout the Kansai region, have stalled due to incidents of counterfeit. A Korean group that mass-produced ¥5,000 farecards has since been exposed by Korean authorities, but not until 8,000 cards had already been smuggled into Japan for distribution to the public via discount ticket shops. Some railway operators have since countered the news by deciding to no longer accept the cards, leading to complaints of inconvenience from users and widespread ripple effects. The Ōsaka Municipal Subway, which suffered substantial losses as a result of the counterfeit cards, is considering demanding compensation for lost revenue.

According to the card’s management firm, Surutto Kansai (Chūō Ward, Ōsaka), the counterfeit cards were first discovered in December 2008 at Umeda Station on the Municipal Subway’s Midōsuji Line, leading to the confiscation of approximately 400 counterfeit cards scattered throughout the Kinki region, all similar enough to real cards to fool ticket machines and faregates.

By March of this year, Ōsaka Prefectural Police had arrested two Korean men—a 53-year-old unemployed man and a 50-year-old former gang member—on suspicion of obtaining counterfeit farecards. In the following investigation, it was uncovered that the unemployed suspect had purchased 1,000 counterfeit farecards from an acquaintance in Korea for ¥100,000, giving approximately 300 of the cards to the former gang member, with whom he shared his residence.

According to officials close to the investigation, the majority of the farecards are designed as copies of the Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau’s Rainbow Card. The two suspects planned to exchange the cards for money at discount ticket shops, but changed their scheme after the Municipal Transportation Bureau announced discovery of the counterfeit farecards. The suspects fed the counterfeit cards into ticket machines to obtain Universal One-Day Passes and genuine cards, which they then exchanged for hard cash. The former gang member says he used this approach to steal approximately ¥700,000.

As a result of significant revenue losses from the counterfeit cards, the Municipal Transportation Bureau has since stopped selling the ¥5,000 versions of the farecard. In addition, the agency has modified its ticket machines, and passengers are no longer able to purchase Universal One-Day Passes with Rainbow Cards. The series of countermeasures has cost the Bureau approximately ¥90 million.

The circulation of counterfeit Rainbow Cards has also hit the Bureau’s revenues as well. Since the discovery of the counterfeit cards in December, monthly revenue has consistently been lower versus the same months the previous year. The situation has become like salt in an open wound, with revenues down approximately ¥300 million in May and ¥200 million in June compared to the previous year. In addition, the Bureau has received several complaints from passengers who are disgruntled with no longer being able to purchase Universal One-Day Passes.

Surutto Kansai itself also posted a 20 percent decline in sales in April compared to the previous year. As one-touch IC farecards are becoming more and more commonplace, sales of Surutto Kansai cards are trending down, with the discovery of the counterfeit cards only quickening the pace of the decline.

To completely prevent losses and damages from the counterfeit cards would require modifications to faregates and ticket machines, but that would also take a big bite out of the budget. “The social impacts of the counterfeiting are widespread, and we are considering demanding compensation from those involved in the incident,” says the Municipal Transportation Bureau.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #322
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Special exhibit highlights Ryūtetsu Nagareyama Line
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ch...502000074.html

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A special exhibit on Ryūtetsu has opened in Nagareyama City’s Mori no Atelier: Reimei studio.

The exhibit introduces the history of the 5.7-km Ryūtetsu Nagareyama Line linking Nagareyama and Mabashi in Matsudo City. The featured items include pictures, documents, and model railway displays, covering the charm of the Nagareyama Line from all angles. Equipment that was used in the past is also in display, offering something for parents and children alike. The exhibit runs until August 16 and is free to the public.

The Nagareyama Line is single-track, and was founded in 1916 as the Nagareyama Narrow-Gauge Railway using funds pooled together by residents in the area. The colorful trains run inches away from apartment blocks and homes, and have become a fixture of residents’ lives.

Included in the exhibit are carriers for the tablets used to prevent collisions and train nickname plates such as “Ryūsei” and “Ginga,” as well as destination signs, lamps, signal flags, and beacons.
The Ryūtetsu Nagareyama Line is one of the unusual neighborhood-type lines scattered around Tōkyō suburbs. It only has six stations, and officially only connects at with the JR Jōban Line, at Mabashi Station (although Kōya Station is also adjacent to Shin-Matsudo Station for both the Jōban Line and Musashino Line). Since it’s such a short line, the financial situation has always been problematic, but only got worse when the Tsukuba Express opened in 2004, taking a large chunk out of the line’s ridership.


Source: Wikipedia
Nagareyama Station.


Source: Wikipedia
Slipping by homes near Mabashi Station.


Source: Wikipedia
Kōya Station, built into the side of an apartment block.

Round trip on the Nagareyama Line. Quality isn’t exceptional, but you can get a good feel of what the line and neighborhoods are like. All the trains on the line are ex-Seibu Railway two-car trains. Ironically, Seibu itself has similar neighborhood lines in the western suburbs of Tōkyō.


Source: tsuchida2006 on YouTube
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:04 AM   #323
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Nagasaki Electric Tramway proposes first fare raise in 25 years
http://www.tetsudo.com/news/407/25%E...B%8C%E9%81%93/

Quote:
On August 3, Nagasaki Electric Tramway announced that it had submitted a fare structure revision request to the Kyūshū Transport Bureau Chief.

Since 1984, the tramway has maintained a flat ¥100 fare, even with the introduction of and changes to the sales tax. The decreasing population along the line as a result of widespread aging and the loss of young people who leave the prefecture, as well as the increasing use of private automobiles, have contributed to substantial drops in ridership, leaving the railway with no choice but to raise the fare by ¥20 to ¥120. The company also pointed out an increase in financial burdens due to the need to abide by the Transport Accessibility Law, which requires the renovation of stops that currently can only be accessed by stairwells or pedestrian bridges, as well as the introduction of super low-floor vehicles.

If approved, the new fare structure would take effect starting in October, with all fares, including commuter passes, revised to the new structure. The daily pass, however, would remain at the existing price of ¥500.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:05 AM   #324
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Suica and PASMO electronic money transactions top 40 million a month
http://japan.cnet.com/marketing/stor...0398234,00.htm

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On August 10, JR East, PASMO, and the PASMO Committee announced that monthly electronic money transactions using Suica and PASMO has topped 40 million—a total of 42.91 million transactions for July. Two years after the start of interoperability between the two cards in April 2007, when monthly transactions were 14.55 million, the figure has tripled.

At the end of July, approximately 42.32 million cards were in circulation (approximately 29.33 million Suica cards and 12.99 million PASMO cards).
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:06 AM   #325
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Schedule changes and new trains for Nippori – Toneri Liner
http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/news...0908061_h.html

Quote:
The Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation will implement schedule changes to the Nippori – Toneri Liner. The changes are designed to increase convenience for passengers, as well as decrease crowding by increasing frequencies during the morning rush hour and evening.

As part of the schedule changes, two new trains will debut on the line. The new trains make it easier for passengers to enter the middle of the cars by changing some seats to a longitudinal configuration. Standee straps were increased and the interior design has been modified. In addition, existing trains will be renovated in a similar fashion to the new trains.
The Nippori – Toneri Liner is an automated guideway transit system connecting Nippori Station (Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Jōban Line, Keisei Main Line) with neighborhoods in Arakawa Ward and Adachi Ward which previously did not have rapid transit. The 9.7-km line opened in 2008 and serves 13 stations.


Source: Wikipedia
Kumanomae Station


Source: Wikipedia
Kōhoku Station


Source: Wikipedia
Minumadai Shinsui Kōen Station, the northern terminus.


Source: alfsroom on YouTube
A cab view from Nippori to Akado Shōgakkō-mae.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #326
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JR East releases new Fact Sheet
http://www.jreast.co.jp/investor/factsheet/index.html

JR East has just updated their Fact Sheet for investors.
The document gives a good basic overview of the company and highlights most of the major projects going on in all facets, including railway infrastructure, property development, research and development, fare collection technology, etc.

Fact Sheet (English and Japanese):
http://www.jreast.co.jp/investor/fac.../factsheet.pdf

Major JR railway infrastructure projects in the Tōkyō metropolitan area:
  • Strengthening of “Tōkyō Mega Loop” (Musashino Line + Keiyō Line + Nambu Line + Yokohama Line)
  • Improvements along Chūō Line areas
  • Opening of Musashi-Kosugi Station (Yokosuka Line): 2009
  • New rolling stock for Narita Express: 2009
  • Opening of Haneda Airport International Terminal Station (Tōkyō Monorail): 2010
  • Opening of Shin-Yoshikawa Station (Musashino Line): 2011
  • Opening of Tōhoku Through Line: 2013
  • Opening of through-service connection with Sagami Railway: 2015

Major JR property and lifestyle development projects:
  • In-station developments:
    • Ageo Station development (Takasaki Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line): March 2010
    • Musashi Urawa Station development (Musashino Line, Saikyō Line)
    • Sugamo Station development (Yamanote Line, Toei Subway Mita Line): Spring 2010
    • ecute Nippori
    • ecute Kashiwa
    • Gotanda Station development (Yamanote Line, Tōkyū Ikegami Line, Toei Subway Asakusa Line): March 2010
    • Ōimachi Station development (Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Tōkyū Ōimachi Line, Tōkyō Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Rinkai Line)
    • Kawasaki Station development (Tōkaidō Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Nambu Line)
    • Tsujidō Station development (Tōkaidō Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line)
    • Chigasaki Station development (Tōkaidō Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Sagami Line)
  • Shopping centers, office buildings, and other services
    • Saitama Shintoshin Hotel (Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line)
    • Ōtsuka Station development (Yamanote Line, Toden Arakawa Line)
    • HOTEL METS Komagome (Yamanote Line, Tōkyō Metro Namboku Line): Autumn 2009
    • Tsuchiura Station building (Jōban Line): 2009
    • Funabashi Station development (Chūō-Sōbu Line (local), Sōbu Line (rapid), Tōbu Noda Line)
    • Akihabara department store (Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Chūō-Sōbu Line (local), Tōkyō Metro Hibiya Line, Tsukuba Express)
    • Former Transportation Museum site development (Kanda Sudachō, Chiyoda Ward)
    • Iidabashi Station development (Chūō-Sōbu Line (local), Tōkyō Metro Tōzai Line, Tōkyō Metro Yūrakuchō Line, Tōkyō Metro Namboku Line, Toei Subway Ōedo Line)
    • Higashi-Nakano Station development (Chūō-Sōbu Line (local), Toei Subway Ōedo Line)
    • Chūō Line Mall (Chūō Line (rapid))
    • Musashi Koganei building (Chūō Line (rapid)): March 2010
    • Hachiōji Station South Exit building (Chūō Line (rapid), Yokohama Line, Hachikō Line): Autumn 2010
    • LUMINE MAN SHIBUYA (Yamanote Line, Saikyō Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Tōkyū Tōyoko Line, Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line, Tōkyō Metro Ginza Line, Tōkyō Metro Hanzōmon Line, Tōkyō Metro Fukutoshin Line): August 2009
    • Tsurumi Station development (Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Tsurumi Line)
    • Higashi-Kanagawa Station building (Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Yokohama Line): Autumn 2009
    • Sakuragichō Station development (Negishi Line, Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line)
  • Large-scale terminal station development
    • Shinjuku Station South Exit building: Spring 2016
    • Shibuya Station development
    • Tōkyō Station Marunouchi Station Building restoration (2011), GranTokyo North Tower Phase II (2012), GranRoof (2013)
    • Shinagawa Station area development
    • Chiba Station development
    • Yokohama Station West Exit / East Exit developments
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Old August 17th, 2009, 08:44 AM   #327
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I hope more people would drop into this thread. Japan doesn't have the recognition it deserves in this forum when it comes to urban public transport. I guess there just isn't enough Japanese train enthusiasts participating here.

Anyways, thumbs-up for quashlo. You really did a phenomenal job and I hope your effort could draw more interest from other transport enthusiasts in this forum.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 12:08 AM   #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yipe618 View Post
I hope more people would drop into this thread. Japan doesn't have the recognition it deserves in this forum when it comes to urban public transport. I guess there just isn't enough Japanese train enthusiasts participating here.

Anyways, thumbs-up for quashlo. You really did a phenomenal job and I hope your effort could draw more interest from other transport enthusiasts in this forum.
This is a show-off forum. You don't really expect Japanese to join in, do you.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:50 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by yipe618 View Post
I guess there just isn't enough Japanese train enthusiasts participating here.
They're all on 2ch.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #330
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Lawson to accept ICOCA
http://www.westjr.co.jp/news/newslis...74343_799.html

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Lawson, Inc. (CEO: Niinami Takeshi) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West; CEO: Yamazaki Masao) have announced that all 2,700 Lawson stores within JR West’s service area will begin accepting ICOCA for payments and allow users to charge their ICOCA cards starting Monday, August 24.

In commemoration of the start of the new service, Lawson and JR West will launch a 30-day campaign for the month of September to promote ICOCA use. The first 120,000 customers who use ICOCA during the campaign period to make purchases at Lawson of ¥300 or more will receive a Lawson original “ICOCA Clear File.” Customers who collect over ¥600 worth of receipts for purchases at Lawson using ICOCA can attach them to a postcard and be entered into a drawing for prizes.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #331
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JR and Keikyū venture into agricultural business
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...0810004-n1.htm

Quote:
Cases of JR and private railways entering the agriculture business are becoming more common. As interest in domestic food products increases, railways are looking at agriculture as a future area for business diversification.

JR Central group company Hida Forest Urban Planning, which operates the Ciao Ontake Snow Resort (Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture), entered the agricultural business in 2009. Borrowing approximately 5,300 sq m of farmland in Takayama City, the company is growing Takane corn, a high-sugar content, local variety of corn. The first harvest will begin in early September, and Hida Forest will begin accepting orders via its website, at the price of ¥2,500 for eight ears.

JR Central has also developed an agricultural business in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture. The business produces lettuce and tomatoes all year round, grown without the use of chemosynthetic pesticides.

Included among JR Central’s group companies are JR Central Food Service, JR Central Hotels, and other companies that deal in the food service industry and use a given amount of the produce. With increasing concern over food safety, the company is advertising the use of its in-house organic produce as a means of increasing consumer trust in the JR Central Group as a whole. “Assuming our production stabilizes in the future, we are looking forward to the possibility of offering our produce to companies outside of the group as well,” says the business promotion department.

Nippon Restaurant Enterprise (NRE), a subsidiary of JR East, under the agricultural guidance of JA-Yasato (Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture), has its own experimental farm, Tomobe Organic Recycle Farm, which reuses food scraps from NRE station shops and other facilities as compost. The company has conducted experiments growing several different crops, but formally established an agricultural union in April as part of an effort to begin a stable production.

Using 30,000 sq m of farmland, the company grows high-quality and healthy crops, using them as ingredients for in-station food service business. The company is hoping to eventually sell the produce to buyers as well.

The company is also looking at expanding similar businesses in other areas around the country. One motive is to revitalize regional economies. By coordinating with central cities and special sales events, the company hopes that the venture generates a bi-directional movement between urban and rural areas, leading to increased revenue in the group’s main business, passenger railway service.

There are other examples of railway companies sponsoring agricultural-related events. Starting August 25, Keihin Electric Express Railway (Keikyū) will run a Keikyū Akita Fair special event train. The relationship between Keikyū and Akita Prefecture runs deep, and is partially a result of the prefecture running its own special shop inside Keikyū’s Wing Takenawa, a commercial facility inside Shinagawa Station in Tōkyō. As part of an effort to strengthen the ties between the company and the prefecture, Keikyū Group employees participated in a special event in May to plant rice paddies. The rice being grown is a special variety called “Akita eco-rice,” and uses less than half the typical amount of pesticides. The Keikyū Akita Fair, which runs until November 3 at the group’s department stores and supermarkets, will feature the rice as a showpiece.


Keikyū Group employees plant rice in Akita
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:55 AM   #332
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New Narita Express trains to enter service October 1
http://www.tetsudo.com/news/417/%E6%...6%8B%E5%A7%8B/
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2009/20090811.pdf

Quote:
On August 20, JR East announced that starting October 1, it will begin running new trains on 10 roundtrips of the Narita Express, which connects Narita Airport with key destinations such as Yokohama and Shinjuku.

The new E259 series trains for the Narita Express feature wide LCD screens with programming in four languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean) and power outlets in all seats. With an eye towards security, the new trains have security cameras located at entrances and luggage storage areas. The storage areas also feature dial locks.

Currently, JR East runs 26 daily roundtrips on the Narita Express, with approximately 40 percent of the trips to feature the new trains starting this October. A total of 132 cars (22 6-car units) are being constructed to replace the existing 253 series trains. Rail service to Narita Airport is getting an upgrade in preparation for the opening of the Narita New Rapid Railway next spring.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:58 AM   #333
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Increasing through-service, increasing headaches
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00601.htm

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In order to keep frequent train delays to a minimum in Greater Tōkyō, where subways, private railways, and JR run through-services between each other, railway operators and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) are working together to develop a counterstrategy.

The crux of the strategy revolves around installing track sidings at intermediate stations to allow trains to turn back, as well as “soft” improvements such as sharing of data between railway operators and improving the provision of information to passengers. In its budget appropriation request for 2010, the MLIT listed items for the cost of studies and for subsidies to help cover the cost of improving stations, with the aim of enticing railway operators to chip in their part of the investment.

Starting from 535 km in 1990, the total length of Tōkyō’s inner suburban through-services has expanded by 1.7 times to 922 km in 2008. On the other hand, incidents of cancellations and delays of 30 minutes or more on rail lines in the Kantō Region has increased from 751 cases in 1996 to 928 cases in 2007. While mutual through-service has reduced the complications of transferring between trains, it’s also become a bit of an Achilles heel. When trains come to a stop on a small portion of a much longer line, it can jumpstart a domino effect that impacts trains much further away.

As an example, through-service trains between Tōbu Railway and Tōkyū Corporation, which travel approximately 95 km between Kuki City in Saitama Prefecture and Yamato City in Kanagawa Prefecture via the Tōkyō Metro, run at headways as low as 2 minutes and 10 seconds during the morning rush hour. Even the smallest delays ripple down to trains behind, leading to a trend where the length of the delay is now also increasing.

At Kotake – Mukaihara Station in Nerima Ward, Tōkyō, through-service trains with the Tōbu Tōjō Line and Seibu Ikebukuro Line meet, meaning delays on a single affect operations on a number of other lines.

However, the impact of train failures or other accidents can be kept to a minimum by turning trains back at intermediate stations. According to the MLIT, however, the reality is that “investment in reducing delays, such as through construction of switchback tracks, is difficult to make pencil out from a profit perspective, so progress by private railways has been slow.” As a result, the national government plans to promote construction of switchback tracks by providing subsidies.

The ultimate decision on whether or not to build will still lie in the hands of the private railways, but the MLIT expects that the amount of time it takes to resume normal scheduled service can be substantially reduced through flexible switchback operations.

Other strategies will also receive support, including development of a system that will allow companies to share basic data regarding accidents that resulted in delays, as well as provision of more detailed information (such as expected resumption of regular scheduled service after delays) to make it easier for passengers to decide whether or not to transfer to other lines.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #334
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Speculation along Tsukuba Express turns sour for Ibaraki
http://mytown.asahi.com/ibaraki/news...00610908180001

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“Implosion”…
That’s what the Ibaraki Prefectural Assembly called the land it owns along the Tsukuba Express (TX). Even if the remaining 86 percent of unsold land were completely sold in 10 years, it will still require a write-off of approximately ¥84 billion (in 2008 numbers).

The scale of the loss would top this year’s prefectural police budget (¥60.5 billion) and comes out to an expense of ¥28,000 per Ibaraki resident. It’s inevitable that the problem will only exacerbate the prefectural government’s already tight financial situation.

Starting in the 1980s, Ibaraki Prefecture has obtained a total of 412.1 hectares of development area in five districts scattered along the TX. The drop in land value after the economic bubble burst is one reason for the ballooning loss, but not the only reason. Postponing of the problem in the past has only made the situation worse.

Reckless plans
One of the five development areas is Ina – Yawara Hills, which is seeing block improvement proceeding around the TX’s Miraidaira Station. The district was formerly mountain forests and farmland, with the Prefecture purchasing 74.3 hectares.

Among the five development areas, it was the first to see project work begin, in 1993. According to the original plan, the improvements would be completed in 2002, at which point the government would dispose of all the land. The expected asking price was ¥103,000 per sq m.

However, the improvements and sale of the land encountered trouble moving forward, and in 1998, the government was forced to change its plans midway. Combined with the delay of the opening of the TX from 2000 to 2005, the government pushed back disposal of the land to 2005.

In 2004, with one year before the project was to be finished, the prefectural government modified its plans again, this time extending the project timeline 12 years to 2017—15 years after the date envisioned under the original plan.

According to the Prefectural Government’s Tsukuba Area Revitalization Division, “What it really boils down to is the recklessness of the original plan. Land readjustment projects almost always take 20 to 30 years for completion. We were probably too far ahead of the boat to take best advantage of the opening of the TX.”

As the result of an overly-optimistic outlook that purchased parcels that couldn’t even be improved without much difficulty, it took longer than expected to prepare the land, but the land value only continued falling year-by-year. The average price of the land is now only ¥76,000 per sq m, ¥30,000 per sq m less than what the original plan had estimated. Considering the entire development area, a simple back-of-the-hand calculation gives a loss of approximately ¥24 billion on the plan.

Difficult sell even in an upswing
In the newest plan for the development areas along the TX, Ibaraki Prefecture expects to sell all of the land in the five areas by 2019. However, the economic progress in the post-war period has reached its peak, even despite a rare rise in land value in 2007 and 2008 along the TX. Expecting to sell 50 hectares in that time period, the government was only able to sell a mere 9.6 hectares.

By the end of 2008, the balance on the loans used for development along the TX had topped ¥200 billion, with ¥3 billion in annual interest alone. Some are questioning whether the previous mistake of extending the project is being repeated, only to inflate the losses further. Should the government simply do a firesale at a low price in an attempt to settle the loss?

With a tragic air, a higher-up in the prefectural government replied, “The difference between us and a private corporation is that our debt doesn’t disappear if we go bankrupt. We have no choice but to sell the land in order to pay back the debt.”
TX Miraidaira Station (Daily station entries: 3,100)
Semi-rapid and local trains stop at this station, but rapids, which are the fastest services on the line, skip the station.


Source: Wikipedia

Residential neighborhood surrounding the station


Source: Wikipedia

Window view of a full trip on a Tsukuba Express rapid (some scenes cut):

Part 1: Akihabara – Moriya (37.7 km)

Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube

Part 2: Moriya – Tsukuba (20.6 km)

Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube
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Old August 29th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #335
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Higashi-Murayama redevelopment 50 years in the making
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/tok...OYT8T01073.htm

Quote:
The Seibu Higashi-Murayama Station West Exit redevelopment project has finally come to a close. On August 24, a completion ceremony was held inside One’s Tower, which will house Higashi-Murayama City municipal functions and residences.

The new One’s Tower building is directly connected to the station, and consists of one below-ground floor and 26 above-ground floors (approx. 100 m tall). The underground level houses the fire system and utility room. The first floor houses a supermarket, while the second and third floors will be home to “Sanparune,” a corner providing industry and tourist information about the city and featuring a counter where citizens can request a certificate of residence. The fourth floor will house clinics for internal medicine, while the fifth floor and above will house residences.

A traffic circle has been constructed at the West Exit of the station, in addition to an underground bicycle parking facility. Local roadways in the area have also been improved. The total estimated cost of the project is approximately ¥9.47 billion, with approximately ¥1.9 billion of that cost to be borne by the city.

In 1962, an urban development plan to construct a plaza at the West Exit was approved, and in 2004, a union was formed to promote the redevelopment of the area. While some heralded the project as a way to revitalize the city, others protested the project. The project became a focal point of the 2007 mayoral race, when current mayor Watanabe Takashi banked his campaign on moving the project forward.

Approximately 160 guests attended the ceremony, including Mayor Watanabe, former mayor Hosobuchi Kazuo, and members of the city council and Tōkyō Assembly. “This project took close to 50 years to complete, and is an indispensible part of the future development of Higashi-Murayama City,” remarked Mayor Watanabe.

Higashi-Murayama Station is on the Seibu Shinjuku Line, Kokubunji Line, and Seibuen Line. Average daily station entries and exits are 45,000 (2008).

Rendering of Parkhouse One’s Tower, adjacent to the station. The development is a partnership of Seibu Railway and Mitsubishi Estate.

Source: http://www.ones-tower.com/environment.html

Cab view (30000 series) on the Shinjuku Line, from Kumegawa to Higashi-Murayama
You can see the new tower as the train approaches the station.

Source: birdsoftnet on YouTube

Part 2, from Higashi-Murayama to Tokorozawa

Source: birdsoftnet on YouTube

Window view of Seibu Kokubunji Line, from Kokubunji to Higashi-Murayama

Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube
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Old August 29th, 2009, 08:08 AM   #336
quashlo
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New Shinjuku bus route starts service
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/na...502000099.html

Quote:
A loop bus route connecting the east and west areas surrounding Shinjuku Station, Japan’s largest terminal, will inaugurate its first run August 27. The bus is intended to make travel within the area smoother, and features a large skylight designed for tourists and sightseers. Shinjuku Ward hopes the bus will become a new face for the town.

The route is nicknamed the “Shinjuku We Bus.” The operator is Keiō Bus East, with the cost of bus renovation and improvements along the route borne by the Ward.

The 5 km route connecting the skyscraper clusters on the station’s West Exit with the shopping district on the East Exit will run every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 10 minutes on weekends and holidays. No fare is required for children elementary-school age or younger. For all other passengers, the fare is ¥100.

Daily station entries and exits at JR Shinjuku Station are the highest. However, the area is split in two by the station, leading to an imbalance where traffic is congested in the east side but there is plentiful capacity in parking structures on the west side.

Ward officials hope the introduction of the new bus route will improve the connectivity between the east and west areas, as well as ease congestion in the east side. A special “park and ride” fare has been established for passengers who park in public parking facilities near the West Exit, allowing up to eight passengers to ride the bus an unlimited number of times during the day for a flat ¥400.

According to a study by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Shinjuku has been the top destination for foreign travelers for four years straight. For foreign passengers, the bus will display bus stop names in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #337
quashlo
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I’ve been swamped at work lately, so I haven’t had a chance to process the rest of my Tōkyō pictures, but here’s some pictures from my visit in November 2008.

Saikyō Line train near Shinjuku Station
image hosted on flickr


Sōbu Local Line train near Asakusabashi
image hosted on flickr


Tōbu Isesaki Line train crossing the Sumida River and approaching Asakusa Station
image hosted on flickr


Tōbu Asakusa Station (entrance is in the building at right)
image hosted on flickr


Keihin-Tōhoku Line platforms, Ōmiya Station
image hosted on flickr


Ōmiya Station
image hosted on flickr


Kawagoe Line and Tōhoku Line trains outside the Railway Museum
image hosted on flickr


Tetsudō Hakubutsukan (Railway Museum) Station on the New Shuttle
image hosted on flickr


Chūō Line rapid trains pass each other near Ochanomizu Station
image hosted on flickr


Tochōmae Station on the Ōedo Line
image hosted on flickr


Yurikamome leaving Shiodome Station
image hosted on flickr


Shiodome Station on the Yurikamome
image hosted on flickr


Sōbu Local Line train near Akihabara Station
image hosted on flickr


Keihin-Tōhoku Line train leaving Akihabara Station
image hosted on flickr


The 10:15a Keiō Line semi-special express arrives at Shinjuku Station
image hosted on flickr


Tōkaidō Line train at Tokyo Station
image hosted on flickr


Yokosuka Line train approaching Kita-Kamakura Station
image hosted on flickr


15-car Shōnan-Shinjuku Line train bound for Zushi boards at Kita-Kamakura Station
image hosted on flickr


12-car Keikyū kaitoku (rapid limited express) enters Shinagawa Station
image hosted on flickr


Keikyū kaitoku bound for Aoto on the Keisei Oshiage Line, via the Asakusa Subway Line
image hosted on flickr


Interior of Keikyū train
image hosted on flickr


Sōbu Local Line train approaching Akihabara Station
image hosted on flickr
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Old August 30th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #338
dmarney
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cool pics
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Old August 31st, 2009, 08:56 AM   #339
quashlo
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Renovated 209 series trains to reenter service in Chiba area October 1
http://rail.hobidas.com/news/info/article/105379.html

Quote:
Starting October 1, JR East’s Chiba Branch Office will introduce 209 series units on local trains east of Chiba.

The trains to be introduced on October 1 consist of 38 cars total, arranged in four- and six-car units. End cars on both the four- and six-car units have been converted to semi-transverse seating, while the middle cars retain the original longitudinal seating. One middle car in each unit has been renovated to include a restroom that is accessible to passengers with physical disabilities.

The lines to receive the new trains include the Sōbu Main Line (Chiba – Narutō – Chōshi), Narita Line (Chiba – Narita – Chōshi), Uchibō Line (Chiba – Tateyama – Awa Kamogawa), and Sotobō Line (Chiba – Katsura – Awa Kamogawa). The trains will also begin operations on the Tōgane Line and Kashima Line in 2010.

The 209 series units will gradually enter service, with 324 cars scheduled to be transferred over, replacing all of the current 113 series and 211 series (320 cars total).
These 209 series cars (officially designated as 209-2000 series) were part of former 209-0 series trains used on the Keihin-Tōhoku Line that were separated and renovated. The units will operate individually or in pairs, as 4+4 or 4+6. In addition to minor changes in seating configuration and the restroom installation, the destination signs have been converted from rollsigns to LED.

Some videos of testing at Ōmiya and Akabane… This is all familiar territory, as these trains were former Keihin-Tōhoku Line units.

A six-car unit passing Akabane Station, after departing Ōmiya General Car Center.

Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Departing Ōmiya Station. The third car in the video (Car No. 2) holds the restroom in this four-car unit.

Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Four-car unit departs Ōmiya Station.

Source: tobu2181 on YouTube
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Old August 31st, 2009, 08:57 AM   #340
quashlo
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New Keisei Skyliner trains begin testing

Testing on the Main Line…

Source: ksweb on YouTube

On the Main Line, first at Keisei Ōwada Station, then at Usui Station.

Source: t100599 on YouTube
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