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Old April 21st, 2013, 10:25 AM   #5441
quashlo
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岡山駅東口バス乗り場、初の再編 22日から方面別化
http://www.sanyo.oni.co.jp/news_s/ne...3042021281337/

The East Exit bus terminal at JR Okayama Station, where the bays are currently grouped by bus operator, will receive some major re-organization (the first since 1999) starting 2013.04.22 when the bays are re-grouped based on destination. There have been efforts in the pass to get this done, but they never made it this far. The bus operators are already somewhat segregated by areas served, so they will simply regroup the bays several at a time.

Buses bound for Okayama City Hall (岡山市役所) and the Okayama Red Cross Hospital (岡山赤十字病院) will each be grouped—according to the city, a lot of passengers ask for directions to these two destinations. Buses bound for Kurashiki City will also be grouped, but routes serving Akaiwa / Mimasaka and the Kibi Highlands (吉備高原) that currently share these platforms will be separated out into their own platforms. Buses heading for the Okayama Prefectural Offices (3 stops) and the National Hospital (国立病院) (2 stops) will not be consolidated, and buses for the Drivers’ License Center (運転免許センター), Higashi-Okayama, and Maniwa City will be unaffected.

The current bus terminal is a U-shape with 13 bays (#8 is drop-off only) along about 200 m of curb. JR is responsible for managing the terminal, and there are currently 7 different operators using it:, totaling about 1,500 departures a day:
  • Ryōbi Bus (両備バス)
  • Okaden Bus (岡電バス)
  • Uno Bus (宇野バス)
  • Shimoden Bus (下電バス)
  • Chūtetsu Bus (中鉄バス)
  • Chūtetsu Hokubu Bus (中鉄北部バス)
  • Bihoku Bus (備北バス)



Sunday midday New Year’s Day (2013.01.01, 11:22 to 12:22) at the East Exit:

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Old April 21st, 2013, 10:27 AM   #5442
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京都の世界遺産を路線バスで周回
http://www.nikkansports.com/general/...0-1115296.html

The 京都まちづくり交通研究所, a joint venture formed by local Kyōto-area retailers, will begin operating a new weekend-only bus service that targets tourists. The route will do a clockwise loop serving Kyōto’s most popular World Heritage Sites—Nishi-Hongan-ji (西本願寺), Nijō-jō (二条城), Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺), Shimo-Gamo Jinja (下鴨神社), Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺), and Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), in that order. The loop will take one hour, with 10 trips a day. The service will be contracted out to Keihan Bus, and fares will be ¥2,000 (¥1,000 for young children) for a daily pass.
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Old April 21st, 2013, 10:29 AM   #5443
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JR関西本線 宙に浮く新駅構想 - 足並みに違い/県と奈良市
http://www.nara-np.co.jp/20130418085238.html

Unfortunately, some of this article is subscription-only, but this blog has some additional background:
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/naramirai-hase...7d3631696024e5

The basic gist is that Nara Prefecture and Nara City are at odds over a proposed new station on the JR Kansai Main Line (JR Nara Line). Part of the Kansai Main Line is proposed to be elevated as part of completing the 西九条佐保線, a proposed access road to serve the future Nara Interchange of the Keinawa Expressway / Yamato Kita Road. The access road as currently approved would cross the tracks in an overpass, but the Prefectural Government instead wants to keep the road at grade and elevate the JR tracks, simultaneously constructing a new station.

Nara City is being a bit cautious about the proposal, though, citing concerns about cost. There also appears to be a lack of awareness locally about the proposed station, although the Prefectural Government is working to get planning approvals for the changes as soon as possible. JR representatives have also been briefed on the proposed station and appear to have received it positively, at least according to the Prefectural Government.

The blog article also points to the possibility that this may be linked to the Chūō Shinkansen maglev. Nara Prefecture’s governor has already proposed that Nara’s maglev station be located in the same area (奈良市八条付近), and it is a bit strange that JR West would be so positive about a potential station at this location, given this is a very sparsely populated part of the line (still lots of farms).
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Old April 21st, 2013, 10:31 AM   #5444
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道新幹線の開業に向け 新函館―五稜郭間の電化起工式
http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/economic/459723.html

The groundbreaking ceremony on the electrification of the Goryōkaku – Oshima Ōno section (14.5 km) of the Hakodate Main Line was held on 2013.04.20 at Nanae Station (Nanae Town, Oshima Subprefecture). As mentioned previously, this is being done in concert with the opening of the Shin-Aomori – Shin-Hakodate section of the Hokkaidō Shinkansen.

When the Shinkansen extension opens, Oshima Ōno Station will become Shin-Hakodate, serving as the new Shinkansen station for Hakodate. Currently, this segment of the Hakodate Main Line is unelectrified, and trains take about 25 minutes to get between Oshima Ōno and Hakodate, but after electrification, rapid services will take only 17 minutes. Completion is scheduled for sometime in FY2015.



Rear-end cab view on this segment, Hakodate to Oshima Ōno. The catenary ends at Goryōkaku (3:20).

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Old April 21st, 2013, 10:32 AM   #5445
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JR渋谷駅利用6.5%減 東急メトロ直通で
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/news/1...6070010-n1.htm
みなとみらい線、相互直通で乗降客増加
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/kan...OYT8T00042.htm
東横と副都心線の相互直通運転から1カ月、元町・中華街駅は乗降客2割増、ホテルや観光名所も好調/横浜
http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1304160004/
川越や秩父、観光客増 副都心線、東横線直通1カ月
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...10C13A4L72000/

A bit more news on the effects of the Tōyoko Line – Fukutoshin Line through-services… Unfortunately, it sort of trickles in, a few bits at a time.

JR East reported that entries and exits at JR Shibuya Station for the month following the start of through-services (2013.03.17 through 2013.04.14) was down 6.5% from the same period last year. JR Ikebukuro Station dropped 0.5% while JR Shinjuku Station dropped 0.8%.

We also had some numbers for the Minato Mirai Line, but here is a more complete set of data from the early reports:

Code:
                         HALF-MONTH        ONE-MONTH
                         2013.03.16        2013.03.16
                          through           through
                         2013.03.31        2013.04.14
                     =================  ================ 
Shin-Takashima                 (11.9%)
Minato Mirai         1,118,851   9.1%               8.5%
Basha-michi                                         5.6%
Motomachi–Chūkagai     826,271  20.6%   1,438,231  19.4%
=================
All 5 stations       2,768,257   8.9%   5,057,985   8.7%
(excl. Yokohama)
The decrease at Shin-Takashima Station is mainly due to the closure of Gekidan Shiki’s (劇団四季) Canon Cats Theater (キヤノン・キャッツ・シアター) in November 2011, but overall ridership growth is strong, almost all of it coming from passengers without commuter passes (13.8% year-over-year increase), so it’s pretty clear that the new Tōyoko Line – Fukutoshin Line connection has brought in a lot of new visitors and shoppers.

Specifically, reservations from Saitama residents in March were up about 20% from last year at the Hotel New Grand near Motomachi–Chūkagai Station and 7.5% from last year at the Yokohama Bay Hotel Tōkyū. The Hotel New Grand actually recorded its highest occupancy rates (88%) for March since the 1991 opening of the Yokohama Landmark Tower, and much higher than pre-earthquake (March 2010) levels of 70%.

While the other article was a bit doom-and-gloom about the benefits to Seibu and Tōbu, the linked Nikkei article does seem a bit more optimistic. In addition to the 4% year-over-year ridership increase at Tōbu Kawagoe Station, Seibu Chichibu Station also saw 7% year-over-year growth (both for the half-month).
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Old April 21st, 2013, 10:33 AM   #5446
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市営地下鉄3号線延伸、事業費1300~1500億円、環状鉄道新設も検討
http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1304190037/

Yokohama City has released the results of feasibility studies for three proposed rail projects identified for consideration by the national government’s Transport Policy Council:
  • Extension of Municipal Subway Line 3 (Blue Line) from Azamino north to Shin-Yurigaoka on the Odakyū Line
  • Completion of the Yokohama Loop Railway (extension of the Green Line from Nakayama to Motomachi–Chūkagai and from Hiyoshi to Tsurumi)
  • Upgrades to a branch line of the Tōkaidō Freight Line to allow for passenger trains between Sakuragichō and Tōkyō Teleport / Shinagawa
The results were announced at a meeting of a Yokohama City working group to determine the fate of these projects. The working group will make a decision on whether to move forward with the projects sometime during FY2013.

For the Blue Line extension, the estimated cost is ¥130 billion to ¥150 billion, and the extension could pay itself off completely 23 to 31 years after opening. Forecasted daily ridership is 45,000 to 53,000—about the same as the Sōtetsu Izumino Line. Travel time between Azamino and Shin-Yurigaoka would be reduced from about 30 minutes currently to about 10 minutes.

For the Green Line extension, the estimated cost is ¥660 billion to ¥720 billion. Forecasted daily ridership on the new sections is 42,000 to 55,000 passengers. Travel time between Hiyoshi and Tsurumi would be reduced from about 30 minutes currently to about 10 minutes, while travel time between Nakayama and Futamatagawa would be reduced from about 40 minutes to about 10 minutes.

Cab view on Odakyū Bus route Shin-23 connecting Azamino Station and Shin-Yurigaoka Station:

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Old April 21st, 2013, 07:17 PM   #5447
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Quote:
I asked a ton of questions to the staff that showed us around the facility (nice 3 month old inspection shed at Motosumiyoshi Yard) so please let me get some sleep and process these RAWs in my SLR.
Looking forward to your report.

*btw チャックが開いているよ~
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 02:19 AM   #5448
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Hiroden 1000 series LRVs enter revenue service

Departing Hiroshima-kō marked as “charter run”, although it looks like it’s just some Hiroden staff.

Route 0 (Special Train) includes charters, operations for special events like the Hiroshima-minato-yume Fireworks and Hiroshima Flower Festival (per English Wikipedia). But it also has a wider meaning. A couple of year ago I found that there were scheduled Route 0 trips on weekdays during the AM peak. The current single weekday Route 0 trip starts on Line 2 at M35 JA Hiroshima Hospital at 0702, reaches M19 West Hiroshima at 0729 and continues onto Hiroshima Port over Route 3 reaching U17 Motoujima North at 0822 just before arriving at Hiroshima Port shortly afterwords.

These can be detected on the Hiroden mobile schedule web site by selecting the route on a weekday and selecting All Time (at the bottom of all the hours) to see the whole day's schedule. An asterisk means it is the last trip of the day.

http://m.hiroden.co.jp/js/rosen.html

Last edited by bill937ca; April 22nd, 2013 at 02:38 AM.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 10:03 PM   #5449
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パナマに円借款でモノレール検討 岸田外相訪問で協議
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...3A420C1MM0000/

Panama and Japan have entered into negotiations to construct a new urban transit network for Panama City revolving around Japanese monorail technology. The project is for the 40 km Metro Line 3, and would cost about ¥100 billion. Japanese firms including Hitachi and Mitsubishi Corporation are hoping to win contracts, buoyed by news that the Japanese government is considering providing a yen loan for the project.

Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kishida Fumio is scheduled to visit Central and South America starting 2013.04.28, and will become the first Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit Panama. He will enter into discussions with his Panamanian counterpart during the visit regarding the size of the loan and financial evaluations by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 10:04 PM   #5450
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JR Kyūshū to break ground on new station building at Ōita Station
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...3A420C1LX0000/

Official press release:
http://www13.jrkyushu.co.jp/NewsRele...F?OpenDocument

JR Kyūshū will break ground on the new 107,000 sq m GFA station tenant building at Ōita Station, which will include about 31,000 sq m of retail area. The building will set on a 20,000 sq m parcel and consist of 21 aboveground floors and one belowground floor, featuring retail (including a cineplex, general retail, and restaurants) on the 1st through 4th floors, parking (860 spaces) on the 5th through 8th floors, a rooftop garden on the 8th floor, a hotel on the 8th through 18th floors, and a hot springs spa on the 19th through 21st floors. Anchor tenant is expected to be Tōkyū Hands. Completion is scheduled for spring 2015.

The original plans called for a 23-story, 120,000 sq m building, so the proposal has shrunk a bit since then, but this is still a good sign for Ōita.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 10:05 PM   #5451
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自治体支援も厳しい経営 三岐鉄道北勢線10周年
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/mi...202000020.html

This month, the Sangi Railway is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a third-sector railway after being abandoned by Kintetsu Corporation. Ridership has grown back to previous levels and the ¥700 million operating deficit has been cut in half, but there are still hurdles remaining.

Kintetsu originally wanted to abandon the Hokusei Line given its proximity to the Sangi Line, but jurisdictions along the line, including Kuwana City, Tōin Town, and the four towns now incorporated under what is now known as Inabe City, petitioned Kintetsu to keep the line running. At the time. the railway had received about ¥1 billion in funding for rolling stock air conditioning units and station modernization upgrades, eventually followed by another ¥5.5 billion in funding to cover operating losses for the next ten years.

Major improvements for the line followed, including construction of new park-and-ride lots at major stations, as well as new A/C units for trains and new restrooms and waiting rooms at specific stations. Annual ridership, which was close to dipping below 2 million during its lowest point, has since rebounded a bit to 2.38 million last fiscal year.

However, further improvement for the railway’s financial situation, including the ultimate goal of eliminating operating losses, will require capturing high-profit market segments like non-commuters. To this effect, the railway launched summer and autumn weekend and weekday midday hiking programs for seniors five years ago, and the program has proved popular enough that they are considering increasing the number of events. They also operate a Santa train targeting families, and have teamed with local governments to help promote local events such as festivals.

While the situation has improved, the line still operates at a ¥370 million deficit (last FY), and while the original funding allocation ended in FY2012, the governments have approved another ¥600 million funding package to cover the next three years until FY2016. However, thanks to the ridership growth, the line is still faring better than the Iga Railway and the Yōrō Railway, also third-sector railways that have inherited former Kintetsu lines. While eliminating all operating losses will likely prove difficult, population forecasts for the area are stable, and there is definitely room for reducing losses.

A pretty thorough tour of the line and sights along the way.
The line is super narrow gauge (762 mm).

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Old April 22nd, 2013, 10:07 PM   #5452
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Roads near Shibuya Station to get wider sidewalks
http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20130422D22EE040.htm

Quote:
TOKYO (Nikkei)--The Shibuya Ward government in Tokyo has decided to widen 1.1km of sidewalks along major roads near Shibuya Station by about 2m, The Nikkei has learned.

To make room for the expansion, which will be for the roads running along the Dogenzaka and Miyamasuzaka hills, the municipality will decrease the number of car lanes on each side of the road from the current two to one. Plans call for starting construction as early as fiscal 2015.

Good news for Shibuya.
Thanks to ukiyo for the original post.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 10:08 PM   #5453
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Refurbished Tōbu 10000 series trains began operating on the Noda Line for the first time on 2013.04.20, replacing aging 8000 series units. Scenes at Kashiwa Station on the first day of service:



Tōbu also began testing the new 60000 series on the Tōbu Nikkō Line on 2013.04.20 between Minami-Kurihashi and Shin-Tochigi to train operators. These will be introduced in June to the Noda Line, so they were testing outside their future territory. Scene at Shin-Ōhirashita:

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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:31 PM   #5454
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日立、ブラジルで都市モノレールに入札
http://www.nikkan.co.jp/news/nkx0120130423aaap.html

Hitachi announced that it will submit a bid for an urban monorail system being planned for São Paulo, Brazil. Their proposal for the ¥100 billion to ¥150 billion project will be a package, including rolling stock, signaling, and train control systems. Winners will be announced around spring 2014. The main competitors are Bombardier and Scomi. If successful, the rolling stock will be produced jointly with local manufacturer IESA, and Hitachi hopes it can use Brazil as a launching point into developing markets such as Southeast Asia and India. So far, Hitachi has provided monorail equipment for Chongqing (China), Daegu (Korea), and Dubai (UAE), but if successful, the São Paulo contract would be their largest.

Palm Jumeirah Monorail, Dubai:

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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:32 PM   #5455
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早岐駅東西に連絡通路
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/nag...OYT8T01489.htm

Work on improvements to JR Haiki Station in Sasebo City on the Sasebo Line is set to begin this summer. Specifically, the project calls for a new east-west connecting passage, a new 3,800 sq m East Exit station plaza (including 14 parking spaces, a taxi pool, and bike parking), and other improvements to enhance convenience for passengers and local residents. The original wooden station building constructed in 1897, the oldest station building in Nagasaki Prefecture, will be demolished and a new fully-accessible station building constructed as a replacement, featuring an elevated concourse and platform bridge.

The areas to the east and west of the station have been cut off by the station and tracks, and with the relocation of the railyard at Nagasaki Station to Haiki, the new 3 m wide, 56 m long connecting passage will be constructed to bridge the yard and connect the residents to the East Exit of the station. Work on the ¥1 billion in improvements began in FY2009, but has thus far been focused on the surrounding roadway network and other project elements.

Regarding the station building, it is the only station building in Nagasaki Prefecture to remain in its original Meiji-era, Western-style form, and locals have been petitioning JR Kyūshū to preserve it as a cultural heritage. However, the railway says that it has deteriorated quite badly and suffers from termite damage.

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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:34 PM   #5456
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急行バス:郊外から中心市街地までノンストップ 熊本市、今秋に実験 始点停留所、乗客専用駐車場も用意
http://mainichi.jp/area/kumamoto/new...40496000c.html

Kumamoto City will launch a trial express bus program this autumn for the National Route 266 (Hama-sen Bypass 浜線バイパス) corridor. Express buses would operate nonstop in the corridor, connecting suburbs with central Kumamoto City. To improve convenience for passengers, the outer terminus will also have a 250-space park-and-ride.

According to the city, approximately 10,000 people commute into the city from the surrounding suburbs, most of whom use private automobiles. As a result, the Hama-sen Bypass has been faced with chronic traffic congestion from commuters originating in the Kamo-Mashiki and Shimo-Mashiki districts of Kumamoto Prefecture.

This trial program would operate non-stop express buses from the Hama-sen Bypass area to the Kumamoto Transit Center (熊本交通センター) at 5-10 minute intervals between 07:00 and 09:00. The exact outer terminus hasn’t been decided yet, but there will be only three stops to Kumamoto Transit Center, including Minami-Kumamoto Station (Hōhi Main Line) and the Shin-Shigai (新市街) area. The city has already earmarked about ¥13 million in its budget this year for the project. The trial will last for one month, but if successful, it will be made a permanent service.

Kumamoto actually has pretty good rail service thanks to being a junction in the JR Kyūshū network (Kagoshima Main Line + Hōhi Main Line), plus having preserved its municipal tram network and an additional private railway (Kumamoto Electric Railway). However, the Hama-sen Bypass happens to be one of the corridors currently without good rail connections, so this should be a welcome improvement.

Scenes on the Kumamoto City Tram network:

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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:35 PM   #5457
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福岡市、博多などJR8駅で無線LANを無料サービス
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...1724005-n1.htm

In an effort to improve convenience for tourists, starting 2013.04.27 and through into June, Fukuoka City will expand its “Fukuoka City Wi-Fi” free Wi-Fi service to platforms and concourses at eight JR stations (Hakata, Fukkō-Dai-mae, Kyūsan-Dai-mae, Kashii, Chihaya, Yoshizuka, Minami-Fukuoka, and Kyūdai Gakken Toshi), expanding to 61 hubs and 247 access points total. This will make it the largest locally-operated Wi-Fi system in Japan, quite a feat given it only rolled the system out last year (2012.04). Currently, the largest Wi-Fi system operated by a local government in Japan is Kyōto City, which has about 300 access points at bus stops and other locations.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:36 PM   #5458
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「うめぐるバス」24日から梅田地区を巡回 グランフロント大阪の開業に先立ち
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/news/1...8540010-n1.htm

The new UMEGLE shuttle bus service will debut in the Ume-Kita north of Ōsaka / Umeda Station on 2013.04.24, two days before the grand opening of the Grand Front Ōsaka redevelopment on 2013.04.26. This will be a small, community bus service operating a 4 km, 30-minute loop through Ume-Kita and JR Kita-Shinchi Station, with 12 stops total. Fares will be ¥100 for adults (¥50 for young children) or ¥200 for an all-day pass. Like most of these services, it will be operated with small Hino Poncho models with 11 seats. Service will be every 10 minutes from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. The service has been contracted to Hankyū Bus.



Testing:

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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:39 PM   #5459
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相鉄・JR直通延期へ…貨物線との接続工事遅れ
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/kan...OYT8T01771.htm

The Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT), the lead agency on the Sōtetsu–JR Link that will allow for Sagami Railway through-services from western Yokohama and central Kanagawa Prefecture into central Tōkyō via JR tracks, announced that there is a possibility that the project schedule may be delayed 2-3 years. The original schedule called for completion in March 2015, with revenue service in April 2015, but they are encountering some construction difficulties at the junction between Sōtetsu and JR near Hazawa Freight Terminal and now expect a completion in FY2018. Construction costs will also increase about ¥10 billion from ¥68.3 billion to ¥78.2 billion.

As mentioned previously, this is the one half of the “Kanagawa East Line” (the other being the Sōtetsu–Tōkyū Link). This particular project involves construction of 2.7 km of new track (including a new “Nishiya Tunnel”) between Nishiya Station on the Sōtetsu network and Hazawa Freight Terminal on the JR Tōkaidō Freight Line, with a new station at Hazawa. Construction work began in 2010.

Problems have arisen in discussions with JR Freight and JR East, however, as Hazawa Station is planned as an underground station. As a result, the work at the new junction requires them to temporarily suspend or reroute freight trains on this major east-west freight corridor, necessitating major temporary track and signal work. In addition to issues regarding the construction methods (to prevent subsidence), construction timeline, and freight train schedules, a portion of required land has yet to be acquired, so they have yet to even begin construction on the junction.



Based on this, I wonder if this will mean additional delays for the Sōtetsu–Tōkyū Link, which is highly dependent on the Sōtetsu–JR Link.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:02 PM   #5460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
市営地下鉄3号線延伸、事業費1300~1500億円、環状鉄道新設も検討
http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1304190037/

Yokohama City has released the results of feasibility studies for three proposed rail projects identified for consideration by the national government’s Transport Policy Council:
  • Upgrades to a branch line of the Tōkaidō Freight Line to allow for passenger trains between Sakuragichō and Tōkyō Teleport / Shinagawa
The results were announced at a meeting of a Yokohama City working group to determine the fate of these projects. The working group will make a decision on whether to move forward with the projects sometime during FY2013.
The fact that there's nothing about this project (which is one of my favorites in the Tokyo region) can't be a good thing.

Does anybody know if there's been any other occurrences on that front? Is it dead? Does it live yet? What about the other projects in that corridor (connections to Haneda, etc.)? What will happen to the Tsurumi line if this goes through (this will parallel it underground, iirc)? What about the existing Tokaido and Keihin-Tohoku Lines?

If anybody knows anything, could they please post?

Also, are there any pics of the surface at Kitazawa and Shibuya/Daimon that anybody knows of?
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