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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:05 PM   #3721
quashlo
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Good... Love the 50000 series (and all variants), but always thought the LEDs were a bit of a cop-out considering all new stock is pretty much LCDs nowadays.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 09:19 AM   #3722
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Quote:
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It must've just rolled off the assembly line because it had "new train scent"!
Yuck!
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Old April 17th, 2012, 04:22 PM   #3723
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What is the music for at stations? I presume there's some sort of practical purpose for it.

Also, the response time of those ticket scanners is great. The smart card system in my city takes a good 1 or 2 seconds to respond which adds up in peak hour. I notice though in the video that there doesn't seem to be barriers in place... or maybe they're just out of sight?
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Old April 17th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #3724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjb287 View Post
What is the music for at stations? I presume there's some sort of practical purpose for it.
Music at stations is most often used to alert passengers to trains that are about to depart. If you're heading up the stairs to platform level, for example, you'll often be able to hear the music before you can actually see the train, and know that you can pick up the pace a bit to catch it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjb287 View Post
Also, the response time of those ticket scanners is great. The smart card system in my city takes a good 1 or 2 seconds to respond which adds up in peak hour. I notice though in the video that there doesn't seem to be barriers in place... or maybe they're just out of sight?
There are small "flaps" on the insides... You can see them better here, which shows the faregate startup sequence when the station opens. There are two pairs of flaps at each faregate end to allow for operation in both entry and exit mode.



The original R&D process for the very first faregates was driven by the need to accommodate a peak passenger flow as high as 80 passengers / minute, so the solution chosen was one that keeps the faregate open at all times, instead of one that keeps it closed at all times. The flaps only close when a problem is detected (invalid ticket, no ticket, read error, etc.), eliminating the need to cycle them each time and minimizing disruption of passenger flow.

If you're wondering why one of the faregates in the above video has closed flaps, that's because it was programmed for entry only at the time, so the far-side flaps are kept closed to alert exiting passengers to use other faregates. The other faregates were programmed for dual mode at the time, so both pairs of flaps are open. This one's a bit shaky, but perhaps illustrates it a bit clearer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tdrw1S3WGco
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Last edited by quashlo; April 17th, 2012 at 08:01 PM.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:01 AM   #3725
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Outside JR Kokura Station in Kita-Kyūshū City.
Kita-Kyūshū has an interesting monorail line that flies directly into the upper levels of the station. The station in the distance, only a few blocks down, is Heiwa-dōri Station.

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There’s a pretty extensive pedestrian deck at the station, with several bridges over Heiwa-dōri, the main road loading from the station.

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Access to the pedestrian deck from street level is achieved through a combination of stairs and escalators / elevators.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:02 AM   #3726
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The station buiding at Kokura is a bit reminiscent of the more recent JR Hakata City, but generally smaller (and somewhat taller). There’s a JR hotel at the station.

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Like Hakata, “Kokura” used to be the name of the original city, which has now since merged with others to form what is now known as Kita-Kyūshū.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:03 AM   #3727
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This is a medium-capacity, standard straddle-type monorail similar to the system in Ōsaka.
Midday frequency is every 10 minutes, increasing to every 6 minutes during peak hours.

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Can faintly make out the tires that guide the monorail along the beam.

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The terminal at Kokura is two tracks, but there isn’t a crossover provided until just past Heiwa-dōri Station, so this short segment between the two stations is actually operated as two parallel one-way tracks.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:04 AM   #3728
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They should be constructing a roof over the pedestrian deck right about now, I imagine something similar to what’s at JR Hakata Station. It’s supposed to open this fall.

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Heiwa-dōri Station

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #3729
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Nishitetsu buses

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #3730
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Waiting on the JR platforms at Kokura for a train to Moji-kō, the historic harbor area of Kita-Kyūshū.
Here’s an 813 series commuter EMU bound for Fukuoka and Arao, waiting at the station.

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Base formation of the 813 series is 3 cars, but they can be coupled into formations that are up to 9 cars long.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:06 AM   #3731
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Our train for Moji-kō arrives, an 811 series commuter EMU

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On the short 10-minute ride over, some railway staff were switching out the ceiling ads.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:07 AM   #3732
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At Moji-kō:

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There’s quite a bit of variety on the Kagoshima Main Line services, including this JNR-era 415 series marked as a local for Kurume, well south of Fukuoka.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:07 AM   #3733
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Moji was one of the ports historically open to foreign trade, and the station building at Moji-kō still retains much of its old charm.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:08 AM   #3734
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If I remember correctly, the station is supposed to be getting a facelift right now.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:09 AM   #3735
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Later in the day, I crossed over to the Honshū side and visited Hi no Yama (Fire Mountain) in Shimonoseki.

Nighttime at Shimonoseki Station on the San’yō Main Line, waiting for a train back to get me back to the Kyūshū side. I suppose I could have taken the Shinkansen from Shin-Shimonoseki, but the schedule there is not as good as at Kokura, so I decided to just take a zairaisen train back to Kokura and transfer there for another short Shinkansen ride back to Hakata.

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The Kanmon Straits are pretty narrow, and there is a lot of cross-strait traffic between Kita-Kyūshū and Shimonoseki, with zairaisen trains running back and forth every 15-20 minutes. Most terminate at Kokura, but some continue onto the Nippō Main Line well into Ōita Prefecture.

Our train for Kokura arrives…

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Old April 18th, 2012, 04:57 AM   #3736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
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Moji was one of the ports historically open to foreign trade, and the station building at Moji-kō still retains much of its old charm.

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Is this the terminating station?
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Old April 18th, 2012, 05:38 AM   #3737
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Yes, the Kagoshima Main Line physically ends here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=%E6%97...Japan&t=m&z=17
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Old April 18th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #3738
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Quote:
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Front of 813 series has similar colors to Kawasaki M8 (Metro North in NY-CT, USA).

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Old April 18th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #3739
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That whole area around Moji is a bit interesting... I wonder if they've ever considered through-service between the San'yō Main Line and Kagoshima Main Line. Currently, there's only a few trains that do this, as most of the services that continue past Kokura go onto the Nippō Main Line. I'm too lazy to look up why, but perhaps it has to do with the Nippō Main Line and San'yō Main Line being better "matches" in terms of train capacities. A desire to shift passengers to Shinkansen for trips between southern Honshū and northern Kyūshū may also be at play.

It would require slightly more coordination between the two JRs, but it just seems so rational, as Shimonoseki and Kita-Kyūshū are so close to each other. There's a lot of northbound Kagoshima Main Line trains that terminate at Kokura, and it seems comparatively trivial to extend some of these through the Kanmon Tunnel to Shimonoseki and beyond. If they don't want to send full trains through, they could even do some creative things like splitting at Moji, with some cars continuing to Moji-kō and others continuing to Shimonoseki.

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Front of 813 series has similar colors to Kawasaki M8 (Metro North in NY-CT, USA).
Yeah, the resemblance is an oft-talked about one... Although I think we can pretty much say it's mostly a matter of coincidence. The 813 series was built by Kinki Sharyō and JR Kyūshū (Kokura Works), debuting in 1994—Kawasaki wasn't involved at all.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 10:33 PM   #3740
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Quote:
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Front of 813 series has similar colors to Kawasaki M8 (Metro North in NY-CT, USA).

Glad I wasnt the only one to notice the similarity.
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