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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:11 AM   #641
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JR East expands Suica presence in Tōkyō vending machines
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2009/20091205.pdf

Quote:
JR East Group member company JR East Water Business has teamed up with East Japan Railway Company (JR East) to expand Suica-compatible vending machines outside of stations. In order to expand the popular Suica-compatible vending machines from inside the station to outside, JR East Water Business has made preparations for a new scheme in vending machines using Suica. Specifically, JR East Water Business will introduce Suica-compatible vending machines for beverage products by Asahi Soft Drinks, Itō En, Ōtsuka Pharmaceutical, Kirin Beverage, and Suntory Foods. As a result, our customers will be able to purchase beverages at outdoor vending machines as easily as they can inside our stations.

Suica compatibility expands to outdoor vending machines
In late December, JR East Water Business will begin introducing Suica-compatible vending machines in outdoor locations throughout the Capital Region. Suica-compatible vending machines are popular among our customers due to fast transaction speed, no need for coins, and no need to take out a wallet.

JR East Water Business currently has approximately 5,500 Suica-compatible vending machines inside stations, with Suica-based transactions increasing to just shy of 40 percent.

New vending machine scheme
In order to expand Suica compatibility to vending machines located outside of railway stations, JR East Water Business developed a new scheme for Suica use: the Electronic Money Vending Machine Platform.
  • Basic structure: The Electronic Money Vending Machine Platform is a new scheme for beverage vending machines. In addition to interfacing with Suica-based transport-related electronic money infrastructure, the new platform is composed of a central server with marketing functions and server-connected VT-10 IC card reader units located on vending machines, manufactured by JR East Mechatronics.
  • Features of the new platform:
    • Allows for payment using Suica electronic money.
    • Using the marketing functions of the server, the platform can provide sales trends by the hour, allowing us to stock products that meet the needs of our customers.
    • The stock confirmation function allows for real-time off-site updates on the stock of products inside each vending machine, allowing for the speedy delivery of replacement stock to machines.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:12 AM   #642
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Kintetsu develops “eco-town” at Ayameike Station
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/enviro...1354000-n1.htm

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On the site of the former Ayameike Amusement Park in Nara City, which closed in 2004, Kintetsu Corporation (HQ: Ōsaka City) has been proceeding with work on a new town development that is built on the concept of “green.” In addition to deploying shared electric bicycles and introducing “eco-currency” for use when shopping at Kintetsu Group-owned commercial facilities in an attempt to help reduce greenhouse gases, the railway will install solar panels to provide power to public facilities. The project is one of the rare examples across the country of residential development where substantial proactive steps are being taken to incorporate environmentally-friendly concepts. The development is scheduled to open to the public in the spring of 2010.

The ecotown project focuses on the area surrounding Ayameike Station on the Kintetsu Nara Line, centered on Ayameike-Kita, Nara City. After the amusement park, operated by a Kintetsu Group member company, closed, the railway has plans to build 114 detached homes and approximately 70 condominiums on approx. 15 ha of land, starting construction in 2008. A school, welfare facility, and Kintetsu Group-owned commercial facility will also be constructed nearby.

According to Kintetsu, the new town encourages residents to limit their use of gasoline-powered vehicles, deploying electric bicycles instead and launching “eco-lecture’ classes and programs. Residents will periodically report online their greenhouse gas emissions from automobile use. Based on the amount of reduced emissions, the railway will reward residents with eco-curency that can be used at the nearby commercial facilities or as payment for purchasing the prepaid Surutto KANSAI card valid on major Kansai private railways. These programs will be under the administration of the homeowners association.

The pond commonly known as Ayame Kamiike, located on the east side of the new town, will be the site of a solar panel installation, providing power for fountains and the assembly hall. The railway is considering different schemes to incorporate green concepts into the entire town, including use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in lighting systems for individual homes.

“The trend nowadays is towards reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmentally-friendly efforts, and this will be a critical theme in future urban planning and design. As a private firm, we’d like to do our best to contribute to these efforts,” says Kintetsu’s Public Relations Department.
Ayameike Station is a minor station on the Kintetsu Nara Line, with about 11,000 daily entries and exits (2005).
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #643
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Soccer stadium proposed for Umeda North Yard
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/news...OYT1T00648.htm

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A proposal to construct a new 80,000-seat stadium that could be used for soccer’s World Cup final matches has been proposed for construction within ten years in the Umeda North Yard area on the north side of JR Ōsaka Station, Ōsaka’s “last premier district.”

Supporters are looking to have the stadium become the venue for Japan’s hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as well as Japan’s bids for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup in soccer. The stadium would become the country’s largest venue dedicated to ball sports.

According to representatives close to the project, local jurisdictions and sports associations are considering the proposal, and if they agree on a plan, will lobby the national government to have the venue recognized as a national sports venue. The construction cost is expected to cost several tens of billions of yen and the new stadium would become a dedicated venue for ball sports such as soccer and rugby. At the beginning, temporary stands would be provided to allow for 80,000-seat capacity, but after World Cup events, the stadium would be renovated down to 40,000 seats.

Tōkyō failed in its bid to win the 2016 Summer Olympics, and it’s likely the shelving of a new 100,000-seat stadium originally planned for Tōkyō’s Harumi area affected the decision to propose a stadium for the Umeda North Yard. It will be difficult to get local jurisdictions to foot the bill, however, and the reaction of the national government and sports associations will be critical to realizing the project.

The Umeda North Yard development is a public-private partnership to reuse the site for the Umeda Cargo Terminal, former Japanese National Railways (JNR) land that has not yet been disposed of. Retail facilities, condominiums, and a research center for emerging industries are planned to be constructed by 2012 in the first phase of the development, spreading across seven hectares on the east side of the site. The stadium is proposed for a remaining 17-acre site on the west side. There is an additional proposal to build adjacent office towers, with the revenue from tenant leases helping to offset administrative costs.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #644
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Councilmembers question Sakai City’s change in LRT plans
http://mytown.asahi.com/osaka/news.p...00000912090002

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At December’s regular session of the Sakai City Council, councilmembers questioned the city’s “policy change” on the light rail transit (LRT) project, which became a campaign issue during the September mayoral elections, after city officials submitted a revised budget with less funds dedicated towards the project and related items.

Since the elections, Mayor Takeyama Osami has called for a stop to the plan to link Sakai-Higashi Station on the Nankai Kōya Line and Sakai Station on the Nankai Main Line by LRT. Takeyama cited the lack of citizen support, the uncertainty of the line’s financial feasibility, and the adequacy of existing bus services.

But given that the City Council had already approved a budget with LRT-related items in March under the previous mayor, who supported the LRT plan, four out of five councilmembers who asked questions at the session had questions dealing with the LRT plan. Some councilmembers criticized the policy change, saying the city government was at fault for failing to adequately explain the project and win public support. Others noted that some projects should not be judged by whether or not they can recoup their costs. The LRT plan was also critically intertwined with several of the city’s most influential projects, including the Environmental Model City project (Sakai City was selected for the program in January), the Sakai-Higashi Station Redevelopment Project, and the revival of the Hankai Line. Officials even recognized that calling off the LRT project would “invite chaos” in the city government.

Mayor Takeyama, who carried out his campaign for mayor from a van with the words, “We don’t need LRT” written on the sides, says, “In a campaign where I cited a halt to the LRT plan as my top priority, I received approximately 136,000 votes. I think that’s a clear indication that I have received their solemn trust on this issue. A city’s vitality comes from local residents and the city government working together—not from the LRT.”

Meanwhile, in the incident where the special selection committee to decide on a designated operator of the city’s bicycle parking facilities restarted the selection process after electing to hold sessions behind closed doors, city officials said they would release documents which the committee has approved for release. City officials also expressed their intention to open other future committee meetings to select designated operators of other facilities.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #645
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Tōkai area continue to expand soft accessibility improvements
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/ai...202000029.html

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In order to support elderly passengers and passengers with physical disabilities on trains, trained and licensed service assistants are becoming a more common sight at major railway stations in the Tōkai area. After the enactment of the Transport Accessibility Improvement Law, the effort has been gaining steam. As part of soft improvements to improve station accessibility, Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu) and the Nagoya Municipal Subway both expect that they will have licensed station staff at all of their stations by the end of the fiscal year.

“In the past, it was learning from watching others. Now that I have a license, I can confidently assist passengers,” said Watanabe Kumi (39yo) as she stood on a platform at Meitetsu Nagoya Station, the title “service assistant” on the nametag on her chest. Wheelchair assistance on and off the train, along with other requests, number an average of 30 cases a day at this station alone. There are some passengers who require assistance on a regular basis on their commutes to and from work or school, and the assistants help to ensure a pleasant experience when boarding or alighting trains.

The licensure system was established in 2000 by the nonprofit organization Nippon Care-Fit Service Association. Licensees learn various skills, including how to provide mental and emotional support to the elderly and physically-disabled. Airline companies were among the first to introduce the assistants, but the practice afterwards expanded to railway companies. “Providing assistants is an effective means of supporting social participation (among the elderly and physically-disabled),” said representatives from the association.

Meitetsu was the first in the Tōkai area to introduce the service, establishing a system to become licensed in 2004. The expenses of licensure are fully borne by the railway, which now boasts 570 attendants—30 percent of the railway’s station staff. It’s now possible for the railway to deploy the assistants at all of its manned stations by the end of the fiscal year.

The Nagoya Municipal Subway was the first among Japan’s publicly-operated subways to introduce the service in 2005. A total of 406 (36 percent) of its station personnel have received the licensure, and the subway will soon have assistants regularly deployed at all 83 of its stations. Wheelchair assistance requests number an average of 11,400 a month, and the assistants are now sharing their knowhow with other station personnel. Kintetsu Corporation also has 87 of its own assistants in the Nagoya region.

At JR Central, licensure is an employee decision, but starting in 2000, the railway has invited instructors from the association and other organizations when positioning staff at stations to impart their knowledge and skills. A total of 4,850 employees have received the training, covering virtually all of the railway’s stations. In a self-appraisal of their efforts in service assistance to “fill in” gaps in hard infrastructure accessibility, Meitetsu and the Nagoya Municipal Transportation Bureau say that station personnel come to realize the need to assist passengers with hospitality, and that passengers using their systems feel at ease.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #646
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MLIT estimates 59 minutes for proposed Narita – Haneda link
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/...301000285.html

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By November 23, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) had prepared preliminary analysis that indicated constructing a portion of the proposed rail line linking Narita Airport and Haneda Airport as a new subway would connect both airports in as short as 59 minutes.

The current journey by train between Narita and Haneda takes 106 minutes on the fastest direct-service train. If a new subway is built, the convenience of passengers from other regions of Japan who use international flights at Narita via Haneda will increase exponentially.

The subway assumed in the preliminary analysis would stretch approximately 11 km from Oshiage Station (Sumida Ward, Tōkyō) to Sengakuji Station (Minato Ward, Tōkyō). If built, the subway would reduce the travel distance between the two airports from the current 90.6 km to approx. 84 km. By limiting the number of stations as much as possible, the total travel time will be reduced.

The MLIT says it wants to allow for transfers to Shinkansen and other lines by building a new station on the line connected to Tōkyō Station. Tōkyō and Narita would be connected in 37 minutes, while Tōkyō and Haneda would be connected in 22 minutes. The MLIT is proceeding with a detailed alignment and ridership demand estimates, and plans to develop an estimated total project cost by the end of the fiscal year.

Korea separates its international and domestic flights, with Incheon International Airport primarily serving international flights and Gimpo International Airport serving domestic flights, but the travel time between the two airports is approximately 30 minutes. In comparison, critics have pointed out the inconvenience of the connection between Narita and Haneda.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:16 AM   #647
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Elevation of Mikawa Yatsuhashi Station complete
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/aic...OYT8T01499.htm

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Construction work for the elevation of Mikawa Yatsuhashi Station (Hanazonochō, Toyota City) on the Meitetsu Mikawa Line and the surrounding track has been completed, with revenue use of the new elevated track set to begin on December 12.

The construction site stretched 2.1 km from Hanazonochō to Yatsuhashichō, Chiryū City, with approximately 1.6 km of that section now elevated. As a result, six grade crossings along the line have been eliminated.

Local residents petitioned to elevate the north-south running Mikawa Line to reunite separated neighborhoods and resolve roadway congestion at grade crossings. As a result, Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu) began outrach to locals in 2000, with construction work beginning in 2006. The total project cost is approximately ¥10 billion, with ¥7 billion to ¥8 billion of the cost to be assumed by Toyota City.

In addition to the elevation of the railroad, Mikawa Yatsuhashi Station also received a facelift. “Train noise and vibrations will be reduced, helping to improve quality of life for residents,” said Toyota City’s Roads Department.
Mikawa Yatsuhashi is a minor station, with only 2,900 daily entries and exits.

Pictures of the new station. Simple and no-frills, but spotless and pleasant.
Source: http://toruota.cocolog-nifty.com/















The old station peeking through.









Looking down at the area surrounding the station and the approach to the station.

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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #648
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Hankyū Settsu-shi Station to open in March 2010
http://mytown.asahi.com/osaka/news.p...00000912110001

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On December 9, Hankyū Corporation announced that the new Settsu-shi Station under construction between Shōjaku (Settsu City) and Minami-Ibaraki (Ibaraki City) Stations on the Hankyū Kyōto Line will open for revenue service on March 14, 2010. The station will be served by local trains only, with daytime frequencies of approximately every 10 minutes and morning and evening frequencies of every four to nine minutes.

According to Hankyū Corporation, 266 trains on weekdays and 241 trains on Saturdays and Sundays will stop at the station. The estimated daily entries and exits at the station are approximately 12,000. Fares for adults will be ¥220 to Umeda and ¥360 to Kawaramachi. This marks the first new station since the March 2003 opening of Rakusaiguchi (Nishikyō Ward, Kyōto City) and is the railway’s 86th station.

Through solar panels, rainwater collection systems, and other features, the approximately 70 tons in annual carbon dioxide emissions as a result of the station will be reduced by 36 tons (51 percent). The remaining 34 tons will be purchased through carbon emissions trading, effectively creating a “carbon neutral” station. According to the Ministry of the Environment, this is the first such station in Japan to do so.

Settsu City has begun work on land readjustment to develop the south side of the new station as the center for the new town. Coinciding with the revenue opening of the new station, the city will open a traffic circle and area roads (a portion of which are pedestrian- and bicycle-only) for use. A new facility outside the station housing the city’s Citizens’ Activities Support Counter and Insurance Center is currently under construction and will be completed in July of next year.
Rendering of new station:

Source: Hankyū Corporation

In addition to solar panels and rainwater collection, the new station features waterless urinals in the men’s restroom, regenerative drive systems for the elevators, and energy-conservative LED lighting systems (see article below).

Construction photos (November 2009). All comments from the original blogger.
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/l53_fmkr/

The southwest end of the station closer to Shōjaku and Umeda, facing the direction of Kawaramachi.





Pedestrian-exclusive crossing.



Entrance on the inbound (towards Ōsaka) track, which will be connected by underground passage to the opposite platform.





Outbound track (towards Kyōto) is on the left, inbound is on the right.





Another nearby crossing for pedestrians and bicycles only.

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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #649
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Panasonic to push for LED lighting following success with Hankyū
http://www.asahi.com/digital/nikkank...912100014.html

Quote:
On December 9, Panasonic Electronic Works announced that Hankyū Corporation’s new Settsu-shi Station on the Kyōto Main Line, scheduled to open on March 14, 2010, will feature 343 light-emitting diode (LED) illumination units. The lighting would be installed on station platforms and waiting rooms and inside underground passages and restrooms. After the successful effort to get the technology incorporated into the new station, Panasonic will actively submit proposals for use of its LED lighting systems in the public transport industry, including in station buildings and grade crossings.

Settsu-shi Station is scheduled to open as a “carbon neutral station,” with zero carbon dioxide emissions from the station. Starting in October 2009, Panasonic installed trial line-shaped LED lighting systems on the platforms at Minamikata Station on the Hankyū Kyōto Line.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #650
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Major service changes for Hankyū Kyōto Line coming
http://holdings.hankyu.co.jp/ir/data/ER200912092N1.pdf

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Coinciding with the scheduled opening of Settsu-shi Station, Hankyū Corporation will initiate schedule changes to the Kyōto Line on March 14, 2010.

Following in the footsteps of the Kōbe Main Line, construction of automatic train stop (ATS) equipment has been completed on the Kyōto Main Line. With the establishment of a foundation for substantially safer operations and the upcoming completion of the replacement of limited express 6300 series trains with new 9300 series trains, service speed will be increased, reducing travel time between stations. In addition, by changing service patterns and train connections and reevaluating operations during the early morning and late evening period, the new schedule offers much improved convenience.

During tourist season, Hankyū will operate direct-service trains to Arashiyama from Umeda and Kawaramachi, as well as the Kōbe and Takarazuka areas, improving service for passengers on trips to visit the Arashiyama area.

Main schedule changes:
  • Coinciding with the completion of ATS installation and the switch to 9300 series trains, maximum speed on the Kyōto Line will increase from 110 kph to 115 kph.
  • Crowding during the weekend rush hours will be relieved and convenience improved. In addition, schedules and service areas during the early morning and late evening periods will be modified.
  • During tourist season, direct-service trains will run to Arashiyama from Umeda and the Kōbe and Takarazuka areas.
Travel time (current → revised) between Umeda and Kawaramachi for the fastest train:
Towards Umeda: 43m30s → 42m50s
Towards Kawaramachi: 44m00s → 43m10s
Window view of Hankyū Kyōto Line rapid express from Kawaramachi to Umeda during the morning rush:
Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube

Part 1: Kawaramachi – Takatsuki-shi
The train stops at Karasuma, Ōmiya, Saiin, Katsura, Nagaoka Tenjin, and Takatsuki-shi.


Part 2: Takatsuki-shi – Umeda
The train stops at Ibaraki-shi, Awaji, and Jūsō. The train passes the construction site for the new Settsu-shi Station beginning at 8:52. The video ends with a view of Ōsaka’s north skyline and the six-track section across the Shin-Yodogawa (New Yodo River) before entering busy Umeda terminal.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #651
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Chiba Station reconstruction to start in January 2010
http://mytown.asahi.com/chiba/news.p...00000912090003
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2009/20091206.pdf

Quote:
On December 8, JR East’s Chiba Branch Office announced a plan to fully reconstruct Chiba Station. The station structure would be designed to straddle the tracks, the east and west exits of the stations moved onto the same floor, and a new transfer passage with the Chiba Urban Monorail’s Chiba Station constructed—all improvements that are expected to enhance the convenience of transfers and ease of use of the station. Construction will begin in January of next year, with a target completion date of FY2015.

JR Chiba Station sees approximately 107,000 daily entries (FY08), fourth in Chiba Prefecture after Funabashi, Nishi-Funabashi, and Kashiwa. However, the station is separated across different floors, with platforms located on the second floor of the station, the East Exit—serving as the main station entrance—on the first floor, and the West Exit on the third floor. The first floor features closely-spaced columns to support the platform level, impeding foot traffic and resulting in congestion. At 46 years old, the structure is showing its age and requires a seismic retrofit.

In addition, to transfer to the Chiba Urban Monorail located adjacent to JR, passengers must exit the East Exit faregates on the first floor and reenter the monorail station. The upper levels of the station building feature an array of commercial facilities catering to the younger generation, but the current situation doesn’t sufficiently serve the needs of passengers transferring between JR and the monorail.

With the reconstruction of the station structure, the connected station building Perie 1 will be reconstructed as a seven-story aboveground, one-story belowground tower, with JR hoping to satisfy neighborhood needs with the new facility, such as by installing daycare facilities inside the building. The gross floor area will increase to approximately 70,000 sq m, three times the current size. The second-floor platforms would remain as is, but a new concourse would be constructed on the third floor to better connect the East Exit and West Exit.

The concourse will feature increased space for passengers thanks to fewer columns and be designed as a bright, open area with LED lighting.

In January of next year, preliminary construction work will begin with the closure of some station shops and the relocation of station functions. The current station building will be closed in January 2011.

The reconstruction plan for Chiba Station was announced in September 2008. In addition to a total of six lines serving the station, including the Sōbu Line, Uchibō Line, and Sotobō Line, the complex “Y-shape” structure of the station made some question whether construction could proceed without the cancellation of train services. “We expect some difficulties in the construction process, but we have some conceptual plans to deal with it,” said Chiba Branch Office President Umehara Yasuyoshi. But while the basic design is complete, the new tenants have yet to be determined.

On December 8, JR East President Seino Satoshi addressed the reconstruction of JR Chiba Station at his regular press conference in central Tōkyō. “Many of our customers complained about the poor design of Chiba Station. We want to create an attractive commercial space for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors to Chiba,” said Seino.

While the railway and its group companies will shoulder the complete costs of reconstructing the station itself, the total construction costs have yet to be revealed. The funding arrangement for construction of the transfer passage with the monorail will be discussed in the near future with the appropriate government agencies.
A rendering of the new station. The roof level of a portion of the new building will also feature a garden.


Source: JR East

Chiba Station:

image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Source: ktokh on Flickr
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #652
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Renovated platform opens at JR Ōsaka Station
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/trend/...1158006-n1.htm

Quote:
Renovation work on a platform at JR Ōsaka Station, once popular for its wall art featuring images of the famous “blue train” sleeper trains, has been completed. The renovated platform was opened to the press on December 10. While the blue trains have disappeared, replaced by a new design featuring Japanese elements, the platform remains the starting point for journeys to the Hokuriku area, and will become a new face for Ōsaka Station.

The platform, located on the north side of the station, has been used for many years for departures to the Hokuriku area, and exuded its own aura, including illustrations of blue train passenger cars on the wall. As part of the station renovation work, the six platforms at the station were reduced to five, with a portion of the new North Building under construction used for the renovated platform.

The new platform conjures up images of the Hokuriku area, with brown walls and wood elements. As the new Platform 11, it will open to the public on December 20, serving limited express and express trains bound for Kanazawa, Toyama, and other destinations. The platform also features door location signs using light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The first train on the platform will depart on December 20 at 7:10 am, a Toyama-bound Thunderbird limited express.
The platform also features a waiting room, an AED unit, and a few retail kiosks. I will post pictures after it opens to the public.

More pictures of the emerging new face of JR Ōsaka Station (late November, early December):
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/















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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #653
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Sagami Ōno redevelopment project breaks ground
http://mytown.asahi.com/kanagawa/new...00000912070003

Quote:
On December 6, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new buildings to be constructed as part of the Odakyū Sagami Ōno Station Westside District Urban Redevelopment Project in Sagamihara City was held. Mayor Kayama Toshio, along with Director Ochi Kiyoshi and other members of the redevelopment union, were present. Construction of the buildings will be completed at the end of FY2012, while the complete improvements for the Westside District will be finished in FY2013, completing the first phase of the urban improvements to the station’s entire North Exit area.

The city’s development plan for the area was drafted in 1990. But after several setbacks—including when a big-name department store which would have become the main retail tenant backed out of the project—the city is finally ready to break ground. “This is a project I’ve helped bring to fruition as a civil servant. With the resolution of the various rightsholders, we are finally ready to start construction, and I can’t wait,” said Mayor Kayama as he greeted the audience.

The project site consists of approximately 3.1 ha in the Westside District at the North Exit of the station. In 2006, the redevelopment union for the project was approved for creation, and Nomura Real Estate Development was brought on to assist. Since then the details of the return of rights after completion of the project have been hammered out. The total cost for the project is ¥59.7 billion, with ¥20.0 billion of that coming in the form of funding from the city.

The buildings will consist of a North Tower and South Tower. The North Tower is 11 stories aboveground and one story belowground, with a gross floor area of 68,430 sq m. Tenants will include large-scale retail, a supermarket specializing in foodstuffs, and locally-owned retail shops. The South Tower will consist of 26 stories aboveground and one story belowground, with a gross floor area of 68,040 sq m. The South Tower will feature 308 condominiums (floors 5 through 26), small rental apartments (floors 6 through 20), public facilities, and shops.

At the second-story level between both towers, a public passage will be constructed that directly connects to the existing pedestrian deck at the North Exit of the station. Area roadways will also be improved. After completion, the project will become the third center of activity at the North Exit, after Isetan Sagamihara Department Store / Green Hall Sagami Ōno and Odakyū Station Square (the station building).
The official Sagamihara City page for this project is here:
http://www.city.sagamihara.kanagawa....ku/004911.html

Illustrations:


Source: Sagamihara City


Source: Sagamihara City

I posted a separate article about a plan by Sagamihara City to run BRT to this station here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=251

Images of Sagami Ōno:

North Exit area

image hosted on flickr

Source: yyc0523 on Flickr

Pedestrian deck

image hosted on flickr

Source: yyc0523 on Flickr

South Exit area

image hosted on flickr

Source: yyc0523 on Flickr

The “central hall” of the station:

image hosted on flickr

Source: yyc0523 on Flickr

The view from the 17th floor of the station building, Odakyū Station Square:

image hosted on flickr

Source: pnp0a03 on Flickr

The arcade at left continues to the Isetan Sagamihara Department Store.

image hosted on flickr

Source: pnp0a03 on Flickr
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:25 AM   #654
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Construction of Tōhoku Through Line section above Shinkansen to begin soon
http://www.decn.co.jp/decn/modules/d...00912040601001

Quote:
JR East will soon break ground on construction of an elevated structure for non-Shinkansen lines directly above the Tōhoku Shinkansen near Kanda Station on the Keihin-Tōhoku Line in Tōkyō. As part of the construction of the new Tōhoku Through Line connecting inner suburban lines from the Tōhoku / Jōban area and Tōkaidō area, approximately 260 steel elements weighing as much as 20 tons will be placed inside the Shinkansen trackway, forming a second elevated track level concealing the Tōhoku Shinkansen in the vicinity of Kanda Station. This is the first example of construction of a non-Shinkansen line above a Shinkansen line, and the work is expected to take 16 to 17 months. The work on the south end, which includes the second track level, is being undertaken by Kajima Corporation, while work on the north end is being undertaken by Tekken Corporation. The total cost is approximately ¥40 billion.

With work set to start in earnest soon on the second track level, the construction equipment to be used was presented to the press on December 2. The second track level will be constructed by connecting steel elements to 46 columns supporting a section of the existing Tōhoku Shinkansen elevated structure near Kanda Station, approx. 600 m in length. The steel elements consist of approx. 260 pieces, ranging from columns, joints, cantilever girders, and horizontal beams, with the heaviest elements weighing nearly 20 tons and the longest elements stretching just shy of four meters. As work will be restricted to the late evening and early morning periods when the Shinkansen is not in service (12:00 am to 5:30 am), one element a day is the limit on construction speed. “Considering days when work cannot be performed, such as during heavy winds, the construction period will last approximately 16 to 17 months,” says vice-chief of JR East’s Construction Works Department, Ōtsuka Kazufumi.

As the width of roadways adjacent to the Shinkansen track is narrow and securing construction space is difficult, cranes will be installed inside the Shinkasen trackway to perform the work. The steel elements are stored in a staging yard on the south side of Tōkyō Station and loaded onto a wagon during the daytime. During the nighttime, the wagon travels above the Shinkansen line, transporting the elements to the appropriate locations for placement. According to project manager Nagata Toshiaki, chief of Kajima’s JR Tōhoku Through Line Construction Administration Office, in July and August, a mockup of the Tōkyō Station staging yard was constructed inside the construction equipment center in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Simulations were conducted to confirm several tasks, including testing the use of gantry cranes to load steel elements and the time savings from using movable buffer stops.

The Tōhoku Through Line connects the 3.8 km between the Tōkaidō Line layover tracks on the north side of Tōkyō Station and the Tōhoku / Jōban Line storage tracks which stretch all the way down near Akihabara Station. As track space could not be secured near Kanda Station, the tracks will be constructed directly above the Shinkansen. After completion, through-service will be possible between Tōhoku / Jōban Line trains and Tōkaidō Line trains. The service is scheduled to open in FY2013, promising to reduce travel time between Tōkyō and Ueno by 10 minutes and relieving overcrowding on trains between Ueno and Okachimachi.
Tōkyō MX news report (2009.12.02):


Source: tokyomx on YouTube

Construction photos (2009.11.25):
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Near Kanda Station



Between Kanda and Tōkyō



Near Kanda, but on the north side, towards Akihabara



Extension of the Tōhoku / Jōban Line storage tracks near Okachimachi Station



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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:27 AM   #655
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Locals celebrate Chūō Line elevation
http://mytown.asahi.com/tama/news.ph...00000912070003

Quote:
Elevation of the JR Chūō Line between Mitaka and Kokubunji (6.2 km) was completed on December 6, eliminating grade crossings that rarely opened. Officials from local jurisdictions along the line boarded the first train on the new elevated track and celebrated the opening.

According to a December 2006 survey by the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government, crossing arms at all 13 grade crossings on this section remained down for a total of more than 40 minutes during the peak hour of the commute rush. The elevation of the outbound (away from Tōkyō) track was completed in summer 2007, and with the recently-completed elevation of the inbound track, the grade crossings can now be removed.

When the first train on the new tracks—a Tōkyō-bound rapid train departing from Takao—arrived at the new inbound platform at Kokubunji Station on December 7, just as dawn broke around 6:25 am, the crowd of anxious railfans began snapping photographs all at once. Officials from local jurisdictions, including Mayor Inaba Takahiko of Koganei City, as well as representatives from JR, crowded onto the first car of the train—a scene typically observed during the morning rush.

After departing the station to the applause of passengers, the train entered the ramp up to the new elevated structure, located between Kokubunji and the following station, Musashi Koganei. As the train slowly began to climb the grade, passengers applauded again. People in apartments and condominiums along the line watched the train as it rolled past, while passengers looking on the north side from inside the train called the views “refreshing” and “new.”

At 6:40 am, the train exited the new elevated structure, climbing back down to Mitaka Station. Mayors from Musashino City, Mitaka City, Koganei City, and Kokubunji City alighted together, smiling for the cameras. “I’m speechless. With the grade crossings gone, it will be a boon for the development of our communities,” said Musashino City mayor Murakami Morimasa, who boarded at Musashi Sakai Station.

Local jurisdictions and JR are examining ways to use the new land freed up below the elevated tracks.

Koganei City plans on installing bicycle parking and creating two 500 sq m spaces for citizen use. Near Higashi-Koganei Station, the city will also construct a field office.

Musashino City is also planning similar uses for its new land underneath the elevated structure, but is also considering the possibility of running its community bus MooBus as connected routes on both sides of the Chūō Line. The city also hopes that the elevation of the rail line will spur the improvement of north-south roads designated as prefectural routes. JR will also introduce retail tenant space near Musashi Sakai Station.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:28 AM   #656
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Chūō Line elevation

Videos:

Some clips of the operations on the night of the switch:
1. The last inbound (towards Tōkyō) trains using the ground platforms at Higashi-Koganei Station (a 201 series and E233 series)
2. An inbound train, bound only for Mitaka, arrives at Higashi-Koganei, traveling in the opposite direction on the outbound track.
3. Inbound journey from Higashi-Koganei to Mitaka on the outbound track.


Source: TRLVIEW on YouTube

The first inbound train to use the new elevated inbound track on this section. You can still see plenty of construction workers in the stations and along the tracks.


Source: dt46 on YouTube

Cab view from Kokubunji to Musashi Koganei.


Source: tsu1112k on YouTube

The last test trains and the first in-service inbound trains. JR was running test trains until the very start of service to make sure nothing was amiss.
The first car on the first revenue train is packed to the gills with press and city officials, so the cameraman takes the second train instead to Mitaka, where another train, signed as a Chūō special rapid, passes.


Source: dannkaioyaji on YouTube

Pictures of the new platforms:
http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/

Musashi Sakai Station





Higashi-Koganei Station











Musashi Koganei Station









With the completion of the Kokubunji – Mitaka section of inbound track, the last remaining section of track to be elevated as part of the project is the inbound track between Tachikawa and Kokubunji.

Work proceeding on the inbound track at Kunitachi Station:
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/

Platform 1 for Tachikawa, Hachiōji, and Takao. This was elevated in January 2009.



Facing east towards Shinjuku and Tōkyō.





Working on the new inbound tracks and platform. The inbound platform will consist of an island platform with two tracks.





Facing west towards Tachikawa, Hachiōji, and Takao.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #657
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New Keisei platform at Airport Terminal 2 Station
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

I posted an article about this here.

Now, some pictures from November 14. The comments here are from the original blogger.

Although the platforms officially opened for service, they are still performing some construction works in preparation for the Narita New Rapid Railway. This is the outbound track (toward Narita Airport), on the western end (towards central Tōkyō). The platform is still unfinished at this portion, but the original blogger suggests that once finished, the entire platform will be 16 cars long, possibly allowing for two eight-car trains to stop at the platform at the same time.



The outbound platform, which before November 14 served both trains in both directions. On the opposite side is the JR platform.



New inbound platform (towards central Tōkyō), at the east end facing in the direction of Narita Airport Station. The tunnel entrance is likely designed such to allow for future double-tracking to Narita Airport Station.





New inbound platform, which has separate “sections” for Skyliner and non-premium fare trains. The platform is 14 cars long (they couldn’t make it longer due to space constraints), so there is some overlap. This is the Skyliner half.



This is the half for non-premium fare trains.



The inbound track, towards central Tōkyō. The straight section continues onto the soon-to-open Narita New Rapid Railway, while the switch connects to the existing Keisei track to and from the Airport.





The new platform is designed to be as open as possible given the constraints, with ten of these passages connecting the old and new platform.











Parts of the platform are still under construction.





Skyliner door location sign on platform.



Same, for non-premium fare trains.



Similar signs are also posted on the wall of the station towards the bottom.

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Old December 14th, 2009, 10:49 AM   #658
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Just a few questions...

Why have two 8-car trains next to each other?

Also, this new subway link to provide faster service between the two airports. Is the article referring to the proposed asakusa bypass line, which will connect Tokyo station? IF it does, shouldn't the new line stop at Nihon-bashi as well? (Since it connects with the busiest subway line, which is the Tozai line which also connects all the way out to mitaka) What do you think? Also, is the 59-minute train link using the skyliner trains? SO that means that the skyliner will have two destinations. One being keisei-Ueno, and the other using the oshiage main line then connecting to the asakusa bypass line to go through central tokyo on an express route then reconnecting to keikyu at Sengakuji? ...Sounds good to me.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 11:50 AM   #659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibuyaBoy View Post
Why have two 8-car trains next to each other?
More flexibility and capacity, I suppose... Don't really know for sure what their intention is here. The existing line into Narita Airport is double-tracked, but JR and Keisei each operate only one track, so they may have determined they need extra platform capacity in case trains stack up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibuyaBoy View Post
Also, this new subway link to provide faster service between the two airports. Is the article referring to the proposed asakusa bypass line, which will connect Tokyo station? IF it does, shouldn't the new line stop at Nihon-bashi as well? (Since it connects with the busiest subway line, which is the Tozai line which also connects all the way out to mitaka) What do you think?
Yes, this is the Asakusa Bypass Line. Again, I'm not sure anybody really knows how many stations they are planning or what the service pattern will be like. The alignment seems somewhat limited, though, since they've already said the line would connect Oshiage and Sengakuji with a stop at or near Tōkyō Station. Since the stop at or near Tōkyō Station is a priority, given the proximity of Nihonbashi and its location with respect to Tōkyō Station, I doubt we'd see another station there... Depending on where they locate the new station, they could do some moving walkway type of thing to connect to Nihonbashi. It seems likely they'll make the station somewhere on the east side of Tōkyō Station anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShibuyaBoy View Post
Also, is the 59-minute train link using the skyliner trains? SO that means that the skyliner will have two destinations. One being keisei-Ueno, and the other using the oshiage main line then connecting to the asakusa bypass line to go through central tokyo on an express route then reconnecting to keikyu at Sengakuji? ...Sounds good to me.
Don't know what type of train they plan on running on it... Given the travel time / distance and the demand (primarily airport passengers), it makes sense to do something more like a limited express and less like a typical subway / commuter train, at least for the 59-minute trips. Whatever train it is, it will be using the Hokusō Line / Narita New Rapid Railway and it will need to be as fast as the New Skyliner, which has a top speed of 160 kph. I assume they'll be doing some kind of local service on top using subway / commuter EMUs that is slower and cheaper.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 06:03 AM   #660
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Thanks...

I guess the 16-car long platform does make sense, since I believe that there's only two tracks total at the airport, one for JR and one for Keisei?

What do you think is the best alignmnet for the Haneda-to-Narita airport link? I was thinking one at Oshiage (Tokyo sky-tree=new tourist/business area), then to Asakusa( to develope the area more completely as a tourist hub in Tokyo w/ new hotels, etc), and then one at Tokyo station, with a moving walkway that connects w/ Nihonbashi Speaking of that, they should definetely improve the transfer between Otemachi and Tokyo station as it is close, but not directly connected underground to Tokyo station. Maybe at least a moving walkway, what do you think? Because the transfer walking time, I think is too long to be considered convenient and is really a hassle.

Then to continue with the bypass line from Tokyo station to Shinbashi? Since it's close to the new developed(business) area of Shiodome, and then to Shinagawa, and then skip all stations all the way to Haneda airport.
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