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Old November 26th, 2013, 09:12 PM   #6381
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Hankai Tramway, Nankai Bus to introduce PiTaPa in spring 2014
阪堺電軌と南海バス、2014年春にもPiTaPa導入へ…全国交通系ICカードに対応

http://response.jp/article/2013/11/26/211648.html

On 2013.11.22, Hankai Tramway (阪堺電気軌道) and Nankai Bus (南海バス) announced that they will join the PiTaPa IC card system, currently used primarily by private railways in the Kansai region. Rollout will take place in spring 2014.

Hankai will introduce PiTaPa on all of its lines, while Nankai will first introduce the system at its Sakai and Higashiyama divisions, with other divisions following later. Both transit operators will elect for nationwide interoperability, so holders of any of the other 9 cards, such as Suica or PASMO, will be able to use their cards for fare payments on the two operators.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #6382
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Fukui Railway ridership grows
福井鉄道:乗客数、上半期8.3%増 新型車両導入 通勤通学、利用進む

http://mainichi.jp/area/fukui/news/2...20695000c.html

A committee established to get Fukui Railway back on its feet financially reported on 2013.11.21 that ridership for the first half of FY2013 (April–September) rose 8.3% year-over-year to 943,599, an increase of about 72,000 passengers. In addition to increased commuter ridership, it’s believed that introduction of the new F1000 series “FUKURAM” LRV in March also helped boost the railway’s performance.

The railway ran into financial trouble in 2009, and the three cities served by the railway—Fukui (福井), Sabae (鯖江), and Echizen (越前)—purchased the railway’s land assets and are leasing them back to the railway at no cost, an effort to reduce the railway’s tax liability and improve its overall business performance. The three cities, together with Fukui Prefecture and the national government, are in the midst of a ¥5.5 billion 10-year investment plan for the railway that began in 2009, aimed at upgrading infrastructure and keeping the railway afloat.

In particular, ridership results for the first half of FY2013 included 144,362 adult commuter trips (13.4% year-over-year increase) and 321,206 student commuter trips (10.6% increase)—an over 10% increase overall in commuter pass ridership. The railway also recorded 478,031 non-commuter pass trips (5.3% increase), buoyed by a special discounted ¥400 one-day pass for passengers 70 years of age or older.

The railway’s ridership target for this fiscal year is 1.924 million, eventually surpassing 2 million in FY2017, the horizon year for the committee’s restructuring efforts for the railway.

===

A special tourism CM produced by Sabae City featuring the new LRV:



A videologue on the Fukui Railway:

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Old November 26th, 2013, 09:14 PM   #6383
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JR Hokkaidō, Aeon to jointly develop mall at Asahikawa Station
JR旭川駅イオンモールの概要発表 年明け着工、千人雇用

http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/economic/505936.html

Aeon Malls, a subsidiary of distrbution giant Aeon, revealed the details of a new Aeon Mall JR Asahikawa (provisional name) being planned on 28,300 sq m of land adjacent to Asahikawa Station in coordination with JR Hokkaidō. The mall would be directly connected to the station, and would open in March 2015, creating 1,000 new jobs. Groundbreaking could begin early next year. This is Aeon’s first large mall development in Japan directly connected to a train station.

Most of the facility would be four stories tall, but an 11-story building would house a hotel under the JR Hokkaidō brand on 5F through 11F. Total retail floor area would reach 47,100 sq m, and would include food, clothing, and outdoor retailers, as well as an 8-screen, 1,000-seat cinema complex, restaurants, and a 900-space parking garage.

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Old November 26th, 2013, 09:15 PM   #6384
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Seibu Ikebukuro Line outbound track elevated
西武池袋線、石神井公園~大泉学園間の下り線が高架化

http://response.jp/article/2013/11/24/211537.html

Trains began using the new elevated track on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line between Shakujii Kōen (石神井公園) and Ōizumi Gakuen (大泉学園) with the start of service on 2013.11.24, marking the completion of another milestone in the continuous grade-separation (elevation) of about 2.4 km of the line between Nerima Takanodai (練馬高野台) and Ōizumi Gakuen.

The first phase of the project, involving elevation and quadruple-tracking of 1.2 km of the line between Nerima Takanodai and Shakujii Kōen, was completed in November 2012, and work is currently underway on the 1.2 km Phase 2 segment from Shakujii Kōen to Ōizumi Gakuen. Phase 2 encompasses three grade crossings, but the latest track switchout will reduce the length of these crossings by about 4 to 5 m and decrease the amount of time the crossing arms are down by about 40%, alleviating congestion on the cross-streets.

Work will continue on the rest of Phase 2, including the new elevated inbound track and frontage roads, with completion scheduled for FY2014.

===

Outbound cab view from Shakujii Kōen to Ōizumi Gakuen on the new elevated track (2013.11.24):



Outbound trains coming down the new approach into Ōizumi Gakuen. There are no new elevated stations as part of this latest milestone, as Shakujii Kōen was already elevated in Phase 1 of the project and Ōizumi Gakuen will remain at ground level.



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Old November 26th, 2013, 09:16 PM   #6385
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A BBC video report on underground bike parking in Japan:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24960489

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Old November 28th, 2013, 06:37 AM   #6386
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Mitsui & Co. Plant Systems to supply Niigata BRT buses
BRTバス 三井プラントが落札 新潟市

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...2320001-n1.htm

On 2013.11.27, Niigata City announced that the Mitsui & Co. Plant Systems (三井物産プラントシステム) was selected as the winner of the ¥307.2 million contract (excluding taxes) to supply four articulated buses for the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) project. A formal contract will be signed once the City Council approves the purchase in December, with the vehicles set to arrive in late June 2015.

In addition to Mitsui & Co. Plant Systems, Ōsaka City’s Chūō Transport Bus (中央交通バス) also submitted a big. The bus bodies will be built by Australia’s Volgren, while the chassis will be built by Sweden’s Scania AB.

The city had budgeted ¥120 million per bus to account for fluctuations in the exchange rate, but the final price was about ¥80 million per bus, even when including taxes, putting them at approximately the same price as the ¥75 million articulated buses currently used in Chiba City, Gifu City, and other locations.

===

Cab view on Keisei Bus’s Mercedes Benz Citaros on the 幕01 route from Makuhari Hongō Station to Kaihin Makuhari Station:



Shinki Bus in Sanda City (Hyōgo Prefecture) became the latest operator to begin using articulated buses, earlier this year:

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Old November 28th, 2013, 06:38 AM   #6387
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New Aoi Mori Railway 703 series delivered
青い森鉄道:11年ぶり新車両 「モーリー」桃色で初登場

http://mainichi.jp/area/aomori/news/...20118000c.html

The new 703 series for the Aoi Mori Railway arrived in its new home in Aomori Prefecture on 2013.11.27. The series consists of two sets (4 cars total), representing the third-sector railway’s first new trains in 11 years. With a rounded car body, the trainsets come with a new pink-colored version of the railway’s mascot character, Morry (モーリー).

The introduction of the 703 series will cope with the expected ridership increase as a result of the opening of the new Tsutsui Station (筒井駅) in Aomori City in March 2014. The railway purchased one 2-car trainset for ¥400 million and leased another 2-car trainset for another ¥400 million, bringing the railway’s total fleet to 11 trains and 22 cars.

Compared to the railway’s current 701 series, the cars are 15 cm wider to accommodate more passengers (an increase of between 2 and 12 passengers per trainset to 270 passengers per trainset), and feature a lower car floor for barrier-free access at station platforms. The restrooms inside the train are also larger, with enough space for wheelchair movement.

The four cars were pulled by locomotive and left the J-TREC plant in Yokohama City on 2013.11.25, arriving the Aomori Signal Station (青森信号場) at a little past 3:00 pm on 2013.11.27. The cars will undergo performance testing between Aomori and Sannohe and crew training, entering revenue service with the railway’s schedule revisions in March.

===

Captured at the Shin-Tsurumi Signal Station (新鶴見信号場) near Shin-Kawasaki Station:

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Old November 28th, 2013, 06:39 AM   #6388
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1,000-space underground bike garages coming to Ikebukuro, Ōtsuka Stations
池袋、大塚に地下駐輪場 1000台規模 駅前対策を強化

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...802000113.html

In an effort to strengthen countermeasures against illegal bike parking outside train stations, Toshima Ward will construct 1,000-space underground bike garages at the South Exit of JR Ōtsuka Station (Minami-Ōtsuka 3-chōme) and at Minami-Ikebukuro Park (南池袋公園) (Minami-Ikebukuro 2-chōme) at the East Exit of Ikebukuro Station. The area around Ikebukuro Station was historically one of the worst locations in the country for abandoned bikes, and the Ward has been coordinating with railway operators and others on developing a counterstrategy.

At Minami-Ikebukuro Park, Tōkyō Power and Electric Company (東京電力) (TEPCO) is currently constructing a four-level deep underground transformer station, and the Ward will invest about ¥290 million to construct a bike parking facility on the B1 level. The garage will cover 2,150 sq m and accommodate 1,084 bikes, opening on 2014.01.06. With the opening of the new underground bike parking facility, Toshima Ward will remove the 650 spaces of temporary bike parking on the sidewalk of Green Ōdōri (グリーン大通り) at the East Exit of Ikebukuro Station by the end of March next year. Green Ōdōri will become the road connecting the new Toshima Ward Offices to open in spring 2015, and officials say the space will be redesigned with landscaping and active uses.

At the South Exit of Ōtsuka Station, Toshima Ward will also invest ¥1.8 billion o n a new 1,800 sq m underground bike parking garage at the B1 level on land owned by JR. Groundbreaking will take place in late FY2014, with completion in March 2017. The ground-level space above the garage will be designed as open space.

According to surveys conducted on weekdays every October, illegal bike parking in Toshima Ward peaked in 1999 at 14,668 bikes, with Ikebukuro Station recording the worst stats among all stations in Japan. Thanks to construction of new bike parking facilities, that number dropped to 1,039 bikes, a mere 1/14th of the original number. Toshima Ward’s bike master plan called for constructing up to 1,000 new bike spaces by FY2015 close, so this latest news means that the target will be reached two years ahead of schedule.

The temporary bike parking along Green Ōdōri at the East Exit of Ikebukuro Station:


===

Ikebukuro to Takadanobaba (Waseda) by bike:

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Old November 28th, 2013, 11:15 PM   #6389
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Officials announce rollout plan for Okinawa IC card
IC乗車券、来年10月開始 モノレール先行

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-...rytopic-4.html

A new IC farecard system for the Okinawa Urban Monorail (Yui Rail) and fixed-route buses on Okinawa Island will debut in October 2014. At first, the cards will only be accepted on the monorail, but the four main bus companies on the island will move to the new system a few months later in April 2015. The target circulation of the cards is 35,000 in the first fiscal year, eventually rising to 356,000 in 10 years. Plans also call for expanding the system’s functionality in subsequent years following the rollout, including implementing an electronic purse.

The card will be an Okinawa-only system, and will not have interoperability with cards outside of Okinawa such as Suica or PASMO, which will halve the development costs of the system and minimize the annual O&M expenses. An Okinawa-only card will also give them more flexibility to design the system as they wish. The name and design of the card will be announced next January, and the cards will come in both a standard plastic version and a special keyholder version.

The card system will be managed by a third party, Okinawa IC Card (沖縄ICカード), a joint venture of Yui Rail and the four bus operators. The company will derive a small amount of revenue from handling fees associated with fare payments made with the card, and hopes to begin generating operating surpluses in the third year. The card readers inside buses and at monorail station faregates and ticket vending machines will be covered by ¥2 billion in grant funding from Okinawa Prefecture.

===

Still disappointing that they opted for a non-interoperable solution, given that a substantial portion of the tourist demand is from the mainland. It’s not exactly clear what vendor they have selected, but going with FeliCa from Sony would at least allow for a relatively easy conversion later on to allow for interoperability with the rest of Japan’s cards.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 11:16 PM   #6390
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JR East announces details of battery-powered trains for Karasuyama Line
蓄電池駆動電車:愛称は「アキュム」に 烏山線、国内初の営業運転

http://mainichi.jp/area/tochigi/news...40201000c.html

On 2013.11.27, JR East announced the details of the new battery-powered trains to be introduced onto the Karasuyama Line starting in spring 2014. The trains, nicknamed “ACCUM” from the English word “accumulate”, will be Japan’s first battery-powered trains.

After holding a public naming competition in August based on the keywords of “pioneering” (先進性), “battery” (バッテリー), and “environmental performance” (環境性能), the railway received 1,382 responses. Of those, the number of responses derived from batteries was fourth largest overall. There was only one response received for “ACCUM”, but the railway felt the name was ideal for the new train, a first for Japan.

The railway will first introduce a 2-car trainset to the Karasuyama Line, eventually replacing all the DMUs (4 trains, 8 cars total) with the new battery-powered trains.



===

JR Kyūshū is also testing its own battery-powered railcar technology with a refurbished 817 series, captured here on the unelectrified Hita–Hikosan Line:

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Old November 28th, 2013, 11:18 PM   #6391
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At around 3:50 pm on 2013.11.26, a group of passengers at Shibuya Station helped rescue a woman who had jumped in front of a clockwise Yamanote Line train at Shibuya Station but landed in between the rails, coming out unscathed (there is a 30 cm gap between the track level and all the underfloor equipment on the trains). Similar to several other incidents this year, the passengers helped push and tilt the train away from the platform, creating a 30 cm gap for the station staff to carry the woman back up to the platform.

Hopefully, this doesn’t have to happen any more often.

FNN news report:



ANN news report:

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Old November 30th, 2013, 01:56 AM   #6392
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Park-and-ride trial for JR Tachikawa Station
立川で渋滞緩和実験 来月「パーク&ライド」

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...802000108.html

In an effort to alleviate traffic congestion around JR Tachikawa Station, the Tachikawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (立川商工会議所) will launch a park-and-ride trial next month that it will encourage drivers to park their car at a satellite parking garage and take buses to reach the train station. A large mall and other developments are set to debut at the North Exit of the station starting next spring, and the city is eager to test the effectiveness of park-and-rides in preparation for the expected increase in traffic congestion.

The trial will be held on six days, on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays (December 14-15 and 21-23) and one weekday (December 18), from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm. Drivers will park at the Sunagawa Parking Facility (砂川口駐車場) in Shōwa Memorial Park (国営昭和記念公園), with connecting buses to the JR station operating on 10-minute headways. Users will pay the regular parking fee (¥800) for the parking facility, and after presenting their parking receipt when boarding the bus, will receive a coupon for ¥1,000 worth of products at retailers around the train station. Users will be able to board the connecting buses for free.

Surveys will determine user satisfaction and travel purpose, after which a park-and-ride master plan will be developed in March of next year.

Ikea Japan will open a new store next spring on land originally part of Tachikawa Air Force Base, a former United States military airfield just north of the JR station. A new LaLaPort (ららぽーと) mall will open in spring 2015 near Tachihi Station on the Tama Monorail, while a mixed-use redevelopment featuring retail and residential uses will be completed on the former Daiichi Department Store (第一デパート) site at the station’s North Exit in 2016.



===

Tachikawa is one of the largest nodes in suburban western Tōkyō… Most of the activity is concentrated in the immediate vicinity of the station, but there is a large swath in the northwest quadrant of the station area that was historically undeveloped because it was a part of Tachikawa AFB. Much of that land was eventually converted into what is now Shōwa Memorial Park, and a good portion is still being used today for military functions (JGSDF Camp Tachikawa), but eastern side of the site has been undergoing redevelopment with a lot of government / campus functions including a huge medical center (災害医療センター), the Local Autonomy College (自治大学校) under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (総務省), the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (国立国語研究所), the National Institute of Japanese Literature (国文学研究資料館), and various other local and regional government offices. Many parcels are still open, though, and there’s lots of industrial land around Tachihi (立飛) and Takamatsu (高松) Stations on the monorail.

Monday evening at the JR station:

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Old November 30th, 2013, 01:57 AM   #6393
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Some of the bus models on display from Hino Motors at the 43rd Tōkyō Motor Show currently underway at Tōkyō Big Sight in Odaiba. They eventually hope to market one or more of the three bus designs for bus service in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
http://monoist.atmarkit.co.jp/mn/art...8/news094.html

A concept model for the new “Poncho Mini” (ポンチョ・ミニ) electric bus. This is a forward-driving vehicle, with motors and other power train components placed underneath the driver’s seat, allowing for both side and rear passenger doors.





Video of the presentation:



The company also put its new plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) bus on display. Dubbed the Melpha PHEV (メルファ プラグインハイブリッド), these will be available on the bus market in 2016. Tests have already been conducted with the model in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture and Higashi-Matsuyama City, Miyagi Prefecture.



Hino is also continuing development of a fuel cell bus based on the design they presented at the 2005 Aichi World Expo, hoping to put a product on the market in 2016.
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Old November 30th, 2013, 01:58 AM   #6394
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A 3D model of the railway network in central Tōkyō from 2008. It’s missing a lot of lines, but it looks like it has all of the subway lines (Tōkyō Metro and Toei Subway), plus three JR lines (Yamanote Line, Chūō–Sōbu Local Line, and Chūō Rapid Line).
http://weekly.ascii.jp/elem/000/000/187/187031/



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Old November 30th, 2013, 02:00 AM   #6395
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Suica to expand coverage in Greater Tōkyō, Sendai, Niigata

Official press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20131114.pdf

Beginning 2014.04.01, JR East will expand Suica coverage in its three home zones in Greater Tōkyō, Sendai, and Niigata, bringing 33 new stations on 12 lines under the railway’s IC card network.

Specifically, in the Greater Tōkyō area, the railway will expand Suica into Nagano Prefecture for the first time, adding 11 stations on the Chūō Main Line, Shinonoi Line, and Koumi Line as far as Matsumoto. In Ibaraki Prefecture, JR East will add 4 stations on the Suigun Line as far as Hitachi Daigo.

Chūō Main Line
Nagasaka (長坂)
Kobuchizawa (小淵沢)
Fujimi (富士見)
Chino (茅野)
Kami-Suwa (上諏訪)
Shimo-Suwa (下諏訪)
Okaya (岡谷)
Shiojiri (塩尻)

Koumi Line
Kiyosato (清里)
Nobeyama (野辺山)

Shinonoi Line
Matsumoto (松本)

Suigun Line
Kami-Sugaya (上菅谷)
Hitachi Ōta (常陸太田)
Hitachi Ōmiya (常陸大宮)
Hitachi Daigo (常陸大子)



In the Sendai area, JR East will add four stations on the Ban’etsu West Line in Fukushima Prefecture as far as Kitakata; expand into Yamagata Prefecture by adding Yamagata Station and two stations on the Senzan Line; add two stations on the Rikū East Line; and expand into Iwate Prefecture with the addition of Ichinoseki and Hiraizumi.

Tōhoku Main Line
Ichinoseki (一ノ関)
Hiraizumi (平泉)

Senzan Line
Sakunami (作並)
Yamadera (山寺)

Ban’etsu West Line
Bandai Atami (磐梯熱海)
Inawashiro (猪苗代)
Aizu Wakamatsu (会津若松)
Kitakata (喜多方)

Ōu Main Line
Yamagata (山形)

Rikū East Line
Furukawa (古川)
Naruko Onsen (鳴子温泉)



In the Niigata area, the railway will add three stations on the Shin’etsu Main Line as far as Naoetsu, one station on the Jōetsu Line, and three stations on the Uetsu Main Line as far as Murakami.

Jōetsu Line
Ojiya (小千谷)

Shin’etsu Main Line
Miyauchi (宮内)
Kashiwazaki (柏崎)
Naoetsu (直江津)

Uetsu Main Line
Nakajō (中条)
Sakamachi (坂町)
Murakami (村上)



As part of the expansion of Suica, JR East will also modify its “suburban zones” (大都市近郊区間) in Greater Tōkyō and Niigata, as well as establish a new “suburban zone” for Sendai. Passengers traveling entirely within a single suburban zone will be charged the cheapest distance-based fare between their origin and destination, regardless of the route they choose to take.

New Sendai Suburban Zone (仙台近郊区間):

Tōhoku Main Line: Yabuki (矢吹) – Hiraizumi (平泉) and Iwakiri (岩切) – Rifu (利府)
Jōban Line: Haranomachi (原ノ町) – Iwanuma (岩沼)
Senzan Line: All (Sendai (仙台) – Uzen Chitose (羽前千歳))
Senseki Line: All (Aoba-dōri (あおば通) – Rikuzen Yamashita (陸前山下))
Ishinomaki Line: All (Rikuzen Yamashita – Onagawa (女川))
Ban’etsu East Line: Funehiki (船引) – Kōriyama (郡山)
Ban’etsu West Line: Kōriyama – Kitakata (喜多方)
Ōu Main Line: Fukushima (福島) – Shinjō (新庄)
Aterazawa Line: All (Kita-Yamagata (北山形) – Aterazawa (左沢))
Rikū East Line: All (Kogota (小牛田) – Shinjō)



Modified Tōkyō Suburban Zone (東京近郊区間):

Chūō Main Line: Nirasaki – Shiojiri and Okaya – Tatsuno (辰野) – Shiojiri
Koumi Line: Kobuchizawa – Nobeyama
Shinonoi Line: Shiojiri – Matsumoto
Suigun Line: Mito – Hitachi Daigo and Kami-Sugaya – Hitachi Ōta



Modified Niigata Suburban Zone (新潟近郊区間):

Jōetsu Line: Ojiya – Miyauchi
Uetsu Main Line: Shibata (新発田) – Murakami
Shin’etsu Main Line: Naoetsu – Nagaoka (長岡)
Echigo Line: Kashiwazaki – Yoshida (吉田)



===

As indicated in the coverage diagrams, they will be skipping many of the smaller stations on the newly added sections (these are shown as the white bubbles). The additions of Matsumoto to the Tōkyō coverage and Yamagata to the Sendai coverage are surprising, and also give some hope that we may eventually see cross-zone coverage. I’d have to research the data, but I imagine the Matsumoto – Nagano travel market, for example, could be larger than Matsumoto – Kōfu – Tōkyō. I mentioned this in earlier posts a while ago, but there are only a handful of stations separating the Tōkyō and Sendai zones, and since they seem perfectly willing to skip all of the smaller stations in this latest expansion of Suica coverage, cross-zone coverage shouldn’t be too much of a jump, since it would likely only involve some modifications to the software system and little (if any) new hardware.

The additions of Matsumoto, Yamagata, and Naoetsu also offer some hope that they may bring limited express and Shinkansen tickets under Suica (outside of just the Mobile Suica program). The addition of Naoetsu, in particular, should better integrate the future Hokuriku Shinkansen with the major population center in Niigata City.
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Old November 30th, 2013, 02:56 AM   #6396
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post

That is so awesome!

Looks like liquids get pumped trough the tubes for an extra effect.
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Old November 30th, 2013, 06:51 AM   #6397
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The Hankyū 1000 series debuted in revenue service on the Kōbe Line on 2013.11.28. Some clips:

Various clips in regular service:



Kōbe Shimbun video report on the special ceremony at Umeda:



LCD. Gonna take me a while to get used to these, as the shape is so unusual, although in some ways it is better suited to the type of information that needs to be presented. Looks like the program can split up the screen so that the left half is for news, weather, etc.



Running sound from Nishinomiya Kitaguchi to Ōsaka Umeda. This is Hitachi A-Train stock, with permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs).

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Old November 30th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #6398
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Platform doors erected at JR Sakurajima Station in Ōsaka, but not yet functional (2013.11.28):



Platform doors were also recently erected at Naka-Meguro Station on the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line, late evening of 2013.11.23 and early morning of 2013.11.24. These are only for the Tōkyū platforms, as it appears there is nothing on the Hibiya Line side. Given that there are still 5-door cars on the Hibiya Line (on shorter-than-standard 18 m cars, nonetheless), it seems likely that the Hibiya Line may not get them for some time. Start of operation is supposed to be late December.

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Old November 30th, 2013, 06:55 AM   #6399
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Seibu to open solar power plant in Hannō
西武鉄道の自立運転メガソーラー、除草にヤギを活用

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...21C13A1000000/

On 2013.11.27, Seibu Railway announced that it would construct a 2 MW mega-solar plant on land it owns in Hannō City, Saitama Prefecture. Groundbreaking would take place in early December, with the power plant starting operations in August 2014.

Called the Seibu Hannō Hidaka Solar Power Station (西武飯能日高ソーラーパワーステーション), the facility will occupy Seibu-owned land temporarily until the site can be parceled out and developed for permanent uses. The railway expects the plant to generate approx. ¥96 million in annual revenues.

The facility will come with a power conditioner (PCS) and mobile batteries that can keep the plant running even when its own power systems are offline, such as in the event of a large-scale power outage or rolling blackouts following a major disaster. The railway is also negotiating with local neighborhood associations to have the plant’s batteries supply power to the community hall located on-site, which would serve as an emergency evacuation facility.

Depending on the season, weed and grass maintenance around the solar panels would be handled partially by the railway’s flock of goats, which already perform similar duties at Musashi Yokote Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. The railway switched from mechanical lawnmowers to goats several years ago in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The railway currently has four goats (two adults and two offspring) in its flock.

Seibu Group is currently working on fostering a new business model and taking full advantage of its assets, and faced with the ongoing changes in the domestic energy situation, entered the solar power industry in April 2013. Seibu Group companies have already announced construction of several other solar power plants—Prince Hotels (プリンスホテル) is carrying out plant projects in Nichinan City (Miyazaki Prefecture), Izu-no-Kuni City (Shizuoka Prefecture), and Sapporo City (Hokkaidō Prefecture), while Ōmi Railway (近江鉄道) is undertaking a project in Takashima City (Shiga Prefecture).



===

Seibu’s goats at Musashi Yokote Station in Hidaka City:

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Old December 2nd, 2013, 10:06 AM   #6400
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New J.R. construction projects

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
I just read that JR East wants to convert the Tokaidō Freight Branch Line to accommodate passenger trains so they could run passenger trains from the Haneda Airport terminals directly to Tokyo Station, essentially a new passenger branch line from Tamachi Station (the first station on the Tokaidō Main Line/Yamanote Line north of Shinagawa Station). If that is approved, they need to start construction around the middle of 2014 at latest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
A few points deserving mention…
{edit}
Connection at Tamachi
It’s not clear how the track connection at the norh end would work, as I believe the Tōkaidō Freight Line tracks are no longer connected to the rest of the JR mainline tracks and the tracks approaching Tamachi are paralleled on the left by the yard leads for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. While they could try and connect it into the new station on the Yamanote Line loop being planned at the site of Tamachi Yard (I believe this and the surrounding Shiodome-style redevelopment is also planned for 2020), I’m not sure how they could get over or under the Shinkansen tracks without a major rework of the existing approach, which may be difficult given how this alignment basically weaves around buildings. Depending on where they site the new station, an ideal connection would be to have the line fork so that you could also have trains come directly from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Shibuya and round Shinagawa just like the Narita Express and then go straight through to Haneda.
Could these projects be amalgamated with J.R. East's already announced plan to build a new station between Shinagawa and Tamachi [near Toei's Sengakuji station] stations?
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