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Old March 15th, 2012, 04:20 AM   #3501
quashlo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackraven View Post
Right now, at the back of my head, possible extensions:
-the Asakusa line (Haneda Airport<->Narita Airport)
-Yurikamome possible extension to Kachidoki train station (which belongs to Toei)
Both of these are only in planning stages, although they both have a good likelihood of happening.
These are the new lines / stations currently under construction in the Tōkyō area:
  • Sōtetsu / JR Connector (will provide Sōtetsu trains in western Yokohama with direct access into Shibuya, Shinjuku, and beyond via the Shōnan–Shinjuku Line)
  • Tōhoku Through Line (will bring Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Jōban Line trains back down to Tōkyō Station and allow for through-running with the Tōkaidō Line)
  • Urawa Station (new station on the Shōnan–Shinjuku Line)
There’s a lot of other projects which are impressive, but wouldn’t qualify as new lines, namely quadruple-tracking and grade-separation projects.

Construction of whole new lines is mostly over (Tsukuba Express), it’s often just extensions or branches of existing lines or new connections between existing lines. Less glamorous, but still just as important.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #3502
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^
I see I see

But do you think the reason is due to the fact that most of the areas already have train stations (or at least one train station)? Hence, in their minds: "We can't build anymore........because there is no place to put up a train station anywhere". Could that be the case?

I mean, with a network coverage as vast and humongous as this:


Is there any space to build a new train station these days? (at least for Greater Tokyo)

That and government/public sector has built railways (i.e. Toei) and private sector has built railways as well (i.e. Yurikamome, Seibu, etc.)

What do you think?
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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #3503
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Construction of new lines is typically a response to a demand/need, which is driven by economic growth and/or population shifts. As quashlo mentioned, the last new line built from scratch was the Tsukuba Express, which involved alot of TOD also. I doubt there will be new lines built, not because there is "no room" (there is always room if the money coffers are deep enough), but overall growth in population has stopped. Of course, there are some trends, such as people moving back to the Tokyo city center or the growing elderly population, that will encourage the building of line extensions or new neighborhood focused transit, such as low-floor light rail or BRT, which is often coined "hito ni yasashii kotsu" or "people (and local neighborhood)-friendly transit".
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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #3504
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Quote:
While the Japanese do tend to use more signage, they need it… You can’t necessarily design a system with multiple operators, stations with multiple exits, or lines with multiple stopping patterns and destinations to be “intuitive”.
Let me add that there is a cultural element to the signage issue. As Japanese is a ideogram based language (namely Chinese characters), people are used to a dense form of written communication- the component characters are symbols themselves, and communicate much, much more than simple pictograms. What looks as visually cluttered to Western eyes is normal to the average Japanese, and can be processed without any hiccups (dunno if this is relevant, but I read somewhere that dyslexia is rare in Japan). You can see the difference in web site design as well the layout of tabloid news papers and magazines- Japanese versions tend to have dense clusters of information in myriad sizes, while Western versions tend towards minimalism.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #3505
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That's a really good point, and I agree 100% with it. English and other languages based on a similar alphabet are fairly simple in comparison to an ideogram-based language. To people who can't make sense of the ideograms, it does just look like visual clutter because they can't process any of the meaning behind the characters. I sometimes get the same feeling looking at Traditional Chinese, which is substantially more complex than Japanese in terms of strokes and doesn't have the benefit of other script forms like hiragana or katakana to partition sentences into easier-to-identify pieces.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 07:27 PM   #3506
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When we're asking if Tokyo is done building subways and transit lines, you have to remember that in spite of the general drop in population in Japan, the population continues to grow in Tokyo and is in fact higher now than it has ever been.

With that in mind, it is inevitable that the outer wards of Tokyo will grow denser. Therefore, one project (or, really, two projects that should probably be considered as one) that seems like it might make sense in the future, is the Metro Seven / Eight Liner circumferential subways that would be under Kannana and Kanpachi Dori, connecting in Akabane.

This would provide a high capacity transit link to move laterally within the Tokyo region between the Yamanote Line and the Musashino line.

Not sure how much this really makes sense in the real world, but it seems like it would be useful for Tokyo to have a 4th circumferential line.

Last edited by orulz; March 15th, 2012 at 07:33 PM.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #3507
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I’ve always been fond of those two proposals, as they would connect a lot of the dense areas outside of the central wards and allow people to reach these areas without having to pass through central Tōkyō. The cost would be astronomical, though, as a good portion (likely, most of it) would need to be undergrounded. While there are a handful of widened sections of these roads where you could do an elevated alignment by taking away some roadspace from cars, many intersections along these roads are already grade-separated, which limits the amount of elevated alignment you could build. Not to mention the sections that are only four lanes wide.

Each of them (assuming an alignment between Kasai Rinkai Kōen and Den'en Chōfu) would be about 30 km, so it'd be 60 km total. The Metro Seven alignment is mostly straightforward, but the Eightliner alignment requires a bit more thought, since the road (Kan-Pachi) actually just misses several stations by several hundred meters or so (namely, Futako–Tamagawa, Chitose–Funabashi, Ogikubo, Nerima Takanodai, and Tōbu Nerima), raising the question of how to tie it into the existing rail network.

If we assume about ¥25 billion per km, these two projects would cost approx. ¥1.5 trillion in total. It’s a huge investment, but maybe not so much when put alongside the 13 km Yokohama Municipal Subway Green Line (¥300 billion, or 1/5th of the cost) or the 60 km Tsukuba Express (¥800 billion, or slightly less than half the cost). The Tsukuba Express example is particularly interesting, since it could end up serving less people than a Metro Seven / Eightliner combo. The difference is that the TX had a housing element to it, and can take advantage of a lot of the new TOD around stations, while the Metro Seven / Eightliner can't, since the alignment is already built-out.

I'm also a little curious what the private railways and JR might think of a Metro Seven / Eightliner project, as they could stand to lose a fair amount of fare revenue because some passengers traveling circumferentially would only need to travel to the closest Metro Seven / Eightliner station. Not sure if the increase in ridership generated by the new lines would be able to offset these losses.

By the way, I should correct my other statement... Technically, the Green Line would be the most recent "new" line, not the Tsukuba Express.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 06:42 PM   #3508
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To make the Eight Liner portion a bit cheaper to build in the southwest quadrant, maybe they could:
(1) Interline with Keikyu on the Airport line to get from Kamata to Haneda (This means using standard gauge for the rest of the line, or or dual gauge conversion of the Keikyu Airport line)
(2) Use the planned "Kamakama" line to connect between the Keikyu Airport line and the Tokyu Tamagawa line
(3) Take over the Tokyu Tamagawa line starting just south of Denenchofu station. (No need for interlining really, since it looks like Tamagawa line trains stop at Tamagawa station.)

As far as development is concerned, there is no wide open land that could be developed but plenty of potential for redevelopment along the way.

Are the areas that this would pass through affluent or lower income? I have to confess I have absolutely zero understanding about what parts of Tokyo are ritzy high income areas and what are not.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 07:29 PM   #3509
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Thanks guys for your comments re: pictograms. The point about the connections with the letters, characters and pictograms have some cultural influence.

As far as I can tell not all the railway companies which share the same station using the standardised symbols or arrows. There are also non-official signages or warning signs placed by the station operators or shops rather than the railway operators themselves (in the case they are not under the same umbrella). Even the example posted by quashlo above has "yuusenzaseki" text and elsewhere in the station it has a symbol of wheelchair that is universally understood. Also it is disappointing that the yellow colour of door position indicator is brighter than the tactile tiles for the visually impaired (this is another great Japanese invention - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactile_tiles).

Colour coded JR lines and following the railway companies logos such as JR was helpful navigating through the sea of people in Tokyo but when it comes to other smaller operators and metro lines it was very difficult at shared stations especially which part of the same station you can go through with the ticket you have and which part you cannot.

Sorry this example below is for an airport not a train station but worth noting as these are clean, simple and easy to follow:

http://www.mijksenaar.com/#

About the sounds used around stations. Once you are on the trains there are also different styles of maps some are tv with advertisement elements some are just dots of light. They are already giving away more than enough information than an average passenger would need to get from A to B however there are added music, sounds, Japanese voices and English voices (with dodgy accent that is not very easy to catch) and even cartoon character voices on top of the intercom from the driver or conductor of the train and the station operators' voice. Are these all really necessary or can be done with less?

Nothing to with the above points but one interesting thing I noticed with the colour schemes is that the Japanese public places especially the train stations there are so many stainless steel parts used on handrails, frames of bill boards, ticket counters, everywhere. That's "gingiragin" and tacky. Copper and brass alloys are far better choice when it comes to antibacterial properties the copper has. I see the stainless steel is ideal material in the humid climate to stay "clean" but that does not mean they are "hygienic" which people in Japan are very worried about.... There is nothing wrong with using stone or tiles on handrails. I appreciate your comments Francis
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Old March 16th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #3510
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz View Post
To make the Eight Liner portion a bit cheaper to build in the southwest quadrant, maybe they could:
(1) Interline with Keikyu on the Airport line to get from Kamata to Haneda (This means using standard gauge for the rest of the line, or or dual gauge conversion of the Keikyu Airport line)
(2) Use the planned "Kamakama" line to connect between the Keikyu Airport line and the Tokyu Tamagawa line
(3) Take over the Tokyu Tamagawa line starting just south of Denenchofu station. (No need for interlining really, since it looks like Tamagawa line trains stop at Tamagawa station.)
(1), (2), and (3) have all been the intention thus far, at least from the long-term planning perspective for these lines. But while there has been some recent movement on the Kamakama Line, the current proposal only calls for a cross-platform transfer at Tōkyū Kamata Station. In any event, the ¥1.5 trillion estimate I quote above is only up to Den’en Chōfu, so anything south of that towards Kamata and Haneda Airport would be on top of those costs.

As far as affluence, the western parts of the alignment are generally more affluent… Think places like Futako–Tamagawa, Seijō, etc. Setagaya Ward, for example, is pretty popular among celebrities. For the curious, you can also do Street View around Den’en Chōfu, which is actually a fascinating take on an affluent Western-style suburb, with a radial street pattern centered around the (underground) train station. Many of the western areas of Tōkyō are very desirable neighborhoods, and large areas have been developed along the old English “garden city” concept, most notably the railway-initiated urban development by Tōkyū—the literal translation of the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line (東急田園都市線) is “Tōkyū Garden City Line”.

For reference:
http://diamond.jp/articles/-/7086?page=2

Residents in the highest tax bracket (FY2004)
01 Minami-Azabu (Minato Ward): 346
02 Den’en Chōfu (Ōta Ward): 294
03 Hiroo (Shibuya Ward): 271
04 Seijō (Setagaya Ward): 268
05 Moto-Azabu (Minato Ward): 264
06 Sanbanchō (Chiyoda Ward): 162
07 Todoriki (Setagaya Ward): 149
08 Fukasawa (Setagaya Ward): 143
09 Shirokanedai (Minato Ward): 130
10 Shōtō (Shibuya Ward): 123

You’ll notice that all 4 of the neighborhoods in the top 10 outside of the Yamanote Loop are in Setagaya Ward. Three of them are along the Tōkyū network, one (Seijō) is along the Odakyū network.

The northern and eastern parts of the alignment, namely Kita Ward, Adachi Ward, Katsushika Ward, and Edogawa Ward, are generally less affluent and have more of a shitamachi working class feeling. The railway network in this part of the metropolitan area was historically less developed. There are no private railways to speak of other than Keisei, which is why all the subway lines were extended east through this area into Chiba Prefecture. There is also very limited north-south connectivity, particularly in Edogawa Ward, something that Metro Seven is supposed to help resolve.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #3511
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordFalcon View Post
Even the example posted by quashlo above has "yuusenzaseki" text and elsewhere in the station it has a symbol of wheelchair that is universally understood.
You will have to give examples of this as I cannot recall off the top of my head seeing many wheelchair signs in stations. In any event, they are two different things. Yūsen zaseki (優先座席) is priority seating for the disabled, the elderly, pregnant women, injured persons, etc.—it has nothing to do with a dedicated wheelchair space, which wouldn’t have any seats at all. There is no reason to expect them to use the same pictogram(s), as they serve two entirely different purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FordFalcon View Post
Also it is disappointing that the yellow colour of door position indicator is brighter than the tactile tiles for the visually impaired (this is another great Japanese invention - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactile_tiles).
The door position indicators have different color-shape combinations for different train types. The yellow + circle here is strictly for trains with two- and three-door cars, while different color-shape combinations would be used for trains with four- and five-door cars. There would not necessarily be a reason for the yellow here to match the yellow of the detection tiles. I can understand why you might want them to be the same color, but I don’t think that’s necessary, nor necessarily a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FordFalcon View Post
Colour coded JR lines and following the railway companies logos such as JR was helpful navigating through the sea of people in Tokyo but when it comes to other smaller operators and metro lines it was very difficult at shared stations especially which part of the same station you can go through with the ticket you have and which part you cannot.
I can understand this. The onus here is on the government, as the individual operators have no incentive to make the change on their own and there needs to be a single authority orchestrating the roll-out of such a system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FordFalcon View Post
About the sounds used around stations. Once you are on the trains there are also different styles of maps some are tv with advertisement elements some are just dots of light.
This is simply a matter of newer trains vs. older trains. All new trains have LCDs, older trains have LEDs or light boards. You can look at lines that have been completely replaced with new stock in recent years, the most obvious examples being JR East lines like the Yamanote Line, Chūō Rapid Line, etc. JR East tends to replace entire line fleets together, as its size guarantees that it can always reuse at least some of the older stock on smaller lines elsewhere. The private railways and subways are smaller and have to be a bit more business-savvy, so they purchase smaller orders at a time, maximizing the use of older trains and running a mix of newer and older stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FordFalcon View Post
They are already giving away more than enough information than an average passenger would need to get from A to B however there are added music, sounds, Japanese voices and English voices (with dodgy accent that is not very easy to catch) and even cartoon character voices on top of the intercom from the driver or conductor of the train and the station operators' voice. Are these all really necessary or can be done with less?
I can somewhat understand this. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if they limited the amount of speaking that conductors do, as they do end up repeating some information that is already in the digital announcements. I seem to remember that the nasal accent of train staff (your “cartoon character voices”) came about because it made it easier to understand what was being said… It’s a matter of taste as to whether you like it or not. I agree concerning the English announcements—as a native English speaker, there is certainly room for improvement there.

However, the extra information on the screens is there for people who need it. Again, the stopping patterns, etc., are far more complex than most systems, so I think there is a need to display this type of information in an easily accessible format. If you come as a visitor or tourist, sure you might not need some of this info, but if you don’t need it, then don’t look at the screen. The music is a matter of taste, but I like it. The other sounds (approach warnings, bird chirps, etc.) are there for a reason, although we can all debate at length as to their usefulness.

Anyways, I can't identify much difference between the signage on that website you posted and signage serving a similar purpose that you'd see at a typical Japanese train station.
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Last edited by quashlo; March 16th, 2012 at 09:09 PM.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #3512
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Continuing with the photos the next day…

8:45 am, arriving at the recently elevated JR Nara Station:

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I had boarded a Yamatoji Line section rapid at Ōsaka Station, which got me straight to Nara. Both the Yamatoji Line and Hanwa Line run some trains onto the Ōsaka Loop Line—during the midday, the Ōsaka Loop Line has trains every five minutes, a third of which are locals only, a third of which are through-servicing coupled Kansai Airport rapid (for Kansai Airport) and Kishūji rapid (for Wakayama Line) Hanwa Line trains, and a third of which are Yamatoji rapid (for Nara and Kamo) Yamatoji Line trains.

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Yamatoji Line tracks. Curving off to the left is the single-track Sakurai Line, recently renamed to the Man’yō Mahoroba Line.

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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:08 AM   #3513
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JR Nara is a five-track station
The tracks north of the station (Kansai Main Line) are double-track, shared by overlapping services (Yamatoji Line trains to Kamo and JR Nara Line trains to Nara).

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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:08 AM   #3514
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As part of the elevation of the station, JR also renovated the station concourse, designed to be reminiscent of the temple / shrine architecture found all over Nara.

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Looking towards the West Exit

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Like Kyōto, Nara is a popular place for school fieldtrips, many of whom arrive by train. Occasionally, you can spot some school charter trains on JR lines.

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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:09 AM   #3515
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Looking towards the East Exit

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The station’s been elevated, but I think they still have yet to break ground on redesigning the East Exit station plaza. The East Exit is the more popular exit, as it’s en route to the main landmarks of Nara.

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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:09 AM   #3516
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The old JR Nara Station building, now converted into a tourist information center.

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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:10 AM   #3517
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Kintetsu Nara Station
The Kintetsu and JR stations are not next to each other, but still within a 10-minute walk of each other. Kintetsu’s is closer and more convenient to Nara Park, which has most of the historical sites.

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Like JR, Kintetsu also offers direct service to both Ōsaka and Kyōto from its Nara terminal. Close to half of the Kintetsu Kyōto Line trains from Nara through-service on to the Kyōto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line to Kokusai Kaikan. If you’re bound for Kyōto, the best bet is actually to take any train to Yamato Saidaiji, Kintetsu’s big Nara-area junction, and transfer there instead, as some of the Kyōto Line trains through-service with the Kashihara Line.

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Departures for the Ōsaka direction. The bottom two are through-services onto the Hanshin network to Amagasaki and Kōbe.

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The departure board on Platform 1. The blue circle and numbers indicate the door positions on the platform, as Hanshin and Kintetsu have different carlengths and doors per car. Blue circles are for Kintetsu trains, red triangles are for Hanshin trains.

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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:11 AM   #3518
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Yamato Saidaiji, looking southeast towards Nara

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Through-servicing Hanshin trains
I like the new 1000 series… The paint scheme reminds me a bit of the Tōbu 50000 series in Tōkyō, striking a good balance between a full body-paint scheme (now generally out of favor) and the typical minimalist paint schemes with just beltlines underneath the window.

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Through-servicing Kyōto Municipal Subway train

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Old March 17th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #3519
Woonsocket54
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It's official - Narihirabashi station is now Tokyo Sky Tree station

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120318a8.html
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Old March 18th, 2012, 08:02 AM   #3520
k.k.jetcar
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Quote:
I like the new 1000 series…
Me too. I don't particularly care for the new stuff, but this model I take positive exception- for the paint scheme you mention, and its more squarish railroadlike design with center door as opposed to the more rounded "wormy" types favored in Kanto, of which the Seibu 30000 series I despise the most- i.e. "smile train"-ugh!


Last edited by k.k.jetcar; March 18th, 2012 at 08:07 AM.
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