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Old November 12th, 2013, 07:44 PM   #6321
quashlo
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Hitachi offers vehicle detection system for BRT projects
日立、バスの専用道高速運行を支援 自治体やバス会社向け

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...11C13A1TJ1000/

Hitachi has developed a technology to support bus rapid transit (BRT) operations and has begun marketing the product to clients. With increasing interest in BRT domestically, Hitachi built on its experience with BRT systems and hopes to supply the technology to a wide range of clients including local governments and bus operators.

The primary components of the system include IC tags installed on the buses, detection coils, and equipment control devices. The system is designed to allow buses to operate with fully-protected grade crossings to prevent cross-street traffic from blocking buses, and also includes real-time arrival information at bus stops. The cost varies from several tens of millions to several hundreds of millions of yen, depending on the length of the installation. Working together with Hino Motors, Hitachi already provided the technology for a BRT system that began service in March of this year in Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture. The partnership will allow them to provide a full-system product to clients such as smaller cities, where there is expected to be some demand in the near-term.

===

Hitachi Electric Railway BRT service:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=5104

If you’re wondering why the name of the company is the same as the city, it’s because this location is the birthplace of Hitachi.
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Old November 12th, 2013, 07:46 PM   #6322
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Opinions divided on monorail for Mt .Wakakusa in Nara
「観光に有効」「景観損なう」…若草山モノレール賛否

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/nar...OYT8T01317.htm

A working group established to formulate a vision for Nara Park (奈良公園) in Nara City held a meeting on 2013.11.08 and discussed the pros and cons of a proposal by Nara Prefecture to construct a monorail up the 342 m Mt. Wakakusa (若草山), famous for its ceremonial fire festivals. While committee members lauded the plan as an effective means to attract tourists to the area, one of Japan’s most scenic spots, there was some concern over potential impacts to the views and other cultural assets.

Nara Prefecture is currently studying potential routes and the monorail’s effects on the surrounding natural environment, but says part of the goal is to create a new vista point overlooking the city, so the guideway would need to be designed to blend in with the scenery.

===

I think this is a great idea... As much as I enjoy hiking, I realize that not everyone is able-bodied, particularly the elderly. One of the things I love about Japan is that they aren’t necessarily afraid to construct these types of systems, which generally end up being great sightseeing spots. Not sure it necessarily needs to be a “monorail”, though, although it’s a bit ambiguous what exactly they are envisioning. Perhaps some form of cable car / funicular / ropeway would be best, as these are the most common solutions for this type of situation. A ground-based cable system, for example, would eliminate any aesthetics concerns about columns to support a suspended system.

They call this system at Asukayama Park in Tōkyō a “monorail” and I think it looks great:

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Old November 12th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #6323
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Fuchū Usaka to become permanent station
富山県富山市、高山本線の臨時駅・婦中鵜坂駅が来年春に常設化

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/11/07/285/

JR West has filed a request with the Hokuriku–Shin’etsu Transport Bureau (北陸信越運輸局) to make Fuchū Usaka (婦中鵜坂) on the Takayama Main Line a permanent station. The station was established in March 2008 between Hayahoshi (速星) (1.7 km away) and Nishi-Toyama (2.6 km away) as part of a Toyama City effort to revitalize the Takayama Main Line. Initially a trial station lasting for 3 years, service was extended for an additional three years from March 2011 due to high ridership, and with the upcoming 3-year deadline looming again, the railway will make the station permanent. Average daily ridership in FY2012 was 140 passengers.
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Old November 12th, 2013, 07:48 PM   #6324
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Groundbreaking for Shin-Kurobe Station
新黒部駅、11月7日着工 富山地方鉄道、15年春完成へ

http://www.hokkoku.co.jp/subpage/T20131023202.htm

On 2013.11.07, ground was broken for the new Shin-Kurobe Station on the Toyama Chihō Railroad in Toyama City, the future transfer station with the Hokuriku Shinkansen’s Kurobe – Unazuki Onsen Station.

The new station will be located about 70 m south of the Shinkansen station and will include 3 m wide, 85 m long platforms. Some minor trackwork is also required. Total project cost is about ¥170 million, with Kurobe City shouldering one-third (about ¥56 million) and the remainder being provided by the national and prefectural governments.

The city will also construct about 500 parking spaces around both stations to encourage park-and-ride use. The final design for the station building will be decided this fiscal year, with completion scheduled in spring 2015.

===

KNB video report:

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Old November 12th, 2013, 07:50 PM   #6325
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New headhouse at Mikawa Tahara Station complete
新駅舎を田原の誇りに 三河田原駅で「街開き式」

http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/ai...802000029.html

The new headhouse at Mikawa Tahara Station on the Toyohashi Railroad in central Tahara City opened to the public on 2013.10.27. A ceremony to commemorate completion of the new station building and surrounding access roads, for which work began in 2005, was also held.

The new two-story, steel-frame headhouse is shaped like a fan and comprises 440 sq m. The first floor houses a waiting room for passengers and a city information center that doubles as an event space. The design is by world-renowned architect Tadao Andō.

Together with the opening of the new station building, the bus terminal, taxi pool, and kiss-and-ride zone were moved from the north side of the station to the south side.

===

Pictures:
http://no-more--metabo.blogspot.com/...g-post_27.html













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Old November 12th, 2013, 07:51 PM   #6326
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Name selected for Sendai Subway IC card
仙台市地下鉄のICカード名称は「イクスカ」-2014年度から導入へ

http://sendai.keizai.biz/headline/1537/

The name for the new IC card for the Sendai Subway to be rolled out in spring 2014 will be Exca (イクスカ), a combination of the words「行く」 (“to go”) and 「~すか」, a common suffix in Sendai dialect. The name also incorporates the added meaning of the English word “excursion” (イクスカーション).

A naming competition was held between 2013.08.22 and 2013.09.17, during which a total of 2,198 responses and 1,057 suggested names were received. The selected finalists in the naming process included Dateca (ダテカ), Noruccha (ノルッチャ), Sasapi (ササピ), and Morica (モリカ), but Exca was eventually selected. The design and logo for the card will be finalized later this fiscal year.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 03:32 AM   #6327
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And it's necessary a new type of IC Card if they use Suica?
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Old November 13th, 2013, 03:40 AM   #6328
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Quote:
The name for the new IC card for the Sendai Subway to be rolled out in spring 2014 will be Exca (イクスカ), a combination of the words「行く」 (“to go”) and 「~すか」, a common suffix in Sendai dialect.
Hmm, I think coming out of native English speakers mouths it would sound more like [エックスカ], don't you think?
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Old November 13th, 2013, 04:16 AM   #6329
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Well, I'm not really sure how they plan on Romanizing it, if at all... As the article says, the name is also supposed to draw from the English word "excursion", so I sort of stuck with that. But they could also choose to Romanize it as "Ikusuka", "Ikusuca", "Ikska", "Ixca", or any number of permutations. Plus, with Tōhoku dialect (東北弁), the "i" gets distorted from Standard Japanese (標準語) "i" and can resemble the "e" in "excursion" (depending on how you pronounce it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr.Horn View Post
And it's necessary a new type of IC Card if they use Suica?
This article seems to indicate that it will be, but only starting in the second year at the earliest:
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2013/11/20131109t11028.htm

So basically:

FY2014: IC card rollout; acceptance on Namboku Line
FY2015: Acceptance on new Tōzai Line and buses operated by the city and private operator Miyagi Kōtsū (宮城交通)
FY2015 or later: Interoperability with Suica
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Old November 13th, 2013, 06:33 PM   #6330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Name selected for Sendai Subway IC card
仙台市地下鉄のICカード名称は「イクスカ」-2014年度から導入へ

http://sendai.keizai.biz/headline/1537/

The name for the new IC card for the Sendai Subway to be rolled out in spring 2014 will be Exca (イクスカ), a combination of the words「行く」 (“to go”) and 「~すか」, a common suffix in Sendai dialect. The name also incorporates the added meaning of the English word “excursion” (イクスカーション).

A naming competition was held between 2013.08.22 and 2013.09.17, during which a total of 2,198 responses and 1,057 suggested names were received. The selected finalists in the naming process included Dateca (ダテカ), Noruccha (ノルッチャ), Sasapi (ササピ), and Morica (モリカ), but Exca was eventually selected. The design and logo for the card will be finalized later this fiscal year.
^With this new IC Smart Card coming out, someone should really make a "MASTER LIST" of all Smart Cards and IC Cards in Japan

I ask that because I'm not sure if the lists from Wikipedia are complete or updated:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_smart_cards#Asia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FeliCa
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Old November 13th, 2013, 09:17 PM   #6331
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Well, they're clearly missing some, but it's more complete than I typically expect from Wikipedia when it comes to issues in non-English-speaking countries.

I did a map and posted it here a couple years ago, but I haven't had a chance to update since I first made it.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 09:18 PM   #6332
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A short TV program about industrial designer Udagawa Masamichi (宇田川信), whose designs for modern TVMs and rolling stock on the New York City Subway—inspired by the “City Beautiful” movement and the “broken windows theory”—helped improve passenger convenience, safety, and satisfaction. Offers an interesting look at some of the design choices such as the partitions near the train doors, which feature metal bars (glass would be a target for scratchitti) to prevent purse-snatchers and other thieves, but are angled to prevent children from climbing on them like a ladder, as well as the improved lighting, the black floor tiles (to hide dirt), and the dotted laminate paneling (to hide graffiti). His efforts were recognized last year when he was selected as one of the most influential New Yorkers, together with Sigi Moeslinger, the other principal at his design firm:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...r=1&#/#antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by castermaild55 View Post
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Old November 13th, 2013, 09:19 PM   #6333
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Marunouchi Line branch line to Hōnanchō to begin through-services in FY2017
丸ノ内線、方南町駅へ直通運転開始 東京メトロが17年度から

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...3A111C1L71000/

Tōkyō Metro will construct upgrades to Hōnanchō Station (Suginami Ward, Tōkyō) to allow the railway to begin operating direct services onto the Marunouchi Line’s Hōnanchō branch line from Ikebukuro. Currently, the branch line terminus at the station is only capable of handling 3-car trains, but the railway has broken ground on works to lengthen the platform to six carlengths, the same as other stations on the line. Starting in FY2017, Tōkyō Metro will then eliminate the Ikebukuro departures that currently terminate at Shinjuku and replace them with through-services all the way to Hōnanchō, improving convenience for passengers heading to and from the new office construction boom at Nishi-Shinjuku Station.

Construction began this month to extend the station box about 18 m to the west. Currently, the branch operates independently of the main line, with shuttle trains running between Nakano Sakaue and Hōnanchō. With a low-volume of passenger traffic, the branch line services are primarily operated with 3-car formations, although the station at Nakano Fujimichō is located adjacent to the yard for the line, and is actually capable of handling 6-car formations. During rush hours, 6-car trains run onto the branch as far Nakano Fujimichō, but the upgrades to Hōnanchō will allow them to extend these services all the way to the branch line terminus.

Work to extend the platforms will be completed in FY2016, at which point the railway will implement major timetable changes to the line. Currently, passenger demand is concentrated on the east end of the main line (Ikebukuro – Ogikubo), with one in every three trains during the midday period terminating at Shinjuku instead of Ogikubo. Tōkyō Metro now plans to extend these Shinjuku services all the way to Hōnanchō, although some 3-car formations will still operate on the branch line to ensure adequate capacity.

Currently, the area around Nishi-Shinjuku and Nakano Sakaue Stations is undergoing a construction boom, and Nishi-Shinjuku Station is consistently among the highest-ridership stations in the Tōkyō Metro network. Extension past Shinjuku will vastly improve convenience for passengers originating on the eastern sections of the line towards Ikebukuro. The changes starting in FY2017 will now mean that all trains stop at Nakano Sakaue, and platform congestion inside the station due to passengers transferring between main line and branch line trains will be reduced. The upgrades to Hōnanchō Station will also include barrier-free improvements such as elevators and escalators.

===

More news on this… They are planning to do a similar thing to the other branch line on the network, the Chiyoda Line branch to Kita-Ayase.

Marunouchi Line branch line train at Nakano Sakaue. As shown, this is a center third-track configuration.



Chiyoda Line branch line trains at Ayase.

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Old November 14th, 2013, 02:23 AM   #6334
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Quote:
Opinions divided on monorail for Mt .Wakakusa in Nara
Hey, maybe some are nostalgic for the original Nara monorail

But seriously, I agree that a funicular would be a better choice aesthetically, though it lacks the "gee whiz" factor some civic boosters like.

Last edited by k.k.jetcar; November 14th, 2013 at 02:29 AM.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 07:56 AM   #6335
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Construction of the new Hakushima Station on the Astram Line / San'yō Main Line (2013.10.27):

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Old November 14th, 2013, 09:21 AM   #6336
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First switchout for Rakusai-guchi Station grade-separation coming in October
阪急京都線洛西口駅付近の連立事業、10月26日から上り線高架化…下り線は2015年度

http://response.jp/article/2013/07/25/202906.html

On 2013.07.25, Kyōto City and Hankyū Corporation announced that they will switch out the inbound (Kyōto-bound) track of the Hankyū Kyōto Line to new elevated track with the start of service on 2013.10.26. This is part of the continuous grade-separation project for the line between Higashi-Mukō and Katsura Stations, encompassing 2.0 km in and around Rakusai-guchi Station. About 1.6 km of that will be elevated, including Rakusai-guchi Station, eliminating three grade crossings. The new elevated station will feature faregates and a concourse at ground level, with a two-track, two platform (side platform) layout at the second level. The station will also include escalators and elevators for accessibility.

As this is only the first switchout, the grade crossings will still remain in place, although it’s expected that delays to cross traffic at the crossings will be reduced by 30-40%. There will be no changes to the train schedule. The outbound (Ōsaka-bound) track will be elevated sometime in FY2015.



===

Official Hankyū press release:
http://holdings.hankyu-hanshin.co.jp...01307253N2.pdf
Not sure if we had an update regarding this on this thread. It looks like there are some photos of the newly opened inbound track at Rakusai-guchi here:

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/hankyu9002f/10507047.html
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Old November 15th, 2013, 07:20 PM   #6337
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Video:

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Old November 15th, 2013, 07:21 PM   #6338
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Lone Star Funds gets preferential negotiating rights in Semboku Rapid Railway sale
大阪の三セク「OTK」売却 ローンスターに優先交渉権

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...11C13A1AC8000/

In the proposed sale of Ōsaka Prefecture third-sector railway operator Ōsaka Urban Development (OTK, 大阪府都市開発), which is responsible for operating the Semboku Rapid Railway (泉北高速鉄道), it was revealed on 2013.11.13 that Ōsaka Prefecture has awarded preferential negotiating rights for the company to United States investment fund Lone Star Funds. The bid price was ¥78.1 billion. Recognizing the important public benefits that the operator provides, Ōsaka Prefecture will confirm Lone Star’s commitment to continue rail services after the sale before making a final decision. If things proceed smoothly, a provisional contract could be signed as early as late November for submittal to the Prefectural Assembly in December.

The suggested bid price indicated by Ōsaka Prefecture was ¥67.0 billion. According to sources close to the sale, a total of three bids were received, one from Nankai Electric Railway and two from foreign investment funds (one of them Lone Star Funds). If negotiations falter, negotiating rights would shift to the next highest-rated bidder, Nankai, which submitted a ¥72.0 billion bid.

OTK has been operating in the black since FY1974, but in 2009, then-governor Hashimoto Tōru unveiled plans to reorganize public corporations such as OTK receiving funding from the Prefectural Government, selling ownership to the private sector. The initial plan was to sell each business line separately, but the plan shifted to a sale of the entire company in 2010, with the bidding process beginning this June after approvals from the Prefectural Assembly.

However, the Prefectural Assembly called for changes to the bidding requirements, successfully adding provisions for railway service improvements such as a reduced fare structure for the Semboku Rapid Railway, currently one of the more expensive fare structures in Japan, along with assurance that the public benefits of OTK’s distribution business, which owns truck terminals, would be preserved.

It was widely believed that Nankai would be selected for preferential negotiating rights given that it currently operates through-services with Semboku Rapid Railway and could provide synergistic benefits by consolidating operations of the two railways. However, the investment funds submitting bids carefully eyed OTK’s distribution business, which owns a large distribution hub in a potentially desirable location. The bidding requirements state that the winning bidder cannot resell any stake in the company for a five-year period following the initial purchase, and must submit an annual report on the business.

OTK posted revenues of ¥13.6 billion and net profits of ¥2.48 billion in FY2012. The largest shareholders of OTK have already negotiated with Ōsaka Prefecture and signed an agreement to sell their shares at a uniform price.

===

Cab view on a semi-express through-service from Nankai Namba Station to Izumi Chūō:

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Old November 15th, 2013, 07:23 PM   #6339
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East-west connecting passage at Ikebukuro Station resurrected
13年度中に基礎調査/池袋駅東西連絡通路が再始動/豊島区

http://www.kensetsunews.com/?p=22433

Plans for a new east-west connecting passage (東西連絡通路) at Ikebukuro Station (Toshima Ward, Tōkyō)—the so-called “South Deck” (南デッキ)—have been resurrected. The passage would connect the Seibu Department Store (西武百貨店) and Metropolitan Plaza (メトロポリタンプラザ) via a new corridor built in the space above the tracks at the station. In October, Toshima Ward signed an MOU with East Japan Railway Company (JR East) to construct the new passage and carry out improvements to the station’s central underground passage (中央地下通路). The Ward is also working on finalizing an MOU with Seibu Railway on a new north-south passage planned to connect the Seibu Department Store with Seibu’s former HQ building, which is scheduled to be replaced with a new building soon. The improvements would improve congestion inside the station’s existing underground passages, as well as improve overall safety and access.

The main building and annex of the former Seibu Railway HQ, comprising 18,462 sq m of floor area on 3,200 sq m of land in Minami-Ikebukuro 1-16-15, will be replaced with a new 23,7000 sq m building. While the height of the building has yet to be determined, the plan calls for office space (for lease). Detailed design will take place in FY2014, with groundbreaking in FY2015.

The planned east-west public passage was first announced in the 1982 Toshima Ward General Plan, which called for the Ward to petition the various railways and property owners to coordinate on construction of an east-west elevated plaza. However, the plans stalled over failure to agree on funding arrangements with the railway operators. In the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, there was a renewed cognizance of the need for evacuation routes and refuge facilities, and with the July 2012 finalization of plans to replace the former Seibu Railway HQ at the station, a committee was established in April to bring the plans back to life. The new passages will secure adequate evacuation routes, as well as refuge space for stranded commuters in the event of an emergency or service disruption.

Seibu Railway will serve as project lead for the portions of the north-south connecting passage within the former Seibu HQ parcel, while Toshima Ward will lead up the remaining sections of the passage, as well as all of the new east-west connecting passage. The estimated cost is ¥1.5 million to ¥2.0 million per sq m, but is expected to vary considerably depending on the passage width. Surveying work will begin in FY2013 and last until September 2014, with detailed surveying, design, and groundbreaking taking place in FY2015 and later.



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Should be a good improvement for the station. It isn’t as bad as Shinjuku, but I frequently use Ikebukuro as I often stay at the Tōyoko Inns near the West Exit of the station, and it’s easy to get lost in the maze of underground passages.

Walking from the Yamanote Line platforms to the East Exit:

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Old November 16th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #6340
k.k.jetcar
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Quote:
East-west connecting passage at Ikebukuro Station resurrected
This is good. Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Yokohama stations, these places need overhead passages, the congestion underground makes for an unpleasant experience.
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