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Old January 7th, 2013, 08:29 PM   #4461
quashlo
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Train control equipment testing in preparation for Sōtetsu‒JR Link to begin
http://response.jp/article/2013/01/07/188246.html

Quote:
相模鉄道は、相鉄・JR線直通線事業に関わる保安装置(自動列車停止装置)の変更にともない、新しい機器を確認する走行試験を行なう。実施は1月12・17・18・19・22日の深夜。相模大塚~海老名間で、 最大4往復程度を予定している。

相鉄・JR直通線は、相鉄線西谷駅とJR東海道貨物線横浜羽沢駅付近間に建設中の約2.7kmの連絡線。2015年完成を目指して工事中で、この連絡線ができあがると、相鉄線とJR線の相互直通運転が行なわれるという。
A minor milestone in this project, which will create a new 2.7 km passenger rail connection between Sōtetsu and JR… As is common with a lot of these through-service projects, a lot of care has to be taken to ensure trainset compatibility, with through-servicing rolling stock outfitted with auxiliary appropriate signaling / train control equipment as needed for running outside of home territory. The first tests will take place in the late evening of selected days this month, between Sagami Ōtsuka and Ebina on the outer edges of the Sōtetsu (and encompassing the Sōtetsu yard at Kashiwadai).

The article also has some pictures of the construction progress.

At the Yokohama (east) end of Nishiya Station, where the new connection will interface with the Sōtetsu Main Line:





Futamatagawa (west) end:



Hazawa Station, being built adjacent to an existing JR freight terminal:



Hazawa Freight Terminal:



In other Sōtetsu-related news, the Sōtetsu‒Tōkyū Link, the sister project to this one, marked another major milestone today (2013.01.07) after receiving urban planning approvals:
http://www.kentsu.co.jp/webnews/html...107400020.html

Sōtetsu Holdings is also continuing its reorganization and refocusing efforts in preparation for these two big projects, selling off Sōtetsu Construction, a railway construction and maintenance subsidiary, to Nissei Build. They were primarily focused on civil engineering and railway maintenance works in areas along the Sōtetsu network, but apparently, the business was operating at a loss, and they did not forecast much remaining growth potential:
http://www.nikkan.co.jp/news/nkx1120...tml?news-t0107
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Old January 7th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #4462
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JR Ebina Station West Exit redevelopment to break ground in February
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...00C13A1L82000/

Quote:
 神奈川県海老名市のJR海老名駅西口の再開発が本格的に動き出す。市は7日、土地区画整理組合の設立が認可を受け、2月に造成工事に着手すると発表した。区域は14.1ヘクタールで、組合の総事業費は54億500万円にのぼる。中核となる大規模商業施設として三井不動産が「ららぽーと」の進出を計画している。田畑が広がっていた西口がにぎわいの拠点となりそうだ。

 再開発を主導するのは「海老名駅西口土地区画整理組合」で、昨年末に設立認可を受けて市街化区域に編入された。大規模商業施設のほか、商業・業務と住宅の複合施設、マンション、戸建て住宅などを整備する計画だ。計画人口は3000人。

 大規模商業施設は2015年秋ごろのオープン予定で、それに合わせてまちびらきとなる。組合に対して海老名市は21億9500万円を助成し、市が単独で道路や駅前広場などを整備する計画だ。

東口と再開発区域を結ぶ連絡通路も市が整備する。総事業費は約36億円で、まず小田急電鉄・相模鉄道線とJR線の駅舎間の自由通路の整備に今春、着手する。動く歩道や蓄電池付きの太陽光発電システムなども設置する計画だ。15年3月に工事が完成する予定という。
Perhaps good news for Sōtetsu, as Ebina City announced that it will begin earthwork in February for the JR Ebina Station West Exit redevelopment project, encompassing 14.1 ha and focused around a planned LaLaport mall to be developed by Mitsui Fudōsan. The project will also include other mixed-use residential-retail buildings, as well as pure residential in the form of condos and detached housing. The planned population for the development is 3,000 persons.

The area is currently empty, but this will be the next phase in the continued development of Ebina—an interchange station between JR, Odakyū, and Sōtetsu—into a real outer-suburban hub for Greater Tōkyō. Total project cost is ₯5.405 billion. The development, including the mall, is scheduled to have its “town opening” in autumn 2015. The city will provide ₯2.195 billion in funding to the redevelopment union, and will be responsible for the infrastructure to serve the new area, including roads, a new station plaza, and connecting passage through the station between the East and West Exits.

The latter project will cost about ₯3.6 billion, with work beginning this spring on a new the public passage connecting the Odakyū / Sōtetsu and JR stations. Given the distance between the two stations, the passage will be provided with moving walkways and be powered with solar panels. The passage is scheduled for completion in March 2015.

Tour of Odakyū Ebina Station. The last part shows the existing bridge connecting Odakyū / Sōtetsu and JR stations, which is currently rudimentary in design, with no canopy, and limited width.

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Old January 8th, 2013, 07:15 AM   #4463
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The Sōtetsu train set look starkingly different from a typical JR E233 train set... And will any of those Sōtetsu trains operate on JR tracks too, even though the light arrangement looks a bit different from a typical JR train layout? I remember with the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line service that it also operates JR trains along its tracks on top of the standard Tokyo Metro trains and Tōyō Rapid trains... And that the Tōyō Rapid and Tokyo Metro trains cannot operate on JR tracks due to different light arrangements.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:15 PM   #4464
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Tokyu Toyoko Line & Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line Shibuya Connection Update

あけましておめでとうございます! Happy New Year from Yokohama! I've been traveling and enjoying the holidays but I'm back to bring a few updates on one of the bigger rail construction projects in Japan. There's about 67 more days until the opening of the through-service tunnel between Shibuya and Daikanyama stations, so let's start there.

Shibuya Station


Work on the inner platform tracks is complete. They've competed platform door installs here, and I heard from my Tokyu friend that they've tested the doors and systems with trains during the after-hours.


Upstairs on the B3 Concourse level, the opposite side "Hikarie" Gates are being installed behind this temporary wall next to the commuter pass office. Right now, there are only 4 turnstiles and 3 each of Tokyo Metro and Tokyu TVMs installed opposite here. This gate will double that, and allow access to the last part of the platform below.

Daikanyama Station


The temporary supports that were holding up the JR tracks here over the tunnel being constructed is being taken apart, and ballast and dirt is being filled in here.


Also the iron girders that were holding the roadway up here, has been filled in as well, and new asphalt has been layed down, returning the street to it's usual image... Soon that big temporary white wall will disappear too. Actually, this bridge will disappear as well, since it's not needed anymore after March 16th.


They've built overhead iron supports that will lift the temporary track deck up when the actual shift takes place on the overnight hours of March 16th. If you recall the Keio line's Chofu undergrounding, you'll remember that they did a similar track shifting too. In this manner, they will raise the temporary tracks up and the permanent tracks will be revealed and descend into the new tunnel at this point. But remember, half of Daikanyama station must be rebuilt at an incline too!


..and that's just what you can see here. Above is the temporary platform. Below you can see the new platform with the warning strip installed. The new tracks are below that. You literally have workers on their hands and knees in these spaces laying concrete and tracks!


Reverse image shows the new platform with the temporary platform about 2-3 feet above it.

Naka-Meguro Station

This station is not only getting platform extensions to handle longer cars, but also needed earthquake strengthening as well.



The roof over the new extensions is in place.


The Main entrance is 90% reformed now, with a new walk-in ticketing office.


And there's a new South entrance as well! No more massive bottlenecks getting into this station.

Jiyuu-ga-Oka Station



Platform work is largely finished, just need to install the new roof supports, the roof itself, and car-stopping monitors.

Tamagawa Station


Lighting installed on extended platform. Completed.

Musashi-Kosugi Station

This station needs its own post... So I'll make one in a few days. The whole entire Ground Concourse has changed with the opening of 6 retail stores on 12/14 and the ongoing construction of Tokyu Square above and around it.

Here you can see the one of 2 escalators being built to take passengers to a new upstairs gate to serve Tokyu Square being built on what was just the roof of the station. Behind that is the rest of the mall and a 30 story condo complex. I can see the building from my house now... It's crazy how fast things get built around here!

Kikuna Station



The roofs of the extended platforms are being installed now.

This station should also see some signifigant construction on the JR side soon as well, since they're planning on making the concourse between the two stations all on one level soon. There are notices in the station, but I didn't have time to stop and read them during the holiday rush-- too crowded!


MINATO-MIRAI LINE
Yeah, I know it's a "separate" train line and all... But physically, it's just an extension of the Toyoko line to me.

Minato-Mirai Station


Finishing work on the extended platform is done except trackside wall.


The old door line-up markers have been erased (see the light gray squares on the wall) and replaced with new positioning markers. The markers show 8 car trains now, but a seal is covering the 10 car train markers.

Nihon-Odori Station


The same condition here as well. Extended platform floor finishes completed.


This empty yellow diamond will get a "10" stamped on it so the train operators will know to stop ten car trains here.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:22 PM   #4465
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Looks like the Tokyu-Toyoko Line -- Tokyo Metro-Fukutoshin Line through-train project is indeed making significant progress indeed, with only around two months to go before its official launch! Splendid work!
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Old January 9th, 2013, 12:37 AM   #4466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
The Sōtetsu train set look starkingly different from a typical JR E233 train set... And will any of those Sōtetsu trains operate on JR tracks too, even though the light arrangement looks a bit different from a typical JR train layout? I remember with the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line service that it also operates JR trains along its tracks on top of the standard Tokyo Metro trains and Tōyō Rapid trains... And that the Tōyō Rapid and Tokyo Metro trains cannot operate on JR tracks due to different light arrangements.
If you're referring to that old 7000 series in the third photo, then yes, there's little resemblance to JR East's newest sets. However, the newer Sōtetsu sets like the 10000 series (first photo) and 11000 series (second photo) are actually based on modern JR East sets (E231 series and E233 series, respectively), so they're pretty similar overall. When compared against some of the other new sets in the Tōkyō area like Tōkyū 5000 series, Seibu 30000 series, Odakyū 4000 series, etc., it's easy to see the resemblance with the E233 series. In fact, these series were based on JR East's latest types precisely in preparation for the through-service.

Anyways, the headlight design doesn’t have anything to do with the through-servicing situation on the Tōzai Line... Through-servicing requires compatibility in train control / signalling systems, and in cases when you've got companies with different systems involved, that means two or more different sets of equipment on each through-servicing set. Basically, the Tōzai Line and Tōyō Rapid Line each use different variations of ATC, while JR East uses ATS. None of the Tōyō Rapid trains are equipped with JR East ATS and none of the JR East trains are equipped with Tōyō Rapid ATC… The only stock that can run on all three companies is Tōkyō Metro stock.

I believe this is mostly a cost thing, with Tōyō Rapid Railway and JR not wanting to equip their trains with the third signaling system given that three-company runs (operating on JR, Tōkyō Metro, and Tōyō Rapid tracks), is only a handful of trips in the morning and evening commute periods. Probably cheaper and simpler for them to just each have compatibility with the Tōzai Line ATC, and just have Tōkyō Metro stock cover the three-company runs. It’s a similar situation with the Chiyoda Line, JR, and Odakyū... Only Tōkyō Metro can cover the three-company runs.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:00 AM   #4467
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How long are 10-car trains?
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:14 AM   #4468
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Short answer: 200 m
Long answer: Depends on where and what system we are talking.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:17 AM   #4469
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I'd like to know the ones for Tokyo Metro and JR East... Perhaps Seibu and Tokyu too. I forgot the name for the one serving Yokohama too?
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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:26 AM   #4470
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Groundbreaking on new station on Astram Line and San’yō Main Line
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201301090023.html

Quote:
 広島市は8日、JR山陽線とアストラムラインの結節点となる白島新駅(中区西白島町)の建設工事に着手した。2015年春の開業を目指す。

 アストラムラインの新駅は、国道54号の中央分離帯の半地下部分に市が整備する。アストラムラインが高架の山陽線と交差し、地下と地上を出入りする付近だ。

 この日、作業員9人が建設予定地内の樹木を撤去するために抜いたり、草を刈り取ったりする作業を始めた。12年度中に始まる予定の本体工事に向け1週間程度で更地にする。

 一方、山陽線の新駅は広島―横川間に位置し、JR西日本が高架部に設ける。二つの新駅は乗り換えに便利な約120メートルの連絡通路で結ばれる。

 市はアストラムラインの新駅と連絡通路の事業費を約65億円と見込む。松井一実市長が進める「花と緑の広島づくり」をデザインのコンセプトに盛り込み、新駅の屋上に芝生などを植える。

国道54号の中央分離帯にある白島新駅の建設予定地で草刈りなどをする作業員


This will create an interchange station between the Astram Line and JR. The Astram Line station will be half-underground, while the JR station will be elevated. The two will be connected by a 120 m long connecting passage.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:27 AM   #4471
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Yokohama tourism industry eagerly awaits Tōyoko Line‒Fukutoshin Line through-service
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...1227011-n1.htm

Quote:
 東急電鉄東横線と東京メトロ副都心線との相互直通運転開始が3月16日に迫り、横浜市内の観光業界が期待を高めている。元町・中華街駅(横浜市中区)から渋谷駅(東京都渋谷区)を経由し、埼玉県西部まで乗り換えなしで結ばれることで、埼玉方面からの観光客の増加が見込まれるからだ。一方、同時に進む渋谷駅再開発に伴い、都心部への買い物客流出も懸念されており、直通運転に伴う影響に注目が集まる。(川上朝栄)

埼玉から直通

 相互直通運転プロジェクトでは、すでに副都心線と直通運転している東武東上線森林公園駅(埼玉県滑川町)と西武池袋線の飯能駅(同県飯能市)から、東横線と直通している横浜高速鉄道みなとみらい線元町・中華街駅までの最長88・6キロが結ばれる。横浜方面から新宿三丁目(東京都新宿区)、池袋(豊島区)といった都心部へも乗り換えなしで行くことができる。

観光客増に期待

 「アクセスが悪かった埼玉から中華街行きの電車が走るのは大きい」と語るのは横浜中華街発展会協同組合の鐘上智(しょう・じょうち)専務理事だ。同組合では開通に合わせて中華街や山下公園、元町など周辺商店街を巻き込んだ割引キャンペーンを行う。

 みなとみらい(MM)21地区でも観光客獲得を目指す動きが顕著だ。東急ホテルズは同地区にある「パンパシフィック横浜ベイホテル東急」の名称を4月に「横浜ベイホテル東急」に変更。その上で平成24~25年度に約10億円かけて客室改装に踏み切り、「直通運転開始を契機に新しいイメージを発信したい」(東急ホテルズ)。

 同地区で三菱地所が建設中の商業施設「MARK IS(マークイズ)みなとみらい」も6月にオープン。約190店舗が出店し、買い物客増加にも期待がかかる。

渋谷再開発に危機感

 一方、横浜市内の商業施設では、開通を機に進む渋谷駅再開発で「都心に客を奪われる」との懸念も浮上している。渋谷では相互直通運転に向けた線路地下化工事が進んでおり、現在の東横線渋谷駅や東急百貨店東横店の敷地を利用した大型商業施設の建設計画があるからだ。全面開業は39年の予定だが、一部は32年に開業する。昨年4月に開業した商業施設「渋谷ヒカリエ」にすでに買い物客を奪われているとの指摘もあることから、懸念材料になっている。

 横浜でも新たな横浜駅ビルが31年度に完成、ショッピングゾーンとしての魅力も高まるが、「商業集積だけで比較すると渋谷に軍配が上がる。観光地・横浜の魅力を合わせることで、誘客を図ることが必要だ」(浜銀総研の湯口勉主任研究員)と指摘している。
As mentioned before, this will make it possible to do one-seat rides from western Saitama Prefecture down to central Yokohama (a maximum route distance of almost 90 km from Shinrin Kōen on the Tōbu Tōjō Line and Hannō Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line to Motomachi–Chūkagai on the Minato Mirai Line). As a result, a lot of the tourism interests in Yokohama, including Chūkagai (Yokohama Chinatown) and Minato Mirai, are making preparations. Tōkyū Hotels is also investing some money in renovations and has changed its name to better appeal to the increased visitors expected from residents along the Seibu and Tōbu networks.

Of course, there is also some anxiety about the start of through-service, as it also means the gears begin turning on the massive redevelopment project at Shibuya Station using portions of land currently being used by the Tōyoko Line and Tōyoko flagship store of Tōkyū Department Stores. The building will open partially in 2020, with a full grand opening in 2027, potentially stealing customers away. Apparently, they’ve already been somewhat hit by the opening of Shibuya Hikarie. However, Yokohama Station has its own new tenant building scheduled to open in 2019, so there’s a lot of changes in store for both Yokohama and Shibuya.

New Tōkyō Metro CM for the start of Fukutoshin Line through-services…
Geez, I’d love to know who picked out Takei Emi’s outfit for this one.



HD clips of train action at Tōkyū Shibuya Station. Not much time left…

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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:33 AM   #4472
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I really love the Tokyo Metro commercial for the coming interoperation between three (!!!) lines, and indeed, it seems like the Fukutoshin Line will be one of the longest -- and most important -- services that will connect Yokohama (via the Tokyu-Toyoko Line), Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Hanno (on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line). For a 90-km trip, how long do you think a train ride will be from end to end?
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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:34 PM   #4473
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Groundbreaking on new station on Astram Line and San’yō Main Line
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201301090023.html



This will create an interchange station between the Astram Line and JR. The Astram Line station will be half-underground, while the JR station will be elevated. The two will be connected by a 120 m long connecting passage.
This is exciting.

However. 120m seems longish to me. That's about a minute of walking to make the connection. I wonder why it is being built that way. Well, the easy answer is, in 1994, they knew this might be a possibility in the future so they made an allowance for an eventual infill station when they built the Astram line, and that allowance is south of the JR line. But the real question is, why did they make that allowance so far south of the JR line, rather than directly beneath it?

I also wonder why this wasn't built 20 years ago. Maybe JR didn't want to do it since they were worried about losing ridership on the Kabe line. Or maybe they wanted to make the eventual construction of a connecting station as easy as possible so they put it outside of the JR right-of-way.

Who knows.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:25 PM   #4474
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I really love the Tokyo Metro commercial for the coming interoperation between three (!!!) lines, and indeed, it seems like the Fukutoshin Line will be one of the longest -- and most important -- services that will connect Yokohama (via the Tokyu-Toyoko Line), Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Hanno (on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line). For a 90-km trip, how long do you think a train ride will be from end to end?
Don't forget Kawagoe on the Tobu Tojo line too!
It takes about 45 minutes for the fastest train to go from Chinatown to Shibuya on the toyoko line. And it takes about 70 minutes between Shibuya and Kawagoe on the Tojo line and about the same on the Seibu Ikebukuro line to Tokorozawa. These are using the fastest services (not locals).

It's hard to really pinpoint exactly how much faster it's going to be since they also will probably be changing the level of services and stopping patterns as well when the link opens up. There will definitely be many many more expresses on the line for sure. My employer is advertising on the trains advertisement posters that it will take 35 minutes from Yokohama to Ikebukuro and 59 minutes to get to Shiki station (my campus) on the fastest train. That means I stand to save 30 minutes at least in my commute!
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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:55 PM   #4475
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Originally Posted by orulz View Post
However. 120m seems longish to me. That's about a minute of walking to make the connection. I wonder why it is being built that way. Well, the easy answer is, in 1994, they knew this might be a possibility in the future so they made an allowance for an eventual infill station when they built the Astram line, and that allowance is south of the JR line. But the real question is, why did they make that allowance so far south of the JR line, rather than directly beneath it?
Grades, and to some extent, existing infrastructure.

At the north end, the line is elevated in a roadway median, so the tracks need to be fairly high up at Hakushima Station to provide for the pedestrian bridge underneath for station access while still having enough vertical clearance for road traffic. In the middle, the line has to dive underneath the partially elevated San'yō Main Line tracks. At the south end, the line has to dive completely underground before entering Jōhoku. All this needs to be accomplished in about 700 m, but you also need to take away over 50 m of level distance to provide for the platforms at the new station, as well as additional level distance on all of the station approaches.

The basic engineering design is all detailed in here:
http://www.city.hiroshima.lg.jp/kout.../shiryou12.pdf

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As you can see, they already built the line with a level section in preparation for the new station. The resulting grades are 4.5% north of the new station and 3.0% south of the new station, which are pretty high. Around 6% is maximum, but they wouldn't want to build it directly underneath the JR tracks in order to avoid all the columns and footings for the San'yō Main Line tracks and the San'yō Shinkansen's high viaduct.

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Originally Posted by orulz View Post
I also wonder why this wasn't built 20 years ago. Maybe JR didn't want to do it since they were worried about losing ridership on the Kabe line.
Perhaps, but I think it was more likely that they simply figured Ōmachi was sufficient for transferring to / from JR in the interim and that a better connection to Hiroshima Station could be put off until the rest of the rapid transit network was built out. With actual Astram-style expansion seeming less likely, perhaps they decided it was time to drop that idea and go ahead and build the station.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #4476
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I'd like to know the ones for Tokyo Metro and JR East... Perhaps Seibu and Tokyu too. I forgot the name for the one serving Yokohama too?
Too lazy to look it up on Japanese Wiki, but from what I remember:

Tōkyō Metro
All 20 m cars with the following exceptions:
Ginza Line + Marunouchi Line: 16 m
Hibiya Line 18 m

JR East
All 20 m cars. JNR adopted a 20 m car standard for all of their regular trains, and all the JR's use this. Many of the private railways later adopted the same standard when they upgraded and modernized their lines from interurbans, although the majority of major private railways outside of Tōkyō never got far enough in the modernization process to change their rolling stock from the shorter 16 m and 18 m type cars. Off the top of my head, I would guess only Kintetsu in Kansai went with the larger cars... Meitetsu, the remaining major private railways in Kansai (Nankai, Keihan, Hankyū, Hanshin), and Nishitetsu in Fukuoka use shorter cars, as do Keikyū and Keisei in Tōkyō (Asakusa Line, as one of the first subway lines in Tōkyō, was built to 18 m standard).

Seibu
All 20 m cars. Some of the really small branch lines like in western Tōkyō Tamako, Tamagawa, and Kokubunji might be slightly smaller, but if so, it'd only be because they use older stock. For sure, the main lines (Shinjuku and Ikebukuro) are 20 m.

Tōkyū
Main lines (Tōyoko, Den'en Toshi, and Meguro) are 20 m cars. Kodomo no Kuni is 20 m since it's a modern line. Ōimachi might have some 20 m cars in the newer stock, but I know the older stock is shorter. The rest of the branch lines (Ikegami, Tamagawa) should be shorter than 20 m, probably 16 m or 18 m, but Ikegami Line stock may be even shorter than that.

For the "Yokohama one", I assume you're talking about Sōtetsu, which is all 20 m.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:15 PM   #4477
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I understand now. So it looks like there is only a minor variation in lengths, but it seems that the 20m is the standard length (established by JR)... so if it is a 10-car train, it's safe to assume that the total train length is 200m long. Looks like one full train is about a city block long.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 02:59 AM   #4478
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JR West announces refurbishment program for 221 series

Official press release:
http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/articl...108_05_221.pdf

These first debuted in 1989, becoming the new face of JR West following JNR dissolution in 1987. A total of 474 cars were manufactured through to 1993, and in the past, were primarily operated on special rapid and rapid services on the urban network in Kansai, including the JR Kyōto Line, Kōbe Line, Kansai Line, etc. This refurbishment will bring the design more in line with JR West’s newer 223 series and 225 series sets, which have now displaced them from many of the bigger lines in the network.

The refurbishment involves changing the interior design (larger, more visible straps and poles; LED information scrolls above doors; conversion of seats near doorways to pull-down seating) and implementing barrier-free improvements including upgrading the restrooms to be wheelchair-accessible and estsablishing new wheelchair areas.

Not in the press release, but they’re also doing some reinforcement of the car bodies, so I suspect that will be part of the refurbishment program for all of the cars.

Four-car Unit K12 testing on the Kyōto Line after undergoing refurbishment work at Suita Plant. In addition to the body work, the headlights were also upgraded to HID lamps and the destination signs have been replaced.

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Old January 10th, 2013, 03:00 AM   #4479
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Keihan 3000 series last run scheduled for 2013.03.31

The last run for the last remaining 3000 series limited express (officially reclassed as an 8030 series) has been set. The 3000 series were the third generation of Keihan limited expresses, manufactured between 1971 and 1973, and were famous for their color TVs, among other things. In fact, with the removal of the color TVs on the 8000 series, these are Keihan’s last “color TV” cars.

Eventually, they were replaced by the 8000 series, and its now time to say goodbye to the final set on their home ground, although ssecondhand cars are operating on the Toyama Chihō Railroad and Ōigawa Railway. Definitely a classic design with a simple, but nice livery.

Sankei video report from last year (2012.08):



Some recent clips (2012.12.23) when the set was assigned special Christmas Express runs:

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Old January 10th, 2013, 03:01 AM   #4480
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Trial shuttle bus routes begin service in Utsunomiya City
http://www.shimotsuke.co.jp/town/reg...0130109/955958

Quote:
 【宇都宮】市とバス事業者2社による「バス20+ 件路線新設社会実験」が9日始まり、市中心部を走る「中心市街地南循環線」とJR宇都宮駅東側の「平松本町線」の運行が始まった。来年3月までの1年3カ月間、市民の利用促進を図り、14年度からはバス会社による自主運行への移行を目指す。

 社会実験は公共交通が利用ができない、利用しづらいといった地域を解消し、誰もが使いやすい交通網を整備することが狙い。

 ユニオン通りで開かれた中心市街地南巡回線の運行開始式で、佐藤栄一市長は「本県は車普及率が日本一と、マイカーで移動する人が多い。年齢を重ねて運転ができなくなった場合でも、自力で生活できる交通網を構築したい」とあいさつ。午前9時50分ごろ、同通りにバスが到着すると、テープカットや体験乗車などが行われた。

バス20+ 件に体験乗車した、同通り商店街振興組合の松本宗樹理事長は「通り内に路線バス20+ 件が通ることで、利用促進につながる。商店街も魅力あるまちづくりに貢献したい」と歓迎した。











Not really big news, but perhaps interesting for the bus fans… This thing looks tiny, a smaller version of the already tiny Poncho. There are two routes:
  • A circulator running on a 40-min loop through the central city out of Tōbu Utsunomiya Station, operated by Tōya Transport (20 min headways peak, 30 min headways off-peak)
  • Another circulator running on a 40-min loop between the East Exit of JR Utsunomiya Station and Hiramatsu Honchō, operated by Kantō Bus (15-25 min headways peak, 30 min headways off-peak)
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