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Old January 16th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #4541
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I tried to take some photos of trains in the snow on Monday.
The only one that was any good was this one of two trams at Yamashita station on the Setagaya line

https://picasaweb.google.com/1117069...40026205642434
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Old January 16th, 2013, 07:20 PM   #4542
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar
conditions were indeed near Hokkaidoesque.
I really really wanted to get out there and snap some good pictures since I didn't have to work that day too, but it was really messy. A block away from my house, there is a road that takes all the buses that use Hiyoshi station into the rest of the neighborhood. There is a slight incline going towards the station and none of the buses had chains on them apparently and so they all went out of service literally in front of my home. I did get some pictures of that...
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Old January 16th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #4543
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Fukuoka City to operate trial non-stop bus services from Tenjin, Hakata to waterfront
http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/item/343614

Quote:
 福岡市は、中心市街地の天神、JR博多駅両地点と、福岡国際会議場などの集客施設が集まる博多港一帯のウオーターフロント(WF)地区をそれぞれ結び、バスの直行便を運行させる社会実験を25日~2月1日の間実施する。期間中の利用見込みは計6千人。市はWF地区の交通利便性向上を目指し、乗客の意向調査などを踏まえて定期運行も視野に入れる。

 市によると、天神、JR博多駅とWF地区は路線バスで結ばれているものの、市内外の来訪者から「運行ルートが分かりにくく、利用しづらい」と改善の要望があるという。期間中、全国規模の学会や動員力のあるコンサートも催されることから、直行便の試行で路線バス10+ 件の利用がどう変化するかも見極める。事業費は約450万円。

 実験運行は、天神(ソラリアステージ前)発着が約20分間隔で1日約30往復、運賃180円。JR博多駅発着が約15分間隔で1日40~50往復、運賃220円。所要時間は、路線バス10+ 件よりも5分程度短い10分間を予定する。車体の色を天神線は青、博多駅線は紺に統一。市は「直行便は周遊性向上の選択肢の一つ」と説明し、市街地に利用を促すポスターも掲示する。

ただ、今回の実験手法を疑問視する声もある。西鉄によると、平日に博多、天神両地区からWF地区に向かう路線バスは計500便を超す。九州大の角知憲教授(交通計画学)は「直行便を走らせるなら、まず路線バス10+ 件との役割分担が必要なはず。税金を使う実験にしては目的が曖昧で、効果が測りにくいのではないか」と指摘している。

This is a one-week trial service (January 25 to February 1) to connect Fukuoka’s two main terminals (JR Hakata Station and Tenjin Station) with the Port of Hakata waterfront area, which is home to numerous attractions and landmarks including the Fukuoka Convention Center, the Hakata Ferry Terminal, the Hakata Port Tower, via non-stop buses. Some visitors to Fukuoka have complained that the existing bus service to the waterfront is complicated and not user-friendly, so the city will conduct a ¥4.5 million trial of the service for a one-week period during which several large-scale events are planned along the waterfront, including a nationwide academic conference and a concert. The city will examine the resulting ridership changes, with the hope of eventually making the service permanent.

A total of 30 roundtrips a day (approx. 20-minute headways) will be provided on the Tenjin route, with a fare of ¥180. A total of 40 to 50 roundtrips a day (approx. 15-minute headways) will be provided on the JR Hakata route, with a fare of ¥220. The non-stop service will shave about five minutes of the current 15-minute trip (one-way) to and from the waterfront on existing services. The routes will be color-coded red for the Tenjin line and blue for the Hakata Station line.

Apparently, Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu) is a bit skeptical about the trial, though, as they say there is already a total of 500 trips from Hakata and Tenjin to the waterfront area. Interestingly, Fukuoka City doesn’t have municipally-operated bus services… Instead, most of the bus services are privately-operated, mostly by Nishitetsu Bus, and I suspect this trial service will simply be contracted out to Nishitetsu anyways. Nishitetsu is probably just looking at how they can direct some of the funding going into this trial service to the existing bus services, which makes sense.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 08:38 PM   #4544
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Tōkyō Metropolitan Government to tackle llegal bike parking in Tōkyō Station area
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...2230010-n1.htm

Quote:
 東京駅周辺の放置自転車増加問題で、東京都は16日、「首都の玄関」にふさわしい景観を守ろうと、関係団体を集めた会議を開き、本格的な対策に乗り出した。

 都によると、毎年10月、平日の晴れた1日を選んで駅から半径500メートル内に放置された自転車やオートバイの台数を調査。東京駅は平成19年、603台で36番目だったが22年は878台で3番目、23年は830台で赤羽駅(北区)に続き2番目に多かった。

 23年は都内全体で約4万2300台。19年に比べほぼ半減しており、東京駅の増加傾向が突出している。八重洲側(中央区)だけでなく、再開発や赤れんが駅舎の復元工事が進んだ丸の内側(千代田区)でも増え、歩行者の障害となっている。

都などは、近隣の晴海地区や豊洲地区で大型マンション建設が相次ぎ自転車通勤が増えたことや、駅周辺の駐輪場不足が背景にあるとみている。
The Tōkyō Metropolitan Government, along with other jurisdictions in Japan, frequently conduct these types of surveys to determine the need for formalized bike parking or other bike-related measures at stations, as a lot of passengers bike to and from stations but leave their bike on the sidewalk, blocking paths for pedestrians and disrupting emergency vehicle access.

The Tōkyō Metropolitan Government conducts its surveys on a clear weekday in October, covering a 500-meter radius around the stations. The latest surveys in 2010 and 2011 counted 878 (3rd highest across all surveyed stations) and 830 (2nd highest) bicycles or motorcycles around Tōkyō Station, up from 603 (36th highest) in 2007, likely due to the opening of new underground retail areas at the station as part of JR’s Tōkyō Station City project, although both the Marunouchi and Yaesu sides saw increases. This is in contrast to the total figure across all stations for 2009 (42,300), which is about half of the 2007 number. The Metropolitan Government also believes that increases in the number of biking commuters, particular with the condo buildout in the Harumi and Toyosu areas, is contributing to the problem, along with a lack of formal bike parking facilities.

A documentary regarding a bikesharing program in Sumida Ward. Some parts are shot in the Tōkyō Station area. Roppongi is building a 600-space underground bike parking facility. The bikesharing program in Sumida is being sponsored by Tōbu, covers 19 stations, and uses a fleet of 100 power-assisted bikes, but the program is interesting in that the pods are basically just stores in the neighborhood that have agreed to cooperate with the program (a necessity given the lack of sidewalks and open parcels) for bike parking.



Another episode focusing on Takamatsu City in Shikoku, which has an interesting bikesharing program that allows adult and student commuters coming into the city in the morning to borrow bikes for the last leg of their trip in central Takamatsu by providing nine pods throughout the city center, including a large underground bikepod at JR Takamatsu Station. The system is also popular with visitors from Shōdoshima, a mostly rural island just off the coast of Takamatsu… Island residents can come to Takamatsu and use the bikes for tourism or to purchase goods and services that aren’t available on the island. The other interesting thing about Takamatsu is that all of their bikes are actually repurposed bikes, originally seized by the city after their previous owners illegally parked them.

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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:04 PM   #4545
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New Nankai CM, focusing on their tourism resources in at the outer end of their network, including Mt. Kōya, the three Kumano shrines, the Kitayama River Gorge, and the hot springs at Katsuura:

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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:05 PM   #4546
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Gifu City wins MLIT Transport and Environment Award
http://www.gifu-np.co.jp/news/kennai...05_19134.shtml

Quote:
 地域の交通環境対策に関する取り組みで優れた実績を挙げた自治体や団体などを表彰する「第4回EST交通環境大賞」(交通エコロジー・モビリティ財団など主催)が16日発表され、岐阜市が大賞(国土交通大臣賞)を受賞した。幹線バス路線を強化し利便性を高める「岐阜市型BRT(バス高速輸送システム)」や市民協働のコミュニティバス運行が高い評価を受けた。

 同大賞は、地域の交通環境対策に関する取り組みを広く紹介し、普及を図ろうと2009年度に創設され、今年で4回目。大賞の受賞は県内では初めて。

 同市は10年度から同BRT化を推進。首都圏以外では初となる連節バスの導入や、長良橋通りや忠節橋通りなどのバスレーンの整備などを進め、利便性や快適性を高めたバスシステムを構築。コミュニティバス運行では地域住民が主体となった運営協議会を設置するなど、住民、行政、交通事業者が一体となった独自の取り組みを進めている。

 大賞受賞を受け、細江茂光市長は「大変喜ばしく思っている。引き続き、市民の協力を得ながら全国に誇れる交通政策の推進を図っていきたい」とコメントした。

 表彰式は2月22日に東京都内のホテルで行われる。

2011年から岐阜市で運行されている連節バス(同市提供)
The MLIT recognized the city’s efforts at establishing a BRT network, including introduction of articulated buses (the first to do so outside of Greater Tōkyō) and establishment of bus lanes on Nagarabashi-dōri and Chūsetsubashi-dōri, as well as creating special committees for community bus services led by local citizens.

Ride inside one of the Seiryū Liner artics (2012.11.24). These are Mercedes Benz Citaro models.

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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #4547
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Machida City establishes committee for Machida extension of Tama Monorail
http://www.asahi.com/travel/rail/new...301160464.html

Quote:
 【矢島大輔】多摩都市モノレールの延伸を求め、町田市が2月4日、「多摩都市モノレール町田方面延伸協議会」(仮称)を立ち上げる。北側の延伸を訴えている武蔵村山市に続き、南側の延伸を求める。石阪丈一市長は16日の会見で「(交通の便が悪い)多摩地域の南北の動線を強化したい」と話した。

 多摩都市モノレールは、多摩センター駅(多摩市)―上北台駅(東大和市)間の南北16キロを19駅で結ぶ。通勤・通学の定期利用客が半数を占める。JR立川駅前再開発やモノレール高松駅周辺への官公庁移転に伴い、乗客数が増え、1日10万人以上が利用する。

 一方、立川周辺の「一人勝ち」とも言われ、当初の構想にあった南北への延伸計画は採算性の観点などから見送られている。2000年の国の運輸政策審議会で、多摩センター駅から町田市までの13・2キロの区間は八王子市までの区間と並んで「今後、整備について検討すべき路線」とされたが、進展はなかった。
On 2013.02.04, Machida City will establish a special council to discuss the proposed southern extension of the Tama Monorail towards Machida. This follows a push by Musashi Murayama City calling for an extension of the line at its north end towards Hakonegasaki.

Currently, the monorail serves a critical role in providing north-south transportation in the Tama Hills of western Tōkyō. Daily ridership has been over 100,000 pax for some time now, and is increasing with the expansive redevelopment around JR Tachikawa as well as the relocation of government facilities to the area around Takamatsu Station. Due to uncertainties regarding profitability, however, no progress has been made on the various proposed extensions at the south and north ends, including an extension to Hachiōji, identified in the Transport Policy Council’s 2000 report.

Monorail ride and views of the developing Tachikawa City (2012.03.13).

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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:08 PM   #4548
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Tōkyū redevelopment at Musashi Kosugi to open April 2
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...3A110C1L82000/

Quote:
 東京急行電鉄などは16日、東急東横線・目黒線の武蔵小杉駅南口地区の再開発ビルの商業施設部分に入居するテナントの概要を発表した。駅改札口に直結するショッピングセンター「武蔵小杉東急スクエア」にユニクロや総菜など98店が入る。このほか地権者店舗として食品スーパーのマルエツが出店する。4月2日に開業する。

 東急スクエアは4つのエリア(飲食店、衣料品や雑貨売り場、総菜や菓子売り場、保育所や学童保育施設)で構成し、98店が出店する。建設中の駅ビル(4~5階)と西側隣で建設中の複合高層ビル(1~4階)の2棟に入居する。

 駅を挟んで東側で建設中の複合高層ビルの1~4階には医療モールなどが入居する予定で、2014年春に完成する。

 また、東急や再開発組合は16日、建設中のビル3棟からなる再開発エリアの統一名称を「小杉コアタウン」に決定したと発表した。
As condo towers continue to sprout up at Musashi Kosugi, Tōkyū has announced the details of the retail portion of its redevelopment building at the station, which will include a total of 98 stores. The new shopping center, to be called Musashi Kosugi Tōkyū Square, will feature anchor tenants including Uniqlo and Maruetsu (supermarket), as well as nursery school facilities. The center will occupy floors 1 through 4 of a mixed-use high-rise being built on the west side of the five-story station tenant building being constructed by Tōkyū. Other developments around the station include a medical “mall” on the first four floors of another mixed-use high-rise currently under construction on the east side of the station, scheduled to open in Spring 2014. Apparently, Tōkyū has already branded this redevelopment area, including its three buildings under construction, as “Kosugi Core Town”.

Walking from JR Musashi Kosugi to Tōkyū Musashi Kosugi (2012.03.25):

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Old January 18th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #4549
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Tokyu, Yokohama Rapid Railway, Tokyo Metro, Seibu, Tobu begin coordinated PR campaign for tourism in advance of Toyoko/Fukutoshin connection opening

All 5 companies that will run trains along the route are actively promoting the advantages gained by the link at this time. Up until now, that only meant just having posters on the trains, or even TV commercials. But now all 5 companies and the companies and communities they serve are teaming up to show folks the benefits of touring the attractions along the soon to be linked routes.

For example, on my return home from work, I was greeted by Tobu Railway staff who were standing in the plaza of Hiyoshi station (Tokyu Toyoko line) with representatives from Wako, Kawagoe and Chichibu cities--all located on the Tojo line-- to promote tourism to that area.

In addition, these new posters came out and can be seen in the trains stations that the line will serve and on board the trains themselves.

(top left) 2013.3.16 We'll connect at Shibuya
(top mid) Kawagoe city's Little Edo Village historical area (Tobu tojo line)
(top right) Chichibu Hitsujiyama Park (Seibu Chichibu line)/Tokorozawa Airfield Park (Seibu Ikebukuro line)
(bottom left) Shinjuku Gyoen Park (Fukutoshin line)
(bottom mid) Tokyu Hikarie Tower (Tokyu Toyoko line)
(bottom right) Hikawa-Maru Ship/Yokohama Chinatown (Minato-Mirai Line)



Also starting on 1/21/2013, trains on all 5 companies will be sporting these posters on the outside in the form of vinyl wrapping as well.


I think I'll be doing my cherry-blossom viewing (and drinking) in Chichibu Park this year since it's easy to get to now.

Here's a video of a Tobu 50070 series A-Train testing on the Toyoko line at Yokohama Station.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #4550
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Fukutoshin/Toyoko lines Shibuya Connection Update Extra
track shift method at Daikanyama station

Thanks to GOOGLE and tetsudo.com I dug up a few things I've been curious about for months about this project: How the heck are they gonna switch the tracks into the new tunnel in only 4 1/2 hours in the overnight hours of March 16th?

Back in August 2012, when Keio switched the trains onto its undergrounded Chofu Junction and 3 stations section of its main line, we got to see a method called STRUM(Shifting Track Right Under Method) which involves building the new downgrade into the tunnel underneath the operating tracks which are held on temporary scaffolding. Then lifting the temporary tracks covering the tunnel portal up and away when the switch happens.


Keio Chofu Tunnel Entrance. Temporary tracks lifted out of the way with new tracks in operation

This same method with a slight modification is being used at Daikanyama station on the Toyoko line now.


In this diagram, the red sections are new tunnel, the green sections will be lifted on a gantry using STRUM, the purple sections will be lifted out by a crane, and the blue section will drop down into the new trackbed to conform to the new gradient. The remaining gold section will just have it's ballast adjusted to make the transition smoother.
Also of note is that the crossing just to the east of the station will become an overpass now. I assumed it would be closed because trains would't be able to desend into the tunnel in a short distance...But that's before seeing that it's a 35% grade in the tunnel itself. You can't see ANYTHING from the surface at all. No portal or anything, so it was a mystery until now.

Also remember, they'll need to be stringing new cantenary at the same time they do this switch with the tracks, AND move things around in the 60% of Daikanyama station that will be lowered as well. It's going to be a small army over there, and I'm scouting locations now where I can set up and get it all on camera somehow; They may block it all off while they do all this. If I can get some video or pix, I'll post it up here for all to see! Of course I'm also going to try to get a first ride into the tunnel as well. Should be an exciting day!


Tokyo Metro 10000, Tobu 9000, Seibu 6000 series trains hanging out in Motosumiyoshi Yard after our snowstorm this week


Don't know where this was shot, but I found it on twitter. There are no 快速 Rapid Expresses on the Toyoko Line, and that headsign says Motomachi-Chukagai. Perhaps a test for an upcoming service change?
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Old January 19th, 2013, 12:13 AM   #4551
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It's just crazy that they can do stuff like this in such a short time, that's some truly amazing engineering.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 02:09 AM   #4552
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Quote:
There are no 快速 Rapid Expresses on the Toyoko Line, and that headsign says Motomachi-Chukagai. Perhaps a test for an upcoming service change?
There is some speculation that run-through Tokyu ltd express services (tokkyu) will be renamed as rapid expresses (kaisoku kyuko) as limited express trains on the Tobu and Seibu Railways are premium fare services. This is to prevent any possible customer confusion.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 01:55 PM   #4553
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that makes lots of sense. Most other railways have 特急 as premium services actually, right?

So I guess 通勤特急 → 通勤快速 too... hmmm.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 08:34 PM   #4554
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momo1435 View Post
It's just crazy that they can do stuff like this in such a short time, that's some truly amazing engineering.
I might add, that's superb engineering indeed, moving the old railway tracks above the new, sloped tracks towards a new tunnel while keeping the remaining ground-level tracks... I am just amazed by how Japanese railway engineers do their stuff meticulously while keeping up with the timeframe towards the Fukutoshin Line integration with four other rail agencies.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #4555
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Mitsubishi Electric to begin export of new SiC inverters
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...3A110C1TJ1000/

Quote:
 三菱電機は2013年から鉄道車両向けの省エネ型インバーター(電力変換装置)を海外に輸出する。電力損失を減らせるSiC(炭化ケイ素)製パワー半導体を使った製品で、ウクライナのキエフ市の地下鉄車両に納入する。日本の地下鉄車両で約4割の省エネ効果が実証されており海外展開を急ぐ。鉄道向け省エネ型インバーターの輸出は日本勢で初めて。

 キエフ市営地下鉄で13年から更新される車両用機器として納入する。直流750ボルトの架線に対応したインバーターで日本で生産して輸出する。同様の製品は日本で東京メトロ銀座線の営業用車両に試験的に搭載している。SiCを使わない製品を搭載した場合に比べて、省エネ効果が高まることが実証されている。

 キエフ市営地下鉄に搭載するインバーターなどの機器は、12年10月に伊藤忠商事がウクライナの鉄道車両メーカーと納入契約を結んだ。三菱電機や富士電機など日本メーカーの最新技術を使って既存の車両用の電機品を更新し、消費電力を減らすことを目指している。

 SiC製パワー半導体を搭載したインバーターは日本勢が強く、東芝や日立製作所など国内大手も開発を進めている。
I believe I posted something about these inversters previously… They consume about 40% less electricity by using silicon carbide semiconductors that reduce power loss, based on tests conducted on the Tōkyō Metro Ginza Line. Mitsubishi Electric will now be the first Japanese manufacturer to offer this produce for the export market, starting this year.

This is part of a contract that Itōchū Corporation signed with a Ukrainian railcar manufacturer for the refurbishment of Kiev Metro cars. Mitsubishi Electric and Fuji Electric will provide new electrical equipment as part of this refurbishment.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 08:57 AM   #4556
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Hiroden pushes for elevated alignment into Hiroshima Station
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Sp201301190070.html

Quote:
 広島電鉄(広島市中区)の椋田昌夫社長は18日、中国新聞の取材に対し、JR広島駅南口(南区)に乗り入れる路面電車の新線の構想について、高架方式で進める考えを明らかにした。越智秀信前社長(現取締役)が目指した地下方式から方針を転換した。

 高架方式を主張するJR西日本広島支社(東区)と意見が一致する形となる。広島市による乗り入れ方式の検討が進む可能性が出てきた。

 新線「駅前大橋線」について椋田社長は「JRとの乗り換えなどを考えると高架の方が良い」と説明。地下より高架で広島駅に乗り入れた方が、乗客がJRに乗り換えやすいとした。今後、市や関係機関と協議を進める。

 越智前社長はこれまで「高架は柱を立てる分、車道が減り、交通に影響が出る。美観も損なう」と地下方式を主張。「高架が最善」とするJR西日本広島支社の杉木孝行支社長と、方針が食い違っていた。杉木支社長は、駅ビルを建て替えてビル内に路面電車のホームを整備する可能性も示している。

 新線の検討を進める広島市都市交通部は引き続き、地下と高架の2案を比較、評価する方針。「(2案から)絞った案を現行ルートと比較し、広電以外の交通事業者や住民の意見も踏まえて判断する」としている。

 広電の取締役会は8日、「経営手法が独断的」などとして越智前社長を解任した。(桑島美帆、加納亜弥)

Looks like the leadership changes at Hiroden won’t affect this project too much after all. The other interesting tidbit here is that the president of JR West’s Hiroshima office has mentioned the possibility of bringing Hiroden trains directly into the station building. They will be replacing the station building anyways, so this will make transferring between JR and Hiroden a breeze if realized.

New 1000 series (Unit 1001) out testing on the Miyajima Line:

Between Jigozen and Ajina Higashi.
These scenes sort of remind me of the Enoden…



Between Miyauchi and Hatsukaichi Shiyakusho-mae (Hera):



On the Eba Line in central Hiroshima, between Funairi Minami-machi and Eba:

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Old January 20th, 2013, 08:59 AM   #4557
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Check-in station for Hiroshima Airport coming to JR Shiraichi Station
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201301190135.html

Quote:
 広島県は18日、広島空港(三原市)にJR山陽線で行きやすくする最寄り駅の白市駅(東広島市)の改善案を発表した。搭乗手続きや手荷物検査ができる施設を併設し、駅からバスで飛行機に直行する構想を盛り込んでいる。駅利用者が少ない現状では実現へのハードルは高いものの、県は広島都市圏からのアクセス改善の切り札として検討を進める。

 改善案によると、駅に併設するのは「広島エアターミナル(HAT、仮称)」。搭乗手続きや手荷物検査の設備に加え、待合室やトイレ、土産物などの売店がある。空港のターミナル機能を丸ごと、白市駅に備える形をイメージしている。

 山陽線を利用して空港に向かう場合、白市駅で降りてHATで搭乗に必要な手続きを済ませた後、専用バスで9・9キロ先の空港に移動。飛行機の近くで降車し機内に直接乗り込む。こうした搭乗方法は国内に先例がない。

 改善案には、HATの整備費や運営費、整備の目標時期を示していない。広島空港の利用者に交通手段を聞いた2012年9月のインターネット調査で白市駅の利用者は7%にとどまる中、構想の実現には「白市駅の利用者増が不可欠」と強調。HATを将来の検討課題と位置付ける。

 広島都市圏から空港へのアクセスは山陽自動車道を通るリムジンバスが主力だが、事故や渋滞のたびに運休や遅れが生じる。このため定時性の高いJRの活用策を、県や航空会社、バス事業者などでつくる県空港振興協議会の作業部会が研究。12年12月、白市駅の改善案をまとめた。

 部会事務局の県空港振興課は「HAT整備には多額の投資とともに航空会社との調整が必要。まずJRの利用者を大幅に増やさないといけない」と指摘。改善案は当面、エレベーター設置による白市駅のバリアフリー化を進め、JR西日本の協力を得て快速列車が停車する「拠点駅」を目指すよう提言する。



On 2013.01.18, Hiroshima Station announced a plan for upgrades to Shiraichi Station (Higashi-Hiroshima City) on the JR San’yō Line, which is the closest station to Hiroshima Airport. The Shinkansen has the majority share for intercity traffic to and from Tōkyō, but these plans are designed to improve the connections to the airport by constructing a new facility (the Hiroshima Air Terminal) allowing check-in and baggage screening at the train station. Passengers would then board a special bus that would take them directly to their plane at the airport about 10 km from the station.

Currently, only 7% of Hiroshima Airport users use Shiraichi Station, with airport express buses via the San’yō Expressway capturing the majority share of public transit users heading to and from the airport. However, accidents and congestion on the expressway frequently cause delays or cancellations for express buses. By train, however, it still takes 45 minutes to get from Hiroshima Station to Shirachi Station, and then another 15 minutes on a connecting bus to get to the airport.

The first goal in the vision is to increase ridership at the station, which is currently stalled at about 3,900 average daily boardings and alightings (FY2011). The first improvements coming in FY2014 will be barrier-free upgrades (new platform bridges and elevators to make it easier for passengers with luggage to use the station. In FY2013, the Prefecture will also test out adding trips to existing airport express bus service at Shiraichi Station. In the future, the Prefecture is also hoping that JR will have rapid trains begin stopping at the station.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:01 AM   #4558
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Seismic retrofit and rehabilitation of Iehisa Station complete
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/fuk...OYT8T01329.htm

Quote:
 福井鉄道福武線の家久駅(越前市家久町)で昨年10月から行われていた駅舎の改修工事が完了し、19日、記念式典が開かれた。

 木造平屋(約100平方メートル)の無人駅で、福井鉄道で最も古い駅の一つ。1924年の開業以来、部分的な補修しか行われず、老朽化が激しかったため、国と県の補助金1800万円を使って工事が進められた。

 地域住民の要望を踏まえて外観は変えずに屋根瓦や、腐った柱を取り換え、筋交いなどを入れる耐震補強を施した。トイレを1室から3室に増設したほか、自転車置き場と待合室を分離し、利便性も向上させた。

 式典では村田治夫社長が「人間で言えば米寿を超え、福武線の歴史そのもの。改修できたのは地元などの支援のおかげ」とあいさつし、奈良俊幸市長が「小学生の頃から使っていたのでうれしい。利用者が増えるよう頑張りたい」と述べた。

改修工事を終えた家久駅(越前市家久町で)
This is a tiny station on a tiny line (Fukui Railway Fukubu Line)… Don’t have any pictures, but it looks like they were able to preserve most of the structure (mostly unchanged since 1924 other than some partial repair work carried out in previous years), although the cross-bracing they put in looks a bit out of place. Can’t wait to see the larger improvements in the pipeline, including new rolling stock and connection and through-service with Echizen Railway.

Fukui Railway has an interesting fleet of trains, some of which are quite distinct… Definitely worth a visit for the railfans.

200 series articulated units, debuted 1960 and 1962 for express services, with mixed transverse and longitudinal seating:



Secondhand cars from the Nagoya Municipal Subway Meijō Line. Pretty awesome second life for subway cars.



Secondhand trains from abandoned Meitetsu lines in the Nagoya area, including the Gifu City Line, Minomachi Line, and Tagami Line:

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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:02 AM   #4559
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Station plaza improvements at Mikawa Shiotsu Station completed
http://www.higashiaichi.co.jp/newspa.../13011401.html

Quote:
 蒲郡市竹谷町油井地内のJR東海道本線三河塩津駅前で市が整備していた駅前広場が完成した。ロータリーを拡張し、新たな駐輪場も設けた。今後、駅と旧国道23号を結ぶ市道(油井20号線)を整備し、利便性の向上を図る。
(安藤聡)

 三河塩津駅のほか、名鉄蒲郡線競艇場前駅が併設され、朝夕は主に東海道本線や名鉄線で通勤通学する市民、蒲郡ボートレース場開催時には入場客が利用している。朝夕の送迎時は駅南側の旧国道23号線眺海橋南交差点との市道(延長約120メートル)が渋滞するようになったため、ロータリーを拡張し、西側に新しい市道を整備している。
 工事では、ロータリーの広さを2500平方メートルとした。これまで800平方メートルだったスペースを3倍以上に広げ、送迎レーンを確保した。自転車など二輪車用の駐輪場も整備し、名鉄線プラットホームわき、ロータリーの南側、東側の3カ所に設けた。
 西側部分には旧国道と結ぶ市道を整備し、U字型にして駅へのアクセスを良くする。また、歩道中央には街路樹(ハナミズキ)を計24本を植え、通り側を自転車用、外側を歩道用としての利用を呼び掛ける。
 市は、駅からボートレース場まで上空通路を建設する予定だったが、2009(平成21)年3月に断念、道路と駅前広場とする計画に変更した。道路は3月下旬から使用できるようにする。
This is a minor station on the (JR Central) Tōkaidō Line in Gamagōri City, Aichi Prefecture, immediately adjacent to the Gamagōri Kyōteijō-mae Station on the Meitetsu Gamagōri Line. Although comparatively minor, the stations serve a fair amount of commuter traffic and are particularly important due to the proximity of the Gamagōri Boat Racecourse. During morning and evening rush hour, there was extensive traffic congestion leading out of the station, so the traffic circle at the station plaza was expanded from 800 sq m to 2,500 sq m, securing a kiss-and-ride zone. A new road to open in late March is being constructed on the west side from the station to National Route 23, and three new bike and motorcycle parking areas were constructed (two on either side of the traffic circle and one next to the platforms at the Meitetsu station).

The original plan was more elaborate and involved constructing a pedestrian bridge directly connecting the station and the racecourse, but that idea was shelved in 2009.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:04 AM   #4560
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Ayase City tests artics on proposed Ebina – Shōnandai route
http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1301170016/

Quote:
 綾瀬市が通常の路線バスの2倍の乗客を運べる連節バスを使った社会実験を行った。市内には鉄道の駅がないため、市は海老名駅(海老名市)から綾瀬市中心部を通り、湘南台駅(藤沢市)に抜ける路線を構想中。13日に行われた実験には100人ほどの市民が連節バスに乗り、関心の高さをうかがわせた。

 鉄道の駅がないため、市内には駅誘致を求める意見の一方、バス路線の増加で公共交通を拡充する考え方もある。笠間城治郎市長は後者で、海老名駅から幹線道路を通り、(1)2017年度の供用開始を目指す東名高速道路綾瀬インター(仮称)(2)市役所(3)市が市南部の深谷落合地区で進める工業系の新産業拠点-を通り、湘南台駅に至る12・2キロの路線を構想している。

 「両駅を通じて市外に出る市民と、市外から新産業拠点に働きに来る通勤客の利便性の向上が狙い」と市都市政策課。構想実現へ、市は都市交通に詳しい横浜国立大の中村文彦教授と協力し、11、12年度の2年間で社会実験を行っている。11年度は通常の路線バスを使い、海老名駅-湘南台駅を走らせた。

 13日の実験に使った連節バスは神奈川中央交通が湘南台駅-慶応大湘南藤沢キャンパス間で走らせている。列車のように車両2両をつないで運行する。座席数は45人分あり、定員は128人と路線バスの2倍ほどという。

 当日は実際に、連節バスに公募の市民を乗せ、現在は路線がない綾瀬市役所から湘南台駅までの7・5キロを片道20分かけ、2往復した。事前に予約した90人のほか、20人が当日参加した。同課は「実験で集まったデータを、構想実現へ向けた検討材料としたい」と話している。
Ayase City is a comparatively small city in the southwestern part of the metropolis… It’s located sort if in a no-man’s land that doesn’t actually have a rail station within city limits, although stations on the Sōtetsu Main Line and Odakyū Enoshima Line come very close to the city’s boundaries.

Basically, they want to do a trial service with articulated buses on a proposed 12.2 km route between Ebina Station (Odakyū Odawara Line, Sōtetsu Main Line, and JR Sagami Line) and Shōnandai Station (Sōtetsu Izumino Line and Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line) via central Ayase. In particular, the route would pass by Ayase City Hall and a new manufacturing and industrial hub being created in the Fukaya–Ochiai area of southern Ayase. Obviously, this has benefits in both connecting Ayase residents with two major suburban rail stations as well as securing the “last leg” on transit for commuters who would be working at the new industrial hub.

They tested this route in FY2011 and FY2012 as a trial service using standard-sized buses, but on 2013.01.13, they did a special trial (more like an excursion, really) with a “Twin Liner” artic borrowed form Kanachū.
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