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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #441
quashlo
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JR East continues construction of wind fences
http://mytown.asahi.com/saitama/news...00380909260001

Quote:
According to Saitama Prefecture, rivers compose 3.9 percent of prefectural land—the highest of all prefectures in Japan. Included in the list are the Tone River and Edo River, which form the prefectural borders, and the Arakawa River, starting in Oku-Chichibu and running through the prefecture. There are many bridges across Saitama’s rivers, supporting regional interaction and trade.

There are a total of seven bridges crossing the Arakawa River alone inside Saitama: starting from the source of the river, the JR Hachikō Line, Tōbu Tōjō Line, JR Kawagoe Line, JR Musashino Line, JR Tōhoku Shinkansen / Saikyō Line, and JR Tōhoku Line / Keihin-Tōhoku Line.

Among them is the Musashino Line’s Arakawa Bridge, at 1290 m in length, the longest of all non-Shinkansen lines in Japan. Installation of a wind fence is currently continuing on the Musashino Line’s Arakawa Bridge. When wind speeds exceed the specified limits, trains are forced to travel at slower speeds or not run at all, impacting on-time performance.

As a result, JR East is installing wind fences on its bridges and other wind-susceptible facilities to ensure safe and stable operations.

However, construction work along riverbeds is subject to a variety of constraints. The rivers go through dry periods and flood periods, meaning construction is strictly limited to the wintertime. When there is a possibility of increased flows, workers are forced to immediately remove all equipment and work cars.

“At specific locations where steel plates were laid out on the ground, we’ve taken special measures, including using special pavements that eliminate the need for equipment to be removed,” said project manager Iwasawa Ippei (38) of JR East’s Ōmiya Civil Engineering Center.

Construction is already finished on the Kawagoe Line’s Arakawa Bridge, where a wind fence was installed on the north side of the bridge. JR East also plans on installing wind fences on the east side of the Musashino Line’s Arakawa Bridge. After a year of surveys, data indicated that winds from downstream had a tendency for high speeds. The construction is scheduled to be finished in December 2010.

In addition to installing wind fences, JR East is also introducing a strong wind warning system that projects wind speeds several hours into the future using current data from amenometers.

Another concern with strong winds is fallen trees and branches. Along the Kawagoe Line are locations with trees over 10 m tall and trees infected by blight or pests. Working together with residents along the line, the Civil Engineering Center is removing trees with a high possibility of falling during strong winds. Crews regularly check areas along the right-of-way, preventing danger before it happens.

In addition, precaution is needed against typhoons. Seasonal winds unique to the Kantō Plain will begin blowing soon. The vigilance of railways and their employees continues.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #442
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Seven Tōkyū stations to receive platform barriers following accident
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00600.htm

Quote:
Following the death on September 13 of an 81yo woman in a wheelchair from Kawasaki City who had rolled off the platform at Tamagawa Station on the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line in Ōta Ward, Tōkyō, Tōkyū Corporation performed an emergency survey of platforms at its stations and concluded that platforms at seven other stations had grades steep enough to result in similar accidents from fallen passengers in wheelchairs.

Tōkyū Corporation will deploy guards on platforms at the seven stations and install platform barriers by the end of November to help prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks.

According to representatives from the company, the identified stations include Shin-Maruko, Naka-Meguro, Jiyūgaoka, and Musashi Kosugi on the Tōyoko Line, and Shibuya, Saginuma, and Nagatsuta on the Den’en Toshi Line. A similar incident occurred at Tamagawa Station two years earlier, when a female passenger in a wheelchair fell from the platform and suffered severe injuries, but the railway says that no other incidents of passengers in wheelchairs falling from platforms as a result of platform slope occurred.

As a result of the recent incident, the railway conducted a survey of 54 of its stations which had elevators but lacked barriers to help prevent passengers from falling off the platform. At the scene of the accident at Tamagawa Station, a vertical difference of 2.5 cm per horizontal meter was observed at the platform. The survey identified locations where the vertical difference was 2.0 cm or more per horizontal meter.

The survey concluded that the platform slope greater than 2 cm per meter was created as a result of leveling height differences between elevator locations and the platforms.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #443
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Koshigaya Station East Exit redevelopment begins construction
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/sa...702000087.html

Quote:
A little over 20 years after proposals first surfaced, the East Exit Urban Redevelopment Project for Koshigaya Station on the Tōbu Isesaki Line in Koshigaya City has finally begun construction. Construction of the station plaza and mixed-use commercial facility and high-rise condominium tower is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, becoming part of the new face of Koshigaya City.

The East Exit of the station is the central core of the city, with City Hall, offices, and retail, but as a result of the declining shopping district outside the station and other concerns, the city initiated a redevelopment plan in 1988 focusing on commercial facilities, holding special public meetings to introduce the project to city residents. In 1991, residents formed a working group, and an urban plan centered around a branch of Maruhiro Department Stores (HQ: Kawagoe City) was approved in 1997. Due to financial circumstances and other reasons, Maruhiro backed out of the project. In 2006, the plan was revised to a commercial facility with condominiums, and a new working group was established in 2007.

The parcels under the redevelopment plan comprise an area of 27,000 sq m. Block A consists of approximately 7,500 sq m of land and will feature a 29-story tower with a first-floor supermarket and retail space up to the fourth floor. The fifth floor and above will contain 397 condominium units. Block B consists of approximately 5,500 sq m of land and will feature a five-story building (with an additional underground level) and a parking structure with approximately 400 spaces. In addition, the station plaza will be doubled from the current 3,500 sq m and be redesigned to include a traffic circle to enhance the station’s image as a gateway to the city. Roadways in the vicinity of the station will also be widened.
Koshigaya City project page: http://www2.city.koshigaya.saitama.j...eki/index.html


Source: Koshigaya Station East Exit Urban Redevelopment Union

Koshigaya Station is a minor station on the Tōbu Isesaki Line, with approximately 46,000 daily entries and exits.

Platforms. The station consists of four tracks and two island platforms, plus two outside passing tracks.
image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr

West Exit of the station:
image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr

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Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #444
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New North Exit station plaza at JR Gifu Station opens
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/gif...OYT8T00896.htm

Quote:
On September 26, Gifu City held a ceremony to celebrate the completion of construction of the station plaza at the North Exit of JR Gifu Station. The 3 m tall bronze statue of Oda Nobunaga, covered in gold leaf and created through donations from local businesses and city residents, was also revealed to the public, helping to reshape the gateway to the capital of Gifu Prefecture.

The plan for the North Exit station plaza was approved as an urban plan in November 2002. The basic design theme was “a station in the midst of a forest,” surrounded by greenery, and included a pedestrian deck called the “Forest Bridge,” as well as creation of open spaces called “Tranquil Village” and “Nobunaga Dream Plaza,” featuring mature planted trees. The total project cost was approximately ¥10.3 billion, which will be split between the national government and the city.

The Forest Bridge (612 m in length) opened to the public in October 2008, while the Tranquil Village open space (2,240 sq m) was completed in May of this year. With the completion of the Nobunaga Dream Plaza (1,800 sq m) on September 26, construction of the North Exit station plaza is now complete.

Gifu Prefecture governor Furuta Hajime and Gifu City mayor Hosoe Shigemitsu attended the opening ceremony, which commemorated a new image for Gifu City’s gateway and featured the unveiling of Nobunaga’s statue, as well as a choir performance by 1,200 nursery school children.

In addition, to commemorate the completion of the new station plaza, various events—including live performances by Gifu Gakuza and festivals outside the station—will be held primarily on weekends and holidays from September 27 to October 24.
New station plaza.
image hosted on flickr

Source: The 2-Belo on Flickr

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Source: The 2-Belo on Flickr

View of JR Gifu Station taken from Gifu Tower.
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Source: The 2-Belo on Flickr
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #445
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Toden Arakawa Line: Last survivor
http://mytown.asahi.com/yamanashi/ne...00220909250001

Quote:
There’s a certain elegance to the scene of a running streetcar. The small tram, shaped like a matchbox, rattles along, rolling side to side past rows of houses. For some strange reason, I feel at ease just watching the train roll by.

The approx. 12 km Toden Arakawa Line, linking Waseda (Shinjuku Ward, Tōkyō) and Minowabashi (Arakawa Ward), is one of the few lines in Tōkyō that retains its neighborhood feel. Of all the tram lines that once ran in mixed flow on the streets of Tōkyō, the Arakawa Line is the last remaining.

The Toden Arakawa Line’s journey begins at the back end of Waseda University, in a quiet “college town” neighborhood. Occasionally one can hear the sound of a trumpet from tōfu makers on their bikes. The journey to the terminal, Minowabashi, is 30 stations and about 50 minutes long, with plenty of must-see spots along the line.

One place to visit is Kishibojin-mae, the third stop after Waseda. Sheltered behind rows of Japanese zelkova is a temple dedicated to Kishibojin, the god of childbirth and childrearing. Who knew that at the foot of the Sunshine 60 skyscraper, which fills the entire window of the tram, there was such a quiet and serene place? The candy shop inside the temple grounds was supposedly established in 1781.

Just a little ways up is Zōshigaya Cemetary, where legendary authors including Natsume Sōseki and Nagai Kafū rest. Two stops after Ōtsuka Eki-mae is Kōshinzuka, the entrance to the temple for Sugamo’s Togenuki Jizō, said to help heal all sorts of illness. Near the following stop at Shin-Kōshinzuka is the grave of the real-life O-Iwa-sama from the famous ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. The temple is Myōgōji Temple.

After passing Asukayama, the tram joins a large boulevard for a while. Inside Asukayama Park are the archives of former Finance Minister and industrialist Shibusawa Eiichi, who built the foundations of Japan’s capitalist economy. The Western-style Seien Bunko building and Bankōro tearoom in the Shibusawa Gardens hark back to the dawn of modern Japan, while the old albums on top of the table bring visitors back in time.

After passing Ōji Eki-mae, the scenery outside the window gradually takes on the aura of the shitamachi, Tōkyō’s historically working-class neighborhoods. A retro tram dressed in Shōwa style sits just outside Arakawa Car Barn. A little further up is Arakawa Amusement Park, which opened in 1922. After getting off at the terminal Minowabashi, passengers are greeted by one of many commercial streets in the shitamachi areas.
Daytime scenes on the Arakawa Line, Asukayama Station:

Source: nobu0362 on YouTube

Nighttime scenes, Ōtsuka Eki-mae:

Source: KITAKIKENTA on YouTube

Daytime scenes, Higashi-Ikebukuro:

Source: KITAKIKENTA on YouTube
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #446
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An investigative look at chikan
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/cri...1302004-n1.htm

Quote:
Gather at the end of Saikyō Line Platform 4 on Friday at 18:00.

With a rampant flood of online message boards for chikan (train gropers), police authorities are honing their senses. According to the Tōkyō Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), over 100 “groper message boards” have been identified on the Internet. In addition to posters who boast about their “achievements,” there are cases of groups of members identifying specific dates and times to meet and attack victims. The MPD has directly linked these cases to actual incidents, and admitted that these situations have resulted in some trains becoming “groper trains.” The MPD has tightened its control, forcing message board administrators to delete messages and deploying investigators onto platforms. We attempted to get a closer look at the “groper network” developing on the Internet and the situation inside trains…

Saikyō Line: The perfect target?
“After hearing about it so much on the Net, I wanted to see for myself whether the Saikyō Line was really as good as they said”—that’s what one male office worker (23yo) described to MPD detectives as his motive after being arrested for groping, in violation of the Tōkyō Metropolitan Nuisance Prevention Ordinance. In April this year, the man was caught touching a female high school student inside a Saikyō Line train between Akabane and Jūjō in Tōkyō.

The “Net” the man was referring to was message board website 2ch. There are several threads devoted specifically to groping on 2ch, with tipsters even giving directions as to “the best times of the day to grope.”

The one line most frequently brought up on these groper message boards is the Saikyō Line.

According to the MPD, recorded incidents of groping inside trains in Tōkyō Prefecture for the past five years is anywhere between 1,500 to 1,800 cases per year. A total of 708 incidents were recorded in the first half of this year, with over 10 percent (75 cases) occurring inside Saikyō Line trains. In particular, approximately 40 percent of incidents are concentrated in the 7:00 am to 8:00 am hour during the morning rush hour. Approximately 60 percent of the victims were between the ages of 15 and 24.

“Depending on the train, the doors on one side may stay closed for over 15 minutes. As a result, the space near the doors that don’t open becomes a sort of ‘enclosed space’ where nobody moves, possibly making it a favorable spot for perpetrators to commit their crimes,” say MPD top brass, dissecting the reasons behind the Saikyō Line’s “popularity.”

There apparently are more than just a few cases of suspects who have heard the reputation and decide to joyride on the Saikyō Line with the express purpose of finding victims.

The arrested office employee discussed previously had gone to the trouble of requesting time off from work, coming to Tōkyō all the way from Shizuoka City. Taking multiple roundtrips on Saikyō Line trains during the morning rush hour, he singled out his victims.

Another male office worker (33yo), who was arrested in May for touching a female high school student inside a Saikyō Line train between Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, admitted he would use the Saikyō Line regardless of his commute route. “After seeing a mobile website devoted to groping, I couldn’t resist any longer,” he said.

Finding targets on the platform
Just what are Saikyō Line trains during the morning rush hour like? I decided to ride a train myself.

The train departing Shinjuku at 8:11 am was already a sardine can. Perhaps afraid of being mistaken for gropers, several male passengers inside the train took preemptive action, placing their belongings in between their feet and using both hands to grasp standee rings.

A large number of passengers exited at the next station, Ikebukuro, but a horde of passengers also entered, leaving the train just as packed as before. After Itabashi Station, I finally had some personal space before arriving at the terminal, Akabane Station.

As the train was scheduled to reverse direction back towards Shinjuku Station, I decided to board a train stopped on the opposite side of the same platform. When the doors on the train opened, the flood of passengers on the platforms rushed inside the train, becoming much more crowded than I had initially expected.

At the following stations, Jūjō and Itabashi, additional passengers made their way inside the train, making it impossible to even move. Some passengers scrunched their faces in pain, clearly having difficulty standing properly. The train was so crowded that without the announcements inside the train, it would have been impossible to know what station the train was at.

How can people even grope when it’s this crowded? After bringing my question to the MPD’s top detectives, I received the following response:

“The first car of Saikyō Line trains, which is filled with transferring passengers, allows for casual close contact with female passengers, and for habitual gropers, it’s actually a ‘paradise.’ But since the car is so crowded, it’s impossible to find targets after already boarding the train. So gropers find their female victims while waiting on the platforms, following behind them as they board the train.”

Special jargon
With limited time to choose their victims, information about which trains are “best for groping” is important information for habitual offenders.

Steady crowding happens from 17:00 to 18:00.
There’s gotta be a girl who can give me a feel, right?


Information exchange on these groper message boards is widespread, including some posters who even claim to be women asking to be groped.

While the MPD admits that the authenticity of these posts is difficult to prove, it believes that the number of cases where these posts have caused offenders to actually commit crimes is increasing.

Perhaps fearing the possibility of getting caught, posters on the message boards communicate with each other using special jargon:

I rode one train with loads of JK coming home from school.
Right in front of me are two K2 girls, legs spread open and laughing their mouths off.


“JK” is short for joshi kōsei (high school girl), while “K2” stands for a second-year high school student. There are also other abbreviations like “JC” for joshi chūgakusei (middle school girl) and “JD” for joshi daisei (college girl).

Boarded 1755 Shibu. Almost had one JK.

“1755” stands for 5:55 pm, likely in reference to the train’s departure time from Shibuya Station. Some posters use phrases like “OK JD” to indicate female university students who are being touched but can’t fight back.

”Group groping” with accomplices
The members of our group don’t know each other’s names or background, but we do “group groping.”

On one 2ch message board called “Saikyō Line group gropers,” this “introduction” was posted at the beginning. The MPD is on particular lookout for these cases, where posters call together a group of accomplices by setting a specific train and station at which to meet for group groping.

In July 2007, two male office workers in their 40s were arrested by the MPD for touching a female passenger in her 20s inside a Saikyō Line train.

One man stood in front of the victim while his accomplice stood behind the victim, each touching the victim’s buttocks. After the female passenger called the perpetrators out, the two men were arrested at the scene of the crime, in violation of the Nuisance Prevention Ordinance.

The man who had stood behind the victim said, “After I saw several people surrounding one woman, I figured the women didn’t mind much.”

Top detectives in the MPD believe there is a high probability that the posts on message boards calling for group groping lead to actual incidents, but because accomplices don’t actually consult each other beforehand, proving complicity is difficult. The two men arrested did not know each other.

How effective are countermeasures?
Faced with the situation, the MPD has stepped up its strategy against groping through a special campaign starting in mid-September called “STOP Groping!”

Starting with the Saikyō Line, a total of nine lines including the Yamanote Line and Chūō Line have been identified as “special alert lines,” with the MPD stepping up patrols of major stations along these lines. According to the MPD, “the eyes of pickpockets and gropers move similarly,” leading the MPD to deploy detectives specializing in pickpockets, as well as send plain-clothes officers inside trains. During the five-day campaign, a total of 31 cases of groping were identified.

The MPD will also now ask that message board administrators delete messages that promote groping, and there are cases of administrators voluntarily deleting messages as a result of the increased controls. However, deleting all the posts isn’t possible, and realistically, it’s only a recurring cycle.

And while the number of recorded incidents of groping in the first half of this year is 91 cases fewer than the first half of the last year, representatives involved with the investigations are wary, saying, “Arrests related to groping only happen when female victims file complaints with station agents and other authorities. A decrease in recorded incidents could simply mean that the number of unrecorded incidents has increased.”

After the MPD announced stricter enforcement, some posters on message boards ridiculed the strategy.

The trains don’t get full on holidays… I want contact, I want a feel.

“Even if these offenders treat this as some sort of game, it doesn’t change the face that groping is a despicable and grave crime. Once you’re caught, it’s the end for you,” warned MPD officials.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #447
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Tōkyō: Part 13

At JR Shibuya Station, we board a Shōnan-Shinjuku Line train for a trip into the Shōnan area of Tōkyō, west of Yokohama. Here, we are stopped at Ōsaki Station as a Saikyō Line train—here, the women-only car of the train—waits on the opposite side of the platform. The Saikyō Line and Shōnan-Shinjuku Line share tracks in the Yamanote Loop. We are actually a little higher up than typical because we are inside the upper deck of one of the green cars (first-class cars) on the train. JR trains on the Yokosuka Line, Tōkaidō Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Sōbu Line (rapid), Jōban Line (rapid), Utsunomiya Line, and Takasaki Line—all mid- to long-distance commuter EMUs—have two green cars in each consist. The green car fare is the typical distance-based fare, plus an additional fee to use the green car.

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Stopped at Yokohama. You can see some of the scaffolding as part of the Yokosuka Line / Shōnan-Shinjuku Line platform widening project.

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Typical JR signage. For the most part, JR East lines are color-coded, and for many lines, these colors match the beltlines on the trains. However, because JR East’s network is so large, there is overlap (different lines may share the same or similar colors), and in many cases, the beltlines or other parts of the trains may not match the color on signs or maps. Here, the Yokohama Line uses the same green as the Yamanote Line.

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We are traveling through the dense Tōkaidō corridor southwest from Tōkyō. These are bedroom towns for Yokohama and Tōkyō commuters, coming from as far as Atami Station in Shizuoka (105 km from Tōkyō), the border between JR East and JR Central control of the Tōkaidō Main Line. West of Atami, the Tōkaidō Main Line is under the jurisdiction of JR Central.

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Stopped at Totsuka Station (Totsuka Ward, Yokohama).

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Stopped at Ōfuna Station on the border of Yokohama and Kamakura City. Ōfuna is Kamakura’s largest station and a major JR hub (as well as the terminal of the Shōnan Monorail) located about 45 km from Tōkyō Station. JR Ōfuna sees 93,000 daily entries and is served by the Tōkaidō Line, Yokosuka Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, and Negishi Line (with through-service to the Yokohama Line and Keihin-Tōhoku Line).

The two machines on the platform are special machines used to buy green car tickets using Suica. When you enter the faregates of any station, your Suica card is set to deduct the normal distance-based fare when you pass through the faregates at your destination station, but to use the green car, you must also pay an additional fee using these machines, at which point your Suica card is set to deduct an additional green car fee when you board the green car. Each seat in the green car has a small overhead Suica card reader which you place your card over to complete the transaction.

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Bicycle parking at Ōfuna.

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Condo and apartment blocks along the line, in Kamakura.

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Crossing a small canal into Fujisawa City.

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Stopped at Fujisawa Station. Many young schoolchildren take trains to and from school with classmates.

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A suburban Japanese mall, Fujisawa City.

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Stopped at Chigasaki Station, the transfer station for the Sagami Line, one of JR’s periphery suburban lines that connects with Sagamihara City in northern Kanagawa Prefecture.

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Approaching Hiratsuka Station, Hiratsuka City. For JR lines, which were originally part of the national rail network, there is generally a station for each of the smaller cities and towns along the line. Stop spacing is a little larger than for private railways, which mostly originally developed as “interurban” streetcars but were eventually upgraded to operate as high-frequency, high-capacity lines as metropolitan areas developed. As the main station for Hiratsuka City, Hiratsuka Station sees 61,000 daily entries.

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We pass by a five-car unit which is used as supplementary capacity, particularly during commute periods, to create trains in 10+5 configuration. As a result, the cars are numbered 11 through 15. Due to the long distances that many of these mid- to long-distance JR commuter lines run, in addition to green cars, trains feature some cars with box-style seating, and there are restrooms in a handful of the cars. Here, the end of Car No. 11 towards Car No. 12 holds the restroom.

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The Tōkaidō Main Line is the rail spine of Japan, connecting Tōkyō and Ōsaka via Nagoya and Kyōto. Before the advent of the Shinkansen, trains would use this line to run between the Kantō (Tōkyō) and Kansai (Ōsaka) areas. Although passengers have switched to the Shinkansen and the Tōkaidō Main Line has taken on less of an “interregional” role, it is still an important freight corridor. Here, we pass a JR Freight train.

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Because these areas have all meshed together, the dividing line between suburban and rural can be difficult to discern. It’s very common to see small plots of farmland mixed in. Since we are on a special rapid service on the Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, we’ll be skipping some of the smaller stations like Ōiso (7,600 daily entries), Ninomiya (14,500 daily entries), and Kamomiya (12,700 daily entries) that serve small coastal towns.

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We cross into Odawara City and approach Kōzu Station, where these somewhat eerie looking homes abut the rail line.

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Stopped at Kōzu Station (6,600 daily entries), the terminus for the Gotemba Line, a JR Central line.

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As we depart Kōzu, we can see the Gotemba Line traveling north on an elevated structure.

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Barely visible in the distance is the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. Although it bears the same name as the Main Line, the Shinkansen follows a slightly different route in order to maintain long sections of straight track.

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We arrive at Odawara Station at 16:12, exactly on schedule. Our journey from Shibuya lasted 67 minutes and covered 84 km. Our train had originally started from Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture, departing at 13:16, meaning the train has been running for almost three hours across a distance of 190 km.

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The Shōnan-Shinjuku Line ends its through-service on the Tōkaidō Line at Odawara, but normal Tōkaidō Line trains (bound for Shinagawa and Tōkyō) travel an additional 20 km west to Atami.

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Odawara is a regional rail hub, served by JR East, JR Central (Tōkaidō Shinkansen), Odakyū (Odawara Line), the Hakone Tozan Railway, and the Izu Hakone Railway.

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Parking lot for the station and the local “downtown.”

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An Izu Hakone Railway train arrives at the station, which is the terminus of the Daiyūzan Line. Izu Hakone Railway’s Odawara Station sees 18,900 daily entries and exits. The entire line is single-track, running at 12-minute headways. Ironically, the railway is part of the Seibu Group, although Seibu Railway itself has no lines anywhere near the area.

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Trains on the Daiyūzan Line are these 3-car 5000 series units (18 m long cars) manufactured by Tōkyū Car Company.

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More bicycle parking on the east side of the station.

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A view from the north end of the station. The elevated structure is for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen (operated by JR Central), and you can just see an N700 series Nozomi peeking out. A few commuters use the Shinkansen to commute into Tōkyō from places like Atami. Passing below the Shinkansen tracks is the Odakyū Odawara Line. Running across the middle of the picture are JR Freight tracks (the Tōkaidō Cargo Line), while at the very bottom are JR East’s tracks for the Tōkaidō Main Line. While freight trains operate on a set of dedicated tracks east of here, west of Odawara they share tracks with passenger trains.

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Looking northwest. Daiyūzan Line tracks are on the right.

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One final look at our train…

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We make our way to the concourse level. We are standing above our train on the left, facing southwest towards Atami. JR East Odawara Station consists of two island platforms and four tracks. A train bound for Atami has just departed the station.

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Concourse level. The station building was replaced in 2003, so everything looks modern. With 33,000 entries daily, JR East Odawara Station is a very respectable hub. A small shop to the right sells ekiben, or boxed lunches, which passengers then take on board to be eaten inside the trains. This is a very big tradition in train travel in Japan, and many stations and regions have specialty ekiben that they are famous for. Depending on the type of train, these lunches are sometimes also sold by attendants inside trains.

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The main corridor running east-west above the tracks, connecting each of the operators’ platforms to the main station. Because the lines are run by different companies, each section has its own set of faregates. The corridor is lined with shops, taking advantage of passing foot traffic. In addition to retail space leased to private tenants, the shops on the left also include two spaces operated by member companies of the Odakyū Group, including a convenience store (Odakyū MART) and a travel agency (Odakyū Travel). This allows the group as a whole to directly capture the benefits of its rail operations through side businesses, and contributes to the group’s profitability. All of the private railways follow the same model.

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A look at the JR East faregates.

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Time to enter the Odakyū section of the station. The Hakone Tozan Railway is also part of the Odakyū Group, and is critical in providing rail access to the Hakone area, where Odakyū has a large stake in various hospitality and resort businesses. Odakyū trains run through-service to Hakone Yumoto Station, where passengers can transfer to another train to take them deeper into Hakone. Odakyū and Hakone Tozan Railway see 84,000 entries and exits a day at Odawara Station, which is the official terminus of the Odakyū Odawara Line, the main line of the Odakyū network. The company was originally known as Odawara Express Electric Railway before being simply shortened to Odakyū Electric Railway.

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Here, an Odakyū train has just arrived at the station as passengers exit. Odakyū’s Tōkyō terminal is Shinjuku, so it competes with JR’s Shōnan-Shinjuku Line trains from Odawara and Fujisawa for this passenger market. From Odawara, Odakyū operates frequent service to Shinjuku via typical commuter EMUs as well as limited express Romancecar trains.

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On the opposite island platform for Shinjuku and the Chiyoda Line, a Romancecar VSE 50000 series limited express boards passengers.

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Some of the architectural details in the roof.

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Cab design of the VSE. The VSE units were manufactured by Nippon Sharyō, entering service in 2005.
The Romancecar trains are used exclusively for Odakyū’s limited express services and perform double duty both for visitors heading to and from Hakone, as well as regular commuters looking for some leg room and comfort, which you can’t find on the sardine-can commuter EMUs. Behind the train are the elevated platforms at JR Central Odawara Station for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.

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A six-car 3000 series local train bound for Shin-Matsuda. Stations between Odawara and Shin-Matsuda only have capacity to handle six cars, so the local trains on this section can only be run with six-car trains. The stickers on the surface of the platform indicate door locations for Romancecar train doors. Each of the Romancecar designs is somewhat unique, so the door locations are different from one series to the next.

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A Tōkaidō Line train enters the JR platforms at the station.

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A 5000 series unit on an express run for Shinjuku. Odakyū, like Keikyū, does a fair amount of coupling / decoupling of trains, and its not uncommon to see older units running together with newer units.

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A look at the impressive roof and truss over the Odakyū platforms.

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Romancecer HiSE 10000 series train on the opposite platform. I wasn’t able to get a shot, but these trains feature Jacobs (shared) bogies. Because the operator’s cabs are raised to provide special viewing seats at the ends of the train, the conductor actually uses the door on the other end of the end car.

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Our train, a Romancecar EXE 30000 series train, arrives at the station. Similar to the green car system on JR East mid- to long-distance commuter trains, you can enter the faregates the typical way and purchase a special limited express ticket using machines on the platform. The system isn’t integrated with the PASMO / Suica, however, so you just get a paper ticket.

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Settling into our seat before the train departs Odawara. The Romancecar trains are all reserved seating, so you must sit in the assigned seat on your ticket.

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Some snacks for the ride, purchased from a small convenience store on the platform. Our train is officially designated Hakone 34 and will take 73 minutes for the 83 km journey to Shinjuku terminal.

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To be continued…
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Old September 29th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #448
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nice stations
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Old October 7th, 2009, 03:41 AM   #449
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One of my favorite trains in Japan is Tokyo Metro 9000 series.This train works at Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Tokyu Meguro Line.
Can I ask something? How many 9000 series trains have the sound in this video:

9105 leaving Shirokane-Takanawa (N-03)




and in this video?

9103 leaving Ichigaya (N-09)



Sources:
9105:fuuzzy0034 on Youtube
9103:metro10000 on Youtube

Last edited by nicolassousa; October 7th, 2009 at 03:51 AM.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 03:53 AM   #450
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Great photos quashlo.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #451
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolassousa View Post
One of my favorite trains in Japan is Tokyo Metro 9000 series.This train works at Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Tokyu Meguro Line.
Can I ask something? How many 9000 series trains have the sound in this video:
I'm not an electrical engineer, but I believe these are what they call GTO VVVF inverters, in which case there are only four 9000 series trains of this type left. The first order of 9000 series was GTO VVVF, but subsequent orders were IGBT VVVF.

Some other stock with GTO VVVF:
Sōtetsu 8000 series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB1DghzBXzo
Hanshin 5500 series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnjHtflDHd8
Nankai 1000 series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXFYtjDt3Mc

Most trains are nowadays made with IGBT VVVF, which is a lot quieter. Compare:

E233 series with IGBT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXiTmxtBVxI
E233 series with GTO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irEIW4BkJ_w
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Old October 7th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #452
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Thank you for the informations.Tokyo Metro 9000 series has IGBT-VVVF from 9110 to 9123 (I think). But what are your favorite sound in 9000 series?
GTO-VVVF (9103),GTO-VVVF (9105) or IGBT-VVVF?My favorite sounds are GTO-VVVF 9103 and 9105.
A Tokyo Metro 05 Series train (Tozai Line) has 9105 sound.It's number is 05-114
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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #453
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Thank you quashlo for all the work you've done on this thread. I have enjoyed reading all your posts and photo essays.

Japan is one of my favorite countries to visit. I've only been there a few times, but each time, I'm astounded my all the different subway systems and lines.

In most other subways around the world, there will be a screen telling you how many minutes until the next train. In Japan, the sign announces the actual time the train will depart the station.

Here are some pictures from May, 2009.

Luke

JR Chiba station
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JR entering Narita
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JR entering Narita
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JR Subway train at Narita Airport station
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Keisei Sakura station departure monitor
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Keisei Sakura station local train
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Keisei Sakura station Skyliner train
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Keisei Sakura station Skyliner train
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Keisei Entering the Narita station
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Keisei Entering the Narita station
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Old October 8th, 2009, 06:46 PM   #454
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No problem. Please post more... You got some nice shots of Narita, especially the 113 series in classic Yokosuka colors. These won't last much longer, as they will be phased out over the next 1-2 years and replaced with renovated 209 series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolassousa View Post
Thank you for the informations.Tokyo Metro 9000 series has IGBT-VVVF from 9110 to 9123 (I think). But what are your favorite sound in 9000 series?
I'm actually not much of an oto-tetsu (railfan interested in sounds), except when it comes to announcements, station melodies, etc., so motor sounds are over my head, really. It's hard not to like the GTO-VVVF, though.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #455
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Last Keisei livery revival debuts
http://www.keisei-anniversary100.jp/news/?NID=57

Quote:
To celebrate our 100th anniversary, Keisei Electric Railway has been holding various events throughout the year. Starting Tuesday, September 19, Keisei will begin operation of a special “Keisei Electric Railway 100th Anniversary Commemorative Train”—a four-car 3300 series train painted in historic fire orange livery—in regular service.

The special train is painted entirely in fire orange with a moon ivory beltline and features the livery sported by Keisei trains from 1980 to 1993. A total of three revival livery trains have been planned, of which the green livery and red livery are already in revenue service as Keisei Electric Railway 100th Anniversary Commemorative Trains. The latest fire orange livery is the last of the revival liveries.
Fire orange:

Source: ksweb on YouTube

Green:

Source: ksweb on YouTube

Red:

Source: Dotaku on YouTube
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #456
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New train control system for Ōsaka Loop Line and Yamatoji Line
http://www.westjr.co.jp/news/newslis...74388_799.html

Quote:
Beginning in June 2007, JR West has been working to introduce a train control system for the Ōsaka Loop Line and Yamatoji Line. Beginning Sunday, October 4, the new system will begin operation.

Lines affected:
  • Ōsaka Loop Line: Ōsaka – Tennōji – Ōsaka
  • Yamatoji Line: Kamo – JR Namba
  • JR Yumesaki Line: Nishi-Kujō – Sakurajima
  • Ōsaka Higashi Line: Hanaten – Kyūhōji (except for Hanaten Station)
  • Katamachi Branch Line: Shōgakuji (signal point) – Hirano
Total length: 90.5 km
Stations: 48 (46 passenger stations)

System facts:
  • Improved passenger information. Based on the train operations schedule, information will be displayed and announcements made automatically. When trains are not operating according to schedule, the system will provide up-to-date and accurate information to passengers, including the expected delay for trains.
  • Centralized automatic train control. Up until now, train control was handled at each individual station, but the new system will allow a computer to automatically control trains based on the operation schedule maintained at the Shin-Ōsaka Central Control Center, improving safety and stability of operations.
  • Automated system for maintenance scheduling. Up until now, scheduling of maintenance work was performed by staff at each station and the construction manager, but the new system will automate maintenance scheduling, allowing for rapid execution of construction work.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #457
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Tōbu Noda Line: From harbor to open fields
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifest...1300003-n2.htm

Quote:
From harbor town to open fields, from large terminal stations to small neighborhood station platforms, from elevated structure to single-track section… The scenery outside the window on the Tōbu Noda Line is constantly changing.

The line stretches 62.7 km, connecting Funabashi City and Saitama City in a “half-loop line” that covers the eastern edge of a circle 30 km from the center of Tōkyō. The six-car trains on the line sprint along, one after another intersecting the web of lines radiating from central Tōkyō, such as the Hokusō Line.

Among the 35 stations from Funabashi Station to Ōmiya Station, six stations are major transfer stations to and from central Tōkyō, including Kashiwa Station and Kasukabe Station.

Our journey begins at Funabashi Station, directly connected to a nearby department store.

After bidding farewell to the harbor town from the elevated tracks and running through hilly districts for 15 minutes, we approach the first single-track section between Mutsumi Station and Sakasai Station. At only 3.9 km, we pass the single-track section in no time, soon arriving at Kashiwa Station.

Although some trains continue directly to Ōmiya Station, most trains turn back at Kashiwa Station, where passengers transfer to trains bound for Ōmiya. After a short wait inside the train, looking at the scenes outside the window tells us we are traveling in the direction we just came from.

But there’s no need to worry that we might have gotten on the wrong train. Kashiwa Station is one of the few switchback stations, a byproduct of history.

The predecessor of the Noda Line was the Chiba Prefectural Narrow-Gauge Railway, which ran from Kashiwa Station to Noda-shi Station. In order to allow freight trains carrying soy sauce from Noda to enter the Japanese National Railway’s (now JR) Jōban Line, the tracks were constructed parallel to the Jōban Line, opening in 1911. The second piece of the puzzle came when the Hokusō Railway opened in 1923, connecting Funabashi Station and Kashiwa Station.

Hokusō Railway purchased the narrow-gauge railway and merged it into its existing line, but strangely enough, the railway has absolutely no connection to today’s Hokusō Railway.

From Kashiwa Station, the line continues across the large open plain. After realizing that the scenery outside the window was beginning to change slightly, we arrive at Unga Station. Starting from here, the line enters its second single-track section, which continues for 18.0 km to Kasukabe Station.

But before that, we get off at Unga. The highlight at this station is the Tone Canal, immediately next to the station.

The Tone Canal, completed in 1890, connects the Tone River and Edo River. For a fleetingly short time it was abuzz with excitement, but now, it is a quiet waterway spot. In Nagareyama City’s Unga Waterside Park is a monument to Dutch engineer Rouwenhorst Mulder, who oversaw construction of the canal.

We board another train and get off at Noda-shi Station in Noda City.

A three-minute walk from the station is Kikkōman Noda Facility, which has a museum dedicated to soy sauce. One-hour tours of the facility are free but require reservations.

The rest of the line after Noda-shi Station opened in 1930. The last leg of the journey to Ōmiya Station takes about 40 minutes. Saitama Prefecture has plenty of highlights to see, as well, but we’ll save those for another time…

Tōbu Noda Line
The first section of the line from Kashiwa Station to Noda-shi Station opened in 1911 as the Chiba Prefectural Narrow-Gauge Railway to transport soy sauce. After extensions, the complete length of the Noda Line opened in 1930, with Tōbu Railway taking over operations in 1944. The inbound direction is defined as Funabashi Station to Ōmiya Station, and trains run at 10 minute frequencies during the midday. Trains also contain women-only cars.
8000 series trains at Ōmiya Station. The line exclusively uses six-car 8000-series trains (four doors per side).

Source: WATANOYOUSUKE on YouTube

8000 series trains pass each other at Fujinoushijima.

Source: WATANOYOUSUKE on YouTube
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:45 AM   #458
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Hanshin Namba Line: A mid-year review
http://mytown.asahi.com/nara/news.ph...00170909280001

A little cheesy, but a candid look at the line…

Quote:
On September 20, the Hanshin Namba Line (Hanshin Amagasaki – Ōsaka Namba) celebrated its half-year anniversary. In an attempt to understand the benefits of having Nara and Kōbe directly connected to each other, I boarded the trains myself and asked businessmen and high school students what they thought. While the line is popular for being relatively cheap and allowing time to sleep on the commute, some passengers have asked for the line to take further steps.

======================

A weekday in September. I was searching for a passenger at Kintetsu Nara Station who was heading to Kōbe.

“I can sit for the entire journey. I don’t have to worry at all and can get some sleep on the train”—so responded one office worker (31yo) from Kōbe, who goes on short business trips to Nara twice a month. After walking around for hours on business, more than anything, he welcomes the relaxing, air-conditioned 80-minute journey back. And it’s why he always uses the through-service rapid express for Sannomiya.

Before the line opened, he needed to get off at Tsuruhashi or Namba and transfer to JR or other lines to get to Umeda. All the passengers I talked with unanimously mentioned how troublesome the transfers were.

For students commuting in the Hanshin (Ōsaka-Kōbe) corridor, the line’s financial benefits are worth noting, too.

“I save ¥60,000 a year on my student commuter pass,” said Tōdaiji Academy (Nara City) student Washida Kazuhiro (17yo). Ashiya is the closest station to his home. Since being accepted into the school in his first year of middle school, he had been transferring at Umeda to the subway for five years. The number of students who live in the Hanshin corridor but who try for combined middle-high schools and universities in the Nara area is increasing. At Tōdaiji Academy, this year’s applicant pool from Hyōgo Prefecture was two to three times its size in 2007.

In fact, there are students who say they applied to the school because of the Namba Line, such as high-school freshman Sakamoto Minato (16yo) from Ashiya. In the past, he felt schools in Nara were too far away and commuting too difficult, but now he’s pleased that he can get all the sleep he needs.

======================

But, there are some complaints.

From Ashiya, the commute time to school apparently isn’t very different from before the Hanshin Namba Line opened. The reasons aren’t exactly clear, but the high-school students say it’s because trains stop at all stations between Nishi-Kujō and Ōsaka Namba.

During the 6:00 hour when the students begin their commutes to school, there are no rapid expresses from Ashiya, and they must instead transfer at Amagasaki—another complaint. When returning home from school, the students can get home to Ashiya without having to transfer as long as they get on a rapid express for Sannomiya, but there are only three such trains an hour. Transferring at Amagasaki is also somewhat of a hassle.

======================

Despite this, Kōbe has become much, much closer to Nara City residents. One Saturday in September, I headed for Sannomiya together with my girlfriend.

We boarded a rapid express departing Shin-Ōmiya at 11:39, arriving at Ōsaka Namba at 12:12, where close to 90 percent of the passengers got off. Unexpectedly, only a few passengers were bound for Kōbe.

At 12:53, the train arrived at Sannomiya. We enjoyed exploring the Chinatown and shopping at the department stores, and had dinner at Mosaic in Kōbe Harborland. When my girlfriend smiled and said this was the first time we had ever seen such a beautiful night skyline together, I quickly realized the benefits of the Namba Line.

A little after 9:00 pm, I used my mobile phone to search for the train schedule to get back home—only to find that there were no more direct trains.

On Saturdays, the last Nara-bound rapid express departs at 7:50 pm. We opted for the fastest route home via JR to Tsuruhashi Station, where we transferred to the Kintetsu Line, standing the whole way to Shin-Ōmiya. Seeing the fatigue on my girlfriend’s face, I realized that any benefits from that million-dollar view of the Kōbe skyline had disappeared. If only they ran the direct trains a little later, I kept thinking to myself.

======================

The number of visitors to Nara has definitely increased.

According to Kintetsu, total exits at Nara Station from the start of service March 20 through to April 19 was up by 11.1 percent over the same time last year, to approximately 560,000 passengers. Despite the negative impacts of the swine flu scare and expressway toll discounts, the figure from April to August was still up 4.2 percent from last year.

Sales of the Nara-Ikaruga One-Day Ticket, which allows unlimited rides from Ōsaka and Hyōgo Prefecture on Kintetsu trains to Nara and Ikaruga, as well as other lines, are doing well. Ticket sales along the Hanshin Line for April to August were approximately 15,000, about 9 times what they were the same period the previous year.

As a result, visitors to the Nara Tōkae festival, held in Nara Park from August 5 to 14, reached 797,000, a new record and an increase of 95,000 over last year. Officials are also holding hopes that the line will help boost the number of visitors to the 1300th Anniversary Festival celebrating the establishment of Nara as the former capital of Japan.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #459
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Station accessibility renovations to be 71% complete by March 2010
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/...101000802.html

Quote:
On October 1, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) announced that by the end of March 2010, the elimination of vertical height differences as required by the New Accessibility Law will have been completed at 71 percent of all railway stations with an average daily ridership of 5,000 passengers or more. By the end of March 2010, installation of elevators and other renovation work will have been completed at a total of 2,007 stations.

The basic guidelines in the New Accessibility Law established a goal of 2010 for completion of renovations to all stations with 5,000 passengers or more daily—a total of 2,816 stations, including stations operated by JR, private railways, municipal subways, and other operators—to make them barrier-free. “We want to continue working towards that goal,” say representatives from the MLIT.

According to results from a survey, 73 percent of stations across the six JR companies have received renovation to eliminate vertical height differences via sloped walkways and elevators, which the New Accessibility Law mandates must have windows through the doors and have handrails installed inside. Among the JR companies, JR Shikoku is the furthest ahead, having completed 100% of its required work, while JR Hōkkaidō is the furthest behind, having completed only 61 percent of its required work. The average completion rate among the 15 major private railways was 74 percent, with Odakyū Electric Railway the closest to completion (99 percent) and Nankai Electric Railway the furthest behind (50 percent).

For subways, the average completion rate for Tōkyō Metro and the nine publicly-operated subways is 64 percent, with subways in Sendai City, Kyōto City, and Fukuoka City having completed all the work required at their stations.

The results for other public transportation facilities obtained in the same study indicate that 36 of 43 bus terminals with daily ridership of 5,000 or more, as well as 7 of 8 passenger boat terminals and 19 out of 21 airport passenger terminals, had completed their renovation works.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:52 AM   #460
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Hankyū-Hanshin HD celebrates third anniversary
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...2306021-n1.htm

Quote:
October 1 marks three years since the establishment of Hankyū-Hanshin Holdings (HD), the stockholding company formed by the business merger of Hankyū Railway and Hanshin Electric Railway, the first such merger in the post-war era. The consolidation of tourism-related businesses by April of next year will mark a milestone in the restructuring process. In March of this year, the forecasted financial benefits of the merger in FY2012 were revised up to ¥9.3 billion from April 2008’s estimate of ¥6.2 billion. Overcoming a bitter historic rivalry, the two companies are forming a mutually-beneficial relationship that is helping spur growth.

Restructuring becomes reality
“The short- and mid-term issues have already been addressed. What remains is the real meat of the merger.”

So says Sumi Kazuo, President of Hankyū-Hanshin HD.

In September 2006, before Hankyū and Hanshin merged, the two railways’ hotel businesses had already been consolidated and the two companies were beginning to restructure a myriad of other businesses to improve operational efficiency.

Along with the consolidation of redundant fields such as in information and building maintenance, convenience store business was consolidated in April of this year. In October, Hankyū-Hanshin Express, a consolidation of former international cargo businesses, will launch.

In railway operations, the third-sector Kōbe Rapid Transit Railway, which runs through-services from four railway operators including Hankyū and Hanshin, is now a consolidated subsidiary. After improving administrative efficiencies, the two railway companies are hoping to reduce fares for the railway.

In February and March of last year, the two companies have strengthened joint operations in real estate, with Hanshin building and selling new detached homes in residential neighborhoods owned and developed by Hankyū in Minoo City (Ōsaka Prefecture) and Takarazuka City (Hyōgo Prefecture).

Finding ways to join forces
In Kōbe’s Mt. Rokkō and Arima Hot Springs areas, where four separate Hankyū-affiliated and Hanshin-affiliated companies had been competing against each other in hotel and leisure business, the situation has completely changed as a result of the merger. In July of last year, the two railway companies established the Hankyū-Hanshin Rokkō-Arima United Promotion Committee, part of an effort to build a cooperative relationship through campaigns to increase visitors to the areas.

When ridership dropped substantially in May as a result of the swine flu scare, Hankyū and Hanshin launched a special campaign starting June 1 for the Mt. Rokkō and Arima Hot Springs areas, offering a package of discounts at Hankyū- and Hanshin-affiliated hotels and facilities. The two companies had a mere two weeks to collaborate on the campaign.

“The two railways’ quick response under an emergency situation tells me that the coordination is more than just in name only,” says Iriya Yasumasa, CEO of Arima View Hotel (Kita Ward, Kōbe), a member company of the Promotion Committee.

Revitalization of a gateway
“Our biggest administrative issue at hand is working together in the urban development of the Umeda area in Ōsaka,” said Hankyū-Hanshin HD President Sumi.

As a result of the merger, the plan to completely reconstruct the Dai-Hanshin Building housing the Umeda flagship of Hanshin Department Stores is finally seeming like a possibility. “Initially, Hanshin had planned to take on seismic reinforcement of its Umeda flagship store on its own, but with help from Hankyū, the range of possibilities has widened,” say representatives close to the project.

Reconstruction of the Dai-Hanshin Building will begin after the spring 2012 completion of the reconstruction of the Hankyū Department Store flagship. In order to minimize the reduction in floor area during reconstruction of the Hanshin Department Store, the project may be combined with the renovation of the adjacent Shin-Hankyū Building.

The Umeda area will see additional change in Spring 2010, when the Umeda flagship of Daimaru department store expands its floor space and the new JR Ōsaka Mitsukoshi – Isetan department store debuts. Together with the North Yard Redevelopment on the north side of JR Ōsaka Station, the most critical test will be in seeing just how attractive Ōsaka’s gateway can become.

Hankyū-Hanshin HD facts
The corporation is centered around Hankyū Railway, Hanshin Electric Railway, Hankyū-Hanshin Transport Company Holdings, and Hankyū-Hanshin Hotels, with businesses in urban transport, real estate, entertainment, tourism and international transport, hotels, distribution, and other industries. At the end of March, the corporation had 20,805 employees and total sales of ¥683.7 billion. H2O retailing, which includes Hankyū-Hanshin Department Stores and affiliated supermarkets, will become an equity method investee.
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