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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:01 AM   #3541
quashlo
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Cosmosquare Station, Ōsaka Municipal Subway Chūō Line

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Walking to transfer to the Nankō Port Town Line

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At left is the Port Town Line, an AGT system similar to the Yurikamome in Tōkyō. Like the Yurikamome, the line runs through manmade islands. It was originally built by a separate third-sector entity (大阪港トランスポートシステム Ōsaka Transport System) that was also responsible for the truck terminal serving the container port, but the line has since been transferred to the Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau and is now considered part of the Ōsaka Municipal Subway.

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At Trade Center-mae, as passengers board a train for Cosmosquare.

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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #3542
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Next day (2011.11.05), I took a walk around the Tenmabashi and Nakanoshima areas in central Ōsaka, which meant more shots of Keihan…

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The Keihan Main Line quadruple-track approach into Tenmabashi Station.
After crossing the river, the line dives underground into the station, with one branch continuing to Yodoyabashi and one branch becoming the Keihan Nakanoshima Line.

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8000 series limited express for Demachiyanagi in Kyōto

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Like Kintetsu, Keihan also operates double-deckers. Keihan’s limited express has no surcharge however, as its network is relatively short—you can ride these bilevel cars for the same fare as the single-level cars or any of the slower services on the line.

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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:03 AM   #3543
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A 5000 series unit approaching Tenmabashi. This is the five-door series.

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Another one in the opposite direction, a local for Kayashima

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3000 series limited express for Demachiyanagi
Women-only car is at left

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6000 series express for Kuzuha
With the quadruple-track section, Keihan is able to run 38 tph at peak with up to six different stopping patterns (limited express, rapid express, commuter sub-express, semi-express, and local).

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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:05 AM   #3544
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The Keihan Main Line runs along the left bank here, while the Nakanoshima Line runs on the right bank here, on Nakanoshima Island (technically, along the north shore of the island, which is out of the picture here). The two lines parallel very close to each other, but there is ongoing redevelopment of Nakanoshima (including the largest tower in the background) and the island is a bit of a landmark area.

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I wanted to get to Ōsaka Castle and decided to take Keihan back to Kyōbashi and transfer there to JR.
Central Ōsaka is built along waterways, and many stations are named after bridges. Being on an island, the Nakanoshima Line is no different, and three out of the four new stations created with the line are names after bridges—Naniwabashi, Ōebashi, and Watanabebashi.

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Keihan put a lot of effort into the design of the Nakanoshima Line, and the stations include some retail areas, including this convenience store (straight ahead) and a used bookstore (at right).

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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:06 AM   #3545
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At left are station lockers.
Most every station in urban areas has these, and they’re very convenient if you just want somewhere to store your items for a short while. Larger stations will have lockers big enough to hold large luggage.

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Departure boards at the faregates

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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #3546
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Heading down to platform level…
The stations on the line are all two-track island platforms except for Nakanoshima, which has an additional stub track thanks to a “half-bay” design.

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Ad along the station walls

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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #3547
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The line is bored tunnel

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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:08 AM   #3548
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Two-man operation is still the norm on most lines, and the conductor is always on the lookout to make sure passengers haven’t fallen or gotten stuck in the doors.

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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:09 AM   #3549
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Typical station design nowadays calls for motion activation systems for escalators, conserving electricity when not in use.

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Stickers indicating the door positions on the trains
It’s less common to see this type of color- and shape-coding in Tōkyō, where extensive rolling stock standardization over the years and the need for high passenger throughput have eliminated the need.

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Time to board our local for Demachiyanagi.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 01:07 AM   #3550
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Yamato Saidaiji is a mess of catenary, and I love it.
Yes, it's an interesting place. Here's a view looking toward Ikoma.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 07:27 PM   #3551
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Yes, Kintetsu has some interesting junctions…

Yamato Saidaiji


Source

Yamato Yagi


Source

Kashihara Jingū-mae


Source

Ise Nakagawa


Source
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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #3552
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Next, some pics in Hiroshima, focusing on Hiroshima Electric Railway (Hiroden), a privately-operated tram network.

A Hiroden 900 series train… These are ex-Ōsaka Municipal Tramway units.

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Car 1915, an ex-Kyōto Municipal Tramway unit (built 1957)

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Hiroden’s fleet is quite diverse, with both new and secondhand rolling stock, as well as articulated and non-articulated units.

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The underground corridor beneath the South Exit of Hiroshima Station, currently decorated with posters for the Hiroshima Carp, the local baseball team.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #3553
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The Hiroden platforms at Hiroshima Station are at street level just outside the South Exit of the JR station. There are five Hiroden lines serving the station, spread across two boarding platforms and three alighting platforms.

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Line 2 between Hiroshima Station and Miyajima-guchi, one of the two main lines to use the articulated units

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Like most Japanese bus or tram systems, you pay as you exit.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:34 PM   #3554
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Many of the older articulated units were manufactured by Alna Kōki, now Alna Sharyō, a rolling stock manufacturer that has historically been tied to Hankyū Electric Railway in the Kansai region. It’s still a consolidated subsidiary of Hankyū–Hanshin Holdings, a reminder of the days when many of the larger private railways produced rolling stock in-house. With the announcement regarding the purchase of Tōkyū Car Company by JR East a few months ago, I believe the only remaining survivor of this tradition is Kinki Sharyō, which is part of the Kintetsu Group.

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PASPY is the local IC card for Hiroshima-area transit not operated by JR, and is accepted in both Hiroshima and Fukuyama. The JR lines use JR West’s ICOCA card, which can also be used on trains and buses affiliated with PASPY.

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At Hiroden Miyajima-guchi
Hiroden’s older articulated units like this 3950 series are three-section trains. Most of the Hiroden lines run within central Hiroshima City, but Line 2 is a bit different, extending well beyond the city center and paralleling the JR San’yō Line all the way to Miyajima Island, a major tourist destination. It’s a very interesting operation, somewhat akin to more modern light rail lines that attempt to blend streetcar service in the city center with mainline rail service further out.

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Hiroden also has these five-section Combino trams produced by Siemens, which was tapped to produce 100% low-floor articulated trams, a design more common in Europe.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:35 PM   #3555
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The competition between JR and Hiroden also extends to the ferry services between the mainland and Miyajima—there are two ferry operators, one a JR subsidiary and the other a part of the Hiroden Group. If you have a JR Pass, you can ride the JR Miyajima Ferry for free.

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Service is pretty frequent, with both ferry operators running boats every 10-15 minutes in each direction.

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After returning from Miyajima, I decided to take JR back to Hiroshima proper.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:36 PM   #3556
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It’s nowhere near Tōkyō or even Ōsaka, but the JR service here wasn’t that bad.

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Local for Iwakuni
Base service on the San’yō Main Line is approx. every 15 minutes during the midday.

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The train’s headlights ruined this photo a bit. This unit has been repainted in yellow as part of JR West’s single-color paint program, which repaints trains in specific parts of JR West’s coverage area a uniform color. The Hiroshima area was given the color yellow.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:36 PM   #3557
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Nishi-Hiroshima, a major terminal at the western edge of central Hiroshima City served by three Hiroden lines and JR

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There’s a nice canopy at the station, although it didn’t occur to me to take many photos of it.

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Finger-pointing for signs and signals is generally required among train operators, although some railway companies are more strict than others. Automobile use is comparatively high in Hiroshima (Hiroshima happens to be the HQ of Mazda), but there is still the synergy between bikes and transit that is seen all across Japan.

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A Hiroden 700 series train, one of the “native” Hiroden series

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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:37 PM   #3558
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The Hiroden and JR stations aren’t exactly co-located, but they’re only separated by 50 m or so. The end of the corridor at left takes you to the station plaza for the JR station.

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Genbaku Dome-mae, the station for the Atomic Bomb Dome… This is another ex-Ōsaka car. The larger stations in central Hiroshima have been renovated and outfitted with full-color LED departure boards.

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One of the older articulated units. Not as nice as the newer ones, but these have a bit of charm about them. The city’s trams returned to service three days after the bomb was dropped, and were frequently heralded as symbols of the reconstruction effort.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #3559
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I wasn’t aware of it until I visited, but Hiroshima also has a bikeshare system.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #3560
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Kamiyachō, Hiroshima’s CBD and one of the main junctions on the Hiroden network. Because of line branching, there are two stations here, one just east and one just west of the main intersection. This is Kamiyachō Nishi, the west station.

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A better look at one of the Siemens units, which have been nicknamed “Green Movers”.
Line 1 and Line 2 are the primary lines of the Hiroden network, with service every 8-9 minutes.

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The newest Hiroden units are these five-section 5100 series “Green Mover Max” units, manufactured by a team comprised of Kinki Sharyō, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Tōyō Electric, and Hiroden. Like the Siemens units, these are 100% low-floor. While there isn’t currently much of a market for this design in Japan outside of Hiroshima, Hiroden wanted a way to domestically produce high-capacity 100% low-floor designs, as they had had some difficulties obtaining replacement parts for the Siemens units in the past… There were also some general design differences that were not tailored for Hiroden's needs(car width, door placement, interior design), and with funding for accessible rolling stock provided by the MLIT, the result was development of the 5100 series.

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