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Old December 26th, 2013, 07:55 AM   #6501
quashlo
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Some news on the rolling stock tender for Jakarta MRT:

Thanks to TWK90 for the original post and David-80 for the repost in the Japan Forum.

Too bad we can't see the full SOQs for each team... I'm a bit curious who teamed up with the Sumitomo, Mitsubishi, and Marubeni teams. There are a few large manufacturers not specifically identified in any of the teams listed in the press release:

Nippon Sharyō (日本車輌): They frequently team with Sumitomo, but that's almost exclusively in the American market.
Kinki Sharyō (近畿車輛): They were tapped for Dubai Metro, a contract where Mitsubishi was one of the firms in the prime JV.
J-TREC (総合車両製作所): They recently won a Marubeni-led contract for the Bangkok MRT Purple Line.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (三菱重工業) also produces some rolling stock, but they mostly do one-off orders, and don't have a fully-dedicated railcar production business.
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Old December 26th, 2013, 05:16 PM   #6502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
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.
A big problem is that the Osaka Loop Line stations accommodate the 103 and 201 Series EMU's with their 2,800 mm trainset widths. Problem: the 321 Series EMU has a 2,950 mm trainset width, which means the loading gauge of the 321 is likely incompatible with the Osaka Loop Line. It would require essentially rebuilding the platform of every station on the Loop Line to accommodate the wider 321's.
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Old December 26th, 2013, 06:44 PM   #6503
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No, there is no rebuilding of platforms needed... The 221, 223, and 225 series are also designed to 2,950 mm and work just fine on the line already. The difference is that the old JNR-era designs like 103 series and 201 series were designed with flat sides, while modern JR designs nowadays are fatter, but feature a taper around the height of the car floor in order to fit within the traditional zairaisen loading gauge. In other words, all the newer designs are fatter at window level than at platform level.

It's the same with JR East... Just look at the Chūō Rapid Line, which also operated 201 series but now uses E233 series:


http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%...3%AB:Ct201.jpg


http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%...cial_Rapid.JPG
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Old December 26th, 2013, 08:18 PM   #6504
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Oh I see. You can see the tapering on the 321 Series EMU as shown in this picture:



The question is how fast can Kinki Sharyo do new-build 321's to replace all the aging 103's and 201's on the Osaka Loop Line. It'll be nice to have a modern EMU on the Loop Line, just like JR East introduced the E231-500 EMU's on the Yamanote Line around Tokyo in the first half of the 2000's. JR West will probably need circa 30 7-car 321 trainsets to finally retire the aging 103/201 trainsets.

Last edited by sacto7654; December 26th, 2013 at 08:22 PM. Reason: correct wording
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Old December 26th, 2013, 09:39 PM   #6505
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Well, if they do go with an updated version of 321 series, I would expect them to go with 8-car sets to match the 103 and 201 series sets they would be replacing.

The Ōsaka Loop Line fleet—i.e., the trains that aren’t interlined runs with the Yamatoji Line (Kansai Main Line) or Hanwa Line / Kansai Airport Line—is basically deployed entirely out of Morinomiya Depot (森ノ宮支所)… There are 7 103 series sets and 16 201 series sets, so 23 sets total.
http://hanwanetworkstation.web.fc2.c...orinomiya.html
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Old December 26th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #6506
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Tōkyō Metro, Tōkyō-area major private railways apply for ¥1-increment fares
東京メトロ・東急など関東の大手私鉄もICカード乗車時「1円単位運賃」導入

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/12/20/046/

Nine major private railways (大手私鉄) in central and inner-suburban Tōkyō announced on 2013;12;19 that they have applied with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to implement ¥1-incremented fare structures. Following the announcement from JR East, it now appears that most of the major railways in Tōkyō will be moving towards ¥1-incremented fare structures for IC card users.

Specifically, the following major private railways have now joined JR East in implementing ¥1-incremented fare structures:

Tōbu Railway (東武鉄道)
Seibu Railway (西武鉄道)
Keisei Electric Railway (京成電鉄)
Keiō Corporation (京王電鉄)
Odakyū Electric Railway (小田急電鉄)
Tōkyū Corporation (東京急行電鉄)
Keikyū Corporation (京浜急行電鉄)
Tōkyō Metro (東京メトロ)
Sagami Railway (相模鉄道)

They will also be joined by the following additional railway operators:

Tōkyō Waterfront Area Rapid Transit (東京臨海高速鉄道)
Metropolitan Intercity Railway (首都圏新都市鉄道)
Yokohama Rapid Railway (横浜高速鉄道)
Saitama Railway (埼玉高速鉄道)
Yurikamome (ゆりかもめ)
Tama Urban Monorail (多摩都市モノレール)
Chiba Urban Monorail (千葉都市モノレール)
Yokohama Seaside Line (横浜シーサイドライン)

Like JR East, ¥1-incremented fare structures would only apply for IC card users, while fares for paper ticket users would remain at ¥10 increments.

Sample minimum fares:

Tōkyū Corporation: ¥120 → ¥124 (IC card) or ¥130 (paper ticket)
Keiō Corporation: ¥120 → ¥124 (IC card) or ¥130 (paper ticket)
Odakyū Electric Railway: ¥120 → ¥124 (IC card) or ¥130 (paper ticket)
Keikyū Corporation: ¥130 → ¥133 (IC card) or ¥140 (paper ticket)
Keisei Electric Railway: ¥130 → ¥133 (IC card) or ¥140 (paper ticket)
Tōbu Railway: ¥140 → ¥144 (IC card) or ¥150 (paper ticket)
Seibu Railway: ¥140 → ¥144 (IC card) or ¥150 (paper ticket)
Sagami Railway: ¥140 → ¥144 (IC card) or ¥150 (paper ticket)
Tōkyō Metro: ¥160 → ¥165 (IC card) or ¥150 (paper ticket)

===

Press releases:
Tōbu: http://www.tobu.co.jp/file/pdf/e7856...20131219142626
Seibu: http://www.seibu-group.co.jp/railway...131219fare.pdf
Keisei: http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/kouho.../131219_02.pdf
Keiō: http://www.keio.co.jp/news/backnumbe...9_railfare.pdf
Odakyū: http://www.odakyu.jp/program/info/da...9_5372838_.pdf
Tōkyū: http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_inde...ws/131219.html
Keikyū: http://www.keikyu.co.jp/company/%E2%...A%EF%BC%89.pdf
Tōkyō Metro: http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2013/p...31219_f143.pdf
Sōtetsu: http://www.sotetsu.co.jp/news_release/pdf/131219_03.pdf

FNN video report:



Thankfully, none of these railways have JR East’s 電車特定区間, which is creating unusual situations where paper tickets may actually be cheaper than IC cards… For all of these railways, the new structure is such that the IC card will always be the same price or cheaper.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 02:06 AM   #6507
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Track switchout in Nishitetsu grade-separation to take place on 2014.03.22
西鉄、高架化工事で白木原~下大利間を仮線切り替え…来年3月

http://response.jp/article/2013/12/24/213644.html

The switch to temporary shoo-fly tracks for the 1.1 km of the Nishi-Nippon Railroad (西日本鉄道) Tenjin–Ōmuta Line (天神大牟田線) between Shirakibaru (白木原) and Shimo-Ōri (下大利), part of the grade-separation (elevation) of the line near Shimo-Ōri Station (Ōno-jō City 大野城市, Fukuoka Prefecture), will take place on 2014.03.22. Station buildings and platforms will also be switched to new facilities as part of the switchout.

Work is currently proceeding on a continuous grade-separation project (連続立体交差事業) to elevate 3.3 km of the line from Kasugabaru (春日原) in Kasuga City (春日市) to Shimo-Ōri. Moving trains to temporary tracks will allow for removal of the current ground-level tracks and construction of the new elevated tracks. In total, 12 grade crossings will be removed.

With the switchout, a temporary station building and platforms will also debut at Shimo-Ōri. The temporary tracks will be in use until FY2020.



===

Cab view on an express train, Shimo-Ōri to Kasugabaru:

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Old December 27th, 2013, 02:08 AM   #6508
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Odakyū Group to introduce station numbering in January 2014
小田急電鉄・箱根登山鉄道など小田急グループ各社が駅ナンバリング導入

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/12/26/341/

Railway operators in the Odakyū Group announced that they would introduce station numbering across all lines in their networks starting January 2014. The numbering system will be rolled out on the Odakyū Electric Railway (小田急電鉄), Hakone Tozan Railway (箱根登山鉄道), Hakone Sightseeing Cruise (箱根観光船), and Hakone Ropeway (箱根ロープウェイ).

The alphanumeric scheme will consist of two letters and two digits, similar to other major private railways in the Tōkyō area that have already adopted similar schemes. Specifically, stations on the Odakyū Odawara Line, Hakone Tozan Railway, Hakone Ropeway, and Hakone Sightseeing Cruise will be assigned the letters “OH”, stations on the Odakyū Enoshima Line the letters “OE”, and stations on the Odakyū Tama Line the letters “OT”. Shinjuku will be “OH01”, Katase–Enoshima “OE16”, Karakida “OT07”, and Hakone Yumoto “OH51”. Odakyū Electric Railway lines will be assigned the color blue, while the remaining lines will be assigned burnt orange.

===

Press release:
http://www.odakyu.jp/program/info/da...2_1284200_.pdf

Sample station icons:



Sample station sign:



Full alphanumeric keys:

Odakyū Odawara Line and Hakone Tozan Railway (rail-only sections):



Odakyū Enoshima Line and Tama Line



Hakone Tozan Railway (rail and cable car), Hakone Ropeway, Hakone Sightseeing Cruise.
The numbering is consecutive from Shinjuku (OH01) all the way to Odawara (OH47), Hakone Yumoto (OH51), Gōra (OH57), Sōun-zan (OH62), Tōgen-dai (OH65), and Moto-Hakone-kō (OH67).



Enoshima Electric Railway (江ノ島電鉄), otherwise known as Enoden, already implemented station numbering in June 2011, using the letters “EN”:

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Old December 27th, 2013, 05:00 AM   #6509
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Do people actually find these station numbering schemes useful? I wouldn't know personally.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #6510
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Well, same here, I'm not sure I'm really qualified to answer, since I don't pay any attention to them. I imagine all native speakers, together with non-native speakers with at least decent language skills, probably ignore them completely.

Most of the existing precedents for station numbering are concentrated in East Asia, where English speakers who can't understand the native language would have difficulty understanding the existing wayfinding systems (maps, announcements, directional signage, etc.). In these cases, I would imagine that users key in to the English translations / transliterations of station names first, but that a numbering scheme could help them orient themselves quicker in terms of which direction to take (i.e., which side of the platform should I line up on?) and how long their journey might be (i.e., how many stops do I have left?).

I feel that the problem is that the systems in the larger Japanese cities are almost too complex for numbering due to all the branching, interlining, skip-stop services, etc. In these situations, the value of numbering schemes is substantially reduced. The only system that employs it to this scale and has a somewhat comparable level of complexity would be Seoul... The others are pretty much "simple" networks where lines are operated in isolation and every train stops at every station.

Not saying it's a stupid or worthless idea to go with numbering, as I'm not really sure there's a comparable measure that would be as cost-effective until they do things like free Wi-Fi where foreigners can connect and then have some sort of temporary app do all the hard work for them, like buzz them when they need to get off or change trains.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 08:44 AM   #6511
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The platform doors on the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line platforms at Naka-Meguro Station went into service on 2013.12.22. They were first erected in the late evening of 2013.11.23 / early morning of 2013.11.24, so it’s been about one month of testing and preparation.

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Old December 29th, 2013, 07:50 AM   #6512
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Following its debut on the Kōbe Line on 2013.11.28, the Hankyū 1000 series began revenue service on the Takarazuka Line / Minoo Line on 2013.12.25.

Unit 1001F arriving at Ishibashi, still in sparkling shape.



Evening departure from Umeda as a local for Minoo:



Departure from Minoo and another look at the ultra-wide LCD screen, this time showing the Minoo Line programming. Was unaware that Hankyū preferred to Romanize it as “Mino-o” (i.e., with a hyphen), although that does make it easier for foreigners to pronounce it correctly in Japanese, as “Minoo” could be incorrectly pronounced as “Minu”. They’ve programmed a special promo video into the left half of the screen to advertise the new 1000 series.

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Old December 29th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #6513
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That is a very quiet train, nice.
A part of me like trains to be a bit noisy though. Not only bc big and heavy machinery should be a bit noisy, but I also think there must be some safety issues here with crossings and platforms.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #6514
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Japanese government to provide funding for smartcard system in Vietnam
IC乗車券のベトナム輸出支援 政府、年明け現地調査

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2013/12...2801001818.htm

The Japanese government has finalized a plan to provide funding support to export an IC card (smartcard) system to Vietnam. IC card systems are widespread across Japanese railway systems including JR and subways, and the government will begin studies locally in Vietnam in January 2014, with an eye towards providing yen loans and exporting a smartcard system. The government will negotiate with the Vietnamese side to facilitate participation from Japanese firms, with the hope of expanding the export of Japanese railway technology and infrastructure.

The news was revealed by government officials on 2013.12.28. A total of 14 rail lines are under planning or construction in Vietnam in the capital, Hanoi, and the southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, and the Japanese side is hoping to provide an IC card system package based on Japanese standards for all lines.

===

Smartcard systems are one field where Japan is way ahead of the curve, so hopefully they can take advantage of that and begin exporting some of that technology and knowhow.

The Suica penguin at Shin-Aomori Station:



Never knew this, but there’s a Suica penguin shop at Tōkyō Station… Will definitely have to remember to stop by there next time I visit.



They even have (actually, it’s had—I think this was a limited-time only thing) penguin bread. Makes you wonder why the Tōkyō private railways couldn’t have bothered themselves with creating a character for PASMO, although the organizational structure is undoubtedly far more complex for PASMO… Suica is basically just JR East, while PASMO is everyone else, including Tōkyō Metro, Toei Subway, the eight major private railways, and then all the other rail and bus operators. I can imagine it taking a long time to reach an agreement on how to divvy up the costs or revenues for that sort of thing.

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Old December 29th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #6515
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Yui Rail to introduce QR ticketing in October 2014
来年10月からQR券を導入 沖縄都市モノレール

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

Yui Rail operator Okinawa Urban Monorail (沖縄都市モノレール) will introduce new automated faregates capable of reading Quick Response (QR) codes in October 2014. An IC card system for Okinawa will launch at the same time, so the railway will modify its ticketing and fare collection schemes in coordination with the rollout, completely eliminating magnetic-strip tickets. The railway says that introduction of a QR-based ticketing system will improve convenience for passengers, as well as reduce processing times at faregates and reduce personnel needs for the railway. The Yui Rail will be the first railway in Japan to introduce QR-based ticketing.

Specifically, the railway plans to switch regular tickets and one-day passes to the QR scheme, while commuter passes will be switched to the new IC card system, although the IC cards will also be designed to be compatible with one-day passes. To prevent reproduction, tickets will be issued with half of the QR code obscured.

Okinawa Urban Monorail and four bus operators on Okinawa Island are working on introduction of a shared IC card system for the Yui Rail and buses on the island. The system will be rolled out first on the Yui Rail, at which time Okinawa Urban Monorail will simultaneously switch over to new faregates capable of handling both the new IC cards and the new QR tickets. The QR tickets are cheaper than magnetic-based tickets, which are also more prone to jamming and damage. The railway says that converting to a QC-based ticketing system will reduce maintenance costs and enhance the efficiency of ticketing and fare collection.

Image of the new QR tickets:



===

I was unaware how precisely the copy protection is supposed to work, since I always thought the purpose of QR codes was so that they could be easily read / photographed and reproduced (see the snafu with China’s QR ticketing implementation for high-speed trains that basically allows anyone to access your personal information).

However, apparently Densō Wave developed a new SQRC (“Security QR Code”) last year that uses a specially-designed ink to prevent reproduction. Judging from the image of the new QR tickets, I imagine Yui Rail will use this exact system.
http://www.denso-wave.com/ja/info/detail__480.html

Anyways, the article isn’t totally correct, as Tōbu Railway’s TJ Liner service on the Tōjō Line uses QR ticketing. For sure, though, the Yui Rail system will be the first large-scale QR ticketing implementation for a Japanese railway, and the first to employ it for regular ticketing (TJ Liner is a special “homeliner” service).

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Old December 29th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #6516
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Usefulness of station numberings

Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
Do people actually find these station numbering schemes useful? I wouldn't know personally.
The station numbers are useful for locating them on World-Wide Web sites like foursquare, where a train station name may otherwise only be provided in kanji or katakana.
Occasionally, this does lead to duplication {Yokohama Station can be found both as Yokohama Sta., and as KK37.}. But, as an English-speaker, it is a little more easier to inquire about 'Which platform has a train to XX-00?'
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Old December 29th, 2013, 08:16 PM   #6517
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Does that actually work though? Have you tried it and had the locals understand you?

Railway staff would know, and in those situations, I can imagine it may potentially be easier to ask a question using the alphanumeric code than trying to butcher the actual name of the station. But if you're just asking a random passenger, I'm not entirely convinced they would always understand you. I always thought the point of the numbering was not to fully replace the need to know to the name of your destination station, but to make it easier to orient yourself and figure out how to get there so that you don't actually have to ask anyone for help.

Anyways, the Japanese responses on Yahoo! Chiebukuro seem to indicate a positive response for the station numbering, although the merits discussed are exclusively in the context of non-Japanese speaking passengers like tourists.
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Old December 30th, 2013, 05:34 AM   #6518
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I find it it's a lot easier when using Google Maps or Foursquare just the key in the station code. Sure I can type in Japanese but it's a lot easier and quicker just to do with this way because I'm guaranteed almost 100 percent not to make a mistake. Not sure whether not all the station staff is going to know the station code for some other line but they definitely know the ones that they're working on. Last time I needed directions for some stop on the tobu Iine I asked in Japanese and got a perfectly worded Japanese answer but then next to everything that the station master wrote on a piece of paper for me was the station code so I guess he might have been thinking that I couldn't read Japanese. Which also brings me to another really good convenience in the station codes and that's one of trying to read the station when you're flying by on a train it doesn't have any kind of in car display

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Old December 30th, 2013, 08:04 AM   #6519
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I think the 500-pound gorilla for any station numbering scheme in the larger metropolitan areas is what the heck to do with JR... Nagoya could perhaps get by like JR Hokkaidō has, given that JR Central’s network is relatively small, but Greater Ōsaka and Greater Tōkyō simply have too many JR lines. Perhaps they could use a “Jx” alpha code—e.g., “JY” for Yamanote Line—but due to the peculiarities of Japanese syllabary, many lines start with the same letter,, such as Yamanote Line / Yokohama Line / Yokosuka Line or Kyōto Line / Kōbe Line / Kansai Airport Line. In some sense, I almost think this precludes a numbering scheme for the whole of the JR metropolitan networks in Ōsaka and Tōkyō, although perhaps they could do a focused implementation covering only some lines and areas.

As usual, there has already been some thought and research by JR East on how to make their system foreigner-friendly, and there was an article in an issue of the JR East Technical Review from last year:
J: 外国人のお客さまに対する適切な案内手法に関する研究
E: Research on Appropriate Service Guidance for Visitors from Abroad

Some interesting points worth sharing here:

Mother language of visitors from abroad:



Ratio of visits by city / destination:



They also did a survey of overseas visitors at JR Narita Airport Station and on the Narita Express, which indicated that most visitors are able to read or speak English:



Out of all respondents, those with English as a native language found station numbering to be the most useful:



When referencing line maps, most visitors look for the station name and line name. Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese users are, to some extent, able to take advantage of Japanese information due to proficiency in kanji, while Korean users favored English information.



Items that visitors have the most difficulty understanding when using trains. The responses are all over the place, so it’s difficult to draw conclusions from this, although a few of the items ranked somewhat higher. For finding fares, they should just redo the TVM software so that passengers can search for their destination by typing it in or picking it from a system map… Obviously, this will increase queues at TVMs, but perhaps this will encourage people (both visitors and locals) to just get a Suica or PASMO and forget about calculating their fares completely.



Reasons why users had difficulty understanding information when using trains. Biggest reasons were unability to find their station or line because the map / fare charts show too much information or because information was only provided in Japanese.



Necessary information for using trains, compared against when and how it should be obtained / gathered:



Potential improvements to line map. The “new line map” being referenced focuses primarily on stations in the core of the network, adds icons for landmarks, and, more importantly, includes an index listing that allows users to quickly locate stations based on the map’s grid (e.g., “Shinjuku → B3”).



A fair number of users also wanted changes that would actually increase the complexity of the map:
  • Showing both English and Japanese together: Not a bad suggestion, as it kills two birds with one stone, but requires more space for each map.
  • Including other railways: I’ve always thought this critical, but it’s definitely a tall order given the number of operators and density of the network.
  • Coding lines and stations with letters and / or numbers: For stations, I guess this would mean station numbering.
  • Want some idea of distances: This seems like an impossible request, frankly, given that the maps need to fit within specific dimensions. Perhaps they could split it up and show two maps—one a regional map showing the distances to regional destinations (e.g., to / from the airport, Yokohama, etc.) and then a separate inset for the Yamanote Line loop without distances. But really, I’m not sure of the need to know distance per se… Travel time seems like a better piece of information, but that doesn’t need to be on a route map, especially given that it can vary widely depending on what type of train you are on—it can just be in the programming for the LCDs inside the trains (like it already is) and incorporated into the diagrams of the stopping patterns and service types on the platforms.
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Old December 30th, 2013, 08:34 PM   #6520
quashlo
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New Tōkyō Metro CM

Tōkyō Metro released a new CM with Horikita Maki called “こどもに返れる篇” (“Being a Kid for a Day”) this month.

60 s CM spot:



“Making of” video:
http://www.tokyometro.jp/corporate/a...er_making.html

New posters.
Click for large size.

November 2013
Ueno Station
冒険できる篇 (Going on an Adventure)



December 2013
Nijūbashi-mae and Tōkyō Stations
きらきらできる篇 (Getting Your Sparkle On)



January 2014
Sendagi and Nishi-Nippori Stations
こどもに返れる篇 (Being a Kid for a Day)

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