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Old March 1st, 2013, 07:19 PM   #4921
smithrh
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Any guide to Japanese train livery?

So, my Google-fu has failed me, probably because I don't read Japanese...

I'm looking for any sort of guide to livery/colors for trains in Japan - commuter and otherwise. I'd be shocked if there isn't something out there already, and I've found a few very fragmented pieces of information, but nothing really complete.

Quashlo's map's legend is great and very helpful, but basically I'd like to be able to identify trains/operators while browsing YouTube videos.

Any pointers for me? Again, I'm sure this is out there but whatever Englisg search terms I'm using aren't doing the trick.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 07:43 PM   #4922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithrh View Post
So, my Google-fu has failed me, probably because I don't read Japanese...

I'm looking for any sort of guide to livery/colors for trains in Japan - commuter and otherwise. I'd be shocked if there isn't something out there already, and I've found a few very fragmented pieces of information, but nothing really complete.

Quashlo's map's legend is great and very helpful, but basically I'd like to be able to identify trains/operators while browsing YouTube videos.

Any pointers for me? Again, I'm sure this is out there but whatever Englisg search terms I'm using aren't doing the trick.
Well, here's the thing you'd basically need to remember: the line colors have the same colors as those painted on trains (usually), although there will be exceptions, especially on those lines that have interlining and long-haul trains. The Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway maps are color-coded, but, if you really want a comprehensive map, you might want to consider getting a PDF version of them since those would have not only the color codes, but also the routes taken.

Tokyo Metro Map (PDF)
Tokyo Metro Area Major Rail and Subway Map (PDF)
JR Train Map (Tokyo, PDF)
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Old March 1st, 2013, 07:51 PM   #4923
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Tokyo Metro's 3/16 revised timetables are online... and of course that also means the new Fukutoshin line (Shibuya~Wako-shi) timetable is out too!

Now I just need Tobu to show me their new schedules for the Tojo line-- Hopefully some of those new "Rapid" services will meet Fukutoshin services that start/end at Wako.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 08:37 PM   #4924
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
Well, here's the thing you'd basically need to remember: the line colors have the same colors as those painted on trains (usually), although there will be exceptions, especially on those lines that have interlining and long-haul trains. The Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway maps are color-coded, but, if you really want a comprehensive map, you might want to consider getting a PDF version of them since those would have not only the color codes, but also the routes taken.
Let me re-state my request, when I re-read it I can see it wasn't all that clear.

So, for whatever reason, I've become fairly addicted to watching YouTube videos of Japanese trains. I've been watching for a few years now, and I've been to Japan, so I get the basics involved.

But what really fascinates me is that - with exceptions - trains are comprised of trainsets dedicated to the line. Yamanote line is lime green - and you won't see those cars on any other line.

This means that I can watch a video, and pretty quickly - even though I don't read Japanese - have a pretty good guess as to where it was shot.

So, sure, the major lines I understand. But pretty frequently, I'll be watching a video that's been taken in Tokyo and see a train I just can't identify. These could be Azusa or other intercity trains, but I still - after years! - see new livery on commuter lines that I haven't seen before.

In addition, livery encompasses not only colors but design. So, while you can say that the Yamanote line's color is lime green, how it's applied (stripe over metal) to me is the livery. There are lines in Tokyo that have orange and green, but I see green/orange/green trains and orange/green/orange liveries, so I suspect these indicate some important variation.

Just like there are aircraft identification charts, I'd have to think some detail-oriented railfan in Japan has come up with train identification charts, and this is where I come up short.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 09:17 PM   #4925
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithrh View Post
So, for whatever reason, I've become fairly addicted to watching YouTube videos of Japanese trains. I've been watching for a few years now, and I've been to Japan, so I get the basics involved.

But what really fascinates me is that - with exceptions - trains are comprised of trainsets dedicated to the line. Yamanote line is lime green - and you won't see those cars on any other line.

This means that I can watch a video, and pretty quickly - even though I don't read Japanese - have a pretty good guess as to where it was shot.

So, sure, the major lines I understand. But pretty frequently, I'll be watching a video that's been taken in Tokyo and see a train I just can't identify. These could be Azusa or other intercity trains, but I still - after years! - see new livery on commuter lines that I haven't seen before.

In addition, livery encompasses not only colors but design. So, while you can say that the Yamanote line's color is lime green, how it's applied (stripe over metal) to me is the livery. There are lines in Tokyo that have orange and green, but I see green/orange/green trains and orange/green/orange liveries, so I suspect these indicate some important variation.

Just like there are aircraft identification charts, I'd have to think some detail-oriented railfan in Japan has come up with train identification charts, and this is where I come up short.
Ah I understand what you mean... let me go over some of the basics for you:

- The green and orange trains are actually Shonan-Shinjuku Line trains that operate between Ofuna in Kanagawa Prefecture and Omiya in Saitama Prefecture. These trains continue on the following lines:

>> Southbound: Tokaido Line (for Hiratsuka, Kozu, or Odawara) or Yokosuka Line (for Zushi)
>> Northbound: Utsonomiya Line (for Utsonomiya) or Takasaki Line (for Kagohara, Takasaki, or Maebashi)

- The Azusa trains (E257) operate between Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture and Tokyo (either Shinjuku or Tokyo Station) as limited-stop trains. These trains are distinguished by a rainbow livery against a white backdrop. (See note on Ome Liner, below)

- The Chuo Liner trains are those large, heavy-looking trains that operate during the AM and PM commute between Tokyo and Takao stations via Shinjuku. The E351 train set is used on this service. Note: there is also an Ome Liner service operating to and from Ome via Tachikawa, but the train type used for this service would be the E257 "Azusa" train.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 11:31 PM   #4926
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There is no “unified” livery policy, as there are simply too many railway companies and there is no mechanism or demonstrated need for coordinating color schemes across companies. Even within companies, liveries vary widely due to a variety of reasons (cost, incremental fleet replacement, etc.).

That being said, there is some general guidance that you might find interesting, if not particularly helpful… Such as the official colors:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%...B8%80%E8%A6%A7

This is only in Japanese, but these are the official colors for lines / services / stopping patterns (some operators use colors to distinguish between lines, others between services / stopping patterns, others for both). In most cases, these colors have nothing to do with the color of the trains and are only used on visual media like maps, departure boards, etc.

The most conspicuous exception to this rule is JR East, which has (partially) taken that one step further to use the same colors on rolling stock for services in Greater Tōkyō:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%...9C.B0.E5.8C.BA

The Wikitable in that section shoes the line (leftmost column), followed by the line color, then the color of the trains. You will see there is generally some correspondence, but not really much. In some cases, there are two or three colors used in the livery (e.g., Jōban Rapid Line, Musashino Line, Tsurumi Line, Tōkaidō Line / Utsunomiya Line / Takasaki Line / Shōnan–Shinjuku Line). In some cases the colors and livery pattern differ by rolling stock—211 series and E231 / E233 series for the Utsunomiya Line and Takasaki Line both use orange + green, but how it’s painted underneath the windows is slightly different. Of course, there’s so much interlining between JR lines and so many lines that some colors and patterns are duplicated (e.g., Tōkaidō Line / Utsunomiya Line / Takasaki Line / Shōnan–Shinjuku Line have the same orange + green, Yokosuka Line and Sōbu Rapid Line have the same navy blue + cream.

JR West also has somewhat similar rolling stock color-coding, but they tend to go with full-body paint (as opposed to just stripes along the sides like JR East), and even then, that’s not consistent, and has been dying out (a general industry trend towards less paint to save cost).

Of course, limited expresses anywhere are completely absent from any color convention. The subways are also a different story, as there is generally some decent level of color-coding there, although it can vary depending on whether there is interlining with other railway companies, whose trains will not be subject to any color coding on the subway operator’s trains.

That being said, there are some general color trends, but the level of adherence nowadays is spotty:
Keikyū (Tōkyō) and Meitetsu (Nagoya) tend to be associated with red
Seibu tends to be associated with yellow
Hankyū is associated with maroon

In summary, there’s so much variety in rolling stock (and so many companies) that many more casual railfans will typically only be focused on one or two railways (e.g., ones they ride on a regular basis) and may be comparatively clueless about other railways’ rolling stock. The more videos you watch, though, I suppose the more you will gradually pick up on visual cues (not so much colors / liveries, but maybe train appearance, train design, formations, etc.) that will help you identify who owns the train and what line it is running on.
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Last edited by quashlo; March 1st, 2013 at 11:37 PM.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 01:27 AM   #4927
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Guys:

That's very very good info - that wikitable is great as well.

I was hoping that some railfan would have mapped a train diagram to the colors to make it easy on me, but this is still a great start. I'll have to use Google translate on the wiki...

Thanks a bunch!
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 06:55 AM   #4928
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You may also find these sites useful:
http://www.trainfrontview.net/sozai.htm#index
http://www18.tok2.com/home/motoyawata/icon2.html

Icons of the vast majority of Japan's rolling stock.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 08:52 PM   #4929
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Super-Long Toyoko-Fukutoshin Connection Update!
With just 12 more days to go until the connection between the Tokyu Toyoko line and the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin line is made, there are some huge changes being made.

Tokyu Toyoko Shibuya Terminal receives its last station melody

For years, most Toyoko line riders would hear this melody played just prior to the announcement of arrivals and departures in Shibuya Terminal.

This was in use just prior to the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake...

Even the JR station next door used it for their departing melody for a time.

JR Shibuya melody

Well on Friday, my ears heard a completely different tune while on my daily commute.


Go to the 1 minute mark in this video.
New melody 「Final approach」along with a 9000 series arriving.


Kinda made me a little sad because I knew exactly why the melody changed.

I went to Tokyu's website and found this info...

Time period:2013/3/1/ ~ 3/15
Song Title:「Final approach」
作曲:Minoru Mukaiya
Image:"I've tried to recreate the feeling of the final train to arrive on the platform here... The notes reflect the respect of the curtain closing on 85 years of history at Shibuya Terminal."

There will be a new melody being played on the Toyoko line at platforms 3 & 4 downstairs on the B5 level when the switch is made on 3/16...

Time period :2013/3/16 ~
Song title :「Departing from New Shibuya Terminal」
Artist:Minoru Mukaiya
Song Image:Here I'm trying to produce the feeling of "Here we go!" upon leaving the underground Shibuya station and ascending upwards out of the tunnel into Daikanyama. The modulation and peaking of the notes should reflect this.
  
The coolest thing about these melodies is that Japanese jazz keyboardist Minoru Mukaiya from the band "Cassiopeia" made them. He's also really famous in railfan circles because he is also the producer of the train simulator game, Train Simulator and even produced several railfanning events for Tokyu. He has made a lot of catchy melodies heard in the stations around Japan for example the jingle on Keisei's Sky Express and Hanshin's mainline stations.
Check out his Wikipedia page for more info about him and the melodies he's made. (I updated that page to add these new tunes for him! )

Most timetables for the upcoming 3/16 connection are online!

Tokyu was first to publish their timetables. They've even been taping them to the station's timetable boards so that everyone will know what to do on the first Monday of service (3/18). Indeed, we'll have the most adjusting to do because all of our trains are going to be stopping at different times, have more cars, and for those like me who continue on past Shibuya, will need to get a Tokyo Metro schedule to see if it even makes sense to stay on, or hop on another service...
So here are the new links to the changed timetables for those who like to check them out.

Tokyu Toyoko Line -- They've moved their new revisions into Navitime's software so now you can click on a time and see the entire diagram for that run. Tokyu wins again, and that's why they're my favorite Kanto train company.

Minato-Mirai Line -- not yet...
Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
Seibu Lines (use the map to pick a station and then click the PDF below"年20133月16日以降のPDF時刻表は下のメニューをクリックしてください"
Tobu Tojo Line -- not yet...but I need them to hurry it up already.

A new 5050-4000 train is used to promote Shibuya Hikarie
I actually need to thank Quashlo for posting the Train Frontview icons site. I was looking through there and noticed a train called "Shibuya Hikarie号" and thought "WTF is that?" So I Googled and got this:

Quote:
To celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of Hikarie Shibuya, "Shibuya Hikarie" train special edition will debut on Friday, April 26.


The exterior is wrapped in the design of the new landmark Shibuya Hikarie in gold...
The interior design has adopted three types of motifs in various clors. back and headrests are fitted as an improvement to standard design, an LED interior lighting is fitted with the environment in mind. In addition to normal runs along the Toyoko Line, the "Shibuya Hikarie" trainset is scheduled to be worked at train enthusiast events. more information will be forthcoming such as information on events and the vehicle manufacturing process.
...And I just remembered posting about J-TRAC (Tokyu Car Co) still owed us a few more 4000 series sets... Looks like the rumors were true and they'll be fitting the newer models with upgrades galore. How appropiate that the motif is gold...

Last train into "Old" Shibuya Terminal and switchover details are online
It goes without saying that there'll be TONS of railfans documenting the entire process in the wee hours of March 15/16...I'll likely be one of them if I can get enough sleep the day before. Tokyu has been kind enough to publish a timetable to show when the last train into Shibuya will be.

Looks like they'll run an express starting at Motomachi-Chukagai at 12:05am that will then turn into a local past Musashi-Kosugi station at 12:30. (I think that train normally goes out of service there at that time.) It will pull into Shibuya station at 12:49am...and promptly go back down the line out-of-service since they'll be starting the process to switch the tracks. There's another train scheduled after this one, but it'll end at Naka-Meguro. There will be a bus bridge to ferry passengers to Daikanyama and Shibuya.

Changes seen on the Toyoko Line
Last time I showed Shibuya~Jiyuu-ga-oka, so this time I'll do Tamagawa~Yokohama with the help from Freepass-Nikki blog...

Tamagawa Station


Platform extensions are complete. Lighting, signage, PA speakers, fencing and flooring finishes are done. The only thing left now is for the ITV screens for the conductors to see the entire platform.

Musashi-Kosugi Station

There's a large shopping mall called Tokyu Square that's being built on top of this station and it'll open at nearly the same time as the new connection.


Here the scaffolding from the new escalators that go from platform up into the mall are being removed a bit. There's a ticketing mezzanine up there now but it'll open with the mall.


Just beyond, the new platforms have received their ITV screens.

Hiyoshi Station

They've added the ITV monitors down on the Shibuya/Wako-shi bound side extensions for 10 car trains. Again, this platform is temporary because in 3 years, they'll need to rearrange things at this end for the Sotetsu line link that will pop out of a tunnel just beyond where that Meguro Line train is laying over.


At the other end, they've finally placed proper "TY" stopping markers on the floor. This lets us know where to line up for the train. The 8 car marks are down, and the 10 car marks are covered up for now. Also this end will get the "Ladies Car" marks (car #1) as well. They're on car #4 now.

Kikuna Station




This is a long(er) station with its gate all the way at the other end of the platform since it needs to connect to the JR Yokohama line station down there. They've roofed the whole platform and extension and added ITV. Still need to add signage and lighting down there but that will take no time at all.
I wonder if they can make a north entrance now-- there's a footbridge that crosses over the station at the halfway point... I feel bad for those getting off here from car #1 of a 10-car train!

Yokohama Station

Nothing much to be done here except place 10-car boarding markers on the ground (covered up for now.) They still have yet to replace the LED signboards and signage over to the "new style" here... But again, that should take a night of work once they get started.

Should I try and be a "rabid" railfan and take pix of the changeover?
I have some friends that want to try, so my personal plan is to take the last train into Shibuya station and see if there's some ceremony or something. Then walk from Shibuya station to Daikanyama and take pictures of the actual switching process...If there isn't some huge barrier preventing me from shooting pictures. If all goes well and my stamina is good, I'll ride the first train from Daikanyama (or walk to Naka-Meguro) and get some pictures of the newly switched over Shibuya station.

What are your personal opinions about the new service
I'm putting this here as a response to some of the feedback I've been getting from some friends that are into this stuff--and some who just need the train to get from point A to B. Some of them are wary of our beloved Toyoko line becoming susceptible to mishaps upstream-- Things that happen in Saitama to the Seibu and Tobu lines can now impact us in Yokohama for instance. This is a real issue for those who take JR's lines for instance because there's no built-in redundancy to operate each segment independent of each other in the event of a shutdown. But I remind them what happened in the days after the Great East Japan Earthquake when mutual service was suspended across the board for all lines for 3 weeks. The Fukutoshin-Toyoko connection is probably the first thru-service line here in Tokyo that is designed for these situations chiefly. I've been told by Tokyu staff that they can shunt operations down in sections until all their trains are back on Tokyu tracks and just use Shibuya as a terminus again until the timetables can be mated again in 30 minutes.

I'm also a little biased here--it works for me, and this is actually the reason I moved to this part of Yokohama 2 years ago. I knew this was coming and decided to stick it out. My job is in Ikebukuro and Shiki, two places well served by this connection. But I wanted to be close to Shibuya and the rest of central Tokyo *and* downtown Yokohama since I have family in the area.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 09:16 PM   #4930
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
You may also find these sites useful:
http://www.trainfrontview.net/sozai.htm#index
http://www18.tok2.com/home/motoyawata/icon2.html

Icons of the vast majority of Japan's rolling stock.


Quote:
Originally Posted by starrwulfe View Post
A new 5050-4000 train is used to promote Shibuya Hikarie
I actually need to thank Quashlo for posting the Train Frontview icons site. I was looking through there and noticed a train called "Shibuya Hikarie号" and thought "WTF is that?" So I Googled and got this:
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 01:36 AM   #4931
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Originally Posted by starrwulfe View Post

At the other end, they've finally placed proper "TY" stopping markers on the floor. This lets us know where to line up for the train. The 8 car marks are down, and the 10 car marks are covered up for now. Also this end will get the "Ladies Car" marks (car #1) as well. They're on car #4 now.
What do the red, green and blue mean?
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 08:40 AM   #4932
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Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post

What do the red, green and blue mean?
Those are marks used by the crews when they measured the different trains stopping distances to line the doors up with the platforms. I'm still wondering what color goes with what trainset but I'll ask next time. I saw them using these marks recently when they tested the TASC in Hiyoshi station on a Seibu 6000 series set.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 08:59 AM   #4933
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There is a similar pattern at Minato Mirai station too (blue and red):
http://blog-imgs-50.fc2.com/t/a/k/ta...r201209_23.jpg
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 11:09 AM   #4934
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Yeah they're at all the stations, including behind the platform screen doors on the Fukutoshin line too.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 02:11 PM   #4935
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The new 5050-4000 train looks good!!
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Old March 4th, 2013, 09:00 PM   #4936
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Is there no news on the Odakyus?

Also, what about Tohoku Jukan?

Those two were why I joined this site.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 09:42 PM   #4937
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Farewell run for Meitetsu Seto Line 6600 series
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/s/article/...390210340.html

Quote:
 引退する名鉄瀬戸線の専用車両「6600系」のさよなら運転が3日あり、大勢の鉄道ファンや沿線住民が最後の勇姿を見守った。

 6600系は1978年に瀬戸線(栄町―尾張瀬戸)で運用を開始。車両前部に取り付けられたスカート(排障器)や、開閉可能な窓、赤い車体などが特徴だった。車両をステンレス製「4000系」に更新することに伴い、最後まで残っていた1編成の引退も決まっていた。

 この日は抽選で選ばれた200人が乗車。尾張旭駅を発着点に、1時間20分かけて路線を往復。乗客は記念としてつり革を持ち帰ることができ、解体を控える車両に別れを告げた。

 乗車応募券を手に入れるため、販売前日から並んだという愛知県大府市の中学3年小崎裕太君(15)は「6600系は連結部分で運転席が向かい合っていたことや、スカートが好きだった。寂しいけど、さようならは伝えられました」と話していた。

(中日新聞・水越直哉)
This series first entered service in 1978 on the Seto Line between Sakaemachi and Owari Seto, but their time is up as a result of gradual replacement by stainless steel 4000 series starting in 2008. The farewell run for the last remaining set was on 2013.03.02.

Farewell run at Owari Asahi:

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Old March 4th, 2013, 09:43 PM   #4938
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Barrier-free upgrades complete at Hizen Kashima
http://www.saga-s.co.jp/news/saga.0....9.article.html

Quote:
 JR肥前鹿島駅のバリアフリー化工事が終わった。改札口からホームへつながる手すり付き通路(約20メートル)を新設、11人乗りエレベーターも1基設置した。ホームを10センチかさ上げして乗降時の段差を解消するなど、足腰に不安のある高齢者らに配慮した。

 完成を祝い1日開かれたセレモニーでは、樋口久俊市長が「(バリアフリー化は)ゴールではなくスタート。今後はトイレ、駅舎、駅前広場の整備を進めていきたい」とあいさつ。男性利用客は(65)は「改札からホームまで少し遠くなったけど、落ち着いて歩けるので安心」と喜んだ。

バリアフリー化は2011年10月から着手。総工費2億6100万円のうち、市が4350万円を負担。市は本年度、駅前整備の基本設計に着手している。

手すり付きの通路が新設されたJR肥前鹿島駅


駅に設置された11人乗りエレベーター=JR肥前鹿島駅
This is a small station on the Nagasaki Main Line in Kashima City, Saga Prefecture, about halfway between Tosu and Nagasaki. They constructed a new passage between the faregates and platforms, installed a new elevator, and raised the platform by 10 cm to reduce the height difference with train floors.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 09:44 PM   #4939
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nimoca expands to Hita City shuttle buses
http://www.oita-press.co.jp/localNew...227460697.html

Quote:
 日田市内循環バス「ひたはしり号」で23日から、「nimoca」(ニモカ)などのICカードが利用できるようになる。交通系ICカード(全国10社)の全国相互利用サービス開始に合わせた措置で、4月1日からのダイヤ改正で病院前に停留所も新設。高齢者が使いやすい公共交通となるよう利便性を高めた。

 「ひたはしり号」は高齢者の通院や買い物対策として、市が3年前に導入。ICカードはこれまで利用できなかったが、サービス開始により全てのカードが利用可能となる。既に同号と予備車両計4台に利用端末機を取り付けた。
 新停留所は「日田リハビリテーション病院」(市内上手町)。一方、乗客が少ない桃山線は今月末で廃止される。
 市から循環バスの業務委託を受けている日田バスの田中信浩社長は「両替や小銭を財布から出す手間が省けるので、ぜひ高齢者らにICカードを利用してもらいたい」としている。
 Χ Χ Χ 
 今月末で市郊外の路線バス2路線が廃止され、代替策として4月からデマンドタクシーが導入される。
 廃止されるのはJR天ケ瀬駅と天瀬町近原を結ぶ「本城線」と、JR杉河内駅と下園などを結ぶ「山浦線」。デマンドタクシーは列車発着時間に合わせて運行(運賃200~300円)する。この他、JR夜明駅や夜明大橋、石井町などを通る「夜明循環線」を新設する。
This is for the Hita-hashiri shuttle bus services in Hita City, Ōita Prefecture, operated jointly between Hita City and Nishitetsu. Good to see some of the smaller cities jumping on the bandwagon with the upcoming launch of interoperability between the 10 largest transport IC card systems in Japan.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #4940
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Japan’s longest fixed-route bus service celebrates 50 years
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...2030001-n1.htm

Quote:
 ■橿原で記念式典 さらなる安全運行誓う

 ■近鉄大和八木駅~和歌山・JR新宮駅間166.9キロ 停留所167カ所 片道6時間半

 高速道路を使わない路線バスとしては日本一長い距離を走る奈良交通(奈良市)の「八木新宮特急バス」が1日、運行開始から50周年を迎えた。奈良側の始発駅がある橿原市では記念式典が開かれ、関係者らは地域の足を支えた50年を振り返り、さらなる安全運行などを誓った。

                   ◇

 八木新宮特急バスは、橿原市の近鉄大和八木駅と和歌山県新宮市のJR新宮駅を結ぶ166・9キロを走行。停留所は167カ所で、片道の所要時間は約6時間半。主に国道24号、168号を走り、大和高田、五條、十津川などの各市村を経由する。

 昭和38年3月1日に運行を始めた当時、奈良側の始発は、奈良市の東大寺大仏殿近くの「奈良大仏前」だった。しかし、市内の交通渋滞が頻発するようになり、定時運行が困難になったため、58年、大和八木駅に変更した。

 その後も地元住民の移動を支え、通算400万人以上が利用してきた。

 平成23年9月の紀伊半島豪雨では168号が寸断され、途中までの折り返し運行を余儀なくされたが、約2カ月後には、ほぼ再開した。

 この日は大和八木駅前で記念式典が開かれ、森下豊・橿原市長や更谷慈禧(よしき)・十津川村長ら沿線自治体の首長らも出席。谷口宗男社長は「今年で奈良交通も70周年を迎えることになり、おもてなしの心と安心安全のバスを改めて目指したい」とあいさつした。

 バスと同じ昭和38年に入社して車掌となり、現在は統括指導員として勤務する上條正幸さん(69)が、暖房設備のなかった当時のコート姿で車掌として乗り込んだ。

 当時は別路線の担当だった上條さんだが、「昔は道路事情が悪く、砂で体中がほこりだらけだった。日本一のバスと同じ50周年を迎えられたことは誇り」と喜んだ。

 バスは、ほぼ満員で大和八木駅を出発。奈良交通のマスコットキャラクター「シーカくん」やバスガイドらが手を振って見送った。
Operated by Nara Kōtsū, This is the longest fixed-route bus service in Japan not using expressways, traveling 166.9 km between Yamato Yagi Station (Kintetsu Kashihara Line, Kintetsu Ōsaka Line) to JR Shingū Station (Kisei Main Line). There are 167 stops along the way, following National Routes 24 and 168 and passing through Yamata Takada, Gojō, and Totsukawa. There are three round-trips a day, and a full-length one-way journey between Nara and Wakayama takes 6.5 hours and costs ₯5,250. Strangely enough they brand it as a 特急バス, although I'm not sure I would really call it "fast".

Clips of the service:

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