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Old December 22nd, 2013, 05:01 AM   #6481
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Toei Bus begins all-night service on Shibuya – Roppongi route
猪瀬知事発案の終夜バス 初日利用者283人 渋谷-六本木試験運行

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/ne...0130002-n1.htm

While Tōkyō Prefecture governor Inose has already announced his resignation surrounding receipt of a questionable political donation, one of his key plans to operate 24-hour bus service began on the evening of 2013.12.20 when a one-year trial “owl” service between Shibuya and Roppongi launched. The service will operate four roundtrips on Friday evening / Saturday morning with a fare of ¥400 for adults, taking about 15 minutes end-to-end. Four intermediate stops will be provided westbound and five eastbound.

Ridership on the first day of service was 283 passengers total—a modest start, but without any major hiccups. According to officials, some passengers were riding for the experience, and ridership dropped during the 2:00 and 3:00 hours.

With Inose vacating his post, the fate of 24-hour bus service as a permanent fixture in Tōkyō may ultimately rest in the hands of the next governor. Support for the trial was not unanimous in the Prefectural Council, and there are issues to resolve with regards to labor management and personnel costs.



Departing from Roppongi Station bound for Shibuya Station:


===

Apparently, the first departure from Shibuya Station carried about 35 to 50 passengers, some of whom were bus fans. There was some strong support to continue the service among passengers, many of whom were attracted by the cheaper cost compared to taxis. The Mori Art Museum (森美術館), a contemporary art museum on the 53rd floor of the Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ) complex, will actually stay open until 12:00 am every Friday in December (usually they close at 10:00 pm) on a trial basis in conjunction with the 24-hour bus service. Of course, many taxi drivers expressed some concern with the project.

FNN video report:

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Old December 22nd, 2013, 05:42 AM   #6482
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Toei Bus begins all-night service on Shibuya – Roppongi route
Saw this on the morning TV news. Riders interviewed liked the service, but some expressed the opinion that later last trains would be more useful.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 11:23 PM   #6483
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Does anyone have a manaca or any other nationwide IC card that they are willing to get rid of or purchase for me?

Happy to pay for it and it must be in working condition.
Please Pm me if you can help, I am a card collector from Australia.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 12:33 AM   #6484
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Toei Bus begins all-night service on Shibuya – Roppongi route
猪瀬知事発案の終夜バス 初日利用者283人 渋谷-六本木試験運行

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/ne...0130002-n1.htm

While Tōkyō Prefecture governor Inose has already announced his resignation surrounding receipt of a questionable political donation, one of his key plans to operate 24-hour bus service began on the evening of 2013.12.20 when a one-year trial “owl” service between Shibuya and Roppongi launched. The service will operate four roundtrips on Friday evening / Saturday morning with a fare of ¥400 for adults, taking about 15 minutes end-to-end. Four intermediate stops will be provided westbound and five eastbound.

Ridership on the first day of service was 283 passengers total—a modest start, but without any major hiccups. According to officials, some passengers were riding for the experience, and ridership dropped during the 2:00 and 3:00 hours.

With Inose vacating his post, the fate of 24-hour bus service as a permanent fixture in Tōkyō may ultimately rest in the hands of the next governor. Support for the trial was not unanimous in the Prefectural Council, and there are issues to resolve with regards to labor management and personnel costs.



Departing from Roppongi Station bound for Shibuya Station:


===

Apparently, the first departure from Shibuya Station carried about 35 to 50 passengers, some of whom were bus fans. There was some strong support to continue the service among passengers, many of whom were attracted by the cheaper cost compared to taxis. The Mori Art Museum (森美術館), a contemporary art museum on the 53rd floor of the Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ) complex, will actually stay open until 12:00 am every Friday in December (usually they close at 10:00 pm) on a trial basis in conjunction with the 24-hour bus service. Of course, many taxi drivers expressed some concern with the project.

FNN video report:

The Shibuya/Roppongi night bus line is operated in a one avenue only? There aren't other night bus lines in Tokyo?
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 03:17 AM   #6485
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The Shibuya/Roppongi night bus line is operated in a one avenue only? There aren't other night bus lines in Tokyo?
This is the first night bus route operated by Toei Bus inside its main operating area in central Tokyo. Numerous private railway lines/bus operators have night buses, typically departing after midnight or 1am from one of the major railway stations, serving the inner suburbs or the outer suburbs (the latter typically being "express buses" with higher fares, but cheaper than a taxi). These services function to get customers home after they miss the last train, rather than as circulators within the city.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:56 AM   #6486
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Yeah
I was known to have ridden the Tokyu Night Shuttle that went between Shibuya and Musashi-Kousugi enough times to have the driver know me by face... Then again, I do stand out a little bit...

I hope Toei can make the entire route (actually runs past Roppongi and ends around Tokyo Station if I'm not mistaken) an OWL bus. Other routes like Ikebukuro-Shinjuku-Shibuya and Ueno-Akihabara-Tokyo-Shinagawa would help as well...
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:21 PM   #6487
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Higher-ups meet to discuss tram extension into JR Kumamoto Station
新熊本駅舎への市電乗り入れ確認 トップ会議

http://kumanichi.com/news/local/main/20131127007.shtml

A committee of the Kumamoto Prefecture governor, Kumamoto City mayor, JR Kyūshū president, and other top-level officials convened at Kumamoto City Hall on 2013.11.27 to discuss proposed improvements in and around JR Kumamoto Station. The attendees discussed a vision for the new East Exit station plaza scheduled for completion in FY2019, largely agreeing on a plan to bring the city-operated trams directly into the ground level of the JR station.

While the meeting was held behind closed doors, the governor and mayor said that attendees agreed to continue further discussions on resolving the safety issues created by bringing the trams directly into the station, as well as coordinating with stakeholders on consolidating the bus and taxi zones.

According to the plans proposed by the city, a new short wye segment would be constructed to allow trams to come directly into the station. The tracks would not be cordoned off, allowing pedestrians to walk freely across. Meanwhile, the two bus terminals would be consolidated into a single location. Representatives from the Kumamoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry (熊本商工会議所) were also present, and the committee discussed reuse plans for approx. 3 ha of land originally occupied by Track 0 at the JR station. A final plan for the East Exit station plaza will be decided by FY2014 close.

The committee was established in 2006, but this is the first time in 3 years and 8 months—and the first time since the completion of the Kyūshū Shinkansen’s Kagoshima route—that a meeting has been held.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:22 PM   #6488
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Kyōto City to expand municipal bus service
京都市バス24台増、新路線も 来年3月

http://www.asahi.com/articles/CMTW1312182700001.html

Starting 2014.03.22, the Kyōto City Transportation Bureau (京都市交通局) will institute major expansions to municipally-operated bus services in the city. While the city’s bus operations had been drowning in the red for many years, a focused restructuring effort has paid off, and the city will now enter a aggressive and proactive expansion, adding 24 new buses to its fleet (the first since the abandonment of the city-operated tram system in 1978) that will allow for additional trips and new nighttime bus routes. The Transportation Bureau hopes to increase daily ridership by 10,000 passengers in five years.

The added trips, targeting heavy-demand trunk lines and city-center loop routes, will increase the total distance traveled daily by municipal bus services by 2,600 km to 84,000 km. In particular, the RakuBus (洛バス) 101 route connecting JR Kyōto Station to Nijō-jō castle (二条城) and Kinkaku-ji temple (金閣寺) will move from 30-minute headways to 15-minute headways. During the midday period on weekdays, Route 5 linking Kyōto Station with Okazaki (岡崎), Ginkaku-ji temple (銀閣寺), and Shirakawa-dōri (白川通) will go from 10-minute headway to 7- to 8-minute headways, while Route 59 linking Ninna-ji temple (仁和寺), Ginkaku-ji temple, Ritsumeikan University (立命館大学), and Dōshisha University (同志社大学) will go from 15-minute to 12-minute headways.

New routes will also be established during the midday on weekends, including a Shijō–Kawaramachi Shopping Liner connecting Kyōto Station with Shijō–Kawaramachi (四条河原町) and Kawaramachi–Sanjō (河原町三条) and an Okazaki–Higashiyama–Umekōji Express connecting Umekōji Park (梅小路公園) with the Higashiyama and Okazaki areas.

The Transportation Bureau will also augment nighttime service as part of what it terms an “Evening Commute Transportation Enhancement Plan” (おかえり交通充実大作戦). In particular, the Transportation Bureau will add midnight (24:00) bus departures from Kyōto Station and Katsura (桂) Station (Hankyū Kyōto Line) for the first time and push back the last buses serving major rail stations including Kyōto Station, Kita-Ōji (北大路) Station (Kyōto Municipal Subway), Hankyū Kawaramachi Station, and Keihan Sanjō Station, allowing passengers to take trains that are one or two slots later in the schedule.

The Transportation Bureau will also introduce a new IC card system to all buses in its fleet by FY2014 close. The total cost for the project over a two-year period is about ¥1.6 billion, and passengers possessing any of the 10 IC cards participating in nationwide interoperability, including Suica, PASMO, ICOCA, and PiTaPa, will be able to use them on the city’s bus fleet.

A mid-term business plan indicates that the additional service will increase expenditures by about ¥1 billion, but the Transportation Bureau expects that the service improvements will lead to additional passengers. As a result, funding from the city’s general fund will no longer needed to operate municipal bus services by FY2015.

There will be increased bus service out of Kyōto Station.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:23 PM   #6489
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Groundbreaking on temporary tracks for Echitetsu grade-separation
えち鉄高架化へ仮設線路着工 15年春、新幹線に一時乗り入れ

http://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/localn...way/47554.html

Construction of a temporary track connection to allow Echizen Railway (えちぜん鉄道) trains to temporarily use about 800 m of the already completed Hokuriku Shinkansen viaduct at JR Fukui Station has begun. The temporary switch to the Shinkansen viaduct, scheduled to take place in spring 2015, will be a major step in the grade-separation of the Echizen Railway near the station and will eliminate two grade crossings on the line.

The Echitetsu grade-separation involves constructing new elevated tracks exclusively for the Echitetsu on the east side of the Shinkansen viaduct, serving trains on the Katsuyama–Eihei-ji Line (勝山永平寺線) and Mikuni–Awara Line (三国芦原線). The already completed Shinkansen viaduct, currently not in use, would be used by Echitetsu trains while the permanent Echitetsu viaduct is constructed where on the current ground-level Echitetsu alignment. The project is targeted for a completion at FY2017 close, in time for the 2018 National Sports Festival (国体) to be hosted by Fukui Prefecture.

According to the Fukui Prefecture Urban Planning Division, work related to water utilities began on 2013.12.02. In the remainder of the fiscal year, work will also begin on constructing the slope from ground level up to the Shinkansen viaduct, as well as the temporary elevated tracks.

After Echitetsu trains begin using the Shinkansen viaduct, the Hōei crossing (宝永踏切)—commonly referred to as the Kannonchō crossing (観音町踏切)—and the Kari-Hinode crossing (仮日之出踏切) with Sakura-dōri (とさくら通り) will be removed. Completion of the permanent Echitetsu viaduct will also eliminate the Kiyokawa crossing (清川踏切) with Matsumoto-dōri (松本通り), alleviating traffic congestion along major streets in Fukui City.

===

Clips on the Echizen Railway. Can see some of the parallel running with the Shinkansen viaduct starting at 0:12.

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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:24 PM   #6490
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Ex-Keihan 3000 series on Ōigawa Railway to be retired in February
大井川鉄道:京阪旧3000系電車、2月に引退

http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20131...40013000c.html

Former Keihan Electric Railway (京阪電鉄) 3000 series “TV Cars” (テレビカー) that have been running on the Ōigawa Railway in Shizuoka Prefecture for close to 20 years will be retired in February.

The 3000 series began operating in 1971 and were the first trains in Japan to come equipped with color TV sets. As a result, they were nicknamed “TV Cars”, and became a star attraction on Keihan’s limited expresses between Ōsaka and Kyōto.

Two of the cars began operating on the Ōigawa Railway in 1995, and while they have remained extremely popular among passengers, the cars are beginning to show their age, and the railway is having difficult securing replacement parts. As a result, the cars will be retired after final revenue runs on 2014.02.14. Keihan retired its last 3000 series train in March of this year, leaving the Toyama Chihō Railroad (富山地方鉄道) in Toyama Prefecture as the last remaining operator of Keihan 3000 series rolling stock.

===

Clips of the 3000 series cars operating on the Ōigawa Railway. The video also shows some of the ex-Kintetsu and ex-Nankai rolling stock that railway also runs… Basically, they have rolling stock from three of Kansai’s five major private railways—a bit interesting, since you might expect to see more ex-Tōkyō stock given the proximity of Shizuoka Prefecture to the capital.

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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:25 PM   #6491
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Sapporo to consider making SAPICA interoperable with JR
サピカ、JR共用化を検討

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/hok...OYT8T00011.htm

On 2013.12.18, it was discovered that Sapporo City is in negotiations with JR Hokkaidō to launch interoperability between JR Hokkaidō’s IC farecard, Kitaca, with SAPICA, the IC farecard used on Sapporo’s subway system and tram network.

Currently, Kitaca is accepted on JR Hokkaidō’s network of lines in the Sapporo Metropolitan region, reaching as far out as Otaru (小樽), Iwamizawa (岩見沢), Tomakomai (苫小牧), Hokkaidō Medical University (北海道医療大学), and other stations in the periphery of Sapporo and central Hokkaidō. According to Sapporo City, the plan would be to allow SAPICA to be accepted at all 55 JR stations that currently accept Kitaca. An implementation schedule has yet to be determined, but the change would increase convenience for passengers.

Sapporo first introduced SAPICA in January 2009, starting with the city’s subway system. In June of this year, coverage expanded to the city’s tram line and three fixed-route bus operators operating in the city. Around the same time, Kitaca joined 10 IC farecard systems across Japan in a nationwide interoperability program, but SAPICA was unable to participate in the nationwide rollout, upsetting passengers who also use JR trains.

Meanwhile, Sapporo City has also decided to terminate the magnetic “With You Card” (ウィズユーカード) pass accepted on the city’s subway and trams by the end of March 2015. Sales of the card will end at the end of May 2014.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 10:07 PM   #6492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrwulfe View Post
Yeah
I was known to have ridden the Tokyu Night Shuttle that went between Shibuya and Musashi-Kousugi enough times to have the driver know me by face... Then again, I do stand out a little bit...

I hope Toei can make the entire route (actually runs past Roppongi and ends around Tokyo Station if I'm not mistaken) an OWL bus. Other routes like Ikebukuro-Shinjuku-Shibuya and Ueno-Akihabara-Tokyo-Shinagawa would help as well...
Very interesing!

I'm seeing the Toei bus on-line map and this shows line 93 (Meguro Station - Oi Keibajo) is an isolated route, ie does not integrate with any other line of Toei Bus. Is It true?

Another doubt: Keisei is the only operator in Tokyo with articulated bus, no?
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Old December 24th, 2013, 01:27 AM   #6493
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Are you going through the English version?
http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/bus/routes/eng/

That one only shows a handful of routes, mostly the busiest ones or ones that tourists would be interested in. Go to the Japanese version for the full network:
http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/bus/...ml?default=E-4

Regarding articulated buses, Kanachū (神奈川中央交通) in Kanagawa Prefecture also operates articulated buses.
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Old December 24th, 2013, 05:26 AM   #6494
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New Hankyū station opens

The new Nishiyama–Tennōzan Station opened on the Hankyū Kyōto Line (between Nagaoka Tenjin and Ōyamazaki) in Nagaoka-kyō (長岡京) City on 2013.12.21. The new station is unusual due to its location at the intersection of the Hankyū Kyōto Line with the Kyōto Jūkan Expressway (京都縦貫自動車道). As a result, it includes a new bus terminal for intercity highway coaches, as well as a tourist information center and some shops targeting visitors, selling local products. There is also a new local bus route connecting to JR Nagaoka-kyō Station and Keihan Yodo Station (京阪淀駅), as well as new access road (府道大山崎大枝線) connecting the station with National Route 171 (国道171号), plus station plazas on both the east and west sides of the station featuring vehicle and bike parking.

Rail service at the station will consist of locals (普通) and semi-expresses (準急) (limited expresses 特急 will skip this station), for a total of 240 trains a day (weekday schedule). Daily ridership is forecasted to be approx. 7,900. The station was funded jointly by the city and Hankyū and cost ¥3.5 billion when including the area improvements (the station itself only cost ¥2.0 billion). Highway coach service will be operated by three different operators and includes 9 roundtrips on routes to the Kantō (関東) region, northern Kyōto Prefecture, and Nagano Prefecture.

Tour of the station, which is supposed to be “modern Japanese” theme. It includes an open interior in the concourse, as well as green walls, LED lighting, and water-saving toilets. There are also touch-screen information panels at the east and west station plazas to guide visitors.



Arrival and departure of the special commemorative charter run, featuring a special wrap livery:



Besides timetable changes to the Kyōto Line, Hankyū also instituted some systemwide improvements including introduction of station numbering (HKxx) and renaming several stations:

Sannomiya (三宮) → Kōbe Sannomiya (神戸三宮)
Hattori (服部) → Hattori Tenjin (服部天神)
Nakayama (中山) → Nakayama Kannon (中山観音)
Matsuo → Matsuo Taisha (松尾大社)



Switching out the station signs at Sannomiya (Kōbe Shimbun video report) at 1:00 am in the morning. The Hankyū station opened in 1936 as “Kōbe Station” (神戸駅), later renamed to “Sannomiya Station” in 1968. Interesting that they even repainted the Hankyū viaduct with the new name.



Hanshin will similarly rename its station to Kōbe Sannomiya and introduce station numbering with its regular timetable changes on 2014.04.01.
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Old December 24th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #6495
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That one only shows a handful of routes, mostly the busiest ones or ones that tourists would be interested in. Go to the Japanese version for the full network:
http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/bus/...ml?default=E-4
Thank you, guy. Toei has a big bus network...
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Old December 26th, 2013, 01:51 AM   #6496
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JR West announces major upgrade for Ōsaka Loop Line
JR西、大阪環状線の全駅改装 電子看板や新車両も

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...21C13A2LDA000/

On 2013.12.24, West Japan Railway Company (西日本旅客鉄道) announced a plan to renovate and upgrade all 19 stations on the JR Ōsaka Loop Line by FY2017 close. Many of the stations on the line haven’t changed since they opened, and the facilities are beginning to show their age. In addition to introducing new digital signage inside stations, the railway will also develop new trackside retail facilities at several stations and is also considering introducing new modern rolling stock. The plan is an effort to improve convenience and increase ridership on the line.

JR West has dubbed the effort the Ōsaka Loop Line Upgrade Project (大阪環状線改造プロジェクト), and will prioritize renovation and improvement works at four stations: Morinomiya (森ノ宮), Tamatsukuri (玉造), Momodani (桃谷), and Bentenchō (弁天町). Morinomiya Station will see the introduction of new light-emitting diode (LED) lighting systems and electronic signage, strengthening wayfinding facilities at the station. At Tamatsukuri Station, the railway will construct a new retail facility, nursery school, and other amenities underneath the Ōsaka Loop Line viaduct, opening in March 2014. At Bentenchō Station, the railway will carry out a combined, mixed-use redevelopment of the station site with the adjacent site housing the Transport Science Museum (交通科学博物館), which will close in April 2014.

According to JR West, the Ōsaka Loop Line will celebrate its 50th anniversary in March 2014, but many of the station facilities have remain unchanged since they first opened, with satisfaction among passengers low. The railway hopes beautification of the station will improve convenience for regular commuters and increase tourist demand coming from outside the region. The renovation of Morinomiya Station is expected to cost approx. ¥700 million. Renovation and upgrades to all 19 stations is expected to cost several billions of yen in total.

A good portion of the trains on the Ōsaka Loop Line are 103 series and 201 series trains dating from the JNR era, before privatization and the birth of JR West. Currently 60% of the stock on the Ōsaka Loop Line is reaching 30 to 35 years of age, and the railway is also planning introduction of modern trainsets for the line. The number of new trains and introduction schedule have yet to be determined.

Currently, the 19 JR stations on the Ōsaka Loop Line currently serve about 1.08 million boardings daily, about 20% lower than peak levels (about 1.36 million) in 1995. While some of the stations serve lines other than the Ōsaka Loop Line, it’s believed that most of the ridership decline is on the Ōsaka Loop Line.

===

Press release:
http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/articl...page_4978.html

Project logo:



Morinomiya Station, Platform 1 for Ōsaka:



Tamatsukuri Station redevelopment, Vierra Town Tamatsukuri (ビエラタウン玉造). This is a modest development in size (approx. 4,100 sq m total). The upper level is supposed to look like a 103 series Ōsaka Loop Line car. Portions of the redevelopment have already opened, including the first phase (supermarket) in October 2009 and second phase (medical clinic) in May 2010… The last piece is Vierra Tamatsukuri, which will open in March 2014 with a nursery school, fitness club, and other facilities.



103 series cab video on an outside (clockwise) run, Tennōji → Tennōji:

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Old December 26th, 2013, 01:54 AM   #6497
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Aoi Mori Railway announces March 2014 timetable changes
青い森鉄道、新駅開業と車両増備で輸送力強化

http://response.jp/article/2013/12/21/213545.html

On 2013.12.20, Aoi Mori Railway (青い森鉄道) announced timetable changes to take effect with the opening of the new Tsutsui Station (筒井駅) in Aomori City in March 2014. With the addition of new trains, the railway will increase the number of trips and add capacity.

The new Tsutsui Station is 1.3 km from Higashi-Aomori (東青森) Station and 4.5 km from Aomori (青森) Station. A total of 7 rapid trains (3 outbound, 4 inbound) and 46 local trains (23 outbound, 22 inbound) will stop at the station. With the expected increase in passengers due to the opening of the new station, the railway will also add two new trains (4 cars total) to its fleet. The new 703 series trains are the railway’s first new trains in 11 years, allowing the railway to increase service, particularly during the rush hours.

In particular, the railway will add 5 trains (4 inbound and 1 outbound) between Asamushi Onsen (浅虫温泉) and Aomori between the start of service and the 09:00 hour. Service between Hachinohe (八戸) and Aomori will also see increased capacity after modifications to the shuttle trains, with an additional 4 outbound trains and 5 inbound trains (to 22 trains total in each direction). The changes will secure a base service of about 1 tph, even during the midday period.

The new 703 series trains will be used on a total of 7 rapid services between Hachinohe and Aomori.



===

703 series testing (2013.12.03):

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Old December 26th, 2013, 01:55 AM   #6498
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Sendai City Subway Tōzai Line opening accelerated by 3 months
仙台市交通局、東西線の正式駅名が決定…2015年開業予定

http://response.jp/article/img/2013/...50/641311.html

On 2013.12.24, Sendai City revealed that the under-construction Sendai City Subway Tōzai Line (東西線) will see its scheduled opening accelerated from sometime in FY2015 to sometime in 2015. The city announced the final names selected for the stations on the line.

According to city spokespersons, civil works on the new line are scheduled to be completed sometime this fiscal year, and selection of providers for equipment, rails, signaling systems, and other components is largely finished. After reviewing the construction schedule a final time, the city determined that the line could open sometime in 2015.

Up until now, the scheduled opening was listed as “sometime in FY2015”, which could mean as late as March 2016. While the Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災) forced a temporary stoppage of work and affected the ability to secure enough workers, causing some delays to the schedule, the work has been proceeding efficiently since.

The city also finalized the official station names for the 13 stations on the line:

Yagiyama Dōbutsu Kōen (八木山動物公園) [Yagiyama Zoo]
Aoba-yama (青葉山) [Mt. Aoba]
Kawauchi (川内)
Kokusai Center (国際センター) [Sendai International Center]
Ōmachi – Nishi Kōen (大町西公園) [Ōmachi – Nishi Park]
Aoba-dōri – Ichibanchō (青葉通一番町)
Sendai (仙台)
Miyagino-dōri (宮城野通)
Renbō (連坊)
Yakushidō (薬師堂)
Oroshimachi (卸町)
Rokuchō no Me (六丁の目)
Arai (荒井)

For Oroshimachi, there was some debate over whether to put the name in kanji or hiragana, but the city eventually selected kanji, citing frequent use of the placename. Secondary names (副駅名) will also be provided at four stations:

Aobayama: Tōhoku Daigaku Aobayama Campus-mae (東北大学青葉山キャンパス前) [Tōhoku University Mt. Aoba Campus]
Kawauchi: Tōhoku Daigaku Kawauchi Campus-mae (東北大学川内キャンパス前) [Tōhoku University Kawauchi Campus]
Kokusai Center: Sendai-jō-ato Iriguchi (仙台城跡入口) [Sendai Castle Ruins]
Renbō: Sendai Ichi-kō-mae (仙台一高前) [Sendai First High School]

Work began on the 13.9 km Tōzai Line in 2006. The line will use linear motor technology to tackle sections of long, steep grades, propelling trains through the use of electromagnets. Total construction cost is ¥229.8 billion, and forecasted daily ridership is 80,000 passengers. Arai and Kokusai Center Stations will be aboveground, while the others will be underground.





===

FNN video report, with some construction scenes.
Instead of March 2016, it’s looking like December 2015 opening.

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Old December 26th, 2013, 04:20 AM   #6499
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I'm surprised it has taken so long to finally update the Osaka Loop Line. The trainsets on the Loop Line are some of the oldest trainsets in JR West inventory, and many stations need a major upgrade, too. Maybe they'll refurbish a large number of 221 Series trainsets specifically for use on the Osaka Loop Line?
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Old December 26th, 2013, 05:58 AM   #6500
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Perhaps, but I think they would need to do some fairly intense interior redesign if that were the case, since the 221 series is a suburban design (transverse seating)... Not sure how suited the three-door configuration would be to replace the Loop Line-exclusive fleet, as the 103 series and 201 series are all standard urban stock (4 doors, longitudinal seating).

In terms of achieving the kind of "image change" they want for the line, I think they almost have to go with new, modern stock... They've probably got a lot of rural lines where refurbished 221 series can go, but the Ōsaka Loop Line deserves better, perhaps an update of the 321 series.
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