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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:23 AM   #581
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Service improvements for Tōkyō Metro Marunouchi Line
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2009/2009-59.html

Quote:
Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi) will implement schedule changes to the Marunouchi Line starting Friday, December 11.

This set of schedule changes will primarily extend service for a portion of Shinjuku Station-bound trains departing Ikebukuro, increasing trains on the section between Shinjuku Station and Nakano Sakaue and Ogikubo Stations. The changes will reduce crowding and improve convenience.

The details of the changes are as follows:

Schedule changes effective date: Friday, December 11, 2009

Summary of changes:
  • Morning rush hour:
    • Increased trains between Shinjuku Station and Ogikubo Station
      Some trains departing Ikebukuro Station bound for Shinjuku Station will be extended to Ogikubo Station, adding one roundtrip during the 7:00 hour between Shinjuku Station and Ogikubo Station.
    • Increased trains between Shinjuku Station and Nakano Sakaue Station
      Some trains departing Ikebukuro Station bound for Shinjuku Station will be extended to Nakano Fujimichō Station, adding two trains from Shinjuku Station to Nakano Sakaue Station and three trains from Nakano Sakaue Station to Shinjuku Station between 7:00 and 9:00.
  • Evening rush hour and evening:
    • Increased trains between Shinjuku Station and Ogikubo Station
      Some trains departing Ikebukuro Station bound for Shinjuku Station will be extended to Ogikubo Station, adding ten roundtrips between 4:00 and 11:00 pm. With the changes, the average frequency of trains departing Shinjuku Station towards Ogikubo Station will be reduced from 4m 10s to 3m 40s.
  • Increased trains between Nakano Sakaue Station and Ogikubo Station
    The second-to-last train departing Ikebukuro Station, bound for Nakano Fujimichō Station, will instead operate to Ogikubo Station, adding one train between Nakano Sakaue Station and Ogikubo Station. The train will connect with a Nakano Fujimichō-bound train at Nakano Sakaue Station.
The service on the Marunouchi Line west of Shinjuku forks at Nakano Sakaue Station, with one branch northwest to Ogikubo, and another branch southwest to Hōnanchō. Most through-trains go to and from Ogikubo, while the branch to Hōnanchō is mostly served by three-car shuttles between Hōnanchō and Nakano Sakaue Station.

In addition to the famous river crossing near Ochanomizu, the Marunouchi Line has an aboveground section between Myōgadani and Kōrakuen.

Source: KITAKIKENTA on YouTube
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:24 AM   #582
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Tokushima City plans for elevation of rail lines
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/tok...OYT8T01212.htm

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The General Meeting of the Tokushima City Railway Elevation and Trackside Improvements Promotion Conference, which discusses ways to accelerate the elevation of rail lines running inside Tokushima City and development of communities surrounding the lines, was held on November 11 inside a hotel in Tokushima City. Approximately 50 officials from prefectural and city government voted to petition the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) for a speedy implementation of the project.

“Elevation of the rail lines is expected to help revitalize the neighborhoods in the city, but will require a large amount of money and time. With the change in administrations, we’ve begun sorting through the various ongoing projects to see which should be inherited, and we’d like to improve the project as much as we can by hearing from our citizens,” said Tokushima City mayor Hara Hideki as he greeted the attendees.

Tokushima Prefecture Governer Iizumi was reelected as committee chairman and expressed his hopes for the revitalization of the prefectural capital, saying “This is a growth strategy that works with the urban plans for the surrounding neighborhoods and is a once-in-a-century chance to make something happen.”

The railway elevation project will elevate 4.7 km of track from the area west of Tokushima Station on the JR Kōtoku Line to Bunka no Mori Station on the Mugi Line, and is being jointly sponsored by the Prefectural Government and Tokushima City as a means of easing traffic congestion on roads and ensuring emergency vehicle access in the event of disaster. The committee will proceed with discussions with the national government, completing a conceptual design for the elevated viaduct and carbarn, as well as a plan document based on a draft community plan published by Tokushima City, by the end of the fiscal year.
Tokushima Station is the central station for Tokushima City, a minor city on Shikoku. The station is served by JR Shikoku trains on the Kōtoku Line, Mugi Line, Tokushima Line, and Naruto Line.

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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:25 AM   #583
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More improvements for JR Kanazawa Station’s West Exit
http://mytown.asahi.com/ishikawa/new...00000911120005

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In an effort to create a station with all the functions and appearance fit for the gateway to Kanazawa City once the Shinkansen enters service, a Kanazawa City committee that has been evaluating additional improvements to the West Exit Plaza at JR Kanazawa Station has released it’s Grand Design plan.

After exiting the station concourse, passengers will be greeted by a large canopy. The main street will feature an asymmetrical contrast of deciduous trees such as Japanese zelkova on one side and evergreen trees such as maki. The plan also calls for construction of a gate using Tomuro stone, also used in Kanazawa Castle, as well as lotus and water lily ponds reminiscent of the lotus paddies that once stretched across this area during the 1920s and 30s.

In response to the plan, committee members called for more barrier-free facilities without going over the top, as well as for a sheltered facility for passenger waiting for buses.

The committee will decide on a final Grand Design in February of next year, and will begin on detailed design, which is scheduled to be finalized by the end of the fiscal year.
This is one of the more eye-popping designs among modern stations in Japan. The station itself is the central station for Kanazawa City (along with Hokutetsu Kanazawa Station) and is served by the JR West Hokuriku Main Line and Nanao Line. Daily station entries are 20,800 (2006).

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Drum Gate, modeled after tsuzumi drums and a traditional torii (shrine gate).

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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:26 AM   #584
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Saitama Prefecture expands station information service for mobile users
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/sai...OYT8T01342.htm

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On November 11, Saitama Prefecture launched a new function on its public website for mobile phones, Ekinaka Rakuraku Travel Information, which provides information useful to railway station users. After passengers input the name of their railway line and their destination station, the service provides “boarding location information” to make movement within stations as effortless as possible. Specifically, the service identifies the best car in the train to board in order to easily access stairwells, escalators, and elevators upon exiting the train. Passengers can research the line before boarding, reducing transfer times.

The new function is available for all 237 railway stations in Saitama Prefecture, including stations operated by JR East, Tōbu Railway, and Seibu Railway.

After searching by line and station (by line or alphabetically), the boarding location information allows passengers to see the best car to board to use escalators and elevators when arriving at the destination station. Fourteen prefectural government staff traveled to all stations and surveyed the data while commuting to and from work or on business trips.

In addition, for the 22 stations run by railway operators in which the prefectural government has an interest—including Saitama Rapid Railway and the New Shuttle—users of the mobile service can now search for phone numbers of taxi companies serving each station, as well as connect to the websites for bus operators.

Ekinaka Rakuraku Travel Information was established in January of this year to provide station information such as the availability of elevators and wheelchair-accessible restrooms to physically-disabled passengers, elderly passengers, and parents with strollers. When the service opened, a portion of railway companies including Tōkyō Metro had already been providing special boarding location information for mobile phone users, and the prefectural government was considering adding the function to its own service.

“The service is useful not only for passengers with physical disabilities, but for each and every person who uses the railway stations. We welcome any suggestions for additional functions to improve our mobile website service,” says the Saitama Prefecture Transport Strategy Section.

Website (for mobile users): http://www.mobile.pref.saitama.lg.jp/?page=4845/
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:26 AM   #585
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Passengers shift from Umeda to Hanshin Namba Line
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...911120038.html

Quote:
While Kansai’s private railways are struggling across the board due to the recession and the effects of the swine flu scare, thanks to the opening of Hanshin Electric Railway’s Namba Line in March of this year, Hanshin was the only operator in the bunch to record an increase in ridership. By allowing a one-seat ride between Kōbe and Nara, ridership in the mid- to long-distance passenger market has been increasing, and users who had previously passed through Umeda are now shifting to the new route.

Ridership on the Hanshin Namba Line from April to September surpassed 10 million, with farebox revenues reaching approximately ¥1.7 billion, 17 percent above the original estimates at the start of the line. As a result of several factors including an increase in long-distance trips due to the Namba Line, ridership across the Hanshin lines grew by 6.2 percent.

As for station usage, ridership at Hanshin Sannomiya, Kintetsu Ōsaka Namba, and Kintetsu Nara—all joined by the Namba Line—increased, while ridership at Umeda dropped substantially. The drop is attributed to a shift to the Namba Line for trips along the Hanshin Line bound for Nara and for trips along the Kintetsu Line bound for Kōshien Stadium.

According to the Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau, which operates the Midōsuji Line linking Umeda and Namba, daily average ridership and revenues after April dropped by 0.5 percent each across the entire subway. Entries and exits at Hankyū Umeda Station also dropped by 4.7 percent, and Hankyū Corporation’s public relations department describes the Hanshin Namba Line as a “contributing factor.”
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:27 AM   #586
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Bus area at JR Sendai West Exit could be expanded
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/miy...OYT8T00164.htm

Quote:
Sendai City and the Miyagi Bus Association are proceeding with evaluation of a proposal to expand the bus zone (buspool) at the West Exit of JR Sendai Station by 2015. The goal of the effort is to resolve the inconveniences with having a narrow bus zone that forces additional bus stops to be scattered along roadways surrounding the station. A simple expansion of the bus zone, however, would result in traffic congestion around the station, and there is a possibility that drafting a plan for the bus area expansion may run into difficulties.

Approximately 50 bus stops for local fixed-route and highway express buses are scattered through the area surrounding the station, from the buspools on the east and west sides of the station all the way to locations along Aoba-dōri and Atago-Kamisugi-dōri. Users complain that the current setup means long distances to walk when transferring. The West Exit buspool is particularly constrained, and buses are frequently crowded.

As a result, in spring of this year Sendai City and the Bus Association proposed expanding the West Exit buspool by converting a portion of the adjacent city road (approximately 180 m). From July 4-10, a trial was also launched which prohibited regular vehicles from entering this section of the road, converting it for use as a waiting area for fixed-route buses.

However, the trial resulted in congestion, with queues along the detour route around the station reaching a maximum of 680 m during the evening, 6 times the length of queues under the current setup.

In a survey of drivers conducted at the same time as the trial, only 22 percent of bus drivers said the conversion of a portion of the city road into a bus waiting area had improved the situation, with a total of 56 percent of bus drivers saying there was no benefit at all or that they were unsure.

However, 64 percent of regular drivers and bus drivers agreed to some form of expansion of the bus area, meaning dissatisfaction with the current setup is high. The city has said it does not intend to propose a different section for expansion of the bus zone, and will instead “evaluate ways to reduce traffic congestion and optimize bus stop location,” but it’s likely that it will take some time before the most appropriate strategy is devised.
Sendai Station is the central station for Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture, approximately 325 km by Shinkansen from Tōkyō. The station is served by JR East (Tōhoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Tōhoku Main Line, Jōban Line, Sendai Airport Line, Senzan Line, and Senseki Line) and the Sendai Municipal Subway (Namboku Line and the under-construction Tōzai Line). JR Sendai Station sees 79,000 daily entries, while the Municipal Subway’s Sendai Station sees 35,000 daily entries.

JR Sendai Station


Source: Wikipedia

West Exit
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West Exit pedestrian deck

Source: Wikipedia

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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:29 AM   #587
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Tōkyū Corporation may sell stake in JAL
http://www.asahi.com/business/update...911190010.html

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Tōkyū Corporation, the largest shareholder of Japan Airlines (JAL), is considering selling a portion of its shares. JAL has requested financial assistance from the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan, and with a higher probability that the airline will attempt to financially reorganize itself under government management, it’s likely Tōkyū determined a reevaluation of its relationship with the airline was necessary.

Tōkyū was a substantial shareholder in Japan Air System, which merged with JAL in 2002. As of the end of September, Tōkyū owns 2.94 percent, or a little over 80,000, of JAL’s issued shares. Tōkyū sees little benefit to retaining its shares in the airline as part of its financial strategy, and executives said, “We have made preparations to sell at any moment.” Tōkyū Chairman Kamijō Kiyofumi resigned as an Outside Director of JAL on November 13.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:29 AM   #588
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JR East 207 series nears its last days
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifest...1637002-n1.htm

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With the upcoming retirement of the 207 series train running on the JR Jōban Line local (Ayase – Toride), JR East will operate a special farewell service on December 5. The train will depart from Matsudo Station, turning back at Toride before heading to Matsudo Car Center for a photography session. Tickets will only be available online via JR East’s EkiNet service starting November 20 at 2:00 pm until November 30 or when tickets run out. Ticket prices are ¥3900 for adults and ¥3600 for children, and come with a commemorative bentō box and signboard.

The 207 series debuted in 1986 on the Jōban Line local, which runs through-service with the Tōkyō Metro (at the time, Eidan Subway) Chiyoda Line. The body draws from the 205 series, which still runs today on lines such as the Saikyō Line, but the train is the first ex-JNR train to use now-standard variable-voltage variable-frequency (VVVF) control. Only one train was constructed, as an experimental unit, but was not mass-produced due to cost concerns.

Despite its lackluster appearance, the train enjoyed popularity among fans as an extremely rare train, but with the introduction of the latest E233-2000 series trains onto the Jōban Line local, the 207 series has reached the end of its duties. December 5 will mark its last day of revenue service, after which it will be decommissioned.
207 series departing Mabashi on the Jōban Line.

Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Window view and motor sounds from inside a 207 series on the Chiyoda Line, from Akasaka to Yoyogi Uehara.

Source: ayokoi on YouTube
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:30 AM   #589
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Tōkyū launches special campaign for off-peak commuting
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_inde.../091113-1.html

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From November 13 to 25, Tōkyū Corporation (President and Representative Director: Koshimura Toshiaki) is accepting 5,000 members into its “Early Bird Campaign” for the Den’en Toshi Line. The campaign will be in effect from Tuesday, December 1 to Friday, December 18.

Tōkyū has recognized improvement of the overcrowding and the resulting delays on the Den’en Toshi Line during the morning rush hour as a critical issue and has thus far employed a variety of counterstrategies, including increasing the number of trains, introducing semi-express service, introducing six-door fold-up seat cars, and extending the Ōimachi Line to Mizonokuchi and starting express service on it. As part of those efforts, the “Early Bird Campaign” seeks to encourage off-peak travel with the assistance of Yoshinoya, Doutor Coffee, and Tipness. When using a PASMO card to enter the faregates at any stations on the Den’en Toshi Line until the fixed “Early Bird” time that day, users will receive a coupon sent by email to their mobile phone, which when taken to the respective store, is redeemable for a discount to the customer.
Campaign website (Japanese only): http://www.tokyu.co.jp/hayaoki/index.html
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:31 AM   #590
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Chūō Line 120th Anniversary campaign brings back ticket-punchers
http://mytown.asahi.com/tama/news.ph...00000911190002

Quote:
The special ticket-punchers formerly used to punch holes in tickets when entering the faregates at stations will make a return as part of an event by JR East’s Hachiōji Branch Office starting November 28. For one month after that day, a special rally will be held to visit stations on the Chūō Line, but instead of the typical stamps, participants will use the ticket-punchers to punch holes into a paper mount. The event marks the finale of the Chūō Line’s 120th Anniversary Campaign. Former station staff will also conduct special “performances” with the ticket-punchers.

The ticket-punchers were used at the faregates to punch holes into the tickets, marking them as “in use.” In the past, the sight of station staff fluidly punching holes while moving tickets back and forth, was common.

The former Japanese National Railways (JNR) had approximately 60 different types of ticket-punchers, each with a different shape ranging for “U” shapes to “V” shapes, depending on the station. However, the spread of automatic faregates started to take hold in 1990, and IC farecards such as Suica have become more and more popular, such that ticket-punchers are no longer used.

The upcoming “revival” of the ticket-punchers was proposed by Takahashi Atsushi (28yo), who works in the Operations Department at the Hachiōji Branch Office. As a young child, he collected tickets from various stations and preserved them in an album.

The album was tucked away in the bookshelves at his parents’ home, and he had the chance to look at it again for the first time since joining JR East many years ago. Inside the album were many tickets from stations along the Chūō Line, and after remembering his interest in the different hole shapes, figured they could be used in the rally as part of this year’s campaign.

The “Punch Rally” will be held from November 28 to December 27 at the 12 stations on the Chūō Line between Kichijōji and Hachiōji. The shape of the holes will be the very same shape used in the past for each station.

Participants will use the ticket-punchers to punch holes inside special paper mounts located outside the faregates or inside station buildings. Participants will be entered into a drawing for gifts. A total of 120 participants who collect five or more will receive a commemorative 120th Anniversary medal, while 20 participants who collect all twelve will receive a gold ticket-puncher.

At some of the stations, primarily on weekends and holidays during the campaign period, former station staff who once punched tickets will show off their skills once more. At specially allocated faregates, participants will get a chance to punch holes into replica tickets designed to look like old-style tickets. This particular event is only open to participants who visit five or more stations or spend above a specified minimum amount at shops inside the station building.

“I suspect that much of the younger generation doesn’t even know we used to have ticket-punchers. For children, they’re something new, and for the parents and older folks, they can bring back fond memories. I hope this becomes a chance for the three generations of each family to come together and talk, and think about the history of the Chūō Line,” says Takahashi.
Chūō Line (rapid) platforms at Tōkyō Station. 5 arrivals, 5 departures in 8.5 minutes, on single island platform and two tracks + crossover.

Source: RayLiou on YouTube

Amateur PV of Chūō Line, with old and new stock. This year marks the 120th anniversary of the line.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:32 AM   #591
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Tosa Electric Railway Ino Line
http://mytown.asahi.com/kochi/news.p...00140911160001
http://mytown.asahi.com/kochi/news.p...00140911160002

Quote:
The Tosa Electric Railway (HQ: Kōchi City) Ino Line was built to move Japanese paper. In the area surrounding Ino Tramstop—where, in the past, paper used to be loaded onto freight trains—the younger generation is now struggling to preserve traditions and help develop the city. Along a line that uses historic trams from both overseas and outside Kōchi Prefecture, there are people, past and present, striving to support the streetcars.

The “Paper Road”
The especially thin paper was known as “fly’s wings,” a mere 0.03 mm thick, and yet, it was robust and strong. The hand-crafted Japanese paper still made in Inochō is known as “Tosa mulberry paper.”

During the Meiji Era, the quality of the paper was renowned even outside of Japan, and export of the paper for use in typewriters began. Inochō is blessed not only with an abundance of high-quality mulberry trees used in the production of Japanese paper, but also clean water from the Niyodo River running through the town.

In order to transport Tosa’s paper to the port in nearby Kōchi City east of the town, the Tosa Electric Railway (Toden) Ino Line opened for service in 1908.

At the time, it was said that the sound of the water splashing when making the paper could be heard throughout the town. With the conversion to machinery in the 60s, however, the number of craftsmen making paper by hand plummeted. By 1970, Hamada Yukio (78yo) was the only man left producing Tosa mulberry paper.

“If I call it quits, there will be no more paper.” When the general stores would ask him to make different paper for them, he refused, shaking the wooden screen suketa as he kept the tradition alive. Hamada would go on to develop pigment-colored paper, which dressed the traditional Japanese paper in bright colors, and the national government recognized him as a Living National Treasure of Japan in 2001.

The transport of Japanese paper by train ended around 1960. With the rapid expansion of automobiles, annual ridership on the Toden dropped from a peak of a little over 30 million in 1962 to 9.61 million in 1988.

Overseas trams

In order to increase ridership, Toden decided to introduce foreign trams, a rare sight in Japan.

In January 1990, a city tram from Stuttgart, Germany arrived on site, in a bright two-tone livery of white and yellow. At the time, factory assistant Yokoyama Masahiro (58yo) was shocked at the tram’s advanced functionality, such as a step design that made wheelchair access easy and an automatic door lock that kicked in when accelerating. “It felt 10 years ahead of what we had in Japan,” he recalls.

Toden’s streetcars have seats at both ends, but the German cars only had seats at the “front” end. Toden bought two of the cars and cut each of them in half, joining the two ends together. The railway gauge, wiring, and braking system were all different from Japanese streetcars. Toden made models, disassembling and assembling them, even employing a total of 600 craftsmen in design and steelwork over the course of half a year.

Afterwards, Toden purchased trams from Lisbon (Portugal), Oslo (Norway), and Australia, and railway fans from across the country gathered to see.

“Residents of Shimonoseki City: Your trams are running just fine in Kōchi.” This was the title from an article in the February 5, 2005 Yamaguchi edition of the Asahi Shimbun. In 1971, San’yō Electric Tramway (now Sanden Transport) in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture abandoned its streetcar lines. Toden purchased seven of the streetcars and began operating them the same year. The article was sponsored by Director Hamada Mitsuo (45yo) of the Tosa Electric Railway Tram and Town Supporters Association.

After the article hit the press, former San’yō conductor Harada Gō (70yo) called to say that 33 former operators and conductors would be visiting Kōchi in October of that year. The Association solicited donations and succeeded in repainting the cars from Toden’s cream livery to San’yō’s original dark green livery. People kissed the train, people cried. “The trains used to roll from side-to-side, just like this,” said Harada. He planted his feet, as if punching tickets the way he once did as a conductor.

With the trend towards one-man operations, the foreign trams which require an additional conductor mean extra cost for the railway. The last stronghold, a tram from Portugal, was taken out of regular service in January of this year and now only makes an appearance during special events.

Sunday market

At the home of Living National Treasure Hamada Yukio, his grandson Hironao (32yo) works away at making paper, the sole inheritor of the Tosa mulberry paper tradition. Hironao’s younger brother Osamu (30yo) crafts “falling water paper,” a type of Tosa paper with a unique texture. While the number of papermakers in Inochō has dropped, the tradition craft is being passed on to the next generation.

In an effort to bring back the vitality of the past, the commercial district around Ino Tramstop is planning a new event. On the first Sunday of every month, Toden currently reduces all fares to ¥100. The commercial district is considering a Sunday market where general stores, usually closed on Sundays, offer handmade bags and ceramics for sale. The younger generation from another commercial district are experimenting with a new monthly event with a different theme each month.

“People and goods have been moving through this town for over a century. Now, it’s our turn to create something attractive that will make people want to visit us. And of course, we want them to take the streetcar,” said Miyawaki Daisuke (37yo) from the Inochō Chamber of Commerce.

”Japan’s No.1”

Tosa Electric Railway was established in 1903, and among the 19 streetcar systems operating in Japan, it has the longest history. It also has many of Japan’s “No.1”s. The track length, at 25.3 km, is the longest in Japan. The number of stops, 76, is the largest. In contrast, the distance between Ichijōbashi and Seiwa Gakuen-mae Tramstops on the Gomen Line is a mere 63 m, the shortest distance between tramstops in the country.

Just outside Harimaya Tramstop is a junction of four tracks. Known as a “diamond crossing,” it was constructed in 2005. The junction allows north-south trains on the line bound to and from Kōchi Station to travel to and from the Ino Line west of Harimayabashi Tramstop, eliminating the need to transfer, and is said to be the “most complicated” junction in Japan. Green landscaping in the track right-of-way was completed in 2002, also the first such application in the country.
Between Kagamigawabashi and Asakura-eki-mae on the Ino Line. You can see how narrow the roadway is along much of the route. Towards the end, there is also an exchange of tablets.

Source: ayokoi on YouTube

A short tour of the carbarn. You can see some of the foreign trams here.

Source: 001173 on YouTube

Speaking of diamond crossings in Japan, there are several other fairly well-known ones, including one in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture for the Iyo Railway. Hankyū use to have a ridiculously complex one at Nishinomiya Kitaguchi Station, the junction of the Imazu Line and the Kōbe Main Line, where the double-tracked Imazu Line crossed the quadruple-tracked Kōbe Main Line. It was of course a legacy of the days of operating as an “interurban” and eventually became a hamper, so it was eliminated in 1984 after the Imazu Line was split in half.


Source: Wikipedia


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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:34 AM   #592
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Ex-Keiō Teito, ex-Iyotetsu cars make their way to Chiba
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/feature/200...OYT1T00859.htm

Quote:
The four cars purchased by Chiba Prefecture’s Chōshi Electric Railway from Iyo Railway in Ehime arrived in Chōshi Harbor and were brought onto land.

The cars were moved onto flat-bed trailer trucks and are scheduled to be transported to Nakanochō Carbarn and the track sidings at Kasagami – Kurohae Station by the early hours of November 6.

Among the five cars in Chōshi Electric Railway’s fleet, two were constructed before World War II in 1940, and one car was constructed in 1950. The railway was directed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to replace the aging vehicles as quickly as possible.

All four vehicles obtained in the purchase were constructed in 1962, and after operating for Keiō Electric Railway, were transferred over to Iyo Railway in 1984, where they continued in operation. The total cost of the purchase, including transport, renovation, and maintenance and rehab, is ¥150 million.

Chōshi Electric Railway will repaint the cars in light green livery and form them in two two-car consists, scheduled to first enter service in March of next year.
These units are ex-Keiō 2010 series trains formerly used by Keiō Electric Railway in Tōkyō. These look much different then Keiō’s later stock, being only 18 m long with three large, single-leaf doors on each side. Some were later transferred all the way to Matsuyama City (Ehime Prefecture) in western Japan, where they operated for private operator Iyo Railway. Four of the cars have now made a return to the Kantō Region for Chōshi Electric Railway, which is a very small private operator in Chōshi City in eastern Chiba.

I posted an earlier article about some other ex-Keiō units that were transferred to Ichibata Electric Railway:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=359


Source: Wikipedia

In Iyo Railway colors:


Source: Wikipedia

With an attractive remodeled front

Source: Wikipedia


Source: Wikipedia

Iyo Railway (Iyotetsu) runs both streetcar and heavy-rail type vehicles. Here, an Iyotetsu 700 series (ex-Keiō 5000 series) enters the famous diamond crossing of streetcar and heavy-rail at Ōtemachi Station.

Source: questhiroden on YouTube

Iyotetsu 700 series and 3000 series. The 3000 series are ex-Keiō 3000 series for the Inokashira Line which recently began service for Iyotetsu.

Source: goretri on YouTube
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:34 AM   #593
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Himeji Monorail makes one-day appearance

Supposedly, over 12,000 people came to visit for this event.


Source: studiotwain on YouTube
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:35 AM   #594
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Environmental assessment of Keihan Main Line elevation begins
http://www.kentsu.co.jp/osaka/news/p01217.html

Quote:
Ōsaka Prefecture has released the Environmental Impact Assessment Methodology Report for elevation of the Keihan Main Line in Neyagawa City and Hirakata City. The report is the first step in the environmental assessment process. The report will be open for review and comment until December 1. According to the report, which summarizes the basics of the project, elevation of the tracks would be achieved by using the temporary track method for the east side and the separate track method for the west side. The project schedule calls for approval as an urban plan by 2011, project selection in 2013, construction start in 2019, and completion in 2028.

The Environmental Impact Assessment Methodology Report calls for field studies of noise, vibration, low frequency noise, electromagnetic interference, and aesthetics, and identifies 12 topics for the Environmental Impact Assessment, including air quality, noise, ground contamination, waste, and global environment. Production of the draft report was handled by Chūō Fukken Consultants (HQ: Higashi-Yodogawa Ward, Ōsaka City).

The project location is approximately 5.5 km between Saiwaichō in Neyagawa City and Oka-Minamichō in Hirakata City (3.4 km in Hirakata City and 2.1 km in Neyagawa City). The stations to be elevated are Kōrien Station (island platform configuration), Kōzenji Station (side-platform configuration), and Hirakata Kōen Station (side platform configuration). In terms of construction method, the east side will make use of the temporary track method, constructing a temporary track to handle train traffic while the new elevated track is built atop the old track, and will be used for portions near National Route 170 and Kōrien Station and on the north side of Hirakata Kōen Station. The west side of the tracks will make use of the separate track method, which will construct the new elevated tracks adjacent to the existing tracks and be used for all other locations. The elevated structure will consist of reinforced concrete rigid-frame elevated bridges, prestressed concrete girder bridges and steel girder bridges.

As related projects, there are also plans to replace the Yao – Hirakata Road (3,270 m, from 2013 to 2028) and construct frontage roads (6,210 m, from 2013 to 2028) adjacent to the elevated railway.

The Keihan Main Line is already elevated near Neyagawa-shi Station and Hirakata-shi Station. However, the stations in between, including Kōrien Station, Kōzenji Station, and Hirakata Kōen Station, remain at grade, with 20 out of the 21 at-grade crossings closed for over 40 minutes during the peak hour. The elevation project will eliminate the at-grade crossings and unify neighborhoods currently separated by the railway.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:36 AM   #595
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Keisei opens new platform at Airport Terminal 2 Station
http://mytown.asahi.com/chiba/news.p...00000911140001

Quote:
With the Narita New Rapid Railway, which will connect Nippori in Tōkyō and Narita Airport in as little as 36 minutes, scheduled to open next summer, a new inbound-only platform at Keisei Electric Railway’s Airport Terminal 2 Station has been completed. On November 13, officials held an opening ceremony, with the new platform officially opening to the public on November 14.

The new platform is 266 m long. Currently, both inbound (towards Tōkyō) and outbound trains (towards the airport) share a single platform, but starting November 14, the existing platform will be converted to outbound only, while the new platform will be used for inbound trains. The Keisei Line operates a maximum of six trains per hour per direction, but after the new line opens, this will increase to a total of nine trains per hour per direction.

In keeping with the theme of Terminal 2 of the Airport as a Japanese-style interior space, designer Kobayashi Moyo (61yo) from Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō designed the portals connecting the new platform with the old platform in Japanese style. Using techniques derived from Wajima-style lacquer and other craft, the design presents the warmth of an ancient tradition.

In response to airport users who say the trip from central Tōkyō takes too long, the Narita New Rapid Railway project began construction in February 2006. The Narita Rapid Railway Access Company (HQ: Funabashi City), funded by Keisei Electric Railway, Narita International Airport Corporation (NAA), and local jurisdictions, is constructing 10.7 km of track between Inba Nihon Idai and the Tsuchiya area in Narita City, with completion scheduled by March of next year. The line is expected to open in July of next year.
Unfortunately, there seem to be few pictures of the new platform. This blog has a few:
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/chiba_tekken/34651430.html

Airport Terminal 2 Station is a bit of an unusual configuration. Both Keisei and JR East run service to and from Narita Airport, but Airport Terminal 2 Station only has two tracks, with two platforms in a side configuration. Therefore, Keisei and JR each have one exclusive track and platform which must carry trains in both directions.

An Airport Narita service from the Sōbu Line (rapid), bound for Narita Airport Station, arrives at Airport Terminal 2.

Source: yasuhitohonda on YouTube

Keisei train arrives at Airport Terminal 2.

Source: yasuhitohonda on YouTube
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:37 AM   #596
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Tōkyō Metro manner posters aim to curb disruptive behavior
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifest...0756000-n2.htm

Quote:
Have you seen salarymen and young men and women eating onigiri, bentō, hamburgers, and other foods inside trains and buses? It’s a sign of the decline of food-related manners among the adult population. While much depends on the common sense and consideration of the individual, we may have reached the point where society at large must say no to disruptive behavior.

Soup and coffee
Early October inside a private railway train running through the suburbs of Tōkyō. Three female university students, dressed in sportswear bearing the name of their school, were laughing and talking as they ate hot soup. An elderly man who couldn’t stand the sight any longer shouted, “Where are you manners?” The university students, however, continued to eat without batting an eye.

Another day in the early afternoon, I spotted a salaryman on the subway train with his mobile phone in one hand, picking away at a convenience store bentō box with the other. Office ladies eating onigiri while standing on the train, a male office worker drinking hot coffee on a rocking bus… All are scenes inside trains and buses from the past six months. This behavior can only mean the decline of the general adult’s food manners.

Railway and bus companies operating inside Tōkyō have yet to prohibit food and drink. Instead, the current situation places everything in the hands of the individual and his or her good sense.

JR East sells bentō boxes and alcoholic beverages at shops inside stations and inside green cars of regular trains. As a result, JR East is less motivated to do anything about the issue. “If we ban eating onigiri, sandwiches, and bentō boxes, we’ll have to give up ekiben (special bentō sold only at stations and in trains) as well,” says the railway. “It’s difficult to know where to draw the line for food and drink. We leave it up to the morals of our passengers,” adds a spokesperson from the Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation.

In the midst of all this, Tōkyō Metro’s “Please Do it at Home” series of posters intended to spread good manners among the riding public is gaining particular attention. The railway takes complaints from its passengers and transforms them into simple cartoons, changing them every month. The aim is to casually inform passengers committing disruptive acts and encourage behavior appropriate for a public environment.

The posters have been placed inside stations starting in April 2008, and after receiving compliments from users on the easy-to-understand messages, the railway has continued the project this fiscal year. Recently, the railway has received requests to use the posters as teaching material in schools.

Until food and drink are prohibited…
The poster for October is a cartoon of a young man slurping instant noodles and getting broth everywhere. Tōkyō Metro says it selected the theme after hearing complaints from users about the odors coming from passengers who eat food inside the trains.

The poster, however, says, “Regarding eating and drinking on the train, please be considerate of those around you,” but does not clearly state that food and drink are prohibited. “Manners aren’t forced on people. We are careful not to use expressions that make it seem like we are telling people what they can and cannot do,” says Tōkyō Metro, exemplifying the current situation where railways must rely on passengers’ morals.

Yoshida Toshikazu, a professor of educational psychology at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at Nagoya University who is an expert on the factors behind antisocial behavior, remarks, “Since society tolerates this disruptive behavior, people mistake silence for acceptance. I suspect that more and more people are imitating the behavior thinking it’s acceptable.” Yoshida also points out, “Households must teach children of appropriate public behavior from a young age.”

Number one antisocial behavior: Sitting improperly
“Sitting improperly” tops the list of antisocial behaviors. Last fiscal year, the Association of Japanese Private Railways (HQ: Chiyoda Ward, Tōkyō) conducted a survey of approximately 800 men and women regarding manners in stations and inside trains. The most disruptive behavior according to respondents was sitting improperly (15.6 percent), marking the fifth straight year at the top of the list.

By time period, “loud earphones” (19.1 percent) was tops during the morning rush hour, while “boarding while drunk” (35.8 percent) was tops during the late evening period. For weekends and holidays, “Making noise inside the train” (21 percent) was highest, showing the unique variations between time periods and days.
Some of my favorite posters in this series:











The rest are here:
http://www.tokyometro.jp/anshin/kait...ter/index.html
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:38 AM   #597
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New Centram LRVs arrive in Toyama City
http://mytown.asahi.com/toyama/news....00000911130002

Quote:
The new light rail vehicles for the streetcar loop line opening in central Toyama City in late December arrived at Toyama Chihō Railroad’s carbarn in Toyama City on November 12.

The trams are called “Centram,” and feature a three-color livery of white, silver, and black. The vehicles feature the same general specs as the Portram trains that run on the north side of Toyama Station, but the interior design is different. The vehicles are single articulated cars with 28 seats and a maximum capacity of 160. The halves of the Sentram were transported by trailer truck from the factory in Niigata Prefecture and will be joined together into an articulated unit at the carbarn.

Trial runs along the loop line will begin in late November.

Images from construction of the new section of track to complete the loop line:
http://www.uraken.net/rail/train/tr_554.html

Images of the new Centram LRVs:
http://blog.t-lr.co.jp/?eid=98872
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:39 AM   #598
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New Keisei 3050 series in transport
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kawahamakeikyu/3212304.html

These are new units ordered by Keisei, although the railway has yet to make any formal announcement about them. The trains were ordered to handle the increase in fleet requirements as part of the Narita New Rapid Railway, and they feature an entirely new airline-themed livery for Keisei. The trains will also be Keisei’s first commuter series to feature LCDs for passenger information.

Being hauled, between Ōfuna and Fujisawa on the JR Tōkaidō Main Line.

Source: krfj8000 on YouTube

One half of a train being hauled by a Keisei 3600 series unit at Keikyū Shinagawa Station.

Source: ksweb on YouTube

Another half of a train in transport, same location. In this one, you can see the end car. Only a portion of the skirt of the train has been installed.

Source: Umigiko on YouTube

More pictures:
http://1-noriba.net/topics/200909/t011815.html
http://1-noriba.net/topics/200909/t011852.html
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:39 AM   #599
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Designer Jun Yasumoto envisions new suburban train
http://www.junyasumoto.com/Jun_Yasum...Train_-_1.html

Quote:
Suburban Train Seating

Made of 12cm wide modules, this folding seat system for suburban trains allows a variety of postures and uses. It can be used as a support for a “half-seating” position, and act as an armrest or simply a seat.





Suburban trains have the particularity to have strong occupancy variations throughout their trips, usually starting almost empty in the far suburbs, and ending heavily crowded as they approach the center of town.Thanks to this seating system, the train interior becomes reactive to its occupancy. Depending on how crowded the coach is, users can whether comfortably sit using the modules as armrests, or half-sit to make more space for others in very crowded situations.









Commute trips can be very repetitive. The train interior’s asymetric lay-out enlarges the possibilities to vary the users’ positions and point of views while they travel, in addition to the flexibility offered by the seat modules’ functionalities.When not in use, the retracted seats offer more floor space and give a lighter and more spacious feeling to the train’s interior, making it also easier to circulate through the coach.





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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:41 AM   #600
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Odakyū commercials

“One Day at a Time”

Source: 0oRAILROADo0 on YouTube

“Quadruple Track”

Source: jw2jw2jw2 on YouTube

“For Future Generations”

Source: jw2jw2jw2 on YouTube

“Shinjuku Station City”

Source: jw2jw2jw2 on YouTube
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