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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:23 AM   #5961
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Hankai Tramway #1001, nicknamed the “Sakai Tram” and the Kansai region’s first modern, low-floor LRV, began revenue service 2013.08.25. The unit cost ¥250 million, with Sakai City shouldering two-thirds of the cost, including about ¥11.70 million in donations from the public. Citizens who donated ¥30,000 or more got a nameplate inside the train. Current Hankai trams have about a 50 cm height gap with the platform, but the low-floor LRV, measuring 15.3 m long, 2.4 m wide, and 3.75 m tall, has only a 5 cm gap.

Sankei News video report of the ceremony at Hamadera-Ekimae:



Departing for Abiko-michi:



Current schedule will operate the train on five roundtrips a day (except for Tuesdays and Fridays), but it will begin operating between Abiko-michi and Tennōji-Ekimae in the spring, with two more units on the way. This particular one features a color scheme with light brown (designed to be reminiscent of the famous tea maker Sen no Rikyū (千利休), a native son of Sakai) and green (designed after the large burial mounds (古墳) located within the city) with champagne metallic highlights, plus black lines at the train ends designed after Sakai’s famous knives. The interior features ample use of wood, plus laminates featuring wood and Japanese paper designs, as well as sudare (bamboo) curtains and Sakai-sarasa print seat moquettes.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #5962
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Lack of consensus in Nagano City on BRT, LRT
長野市、新交通システム構想立ち往生 BRTとLRT

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...3A810C1L31000/

A new transit vision for Nagano City, under discussion for over two years as the key to solving chronic traffic congestion, has run aground as a result of worries about costs and concerns from existing transit providers including bus and taxi companies. In particular, opposition from local citizens has begun to surface, which could prove problematic given that Nagano is eighth in Japan in terms of automobile ownership. An advisory committee established by the mayor has compiled its report, but the city still has a ways to go before a decision can be made.

In particular, the city’s Transport Policy Committee released a report on 2013.07.31 calling for introduction of bus rapid transit (BRT) in the mid-term, following by light rail transit (LRT) in the long-term. Discussions about a new transit vision for the city began in December 2011 after the Nagano Chamber of Commerce and Industry (長野商工会議所) and local neighborhood councils in the Matsushiro (松代) called for reuse of the Nagano Electric Railway Yashiro Line (abandoned in March 2012) and conversion to LRT.

Subsequent studies identified that the line would operate in the red even if converted to LRT, and efforts refocused on BRT, as well as transit improvements for other parts of the city, as a solution to the city’s growing traffic congestion. The city examined five candidate routes with high potential for improved transit convenience, including one from Nagano Station to Zenkōji, estimating project costs and ridership. Normally, the next steps in the process would involve finalizing an implementation plan, but backlash from city residents during the public comment period spelled trouble for the plans. While some comments pointed to duplication of bus services, the biggest factor cited was Nagano’s high dependence on automobiles, with Nagano Prefecture boasting 1.6 cars per household, placing it firmly in eighth position nationwide.

Existing transit providers also expressed concern, with bus companies worried about potential effects to their bottom line. Major taxi companies also indicated that installing tram tracks on streets could end up making congestion worse. While the city has stressed that changing people’s travel behavior requires time and effort, the cost implications can’t be ignored. Transit improvements for the longest route under consideration between the East Exit of Nagano Station and Shinonoi Station would reach about ¥17.2 billion in capital costs, plus annual expenses of ¥640 million, with fares reaching ¥570 per person for LRT and ¥280 per person for BRT.

===

Snow season on the Nagaden (2012.12):



The final day of the Nagaden Yashiro Line (2012.03.31):





Abandoned Matsushiro Station:

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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:25 AM   #5963
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Illegally-parked bikes at train stations cut by 80% in 30 years
駅前の放置自転車、減った? 駐輪場30年で6倍に

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXDZO...3A810C1W14001/

According to the Cabinet Office, annual surveys of illegally-parked bicycles at train stations peaked at about 990,000 in 1981 but have since dropped to one-fifth of those levels (approx. 180,000) in 2011. Surveys by the Tōkyō National Government recorded about 35,000 illegally-parked bicycles, over 80% less than peak historical data.

Illegally parked bikes became a social problem starting in the 1970s thanks to their convenience and low maintenance. Their rapid uptake had implications for traffic safety as well as aesthetics, with legislation related to construction of bike parking facilities enacted in 1980 and amended in 1994. According to the Cabinet Office, there were approx. 3.5 million bike parking spaces available outside train stations in 2011 (excluding under-construction facilities), about 6 times the number in 1977. Bustling neighborhoods have been especially successful in building bike parking thanks to new ordinances that required private sector retail developments to provide for parking, but many local governments are still having difficulty covering the O&M costs of parking facilities, using tax revenues to cover the losses.

Ōsaka City, in particular, has reduced illegally-parked bicycles by about 75% from 2007 levels in only six years, in an effort to overcome its reputation as one of the worst cities for illegally-parked bicycles and crime. Land prices in the central cores of cities make constructing new bike parking difficult, but Ōsaka’s success was dependent on assistance from the private sector. The city used two schemes—one where the city constructs the facility and contracts out the operation to a private-sector firm, and another where the city provides the necessary road right-of-way and entrusts the construction and operation of the facility to the private sector. The latter scheme was deployed in high-profile districts such as Kita and Minami, where frequent use by shoppers and other short-term parkers helps ensure profitability for the private sector operator.

A separate case study, Kawasaki City, shows how simple changes to the fee structure can substantially affect utilization rates. Illegally-parked bicycles in the city were about 7,400 in 2012, a 20% drop from 2011, but bike parking usage was about 57,000, also an 8% drop from 2011. The decline in usage came after the city increased daily rates to ¥200 in April 2012, bringing them in line with privately-operated facilities. The city also expanded the fee structures at its facilities according to the quality of the facility and its location. Roofed facilities outside train stations might cost ¥200, while unroofed facilities far away from stations would be ¥30 or ¥50 less. Previously, the rates were flat at ¥100 for roofed facilities and ¥80 for unroofed facilities. The goal of the changes was to improve the profitability of the parking program and force users to prioritize between convenience or cost. The increased price of bike parking near train stations may have encouraged some bikers living within walking distance of the station to switch from biking to walking.

Other jurisdictions, such as Tōkyō’s Toshima Ward, have stepped up enforcement. The Ward conducted random removals of illegally-parked bikes about 3,800 times in FY2012, a little over 1,000 more times than five years ago. The sweeps are done during weekday mornings, evenings, and even Sundays, and in the autumn of 2004, the Ward increased the cost of reclaiming bikes from ¥3,000 to ¥5,000. In seven years, illegal bike parking dropped about 75%.

In particular, bike users make decisions about parking based on minimizing their incurred cost, factoring in the bike parking rates, the probability of having your bike confiscated, the cost of reclaiming the bike, and the bike’s salvage value. The rising popularity of more expensive bicycles, such as electric assist bikes, has perhaps influenced bicycle users to take advantage of bicycle parking facilities. Electric assist bikes are proving especially popular among the elderly and parents in the 20s, 30s, or 40s raising children.





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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:26 AM   #5964
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Final day of service on the inbound ground-level track of the Keisei Oshiage Line (2013.08.23), filmed from the Tōkyō Sky Tree:



Cab view on the new inbound elevated track (2013.08.24) from Yahiro to Oshiage. Looks like they mostly did away with the ballast and went with concrete sleepers and slab trackbed, other than in a couple of locations. In several places, it looks like they were only just able to squeeze the viaduct in, given the clearances to adjacent buildings.

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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:53 PM   #5965
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
I think due to capacity constraints on the Tokaidō Main Line between Tokyo and Yokohama Stations, JR East may limit operations on the new Tōhoku Through Line to trains from Takasaki and Utsunomiya until line improvements are made that will allow more trains from north of Tokyo Station all the way to Yokohama Station. Once that happens, expect all trains from the Takasaki, Tōhoku and Jōban Lines to terminate at Yokohama Station.
How could they condense the traffic from six tracks into the two tracks of the Tohoku Through Line? Some trains - probably more than half during the peak- will have to terminate at Ueno.

It would make sense for any Joban line through trains will terminate at Shinagawa, because of the differences in rolling stock that quashlo points out.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:12 AM   #5966
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Penta-Ocean wins station construction contract for Hin Keng Station on Sha Tin to Central Link

Official press release:
http://www.penta-ocean.co.jp/news/2013/130826.html

Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation has awarded the station construction contract for Hin Keng Station (顯徑站) on the Sha Tin to Central Link to Penta-Ocean Construction (五洋建設). The contract is worth approx. ¥13.2 billion. Construction will take about 58 months, with completion scheduled for April 2018. Among Hong Kong’s 10 largest infrastructure projects, Penta-Ocean is already fulfilling three other contracts, including Contract 825 of the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link (completion in 2015), the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (completion in 2013), and the International Mail Centre (completion in 2013).

This latest win represents their fourth such contract, part of the Sha Tin to Central Link connecting Sha Tin Station on the Kowloon Peninsula with Admiralty Station on Hong Kong Island via an underwater tunnel beneath Victoria Bay. Hin Keng Station will be located aboveground and feature a green, environmentally-friendly design, including abundant use of recycled materials. The site is located in close proximity to in-service tracks, and portions require overnight work, together with detailed pre-planning followed by solid implementation. In terms of construction difficulty, the work also requires constructing large cut-and-cover tunnels for the alignment on limited right-of-way located on a slope.



Contract details

Contract Name: Shatin to Central Link Contract No.1102 Hin Keng Station and Approach Structures
Client: The MTR Corporation Limited
Design office: The MTR Corporation Limited
Contractor: Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd.
Contract value: Approx. ¥13.2 billion (approx. HK $1 billion)
Location: Che Kung Miu Road Playground, Tai Wai, Hong Kong
Construction schedule: 2013.07.15 – 2018.04.15
Building use: Transportation facility (station building)

Construction details:
Structure: Two-story, steel-reinforced concrete structure
Maximum height: About 19 m
Gross floor area: About 14,800 sq m
Other: Approx. 540 m of track construction, landscaping of accessory open space, sound walls
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:15 AM   #5967
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JR Shikoku unveils Shikoku ICOCA card to debut next spring
独自図案「イコカ」JR四国来春発売

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/kag...OYT8T01157.htm

Official press release:
http://www.jr-shikoku.co.jp/03_news/...3-08-26/01.htm

On 2013.08.26, JR Shikoku announced that it will roll-out its own version of JR West’s ICOCA IC farecard, called “Shikoku ICOCA”. In coordination with the expansion of the card’s service area next spring, JR Shikoku will make the card available for purchase at six stations in Kagawa, including Takamatsu, Sakaide, and Marugame. The card can be used in the same service area as JR West’s ICOCA, but features a unique design, with illustrations of the Marine Liner and other JR Shikoku rolling stock.

JR Shikoku installed exclusive ICOCA faregates at Takamatsu and Sakaide Stations in March of last year and began accepting ICOCA cards at those two stations. The system will now be extended to 13 stations on the Yosan Line between Takamatsu and Tadotsu and the Seto Ōhashi Line between Kojima and Utazu. JR Shikoku will analyze takeup of the card in Kagawa Prefecture before deciding on whether or not to roll-out the system in Shikoku’s three other prefectures (Tokushima, Kōchi, and Ehime).



===

First time I had heard of specifically where they were planning to introduce an IC card system… Basically, all stations between Takamatsu and Utazu, plus the Seto Ōhashi Line, will be covered. Not holding my breath for an expansion elsewhere in Shikoku, but perhaps they might add a few stations on the other side of Takamatsu in the Tokushima direction.

The special ICOCA faregate at JR Takamatsu Station:

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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:16 AM   #5968
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A masked hero has appeared at Hōnanchō Station on the Tōkyō Metro Marunouchi Line to help mothers carry strollers up and down the stairs…

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Old August 28th, 2013, 05:44 AM   #5969
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Construction for JR Tsuruga Station improvements to begin in October
JR敦賀駅前整備、10月本工事 2015年度の完成目指す

http://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/localn...ics/45132.html

On 2013.08.27, a Fukui City Council special subcommittee explained that construction work on the new permanent station plaza at JR Tsuruga Station would begin in October, with a scheduled completion date of FY2015. The bus terminal and taxi zone would be moved to a temporary station plaza constructed adjacent to the current site on its southwest corner. In regards to the solar power generation system at the new station plaza, the subcommittee explained that two 15 kWh batteries would be installed at the site to cover electricity needs for all 144 lighting units at the plaza in the event of an emergency.

In particular, the station plaza would be expanded from the current 5,100 sq m to about 7,000 sq m, with a public transit zone (buses and taxis), private vehicle zone, and an event space. A total of 91 solar panels capable of generating a combined total of 40 kWh a day would be installed near the center of the plaza to cover night-time lighting needs. Total project cost is approx. ¥900 million, and the city has been constructing the temporary station plaza since April.

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Old August 28th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #5970
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Improvements at Ōtemachi Station to open on 2013.08.30
東京都・東京メトロ東西線大手町駅、西改札前広間の拡幅部分が供用開始へ

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/08/27/074/

Official press release:
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2013/p...iekikaisou.pdf

Tōkyō Metro will debut new improvements at the west ticketing hall of the Tōzai Line’s Ōtemachi Station on 2013.08.30. Construction work for the improvements began in March 2012 as part of renovation works for Tōkyō Metro’s largest interchange station, which include barrier-free upgrades and circulation improvements. In particular, the Tōzai Line’s west ticketing hall, connected to Ōtemachi Tower (大手町タワー), has been expanded and redesigned to improve passenger flow and facilitate transfers between the Tōzai Line and the Marunouchi Line, with two new escalators and a wider stairwell (twice the width of the original stairwell). Passengers can now also take advantage of elevators inside Ōtemachi Tower to move between ground level and the station’s underground concourse.



Before improvements:



After improvements:



===

Current transfer from Tōzai Line to Marunouchi Line. Much of the area is under construction as part of these improvements.

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Old August 28th, 2013, 05:47 AM   #5971
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Some construction updates on a few smaller projects in the Tōkyō area:

Keikyū Daishi Line grade-separation (undergrounding), Higashi-Monzen to Kojima Shinden (2013.08.04):



Keikyū Main Line / Airport Line grade-separation (elevation) around Kamata Station (2013.08.04). This project is, for the most part, done, and the alignment is already completely grade-separated, but they are still doing some minor work on the approaches to the viaducts.



Sōtetsu Main Line grade-separation at Hoshikawa Station (2013.06.29). The new elevated station at Hoshikawa is really taking shape.



Sōtetsu Main Line improvements at Nishiya Station (2013.06.29). This station will become the interface with the Sōtetsu–JR Link (相鉄・JR直通線), and they are trying to squeeze a four-track station with the necessary turnback facilities into a pretty tight spot.



Shin-Keisei Line grade-separation (elevation) in Kamagaya City, Kamagaya Daibutsu to Kunugiyama (2013.05.28):

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Old August 28th, 2013, 07:24 AM   #5972
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Hopefully, the new JR West Tsuruga Station improvements won't have to be torn down when the station is eventually converted to a full Shinkansen station some time in the future....
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Old August 28th, 2013, 06:24 PM   #5973
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No, the Shinkansen station is going on the other side of the station, facing the mountains. This is for the side facing the city.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 12:56 AM   #5974
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Final day of service on the inbound ground-level track of the Keisei Oshiage Line
Here are some pictures of inbound platform at Keisei Hikufune station:

http://arakawaexpress.livedoor.biz/a.../52620583.html
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Old August 29th, 2013, 07:49 AM   #5975
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”Smart” platform doors to begin testing on 2013.08.31
東大など、鉄道駅向け乗降位置可変型ホーム柵の実地試験を8月末より開始

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/08/28/057/

A next-generation “smart” platform door system that realigns itself to match train door configurations, developed jointly by Tōkyō University’s Manufacturing Technology Research Center (生産技術研究所センター) and Kobelco (神戸製鋼), will begin a half-year field test at Shin-Tokorozawa Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line on 2013.08.31.

The system moves both the door leaves and door pockets to the proper position on the platform to align with the door configuration of the arriving train, overcoming one of the biggest obstacles to platform door installation on lines with a high degree of rolling stock variety. The doors can also adapt to variance in stopping location by the train operator, and do not require installation of special equipment to stop the train at the appropriate locations on the platform.

The platform doors are designed as individual units consisting of a 1.4 m long door pocket and 1.1 m long door leaves at either end. The units would be lined up along the platform edge at specific locations identified based on the train formations serving the station. The doors would move slowly while the train is approaching the station to reduce any time loss.

The test will be conducted at the rear end (one carlength) of Platform 1 (outbound platform) at the station to confirm the system’s functionality, as well as passenger response to door movement speed. Seibu operates commuter EMUs with three and four doors per side, making it a good location to test the new system. The tests were initially supposed to begin in June 2013, but were delayed two months.

===

Already installed and (unofficial) testing with 4-door Seibu 3000 series (2013.08.16):



A better angle showing the door movement. Normally, it only needs to move once, prior to train arrival, but it looks like they were testing the system’s performance to correct for train operator error (i.e., over- or under-shooting the stop marker).



Tōkyō MX exclusive report about the MLIT’s trials of three new platform door solutions:

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Old August 29th, 2013, 07:52 AM   #5976
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In more strange news, a female station attendant at Keikyū Yokohama Station pulled a jūdō throw (seoi-nage 背負い投げ) on a male passenger who was turning violent… Apparently, he was trying to exit the station without paying the proper fare, and started attacking the station attendant when she directed him to pay the rest of the fare.

TBS news report:



The animated version.

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Old August 29th, 2013, 12:34 PM   #5977
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What an absolute badass
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Old August 30th, 2013, 01:05 PM   #5978
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Not sure if all train staff have to take judo as part of their training like police, fire, and EMT staff do in this country--but I'll ask around.

Also--Guess who was approached to work for that animation/news company?

They're based in Taipei, Taiwan though...
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Old August 30th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #5979
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Awesome! If all Japanese women could do that, there'd be no chikan at all!
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Old August 30th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #5980
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Upgrades in the works for Saiin / Sai Station
阪急・嵐電の西院駅直結へ 改札口新設計画、駅ビルも刷新

http://www.kyoto-np.co.jp/economy/ar...20130829000020

On 2013.08.28, it was revealed that Hankyū Corporation and Keifuku Electric Railroad are developing a plan to upgrade Saiin Station (Ukyō Ward, Kyōto City) on the Hankyū Kyōto Line and Sai Station (Nakagyō Ward, Kyōto City) on the Keifuku Electric Railroad. The plans include construction of new east ticketing halls for the Hankyū station connected directly to the tram station, designed to facilitate transfers between the two lines. The station tenant building at the Hankyū station will also be replaced with a new facility housing a nursing school and other tenants

The Hankyū station (Saiin Station) is located underground, and only has a ticketing hall on the west side, at the southwest corner of the intersection of Nishi-Ōji and Shijō-dōri. Sai Station on the Keifuku Electric Railroad is located about 260 m to the east of this ticketing hall, but this new plan would construct two new ticketing halls on the east side of the Hankyū station, one on each side of Shijō-dōri. The Hankyū station is a side platform layout, so the south ticketing hall would be for the Ōsaka (Umeda) platform while the north ticketing hall would be for the Kawaramachi platform. The south Hankyū ticketing hall would be placed adjacent to the Shijō Ōmiya tram platform to facilitate transfers, while the Arashiyama tram platform would be relocated to the north side of Shijō-dōri, closer to the north Hankyū ticketing hall. Elevators would be installed at both exits for accessibility.

The existing west Hankyū ticketing hall would be relocated underground, and a new elevator installed in response to fervent requests from local residents. The station building would be replaced with a new building housing a nursing school, medical institutions, and other tenants.

An application has already been filed under the MLIT’s Railway Station Comprehensive Improvement Projects (鉄道駅総合改善事業) Grant Program, and if approved, survey and design would begin in FY2014, with groundbreaking in FY2015. The project cost would be split in thirds between the national government and local governments (Kyōto City).

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The recently renovated Randen Arashiyama Station:

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