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Old December 18th, 2013, 02:47 PM   #6461
k.k.jetcar
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Quote:
Could someone avoid paying the fare if there's nothing to prevent such would be freeloaders and slackers?

That's my question...
These are typically installed in the outer suburban/rural stations with lower ridership figures, as well as unstaffed stations. I think the reasoning is that even if a person tries to evade a fare, he will be caught when he tries to get off at a larger station with fare gates. Similarly, even if one has tapped in at the origin station, they still have to tap out, or else they have some explaining to do when they try to use that card again at another origin point (all the records are stored on the card). As for paper tickets, typically the stretches where the risk of fare evasion is greatest (just outside the urban network zone), guards/conductors check tickets inside the train.

Last edited by k.k.jetcar; December 18th, 2013 at 02:57 PM.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 10:27 PM   #6462
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JR East consolidates Niitsu plant under J-TREC
JR東日本、新津車両製作所をJ-TRECに譲渡…車両製造部門を一元化

http://response.jp/article/2013/12/18/213307.html

On 2013.12.18, an East Japan Railway Company (JR East) Board of Directors approved a motion to sell the railway’s railcar manufacturing business at Niitsu Rolling Stock Plant (Akiha Ward, Niigata City) to Japan Transport Engineering Company (総合車両製作所), more commonly known as J-TREC, already part of the JR East group of companies.

Niitsu Rolling Stock Plant was established in 1994, converting the former Niitsu Works, primarily responsible for rolling stock refurbishment and maintenance, into a railcar manufacturing plant. Since then, the plant has produced about 4,200 commuter EMU cars for JR East’s urban lines in the Greater Tōkyō area, including 209 and E231 series trains. After Seibu Railway ceased producing rolling stock in-house in 1999, JR East became the only railway operator in Japan producing rolling stock in-house through a directly-owned production facility.

In 2011, JR East inherited Tōkyū Railcar’s declining railcar production business, rebranding it as J-TREC. All stock in the company was eventually sold to JR East one year later. In this latest move, J-TREC will now inherit the Niitsu plant and JR East’s rolling stock production business. A formal contract will be signed on 2013.01.14, with the changeover taking place on 2013.04.01. By consolidating its railcar production under J-TREC, JR East hopes to strengthen the competitiveness of its railcar production business.

Niitsu Rolling Stock Plant


===

Official press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20131214.pdf

One car of the new E233-6000 series for the Yokohama Line (2013.12.15). The E233-6000 may very well be the last train series produced by “JR East”, as everything will become J-TREC next year.

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Old December 18th, 2013, 10:29 PM   #6463
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Tōbu Noda Line to receive new nickname
東武、野田線に路線愛称名「東武アーバンパークライン」…2014年4月導入

http://response.jp/article/2013/12/18/213227.html

On 2013.12.17, Tōbu Railway (東武鉄道) announced that it would introduce “Tōbu Urban Park Line” (東武アーバンパークライン) as a new nickname for the Noda Line (Ōmiya ‒ Funabashi) on 2013.04.01. The name will be used in directional signage, route maps, and fare charts at stations and on trains, as well as in public announcements and on destination signs.

The new name comes from the Noda Line’s duties as a key circumferential line linking inner suburban communities in Greater Tōkyō with major trunk lines into central Tōkyō at Ōmiya, Kasukabe, Nagareyama – Ōtaka no Mori, Kashiwa, Shin-Kamagaya, and Funabashi (“urban”), as well as the abundance of open space and parks along the line (“park”).

The new 60000 series EMU for the Noda Line debuted in June of this year, featuring the line’s new blue and green paint scheme



10030 series



===

You can count me out. I was not particularly fond of the renaming of the Isesaki Line to “Sky Tree Line”, and I’m definitely not amused with this… At least “Sky Tree Line” has some relevance, since the Isesaki Line does serve Tōkyō Sky Tree, but “Urban Park Line” just seems a tad excessive. It’s also difficult to understand the preference for long, unwieldy names in katakana based on English words (difficult to say, difficult to fit into tight spaces on signage)… Kanji (Chinese characters) are far more concise, although perhaps 都市公園線 lacked the flair they wanted.

Not saying that “Noda Line” is the best name, though, as Noda City is really only one of many destinations served on the line. More informative options would be “Daisen Line / Ōfuna Line” (大船線) or “Senki Line / Chisai Line” (千埼線), which at least gets across that the line links Chiba (Funabashi) and Saitama (Ōmiya), although the first one could be confused with Ōfuna Station in Kamakura.
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Old December 19th, 2013, 02:35 AM   #6464
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quashlo, I am of the same mind. I just feel embarrassed saying "take the Sky Tree Line to Kita-Senju". I wonder if the local populace still prefer to call it the Isezaki Line- I believe the railway still uses "Isezaki Line" on internal documents. I for one will still use the name "Noda Line". This reminds me of JR East's attempt to change the term "kokuden" (used for JNR electrified lines in the Kanto region- especially the commuter lines) to "E-den", which never caught on with the public.
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Old December 19th, 2013, 12:53 PM   #6465
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Hideko, the Bus Conductor (1941)
Push cc for english subb

Last edited by castermaild55; December 19th, 2013 at 01:34 PM.
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Old December 19th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #6466
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First completed segment in Kumamoto grade-separation project to open in March 2015
JR高架化 4キロ区間が15年3月先行完了

http://kumanichi.com/news/local/main/20131218006.shtml

The first completed segment in the continuous grade-separation project (連続立体交差事業) for the Kagoshima Main Line (鹿児島本線) and Hōhi Main Line (豊肥本線) in Kumamoto City, a project being carried out by Kumamoto Prefecture, is expected to open in March 2015. The segment stretches comprises 4 km of the project extents furthest from JR Kumamoto Station and includes a new station building at Kami-Kumamoto Station (上熊本駅).

The Prefectural Government is currently grade-separating about 6 km of JR lines surrounding Kumamoto Station in the city’s Nishi Ward, stretching from the Sōjō University / Kitajima (崇城大学前・北島踏切) to the Tsuboi River Bridge (坪井川橋梁) in Tasaki (田崎). The Prefectural Government awarded urban planning approvals in 2001 and later broke ground on the project, which would construct a 10 m high elevated viaduct for the JR zairaisen lines parallel to the Kyūshū Shinkansen viaduct.

Progress on the project based on expenditure vs. total budget at FY2012 close stood at 69%, and according to Kumamoto Prefecture, 4 km of new viaduct (excepting Kumamoto Station) is scheduled for completion in summer 2014. Afterwards, the Prefectural Government will continue working with JR Kyūshū on relocating tracks, executing the switchout to the elevated tracks in March 2015. The new station building at Kami-Kumamoto Station will open simultaneously with the first elevated segments, featuring a ticketing hall and other station amenities on the ground level and new station plazas at both an East Exit and West Exit. Of the 15 total grade crossings to be eliminated with the project, 13 will be eliminated with completion of the first segment, streamlining rush-hour traffic flows at bottleneck crossings such as the Honmyōji crossing with the Kumamoto–Tamana Route (熊本玉名線本妙寺踏切), a major regional roadway.

The remaining section of the project near JR Kumamoto Station is limited by space constraints, requiring additional time to complete. While the inbound track will be completed with the first segment in March 2015, the outbound track is expected to be finished at FY2017 close.

The total cost of the continuous grade-separation project is approx. ¥60.6 billion. While the original schedule called for completion in FY2016 together with the replacement of the Kumamoto Station tenant building (熊本駅ビル), cultural artifacts were discovered buried within the construction site, forcing changes to the construction plan and pushing completion to FY2018.

Black dotted = first segment
Red solid = project extent


Honmyōji crossing


===

The track switchout from two years ago (2011.05.23):

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Old December 19th, 2013, 09:34 PM   #6467
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Agreement soon on extension of Kita-Ōsaka Kyūkō extension
北大阪急行延伸、年度内合意へ 箕面市が300億円負担

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASF0OSK201312190002.html

At a press conference on 2013.12.18, the governor of Ōsaka Prefecture announced that he expects to finalize an agreement with Minoo City (箕面市) before fiscal year close to construct the planned extension of the Kita-Ōsaka Kyūkō Electric Railway (Kitakyū 北大阪急行電鉄). The line currently operates between Senri Chūō (千里中央) and Esaka (江坂), where it through-services with the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line. According to the agreement, Minoo City would fund a little under ¥20 billion towards construction, while Ōsaka Prefecture would fund about ¥10 billion. The extension would directly residential areas in southern Minoo City with Shin-Ōsaka and the Umeda area of downtown Ōsaka.

Kitakyū is a third-sector railway operator receiving funding from parent company Hankyū Corporation (阪急電鉄) and other sources, including 25% from Ōsaka Prefecture and Minoo City. The railway operates a north-south line near the border between Toyonaka (豊中) and Suita (吹田) Cities. The plan calls for extending the line 2.5 km north from the current terminus at Senri Chūō in Toyonaka into Minoo City, with two new stations at Minoo Senba (箕面船場) and Shin-Minoo (新箕面). Travel times between Shin-Minoo and Umeda would be about 24 minutes. The extension is expected to generate 35,000 to 40,000 additional passengers daily.

Minoo City estimates the full cost of the extension at about ¥60 billion. The city’s mayor has requested that Ōsaka Prefecture fund ¥20 billion for construction costs for the extension and an additional ¥10 billion for area improvements including roads. The remainder of the costs would be borne by the national government and the railway operator, Kitakyū. The extension is expected to open in FY2018 or later.



===

Action at Momoyamadai Station. You can see the signage is Hankyū design, as the railway is part of the Hankyū Group.

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Old December 20th, 2013, 01:50 AM   #6468
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The Sky Tree Line indeed has a different name in Japanese (Sukaitsurii-rain) - I wonder if the Japanese translation is mutually intelligible with the English words.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 05:44 AM   #6469
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That extension from Senri-Chūō to Minoo City is definitely going to be complicated and expensive, because the amount of underground work involved will be pretty extensive. After all, Senri-Chūō Station is underground, and most of the extension to Minoo City will likely be also underground, too.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 06:53 AM   #6470
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Yeah, Minoo Senba and most of the extension will be underground... Only the approach into Shin-Minoo will be elevated:



There's plenty of info on the extension here (planning documents, alternatives analysis, etc.):
http://www.city.minoh.lg.jp/kitakyu/kitakyu-enshin.html

It's an interesting extension because there's no existing rail service, but it's fairly dense, mixed-use suburban development... Senba is actually a mini-downtown that looks like it should already have a rail station, if you just wander around in Street View:
http://goo.gl/maps/HiR1C
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Old December 20th, 2013, 03:04 PM   #6471
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Thanks for the description.

The question is where is the proposed location of the new station in Minoo? Will it be away from the current Hankyu Minoo Station? Mind you, this extension is a good idea, since riders can go all the way from Minoo to downtown Osaka on a single train (no more having to ride the Hankyu train and transfer at Umeda).
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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:02 AM   #6472
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Pics of the Hankyū 1000 series:
http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/...3/12/18_8.html









A small tour of the new series:

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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:04 AM   #6473
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Name selected for new station on Hitachi Naka Seaside Railway
ひたちなか海浜鉄道の新駅は「高田の鉄橋」…来年10月開業予定

http://response.jp/article/2013/12/17/213215.html

On 2013.12.17, Hitachi Naka Seaside Railway (ひたちなか海浜鉄道) announced that the name of the new station scheduled to debut in October 2014 on the railway’s Minato Line (湊線) between Nakane (中根) and Naka Minato (那珂湊) Stations would be Takada no Tekkyō (“Takada Steel Bridge” 高田の鉄橋).

The new station would be constructed underneath the viaduct carrying National Route 245 (国道245号) in Hitachi Naka City’s Ushiro (田中後) district. The name of the new station draws from the Nakamaru River Bridge (中丸川橋梁) on the Minato Line, affectionately known locally as the “Takada Steel Bridge”. “Takada” (高田) is a local placename that dates from the late Edo Period. The new station will feature one track and one platform, and will not be staffed. Construction will begin sometime in FY2013, with an opening scheduled for 2014.10.01. Total construction cost is approx. ¥30 million, which will be covered by funding from national, prefectural, and municipal sources.

Construction of a new station was included in the second master plan for the Minato Line, covering FY2013 throufh FY2017, as part of a strategy to deal with population decline (and corresponding ridership decline) along the line. A location for the station was decided in May. Up until now, the provisional name for the station was Yanagigaoka (柳が丘), the name of a local residential neighborhood with about 350 homes. While the residents in the neighborhood are experiencing population aging, construction of homes and retail facilities is proceeding, and there was strong local support for a new station.



===

Ibaraki Shimbun video report. The announcement of the new station name corresponded with a ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Minato Line, which officially takes place on 2013.12.25. The railway also signed a sister railway agreement with Chiba Prefecture’s Chōshi Electric Railway (銚子電気鉄道)… Both are small, local railways struggling to maintain ridership.

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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:06 AM   #6474
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Thalys selected for Jōban Local Line CBTC trial

Press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20131218.pdf

JR East is currently in the process of exploring new technologies to improve railway operations in the Greater Tōkyō area, and one of the key elements of this plan is incorporating new signaling systems that are more adaptive and cost-effective, eliminating the need for track circuits, reducing trackside cable clutter, and allowing flexible operations such as parallel single-track running to cope with service disruptions. Part of this program was looking at a trial installation of a Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system on to the Jōban Local Line (Ayase – Toride). In February, JR East had narrowed the list of 10 candidate firms down to two French signaling systems providers, Alstom and Thalys, and they have now announced that they decided to subcontract the design work, scheduled to begin next year and take about one year to complete, to Thalys. The CBTC system on the Jōban Local Line will become operational around 2020.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:07 AM   #6475
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New Skyliner celebrates 10 millionth passenger
新型スカイライナー利用者1000万人 成田空港駅で記念式典

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ch...102000130.html

Keisei Electric Railway (京成電鉄) held a ceremony on 2013.12.19 at Narita Airport Station (成田空港駅) to celebrate the new Skyliner limited express linking central Tōkyō with Narita Airport, boasting the fastest speed among non-Shinkansen trains in Japan—reaching a cumulative ridership total of 10 million passengers, 3 years and 5 months after the start of service.

The new Skyliner service debuted in July 2010 in concert with the opening of the Narita Sky Access (成田スカイアクセス) route via the Hokusō Railway (北総鉄道) and Narita New Rapid Railway (成田新高速鉄道), and is the third train to bear the Skyliner name. A total of 54 daily trains are operated between Keisei Ueno and Narita Airport, traveling at a top speed of 160 km/h and connecting Nippori and Airport Terminal 2 (空港第2ビル) in as little as 36 minutes.

The Skyliner originally debuted in February 1973, and began serving Narita Airport when it opened in 1978, terminating at what is now known as Higashi-Narita Station (東成田駅). The service has carried about 125 million passengers since it began serving the airport.



===

Skyliner 12 window view, Narita Airport to Keisei Ueno:



Cab view, Chiba New Town Chūō to Narita Yukawa. The new section opened in 2010 designed for 160 km/h running begins at 4:35.

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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:08 AM   #6476
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JR East to introduce remote-controlled ticketing systems in 2014
JR東日本、首都圏の駅に遠隔操作システム導入…2014年2~3月に18駅

http://response.jp/article/2013/12/20/213429.html

On 2013.12.19, JR East announced that it would introduce remote-controlled ticketing systems (駅遠隔操作システム) at 18 stations in the Greater Tōkyō area. The first stations would launch with the new system on 2014.02.02.

The new system allows for remote control and surveillance of ticket-vending machines (自動券売機), automated faregates (自動改札機), and fare adjustment machines (自動精算機). The staffed faregate (有人改札ドア), originally controlled by station staff deployed at the ticketing hall, will also be converted to remote control. As staff will no longer be present while the system is in operation, passengers will use intercom units to communicate with railway staff at the control center regarding questions and other concerns. The intercom unit near the fare adjustment machine will also feature a ticket reader to allow control center staff to visually verify passengers’ tickets.



With the introduction of this new system, exits at some stations will see their operating hours expanded to cover all hours that trains serve the station, including the South Exit at Tabata Station (田端駅), South Exit at Ōkubo Station (大久保駅), Marunouchi South Underground Exit (丸の内地下南口) at Tōkyō Station, and the South Exit at Ōji Station (王子駅). Meanwhile, Katakura (片倉), Aihara (相原), and Higashi-Tokorozawa (東所 沢) are currently not staffed in the early morning, but installation of the new system will now allow passengers to contact railway staff via the intercom during these periods. Ticketing hall facilities, including TVMs, fare adjustment machines, and faregates, will also be operational for all hours while the station is open.

Similar systems are already in place on the Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu), JR Central, and other railway operators. JR East will focus introduction of the system during the early morning periods when ridership is low, improving station operating efficiencies in line with actual passenger usage.

Station roll-out plan:

2014.02.02:
Katakura
Hachiōji Minamino (八王子みなみ野)
Aihara

2014.02.09:
Machida (町田), Bus Terminal Exit (ターミナル口)
Naruse (成瀬)
Kobuchi (古淵)
Bakurochō (馬喰町), East Exit

2014.02.16:
Tabata, South Exit
Ōkubo, South Exit
Nakayama (中山), transfer gates with Yokohama Municipal Subway (地下鉄連絡改札)
Kamoi (鴨居)
Tōka Ichiba (十日市場)

2014.02.23:
Tōkyō, Keiyō Line Underground Yaesu Exit (京葉地下八重洲口) and Marunouchi South Underground Exit (丸の内地下南口)
Fuchinobe (淵野辺)
Yabe (矢部)

2014.03.02:
Higashi-Tokorozawa
Niiza (新座)

2013.03.09:
Ōji, South Exit

===

Press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20131215.pdf

Clearly, the roll-out targets periphery stations in the JR East network in Greater Tōkyō… Many of the stations are on the Yokohama Line, but a few on the Musashino Line were also selected. In these situations, it seems like some stations would gain by having some connection with human staff (even if through an intercom), while others will probably lose a bit, as they will likely permanently lose staff at the station.

The other target of the program appears to be smaller exits at larger stations where hours of operation are restricted due to low passenger demand. In these situations, this is probably an improvement, as the restrictions will now be removed and passengers will be able to use the ticketing facilities and station exit at any time.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:09 AM   #6477
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JR East to establish new Swallow Akagi limited express for Takasaki Line
JR東日本、特急「スワローあかぎ」新登場! 651系が高崎線経由の特急列車に

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/12/20/469/

With the schedule changes to take effect on 2014.03.15, JR East will launch the Swallow Akagi (スワローあかぎ), a new weekday limited express service operating during the commute periods. In addition, the railway will introduce 651 series trains to Takasaki Line limited expresses—namely, the Kusatsu (草津), Akagi (あかぎ), and the new Swallow Akagi.

The new Swallow Akagi is intended to increase seating opportunities for passengers traveling during weekday commute periods, and will comprise 2 inbound trips during the morning and 9 outbound trips in the evening (18:00 and after). Swallow Akagi 2 and 15 between Shinjuku and Maebashi will be operated with 10-car 185 series formations, while the remaining trains will begin and terminate at Ueno and use 651 series formations.

The highlight of the new Swallow Akagi will be a new reserved-seat fare structure that is substantially cheaper than existing limited expresses. Seat reservations on standard limited expresses for trips up to 50 km are ¥1,010, but the seat reservations for the Swallow Akagi, offered via a special ticket (スワローあかぎ料金券), will be only ¥750. Passengers boarding without seat reservations will be able to use any empty seat. Green cars (first class) will be exempt from the “Swallow Service”.

The 651 series to be introduced onto the Takasaki Line limited expresses were originally used on the Super Hitachi and other Jōban Line limited express services up through March 2013. The conversion to newer 651 series trains will improve operating performance and allow JR East to segregate the various services into distinct stopping patterns, increasing the speed and convenience of limited expresses. However, services departing from Shinjuku Station, such as Akagi runs, will continue to be operated with 185 series trains.

651 series Super Hitachi



185 series Akagi



===

Press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20131216.pdf

According to the press release, the majority of weekday Akagi and Homeliner Kōnosu (ホームライナー鴻巣) services will be converted to Swallow Akagi services. In particular, the Homeliner Kōnosu will be completely eliminated. However, the Swallow Akagi won’t run on weekends, so there will be no changes to weekend service.



This is somewhat interesting news, as the Akagi is a somewhat unusual limited express services, given that the outer terminus is only Maebashi or Takasaki, meaning it doesn’t go any further than the regular commuter EMU services on the Takasaki Line / Shōnan–Shinjuku Line. This move by JR East is probably intended to increase the attractiveness of the service and get a few more commuters to switch over from the commuter EMUs, increasing fare revenues slightly.

Evening Akagi departure from Ikebukuro. There are plenty of seats available.



Homeliner Kōnosu at Ueno:

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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:32 AM   #6478
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Quote:
Pics of the Hankyū 1000 series
I see they stick to Hankyu tradition of speccing bolster-equipped bogies (like Keikyu and Tokyo Metro post-Nakameguro crash)
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Old December 21st, 2013, 07:17 PM   #6479
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There was a small train event last month at the former Tanigumi Station (谷汲駅) in Gifu Prefecture, interesting if only to see ex-Meitetsu stock. The first train (#514) is a personal favorite:

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Old December 21st, 2013, 07:18 PM   #6480
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Some other information from the JR East press release on the 2014.03.15 (Saturday) timetable change:

Increased midday service on Jōban Local Line
Midday service (10:00–15:00) on both weekdays and weekends on the Jōban Local Line will go from 12-minute to 10-minute headways (5 tph → 6 tph). The maximum transfer time with the Musashino Line at Shin-Matsudo Station currently is 10 minutes or more, but the additional 1 tph will bring this down to 3 to 7 minutes.

Increased midday service on Nambu Line
Midday service (10:00–15:00) on the Nambu Line will see a series of improvements… First, the limited-stop sections of rapid services, currently Kawasaki – Noborito (rapid trains are all-stop north of Noborito), will be extended north to Inagi Naganuma. With this change, Nakanoshima (中野島) and Yanokuchi (矢野口) Stations will no longer be served by rapid trains, but travel times between Kawasaki and Inagi Naganuma on rapid trains will be reduced by ~2 minutes to ~30 minutes. To replace the lost service at Nakanoshima and Yanokuchi, locals currently operating between Kawasaki and Noborito will be extended to Inagi Naganuma. The revised midday timetable and stopping patterns look like this:

2 tph rapid (calling at Kawasaki, Kashimada, Musashi Kosugi, Musashi Nakahara, Musashi Shinjō, Musashi Mizonokuchi, Noborito, Inada-zutsumi, Inagi Naganuma, then all stops to Tachikawa)
4 tph local (Kawasaki – Tachikawa)
2 tph local (Kawasaki – Inagi Naganuma)



===

The first change to Jōban Local Line frequencies is a bit surprising, but a welcome improvement… You just don’t expect this type of improvement nowadays to a major JR main line unless there is a major change like an extension. Perhaps increased suburban traffic generated along the Musashino Line has increased the demand for better service on the Jōban Local Line. The four-track Jōban Line corridor as a whole has pretty good service midday (5 tph local + 9 tph rapid + 2 tph Hitachi limited express), but the heavier weighting to the rapid services does mean somewhat crap service to local-only stations like Shin-Matsudo, the connection with the Musashino Line.
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