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Old September 7th, 2009, 06:24 AM   #321
quashlo
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E233-2000 series to enter service September 9
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifest...2002003-n1.htm

Quote:
On September 9, the first E233 series unit will enter revenue service on the JR Jōban Line local (all-stop service), which runs through-service with the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line and connects Toride Station in Ibaraki Prefecture with Yoyogi Uehara Station in Tōkyō.

The car widths on E233 series units for the Chūō Line rapid and other lines were reduced by 15 mm to conform to the Chiyoda Line loading gauge. In addition, emergency exit doors were installed at the end cabs of the train to meet subway train standards.

The train floor height was reduced by 7 cm to improve accessibility. A 10-car unit has a rated capacity of 1,400 passengers, with each train costing close to ¥1 billion. One train will enter service this year, and an additional 17 trains will enter service starting next year, replacing older rolling stock.
More clips of testing:

Arriving at and departing Platform 4 (for Toride) at Ayase Station, the official boundary between the Jōban Line (local) and Chiyoda Line.

Source: lukethegospelwriter on YouTube

Arriving at Platform 2 (for Ōtemachi, Ayase, Toride) at Yoyogi Kōen Station on the Chiyoda Line.

Source: x90td0625g on YouTube

Departing Nishi-Nippori Station on the Chiyoda Line.

Source: zyouban on YouTube
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Old September 7th, 2009, 06:26 AM   #322
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”Health station” concept gains ground with Keihan
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/sumai/ne...909040025.html

Quote:
Passengers may soon be able to get their blood pressure or blood sugar level checked after the commute home from work or shopping. With the help of Kansai Medical University and Keihan Electric Railway, the “health station” concept championed by members of industry, government, and the academic world as a means to improve the health of residents along railway lines could soon become reality. Starting with examination offices to be established at major stations on Keihan’s network, data on residents’ health would be shared between households and fitness clubs. The project is the first of its kind in Japan, and is aimed at preventing lifestyle-related diseases.

Kansai Electric Power Company, Fujitsū, Omron Group, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and Hirakata City (Ōsaka Prefecture) are also participating in the project. On September 3, representatives from the various participating entities gathered in Ōsaka City and agreed to work together to realize the project.

Examination offices would be established at Keihan’s major stations, and special trainers stationed at each location would measure patients’ blood pressure, blood sugar level, and cholesterol. The data records would be managed on a computer operated by Kansai Medical University. After physicians evaluate trends in the data, the data would be sent to fitness clubs and Hirakata City gymnasiums over the Internet, and be used in the development of specific exercise regimes to improve patients’ health. The data can also be viewed at home via television screen, allowing patients to regularly check up on their health condition.

The project marks the first effort to share health information centered around train stations. By 2010, the project aims to have examination facilities open at two to three Keihan stations including Kyōbashi and Hirakata-shi, expanding to approximately 10 major stations two to three years after.

“To increase individual awareness of personal health, we need to provide people with ready access to information about their health in convenient places. The project will also help to improve the image of Keihan and the surrounding neighborhoods,” says Kimura Yutaka, a health science professor at Kansai Medical University.

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Old September 7th, 2009, 06:27 AM   #323
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Tōkyō: Part 10

This is the start of my second full day in the metropolis. My first stop is Ueno.

Here, a Yamanote Line train bound for Tōkyō and Shinagawa boards at Platform 3 of JR Ueno Station. The Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Jōban Line (rapid) all stop at JR Ueno Station. The station is also served by Shinkansen and several limited express and sleeper trains.

image hosted on flickr


Morning rush hour commuters continue to shuffle on board as the conductor steps out. As the terminus for the Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Jōban Line trains, Ueno sees a large amount of transferring traffic from passengers trying to get to points further south, such as Tōkyō Station and the Marunouchi area.

image hosted on flickr


The platform staff get ready to give the signal to go, as the last passengers get on board. Southbound Yamanote Line and Keihin-Tōhoku Line trains between Ueno and Okachimachi Stations during the morning rush hour are some of the most crowded trains in all of Japan, with passenger loads at over 200 percent of the rated capacity. This will change in a few years once the Tōhoku Through Line is constructed, eliminating the need for passengers from other JR lines to transfer at Ueno, since there will now be direct service to Tōkyō Station and points beyond on the Tōkaidō Line.

image hosted on flickr


Another train arrives… Rinse and repeat.

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The conductor checks her watch carefully. Schedules are measured in seconds, so punctuality is everything.

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I step out of JR Ueno Station and exit on the southeast side of the station, which has an expansive elevated pedestrian deck that winds around and underneath Shuto Expressway No. 1.

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I step down to street level.

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The taxi pickup area.

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I head underground to Tōkyō Metro Ueno Station. For subways, both the Ginza Line and Hibiya Line serve Ueno. This is on the Hibiya Line platforms as a through-service Tōbu Railway train pulls into the station. Ironically, the train is features exterior ads for Keikyū trains to Haneda Airport. Although Tōbu and Keikyū are hardly rivals, it demonstrates the need for operators to market on other companies’ trains in order to lure customers. Tōbu also advertises it’s limited express trains to Kinugawa and Nikkō on Keikyū trains.

image hosted on flickr


We take the Hibiya Line through-service train to Kosuge Station on the Tōbu Isesaki Line, just five stations out. The station is on the other side of the Arakawa River, opposite Kita-Senju Station.

image hosted on flickr


The Hibiya Line was Tōkyō Metro’s third line, following the Ginza Line and Marunouchi Line, with the first section opening in 1961. Trains are eight cars long, and at 18 meters, cars on the Hibiya Line are a little shorter than the standard, and mostly feature only three doors per side. However, the four end cars (two at each end) on some Tōkyō Metro 03 series trains feature five doors per car, part of an effort to reduce dwell times during the morning rush hour beginning in 1990.

These Tōbu 20000 series trains were built exclusively for Hibiya Line through-service and feature three doors per side. The similar 20050 series trains feature five doors. Stickers on the train, bound for Tōbu Dōbutsu Kōen (Tōbu Animal Park), say “Hibiya Line through-service.”

image hosted on flickr


Kosuge Station consists of one island platform served by the inner local tracks. A Tōbu 10000 series train, built in 1983, passes the station on the outside rapid tracks, on a section express run bound for Asakusa.

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Just a few steps west of the station are the elevated tracks for the JR Jōban Line. Straddling the Jōban Line tracks are tracks for the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line on the west side and the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Tsukuba Express on the east side.

image hosted on flickr


A six-car Tōbu 36000 series train on a local run for Takenotsuka stops at the station.

image hosted on flickr


An eight-car section semi-express passes the station on the rapid tracks, bound for Kita-Kasukabe, about 30 km north.

image hosted on flickr


As the section semi-express moves on, an E531 series train on the Jōban Line (rapid) peeks out from below, on a long-distance run bound for Ueno.

image hosted on flickr


An E653 series limited express train on a “Fresh Hitachi” run, bound for Ueno terminal.

image hosted on flickr


Tōbu runs some impressive long-distance through-services deep into Tochigi Prefecture. This six-car train composed of three two-car Tōbu 6050 units passes the station, bound for the Tōbu Nikkō Line, Kinugawa Line, and further north via the Yagan Railway and Aizu Railway into Fukushima Prefecture. At Shimo-Imaichi, the six-car train will decouple, with a portion heading to Tōbu Nikkō Station on the Tōbu Nikkō Line (135 km from Asakusa), and a portion to Shin-Fujiwara on the Tōbu Kinugawa Line (135 km from Asakusa) and beyond to Aizu Tajima on the Aizu Railway Aizu Line (220 km from Asakusa in Fukushima Prefecture).

image hosted on flickr


A Tōkyō Metro 03 series train arrives at the station, bound for Takenotsuka. This train consists of all three-door cars.

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A look at the two parallel double-track bridges across the Arakawa River. On the other end of the bridges is Kita-Senju Station.

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Just to the west are three additional double-track bridges, one each for the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line, JR Jōban Line, and Tsukuba Express (the closest one in). Together with the Isesaki Line, this makes four lines (each a different operator) and ten tracks running in parallel for this short section near Kita-Senju. Part of the Shuto Expressway network runs above.

image hosted on flickr


An outbound Tsukuba Express train (TX-2000 series) passes by.

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An eight-car Tōbu 20000 series local train bound for Naka-Meguro on the Hibiya Line departs the station. Both the Hibiya Line and Hanzōmon Line run through-service with the Tōbu Isesaki Line, but the Hibiya Line is restricted to local trains while the Hanzōmon Line is restricted to the limited-stop services.

image hosted on flickr


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An Odakyū Electric Railway 1000 series through-service train on the Chiyoda Line.

image hosted on flickr


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An E231 series train on the Jōban Line rapid passes by. The Jōban Line services can be a bit of a puzzle to figure out. The rapid tracks (Jōban Line rapid) primarily operate with both short-distance trains and mid- to long-distance trains. The short-distance inner suburban and commuter trains operate primarily between Ueno and Toride (about 35 km away) and use these E231 series trains which run on DC. These trains are in 10 or 10+5 configuration.

The mid- to long-distance commuter trains run on dual-voltage (AC / DC) units and include the E531 series trains and various limited express trains. The E531 series trains run between Ueno and as far as Takahagi, about 165 km from Ueno, stopping at all the same stations as the short-distance trains, and also run in 10 or 10+5 configuration. They are confusingly sometimes called “local” or “all-stop trains” to distinguish them from the limited express trains, even though all these trains use the rapid tracks and skip stops west of Toride. The limited express trains have fewer stops and continue further to Iwaki and Sendai, serving both as upgraded commuter trains and intercity trains. The use of dual-voltage equipment is a result of the Kakioka Magnetic Observatory, so the voltage switches from DC to AC between Toride Station and Fujishiro Station.

In addition to the rapid services, however, there is the Jōban Line local which stops at all stops between Ueno and Toride and runs through-service with the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line. It has its own set of tracks separate from the rapid tracks between Toride and Ayase, at which point the tracks become part of the Chiyoda Line.

image hosted on flickr


A Tōkyō Metro 03 series train, featuring the four five-door end cars, arrives at the station.

image hosted on flickr


The train is bound for Kita-Koshigaya and features a special “5 DOORS” sticker on the cab window.

image hosted on flickr


To be continued…
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Old September 11th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #324
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Well, we all know japanese (specially Tokyo) trains are as frequent as crowded, but, how many passangers per hour per direction do these lines carry? I tried to find these data, but there's only in japanese, I guess.

Just a little comparison: São Paulo (my city) has a line that carries 82,000 pphpd in the morning peak. People here say that it's the most ridden metro line in the Earth (in terms of peak load). I don't know if that's true, but it's quite an impressive figure! Having 101s headways and 6 car-trains (and a horrible crowding of 10 passengers/sq m), there's almost 2,400 people per train. As the design capacity (4 pass./sq m) is 1140 passengers/train, there'a a congestion rate of 205% (!). But, differently from Tokyo, that's the only line for an entire region of the city...

If we mention rail corridors, then I think we have a clear winner: Tokaido between Shinagawa and Tokyo. There are the Tokaido Main, Keihin Tohoku, Yokosuka, Shinkansen and Yamanote lines! That must be like, 200,000 pphpd!

Last edited by Martini87; September 11th, 2009 at 02:56 PM.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #325
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I'm fairly certain the single-line section with the largest peak ridership in Tōkyō (and Japan) is the Chūō Line (rapid).
  • Peak loading: 198% (Nakano – Shinjuku) (source)
  • Capacity: 29 tph x 1,580 pax / train = 45,800
  • Peak passenger load: 90,700 passengers per hour (peak direction)
There are several lines that have higher peak loading, but they have slightly less trains. There’s quite a few lines hovering in the 75,000 to 85,000 pphpd range, too, like the Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Sōbu Line (local), Odakyū Odawara Line, Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line, etc. The Yamanote Line loop has a lot of parallel sections, so a substantial number of passengers from the other JR lines (e.g, Saikyō Line, Tōkaidō Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Yokosuka Line) don’t need to step foot inside a Yamanote Line train at all, which is partially why it isn't at the top.

The crowding is actually substantially better than it was historically, as the network gets even more built out through quadruple-tracking, new lines, etc., so the figures will only keep going down. Before Japan's economic bubble burst, it was much, much more crowded and unpleasant.

Last edited by quashlo; September 11th, 2009 at 08:59 AM.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momo1435 View Post
Tama Monorail around Tachikawa



















Window view of a train from Tama

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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:01 PM   #327
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It's not nice to quote others's photos, specially these long series. It pollutes the thread with outdated information. The video alone would be quite better.

Last edited by Martini87; September 12th, 2009 at 12:31 AM.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 07:19 PM   #328
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^Actually, those aren't my pictures... They're Momo's.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #329
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Series 300 Shinkansen leaving Shin-Osaka station.


Tobu's local train en route to Kuki at Washinomiya station. Washinomiya Shrine is a must see place.


Toei streetcar at crossing near Kishibojin-mae.


Farecollecting device in Toei steetcar.


Tokyu's local train in soon to be demolished aboveground Shibuya terminal.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 01:35 AM   #330
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Nice... If you have more, please post. Especially Toden.

It turns out I will actually have a chance to visit Tōkyō (and Japan) again soon, so I will also have more to post once I get back. I will try and hit up some of the construction projects if I have time.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:05 AM   #331
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Fare reduction funding structure for Hokusō Line approved
http://mytown.asahi.com/chiba/news.p...00000909050007

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On September 5, Chiba Prefecture, along with six cities and two villages along the Hokusō Line, discussed a proposed fare reduction for the Hokusō Line to coincide with the opening of the Narita New Rapid Railway next year. Under the plan, the prefecture and local jurisdictions would each fund ¥200 million annually for the reduced fares, with the prefectural government’s share increasing over the funding scheme originally proposed by the local governments.

According to the Chiba Prefecture Transport Planning Section, the prefectural government and local jurisdictions agreed to each provide ¥200 million for the fare reduction for a total of ¥400 million, while requesting an additional ¥400 million from Keisei Electric Railway from track usage fees and other revenue sources. The funding breakdown for each local government will be decided based on ridership and distance, with Inzai City contributing ¥90 million, Shiroi City contributing ¥46 million, and Matsudo City contributing ¥20 million. The fare reduction will last for five years, at which time renewal of the program will be evaluated.

With a finalized proposal, regular fares and commuter passes will drop by five percent or more. For student commuter passes, the 70 percent discount provided to students from Shiroi City, Inzai City, Motono Village, and Inba Village, will be expanded to students from Ichikawa City, Funabashi City, and Kamagaya City, who currently receive only 60 percent discounts.

Originally, the prefectural government offered Hokusō Line operator Hokusō Railway a plan that would convert the government’s interest-free loans to the company into shares in the railway to help boost the bottom line. But after local governments voiced objections, calling for straight funding, the prefectural government offered a new plan that proposed its share of the funding as ¥100 million. The local jurisdictions still opposed the proposal, forcing Chiba Governor Morita Kensaku to agree to an increased share of the funding.

The meeting on September 5 was behind closed doors, but according to the prefectural government, the local governments’ ¥200 million in “financial assistance” met with some objection from officials who wanted to press for obtaining shares in the railway. As a result the phrase “financial assistance” was removed, with the intention of having prefectural officials initially propose a conversion of loans to shares in Hokusō Railway. In the event that Keisei Electric Railway voices opposition to the proposal, the language would be revised back to “financial assistance.” Keisei Electric Railway is the parent company of Hokusō Railway and may object to losing stake in the company.

For Funabashi City, which contributes low ridership to the Hokusō Line, the prefectural government also said the various attendees had agreed to “request that the national government reduce the interest on loans to the Tōyō Rapid Railway,” which passes through Funabashi City.

The parties will now ask Keisei Electric Railway to contribute ¥400 million annually to the fare reduction, but it is uncertain whether the company will agree. “The agreement is a giant step. Of course, we still have to overcome the large hurdle in convincing Keisei,” said Governor Morita, expressing his hope that the national government also step in during the negotiation process.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:08 AM   #332
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Shizuoka Airport to see improved bus service September 12
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/chub...0225000-n1.htm

Quote:
Starting September 12, Shizutetsu Justline (HQ: Shizuoka City) and Enshū Railway (HQ: Hamamatsu City) agreed to increase airport bus service between Shizuoka Airport and JR Shizuoka, Shimada, and Kakegawa Stations. Bus service between the airport and Shizuoka Station will now increase to approximately every 30 minutes, while service to and from Shimada and Kakegawa Stations will increase to approximately every hour, increasing convenience for passengers.

Shizutetsu Justline’s airport bus service between Shizuoka Airport and JR Shizuoka Station currently operates eight to 11 trips daily, but after the changes, will operate 18 to 19 trips daily. The service between Shizuoka Airport and JR Shimada Station will increase from eight to nine trips daily to 15 trips daily. Enshū Railway’s service between the airport and JR Kakegawa Station will double from the current six to seven trips daily to 16 to 17 trips daily.

Bus services connecting Shizuoka Airport and the JR stations is currently limited, with the prefectural government and other officials receiving complaints when flights are delayed or rereouted to the airport. Improving bus service has been a critical issue in the strategy to increase usage of the airport.
Shizuoka Airport is primarily a local airport (with a handful of international flights to Shanghai and Seoul). It recently opened in June and serves the Shizuoka area.

Shizutetsu Justline is the bus operations company for the Shizuoka Railway (Shizutetsu). In terms of rail operations, Shizutetsu has one line, the Shizuoka – Shimizu Line. The line is a small local line and only operates with two-car trains, but the frequency is unusually high (12 tph during morning rush hours, 10 tph midday).

Cab view videos:

Part 1: Shin-Shizuoka to Furushō
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HASGFzyOJK4&fmt=18 Source: 109fan on YouTube

Part 2: Furushō to Mikadodai
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZPYSGEWIFc&fmt=18 Source: 109fan on YouTube

Part 3: Mikadodai to Shin-Shimizu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_eJ_6AF-64&fmt=18 Source: 109fan on YouTube
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:10 AM   #333
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Construction begins on Higashi-Kishiwada Station grade separation
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/osa...OYT8T00072.htm

Quote:
At the grade crossing at Higashi-Kishiwada Station on the JR Hanwa Line, notorious for rarely opening, construction has begun on elevation of the tracks. Ōsaka Prefecture, Kishiwada City, and JR West will together fund the ¥27 billion project cost for the elevation of 1.5 km of the line, with completion in an estimated eight years.

Construction will begin by constructing temporary outbound tracks on the north side of the current tracks. Construction of the new elevated outbound tracks will then start, continuing through to five other phases of construction. Eight roadways which currently cross the tracks at grade will now cross underneath the elevated line.

The project represents the second railway elevation project for Kishiwada City, following the elevation of the Nankai Main Line near Kishiwada Station.
Higashi-Kishiwada Station is a major station on the JR Hanwa Line which connects Ōsaka and Wakayama City. The line also is the primary JR route to Kansai International Airport. Higashi-Kishiwada had 11,000 daily entries in 2007.

Cab view of Hanwa Line train (a Kansai Airport rapid service) from Izumi Fuchū to Higashi-Kishiwada:


Source: zenjiyaa on YouTube
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:13 AM   #334
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MPD launches campaign against groping
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...902000104.html

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In a concerted effort to expose frequent groping inside trains and stations, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is teaming up with JR and the private railways to launch the “STOP! Groping Campaign” from September 14 through 18. The effort is a first, and will feature police in riot gear stationed at Shinjuku and Ikebukuro Stations, both major terminals for JR and private railway lines. A specially-composed team of plain-clothes police officers will ride trains on lines with a high frequency of groping incidents and be on the lookout for an insidious crime that causes psychological stress for victims.

According to the MPD, there were 975 recorded cases of groping and voyeurism during the first half of this year (January to June). While the number of cases has dropped 8.5 percent compared to the same period last year, the number of walk-in victims seeking counseling from the railway police force was 54 cases, an increase of six over the same time last year. The crimes most frequently occurred on trains (72 percent) and inside stations (11 percent), together totaling over 80 percent of all incidents.

When separated by line, the highest number of incidents was recorded on the Saikyō Line (11 percent of all cases), where the distance between stops on rapid trains is comparatively long. In the first half of the year, 75 perpetrators were identified on the Saikyō Line, including one case where men who had met on Internet sites used an underhanded method of surrounding victims on all sides.

During the campaign, nine lines—the Saikyō Line, Yamanote Line, Chūō Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Sōbu Line, Keiō Line, Odakyū Line, Keiō Inokashira Line and Tōzai Subway Line—will be designated as “high alert” lines, with uniformed officers stationed at platforms in main stations. The effort will also attempt to encourage cooperation among passengers at all stations during investigation of groping incidents.

In addition, a special groping victim counseling corner, along with other facilities, will be temporarily set up on the first day of the campaign (September 14) at both Shinjuku and Ikebukuro Stations.

“We want to make this campaign a turning point in society’s attitudes towards these crimes,” says MPD upper officials.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:16 AM   #335
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Ōsaka Municipal Subway records first ridership drop in four years
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...909100009.html

Quote:
Average daily ridership on the Ōsaka Municipal Subway for 2008 was 2.355 million, approximately 26,000 less than the previous year and the first ridership decrease in four years. According to Ōsaka City, the drop is a result of the economic slump that began in autumn of last year, with ridership dropping on the subway’s three main lines—the Midōsuji, Chūō, and Yotsubashi Lines.

The ridership drop was made public in the 2008 financial reports released by the city on September 9. Daily ridership for the Midōsuji Line was 1.168 million, a decrease of 24,000 compared to the previous year and the largest drop among all nine lines in the network (including the New Tram). The Chūō Line followed, with daily ridership of 290,000 (a decrease of 3,800 compared to the previous year), while the Yotsubashi Line had daily ridership of 259,000 (a decrease of 1,900). With the exception of the New Tram, the remaining five lines recorded slight increase in ridership.

Fare revenues also decreased by ¥443 million. “As a result of the opening of the Hanshin Namba Line in March of this year, as well as the impacts of the swine flu scare, ridership for 2009 may be even lower than the 2008 numbers,” said anxious city officials.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:19 AM   #336
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Meitetsu opens ECT at Gifu Station
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/gif...OYT8T01037.htm

Quote:
On September 5, the new commercial facility “ECT” outside Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu) Gifu Station held a pre-opening event before the official public opening on September 6, with shoppers coming to the new space in droves.

Meitetsu spent approximately ¥1 billion to construct ECT on the site of the former Shin-Gifu Department Store. The steel-frame, two-story structure has a total retail floor space of 3,634 sq m. A seventy-space parking lot is provided on the roof of the building. The first floor houses food market Pare Marche, while the second floor houses 18 stores including restaurants and clothing shops, with yearly expected sales totaling ¥3.5 billion.

ECT stands for “Eat, Enjoy,” “Connect," and “Train.” The second floor of the facility is directly connected to Meitetsu Gifu Station. On September 6, Pare Marche will award its first 1,000 customers with a special commemorative gift.

“It’s fantastic to have such a convenient supermarket. I’ll be coming every day,” says housewife Okada Natsuko (73yo) from Suminoechō, Gifu City.
Meitetsu Gifu Station (to distinguish it from JR Gifu Station, which is a short walk away) is served by the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line and Kakamigahara Line. Daily entries are 18,000.

New station building constructed on the site of the former Shin-Gifu Department Store.

Source: Wikipedia

Renovated Central Entrance.

Source: Wikipedia

The station was also served by the Meitetsu Gifu City Line, which was a tram / streetcar line running through the city. Unfortunately, the line was eventually abandoned for various reasons in 2005.

Tram operations in 1991.

[i]Source: railtomo on YouTube[/]
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:23 AM   #337
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Yumemino Station to open in March 2011
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ib...202000116.html

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On September 11 inside the Shimo-Takai Special Land Readjustment Area in Nonoi, Toride City, a special ceremony was held to bless construction of the Kantō Railway Jōsō Line’s new Yumemino Station, scheduled to open in March 2011. The station will be the first new station on the line since the 1982 opening of Shin-Moriya Station.

The Urban Renaissance Agency began work on the development in March 1996 and will open the new town in 2011. As the gateway to the Yumemino New Town, with 1,970 homes and a planned population of 6,100 people, the new station will be constructed between the existing Shin-Toride and Inatoi Stations.

The station building will be connected by underground passage and stairways to a 90 m long, 6 m wide island platform capable of accommodating four-car trains. The one-story wooden structure will have 119 sq m of floor area and feature a staff room, waiting room, multi-function restroom, and elevator.

The station will be approximately eight minutes from the JR Jōban Line’s Toride Station and approximately nine minutes from the Tsukuba Express’s (TX) Moriya Station, connecting the station to central Tōkyō and points in between for commuters and students. Various officials attended the September 11 ceremony to bless the construction of the station.
Yumemino Station rendering

Source: Urban Renaissance Agency

The Jōsō Line is an unusual line as it’s essentially an unimproved local / rural line in Ibaraki Prefecture that has been subsumed into the Tōkyō area railway network. The line is not electrified and the majority of the line is single-track (although only on the “rural” portion north of Mitsukaidō). The line operates with two- to four-car DMU trains, but runs up to 10 tph during the peak. The line accepts PASMO as IC card payment. After the opening of the Tsukuba Express, however, ridership has dropped and ridership patterns have changed, as passengers now have an alternative connection to central Tōkyō instead of the Jōban Line.

Cab view (edited) of the double-track section of the line. The journey starts at Toride Station (Jōban Line) and continues north to Moriya (TX), which makes an appearance around 4:25, and beyond to Mitsukaidō. The car barn shows up around 6:50.

Source: jh1kss on YouTube
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #338
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Ōsaka governor proposes Sakurajima Line extension to WTC
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/lo...1419003-n1.htm

Quote:
Ōsaka Prefecture Governor Hashimoto Tōru, who has been pressing for the relocation of the prefectural offices into the Ōsaka World Trade Center Building (WTC) in Suminoe Ward, Ōsaka City, proposed a plan on September 10 to extend the JR Sakurajima Line (Nishi-Kujō – Sakurajima, 4.1 km) an additional 4 km to tie it into the WTC. The estimated total cost for the project is approximately ¥100 billion. Governor Tōru calls the proposed extension a catalyst in overcoming transport access—a major obstacle to realizing the plan to relocate the prefectural offices—and plans to formally announce the proposed extension at a September 15 conference on urban planning for the WTC area attended by city officials and representatives from the private sector.

To realize the proposed extension will require cooperation from other parties including both Ōsaka City and JR, but the Prefectural Government says it has already tested the idea with city officials and will enter into formal discussions soon.

Because of the massive ¥100 billion expected pricetag, however, top prefectural officials admit that it’s still “uncertain” as to whether or not the extension will meet with approval from the various parties, but the prefectural government says it will consider contributing a share of the funding towards the project. After formally presenting the proposal, Governor Hashimoto will lobby the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and other parties to get the project’s wheels rolling.

The plan would extend the Sakurajima Line approximately 4 km from JR Sakurajima Station (Konohana Ward, Ōsaka City) to Trade Center-mae Station on the Nankō Port Town Line (New Tram). Approximately 3 km of the route on either side of Ōsaka Bay would be undergrounded, connecting directly to WTC in the shortest distance feasible.

Currently, it takes at least 30 minutes to get from JR Ōsaka Station to the WTC by train, but if the extension is realized, travel times would drop to approximately 20 minutes, substantially improving rail transport access to the area. Governor Hashimoto hopes to emphasize the merits of the plan, which will reduce commute times for prefectural employees and encourage goods distribution to the waterfront area.

In March of this year, a proposal to relocate the prefectural offices failed to pass in the Prefectural Assembly, but the trustee working to get WTC back on its feet through the Corporate Rehabilitation Law confronted Governor Hashimoto with a proposition to purchase space in the building. Ōsaka City mayor Hiramatsu Kunio later formally requested that the prefectural offices relocate into the structure, and Governor Hashimoto says he plans on reintroducing the proposal at the September Prefectural Assembly Meeting on September 25.

The political factions in the Prefectural Assembly, however, still remain vigorously opposed to the relocation. Opponents also criticize the city’s lack of a specific vision for the area surrounding the WTC, and it is still unclear whether the prefectural government and city officials will be able to cooperate towards their goal.

On the other hand, members of Kansai’s financial world have generally placed their support behind the relocation as a means of revitalizing the area’s economy, but have yet to take specific action with regards to the plan.

Governor Hashimoto describes the September 15 conference as the focal point that will decide the future fate of the project. By introducing the Sakurajima Line extension, the governor hopes to move support behind the relocation of prefectural offices into the WTC.
The New Tram is an automated guideway system operated by the Ōsaka Municipal Bureau of Transportation (which also manages the Municipal Subway). It connects with the rest of the rail network at both ends—at Cosmo Square Station with the Chūō Subway Line and at Suminoe Kōen with the Yotsubashi Subway Line.


Source: Wikipedia

Cab view (1.5x normal speed). The WTC makes an appearance around 8:10.

Source: Shada026 on YouTube

The Sakurajima Line is the primary route to Universal Studios Japan, but the proposal would extend the line undearneath Ōsaka Bay (map of area).
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:30 AM   #339
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Ōsaka mayor calls for evaluation of Sakurajima Line extension to WTC
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/lo...0022002-n1.htm

Quote:
With regards to the proposed extension of the JR Sakurajima Line devised by Governor Hashimoto Tōru, Ōsaka City mayor Hiramatsu Kunio announced at a September 10 regular press conference that city officials would evaluate whether the proposal is even feasible, hinting at a cautious take on the plan. The mayor went further to say that his revitalization strategy involves “combining the intelligence and knowhow of both public and private sectors while still keeping public investments to a minimum,” stressing that the city is not interested in large-scale funding of new development.

Governor Hashimoto plans to formally introduce the extension plan at the first meeting of a conference on urban planning for the WTC and waterfront area on September 15, to be attended by prefectural and city officials as well as private sector representatives. However, Mayor Hiramatsu stressed that the plan is “only one proposal to improve transport access to the area. It is not a prerequisite of moving the prefectural offices into the WTC.” He also noted that obtaining consensus towards realizing the project over such a short period of time would be difficult. With regards to the city’s vision for the area to be announced on September 15, the mayor only said that his team was putting the final touches on the proposal and that Governor Hashimoto’s proposed “special economic district” designation is part of the plan.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:31 AM   #340
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Ashikaga City mayor abandons Ryōmō Line grade crossing
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...802000048.html

Quote:
On September 7, Ashikaga City mayor Ōmamiuda Minoru announced he had given up on his campaign promise during mayoral elections in April to have a proposed grade-separated crossing (underpass) between the JR Ryōmō Line and the planned Kashima Bridge – Yamashita roadway changed to an at-grade crossing.

During a public enquiry session at the City Council, the mayor responded, “The October deadline for requesting project funding from the national government is fast approaching, and if we miss it, the prospects for the project are slim. Considering the whole picture, I decided to move forward with the original grade-separated plan.”

The plan proposes to construct a north-south arterial roadway that would travel below the JR Ryōmō Line in an underpass on the west side of Yamamae Station, and received approval from the Tochigi Prefectural Government in 1999. Construction would begin in 2011, with scheduled completion in 2016, but Mayor Ōmamiuda has criticized the lengthy construction schedule and the ¥2.5 billion pricetag, as well as the poor access with the nearby east-west Prefectural Route (a former National Route). He has championed modifying the plan to an at-grade crossing as a fast, cheap, and useful alternative.

JR East expressed objection to an at-grade crossing, however, citing difficulties in installing new crossing arms or relocating existing arms, as well as safety issues due to intersections that would be too close to the crossing. Changes to the plan could result in the loss of funding for the project from the national government, leading the mayor to drop the at-grade alternative.
The Ryōmō Line is a mainly suburban line in Gunma and Tochigi Prefectures. On the western end, it serves Maebashi City and Takasaki City in Gunma Prefecture, with some trains running through-service onto the Takasaki Line to Saitama and Ueno, as well as the Shōnan-Shinjuku Line to Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Yokohama, Kamakura, as far as Odawara. On the eastern end, it connects with the Utsunomiya Line and Mito Line.
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