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Old December 14th, 2013, 07:41 AM   #6441
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Penta-Ocean wins MRT Thomson Line Woodlands North Station contract
http://www.penta-ocean.co.jp/news/2013/131212.html

Singapore’s Land Transport authority has awarded Contract T202 for the MRT Thomson Line—encompassing the northernmost extent of the line, Woodlands North Station, and the surrounding tunnels—to Penta-Ocean Construction (五洋建設). The contract is worth approx. SGD 337 million (¥26.8 billion), and construction will last about 69 months, from January 2014 through September 2019. Penta-Ocean has won several MRT contracts, including Contract C933 in 2011 for the Downtown Line’s Bendemeer Station and surrounding tunnels, as well as contracts for station buildings at Harborfront Station on the Circle Line and Expo Station on the East–West Line. This latest contract is our 5th MRT win.

The 30 km Thomson Line will link the Woodlands district in northern Singapore with the Marina Bay area in southern Singapore, serving 22 stations. Construction of the line is split into 25 contracts, with bidding beginning in early 2013. The Singaporean government hopes to double the current length of the MRT network to 360 km by 2030, bringing approx. 80% of households within a 10-minute walking radius of the closest MRT station and adding 400,000 daily passengers to the system.

Outside of MRT projects, Penta-Ocean has also won an LTA contract for tunnel work between Jurong and Pioneer this fiscal year, as well as a contract from Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation, Ltd. For tunnel work on the Guangzhou – Shenzhen – Hong Kong high-speed line.

Since establishing a Singapore office in 1965, Penta-Ocean has had a hand in multiple large-scale projects in the city, and with continued infrastructure projects in marine, rail, road, and energy sectors expected in the future, Singapore is one of the key markets in our overseas business.





Construction details

Station
Construction method: Cut-and-cover
Length: Approx. 270 m
Width: Approx. 48 m
Depth: Approx. 22 m

Shield tunnel
Construction method: Slurry shield construction
Length: Approx. 1 km × 2 tunnels
Outer shield diameter: 6,600 mm
Finished inner diameter: 5,800 mm

Cut-and-cover tunnel
Length: Approx. 340 m and 190 m
Width: Both approx. 30 m
Depth: Both approx. 20 m

Other
New roads and auxiliary facilities, architectural finishes, and architectural facilities

===

A bit more info on this win from the official press release…
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Old December 14th, 2013, 07:43 AM   #6442
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Third Hiroden 1000 series unit delivered

Unit 1003, the third trainset of the new Hiroden 1000 series, was delivered to Hiroshima on 2013.12.11. This one features a slightly different paint scheme and name than the first two, which were a deep purple and were given the names Piccolo and Piccola. This one features a green and white livery and is being called the Green Mover LEX.

Pics at Eba Car Barn (江波車庫):
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/tomokiti0423/33004814.html

The trainset is too long to be delivered on a single flatbed, so they have to assemble it on site. Ignoring the borderline systems like Enoden, Hiroden has the longest trams in all of Japan, although these won’t be their longest.







Coupled by crowbar to #3005 and push-pulled onto Track 5:



The first two 1000 series units, #1001 Piccolo (back) and #1002 Piccola (front), at the barn. Obviously, #1002 got a new winter-themed wrap:



Not too fond of the paint scheme, but I didn’t really like #1001 or #1002 either.



Out testing later in the day, marked as “0”:



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Old December 14th, 2013, 07:45 AM   #6443
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Some videos of the testing… Not great quality, but we must have an insider who works at Hiroden to get this close.

System start-up:



Operator’s cab and passenger cabin:



Short yard move:

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Old December 15th, 2013, 05:50 AM   #6444
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Battery-powered trainset begins testing with JR Shikoku

Kinki Sharyō’s Smart BEST experimental battery-powered trainset recently began testing on the JR Kōtoku Line between Takamatsu and Tokushima in Shikoku Prefecture. Tokushima is particularly notorious as being the only prefecture in Japan without any form of electrified rail service, and while JR Shikoku says it has no specific intention to introduce battery-powered trains, the railway agreed to allow Kinki Sharyō to test the trainset on their unelectrified rail network.

According to news reports, the trainset will be tested on the Kōtoku, Naruto, and Tokushima Lines during late evenings up through early February 2014, confirming the battery depletion and recharge rates and other data. Kinki Sharyō selected these specific lines due to the variety of terrain, including both flat and mountainous topographies.

In transit at Suita, Ashiya, and Kōbe Freight Terminal (2013.12.03). The only rail connection to Shikoku is via the Seto Ōhashi Bridge.

Clips of testing at Tokushima Station:

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Old December 15th, 2013, 05:51 AM   #6445
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National government approves Toyama tram connection
富山駅南北接続線 国が認可、軌道月内着工

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/toy...OYT8T01246.htm

On 2013.12.13, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) approved the application submitted in May of this year by Toyama City and Toyama Chihō Railroad to lay new tram tracks to connect the city’s two tram systems at JR Toyama Station. The station is being elevated in conjunction with the spring 2015 opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension to Kanazawa, and the new 160 m link will lay new tracks underneath the elevated JR tracks to connect Toyama Chihō Railroad’s tram system to the south of the station and the Toyama Light Rail north of the station.

Groundbreaking will take place this month, with completion in February 2015.

===

JR action at JR Toyama Station:



Centram LRVs at the station. Can see the huge block of scaffolding, part of the construction to elevate the tracks:

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Old December 15th, 2013, 05:52 AM   #6446
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New bus service between Urawa and Haneda Airport
国際興業、羽田―浦和駅に直通バス 国際線発着枠拡大にらみ

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...11C13A2L72000/

Kokusai Kōgyō Group (国際興業グループ) and Airport Transport Service (東京空港交通) will launch new direct bus service linking JR Urawa Station and Haneda Airport starting 2013.12.16. Currently, bus passengers had to take the train to Ōmiya Station to catch a direct bus to the airport, or take the train all the way, transferring on the way to the monorail or other lines. With an expanded number of international slots coming to Haneda Airport next spring, the two bus operators believe that there is enough demand to support new direct bus service from Urawa.

The new bus service will link Urawa Station with the various passenger terminals at Haneda Airport, stopping at Musashi Urawa Station on the JR Musashino Line and Saikyō Line. One-way travel times will be 60 to 90 minutes, and fares will be ¥1,500 for adults.

There will be 13 daily departures from Urawa Station from 4:30 am to 4:30 pm and 17 daily departures from Haneda Airport from 8:00 am to 10:55 pm. The service is expected to attract families and businessmen from southern Saitama Prefecture, as well as government workers at the Saitama Prefectural Office and other public buildings.

Buses will have capacity for 42 seated passengers in a 2+2 layout, and some of the buses will come equipped with restrooms. Passengers will be able to make seat reservations for Urawa departures.

The Shuto Expressway (首都高速) Central Loop Shinagawa Route (中央環状品川線) connecting Ōhashi Junction (大橋JCT) and Ōi Junction (大井JCT) is scheduled to open in late FY2014. When this section of expressway opens, travel times on the new bus service are expected to be reduced by about 20 minutes.

Direct bus service between Ōmiya and Haneda Airport began in 2000, and ridership demand has been strong, with early departures from Ōmiya Station continue to be consistently full.

===

A bit of context perhaps behind JR East’s desire to convert the Tōkaidō Freight Line branch to passenger service to allow for direct service to Haneda Airport… As by far the largest railway operator in Tōkyō, JR East can easily leverage its regional network to better capture airport demand from all parts of the metropolis. Right now, all they have is a wholly-owned subsidiary, the Tōkyō Monorail, which still requires a transfer at Hamamatsuchō and has limited capacity to handle additional demand from passenger growth at Haneda.

In this situation, for example, it may be possible to have trains run directly from Ōmiya, Urawa, and other destinations in Saitama, Gunma, and Ibaraki Prefectures via the Ueno–Tōkyō Line (Tōhoku Through Line), depending on how they design the proposed connections near Tamachi.

One other possibility that escaped me but that is being bandied about on 2ch is linking the airport branch with the Yokosuka Line, which runs underground between Tōkyō and Shinagawa and has loads of available capacity. Compared to the other JR East lines in this corridor (Yamanote Line, Keihin–Tōhoku Line, and Tōkaidō Line), the Yokosuka Line has quite a bit of room in the schedule, even during the rush hour. A connection the Yokosuka Line would also make it possible to run Narita Express trains directly through to Haneda, an answer to the MLIT’s Central Tōkyō Link / Asakusa Line bypass. Of course, while a Yokosuka Line connection does seem quite a bit more feasible than a connection with the Tōkaidō Main Line, it’s still unclear how they would get a station at the new redevelopment zone at Tamachi yard.
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Old December 15th, 2013, 05:54 AM   #6447
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Not sure if I posted anything post-opening, but here’s a tour of the refurbished space at the former Manseibashi Station on the Chūō Main Line, which JR East converted to shops and a train observation lounge.

Some of the highlights:
3:25: The original “1912 Stairs” from the station
3:43: Train observation lounge



Nighttime is a bit moodier…

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Old December 15th, 2013, 08:15 AM   #6448
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Delivery of Ginza Line 1000 series (2013.12.04):
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/...ntry-1048.html
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/...ntry-1049.html











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Old December 15th, 2013, 08:23 PM   #6449
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Temporary headhouse at JR Urakami Station complete
浦上駅の「仮駅舎」が完成

http://www.nagasaki-np.co.jp/news/ke...27012076.shtml

The temporary headhouse at JR Urakami Station in Kawaguchimachi (川口町), Nagasaki City, part of the ongoing continuous grade-separation works on the Nagasaki Main Line, opened to the public on 2013.12.14.

Work to relocate the station temporarily began earlier this year in June. The 330 sq m temporary headhouse reuses a portion of the original station building. The convenience store and bakery in the original building will also open into new spaces in the temporary headhouse on 2013.12.15.

The grade-separation of the Nagasaki Main Line is being executed in coordination with the construction of the Nagasaki Shinkansen, and is expected to be completed by FY2020. Construction of shoo-fly tracks will be completed in two years, allowing work to begin on the permanent viaduct to carry the elevated tracks through to JR Nagasaki Station. Urakami serves about 5,000 daily passengers and is the fourth busiest station in Nagasaki Prefecture. The temporary headhouse will be in use for about 5 years until the new station building is completed.

===

Pics:
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/dejima_007/12258658.html

The old headhouse is on the right:





The relocated Family Mart and JR Kyūshū brand bakery, Trandor. Apparently, they were supposed to reopen in early November, so it appears that the construction schedule has been delayed by about a month.



The new ticketing hall isn’t much larger than the original, but is more elongated now, since the headhouse has been extended closer to the adjacent roadway. Originally, there was only one SUGOCA-compatible TVM, but they added a second one now.





SUGOCA card readers and charge machine. Up until last year, SUGOCA was primarily concentrated in Fukuoka Prefecture, but JR Kyūshū expanded it to additional metropolitan areas in Kyūshū in December 2012. Nagasaki was one of them, together with Kumamoto, Kagoshima, and Ōita.





There is still work to be done on the platforms. This is one of the 電車が来ます (“Train approaching”) signs, but it’s not operational yet.

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Old December 15th, 2013, 08:24 PM   #6450
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Tama Train renovation complete
http://www.asahi.com/articles/OSK201312100101.html

Renovation of the Tama Train (たま電車) on the Wakayama Electric Railway (和歌山電鐵), famous for its calico cat stationmaster, Tama, is now complete and was unveiled on 2013.10.10. The special trainset originally debuted in March 2009, featuring caricatures of the railway’s mascot cat Tama on the outside and inside of the train. The latest renovation takes the design one step further, adding cat “ears” (45 cm wide, 32 cm tall stainless steel cones, one painted orange, one painted black)and redesigns the train’s AC unit to look like a stationmaster’s cap.

The renovated Tama Train will operate six to 13 roundtrips a day between Kishi Station and Wakayama Station.





===

Asahi Shimbun video report:



A ride on the Wakayama Electric Railway. The pre-renovation Tama Train appears at 4:00, and you can see some of the railway’s other themed trainsets, including the Strawberry Train (いちご電車) and Toy Train (OMODEN).

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Old December 15th, 2013, 08:25 PM   #6451
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JR West unveils modified 521 series for Hokuriku Line
JR西日本、新型車両を公開=異常検知など安全性能強化

http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=201312/2013120900724

On 2013.12.09, invited members of the press to Kinki Sharyō’s plant in Higashi-Ōsaka City to tour a modified 521 series trainset that features a new safety system designed to combat derailments and collisions. When a running train detects that it has derailed, the system automatically applies the emergency brakes and brings any nearby trains to a stop to prevent collisions.

The 521 series was first introduced in 2006 with the conversion of the Nagahama (長浜) – Tsuruga (敦賀) section of the Hokuriku Line and the Nagahara (永原) – Ōmi Shiotsu (近江塩津) section of the Kosei Line to DC in the expansion of JR West’s Urban Network in the Kansai region, replacing older trainsets. The design was originally based on the 223-2000 series EMUs used by the railway on the Urban Network.

This latest trainset is the railway’s third order of 521 series trainsets, beginning production in November 2013, and features a modified cab design (based on the newest 225 series on the Urban Network) and HID headlights and fog lamps. In addition to the special safety system, the train is also equipped with at the train ends to prevent passengers waiting on the platform from accidentally falling into the gap between trains. While this is already a standard device for intermediate cars, installing them at the outer ends of the cab cars will improve passenger safety when the two-car sets are coupled into longer formations. The new safety measures follow from lessons learned in the deadly Fukuchiyama derailment.

The new trains will begin operating next spring in the Hokuriku region, serving the Tsuruga – Kanazawa section of the Hokuriku Main Line. A total of 42 cars (21 two-car sets) will be introduced.



===

Testing:

At Ōmi Shiotsu (2013.12.06):



At Yamashina and Ōmi Shiotsu (2013.12.11):

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Old December 17th, 2013, 04:13 AM   #6452
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New Kotoden station opens in Kagawa
高松琴平電鉄:「綾川駅」開業 駅前で記念式典

http://mainichi.jp/area/kagawa/news/...20335000c.html

A new station opened on the Takamatsu–Kotohira Electric Railway (高松琴平電鉄), affectionately known as the Kotoden (琴電), on 2013.12.15. Located in Kayahara, Ayagawa Town (綾川町萱原), the new Ayagawa Station (綾川駅) is positioned 1.5 km west of Sue (陶) Station and 1 km east of Takinomiya (滝宮) Station on the Kotohira Line, and is the first new station on the Kotoden since Kūkō-dōri Station (“Airport Road Station” 空港通り駅), which opened on the Kotohira Line in 2006.

The station site is currently surrounded by a large shopping mall, town government offices, a library, and hospitals, and the city took advantage of national government funding to construct a station plaza for buses, taxis, and private vehicles and a 200-space bike parking facility at the new station. The town also built a 30-space park-and-ride near the station to attract auto users.

The new station, featuring an 85 m long platform, also brought schedule changes to the Kotoden, which included increased service in both inbound and outbound directions (four additional trains total) between Takamatsu Chikkō (高松築港) and Takinomiya (滝宮). The revised weekday schedule also includes earlier morning departures from Kotoden Kotohira and Takinomiya, and later last-train departures from Takamatsu Chikkō to improve passenger convenience and connections with other railways. Average daily ridership on the Kotohira Line was 79,87 in FY1983, but has been trending downwards, reaching 50,066 passengers last fiscal year. The new station is forecasted to generate about 700 passengers a day, and accelerated residential development in the surrounding area is expected to further increase that number.

Ayagawa Town filed a petition with Kotoden to establish the new station in November 2011. The town’s historic center is located in the Takinomiya district, about 1 km west of the new station, but is fully built out with residential neighborhoods, meaning the potential for new development was small. As a result, the town hopes to make the new station the hub of a second town center, given its close proximity to retail and public facilities and high potential for new residential development.

According to the 2010 census, the town’s population is 24,625 persons, but this is expected to trend down to 19,044 persons in 2035. As a result, accelerating residential development to increase the population has been a major policy objective of the town.

In addition to changes to the train service, Kotosan Bus (琴讃バス) will also extend some of its bus routes starting on 2013.12.21 for a one-year trial basis to cover the new station. Currently, the operator does not have fixed-route bus service to the area, but it will extend buses on the Shimada route (島田線) between Sakaide Bus Yard (坂出営業所) and Fujimizaka Danchi (富士見坂団地前) to serve as a new Sakaide–Ayakawa route, utilizing the bus zones at the new station plaza constructed by the town. The company hopes to attract tourists to visit Takinomiya Tenma-gū shrine (滝宮天満宮) and the town’s other landmarks, as well as regular passengers commuting from Ayakawa into Sakaide.

The nearby Aeon Mall Ayakawa also saw the new station opening as a business chance, holding a special three-day sale. The increased train and bus service is expected to bring additional customers to the mall.

===

Opening ceremony and train scenes:

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Old December 17th, 2013, 04:14 AM   #6453
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Kitamoto City votes down new JR Takasaki Line station
JR高崎線 新駅計画 北本市長が白紙撤回

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/...690135754.html

Saitama Prefecture’s Kitamoto City held a referendum to determine the fate of a proposed new station on the JR Takasaki Line between Kitamoto (北本) and Okegawa (桶川) Stations, and the results indicate that a majority of residents are opposed to the project. As a result, the city’s mayor indicated on the morning of 2013.12.16 that he would temporarily shelve the plans for the station. In an unusual chain of events, citizen opposition has sent the city administration’s vision for a new station back to the drawing board, and could have an impact on grassroots movements in neighborhoods across the city.

The mayor commented that revising the plan this year would be difficult from a financial perspective, saying that he would forego submission of a petition regarding the new station to JR East, originally scheduled to take place sometime this fiscal year.

Voter turnout in the referendum stood at 62.34%, with 26,804 opposing the project and 8,353 approving the project. The mayor was surprised at the disparity, saying he expected a more even distribution among voters, but maintained that the new station is a necessary step in halting the city’s population decline. As a petition station, the local government would be responsible for bearing the majority of the costs of the new station, with the city footing a total of ¥7.2 billion, including ¥5.1 billion for the station building and other railway infrastructure and ¥2.1 billion for station plazas.

The results of the referendum do not directly affect proposed commercial development on 9 ha of land surrounding the station site in the city’s southern districts, but developers and other private-sector entities may lose interest in the redevelopment projects. The station was originally supposed to open in FY2019. As bonds cannot be issued for the project, the original finance plan called for diverting about ¥1.9 billion from the city government building construction fund (庁舎建設基).

===

FNN news report:

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Old December 17th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #6454
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Question:


How do those things work?
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Old December 18th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #6455
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Machine on the left is to add value to your card.
Tap your card, then insert money.

Machines on the right are standard readers like you see in many places... Tag on, tag off.
The side with the yellow stickers is the side keyed for exit, the reverse with the green stickers is keyed for entry.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #6456
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Kawasaki to increase production capacity at U.S. railcar plant
川崎重工 鉄道車両売上高を2000億円に引き上げへ 米の拠点の能力増強

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/new...0590000-n1.htm

In an interview with Sankei Shimbun, Kawasaki Heavy Industries president Murayama Shigeru (村山滋) indicated that he plans to increase the company’s railcar business revenues by 50% from FY2012 levels (¥129.9 billion) to ¥200 billion by FY2017. The company will increase production capacity at its local United States to capitalize on growing demand for rolling stock, as well as strengthen its entry into developing regions such as India and Southeast Asia.

Kawasaki has identified its railcar and aerospace business lines and “focus” sectors, and recently won a contract in September to provide commuter railcars for the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) in the New York area. The total value of the contract, including options, is approx. $1.83 billion (about ¥190 billion), with the company supplying about 680 railcars up through FY2022. Kawasaki is also producing subway trains for Washington, D.C.’s metro system.

The company’s U.S.-bound railcars are produced at a manufacturing plant in Lincoln, Nebraska, but in order to meet new demand, Kawasaki will increase production capacity by modifying the plant layout and improving production efficiency. The company will also increase production capacity at its final assembly plant in Yonkers, New York.

Kawasaki also has an eye towards development markets such as India, Thailand, and Malaysia. In particular, high-speed rail projects are popping up in Southeast Asia, but price-point competition against Chinese and Korean manufacturers is fierce. As a result, the company aims to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack, offering the full systems package of rolling stock, signaling, communications, and other components.

=====

The local Lincoln, NE take:

New Kawasaki rail cars going to D.C.
http://journalstar.com/news/local/ne...4e57dded3.html
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Old December 18th, 2013, 06:30 AM   #6457
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Iyo Railway completes mega-solar plant
伊予鉄道がメガソーラー

http://news24.jp/nnn/news8783874.html

Iyo Railway (伊予鉄道), a local private railway serving Matsumoto, the capital of Ehime Prefecture, celebrated the completion of a new mega-solar power plant in Tōon City (東温市) on 2013.12.17. The plant was constructed on approx. 21,160 sq m of land owned by the railway, a former training facility for bus operators in the city’s Hinokuchi (樋口) district. The company invested about ¥400 million on the plant, which features 5,040 solar panels and will generate approx. 1.2 million kW•h annually—enough to power about 300 households and equivalent to about 40% of the electricity needed to operate the railway’s tram lines. The plant will begin operating on 2013.12.17, with all power generated being sold to Shikoku Electric Power Company (四国電力).

===

Iyotetsu tram action:



Iyotetsu suburban train action:

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Old December 18th, 2013, 06:31 AM   #6458
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Kintetsu to operate direct through-service limited expresses from Hanshin Sannomiya
三宮-賢島の「直通特急」運行へ 近鉄社長、事業再編にも言及

http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...1136009-n1.htm

Kinki Nippon Railway (近畿日本鉄道) has finalized a plan to begin operating direct limited express services next spring between Kintetsu Kashikojima (賢島) Station (Shima City 志摩市, Mie Prefecture) and Sannomiya Station (Kōbe City) on the Hanshin Electric Railway (阪神電気鉄道). The plan originally called for beginning the service this spring, but negotiations between the two Kansai-area private railways stalled over issues such as fare structures. The through-servicing limited express services will be restricted to charters and specials. Kintetsu’s president announced the news in an interview with Sankei Shimbun on 2013.12.16.

Kintetsu and Hanshin began mutual through-service operations between Kintetsu Nara and Hanshin Sannomiya with the opening of the Hanshin Namba Line between Amagasaki and Ōsaka Namba Stations in March 2009. Operating limited express service to the popular Ise–Shima resort area in Mie directly from Kōbe’s central rail station was one of the marquee goals of the Namba Line, and service was originally targeted to begin in spring 2013. The two railways disagreed on defining the fare structure, however—Kintetsu expected to simply tack on a limited express surcharge (特急料金) to the distance-based fare, but ran into difficulties because Hanshin currently does not offer premium-fare limited express services. The issue was left unresolved even as the major shrine rebuilding at Ise Jingū shrine (伊勢神宮) reached a climax in October.

Eventually, the two railways compromised, reaching an agreement to operate charter runs and special services. The launch will also serve as a primer as the two railways continue working out issues regarding fare structures and timetables, with the eventually hope that Kintetsu will be able to regularly operate its limited express services all the way to Kōbe. There is even a possibility that the limited express surcharge may only apply on Kintetsu’s sections of the route.



===

Hanshin took a bit of flak from regular passengers after the opening of the Namba Line, as users perceived the extension as benefitting Kintetsu more than Hanshin. Because of the way it was designed to connect into the existing Kintetsu Namba Line, the Hanshin Namba Line also incorporates turnback facilities at Sakuragawa to compensate Kintetsu’s loss of operational flexibility at Namba Station.

One of Hanshin’s biggest concerns with allowing Kintetsu limited expresses past Namba is losing operational flexibility. Their services are very geared towards local demand in the Hanshin (Ōsaka – Kōbe) corridor and some regional demand further west from Himeji, and their operations are highly coordinated with San’yō Electric Railway’s timetable.

The problem with allowing Kintetsu limited expresses in is that it will likely require a lot of passing on the Hanshin section of the route in order to maintain travel times and speeds that are decent enough to attract passengers coming all the way from Kōbe, as the entire route from Sannomiya to Kashikojima would be over 200 km long. This is something that Hanshin’s current timetable isn’t really designed for… Hanshin doesn’t have the premium-fare limited expresses that Kintetsu has, and Hanshin’s fastest services still make too many stops in comparison to that Kintetsu would actually want to serve (probably only two—Sannomiya and Amagasaki, although perhaps additional stops at Nishinomiya or Ashiya may be warranted). As a result, regular through-service by Kintetsu limited expresses would likely require some drastic modifications to both Hanshin and San’yō timetables. In other words, Hanshin would have to bend over backwards to accommodate Kintetsu, which would benefit the most from this plan since Ise–Shima is one of their key tourism markets.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 06:32 AM   #6459
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Ōsaka Prefectural Council rejects Semboku Rapid Railway sale
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201.../#.UrCRVftN9rM

Quote:
Osaka Prefecture has canceled the ¥78.1 billion sale of a commuter rail line after local lawmakers rejected U.S.-based Lone Star Funds as the winning bidder, according to a source.

The prefectural government hasn’t decided whether to start another auction of Osaka Prefectural Urban Development Co., said the source, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private.

On Monday, 53 of the 104 members of the prefectural assembly voted against Lone Star’s offer to buy the prefecture-owned railway and logistics firm.

The company operates Senboku Rapid Railway, a commuter line in Osaka used by more than 50 million people annually.

The cancellation of the sale follows opposition in cities along the Senboku Line, including Sakai, where officials have said Lone Star’s pledge to cut the transit fee by ¥10 wasn’t enough. Dallas-based Lone Star was picked as the winner last month by a government committee, beating offers from Fortress Japan Investment Holdings LLC and Nankai Electric Railway Co.

“One concern is that investors could pull back from future investment opportunities in Osaka’s infrastructure assets and shift more of their focus back to Tokyo, which is getting the spotlight as the host of the 2020 Olympics Games,” said Yasuhide Yajima, chief economist at NLI Research Institute in Tokyo.

Kazuyo Tsuji, a spokeswoman for the Osaka Prefectural Government, said she hasn’t been informed of any future plan for the company. A person who answered the phone at Lone Star’s Tokyo office said she wasn’t authorized to comment.

Nankai Electric offered ¥72 billion for Osaka Prefectural Urban Development, while Fortress Japan bid ¥73.4 billion. The Osaka Prefectural Government owns 49 percent of the company, with the remainder controlled by private investors, including Osaka Gas Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co.

Yasuzo Yoshida, a prefectural assembly member who represents the Democratic Party of Japan, questioned whether a foreign investment fund seeking short-term profits could manage a railroad business safely.

Osaka Prefectural Urban Development, founded in 1965, runs the express commuter line in the Osaka Bay area and operates two logistics centers.

Lone Star, founded by John Grayken, pledged to boost Osaka Prefectural Urban Development’s profitability and improve services, and planned to sell the company in an initial public offering after five years, according to a statement last month from the prefectural government.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 08:15 AM   #6460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post

Machines on the right are standard readers like you see in many places... Tag on, tag off.
The side with the yellow stickers is the side keyed for exit, the reverse with the green stickers is keyed for entry.
I have a question on this (though I think the designers and engineers of that device already thought about this):

Based on my observation, I noticed that those reader devices don't have any barrier or form of blockage protection



Could someone avoid paying the fare if there's nothing to prevent such would be freeloaders and slackers?

That's my question...
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