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Old March 26th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #5161
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Hoshakuji Station, Japan

I'm not sure if this is posted in the right place, but I couldn't find anywhere else that would be appropriate and this is such a cool station design.

Hoshakuji Station, Japan by Kengo Kuma 2008









Source: http://architectuul.com/architecture/hoshakuji-station
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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:26 PM   #5162
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Mitsubishi Electric offers world's first SiC auxiliary power system for railcars
http://www.compoundsemiconductor.net...for-train.html

Quote:
The silicon carbide modules will be incorporated in type 1000 railcars of the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Mitsubishi Electric has commercialised and delivered railcar auxiliary power supply systems that incorporate what it says is the world's first SiC power modules for use in operating trains.

Systems now being installed for test operation in new Type 1000 railcars of Tokyo Metro's Ginza Line subway are scheduled to enter commercial operation in June.

Auxiliary power supply systems provide electricity to air conditioners and lighting inside railcars.

Compared to Mitsubishi Electric's existing system incorporating silicon power modules, the new system achieves 30 percent less power loss, is 20 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter. It also reduces transformer noise by 4dB due to a 35 percent improvement in the distortion rate of output voltage waveforms.

Compared to silicon, SiC helps to reduce size and weight through lowered power loss and higher energy efficiency, as well as smaller power module radiators.

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a variety of SiC power module applications, including the first large-voltage SiC railcar inverters for DC600V/750V power lines, which were launched in October 2011 and incorporated in Tokyo Metro's Ginza Line Type 01 railcars in February 2012.

Also, SiC railcar inverters developed for DC1500V power lines were launched in November 2012 and installed in Tokyo Metro's Tozai Line Type 15000 railcars beginning in January 2013.

The new SiC auxiliary power supply system incorporates technologies Mitsubishi Electric developed for SiC inverters.

The company is also developing total railway energy solutions for enhanced energy management of railcars, including the new SiC auxiliary power supply systems, as well as stations, rail yards and train lines.
Official Mitsubishi Electric press releases:
Japanese: http://www.mitsubishielectric.co.jp/...13/0326-b.html
English: http://www.mitsubishielectric.com/news/2013/0326-a.html
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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #5163
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MIAC calls for improved safety measures on Kyūshū tramways
http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/item/355079

Quote:
 長崎、熊本、鹿児島の3市で運行されている路面電車について、総務省九州管区行政評価局は26日、停留所のホーム転落防止柵や点字ブロックの未設置など安全対策が不十分として、3市の鉄道事業者を指導・監督する九州運輸局に対し、改善を要請したと発表した。

 車いす利用者からの相談などを受け、行政評価局が昨年12月から今年3月まで、初めて3市の路面電車の運行状況を調査した。

 その結果、熊本市では点字ブロックの不備で視覚障害者が障害物に衝突する恐れがあるホームが2カ所あり、転落防止柵を設けていないホームが26カ所あった。視覚障害者の転落を防止する点字ブロックがなかったホームは、長崎市が60カ所、熊本市が53カ所、鹿児島市が70カ所あった。

 そのほか、鹿児島市では国土交通省が定めている運転士の睡眠時無呼吸症候群(SAS)調査を行っていなかった。

行政評価局は「要請は努力義務だが、不適切なところは速やかに改善を進めてほしい」としており、運輸局は「事業者への指導を徹底していきたい」と話している。
This concerns the three tram systems operating in Nagasaki, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima… The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has issued a warning to the MLIT’s Kyūshū Transportation Bureau, which oversees the three tram operators, calling for stronger safety measures including platform fencing and truncated dome tiles. They conducted a survey of the three systems and found that in Kumamoto there were two platforms where a lack of truncated dome tiles could cause visually-impaired passengers to come into contact with obstructions, and another 26 platforms where platform fencing was not installed. There were 60 platforms in Nagasaki, 53 in Kumamoto, and 70 in Kagoshima that did not have truncated dome times installed. The MIAC study also found that Kagoshima City was not performing MLIT-required tests of train operators for sleep apnea syndrome (SAS).
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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:28 PM   #5164
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Hankyū to redevelop Sannomiya Station
http://www.asahi.com/business/update...303260044.html

Quote:
 【笹井継夫】阪急電鉄は阪急三宮駅(神戸市中央区)を再開発する方針を固めた。駅東側の神戸阪急ビル東館を高層の複合ビルに建て替える。東館は1995年の阪神大震災で壊れ、暫定利用を目的に再建された。3月に入り、神戸市と再開発に向けた本格的な協議を始めた。

 神戸阪急ビルは36年に完成。震災前、東館(地下1階、地上4階建て)は百貨店の三宮阪急や映画館などが入り、神戸・三宮の顔と呼ばれていた。震災で半壊し、95年11月に地下1階、地上3階建てのビルとして仮再建した。スーパーマーケットのいかり阪急三宮店や旅行会社、エイチ・アイ・エス(HIS)の阪急三宮駅営業所などが入る。

阪急電鉄は建て替え後、商業施設やオフィスなどを入れることを検討しているとみられる。事業拠点の大阪・梅田で再開発の完了にめどがつき、新たな投資余力が生まれた。建て替えでビルの収益性を高める狙いがある。

阪急電鉄が建て替えを決めた神戸阪急ビル東館(中央)。左上はJR西日本が高層化する方針の三宮ターミナルビル=19日午後、神戸市中央区、朝日新聞社ヘリから、筋野健太撮影


阪急三宮駅周辺の地図
More big news for Kōbe’s central station, as Hankyū Corporation have announced that they also plan to redevelop the Kōbe Hankyū Building East Annex, located at the east side of the station, into a mixed-use highrise. Originally built in 1936 as a four-story structure (plus one underground level) housing the Sannomiya Hankyū department store, a movie theater, and other tenants, the East Annex was severely damaged in the 1995 Kōbe earthquake. It was quickly rebuilt for “temporary” use in November 1995 as a three-story building (plus one underground level), housing a supermarket (Ikari Hankyū Sannomiya), a travel agency office (HIS), and other tenants. It’s likely the new tower will house retail and office.

Of course, this follows JR West’s announcement that they will also redevelop their station building, so this should be fantastic news for Kōbe.

A short tour of Hankyū Sannomiya Station and the surrounds… Not entirely accurate (completely forgets Hanshin), but it’s in English.



Cab view on a Hankyū Kōbe Line “A Limited Express” from Umeda to Shin-Kaichi (2011.12.14):

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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #5165
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Schedule improvements take effect for Chūō Rapid Line
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...3A310C1L71000/

Quote:
 東日本旅客鉄道(JR東日本)は16日に中央線ダイヤを改正する。昼間の「特別快速(特快)」運転本数を増やす。三鷹―立川間の高架化工事完了によりスピードアップが可能になり、特快の新宿―八王子間の所要時間は最速33分と最大3分短縮する。都心と多摩地域間の移動がより便利になる。

 平日昼間(午前11時ごろ~午後4時ごろ)の東京―立川間の特快の運転本数は1時間あたり4本から5本に増える。特快には都心と八王子、高尾を結ぶ中央特快と、立川から青梅線を走る青梅特快があるが、中央特快を1本増やす。その一方で快速は10本から9本に減らす。

 平日の特快と快速が大きく異なるのは中野―立川間の停車駅。特快は三鷹、国分寺の2駅だけだが、快速は各駅に停車する。

 特快の所要時間は快速に比べ昼間で約10分ほど短く、長距離の利便性が高い。

 新宿―八王子間での最高速度を現在の時速95キロから100キロに引き上げ、ほとんどの特快で所要時間が若干短縮される。三鷹―立川間の高架化が完了し、車両本来の速度性能を発揮できるようになった。

松本駅から東京駅への上り直通特急も1日あたり1本から2本に増やす。現在、松本―新宿間で運転する「スーパーあずさ6号」を東京まで延長する。
These took effect with the rest of JR East’s schedule revisions on 2013.03.16… Basically, they increased the number of midday special rapids (特別快速 or 特快) from 4 tph to 5 tph (by taking one of the 10 tph rapid services and making it a “Chūō special rapid”) and increased the maximum speed between Shinjuku and Hachiōji from 95 km/h to 100 km/h as part of completion of grade-separation of the Mitaka – Tachikawa section. The fastest special rapids now make the journey between Shinjuku and Hachiōji in as little as 33 minutes, a time savings of up to 3 minutes.

They also added another inbound limited express from Matsumoto direct into Tōkyō Station by extending Super Azusa 6 from Shinjuku, so there are now two trains daily doing this.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #5166
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Cerberus pushes for abandonment of Seibu Chichibu Line
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201...ibu-line-open/

Quote:
Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda and other local leaders are making their case to Seibu Holdings Inc. to keep the Seibu Chichibu Line open as rumors swirl that the firm’s biggest shareholder is demanding that the unprofitable railway section be abandoned.

“It would severely damage the Chichibu area” if the line is abolished, Ueda told reporters Monday after he and other leaders of municipalities along the line met in Tokyo with Takashi Goto, the president of Seibu Holdings.

Operated by group firm Seibu Railway Co., the 19-km Seibu Chichibu Line in southwest Saitama Prefecture connects Agano Station in Hanno with Seibu Chichibu Station in Chichibu. The six-station line, which opened in 1969, is used by about 10,000 people daily.

In an apparent move to increase its influence over the management of Seibu Holdings, which plans to re-list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange soon, U.S. investment firm Cerberus Capital Management LP is attempting to raise its stake from the current 32.4 percent.

Seibu’s business and social standing went into steep decline in 2005, when its leader, Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, once touted as the world’s richest man during Japan’s economic bubble years of the late 1980s, was convicted of falsifying official documents. Since then, Seibu has been trying to rebuild by cutting ties to the founding family and seeking outside financial help.

The Seibu Chichibu Line connects major cities in Saitama, including Hanno and Tokorozawa, and gives passengers access to Ikebukuro in the heart of Tokyo, Ueda said in a statement submitted to the Seibu group. The line branches off the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.

“It is an essential train line for people living in the Chichibu area and plays a significant role for the development of the area,” the statement said.

According to Ueda, Seibu said it realizes the importance of the line and doesn’t take its closure lightly.

Chichibu Railway Co. runs another line in the area, but it is less convenient than the Seibu Chichibu Line to get to central Tokyo.

The U.S. investment firm wants Seibu to streamline its operations to raise share value.

Seibu Railway Co.’s spokesman said the firm does not disclose figures on the profitability of its rail lines.

On borrowed time?: A Seibu Chichibu Line train departs from Agano Station in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture, on Tuesday.
Another English language article:
http://skift.com/2013/03/26/private-...se-rail-giant/

Quote:
Cerberus Capital Management LP, owner of 32.4 percent of Seibu Holdings Inc., is willing to wait as long as three years for the relisting of the Japanese rail and hotel operator.

The private-equity firm wants to increase its stake and appoint three new directors before selling shares to the public in two or three years, said Masakazu Iwakura, a lawyer for Nishimura & Asahi who is advising the New York-based company. Seibu said it is preparing for a listing as soon as possible.

Cerberus, which oversees more than $20 billion, is offering to raise its stake to as much as 36.4 percent after leading a bailout of the company with Nikko Principal Investments Japan Ltd. in 2005. A third-party panel set up by Seibu is scheduled to make a decision on the listing today.

“Cerberus wants to improve corporate value through the addition of the new board members it is proposing,” Iwakura said. “It may take two to three years.”

The Tokorozawa city, Japan-based rail operator had been delisted from the Tokyo stock exchange in 2004 after misstating stakes held by shareholders, breaking exchange rules.

“We are putting priority on preparing ourselves for a listing as soon as possible,” Shuhei Akasaka, a spokesman for Seibu, said today.
Five banks

The rail operator is predicting net income will more than double to as much as 19.7 billion yen ($209 million) in the year ending this month, compared with 8.4 billion yen last fiscal year. It last year hired five banks for a proposed initial public offering.

Cerberus is proposing Hirofumi Gomi, a former commissioner of Japan’s Financial Services Agency; Masaharu Ikuta, former president of Japan Post, and Yuji Shirakawa, former chairman of Citigroup Global Markets Japan, to join Seibu’s board of directors.

Cerberus plans to raise voting rights in Seibu to as much as 36.4 percent from 32.4 percent through an offer to buy outstanding shares at 1,400 yen each, it said earlier this month.

“We’ve been friendly in our approach to Seibu, that’s Cerberus’s basic policy,” said Iwakura. “Whatever they said we’ve been cooperative.”

Seibu was the seventh-largest railway operator in the Tokyo area by ticket sales, according to figures from East Japan Railway Co., the nation’s largest rail operator. It had 93.7 billion yen of ticket sales in the fiscal year ended March 2011, according to JR East. The company’s operations also include hotels, golf resorts and buses.

Seibu was previously run by Yoshiaki Tsutsumi. He amassed a $16 billion personal fortune while at its helm, making him the world’s richest man in 1990, according to Forbes magazine.
This NHK article also has a video report:
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2013...449861000.html

Hopefully they don’t get their way… This is a nice line with some fantastic mountain scenery.

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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:31 PM   #5167
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Residents lose battle for lower fares on Hokusō Railway
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2013...467121000.html

Quote:
東京と千葉県を結ぶ北総鉄道の運賃が高いのは、乗り入れている別の鉄道会社が線路の使用料を実質的に支払っていないためだとして、沿線の住民が、国に線路の使用許可を取り消すとともに運賃の値下げを命じるよう求めていた裁判で、東京地方裁判所は住民の訴えを退ける判決を言い渡しました。

東京・葛飾区から千葉県印西市までの32キロ余りの区間を走る第三セクターの北総鉄道は、JRや大手私鉄と比べて、同じ距離を乗車した場合の運賃がおよそ2倍から3倍と、割高になっています。
裁判で沿線の住民らは、運賃が高いのは、北総鉄道に乗り入れている京成電鉄の「成田スカイアクセス」が、線路の使用料を実質的には支払っていないためだとして、国に線路の使用許可を取り消すとともに、運賃の値下げを命じるよう求めていました。
26日の判決で、東京地方裁判所の定塚誠裁判長は「線路の使用条件は、鉄道事業者相互間の関係を規律するもので、利用者に直接影響を及ぼすものではないため、原告に訴えの資格はない」と指摘し、「北総鉄道の運賃については国の判断内容にかしがあると認められる証拠はない」などと述べ、住民の訴えを退けました。
判決のあと、原告の住民らが記者会見し、このうち千葉県白井市の石垣理生さん(19)は、「判決は19歳の私にすら、おかしいと分かるものだ。北総鉄道はパートナーとして住民に歩み寄って運賃を下げ、住みやすい街にしてほしい」と話していました。
一方、国土交通省は「結論においては、いずれも国の認可処分を否定するものではないが、原告には訴えを起こす権利がないという主張が運賃については認められなかったため、今後の対応について法務当局と検討したい」とコメントしています。
また、北総鉄道株式会社は「訴訟の当事者ではないので、コメントする立場ではありません」としています。
High fares have been a problem for a lot of third-sector railways, with Hokusō Railway having as much as twice to three times the fares of JR or the major private railways (on a per-kilometer basis) and student commuter passes being four times as high. The line originally opened in 1979, but downsizing of the development plans for Chiba New Town mean that ridership has never quite reached the original targets, with the residential population just now reaching 93,000 after 30 years (the original plans called for 340,000 residents). As a result, the railway has been forced to increase fares to stay afloat, with the minimum fare for one-station being ¥290.

The local residents filed a suit against the government, saying that the fares were high because some of the railways using the line—including Keisei Electric Railway’s Narita Sky Access—were not paying track usage fees. The Tōkyō District Court threw out the case, though, saying the fares were appropriate and that the residents had no basis to file a suit regarding track usage fees between group companies (Hokusō Railway is a subsidiary of Keisei).

FNN news feature (2013.03.26).
At 3:15, there’s an interesting interview with passengers who purchase discounted multiple-ride tickets at regular vending machines and convenience stores in order to save money on fares. The article from NHK also has a video report.

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Old March 27th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #5168
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Four new segments of Kesennuma Line BRT to open
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2013/03/20130326t11016.htm

Quote:
 JR東日本は25日、気仙沼線柳津-気仙沼間(55.3キロ)のバス高速輸送システム(BRT)について、気仙沼市内の4区間で新たに専用道を開通させ、4月25日に運行を始めると発表した。
 専用道が新設されるのは、本吉-小金沢、大谷海岸-陸前階上、最知-松岩、不動の沢-気仙沼の各駅間のそれぞれ一部で計7.2キロ。先行して整備した2区間と合わせ、専用道の延長は11.6キロとなる。
 国道45号など一般道通行の際の渋滞の影響が緩和され、本吉-気仙沼間は最大で4分間短縮。所要時間は43分となる。
 ダイヤも改正するが、現行の運行本数の変更はない。専用道内の交差点(旧踏切)は16カ所増える。JRは交通量の多い所には信号機を設けるなど安全対策を講じる。現在、一般道沿いにある不動の沢駅は旧駅舎があった場所に移す。気仙沼市で記者会見したJR東日本盛岡支社の多田秀彰企画担当部長は「気仙沼線の専用道は最終的には40キロ弱とする計画。地権者との協議を踏まえ、おおむね年内の完成を予定している」と述べた。訓練運転は4月3日に始める。
Service on four new sections of exclusive ROW for the Kesennuma Line BRT will open on 2013.04.25. The four sections comprise a total of 7.2 km, covering portions of the Motoyoshi – Koganezawa, Ōya Kaigan – Rikuzen Hashikami, Saichi – Matsuiwa, and Fudō no Sawa – Kesennuma sections of the line. This adds to the two exclusive ROW segments (4.4 km) already in operation, and will reduce travel times between Motoyoshi and Kesennumba to 43 minutes, saving as much as 4 minutes by avoiding traffic congestion on National Route 45. The number of trips will stay the same, though, and the number of “grade crossings” for the BRT will increase by 16. Driver training will begin on 2013.04.03. Eventual plan is for about 40 km of exclusive ROW along the former Kesennuma Line between Kesennuma and Yanaizu.

FNN news report (2013.03.26):

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Old March 27th, 2013, 12:52 AM   #5169
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Yamagata governor shoots down new stadium at JR Yamagata Station
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2013/03/20130326t51010.htm

Quote:
 サッカーJ2山形の本拠地誘致を視野に入れた山形市の新スタジアム建設構想で、市から共同建設を提案された山形県の吉村美栄子知事は25日、市内の商業界から要望が出ているJR山形駅西口へのスタジアム建設について「恐らくない」と否定した。

 本拠地存続を求める山本信治天童市長らと面会した際に語った。知事は駅西口を否定する理由には言及しなかったが、広瀬渉県企画振興部長は5日の県議会予算委員会で「駅西口への建設は難しい」と答弁し、理由を「収容人数をJ1の最低基準の1万5000人にしても、周辺施設との関係から客席がいびつな形になる」と説明していた。
 駅西口への建設は、市内9商店街で構成する「市中心商店街街づくり協議会」が21日、山形市に要望。26日には吉村知事に直接、要望書を提出する予定になっている。
 25日の定例記者会見で吉村知事は「(J2山形を運営する)県スポーツ振興21世紀協会が議論を主導することが望ましい」と述べた。吉村知事はスタジアム建設がチーム強化策の一環であるとの見方を示し、協会に議論の旗振り役を期待した。
 県の役割に関しては「実際的な経済効果もしっかり考えなければならない。議論に必要なデータを収集する」と話した。

◎天童市長存続要望/知事を訪問

 サッカーJ2山形の本拠地誘致を視野に入れた山形市の新スタジアム建設構想を受け、現在の本拠地、NDソフトスタジアム山形(県総合運動公園陸上競技場)の地元の天童市は25日、山形県に対し、本拠地の存続などを求める要望書を提出した。
 要望書は「NDスタジアムには(6000台収容の)広大な駐車場があり、県内外からの交通アクセスがよい」などの理由を挙げ、「ホームスタジアムの最適地」と指摘。新スタジアムが必要な場合でも、周辺への建設を要望している。
 山本信治天童市長と水戸保天童市議会議長が県庁で吉村美栄子知事に手渡した。地元サポーターを代表して出席した同市の干布モンテ応援隊顧問の水戸部光昭・干布公民館長は「地域でモンテを応援してきた私たちの思いを受け止めてほしい」と訴えた。
Bit more news on the proposal to build a new stadium in Yamagata City for the Montedio Yamagata J2 League soccer team. The previous article mentioned potential effects to a proposed new station on the Ōu Main Line that would have served the current stadium in Tendō City. Since then, proposals have surfaced to build the new stadium at the West Exit plaza at JR Yamagata Station, which would be a fantastic urban location. Local retailers have banded together to express their support for the proposal, but the governor of Yamagata is less enthusiastic, saying the site is too constrained to support the required size (15,000 spectators minimum).

NTV video report:
http://news24.jp/nnn/news8873612.html
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Old March 27th, 2013, 12:55 AM   #5170
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This Nikkei Shimbun article has some nice info about the switchout on the Odakyū Line:
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...20C13A3000000/

According to Odakyū, the switchout required 400 to 500 workers. Including all the other workers helping to underground Shimo-Kitazawa and the other two stations, the total workforce for this night’s work was about 1,000. The switchout points required moving 70 m sections of rail as much as two meters horizontally. Moving the tracks takes only 30 minutes, but the subsequent work to adjust it to just the right placement and height takes much longer.

The tunnels are bored, so to construct the underground platforms and other station facilities at Shimo-Kitazawa, they needed to cut open the sides of the bored tunnels (one in each direction). The interesting thing about the project is that it’s the first time they’ve opened bored tunnels underneath an active rail line (i.e., the at-grade tracks). They’ve done this type of work underneath active roads before, where the tolerance for subsidence is several centimeters, but for this project, they needed to do it underneath active railroad tracks, with a subsidence tolerance of a mere 8 mm.

The article also has a good photo chronology of the construction… I’ve reposted the images below with my translations of the captions.

Quote:
0時34分。終電前に作業員が地下入り口付近で待機している。両側にふくらんでいる線路が22日までの地上ルート(写真:ケンプラッツ、以下同じ)
12:34 am. Construction workers wait near the tunnel portal before the last train of the evening. The two tracks fanning out to the sides are the ground-level tracks in service up through March 22. (Photos courtesy of Kenplatz)


0時39分。上り最終列車が外側の地上ルートを遠ざかっていく
12:39 am. Final inbound train of the evening leaves us, following the above-ground tracks on the outside.


0時45分。下りの最終列車がまだ来るのに、作業員が一斉に切り替え箇所に向かって歩き出した
12:45 am. The final outbound train is yet to arrive, but the workers begin moving en masse towards the switchout point.


1時10分。下りの最終列車が、作業員のそばを通過していく
1:10 am. The last outbound train of the evening passes by the workers.


1時20分。レール切断で、火花が飛び散っている
1:20 am. Sparks fly as rail is spliced.


1時20分。バールを使っててこの原理でレールを横に動かしている
1:20 am. With crowbars, the workers use leverage to move the rails to the side.


2時13分。レールの高さを調整するために、バラストをつき固めしている
2:13 am. The workers tamp down the ballast to adjust the height of the rail.


3時32分。レールからの架線の高さを確認している
3:32 am. Confirming the height of the catenary from the rails.


4時16分。上りの試運転列車。作業員たちに見守られながら、初めて地下ルートに入っていく
4:16 am. An inbound test train. It enters the underground route for the first time, under the watchful eyes of the workers.


下北沢駅の直下で、周囲を掘削してセグメントが露出したシールドトンネル。トンネル外径は8.1m。この間を切り広げてホームを築造した(写真:勝田尚哉)
Excavation of the surrounding soil exposes the wall segments of the bored tunnels underneath Shimo-Kitazawa Station. The outer diameter of the tunnels is 8.1 m. The middle section here was opened up to construct the platforms.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 01:29 AM   #5171
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Now that is seriously amazing work! I wonder if anything like that can be done in any urban or suburban rail project here in the United States, especially with a lack of funding right now for key infrastructure repairs and construction... I truly am impressed with the speed of switching tracks from overground to underground, and I am pleased that the work has been done in a quick and efficient manner. Well done again, Odakyu!
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Old March 27th, 2013, 03:30 AM   #5172
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Well, we're talking about millions of people in Tokyo affected if there was a tradittional closed-track-&-service work, so it has to be this way. Very impressive.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 03:51 AM   #5173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbendymion View Post
Well, we're talking about millions of people in Tokyo affected if there was a tradittional closed-track-&-service work, so it has to be this way. Very impressive.
Indeed. I am deeply impressed with that rapid turnaround, and I hope that this type of work can be replicated in other countries, especially here in the United States. It is an urban renewal project that helps millions of commuters and lots of businesses to make travel around the region much more efficient.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 09:37 AM   #5174
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In the U.S.? At double the cost and weekend services suspended for two years, if you're lucky.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 10:12 AM   #5175
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That's what I thought because a similar plan will be done in Chicago wherein a portion of the Red line south of Cermak Station will have its railway tracks replaced since those have been in operation for over 40 years without any major replacements. I truly love how Japan replaces its tracks in an efficient and less intrusive manner than here in the US: I mean, here, not only will we have a lot of service suspensions and a lot of money to be spent, but also inconvenience for millions of riders (and tourists) in the process who need to ride replacement (or shuttle) buses between stations.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 02:57 PM   #5176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Cerberus pushes for abandonment of Seibu Chichibu Line
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201...ibu-line-open/



Another English language article:
http://skift.com/2013/03/26/private-...se-rail-giant/



This NHK article also has a video report:
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2013...449861000.html

Hopefully they don’t get their way… This is a nice line with some fantastic mountain scenery.

Any chance of another company taking over the route such as the Chichibu Railway? The route looks really quite nice and it would be a great shame for day-trippers to/from Tokyo to lose that connection.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 07:31 PM   #5177
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Sometimes I wish Tokyu would just buy Seibu outright... Tokyu is also better at the retail and real estate game than Seibu IMHO anyway, and that's where all the money is for these companies...

Just thinking out loud but as far as rail...
It could work theoretically since the Fukutoshin line connects to the Seibu Ikebukuro line via the Seibu Yurakucho line. It would be similar to how Meitetsu in Nagoya runs trains between the Inuyama and Toyota lines using the Nagoya Subway's Tsurumai line.
Also maybe they could run the Seibu Shinjuku line just to Takadanobaba and have it continue underground to just after Fukutoshin's Higashi Shinjuku station where it could merge and run all the way to Shibuya and beyond. Only Ltd Expresses, Liners, and a few services would use Seibu Shinjuku as a terminus. This would work because the majority of people use Takadanobaba station to transfer to/from the Yamanote line due to Seibu Shinjuku station being about 3 blocks north of the JR platforms at Shinjuku station, making quick transfers there impossible.

I also wish Sotetsu was a part of Tokyu Group too though, for the same reasons.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 10:17 PM   #5178
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Is there a risk of consolidating the railways a little too much if the big companies start buying all of the smaller ones, though? Do you think commuters would get a better deal in such a situation ? As transfers between operators are now far more seamless than they used to be it's quite nice to have a number of different players on the field, no?

I like a number of Seibu lines myself (took two of the larger ones in the form of the Ikebukuro and Shinjuku line groups when I was in Tokyo last). It's just a shame that the largest shareholder seems a little myopic about this line. True it doesn't look like the most patronised line ever, but at almost 7000 people per day at Seibu Chichibu station it seems like it really would be a massive loss for the area.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 10:21 PM   #5179
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JICA to provide ¥43.2 billion yen loan for Manila LRT-1 extension, other projects
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/new...8120039-n1.htm

Quote:
 国際協力機構(JICA)は27日、フィリピン政府と鉄道・空港関連に総額540億3400万円を限度とする円借款の貸し付け契約に調印したと発表した。

 ステップと呼ばれる日本企業の機器納入が義務づけられる枠組み。軽量高架鉄道(LRT)では車両や車両基地、信号システムなどに約432億円の円借款を供与する計画で、同国では高効率部品を使った日本の省エネ車両技術への評価は高い。丸紅など大手商社や近畿日本車両や日立製作所、総合車両製作所などが受注を目指している。

 首都圏マニラでは渋滞緩和を図る大量輸送システムの拡張が急務で、南北を結ぶLRT1号線では南部への延伸で、市街地と住宅地、日系企業が集積するカビテ地区の工業団地を結ぶ。東西を結ぶLRT2では東方のマリキナ市などへ接続し、投資環境の改善につながる。

 ボホール州パングラオ島に建設予定の「新ボホール空港建設」にも約107億を供与し、土砂が流出しない日本の空港建設技術を導入したい考え。アキノ政権はインフラ整備を重要施策に位置付けている。
Bit more info on this… The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide a ¥54.34 billion yen loan for a series of infrastructure projects, including ¥43.2 billion for rolling stock, a train yard, and signaling stystems for the Cavite extension of Manila LRT-1.

English language articles:
http://japandailypress.com/japan-sig...ucture-2625810
http://www.philstar.com/business/201...oda-loan-japan
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Old March 27th, 2013, 10:21 PM   #5180
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Okinawa rail line would be operationally profitable with public-private business structure
http://article.okinawatimes.co.jp/ar...13-03-27_47114

Quote:
 県企画部交通政策課は26日までに、沖縄本島への鉄軌道導入に向け、黒字運営が可能とする2012年度調査結果をまとめた。11年度の内閣府調査は、既存の補助制度の活用を前提に開業40年後の累積赤字が鉄道で6千億円以上とはじいたが、県はレールや駅舎、橋脚やトンネルなどの施設整備を全額国が負担し、運行会社は運行に専念する「上下分離方式」を採用すれば、運賃収入と運営費だけで単年度黒字になると試算した。(新垣綾子)

 運行会社による車両購入や保有を考慮しても1日4万人程度の需要があれば黒字化が可能としている。

 県調査は「那覇空港-名護」約70キロメートルを約1時間で結ぶと設定。車両は都営地下鉄大江戸線や福岡市地下鉄七隈線で導入されている小型鉄道(リニア式)で、車体が小さいためトンネルを掘った場合も断面積が小規模ですみ、建設工事費が削減できると見込む。1日の需要はバス路線など既存の公共交通の乗客数や県外の類似都市の事例から、約3万2千人から4万3千人と「手堅く」予測。米軍普天間飛行場の跡地利用など将来的な開発や観光客増加などを勘案すれば、さらなる需要増も想定される。

 比較対象とした内閣府調査の設定は「糸満-パイプライン-うるま-名護」の77キロメートルで、第三セクターが施設整備や保有・運行を担う「上下一体方式」の適用をイメージし、整備事業費は約8500億円に上る。これに対し県は、公設型の上下分離方式の採用などによって、国調査から3割程度をコスト縮減できるとはじき出した。

 県はこれまでにも国に対し「沖縄幹線鉄道整備法(仮称)」など特例的制度の創設を要望。(1)鉄道網の整備を行う鉄道・運輸機構がインフラ建設と施設や車両の保有を担い、建設費用は全額国が補助(2)運行会社は機構の施設や車両を運行・運営し、利益に応じた貸付料を機構に払う(3)運行会社を地方独立行政法人並みの非課税措置の対象とする-などを提案しており、今回調査もこうした考え方が前提となっている。

 13年度以降は県内部に鉄軌道導入を促進するプロジェクトチームを設置するほか、専門家や自治体、交通事業者などでつくる検討委員会を立ち上げて審議。15年度までに事業化に向けた県の計画案を策定する方針で、導入ルートやコスト縮減の検討、国との交渉といった課題に取り組む。
Okinawa Prefecture’s Transport Policy Division released the results of its FY2012 study of the proposed rail line for the main island. Under existing funding structures, the line would not be able to pay off all construction debt within the established 40-year timeframe after opening, but a split public-private structure, with the Prefectural Government owning the infrastructure (tracks, station buildings, viaducts, tunnels, etc.) and a private-sector company responsible strictly for operations, the line could generate operational profits (based on annual fare revenue and expenses). Even if the private-sector operator is responsible for purchasing and maintaining the rolling stock, a daily ridership of about 40,000 passengers would be sufficient to ensure operational profitability.

The line envisioned in the study is a 70 km line between Naha Airport and Nago, using linear motor mini-subway stock similar to the Toei Subway Ōedo Line and Fukuoka City Subway Nanakuma Line. A “back-of-the-hand” calculation of estimated ridership came up with about 32,000 to 43,000 daily passengers based on existing transit ridership on the island and ridership performance among similar cities. The forecasts did not consider reuse of Futenma or other future development, nor potential growth in tourism, so these numbers could be considered a lowball estimate.

Previous studies by the national government for a 77 km route (Itoman – Pipeline – Uruma – Nago) operated by third-sector railway estimated a total construction cost of ¥850 billion, but the new study estimated 30% lower costs assuming a split public-private structure.

Window view on the Yui Rail, Naha Airport to Shuri (2013.01):

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