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Old January 24th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #4601
fieldsofdreams
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Question: should the consolidation between Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro will be made, who will then own the unified system? Will it have private stakeholders as a majority owner, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, or will there be some division in ownership? There are much more implications when this merger gets approved by the metropolitan government and the MLIT, especially in terms of vehicle management, new construction, through services, etc.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #4602
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You do know that Tokyo Metro formed from the privatization of the Eidan Subway, which was a sub-agency of the MLIT, right? The company replaced the Teito Rapid Transit Authority (帝都高速度交通営団 Teito Kōsokudo Kōtsū Eidan), commonly known as Eidan or TRTA, on April 1, 2004.
Since Toei is basically the prefectural Department of Transport's public transit division, I'd just assume they'd sell off their subway divisions (keeping buses and trams) to Tokyo Metro for stock in the company.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 07:26 PM   #4603
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrwulfe View Post
You do know that Tokyo Metro formed from the privatization of the Eidan Subway, which was a sub-agency of the MLIT, right? The company replaced the Teito Rapid Transit Authority (帝都高速度交通営団 Teito Kōsokudo Kōtsū Eidan), commonly known as Eidan or TRTA, on April 1, 2004.
Since Toei is basically the prefectural Department of Transport's public transit division, I'd just assume they'd sell off their subway divisions (keeping buses and trams) to Tokyo Metro for stock in the company.
Oh ok. I've heard of Eidan and TRTA, but not how it was managed before. So, if that's the case, the subways will be consolidated into the bigger Tokyo Metro, and that Tokyo Metro will then operate Toei Subway's vehicles? Hmmm it seems like Tokyo Metro will then need to have a lot of order books filled with ideas and suggestions since there is not one unified rail gauge used for all the systems... That'll be really interesting when I hear Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Line, Tokyo Metro Oedo Line, Tokyo Metro Mita Line, and Tokyo Metro Asakusa Line.

With such a development, the subway will then be privately owned, with a majority of the stocks owned by the government, while the buses and trams will still be operated by Toei, correct?
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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:24 PM   #4604
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New bike parking for Sannomiya and Motomachi areas in Kōbe
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/hyo...OYT8T01683.htm

Quote:
◇禁止区域 放置自転車1400台

 神戸市中心部の三宮・元町駅周辺などで目立つ放置自転車対策として、市は民間事業者による駐輪場の整備に乗り出した。市が事業者に道路の占用許可を出し、駐輪場を設置し、管理運営までしてもらう。事業者が決まり、3か所約200台分を整備して今夏にも供用を始める予定だ。(藤基泰寛)

 市は一昨年12月、市内の放置禁止区域内にある放置自転車(ミニバイクを含む)の台数を調査。市内全体で約1万100台あり、うち三宮・元町駅周辺だけで約1400台に上った。通勤、通学で長時間放置する人が多いが、買い物の間の短時間だけの人もいるという。市では昨年度、約3万5000台を撤去している。撤去費用に年間2億円以上かかっているという。

 最近は、禁止区域のギリギリ外側に放置するケースが目立つという。禁止区域外の場合、1週間以上放置されないと撤去できないためで、三宮中央通りの放置禁止区域の境界付近では多数の自転車が放置されているのが現状だ。通りがかりの同市兵庫区の主婦小川真知子さん(52)は「放置自転車を避けようとした自転車とぶつかりそうになることも多く、通行の邪魔」と不満を口にする。一方、自転車を止めようとしていた会社員男性(32)は「他にもたくさん止まっているので、急いでいる時はつい止めてしまう」と頭をかいた。

 区域外の放置台数の調査は行っていないが、市の担当者は「区域内の数倍はある」とみている。

 三宮・元町駅周辺にある駐輪場は計約1640台分しかなく、市では、放置車両対策として、駐輪場増設にあたることにした。民間に駐輪場の整備から運営管理までを任せることで、市の財政負担を抑えられる上、道路占用料の収入も得られる。また、料金面などで利用者のニーズにあった運営がしやすくなり、稼働率も上がることも期待する。

 市は事業者に、関西約300か所以上で駐輪場を管理、運営する「アーキエムズ」(京都市中京区)を選定。近く協定書を結ぶ。

市道路部計画課は「放置禁止区域を拡大しても、区域外に止める状況は変わらず、結局はいたちごっこ。民間の力を借りて駐輪場を増やし、放置自転車をなくしていきたい」と話す。

三宮中央通りの放置禁止区域外に放置された多数の自転車(神戸市中央区で)
Illegal bike parking is an issue in Kōbe, and a city-commissioned survey last year counted approx. 11,100 illegally-parked bikes across the entire city, about 1,400 of which were concentrated in the heart of central Kōbe in Sannomiya and Motomachi, comprising both long-term parkers such as train commuters and short-term parkers such as local shoppers. Annual expenses to confiscate the bikes (approx. 35,000 a year) have reached over ₯200 million, so the city is now looking at hiring a private firm to establish and maintain designated bike parking (200 spaces total) at three locations. The city has selected ArchiM’s, which operates over 300 bike parking facilities across the Kansai region, to administer these new facilities, and will grant them permits to operate on city-owned ROW.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #4605
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Delays from street running foil Fukutetsu, Echitetsu timed transfers
http://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/localn...ety/39532.html

Quote:
 福井県のえちぜん鉄道三国芦原線と福井鉄道福武線の乗り継ぎ利用時の運賃を一体化する「連絡運賃」が昨年10月に導入されて3カ月余りがたった。田原町駅(福井市)を経由する乗客の利便性は上がったが、実際の運行では福鉄の遅れにより、接続するはずのえち鉄は到着を待たずに出発せざるを得ないケースが続出している。福鉄の路面区間の定時性確保という課題があらためて浮き彫りとなっており、県も対策を検討している。

 福井市内の総合病院に通う越前市の男性(37)は、福鉄福武線のスポーツ公園駅からえち鉄三国芦原線の福大前西福井駅まで乗り継ぎ利用している。通勤時間帯と激しい雨が重なったある日、田原町で福鉄を降りて乗り継ごうとしたが、えち鉄側のホームに移ったときには、乗る予定の電車は既になかった。結局、病院には徒歩で向かうことに。「1駅分だから歩けたけれど、目的地がもっと遠い人は困ったはず」と語る。

 「連絡運賃」は両社が2012年10月1日に導入した。両線全体の運賃を統一的に見直し、乗り継ぎの際に必要な初乗り運賃の負担分を軽減。県が両線で実施する相互乗り入れ計画に先行して利便性を高め、需要を掘り起こす狙いだ。

 電車の連絡を考慮し、待ち時間がおおむね20分以内、通勤・通学時間帯は最短5分(三国港方面)となる運行ダイヤが組まれている。

 だが、事業者によると、福鉄は信号待ちや自動車の混雑に影響される路面区間を走っているため、通勤時間帯の数本で到着時刻の遅れが恒常化。えち鉄は3分程度まで出発を遅らせることもあるが、ほぼ1日1度は乗り継ぎ客を待たずに発車しているという。

 連絡運賃制度の利用者は10月1256人、11月1736人、12月1910人と増加。えち鉄全線の1日当たりの利用者も9月から12月にかけて増えた。利用は好調とみられるだけに、担当者は遅れによるサービス低下を懸念。「定時の乗り継ぎをあきらめ、最初から1本遅らそうとする乗客も出てきた」と乗客の動向に心配を寄せる。

 県は15年度からの相互乗り入れ実現に向け、13年度にホーム改修などの工事を始める方針。えち鉄を福鉄の越前武生駅(越前市)まで、福鉄をえち鉄の鷲塚針原駅(福井市)まで走らせる計画で、路面区間の遅れは、えち鉄側の運行ダイヤにも直接影響を及ぼすことになる。

 県は、遅れの大きな要因の一つとして、路面区間の交差点で右折する自動車が対向車の通過を待つ間に軌道内に進入し、電車20+ 件の進行を妨げるケースが多いとみており、広報などでドライバーに注意を呼び掛ける予定。

 また、路面区間の停留所4カ所のうち3カ所はホーム幅が75センチと狭く、「朝のラッシュ時は乗り降りに手間取る原因になっている」(県交通まちづくり課)ため、拡幅工事を計画。生徒の利用で混雑しやすい仁愛女子高校停留所に優先して着手したい考えだ。

さらに同課は、フェニックス通りの新木田交差点(福井市)では電車の待ち時間が最大2分19秒に及ぶとして「各交差点の信号の切り替えパターンに調整の余地がないか県警と協議したい」と説明。路面電車やバスが近づくと自動的に信号の待ち時間を短くする「公共車両優先システム(PTPS)」も導入の可能性を探りたいという。

田原町駅に到着した福井鉄道福武線の電車。運行の遅れでえちぜん鉄道三国芦原線の次発に接続できないケースが相次いでいる=福井市田原1丁目
The special discount fare for transferring between these two private railways in the Fukui area was introduced in October of last year, but there’s been some issues in implementing timed transfers between the two systems at Tawaramachi Station. As a result of Fukui Railway (Fukutetsu) delays stemming from street running segments, Echizen Railway (Echitetsu) trains frequently have to leave before a connection can be made. The schedule was crafted to keep the waiting time to less than 20 minutes throughout the day, and to as little as five minutes during the commute periods. Due to signal delay at intersections and traffic congestion (especially from left-turning vehicles that block train passage), however, about one Echitetsu train a day has to depart without making the timed transfer. Of the four Fukutetsu stops on surface streets, three are also super narrow (only 75 cm wide), extending dwell times during the morning rush hour.

Use of the special discount fare has increased from 1,256 passengers in October to 1,736 in October and 1,910 in December, and daily ridership on the entire Echitetsu network increased from September to December, but there is worry that the delays are potentially affecting ridership.

The discounted transfer fare is only a preliminary measure, as the ultimate plan is to build a direct track connection between Echitetsu and Fukutetsu to allow for through-servicing. Work on platform renovations will begin in FY2013 to allow for the interlining. Fukui Prefecture is also planning to widen the three surface stops, starting with Jin’ai Joshi Kōkō (which has high ridership due to nearby government offices and a high school), and will modify signal timing at one of the problem intersections, potentially implementing a transit priority system.

Snow scenes on the Echizen Railway (2012.1.26):

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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #4606
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Gakunan Railway breaks off rail operations into new subsidiary
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...3A120C1L61000/

Quote:
 富士急行グループの岳南鉄道(富士市)は4月、貨物輸送の廃止で収益が悪化している鉄道事業を分社化する。全額出資子会社の「岳南電車」を新設。黒字の不動産事業や物販事業などと切り離し、財務の透明化と意思決定の迅速化につなげる。

 新会社の資本金は1億円。代表者は未定だが、岳鉄の畠山建二社長が兼務する可能性がある。富士急から岳鉄への出向人事は続け、新会社の役員にも就くとみられる。

 岳鉄で鉄道事業に関わる社員やパート従業員計約20人は、新会社へ転籍する。

 吉原―岳南江尾を結ぶ「岳南鉄道線」の路線名や運行ダイヤ、運賃は変更しない。

 岳南鉄道は沿線にある製紙会社の生産縮小などを受け、2012年3月に貨物輸送を終了。旅客部門だけでは鉄道事業の収益が確保にしくくなっていた。

富士市は住民の通勤・通学の足を確保する目的で、岳鉄に対し14年度末まで3年間、年6500万円の補助金を交付することにしている。13年度からは補助金の交付先が岳南電車に変わる可能性がある。

This is an interesting local railway in Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture, currently part of the Fujikyū Group that also owns the Fujikyū Express line and the Fujikyū Highlands theme park. It’s a small, 9.2 km line running through eastern Fuji City, but in the past, it served both freight and passenger traffic, carrying 5 million passengers and 1 million tons annually during its heyday (1967). The line has steadily declined, though, and in 2010, it carried only 770,000 passengers and 65,000 tons. Freight operations were ceased in March 2012, so the line is surviving purely on passenger traffic now, with funding from the local governments (₯65 million annually from Fuji City through FY2014).

The goal of breaking off the rail operations into a separate subsidiary is to isolate the issues of unprofitable rail operations from the railway’s profitable real estate and goods distribution businesses, but hopefully this isn’t simply a precursor to abandonment. Ultimately, the decision to keep the line running will likely rest with Fuji City and how much money they are willing to invest in supporting its operating budget.

Full outbound cab view from Yoshiwara to Gakunan Enoo (2011.12.07):

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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:29 PM   #4607
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Kairakuen Station to accept Suica
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...2190000-n1.htm

Quote:
 2月20日から3月31日に偕楽園(水戸市)などで開催される「水戸の梅まつり」に合わせて、同市常磐町に「JR偕楽園臨時駅」が開設される。梅まつり期間中の土、日曜日と祝日の13日間、下り列車が1日30本停車する。

 臨時駅は梅見に偕楽園を訪れる観光客らの玄関口として毎年開設。利用時間は午前9時10分~午後3時半で、下りの特急列車13本と普通列車17本が停車する。臨時駅の改札では、水戸の梅大使が観光客を出迎える。

 今年からは、改札に簡易式のIC乗車券専用改札機を設置。これまで、利用できなかった「Suica」を利用して、気軽に都内などからも梅が見に来られるようにした。

東日本大震災前の平成22年には11日間で3万9千人の利用があったが、昨年は梅の開花の遅れや悪天候などの影響で、13日間で2万7千人と低迷。JR東日本水戸支社は「臨時駅を利用して、より多くの人に梅まつりを楽しんでもらいたい」とPRしている。
Kairakuen Station is unusual station because it’s seasonal only, open only for the plum blossom season at Kairakuen Park in Mito City. This year, the station will be open on weekends and holidays from 2013.02.20 to 2013.03.31 between 9:10 am and 3:00 pm. Located on the Jōban Line, the station is also a bit unusual in that only one direction (outbound, from Tōkyō) is served… A total of 30 outbound trains will stop each day the station is open, including 13 limited expresses and 17 locals. In 2010, ridership during the 11 days the station was open was 39,000, but that dropped last year to 27,000 (over 13 days) due to a late bloom and inclement weather.

This time, though, they will be providing Suica readers at the station to make it easier for passengers from Greater Tōkyō to visit. This is the first time they’ve done this, and presumably, these will just be the simple reader terminals found at some of the stations on the Tsurumi Line.

E531 series arrives and departs Kairakuen (2012.03.25):

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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #4608
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Refurbished 205-600 series coming to the Nikkō, Utusnomiya Lines

These are ex-Keiyō Line sets from Keiyō Rolling Stock Center that were made redundant with the introduction of modern E233-5000 series sets to the line. They’re now being shifted onto the smaller lines in JR East’s Tōkyō-area network, starting with the Nikkō Line and Utsunomiya Line. Four 4-car sets will be introduced onto the Nikkō Line to replace 107-0 series out of Oyama Rolling Stock Center, while another eight 4-car sets will be introduced for Utsunomiya Line services between Koganei and Kuroiso deployed out of Takasaki Rolling Stock Center.

Here’s some pictures of a finished Nikkō Line set that was unveiled to the press (2013.01.15):
Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/

Like the 107 series they are replacing, the color scheme uses classic ruby brown, gold, and cream.



Run number display was converted from rollsign to LED, but the front and side destination signs still use rollsigns, but with the traditional script used on the 107 series. Couplers were upgraded to automatic electric couplers.



Pantographs were converted to single-arm design, and a special frost-removing pantograph was also installed on one of the powered cars.



Emblems featuring the historic Nikkō Station building and the sleeping cat at Nikkō Tōshōgū Shrine have been added along the full length of the train.





DT50D bogie, equipped with Cerajet equipment, which improves rail adhesion and slip prevention by injecting ceramic particles between the rail and wheel. It’s basically a modern version of a sandbox.



Blinds were replaced.



Wheelchair space and wheelchair-accessible restroom



Button-operated doors to deal with inclement weather and heat loss.

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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:32 PM   #4609
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Bike lanes coming to Kawasaki Station area as soon as August
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ka...402000153.html

Quote:
 川崎市と県警は23日、京急川崎駅近くの県道に仮設する一方通行の自転車道について、8月にも本格実施する計画を発表した。昨年11月に実施した社会実験を踏まえた結果で、全国初の取り組み。自転車道はおおむね好評だったが、調査で、駅利用者で混雑する駅前で進めた自転車の押し歩きを守る人が約1割という課題も明らかになった。(山本哲正)

 計画では、県道のJR線をくぐるアンダーパス部を含む約二百メートル区間に、車と自転車の分離柵を設ける。駅前の歩道はこれまでの二倍以上となる四・五メートルに広げ、車道側約一・五メートルを色分け舗装して自転車の押し歩きゾーンにする。

 歩道は一月下旬、自転車道は三月にも着手。国庫補助を活用し、総事業費は約一億円を見込む。

 仮設による二週間の社会実験では、自転車利用者の九割以上が自転車道を利用したという。片側二車線が同一車線になった車は、アンダーパス部を含む約三百メートル区間の通過時間が混雑時に一分二十秒ほど増えたというが、「安全を優先する立場からは、大きな問題とは認められない」と判断した。

車、自転車、歩行者の八百人余りを対象にしたアンケートでは、八割以上が自転車道の必要性に賛成。市建設緑政局企画課の福田賢一計画調整担当課長は「一方通行自転車道は『安全に走ることができる』と車側の理解も得られた」。順守率の低い押し歩きも、必要性は自転車利用者で八割、歩行者で六割余りが賛成としており、福田課長は「安全のため根強く押し歩きの定着を呼び掛けたい」と話している。

社会実験の対象区間。押し歩きを進めているが、自転車に乗ったまま歩道を通行する人は多い(市提供)
Kawasaki City implemented a two-week trial program in November that met with mostly positive response (particularly the temporary bike lanes). Over 90% of bikers used the temporary bike lanes, but only 10% of bikers actually heeded warnings to walk their bike in the area immediately outside the station, which is the busiest for pedestrians.

The ultimate plan will install bike lanes with barriers along 200 m of a prefectural road passing underneath the JR tracks near the station. In the immediate vicinity of the station, the city will widen the sidewalks to 4.5 m (more than double their current width) and color about 1.5 m of the adjacent road pavement as a “walk your bike” zone. Sidewalk work will begin late January, followed by the bike lane in work in March. Total project cost is approx. ₯100 million.

Riding by bike along Fuchū Kaidō from Kawasaki Station to Tokorozawa Station (over 40 km), at 1.8Χ. The underpass beneath the JR tracks begins at 1:30.

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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #4610
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Keiō jumps on rail museum bandwagon
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/cool_ja...AJ201301250014

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Keio Corp. will mark the 100th anniversary of its electric railway line service this year with a remodeled and expansive train museum in the western Tokyo city of Hino.

The current Keio Rail Land facility outside Tama-dobutsukoen Station in Hino's Hodokubo district will reopen this autumn as a Keio railway museum designed for both children and adults.

It will display five classic carriages, including the 2400 model, which dates back to the company's pre-1998 era as Keio Teito Electric Railway. It will also contain a giant diorama and a train driving simulator.

Keio Rail Land on the north side of Tama-dobutsukoen Station has only 277 square meters of floor space and mainly features N-gauge dioramas and original railway merchandise for sale.

The new facility will be built on the south side of the station, where warehouses and parking lots are now located.

The two-story museum and an outdoor gallery will cover around 2,200 square meters, nearly eight times the floor space of Keio Rail Land.

In addition to the train driving simulator, Keio will install equipment allowing visitors to experience a conductor's job by, for example, closing and opening train doors. Keio says it will change the diorama rails from N-gauge to the larger HO-gauge to authentically reproduce streets and other scenery along the tracks.

The outdoor gallery will exhibit a green 2400 model, which the rail company operated until 1969, the 2010 series that ran from 1959 to 1984, and the 5000 series, Japan's first commuter train with bench seating and air conditioning. It will also feature the 3000 series that operated until two years ago on the Inokashira Line, with the face of its lead carriage painted in seven different colors.

These trains are currently in storage in Hachioji and elsewhere. Keio will announce the price of admission and other details at a later date.

The company was founded in 1910 as Keio Denki Kido Co. Based on its plan to connect Tokyo with Hachioji to the west, the "Keio" in the company name was formed by combining the second kanji in each of the two cities' names.

Keio opened a line running between Sasazuka and Chofu in 1913. The company merged with Gyokunan Electric Railway in 1926 and started rail service between Shinjuku and Higashi-Hachioji, which has since been relocated to the current Keio-Hachioji Station.

Large, comprehensive train museums with collections of real train cars of historical value have proved popular across Japan, the Railway Museum in Saitama run by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East).

Private sector rail operators in the Tokyo area also have their own museums. Tobu Railway Co. set up the Tobu Museum in Sumida Ward, while Tokyu Corp. operates the Train and Bus Museum in Kawasaki's Miyamae Ward, Kanagawa Prefecture.

An artist's depiction of the new Keio train museum (Provided by Keio Corp.)


The 2400 model from the Keio Teito Electric Railway era (Provided by Keio Corp.)


The 3000 series that ran on the Inokashira Line (Provided by Keio Corp.)
Always liked the ring of 京王帝都電鉄…
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Old January 24th, 2013, 09:34 PM   #4611
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Some pictures of the special Yamanote Line wrap train commemorating the 103 series:
Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/









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Old January 25th, 2013, 12:03 AM   #4612
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The 50th Anniversary wrap on a E231-500 for the Yamanote Line looks really wonderful... Perhaps the 103 was the first electric-powered train used for the line, and it survived for a long time until the more modern 205 and 231 series, true? In your opinion, which of those three train sets I mentioned is the best train set ever used for the line, and why?

And even the small details (on the hand straps) are decked out for the celebration too!
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Old January 25th, 2013, 07:58 AM   #4613
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Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post

Oh ok. I've heard of Eidan and TRTA, but not how it was managed before. So, if that's the case, the subways will be consolidated into the bigger Tokyo Metro, and that Tokyo Metro will then operate Toei Subway's vehicles? Hmmm it seems like Tokyo Metro will then need to have a lot of order books filled with ideas and suggestions since there is not one unified rail gauge used for all the systems... That'll be really interesting when I hear Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Line, Tokyo Metro Oedo Line, Tokyo Metro Mita Line, and Tokyo Metro Asakusa Line.

With such a development, the subway will then be privately owned, with a majority of the stocks owned by the government, while the buses and trams will still be operated by Toei, correct?
The reason there are different gauges on the Toei systems is because of interlining. The Asakusa line trains also run on Keikyu and Keisei, and those two are standard gauge. The Shinjuku line runs on Keio which is narrow gauge. The Mita line runs on Tokyu's Meguro line and also shares tracks with Tokyo Metro's Namboku line, so narrow gauge there too. The Oedo line uses linear motor propulsion so they used regular gauge track to be able to fit the wide metal plates in the middle that is necessary for the motors to work.

If Tokyo Metro were to take over tomorrow, I'd want them to investigate the following:

*Immediately normalize fares and transfers across the systems. It will take some time to make physical transfers to both systems, and even now they're being worked on where it's really easy (the wall separating the Hanzomon and Shinjuku lines at Kudanshita and Jinbocho stations for example) In places where there are at most 600m separating a Toei and Metro station, transfer gates should be placed that will allow the ticket to pop back out and be used at the other station to continue one's journey. Most people in Tokyo use farecards (Suica/PASMO) and on March 23rd, all of Japan's major IC farecards gain interoperability status, so this would make it even easier to do. NYCMTA and Chicago's CTA already use this system.

*Find new opportunities for interlining. The Shinjuku line's eastern end and Mita line's northern end terminate without connecting to any other rail lines.
The Shinjuku line ends between JR's Yawate and Keisei's Yawate stations in the city of Ichikawa, Chiba. Due to gauge differences, interlining on Keisei is impossible. The way the alignment is angled now, running on JR tracks will require a bored tunnel to "miss" Yawate station or loop around it. Expensive possibly but doable. An extension to Musashino line tracks is also doable but who would pay for it?
The Mita line ends at Nishi Takashimadaira in northern Itabashi Ward, but was originally supposed to continue into Wako-shi and access the Tobu Tojo line and head out to Kawagoe. It could still be done, but will have to happen in bored tunnels now that there's buildings where fields were when the original plan was drafted.
It's impossible to interline the Oedo line due to its propulsion choice, but an extension into Saitama's Niiza city has been on the books since the 1980s.

*Work on making the Loop 8/ Super 7 line a reality. This is a line that's supposed to start in Jiyuugaoka near the Tokyu Toyoko line station of the same line, and follow Kanpachi Rd (literally means "Loop 8") around the outskirts of Tokyo to Akabane, then switch to Kan-Nana (Loop 7) and come around the eastern side of Tokyo to end around Shin-Kiba station.
Depending on gauges and technology used, an interlining with Tokyu's Oimachi line on the southwest can happen, or they can use the same tech as the Oedo line (narrow bodied trains with linear propulsion helps drive the cost of tunneling down since a smaller bore is used.) This could create a very interesting interlining opportunity.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 04:29 PM   #4614
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Note that the main reason Toei and Tokyo Metro are still separate has nothing to do with train technology, gauges or operations.

Tokyo Metro is a healthy company, and there were even considerations to have it go public.
Toei, on the other hand, has a mountain of debt (over a trillion Yen), mainly from building the Oedo Line in the 80ies during the Bubble (if I am not mistaken, building a subway still requires the purchase of rights of way in Japan, up to a certain depth). For the first years, the Oedo Line didn't even have an operational profit, but that has changed. I think it's still in the red if you include debt payments.
If Toei and Tokyo Metro are merged, you either ruin Metro's balance sheet and therefore the chance to put it on the stock market, or leave the metropolitan government with a mountain of debt.

I'd split up Toei and sell Asakusa Line to Keikyu/Keisei, Shinjuku Line to Keio and Mita Line to Tokyo Metro, but that's me.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 08:37 PM   #4615
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkill View Post
Note that the main reason Toei and Tokyo Metro are still separate has nothing to do with train technology, gauges or operations.

Tokyo Metro is a healthy company, and there were even considerations to have it go public.
Toei, on the other hand, has a mountain of debt (over a trillion Yen), mainly from building the Oedo Line in the 80ies during the Bubble (if I am not mistaken, building a subway still requires the purchase of rights of way in Japan, up to a certain depth). For the first years, the Oedo Line didn't even have an operational profit, but that has changed. I think it's still in the red if you include debt payments.
If Toei and Tokyo Metro are merged, you either ruin Metro's balance sheet and therefore the chance to put it on the stock market, or leave the metropolitan government with a mountain of debt.

I'd split up Toei and sell Asakusa Line to Keikyu/Keisei, Shinjuku Line to Keio and Mita Line to Tokyo Metro, but that's me.
That's a very interesting perspective you've brought up. So, if the big concern is to merge the two subway companies, the first question is this: with Tokyo Metro's massive profits versus Toei's massive debts, how can Tokyo Metro contribute to pay off Toei Subway's debts? It's like, sure, government-owned companies do not necessarily have to turn in profits like private corporations, but it has to give service to the people it serves... But if the merged company will be privately-owned (but majority of its stocks owned by the government), then Tokyo Metro should need to find ways to clean up Toei's debts which could finally balance the two budgets into one.

The second question would be, with a unified system, how will the merged company manage its vehicles and station identities, especially that the two systems at the moment are operated differently of each other? Tokyo Metro, I sense, operates a lot of newer vehicles and much more interlining services than Toei. On the other hand, there are some stations that have Tokyo Metro and Toei close to each other, but have different entrances, different markings, and even closed-off platforms that require commuters who want to transfer to go through one set of ticket barriers in order to get to the other set of ticket barriers and platforms. It can be a hassle, especially if someone is in a hurry... I imagine with a unified network, the number of stations might remain the same, if not some stations will be consolidated, and that transferring between the two will be as easy as stepping out of one train and heading to the other platform. And Tokyo Metro will end up having much more commercial space, especially with the Oedo Line that have a lot of stations in a loop!

Hopefully, this issue will be settled soon, along with a unified Tokyo Metro.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:31 PM   #4616
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Kawasaki, Nippon Sharyō, Sumitomo, Sōjitsu, Mitsubishi express interest in SEPTA Silverliner IV replacements
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/lo...placement.html

Quote:
SEPTA on Thursday began the long process of replacing 231 aging Silverliner IV train cars, even as it waits for the last of its new Silverliner V cars.

SEPTA officials met with representatives of 12 car manufacturers and other companies in an "expression of interest" session Thursday.

Among the manufacturers expressing interest in bidding on a contract for the new cars was Hyundai Rotem Corp., which built the new Silverliner V cars but fell two years behind schedule amid production and labor problems.

The Silverliner IV cars, which are the bulk of the Regional Rail fleet, are nearly 40 years old, about the age that their forerunners were back in 2006, when SEPTA ordered the new cars to replace them.

The Silverliner IVs were built by General Electric Co. from 1974 to 1976. GE is no longer in the train-building business.

In addition to Hyundai Rotem, the companies that attended Thursday's session included Alstom, Kawasaki, Nippon Sharyo USA, Sumitomo, Sojitz, Bombardier, Mitsubishi, STV, Carmen Group, Faiveley Transport, and Wabtec.

The new Silverliner VIs are likely to cost about $3 million each, and SEPTA said it did not have enough money to buy them now.

SEPTA relies on state and federal funds for its capital budget, funding for vehicles and big construction projects. Both Harrisburg and Washington have been cutting transit spending.

Although ridership is at a 23-year high, SEPTA's capital budget is at a 15-year low, at $303 million.
Rotem’s in a bit of a pickle with both SEPTA and MBTA, the latter of which is threatening to cancel their contract completely, so in terms of actual railcar manufacturers (as opposed to manufacturers or suppliers of specific components or brokers like Sumitomo), I suspect that will leave only Alstom, Bombardier, Kawasaki, and Nippon Sharyō.

SEPTA already runs some Kawasaki LRVs:

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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:33 PM   #4617
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Chikuhō Electric Railroad to implement station numbering
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...3A120C1ACY000/

Quote:
 西日本鉄道は24日、子会社の筑豊電気鉄道(福岡県中間市)の全21駅に番号を割り振る「駅ナンバリング」を導入すると発表した。駅標識や運賃表などに使用する。

 駅名表示が読めない外国人や初めて利用する観光客らに配慮。行き先を間違えないようにすることで、利便性を向上させる狙いだ。

 番号とともに「CHIKUTETSU」の「C」「K」を採用。起点となる黒崎駅前駅を1とし、21番目の筑豊直方駅は「CK21」と表記する。導入作業は28日に始め、3月末に完了する予定。
This is a small, local private railway in the Fukuoka–Kita-Kyūshū area, wholly owned by Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu). The numbering is designed to make the system easier to use for foreigners and first-time visitors, and will be implemented by March on station name signs, fare charts, and other signage. Letters will be “CK”.

HD window view, inbound:

Part 0: Walk from JR Nōgata to Chikuhō Nōgata



Part 1: Chikuhō Nōgata to Chikuhō Nakama



Part 2: Chikuhō Nakama to Kurosaki-Ekimae

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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:34 PM   #4618
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Demolition of Kurashiki Station tenant building to begin soon
http://www.sanyo.oni.co.jp/news_s/ne...3012521274168/

Quote:
 JR西日本岡山支社は25日、閉鎖しているJR倉敷駅ビル(倉敷市阿知)の解体工事を2月1日に始めると発表した。8階建てのうち駅部分を残し、3階以上を撤去。2015年3月末に完了する見込み。

 昨年11月に着手する予定だったが、施工方法の検討などに手間取り、延期していた。2階に改札と連絡通路など駅施設があるが、工事中も利用者の通行、列車の運行に支障はないとしている。

 駅ビルは延べ約1万8千平方メートル。計画では電気や水道などの内部設備の撤去、付け替えから着手。今夏以降、建物全体を防護シートで覆い、高層階から順次解体を進める。14年10月ごろから1、2階の内装工事に取り掛かる。

 工事は大本組、広成建設の共同企業体(JV)が受注。安全管理のため線路、連絡通路などの施工の一部は夜間に行う。総解体費は非公表。工事後の延べ床面積は現在の3分の1の約6千平方メートルとなる。

駅ビルは1983年に開業した。JR西日本のグループ会社ジェイアール西日本ホテル開発が所有。1〜4階は専門店、5階は貸室とレストラン、6〜8階はホテルが入居していた。収益悪化などから2010年12月末に閉鎖した。

2月1日から解体工事が行われるJR倉敷駅ビル(中央の白い建物)
Work will begin on 2013.02.01 and is scheduled for completion in 2015.03. The 8-story building is owned by West Japan Railway Hotel Development, a JR West group company, and opened in 1983 with approx. 18,000 sq m GFA. The 1st through 3rd floors were specialty retail shops, 5th floor was leasable space and restaurants, while 6th through 8th floors were hotel rooms. The building closed in December 2010 due to worsening revenue performance. The station functions housed in the building, including the faregates and connecting passage on the 2nd floor, will remain, but the 3rd floor and above will be demolished.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:35 PM   #4619
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Niigata City pushes bus-only lanes to second phase of BRT project
http://www.niigata-nippo.co.jp/news/...125023330.html

Quote:
 新潟市が2014年度中の導入を目指すBRT(バス高速輸送システム)構想に関し、一部区間で検討していた道路中央部のバス専用走行路の設置を先送りする方針を固めたことが24日、分かった。車線減による渋滞や乗降客の安全確保などに対する市民の懸念が強く、理解を得るには時間がかかると判断した。

 14年度の開業段階は現行のまま歩道寄りのバス優先レーンを中心に、連節バスなどを走らせる。専用走行路は、3年程度先送りし、17年度前後の整備をあらためて目指す考えだ。

 区間は、BRTの運行を担う見込みの新潟交通が提案したJR新潟駅―青山地区(新潟市西区)を採用する方針。

 一方、導入に異論もある連節バスに関しても、購入台数を削減する方向で再調整している。連節バスを減らす分は従来型の車両で輸送力を補い、「車両のラッピングや停留所のデザインなどで統一感を出したい」(市幹部)としている。

 これまで、市は新潟駅から古町地区に至る2キロは専用走行路とする計画としていた。

 だが車線減による渋滞を懸念するドライバーや、停留所まで道路を横断する高齢者や障害者らから不安の声が出ていた。さらに信号機による交通規制や除雪などの課題をめぐり、関係機関との調整も難航していた。
Basically, there was some citizen “concern” about traffic congestion (due to loss of travel lanes) and passenger safety (particularly elderly and the disabled) with the proposed exclusive BRT median, and Niigata City expects that it will take time to develop a consensus in support of that particular element of the project. As a result, they have decided to prioritize the other elements of the project, and will run articulated vehicles in the existing side-running bus-only lanes (i.e., curb lanes) when the service debuts in FY2014. The exclusive median ROW will be pushed back three years to FY2017. There is also some opposition to articulated buses, so they will reduce the initial fleet purchase and supplementing the deficit with existing buses. Additional issues regarding the project also include traffic signals (and effects on non-BRT traffic) and snow removal.

Inside a shuttle bus that does a loop through central Niigata, catering to tourists. The segment at the very beginning up to 1:50 or so is along the BRT alignment:



Front and side view on a bus traveling on National Route 113 in central Niigata City during a snowstorm (2012.02.02). This isn’t on the BRT alignment… It’s actually an airport coach from Niigata Airport to JR Niigata Station:

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Old January 26th, 2013, 06:29 AM   #4620
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Quote:
The numbering is designed to make the system easier to use for foreigners and
Nothing wrong with doing that, though I reckon few foreign tourists actually ride that line, given the on-line "attractions" of northern Fukuoka Pref. Chikutetsu by the way is fascinating for railfans, essentially a low-floor interurban with older articulated railcars in operation.

*the JR Nogata station building in that first video was demolished, an example of cultural vandalism by JR Kyushu and the city of Nogata. Orio Sta. is up next...
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