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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:24 PM   #3401
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Meitetsu for a lot of reasons *is* Nagoya. For the majority of the people in the Chubu region, there's only JR Tokai and Meitetsu. Many people synonymize their local area with the train system there. For example, when I lived in Osaka, some older people would ask if I lived near the Kanjosen (Osaka Loop line). Here in Toyko people ask if its on the yamanote. Telling them I live on the Tokyu Toyoko line conjures up images of Yokohama's Harbor District and Chinatown because the line ends there…but its far from my home too!

Saying Meitetsu to a Japanese that's been to Nagoya is like saying Chunichi Dragons (Nagoya's very strong baseball team) or "tonkatsu" (miso-covered fried pork cutlet-a famous Nagoya dish) Those old creaky dusty red trains are Nagoya!

I used to take the Kami-Iida line to Komaki and Tsurumai line/Inuyama line to Kashiwa once a week for work for years. Meitetsu Nagoya is an operation that has to be seen. How trains get in and outta there with no hiccups is beyond me.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:25 PM   #3402
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More pics…

At Torokko Arashiyama Station, as a local on the JR Sagano Line passes us, bound for Kyōto Station. JR West recently completed a series of upgrades for this line, including double-tracking and service improvements. This line cuts through the mountains west of the city to reach Kameyama and beyond. The San’in Main Line’s original alignment was very curvy, winding its way through the mountains paralleling the river to avoid tunneling. This section was later replaced with a far straighter and faster tunneled alignment in 1989, with the old tracks now being used for the Sagano tourist train.

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After a ride on the tourist train, I’m at Saga Arashiyama, waiting for a Sagano Line train to get me back to Kyōto Station. Frequency on the busiest section of the line is as high as 8-9 tph, but it drops to 4-5 tph during other times of the day, plus a couple long-distance limited expresses. Frequency is still limited somewhat, probably due to the last single-track section on the approach into Kyōto Station.

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Four-car local for Kameoka (20.2 km from Kyōto Station)

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:26 PM   #3403
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The station for the tourist train, Torokko Saga Station, is right next to the JR station.

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Rapid for Sonobe (34.2 km from Kyōto Station)

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:27 PM   #3404
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A few pics of Kyōto Station from Kyōto Tower:

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:27 PM   #3405
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:28 PM   #3406
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Keihan Sanjō Station
Just like it does in central Ōsaka, the Keihan Main Line dives underground in central Kyōto. Originally, Keihan only went as far as Sanjō, but the section between Sanjō and Demachiyanagi was built as a separate line, later absorbed into the Keihan network as the Keihan Ōtō Line (京阪鴨東線), named because it runs along the east bank of the Kamo River. Similarly, Keihan’s original Ōsaka terminal was Tenmabashi, but that was extended to Yodoyabashi via a new underground tunnel.

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A reminder of Keihan’s glorious past, these 5000 series trains have five doors per side per car, helping to deal with the crush loads during the 70s and 80s (Keihan was the first Japanese railway to use a five-door arrangement). During off-peak periods, Door 2 and Door 4, shown here unpainted to help distinguish them for passengers, are locked, leaving only three doors in use. Other Keihan feats include originally holding title to the longest quadruple-track section of any private railway in Japan, between Tenmabashi and Neyagawa (12.5 km), before being unseated by the Tōbu Isesaki Line (18.9 km) in Tōkyō in 1997.

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We’re bound for Demachiyanagi, where we can transfer to the Eizan Electric Railway.

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:28 PM   #3407
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Shift change

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:29 PM   #3408
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Keihan’s new liveries are pretty nice… Elegant, with some color, but not over-the-top. The repainting from the traditional two-tone lime and forest green came with the opening of the Nakanoshima Line in 2008.

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Eizan Electric Railway (Eiden), Demachiyanagi Station
This line is an interesting mix of urban service for the northern parts of the city and tourist service to the mountains north of the city (Kurama and Mt. Hiei). The logo is a red leaf, a reference to the autumn leaves season which draws a lot of visitors to the line.

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Fare table

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:30 PM   #3409
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Eiden is part of the Japan Mountain Railway Association… Other members include Nankai Electric Railway (Kōya Line) and Hakone Tozan Railway.

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The railway has a few trains designed with a mix of seating to serve the two passenger markets… I had originally come up here to see the illumination scheme for the autumn leaves, but I guess I was too early or maybe misread the schedule on their website, as there was nothing going on.

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:30 PM   #3410
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:31 PM   #3411
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Green = Eiden Main Line
Red = Eiden Kurama Line

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:32 PM   #3412
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Back at Demachiyanagi, a sub-express for Yodoyabashi.
I chose to wait for a limited express.

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Luckily, I caught one of the new 3000 series sets originally introduced for the Nakanoshima Line opening.

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:32 PM   #3413
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This series was designed for limited express service, and features all transverse seating in 2+1 configuration, but with plenty of clear space in the door area and aisles to handle standing passengers during the peak periods.

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Keihan’s “image character”, O-Keihan. This is an advertisement for the autumn leaves season, one of the best times to visit Kyōto.

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:33 PM   #3414
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You’re supposed to completely turn off your mobile phones in the priority seating areas.

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Kyōbashi Station, back in Ōsaka

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The bridge concourse of JR Ōsaka Station at night

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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:34 PM   #3415
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:50 PM   #3416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerokei View Post
Very interesting. I know very little about the lines and trains in the Chubu area. I read the other day however, that Meitetsu's Toyohashi station (one of their main terminals?) only has one (1!) track (plattforms at both sides?) and they still manage to operate an impressive amounts of trains in and out of that station. If i remember correct I think it was 6 tph at most. Perhaps quashlo or someone else can fill us in on the details; how come it is only one?
Since FML passed the baton, here is what Wiki says:
The Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line and JR Iida Line basically share a short 4 km section of track around the station. Meitetsu has one half of an island platform, JR Central the other half. This was an arrangement that came about in 1927, when Aichi Electric Railway (predecessor of Meitetsu) extended service to what was then known as Yoshida Station... Toyokawa Railroad, which constructed the Iida Line, had a single-track line to the station, and Aichi Electric Railway built another single-track section to the station, creating a double-track segment that was then shared between the two.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 07:29 AM   #3417
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I updated my IC card chart...

Changes:
  • Updated the start date for farecard interoperability between TOICA and manaca (2012.04.21).
  • Removal of Tōkyū Setagaya Line's Setamaru card, which will be terminated 2012.09.30. This card was a bit redundant anyways, as you can already use the much larger Suica / PASMO systems on the line.
  • Added logos for ayuca (Gifu), Randen Card (Kyōto), mejiron nimoca (Ōita), and IC Ii Card (Matsuyama).
Enjoy!

Time flies... Only a year left until all 10 of the major farecards will have farecard interoperability, plus all 10 (except for manaca and PiTaPa) will also be accepted in SAPICA's coverage area (Sapporo Muncipal Subway, buses, and trams). Basically, if you have any one of the 10 major cards, you will be able to use it anywhere in the Greater Tōkyō, Greater Nagoya, Ōsaka-Kōbe-Kyōto, Fukuoka‒Kita-Kyūshū, or Sapporo metropolitan areas. I'm not 100% sure yet, but I think you will also be able to use your card in the secondary coverage zones like ICOCA's coverage in Hiroshima / Fukuyama / Okayama or Suica's coverage in Sendai and Niigata.

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Last edited by quashlo; March 3rd, 2012 at 07:34 AM.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 08:10 AM   #3418
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IC farecard proposed for Okinawa
http://mainichi.jp/area/okinawa/news...10005000c.html

Quote:
On February 14, the Okinawa Prefectural Government compiled its draft Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Policy Implementation and Action Program, which will serve as a set of guidelines for TDM, aimed at alleviating traffic congestion. Included as a critical element of the plan is introduction of an IC farecard accepted on both buses and the monorail.

Meanwhile, the Prefectural Government also compiled its Prefectural Basic Plan for Comprehensive Transport, which articulates the basic direction and strategies of the Prefecture’s transport policy.

The Basic Plan will be formally approved within the fiscal year, together with the approval of the Okinawa 21st Century Vision Basic Plan. The draft Basic Plan was approved by the Committee for Development of the Prefectural Basic Plan for Comprehensive Transport at February 10 session.

The TDM Action Program will be revised together with the update of the Prefectural Basic Plan for Comprehensive Transport. The Plan will be cover the period from FY2012 until FY2016.

Included as key elements of the Plan are introduction of an IC farecard system aimed at strengthening coordination between buses and monorails and a bus location system for determining the location of buses. Among the new elements of the plan are cycle-and-rides and structural improvements to improve bicycle use, designed at encouraging a shift from automobiles to bicycles and buses.

In addition, the Plan also includes off-peak commuting in order to better distribute commute-related automobile traffic and automobile restrictions in residential areas and school zones.

In addition to these strategies, the Plan also calls for drastic changes to user mindsets.

In regards to the IC farecard system and bus location system, the Prefectural Government has earmarked an estimated ¥255 million in its FY2012 budget for studies looking at how to implement these systems.

The Prefectural Basic Plan for Comprehensive Transport is updated every ten years, and the current plan under development looks at a 20-year period starting in FY2012.
An interesting proposal that hopefully goes through… I’m curious what level of interoperability they will be looking at it, too, as Okinawa is a very popular tourist destination, with lots of visitors from the main islands, many of whom would already have their local IC farecard.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #3419
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Waterfront extension of Kagoshima City tram network proposed
http://www.373news.com/modules/picku...?storyid=38575

Quote:
In regards to Kagoshima City’s proposed extension of the city’s tram network to the Hon-kō (“Main Port”) area as a tourist line, on February 20 city officials presented the five proposed alignments to be analyzed next fiscal year to determine the feasibility of the project. All five alternatives are proposed as single-track alignments, passing the High-Speed Ferry Terminal (for Tanegashima and Yakushima), Dolphin Port, and the Sakurajima Ferry Terminal. The plans were reported at a meeting of the City Council’s General Affairs Fire Commission held on February 20.

The alignments range between 1.2 km and 2.4 km, and the cost of the project is estimated at a minimum of ¥2.7 billion to ¥4.2 billion, including the costs of track laying, platform construction, and purchase of new articulated trains (four cars). “We will select two to three routes appropriate as tourist routes, including possible combinations of the five alignments,” says the city’s Planning Division.

Map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...a397536f&msa=0

No doubt this is being motivated at least partially by the completion of the Kagoshima route of the Kyūshū Shinkansen. Like both Kumamoto and Nagasaki, Kagoshima has a pretty decent-sized tram network, already connected to the Shinkansen station (Kagoshima Chūō), but this extension would improve connections to some major tourist destinations on the city’s waterfront, including the two ferry terminals to Sakurajima and Tanegashima / Yakushima and Dolphin Port (a retail center).

Cab views from Kagoshima trams:

Part 1: Kōrimoto to approaching Kagoshima Chūō



Part 2: Kagoshima Chūō to Izuro-dōri

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Old March 4th, 2012, 08:12 AM   #3420
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Groundbreaking for Kabe Line electrification and extension likely to be delayed
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201201190182.html

Quote:
In the electrification and extension of the Kabe – Kōdo section of the JR Kabe Line in Asa Kita Ward, Hiroshima City, on January 18 it was revealed that the groundbreaking, originally scheduled for FY2011 by Hiroshima City and JR West, is running into difficulties, with the possibility that the original target completion date of FY2013 may be delayed. The difficulties are related to ongoing debate regarding how to handle grade crossings, and Hiroshima City has begun considering transferring the related budget earmarks from FY2011 to FY2012 instead.

The section of the line between Kabe and the former Kōdo Station is part of the Kabe – Sandankyō (Aki Ōta, Hiroshima Prefecture) section of the line abandoned in November 2003. Approximately 2 km of the abandoned section of the line would be electrified and returned to service. The city had originally planned to begin construction in FY2011.

When in service, there were five grade crossings on this section of the line. From the perspective of safety, neither the national government and JR approve of the restoration of grade crossings once the associated track has been abandoned. Meanwhile, the city has requested that the crossings remain, in the interest of ensuring convenience for local residents and preventing a ballooning of project costs due to grade separation.

In the discussions thus far, the city and JR have agreed to reinstate two of the locations, both with heavy traffic and sufficient width, as grade crossings and abandon one location close to the site of the planned terminus of the extension. Negotiations are still underway regarding the final two locations, but JR has expressed some opposition to their restoration.

Currently, the city is canvassing local neighborhood associations for opinions regarding these two crossings. Many citizens have expressed a desire to retain the crossings, and it’s unclear whether or not the city will be able to quickly reach a conclusion on the issue with JR. If no agreement is reached, the city will need to take a look at grade-separation, but that would result in additional time and costs.

The city has earmarked ¥79 million in its preliminary budget for FY2011 for costs related to detailed design and demolition and removal of existing facilities that would no longer be needed.

The city’s Urban Transport Department says, “It’s clear that the project schedule has been delayed. We want to reach an agreement quickly incorporating the voice local citizens.” Meanwhile, at a January 6 press conference JR West Hiroshima Office president Sugimoto Takayuki remarked, “At the current stage, it’s uncertain when exactly we will be able to reach an agreement.”
This has been a very interesting project, as it discusses the extremely rare situation of restoration of service on abandoned tracks. Ultimately, I think JR’s reluctance probably comes down to cash.

Map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=...0d07af9a&msa=0

Tour of the section to be restored. Not great video quality, but the comments are pretty informative.

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