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Old September 12th, 2013, 03:57 AM   #6061
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Subway extensions

Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
[edit] Probably not going to happen in time. I imagine they will probably just do some shuttle buses from Wakō-shi Station, although it’s not even that much of a walk.
Might Saitama Prefecture put in for an automated guideway transit system from Wakō-shi on the Fukutoshin | Yurakucho lines to the riflery venue?
In 1964, the Hibiya Line opened in time for the Olympics®, but the Toei Asakusa Line did not.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 07:46 AM   #6062
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Well, I think there would have to be a demonstrable usefulness outside of just the Games... While the site is huge (it's basically a military training ground), that development potential can only be tapped if they close the facility, which I don't think is on the table.

Even then, it would be best to try and connect it to major destinations, instead of just having it serve as a feeder system to Wakō-shi Station for a single planned development. Japan's already tried stuff like that (Yūkarigaoka Line, Peachliner, etc.) and it's never really had much success.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 01:16 PM   #6063
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Well, I think there would have to be a demonstrable usefulness outside of just the Games... While the site is huge (it's basically a military training ground), that development potential can only be tapped if they close the facility, which I don't think is on the table.

Even then, it would be best to try and connect it to major destinations, instead of just having it serve as a feeder system to Wakō-shi Station for a single planned development. Japan's already tried stuff like that (Yūkarigaoka Line, Peachliner, etc.) and it's never really had much success.
It's strange that things like the Peachliner et al have not had the success that the Singaporean LRT systems have (minus the breakdowns and tantrums of the system in initial stages). They have had relative amounts of success with extensions under construction. Is it due to the differences in density where these systems operate do you think?

Last edited by Svartmetall; September 13th, 2013 at 03:35 PM.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 01:46 PM   #6064
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You probably have to look at density and settlement patterns. A system serving a low density suburban development with high automobile ownership is not going to be very successful (I suspect the Aichi Pref. case is this one)- housewives will likely have high mpg/low tax minicars as their primary form of transport, while high schoolers will just ride their bicycles to the nearest railway station and avoid the expense of an additional season pass/supplement. A peaky bus service will likely be a better solution- during off peak buses can be diverted to other (trunk) routes. If you find yourself in the middle of the half hourly or hourly interval mid-day bus service, there is always a taxi that can take you to the railhead if you're in a hurry.

Last edited by k.k.jetcar; September 12th, 2013 at 01:53 PM.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 08:49 PM   #6065
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Yes, I imagine density is the biggest factor... Japan typically doesn’t build PDs to the types of densities you see in Hong Kong or Singapore, as there’s just not that much need / demand for suburban highrise housing. In Japan, the only three systems comparable to Singapore’s LRT lines (Bukit Panjang, Senkang, and Punggol)—i.e., feeder systems for new towns—are the Yūkarigaoka Line, the (abandoned) Peachliner, and the Sky Rail Midorizaka Line, but if you look at the density, none of them come close to the density you see in the Singaporean new towns. Like k.k.jetcar said, they are primarily SFH, detached homes, even if the homes are smaller and more densely-arranged than modern suburbs in the U.S. or other countries.

Even in reasonably dense new towns or similar PDs in Japan (e.g., Hikarigaoka, Matsubara, Takashimadaira), the high density isn’t sustained outside of the parcels that they were able (or willing) to purchase and develop / redevelop, and what they were able to build on isn’t large enough to justify a dedicated grade-separated transit system… Outside of the development area, you just revert back to the historic development pattern of SFH. As a result, most people just walk, bike, or take the bus to the main rail station. In contrast, we can probably say that the situation has always been (and still is) much more controlled in HK or Singapore, where there’s virtually no concept of modern SFH / detached homes—everything is mid- or high-rises, and there isn’t necessarily a noticeable drop in density the further you get from the station.

I think the bikes thing is big as well, as neither HK nor Singapore has really adopted bikes as a viable means of travel... Instead, it’s “cycling”—a hobby for Spandex lovers or a novelty that you do for recreation or exercise, not an accepted way to get to and from work, school, or daily chores. I think this mostly just has to do with roadway planning and accommodation for bikes. In Japan, you can bike on the sidewalk and the roads are comparatively narrow, with less traffic and slower speeds... Overall, very conducive to biking, so why wait for a bus that comes every 10 minutes during the peak at best, when you can easily bike to the station in faster time and save on the fare? The roads in HK and Singapore aren't really designed for bikes, so naturally most people will gravitate to the bus / LRT.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #6066
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Yeah, that was my feeling too, hence my question, but it's good to have it confirmed. Thank you for the detailed analysis. You're dead right about bikes, though. I rarely saw any cyclists in HK and didn't see any in Singapore (though I hear recreational cycling is quite popular). Personally I think the bike is an excellent form of transport - Stockholm is a pleasure to cycle in during Spring/Summer/parts of Autumn too, and it really saves money on transport!

It's a shame the peachliner stopped running. I followed the entire route across the area, and it looked to connect things quite nicely - especially given there was a larger shopping centre at one station.

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Old September 13th, 2013, 01:30 PM   #6067
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Interesting analysis quashlo.

Slightly off-topic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Instead, it’s “cycling”—a hobby for Spandex lovers or a novelty that you do for recreation or exercise
Hehe

Still, cycling is actually gaining popularity in Japan as well.



For instance, Subaru/FHI sponsors Japan Cycling Tour every year......and Japan Coast2Coast held its first annual Tohoku Cycling Festival.

It's all good imho
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Old September 13th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #6068
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Staying OT: yes, bikes are a great way of getting around town. The actual problem is: how am I ever going to find my bike again???


a common Amsterdam scene
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:31 AM   #6069
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Well, there are quite a number of reasons that the Peachliner was eventually axed... Japanese Wiki has a good breakdown:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%...83%8A%E3%83%BC

Basically:
  • The Peachliner was intended as a feeder for the Meitetsu Komaki Line, but the problem was that the Komaki Line terminal was Kami-Iida Station, just outside of the Meijō Line loop. People wanting to get to the subway therefore had to walk or take a bus for 1 km to get to Heian-dōri Station. This problem was eventually resolved when the Kami-Iida Line opened to allow Komaki Line trains to get to Heian-dōri Station, but this only happened in 2003.
  • Ridership projections did not sufficiently consider competing train services (JR Chūō Line). A fair number of new town residents actually preferred taking a bus to Kasugai Station and transferring there to JR (I imagine this is cost-related, as bus + JR may have been cheaper and more convenient to get to Nagoya Station, for example).
  • Overly optimistic population and ridership projections for the new town. Planned population was 50,000, but it was actually only 27,000 (as of 2005). At 50,000 residents, they estimated a daily ridership of about 30,000 (basically about 30% of residents), but a FY2005 survey revealed that it was really only about 6%.
  • Many of the new town residents are actually commuting to other destinations in Komaki City, which has a lot of factories and distribution facilities, not to central Nagoya.
  • Competing express bus service to Sakae and Nagoya Stations via the Chūō Expressway.
  • Lack of destinations along the line, aside from the shopping center at the outer terminus (Apita Momohanadai). It’s simply much more convenient to drive to areas along the line. Additionally, the line didn’t go anywhere except the new town, so there was very little opportunity to capture passengers who weren’t residents of the new town.
There was actually a plan to extend the line to JR Kōzōji Station on the Chūō Line, which would have made it a bit more useful.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #6070
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Washington Metro signs optional contract with Kawasaki for 220 more cars
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...964_story.html

Quote:
More than half of Metro’s rail cars will be replaced within the next five years under a $1.5 billion deal with the Japan-based Kawasaki company.

Richard Sarles, Metro’s general manager, told the agency’s board of directors Thursday that the rail system is exercising the option in its 2010 contract with Kawasaki to buy an additional 220 rail cars by the end of 2016. Metro has already bought 528 rail cars from the company.

The cars are part of Kawasaki’s new 7000 series, Sarles said. He said they are safer and have better doors, digital signage, cameras and automated station announcements.

With the additional cars, most of Metro’s fleet of about 1,200 rail cars will be from the 7000 series. The purchase will also help make it possible to run more eight-car trains. The first batch of new 7000 rail cars is expected to start carrying passengers in mid-2014.

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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:33 AM   #6071
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nimoca selected to operate Kumamoto IC card system
熊本市電IC乗車券、運用事業者はニモカに

http://kumanichi.com/news/local/main/20130913006.shtml

On 2013.09.13, the Kumamoto City Transportation Bureau (熊本市交通局) selected nimoca, operator of the IC card system for Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu), to operate the proposed IC card system to be introduced onto the city’s tram network.

The Bureau put the contract out to bid, requesting that respondents have experience issuing one of the 10 IC card systems participating in the nationwide interoperability program. nimoca submitted the only bid in the first round, and while the Bureau re-issued the RFP in the hopes of attracting competitors, no additional bids were submitted. The Bureau will now discuss the details of the system with nimoca, including settlement of fare payments, e-money functionality for use in convenience stores and retail facilities, and interoperability with the local-only IC card system planned to be introduced onto five bus operators in Kumamoto Prefecture.

The Bureau is still aiming to launch the system before fiscal year close, with other card functions such as commuter passes launching by the end of next fiscal year. nimoca currently ha about 2.03 million cards in circulation as of the end of August, and is primarily used in the Fukuoka area, with a variant (Mejiron nimoca) covering the Ōita area. The tram IC card system will be compatible with the nationwide network, improving convenience for tourists and business visitors to Kumamoto.

===

I’m curious if they will try and brand this as a version of nimoca like they did in Ōita. Maybe something like “Kumamon nimoca” (くまモンnimoca).

I always have this image of Nishitetsu as mostly Fukuoka-focused, but it’s good to see them branch out into other parts of Kyūshū, as they are basically the only major private railway in Kyūshū. They’re also branching out into condo real estate in the Greater Tōkyō area, participating in a JV for a project in Urawa Ward, Saitama City and establishing a Tōkyō office for condo developments in July. Their condo business is still small, as they’ve only been doing about 400 to 450 units a year recently, but they hope to increase that in the mid-term timeframe, focusing on the Tōkyō area.
http://www.jutaku-s.com/news/id/0000019030

The nimoca ferret doing janitorial duties at Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station:

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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:34 AM   #6072
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70% of foreign airlines not satisfied with airport access for Fukuoka Airport international flights
福岡空港国際線の交通アクセス 海外航空会社の7割「不満」

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...10C13A9LX0000/

A survey by the Kyūshū Transport Bureau indicates that 70% of foreign airlines serving Fukuoka Airport are unsatisfied with landside transit connections between the airport’s International Terminal and central Fukuoka City. After the Bureau surveyed 18 of the 20 foreign airlines flying out of the airport and asked them to rate their satisfaction with landside access, two said they were “very dissatisfied” (大変不満), eleven said they were “somewhat dissatisfied” (やや不満), and five said they were satisfied (満足).

While the International Terminal has fixed-route bus service connecting to JR Hakata Station and the Tenjin area, the Bureau believes that access is still somewhat inconvenient when compared to the airport’s Domestic Terminal, which is served by the Fukuoka City Subway. In fact, the Bureau says that some travel agencies are encouraging customers to avoid the bus service due to poor on-time performance.

In terms of potential improvements, the airlines suggested increased frequency of bus service and establishment of a highway express coach network connecting the terminal with major tourist destinations, such as Yufuin in Ōita.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:35 AM   #6073
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Meitetsu, Kintetsu to jointly redevelop Nagoya terminals
名鉄・近鉄、名駅を一体化

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/chu...?from=localtop

Major private railways Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu) and Kinki Nippon Railway (Kintetsu) have agreed to begin discussing a potential joint redevelopment of their train terminals at Nagoya Station. The two will construct a joint terminal designed to facilitate transfers with the Chūō Shinkansen maglev scheduled to open in 2027 between Tōkyō (Shinagawa) and Nagoya.

Meitetsu first proposed a joint redevelopment of the two terminals, and the two railways have been negotiating since last spring. Meitetsu hopes to finalize a redevelopment plan as early as FY2014. The current proposal from Meitetsu calls for demolishing the current station tenant buildings housing the Meitetsu Department Store and Kintetsu Pass’e (近鉄パッセ), both of which are beginning to show their age and in need of replacement. The two railways would share platforms at a new underground terminal, and a new bus terminal would be constructed. There is also a proposal to completely redevelop land owned by both railways in the vicinity as part of constructing the new terminal.





===

This will be very interesting once complete... This may be the first such agreement between major private railways in Japan. I’m curious whether they will actually share everything (tracks, platforms, faregates, etc.), although I think that’s probably unlikely.

Late night departures on Track 4 at Meitetsu Nagoya Station:



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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:37 AM   #6074
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There was a repeat of the incident at Minami-Urawa a while ago, this time involving a guy at Meitetsu Nagoya Station who fell off the platform and got stuck in between the train and platform edge during the evening of 2013.09.10.

Animation from our friends at TomoNews. They even recreated the incident at Minami-Urawa.

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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:38 AM   #6075
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Noda Village to build new station on Sanriku Railway
野田村、三鉄の新駅設置へ 野田玉川から陸中野田間

http://www.iwate-np.co.jp/cgi-bin/to...cgi?20130912_1

Noda Village has finalized plans to construct a new station between Noda Tamagawa (野田玉川) and Rikuchū Noda (陸中野田) on the 71 km Sanriku Railway Kita-Rias Line (Miyako – Kuji). The two stations are separated by 4.0 km, and the new station would be located in the Maita (米田) area of the village. The station will be designed to serve a public housing area relocated onto higher ground as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and it’s hoped that a nearby coastal park will also attract tourists to the railway.

At a regular village council session on 2013.09.11, the village submitted a revised budget proposal that earmarks ¥18.71 million for the project, which will also take advantage of special funding setup by Iwate Prefecture to help revitalize the Sanriku Railway. Work this fiscal year will focus on determining the details of the project, including the specific station site and the design of the station building and platforms.

Before the earthquake, the Maita area originally hosted a temporary station for the Noda Sand Festival (のだ砂まつり), and residents had been requesting establishing a permanent station on the railway for some time.

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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:39 AM   #6076
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Groundbreaking for relocation of JR Naebo Station
JR北海道、苗穂駅移転に着手 橋上型、18年度に完成

http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/economic/491181.html

At a 2013.09.11 press conference, JR Hokkaidō announced that it had broken ground on the upgrades to JR Naebo Station (Chūō Ward, Sapporo City), which include relocation of the station about 300 m to the west and construction of new station plazas, a new north-south public passage, and a new access road to the station’s North Exit from the Ario Sapporo retail facility. The ¥5.3 billion upgrades are part of urban planning projects for the Naebo Station area, scheduled for completion in FY2018.

Sapporo City and the national government will fund ¥4.6 billion of the total project costs, with Sapporo City constructing the public passage, station plazas, and access road. The new station building will feature an elevated concourse and platform bridge. The platform layout will remain the same, but the platforms will be widened and designed for full accessibility with elevators and escalators.

The current station building at Naebo was completed in 1935, and only features a ticketing entrance at the south side. Vertical circulation is currently not barrier-free and provided only by stairs. The current station location is just south of a JR railyard and manufacturing plant.



===

In other JR Hokkaidō news, they also began accepting Kitaca for payment of food and drink service on their Super Tokachi, Super Sōya, Okhotsk, and Super Hokuto limited express services. Was a bit surprised they didn’t already allow this, but good news nonetheless, and with the nationwide IC card interoperability, you can also Suica, ICOCA, etc. when you pay the purser.
http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/09/13/005/
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:40 AM   #6077
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JR East to install new wind fences

Official press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20130908.pdf

As part of its efforts to combat service disruptions due to wind, JR East has been installing wind fences and new wind alert systems over the past few years. The next series of improvements involves installation of additional wind fences on the following lines:

Keiyō Line
Shin-Narashino – Kaihin Makuhari: Hamada River Bridge (浜田川橋梁)
Completion: FY2013

Sōbu Main Line
Hirai – Shin-Koiwa: Arakawa Naka River Bridge (荒川中川橋りょう)
Completion: FY2014

Sōbu Main Line
Koiwa – Ichikawa: Edo River Bridge (江戸川橋梁)
Completion: FY2014

Jōban Line
Kanamachi – Matsudo: Edo River Bridge (江戸川橋梁)
Completion: FY2015

===

Wind is always a problem for the JR lines in the eastern parts of the metropolis.
Service disruptions on the Musashino Line and Keiyō Line due to strong winds on the Keiyō Line (2013.03.01). A substantial number of Keiyō Line services were canceled, Musashino Line through-services were terminated at Nishi-Funabashi, and Musashino rapid (武蔵野快速) services were converted to all-stop services.

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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:41 AM   #6078
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Shared faregate use at Roppongi Station to begin on 2013.09.27
六本木駅:都営利用者、東京メトロ日比谷線ホーム改札通過可能に ヒルズへもアクセス容易

http://mainichi.jp/feature/news/2013...40019000c.html

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

Starting 2013.09.27, passengers using the Toei Ōedo Line will be able to pass through the Tōkyō Metro Hibiya Line platforms, making it possible to access Roppongi Hills via underground passage. Ōedo Line passengers can show their ticket or commuter pass at the Hibiya Line faregates and receive a pass to allow them to transit through the Hibiya Line platforms. The pass is then inserted into the faregates as any other ticket.

The service will be restricted to 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on weekdays and 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekends and holidays in order to avoid platform congestion. This is the third such interchange station where the service is offered, after Kasuga / Kōrakuen and Ichigaya. A similar service will debut at Monzen–Nakachō by fiscal year close.

===

I’m surprised they went with the low-tech solution…
I would imagine it should be possible to program the AFC system to not deduct the fare if the origin station and destination station are identical and the difference between entry and exit time is, for example, less than five minutes.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:42 AM   #6079
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Chūō Ward plans Tōkyō’s first BRT line for Olympics
晴海新交通 五輪で追い風 バス専用レーンで渋滞知らず

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/na...302000229.html

Tōkyō’s Chūō Ward is planning the prefecture’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) line for the Harumi area, which will serve as the home for as many as 17,000 athletes and coaches as the Olympic Village for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The district will be converted to private-sector condominiums and apartments after the Games, which will result in a population boom in the area.

In particular, the Ward envisions operating articulated buses on exclusive bus lanes between Yūrakuchō and Harumi Triton Square, allowing the buses to avoid traffic congestion and maintain on-time performance while not requiring the large amount of capital investment needed for a rail extension. The Ward is currently studying the idea in concert with the national government, the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government, and academic experts. The service would begin in April 2016 and take advantage of funding at the national level for signal priority systems and bus stops. The service would be operated by the private sector. The likeliest route would stretch 4.2 km along Miyuki-dōri (みゆき通り) and the under-construction Loop Road #2 (環状2号), taking 12 minutes end-to-end. Assuming a flat fare of ¥200 and 290 trips each way, the service is estimated to turn a ¥127 million surplus.

Population in the Harumi area has grown by 2,000 in 10 years as a result of construction of new residential towers. After the Games, the population will increase another 10,000, likely oversaturating the existing Toei Bus services. As a result, the Ward believes that a solution such as BRT is needed in the future regardless of the games—instead the Games is only serving as the catalyst to accelerate the project. However, securing and enforcing an exclusive bus lane will require discussions with the Metropolitan Police Department and the TMG, and determining exactly how to fund the initial ¥1.8 billion investment is still up in the air.

The Olympic Village is planned for 14 ha of TMG-owned land in the Harumi area, with construction of the residential portions to be bid out to private-sector firms. During the Games, the Olympic Committee would lease the buildings from the private-sector firms, providing housing for as many as 17,000 athletes and staff. After the Games, the housing would be renovated by the private sector and sold as condos or leased as apartments to recoup the construction cost.



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If you remember, this is very similar to the route that they were analyzing a light rail line for a few years back, but it looks like they are moving towards a lower-cost solution in the BRT. I’m quite surprised they are not looking at a Yurikamome extension, as I imagine an extension to Harumi would at least connect the residents to Toyosu, where they could transfer to the Yūrakuchō Line to get to Ginza / Yūrakuchō / Marunouchi. Slightly further to Kachidoki would then add another heavy-rail connection, to the Toei Ōedo Line to get to Shinjuku.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 04:38 AM   #6080
k.k.jetcar
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This will be very interesting once complete... This may be the first such agreement between major private railways in Japan. I’m curious whether they will actually share everything (tracks, platforms, faregates, etc.), although I think that’s probably unlikely.
Yes, interesting. However, the operations are completely different between the two railways- first the difference in gauge, and Kintetsu is a terminal station, while Meitetsu runs a through operation. I have mixed feelings about this- the current stations have their own unique atmospheres- Kintetsu with its Kansai vibe (both in layout and the overheard conversations in Kansai dialect), while Meitetsu has its services (from 12 different directions!) converge at a station with only two tracks, an organized chaos. It's really two different cultures. Perhaps the aim really is to better utilize the above ground retail space than anything.
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