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Old July 6th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #5741
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Well, the chart in that article says for all of Miyagi Prefecture, 149 out of 1,014 public transit buses (15%) are low-floor. Some routes will undoubtedly not be suited to low-floor vehicles due to grades (roadway improvements are specifically cited in the article as a reason for the accelerated rollout), but I think we should eventually see low-floor vehicles comprise the majority of bus fleets everywhere in Japan. It just takes time, as a lot of bus operators are actually private and don't get money from the governments, so they usually try to maximize the life cycle of their existing fleets before buying replacement vehicles.

Don't know much about the emissions side... To be honest, I don't find air quality stuff all that interesting.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 12:10 AM   #5742
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As for the E129 series—physically, it looks a lot like the E721 series operating in the Sendai area, which were produced by Kawasaki and Tōkyū Car. The E127 series, which we could, in some ways, also consider the predecessor of the E129 series, was also mostly built by these two manufacturers:

E129-0 series (Niigata area)
13 sets total
11 built by Kawasaki (V1 – V11)
2 built by Tōkyū Car (V12 – V13)

E129-100 series (Matsumoto / Nagano area)
12 sets total
8 sets built by Kawasaki (A1 – A8)
2 sets built by JR East at Tsuchizaki (Akita) (A9 – A10)
2 sets built by Tōkyū Car (A11 – A12)

Of course, the E127 orders were before JR East really began producing a high volume of trains at Niitsu, so the situation is likely different now.

Niitsu’s manufacturing capacity is about 2 10-car trains (20 cars) a month, and so far, all 8 of the E233-7000 series (Saikyō Line / Kawagoe Line) have been produced there. This page seems to suggest that all 31 sets (310 cars total) will be completed by January 2014, but to meet this schedule, some other sets will have to be produced elsewhere. If we add 28 8-car sets (224 cars total) for the Yokohama Line order, plus 35 6-car sets (210 cars total) for the Nambu Line order and the 160 E129 series cars, it’s definitely a lot of cars, all of which are scheduled to begin entering service sometime in FY2014. Normally, the trend is to resource level each order so that no single manufacturer is overloaded, but with this many cars, perhaps we will see a bit more specialization, with the E129s produced out of Niigata and the two E233 orders split between J-TREC and Kawasaki.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 12:13 AM   #5743
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Perhaps the other interesting thing is just how dominant the E233 series is becoming… I think many of us were expecting the Nambu Line to get secondhand stock cascading down from some of the other lines, but that is no longer the case. After completion of the Nambu Line order, there will be a total of 3,172 cars in the E233 series, making this the largest volume of active cars under a single rolling stock series in Japan, far exceeding the 2,632 cars for the E231 series (Yamanote Line, Chūō–Sōbu Local Line, Jōban Rapid Line, et al.). In terms of overall production volume, the E233 series is third, behind only the 103 series (3,447 cars) and Shinkansen 0 series (3,216 cars), both JNR-era models. And who knows what else may be on the way… Perhaps the Musashino Line?

E233-0 series


Source

Division: Toyoda Rolling Stock Center
Lines: Chūō Rapid Line, Ōme Line, Itsukaichi Line
42 10-car T sets = 420 cars
16 6+4 car H sets = 160 cars
12 6-car Ōme sets = 72 cars
9 4-car Ōme sets = 36 cars
Total = 688 cars

E233-1000 series


Source

Division: Urawa Depot
Lines: Keihin–Tōhoku Line
83 10-car sets = 830 cars
Total = 830 cars

E233-2000 series


Source

Division: Matsudo Rolling Stock Center
Lines: Jōban Local Line
18 10-car sets = 180 cars
Total = 180 cars

E233-3000 series


Source

Division: Kōzu Rolling Stock Center
Lines: Tōkaidō Line
2 10+5 car E sets = 30 cars
14 10+5 car E sets = 210 cars (former NT sets out of Tamachi Rolling Stock Center)
Subtotal = 240 cars

Division: Takasaki Rolling Stock Center
Lines: Utsunomiya Line (Tōhoku Main Line), Takasaki Line
17 10-car L sets = 170 cars
16 5-car D sets = 80 cars
Subtotal = 250 cars

Total = 490 cars

E233-5000 series


Source

Division: Keiyō Rolling Stock Center
Lines: Keiyō Line, Sotobō Line, Uchibō Line, Tōgane Line
20 10-car sets = 200 cars
4 6+4 car sets = 40 cars
Total = 240 cars

E233-7000 series


Source

Division: Kawagoe Rolling Stock Center
Lines: Saikyō Line, Kawagoe Line, Rinkai Line
31 10-car sets = 310 cars
Total = 310 cars

E233-???? series


Source

Division: Kamakura Rolling Stock Center
Lines: Yokohama Line
28 8-car sets = 224 cars
Total = 224 cars

E233-???? series


Source

Division: Nakahara Depot
Lines: Nambu Line
35 6-car sets = 210 cars
Total = 210 cars
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Old July 6th, 2013, 03:12 AM   #5744
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It's going to be so strange by 2016 every JR East commuter train operating in the Kanto Plain will be E231 or E233 models. It'll be like back in the 1970's when JNR 103's were dominant in both the Tokyo and Osaka areas.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 03:22 AM   #5745
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Next question: will there be another set of E233 trains that will be built for the Chuo Main Line services (incl. the Chuo Rapid and Chuo–Sobu Lines) to complement the existing E233-0 series? I mean, the Chuo Line is a very heavily-traversed rail service within Metropolitan Tokyo, and I sense that variety might be needed to bolster passenger flows on the line... Yes, it also has other trains operating along the line, too.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 05:31 AM   #5746
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
It's going to be so strange by 2016 every JR East commuter train operating in the Kanto Plain will be E231 or E233 models. It'll be like back in the 1970's when JNR 103's were dominant in both the Tokyo and Osaka areas.
Yeah, the impressive thing about the E233 is that it's basically only a single company (JR East) in one metropolitan area. The 103s were JNR models and used all across Japan from Sendai to Kyūshū, and both the 103s and Shinkansen 0 series had very long production runs of over 20 years. The 0 series, in particular, was strange because there were situations where all-new 0 series would replace first-generation 0 series.

In contrast, it's only been 7 years since the first E233 series rolled out onto the Chūō Line, so the pace and scale is very impressive.

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Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
Next question: will there be another set of E233 trains that will be built for the Chuo Main Line services (incl. the Chuo Rapid and Chuo–Sobu Lines) to complement the existing E233-0 series?
No, they won't need new trains there unless there's some sort of service expansion, like an extension or major schedule changes (both unlikely).

I think what the recent E233 introduction has shown is that JR East is fairly serious about rolling stock standardization, both within lines and region-wide. Like sacto7654 said, JR East's fleet modernization policy in the Tōkyō area will basically result in a two-model scheme (E231s and E233s), as they've already eliminated the 205s and most of the 209s and 211s. The only noticeable exception besides the handful of 209s is perhaps the E217 series used on the Yokosuka Line and Sōbu Rapid Line.

What I suspect will happen is that the next-generation "E235s", frequently billed as the successor stock for the Yamanote Line, will be JR East's next mass-production model for the Tōkyō area, replacing the remaining 209s, E217s, and the other E231s. However, this also brings into question what will happen with the E331 series, the experimental rolling stock that ran for several years on the Keiyō Line but hasn't been let out in three years and may just be waiting for the scrapper. A new model like the E235 would be a good platform to rollout any design improvements, but it's not really clear how transferrable some of the design concepts are, particularly the shared bogies (which require shorter carlengths and, therefore, incompatible door spacing).
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Old July 6th, 2013, 05:53 PM   #5747
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I believe the E217's will be around a while because 1) 97 trainsets were built and 2) they're been refurbished on a regular basis since 2008. As such, they're be operating on the Yokosuka and Sōbu Rapid Line probably until 2020, when the successor to the E231 finally replace them.

I think that recent incident with the breakdown of the 205 trainset during rush hour may have spurred JR East to finally accelerate the 205 and 209 replacement programmes. Also, the extreme overcrowding of the Saikyō Line with the 205's and the worn-out 205's on the Yokohama Line are spurring faster introductions of 233's in the Tokyo area.

The situation in the Tokyo-area commuter train replacements are pretty clear; the big question now is what will JR West do now that they've publicly announced plans to replace the large JNR 115 fleet that operates west of Himeji.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 06:03 AM   #5748
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Tōkyō Metro has released the next CM in this year’s “Color your days” series with actress Horikita Maki (堀北真希). Seems like this series is focused more on targeting women, similar to last year’s series with fashion model and actress An (杏).

60 s CM spot. All three versions (15 s, 30 s, and 60 s) can be seen on the Tōkyō Metro site.



Making of the CM:



Posters. Click for 1600 × 1200.

April 2013
力をくれる篇 (Giving you strength)



May 2013
発見できる篇 (Taking you to new discoveries)



June 2013
心が澄みきる篇 (Clearing your mind)



July 2013
リセットできる篇 (Hitting the “reset” button)

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Old July 7th, 2013, 06:06 AM   #5749
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That ad campaign is really interesting... Reminds me of The Tokyo Navigator and Tokyo Heart CM series before. Do you think that other train companies can run such wonderful ad campaigns as Tokyo Metro's, especially with BART?
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Old July 7th, 2013, 08:08 AM   #5750
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Well, Tōkyō Metro nabbing Horikita Maki would be sort of equivalent to the New York City Subway hiring a pretty famous Hollywood actress… In other words, I just don’t think they would do it.

Despite providing a basic public good (public transportation), most of Japan’s larger rail operators are private-sector operations with a diversified business structure, so they have an obvious incentive to market themselves and maintain an image that will attract ridership, as well as support their other group businesses that aren’t basic public goods (real estate development, retail, hotel, etc.). They can't just say, "Too bad, we didn't break even this year", and then run to the government asking for more funding. The largest operators are also actually listed on the stock exchange, so that's another incentive to maintain a good corporate image.

Everyone’s favorite example is Tōkyū, which invested several decades and lots of money into developing attractive suburban neighborhoods in western Tōkyō—now, everyone wants to live on the Tōkyū network, even with the super-crowded morning rush hour on the Den’en Toshi Line. You live in a Tōkyū condo, you have a Tōkyū points card, you shop at the Tōkyū supermarket and department store, you subscribe to cable TV provided by Tōkyū, you stay at Tōkyū hotels, etc. Maintaining an attractive image means not only breaking even on their transit operations side, but also attracting new customers to all their other businesses.

That being said, you only need to look to a few public-sector rail operators in Japan to find the equivalent of the New York City Subway. Toei Subway and the Ōsaka Municipal Subway, for example, are far behind Japan’s private railways in terms of marketing, and I wouldn’t expect either of them to ever sign a top-name actress for a year-long advertising contract like Tōkyō Metro.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 11:30 AM   #5751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Everyone’s favorite example is Tōkyū, which invested several decades and lots of money into developing attractive suburban neighborhoods in western Tōkyō—now, everyone wants to live on the Tōkyū network, even with the super-crowded morning rush hour on the Den’en Toshi Line. You live in a Tōkyū condo, you have a Tōkyū points card, you shop at the Tōkyū supermarket and department store, you subscribe to cable TV provided by Tōkyū, you stay at Tōkyū hotels, etc. Maintaining an attractive image means not only breaking even on their transit operations side, but also attracting new customers to all their other businesses.
At the end of World War II, what is now communities along the Den en-toshi Line was essentially uninhabited hills. It was the salesmanship of one Keita Gotō that Tokyu was able to start building up communities southwest of Tokyo, essentially like what Ichizō Koyabashi at Hankyu Railways did by developing the onsen resort town of Takarazuka (and a lot of residential developments from Takarazuka back to Osaka) almost 50 years earlier. Today, it's small wonder why the Tokyu-planned communities are among the most desirable in the entire Tokyo metro region.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 05:07 AM   #5752
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Municipalities in northern Sendai get rolling on proposed Sendai Subway extension
泉中央以北へ鉄道を 黒川郡3町村議員有志が連絡協議会

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2013/07/20130707t11018.htm

On 2013.07.06, representatives from three municipalities in Kurokawa District (黒川郡), Miyagi Prefecture in the northern part of the Sendai metropolitan area—Tomiya Town (富谷町), Taiwa Town (大和町), and Ōhira Village (大衡村)—formed a liaison group aimed at extending the Sendai Subway Namboku Line north from its current terminus at Izumi Chūō and constructing a new railway line through the area. The group will work on studies and building consensus for an extension of the subway line all the way to Ōhira Village.

Apparently, there has been an increase in the number of companies and residents setting up in this part of Sendai, many of whom have been petitioning for railway service. The first meeting of the committee will be held in November, and the group hopes to enlist support from Sendai City and Miyagi Prefecture, as well as local corporations such as Toyota Motor East Japan (トヨタ自動車東日本) in Ōhira Village and Tōkyō Electron Limited Miyagi (東京エレクトロン宮城) in Taiwa Town.

Personally, this seems a bit of a stretch, as most of these areas are basically auto-oriented suburban bedtowns… It will be extremely tough to make a case for the extension. According to Wiki, this isn’t the first time they’ve pushed for this extension, as they also did so in 2002 and 2009, citing the extreme traffic congestion along the Sendai Bypass (National Route 4) and the need to get workers to and from the Toyota plants. Apparently, a former narrow-gauge railway, the Sendai Railroad (仙台鉄道), used to run in this area, but was already partially abandoned after WW II and completely abandoned in 1960.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 07:19 AM   #5753
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I agree with your sentiments. Even if the line were to be extended, I think the trains would be full only during the commute rush weekdays (best case). I reckon on the weekends, and off peak, people will use their automobiles to get to the nearest Aeon mall or strip developments along the national highways, "USA style".

Last edited by k.k.jetcar; July 8th, 2013 at 10:45 AM.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 05:39 PM   #5754
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delete

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Old July 8th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #5755
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
I reckon on the weekends, and off peak, people will use their automobiles to get to the nearest Aeon mall or strip developments along the national highways, "USA style".
Which imho, there's nothing wrong with that.

Heck, I might probably do the same as well (since I enjoy having a car and that I would love driving from time to time)

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Old July 8th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #5756
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I was wondering if someone can explain these track arrangements for me.

This picture was taken outside the Ueno Station in Tokyo.
image hosted on flickr


This picture is from Quashlo's post on July 5, 2013


This is from a youtube video. Look at the switch as well as the two humps on the track leading away from the mainline.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNJ0kjbDj2A
image hosted on flickr
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Old July 8th, 2013, 05:48 PM   #5757
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Which imho, there's nothing wrong with that.

Heck, I might probably do the same as well (since I enjoy having a car and that I would love driving from time to time)

Except that that's not sustainable. Not economically, nor environmentally.

Especially in Japan, where the land prices, gas prices, and maintenance costs are all very high.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 06:10 PM   #5758
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstrknb View Post
This picture was taken outside the Ueno Station in Tokyo.
image hosted on flickr
It's a switch that is used for maintenance only. There are three pieces next to the track that you fold over to create the curving path. It will be a few bumps for the car that will travel over it, but since it's just for maintenance purposes.
Having a full switch instead if one of these would require a lot more maintenance, make the ride for the passengers a bit more uncomfortable (bumpier) and also reduce safety since it's more likely to derail/crash trains if the switch isn't correct.

There is many of these on the tracks in Tokyo and several other places.
This question have been posted before, and Quashlo have posted a link with more information about them somewhere in this thread, but I can't find it at this point.

On the second picture I have no idea, and they intrigued me as well while browsing through the images that Quashlo have posted from his last trip.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 08:43 PM   #5759
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Quote:
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Except that that's not sustainable. Not economically, nor environmentally.

Especially in Japan, where the land prices, gas prices, and maintenance costs are all very high.
Point taken

Thing is though, I too would want the Sendai Subway Namboku Line to be extended up-north. But is it economically feasible? At the moment, the potential ridership levels seem to say otherwise.

Should someone be blamed for this then? Either way, whoever these may be, it should NOT be those who drive and own automobiles.

As I always advocate, TRANSPORTATION SHOULD BE A FREEDOM OF CHOICE. You are given options (i.e. Bicycle, Car, Boat, Plane, Train, Motorcycle, Scooter, Walk, etc.) and you have the choice to choose whatever mode of transport you want.

Hence, no person or institution should ever force such a decision upon any individual.

P.S.
By the way, in my case, it would depend on where I am:

If I'm in Greater Tokyo Area, Osaka or Nagoya, then train services would be perfectly sufficient

BUT

If I'm Toyama or in Shizuoka or in Hokkaido (outside of Sapporo), then driving is better
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Old July 8th, 2013, 09:05 PM   #5760
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Regarding the switches, perhaps this video will help a little bit...



It's dark (after all, most heavy maintenance is done at night), but you can kind of see how the maintenance vehicles get onto the mainline to do their work. In Japanese, this type of switch is called a 横取り (yoko-dori) switch / turnout.

For the second photo with the Jōban Local Line E233 series, that is at Yoyogi Uehara (代々木上原), where the Chiyoda Line joins into the Odakyū Line. The situation is the same there, it's just that there's no physical devices trackside to get the maintenance vehicles on the mainline, since it's a 90° turn. Instead, they probably just have portable pieces that they can lift into place with their hands.

If you look at Google aerial imagery just east of the platforms (turn on 45° for a clearer view), you can see a tiny maintenance shed with five short tracks perpendicular to the Chiyoda Line tracks. The vehicles come out of the shed and use the portable overlays to get into a position directly above the desired track. Then the vehicle uses jacks to rotate 90° to get into the proper alignment.

This is what happens when you take space efficiency to the max.
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