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Old November 24th, 2013, 08:37 AM   #6361
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Keikyū’s fastest services are the kaitoku (快特)—short for kaisoku tokkyū (快速特急) “rapid limited express”, a somewhat unusual designation that no other railway uses. While these used to be operated exclusively with 12-car formations, the 12-car formations now only run during the morning rush hours—midday kaitoku are now just 8-car formations. The kaitoku is easily one of the fastest non-premium private railway services in Tōkyō, made possible by regauging efforts and track realignments decades ago to speed up the line. Some high-speed (~120 km/h) kaitoku passes.



Cab view on a kaitoku on the 120 km/h section between Yokohama and Shinagawa, with intermediate stops at Keikyū Kawasaki and Keikyū Kamata. The singing Siemens inverter at the beginning is also a hallmark of Keikyū, although those are unfortunately on their way out as the equipment reaches the end of its life. The section between Yokohama and Shinagawa is the major competing segment with JR, and a kaitoku can handily beat the slower Keihin–Tōhoku Line trains (@2:20), although the fast JR services on the Tōkaidō Main Line and Yokosuka Line / Shōnan–Shinjuku Line, also with top speeds of 120 km/h despite the narrow gauge, are better matches. Also interesting in this video is a rare overrun of the stop marker at Keikyū Kamata (@10:00). Since the platforms are built to 12 carlengths, it shouldn’t make a difference, but the operator switches to reverse and corrects the train’s position anyways.



The infamous low-speed approach into Keikyū’s Shinagawa terminal involves a sharp S-curve crossing over the JR tracks via a truss bridge. The grade crossings at this location frequently stay closed for extended periods of time, particularly during the morning rush hour when trains get bunched together coming into Shinagawa. Ironically enough, Sengakuji, one station past Shinagawa, is the official terminal of the Keikyū Main Line, as it was Keikyū that built that section to allow for through-service with the Toei Asakusa Line to Shinbashi, Ginza, and Asakusa. This situation is also unique to Keikyū.

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Old November 24th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #6362
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Are there any plans to grade separate that section at all? (Sorry if I missed them earlier in the thread). Looks like it could really benefit from full separation given the long length of time for barriers to raise.
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Old November 24th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #6363
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It's clearly one of the highest-priority sections for grade-separation on the Keikyū network, although no official plans have been announced. The engineering difficulty is probably one of the biggest factors that has prevented them from doing anything here. Plus, the cross-street isn't that bad, as there's not that much traffic, at least in comparison to the former crossings at Keikyū Kamata.

But there are potentially big changes in store at Shinagawa... They're currently in the process of redesigning the track layout at Shinagawa—if I remember correctly, to take away some excess platforms from the Tōkaidō Line and streamline the layout for the Tōhoku Through Line and eventual downsizing of the railyard at Tamachi... The original plan was to then shift the Yamanote Line and Keihin‒Tōhoku Line platforms east, which would free up space on the west side of the JR tracks, right where Keikyū Shinagawa Station is. Not sure if the plans have changed since then, but this could make it possible to put the Keikyū station at JR level or underground, and then have it dive underneath the JR tracks, surfacing near Shin-Banba. I imagine they would eliminate Kita-Shinagawa Station in that situation given that it would make it too difficult to reach surface level given the distance.

Of course, there's also the Asakusa Line bypass (Central Tōkyō Link) and the Chūō Shinkansen, which may give a renewed sense of urgency to improve Keikyū's situation at Shinagawa... Material improvements to passenger convenience (particularly transfers) and speed in the slow zone can probably only be accomplished by a complete redesign of the station and southern approach.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 04:53 AM   #6364
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Part 2 of the Keikyū series…

Keikyū is also one of only two major private railways in Tōkyō to offer reserved-seat “liner” services, the other being Tōbu’s TJ Liner for the Tōjō Line. Keikyū calls their version the Wing, which is operated with the 2100 series, a special Keikyū-only design that features only two doors per side per car, with all forward-facing transverse seating. The 2100 series is a mainstay of Keikyū’s fast services, but none of the other major private railways in Tōkyō operate this type of design for regular (i.e., non-premium) services, and they are only operated on the Keikyū network, as they are ill-suited for the Toei Subway. This particular set is the Keikyū Blue Sky Train, a departure from Keikyū’s traditional red livery.



Perhaps more than any other private railway, Keikyū has adopted station melodies at many of its stations, all of them local-themed. Like the unusual all-transverse seating of the 2100 series, the melodies can be considered a form of market differentiation for Keikyū, an attempt to distinguish itself as a “local” brand in the Tōkyō–Kawasaki–Yokohama–Yokosuka corridor, in contrast to the monolith that is JR East’s services in Greater Tōkyō. Inbound and outbound station melodies:



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Old November 25th, 2013, 04:55 AM   #6365
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Keikyū was also a wide adopter of split-flap displays (or Solari boards), called pata-pata (パタパタ) in Japanese because of the sound they make when scrolling through the flaps. While most other railways have switched to LED and LCD departure boards, Keikyū still retains its split-flap displays at many of its stations. The one-minute headway in this video isn’t an error, as it’s an 8-car fast service (kaitoku) for Aoto on the Keisei Main Line followed by a 4-car local for Kanagawa Shinmachi.



While the grade crossings near Shinagawa remain, the problematic junction at Keikyū Kamata was completely eliminated in October 2012. With a sub-par track layout (only a single track for the Airport Line and just two Main Line tracks at the station), it’s a wonder how Keikyū was able to operate a decent schedule. Like at Shinagawa, the heavy Airport Line traffic meant delays for the cross-street, Keihin No. 1, a major road linking Tōkyō and Yokohama.



The new Keikyū Kamata is double-stacked to completely segregate trains by direction—outbound tracks on the third level, inbound tracks on the second level. The only other railway with a stacked junction like this in Tōkyō is Keisei, at Aoto. The Keikyū Main Line and Airport Line share island platforms on both levels for a total of four main tracks—already a huge capacity increase over the former station—but the new station also has two special half-platforms (one at each level) to allow locals to be passed by faster services:



The grade-separation of the tracks at Keikyū Kamata also meant new elevated stations at several other locations along the Main Line, perhaps the most notable being Umeyashiki Station. The original ground-level station was hemmed in by grade crossings at both ends, and the platforms were unable to fully accommodate anything longer than a four-car train. To permit the operation of longer local trains, Keikyū used a “door cut” policy at the station, meaning that cars that did not line with the platform at the station did not open their doors. The new elevated station is designed to be long enough to accommodate the longest local trains, so this scene can no longer be captured.

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Old November 25th, 2013, 12:33 PM   #6366
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Great posts about Keikyū. Thanks for sharing.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 01:46 PM   #6367
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Keikyu was once my undisputed Kanto region favorite, mainly because of the old 1000 series, which I believe is the last type that really symbolized the old guard Keikyu style with trad interurban "left hand throttle, right hand brake" drivers controls and "all motors" cars consists. Also, the running at 120km/h through the blue collar neighborhoods "past kitchen windows" in the Keihin industrial zone, which has been diluted greatly by recent grade separation projects. I still like Keikyu for its rapid-fire precise operations, close signal block spacing, and the all-motor consists can be still be seen in the 800 series on locals, albeit with chopper control rather than rheostat. However, recently Tobu and even Seibu has drawn my interest more, as they still have considerable number of non-VVVF inverter stock in operation.

Last edited by k.k.jetcar; November 25th, 2013 at 02:02 PM.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:10 PM   #6368
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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation to develop quick-charging electric bus for Brazil
http://www.mhi.co.jp/en/news/story/131120.html

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Tokyo, November 20, 2013 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) have concluded an agreement with Empresa Metropolitana de Transportes Urbanos de Sao Paulo S.A. (EMTU/SP), a public company for the management of the low and medium capacity passenger bus public transportation operations in the Metropolitan Regions of Sao Paulo State, in Brazil, under the umbrella of the State's Metropolitan Transport Secretary (STM), and Metra Sistema Metropolitano de Transportes Ltda. (METRA), a local bus operation company on the Sao-Mateus - Jabaquara (ABD) corridor, in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region, for the development of tests program of a battery powered electric traction bus and a pantograph-based quick charging system.

Earlier, in May 2013 MHI and MC concluded an agreement with Eletra Industrial Ltda. (Eletra), a METRA group company that manufactures trolley buses, on joint development of an electric bus. The project calls for the development of a large articulated electric bus 18 meters in overall length, and also encompasses test operation, carrying passengers, and evaluation on an actual bus route in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area. The test is scheduled to be carried out by August 2014, with the aim of establishing the technology for an electric bus system matching the needs of the public transport market.

On November 19 a ceremony was held to commemorate the commencement of the test operation of the electric bus. The event was attended by the secretary of STM, mayors of related cities and representatives of affiliated companies.

In jointly developing the electric bus, MHI is to provide its lithium-ion rechargeable storage battery packs offering outstanding power retention, a newly developed pantograph-based quick charging system and standard rechargers. Eletra, with MHI's technical support, is in charge of mounting the battery packs on the bus roof and installing the charging stations. Eletra was selected as the local partner in the joint development project in view of its track record in converting diesel engine buses to electric trolley buses.

In the electric bus test operation phase, MHI will collect travel data and evaluate battery performance. EMTU/SP will assess the bus's practical feasibility, and METRA will cooperate in operating the bus. MC will be in charge of marketing and local coordination.

The project targets the verification of the technical and economic-financial feasibility for the application of this non-pollutant technology in the operation conditions of the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region, aiming, also, a better lifetime cost than with diesel or trolley buses, to be achieved by suppressing initial investment costs by minimizing battery capacity, and through quick replenishment charging that will enable bus operation without recharges during peak morning and evening hours. In test operation, the focus will be on acquiring the optimal quick charging pattern causing minimal battery deterioration, a pantograph-based charging system suited to actual operation, and a simple system package.

Public transport systems in Latin America are heavily dependent on buses, and demand for switchovers to electric buses is increasing. This is especially the case in Sao Paulo State, where air pollution is a serious problem, with plans calling for all buses in the state – numbering near 70,000 units - to be replaced by vehicles run on renewable energies by around 2020. Another reason behind the rush to convert to electric buses is the fact that the 20th FIFA World Cup is to take place in Brazil next year, and Sao Paulo is expected to receive many visitors as a result.

Based on the partnerships formed in carrying out this project, MHI intends to proactively develop markets for electric buses not only elsewhere in Brazil but throughout Latin America.

Electric bus with pantograph-based quick charging system


Test operation commencement ceremony (Japanese traditional "sake" barrel breaking)


Inside the electric bus
Japanese press release:
http://www.mhi.co.jp/news/story/131120209.html
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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #6369
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Rope-style platform doors were installed at JR West’s Sakurajima Station in Konohana Ward, Ōsaka City in the early morning of 2013.11.24. The design is similar to the system being tested by the MLIT at Sōtetsu’s Yayoidai Station in the Yokohama area, but was developed independently by JR West. Pylons are placed at intervals of several meters along the platform face, rising with the arrival of trains. The railway will begin testing the doors in early December.

Kyōdō News video report:

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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:14 PM   #6370
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Nagoya City mayor considers late-night subway service improvements
名古屋市、地下鉄終電の延長検討 河村市長、値上げ考慮

http://www.asahi.com/articles/NGY201311200003.html

At the November regular session of the City Council, the mayor of Nagoya City announced that his administration is currently considering extending late-night service on specific days—a response to the consumption tax increase to take effect next April, which will mean a fare increase for the city’s subway users.

The fare increase would take effect in September 2014. The base fare (3 km distance) is currently at ¥200, with fares increasing by ¥30 every 4 km. With the fare increase, the fare calculation would remain mostly the same, with an additional ¥10 added on top.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:15 PM   #6371
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Ishinomaki City signs agreement with JR East on new Senseki Line station
仙石線「蛇田新駅」設置へ 石巻市とJR基本合意

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2013/11/20131122t15041.htm

Miyagi Prefecture’s Ishinomaki City has signed an agreement with JR East regarding its proposal to establish a new station on the JR Senseki Line, with both parties agreeing to begin design of the station building.

The new station, tentatively called “Shin-Hebita”, would be located between Rikuzen Akai (陸前赤井) and Hebita (蛇田) Stations. The agreement subcontracts out the station building design work to JR East, while the design of the station plaza will be contracted out to a third party. The full cost of design and construction of the station building, estimated at several billion yen, will be funded by the city. Detailed design and subsequent tasks will continue into next fiscal year.

JR East is aiming for a full reopening of the JR Senseki Line in 2015, four years after damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake temporarily halted service on segments of the line. The two parties have been discussing a timeline for opening the new station.

The city is constructing a relocation zone near the station for residents displaced by the earthquake and tsunami, and is envisioning a population of about 6,000 people for the neighborhood. The station would be constructed as a petition station (請願駅), with the city footing the entire bill for the project.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:16 PM   #6372
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Free Wi-Fi coming to Toei Bus
都営バス、12月20日から車内で無料無線LANサービス提供予定

http://ggsoku.com/2013/11/toei-bus-free-wi-fi-spot/

On 2013.11.22, the Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation announced that it would begin offering free Wi-Fi service inside Toei Bus vehicles starting on 2013.12.20. The new service will roll-out with the launch of the new late-night “owl” bus service between Shibuya and Roppongi on the same day. Initially, the free Wi-Fi will be offered only between Shibuya and Shinbashi (between Shibuya and Roppongi for owl buses), although the Bureau hopes to expand the service to all 1,452 buses in the fleet by FY2013 close in March 2014.

Wi-Fi users are limited to 180 minutes per session, but can access the service as many times as they want in a single day. In order to improve convenience for foreign tourists, the log-in screen can also be switched to English, Chinese, or Korean. Users connect to the Wi-Fi router on their smartphone or PC and after agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, are directed to the Bureau’s homepage, after which they can browse the Web at will. A special docomo Wi-Fi service will also be offered starting the same day, allowing docomo members to connect to the Wi-Fi service without having to bother with settings.

The route between Shibuya and Roppongi is home to many IT firms, and it’s expected that demand for free Wi-Fi service will be strong. No contracts are involved, and users only have to register an email address to use the service, so it’s likely that tourists visiting the capital from overseas will also find the Wi-Fi service useful.

===

The route in question between Shibuya and Shinbashi is the 都01:

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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:17 PM   #6373
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Track switch out at Tamachi yard complete
田町の車両基地移設が完了、山手線新駅いよいよ

http://kenplatz.nikkeibp.co.jp/artic.../640429/?bpnet

A significant milestone in the consolidation and redevelopment of Tamachi Rolling Stock Center (田町車両センター), located between Tamachi and Shinagawa Stations in Tōkyō’s Minato Ward, was reached on the morning of 2013.11.24 when track switchouts for the Tōkaidō Line and Yokosuka Line were completed after a 34-hour marathon of construction. The ambitious switchout began in the early morning of 2013.11.23 and was only completed at 10:20 am the following day.

While 2013.11.23 was a national holiday, JR East estimated that the work would affect about 237,000 passengers, and the railway beefed up service on the parallel Keihin–Tōhoku Line to deal with the loss of direct service on two of its major trunk lines linking Tōkyō and Yokohama. A total of 395 trains, including 318 services on the Tōkaidō Line, as well as Yokosuka Line and Narita Express and Odoriko limited express services, were cancelled or adjusted to avoid the track segments being worked on. Service disruptions to the Yokosuka Line were less severe, as trains were only affected on the morning of 2013.10.24, with trains terminating at Shinjuku or Ōsaki instead.

According to JR East, a total of 1,400 workers were deployed for the switchout, which involved modifying the approaches into Shinagawa Station for Tracks 7-12 (Tōkaidō Line) and Tracks 13-15 (Yokosuka Line). Workers used two rail cranes to transport the already-assembled switches from the Tōkyō end to the Shinagawa end. In total, six new switches were installed and five existing switches were removed. At the Tōkyō end of Tamachi yard, an additional turnout was removed and a lead connecting the new consolidated yard to the Tōkaidō Line’s inbound track was installed. With the completion of the switchout, the new yard and the modified Tracks 9 and 10 at Shinagawa Station entered service, while Tracks 7 and 8 were decommissioned.

A little past 9:00 am at the Yokohama end of Shinagawa Station. Workers used a 30 t crane to lift the new switches to the appropriate location.



A track layout from JR East showing the details of the work involved. Green is existing track, red is new track installed in the switchout, and yellow with black dots is existing track removed. Bubble 1 is the new railyard, Bubble 2 is the former Tamachi Rolling Stock Center, which is now decommissioned.



Looking at the yards from the now-decommissioned Platforms 7 and 8 at Shinagawa Station. The former Tamachi Rolling Stock Center would be off to the left, the new yard off to the right.



This underpass beneath Tamachi Rolling Stock Center only has a vertical clearance of 1.5 m.



One of the entrances to Sengakuji Station. The new station on the Yamanote Line is expected to be located in this vicinity.

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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #6374
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This project has been proceeding largely unbeknownst to most of us, as it’s not exactly a high-profile project… However, it is a major milestone in JR East’s redevelopment of the yards at Tamachi, which are set to become the next big development zone in the capital, similar to Shiodome, a dense skyscraper cluster housing some of Tōkyō’s tallest buildings. The new area at Tamachi is expected to be of a similar scale, and the Abe administration hopes to market this zone for global HQs in an effort to enhance the global competitiveness of Tōkyō.

The consolidation of the 20 ha yards to only half their current size is being made possible by the fast-nearing completion of the Tōhoku Through Line (東北縦貫線), which will allow JR East to transfer many maintenance and train storage needs for the Tōkaidō Line to Oku Rolling Stock Center (尾久車両センター) on the Tōhoku Main Line.

The completion of this work not only frees up about 10 to 15 ha of land for redevelopment, but allows JR East to move forward with the other key project—a new station on the Yamanote Line. Shinagawa and Tamachi Stations are about 2.2 km distant, the longest station-to-station distances on the Yamanote Line. The new station would be the first on the Yamanote Line since the opening of Nishi-Nippori Station in 1971. Although there is no JR station at this location, Sengakuji Station on the Toei Asakusa Line and Keikyū Main Line is located nearby. While JR East has yet to issue a formal press release regarding the new station, the selection of Tōkyō as the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics and the scheduled 2027 opening of JR Central’s Chūō Shinkansen maglev are seen as major catalysts for the project. The most recent announcement from JR East about reactivating the Tōkaidō Freight Line as a new JR route to Haneda Airport is just more fuel for the fire.

A graphic from a master planning document for the neighborhoods around Shinagawa and Tamachi Station, published by the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government in 2007. The plan dubbed the new development zone as “Tōkyō South Gate” (東京サウスゲート), shown here as the thin orange area running north-south.



Of particular interest are Bubble 5 (elimination of Shingawa No. 1 Yatsuyamabashi crossing on the Keikyū Line), Bubble 6 (redesign of the West Exit station plaza), and Bubble 8 (extension of the east-west public passage west).
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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:23 PM   #6375
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Some videos of the construction work:

FNN video report (2013.11.23):



Very strange sight with E217 series from the Yokosuka Line diverted to Shinjuku Station (!). Apparently, they used the limited express platforms at Shinjuku (Platforms 5 / 6), which had some capacity available since the slots normally used by the Narita Express were open. Shōnan–Shinjuku Line trains regularly do this route, but they are virtually all E231 series, and share Platforms 1 / 2 at Shinjuku with the Saikyō Line. JR operated about 6 tph on this Yokosuka Line service.



Shiodome from the Yurikamome. We could be getting another one of these at Sengakuji.
If I remember correctly, the area is smaller than Shiodome, but still 1.7 times the size of the redevelopment at Shinagawa Station (Shinagawa InterCity 品川インターシティ and Shinagawa Commons 品川グランドコモンズ).

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Old November 26th, 2013, 05:25 AM   #6376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation to develop quick-charging electric bus for Brazil
http://www.mhi.co.jp/en/news/story/131120.html



Japanese press release:
http://www.mhi.co.jp/news/story/131120209.html
Good info, I cross posted this on the Brazil Urban Transport thread
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Old November 26th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #6377
mkill
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(Regarding http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hWksTzvd14)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Are there any plans to grade separate that section at all? (Sorry if I missed them earlier in the thread). Looks like it could really benefit from full separation given the long length of time for barriers to raise.
You have to look at it on Google Maps to understand the difficulty.
http://goo.gl/maps/UnSxS

Simply put, that crossing is already grade-separated.
From northwest to southeast, both the street and Keikyu are crossing the JR tracks, then the two intersect, then they both bridge a street.

I really don't see how this can be resolved without some major rerouting of the street. You can't just cut the street either because it's a major artery crossing the JR tracks south of Shinagawa.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 11:09 AM   #6378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
This underpass beneath Tamachi Rolling Stock Center only has a vertical clearance of 1.5 m.

I've taken this tunnel twice.

If you ask a taxi driver to take you to Shinagawa Station East Exit from the Hibiya area (or anywhere else north west of the station) you're likely to get a tour.

It's much longer than it looks on that picture and really is that low all the way. Part of any Tokyo experience.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 08:54 PM   #6379
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JR Settsu Motoyama Station upgrades complete
JR摂津本山駅 建て替えほぼ完了、バリアフリーに

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/shakai...06522486.shtml

Upgrades to Settsu Motoyama Station on the JR Kōbe Line in Okamoto, Higashi-Nada Ward, Kōbe City were largely completed on 2013.11.24, and a ceremony was held to commemorate the milestone event. The upgrades included barrier-free improvements for vertical circulation (elevators and escalators), and the completion of the works at Settsu Motoyama means that all 37 stations on the JR Kōbe Line (Ōsaka – Himeji) are now barrier-free. JR West has been working over the past several years to upgrade all the stations on the line with barrier-free access in accordance with accessibility laws enacted in 2000, including works completed in 2009 at Nada (灘) Station and in 2011 at Shioya (塩屋) and Sone (曽根) Stations.

Settsu Motoyama opened in December 1935 with a wooden one-story headhouse. Current daily ridership at the station is approx. 46,000 passengers, and with the building approaching 80 years of age, local support for accessibility improvements was strong. Work began on the upgrades in April 2011.

The new 860 sq m station building includes an elevated concourse and platform bridge, consolidating the previous two ticketing halls (one on the north and one on the south) at a single location, and provides a new public passage to improve connectivity between the neighborhoods on either side of the station and eliminate a problematic grade crossing. The station also features JR West’s first “kids’ restroom”, designed for a child’s height.

Work will continue on the retail sections to open in the station, with completion in FY2014, as well as new station plazas. Total project cost is approx. ¥4 billion. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, JR West has completed (as of March 2013) barrier-free upgrades at 77.2% of its stations in Hyōgo Prefecture with daily average ridership of over 3,000 passengers. Hanshin Electric Railway stands at 84.8%, Hankyū Corporation at 83.7%, and the Kōbe Municipal Subway at 75.0%.

===

No decent videos, but here are pictures:
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/jr-kinki/e/070...cabb5064c4333e



















Kid’s restroom





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Last edited by quashlo; November 26th, 2013 at 09:09 PM.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #6380
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Mayor pushes decision on Imazatosuji Line extension to post-OMG
大阪市営地下鉄:今里筋線延伸は特別区で判断を 会見で橋下市長

http://mainichi.jp/area/osaka/news/2...10397000c.html

In regards to the proposed extension of the Ōsaka Municipal Subway’s Imazatosuji Line, currently on ice due to the city’s budget problems, Ōsaka City mayor Hashimoto Tōru announced on 2013.11.14 that the whole city should not be responsible for the loss-making extension, calling for a decision to be made after establishment of the special “Ōsaka Metropolitan Government” structure, at which point the project can be funded by those special wards directly reaping the benefits of the extension.

While the Ōsaka City Council has been pushing Hashimoto to move the project forward, he has thus far taken a cautionary stance. With expectations that the line will operate in the red and never be able to pay itself off, he instead suggested that decisions on how to fund the project should be made at the special ward level after the OMG is established and the subway privatized, which would provide each of the special wards with shares that could then be sold for money.

Ridership on the Imazatosuji Line is a mere half of the original targets, and the line generates an annual operating deficit of approx. ¥8 billion. After being shelved in 2005, the proposed ¥130 billion extension has been a hot topic of debate regarding Hashimoto’s plan to private the subway.

===

A public opinion poll conducted by Yomiuri Shimbun indicated that 66% of respondents supported privatization of the city’s subway system, while only 26% are opposed. Even within Ōsaka City, support for the plan is at 64%.
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