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Old January 14th, 2014, 08:18 PM   #6601
quashlo
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Sōtetsu Ebina Station to get new North Exit
相鉄海老名駅に「北口」 20年度供用目指す、広場と周辺道路整備も

http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1401080026/

On 2013.01.08, Ebina City (海老名市) revealed plans to construct a new headhouse and ticketing entrance on the north side of Ebina Station on the Sagami Railway (Sōtetsu 相鉄) Main Line. The existing headhouse on the south side would also be replaced with a modern structure housing a nursery and clinic. The project is a joint effort between Sōtetsu and the national government scheduled for opening in FY2020, and the city will undertake a coordinated effort to construct a new North Exit station plaza.

Sōtetsu Ebina Station opened in 1941 and was relocated approx. 300 m southwest to its current location in 1973. Current average daily ridership at the station is approx. 112,000 passengers, but there is currently only one ticketing hall, located at the south side, resulting in substantial congestion during the rush hour and complicating station circulation for passengers.

According to Ebina City, a new two-story headhouse would be constructed at the north end of the Sōtetsu platforms, and the existing two-story headhouse on the south side of the station, connected to the Odakyū station, will be replaced with a three-story structure. A new platform bridge and transfer passage will be constructed above the Sōtetsu platforms to connect the two headhouses and to the Odakyū station.

The city has filed requests with Sōtetsu to construct a ticketing hall on the north side of the station since 1987. According to the city, the railway notified officials in December 2013 regarding plans to improve the existing station building. Taking advantage of funding from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the ¥5 billion cost for the improvements will be split in thirds among the national government, Ebina City, and Sōtetsu.

In coordination with the new ticketing hall at the north side, the city is looking to independently construct various improvements at the north side of the station, including a new North Exit station plaza and station access roads.



===

Walking through Odakyū and Sōtetsu Ebina Staitons:

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Old January 14th, 2014, 09:10 PM   #6602
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz View Post
A deep bore tunnel is not desirable at the stations. Something closer to the surface, at least in the vicinity of the stations, would be better.
Yeah, sorry for not making that clear. I was thinking of something maybe at roughly the level of the Keiyo line platforms for the stations, but diving under the subway lines between stations.

Quote:
Also, building all those Shinkansen platforms as-is underground at Tokyo (10 tracks, 5 platforms!!) would almost certainly be technically impossible, let alone prohibitively expensive.
I kind of figured that. But I wasn't sure just how pie-in-the-sky my thoughts of run-through operation were.


Quote:
The more realistic alternative would be to connect the Tohoku and Tokaido Shinkansen and run trains through from one onto the other. This is a very appealing notion from a customer's point of view. For example, one could reach Shinagawa and Yokohama directly from the Tohoku region without a transfer. Likely you could get by with about six tracks and three platforms, since most trains would no longer need to be turned at the platform anymore. The cost wouldn't be too much greater than the Asakusa Bypass Line, which will be expensive but not impossibly so.
Would this capacity include the Hokuriku Shinkansen? Or the Ou/Uetsu Shinkansen?


Quote:
This is also an appealing prospect from a real estate perspective; those above ground Shinkansen platforms take up a HUGE amount of extremely valuable land at Tokyo station - on the order of 50000 square meters. Redevelopment prospects alone might actually make it worthwhile, if civil engineering were the only problem they faced. Figure a very conservative 10 million yen per square meter, which yields 500 billion yen (5 billion dollars) which is probably in the ballpark of what it would cost to build. Land value could be even higher than that.
HOLY **************!!!!!

Suddenly, it's not so pie-in-the-sky anymore.

Quote:
However, the massive changes in rolling stock and operations (50hz vs 60hz, "Mini" Shinkansen, coupling and decoupling), not to mention the organizational cooperation between JR Central and JR East that this would require, probably put the whole idea out of reach.

Hmmm, thought.

Have the Tohoku/Joetsu trains continue to run as-is to Akihabara, then through a new tunnel south to Shinagawa, with stops at Tokyo and Shinagawa mirroring the one at Ueno. Follow up this with an extension underground looping around to the Shinagawa Shinkansen depot.

An identical set-up runs north to the Nippori yards for the Tokaido Shinkansen.

This increases capacity for both lines because the yards are beyond the final station (Ueno/Tokaido and Shinagawa/Tohoku), which means that dead-head maneuvers aren't interfering with passenger traffic.

Of course, then you have a four-track tunnel from Shinagawa to Ueno, and eight tracks under the three stations. But I imagine it might be somewhat doable.

Or, you could have six tracks under Tokyo-with no boarding permitted for in-bound trains and Tohoku and Tokaido sharing a single disembarking platform. Each departing direction would have two tracks on either side of an island platform. This would give you roughly the amount outlined above.

Any Shinagawa extension of the Tohoku/Joetsu Shinkansen should be designed to accomodate a future extension around to Shinjuku, completing a loop.

While I concur that undergrounding the Tokyo platforms would free up real estate, one would have to remember that I previously suggested extending extra tracks through Okachimachi, Akihabara, and on into Tokyo. These would likely require one or two additional platforms. Nevertheless, the three Tokaido platforms could likely be completely redeveloped.

Also, it has been standing desire/daydream of mine to see the Chuo Kaisoku platforms brought level with the main station, and the Yokosuka and Keiyo platforms somehow elevated. The Yokosuka/Sobu line would underground immediately across the river and continue as-is.

The Keiyo line would dive down from the Chuo Kaisoku platforms (the two would combine to use two island platforms and run-through), and assume it's current alignment as well.

All of this would free up significant underground space for the Shinkansen.

Of course, this is getting to be increasingly pie-in-the-sky . There are so many things about this that are so ludicrously expensive that it would never happen. Why not put a single-span train shed over the whole station while we're at it? It would probably tie with Broad Street in Philadelphia for widest of all time.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 12:58 AM   #6603
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Seibu TSE relisting in the works again
http://www.euronews.com/business-new...berus-sources/

Quote:
TOKYO (Reuters) – Seibu Holdings Inc and top shareholder Cerberus Capital Management LP <CBS.UL> will seek to relist the Japanese company in the coming months, sources said, allowing the U.S. investor to cash out most of its $1 billion-plus investment and ending a spat seen as a test of Japan’s openness to foreign capital.

The embattled railway and hotel group will seek a public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange early in the financial year starting in April, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The listing ends a public feud that had included a failed bid by the U.S. private-equity firm to put former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle on the Seibu board as part of its fight to gain more clout.

Cerberus stands to make a tidy profit from what would be a multibillion-dollar listing, a rare victory for foreign investors in tradition-bound Japan. Seibu may file an application for the sale as soon as Wednesday, the sources said.

The listing has been made possible by the stock market boom spurred by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s monetary and fiscal stimulus that allowed Seibu to return to financial health and not because it caved into the demands of Cerberus.

The 78 percent surge in Tokyo shares since Abe’s election campaign began in earnest 14 months ago has unleashed a rash of market fund-raising, including the $4 billion July listing of Suntory Beverage and Food Ltd <2587.T>, Asia’s largest of the year.

“In a way, without this market recovery, the fund could not have exited,” said Japan corporate-governance advocate Nicholas Benes. It is not clear if the currently unlisted Seibu has taken steps to improve governance, but it is “logical” for Cerberus to cash out some of its investment, said Benes, who heads the Board Director Training Institute of Japan.

Cerberus will sell about 20 percent of the company, more than half its 35.48 percent holding, the sources said. The agreement follows an overnight teleconference between Seibu President Takashi Goto and Cerberus Chief Executive Stephen Feinberg, they said.

The Asahi Shimbun reported on Sunday that Seibu would seek a relisting. The plans by Cerberus to sell off much of its stake have not been previously reported.

A Seibu official said the company had no comment “about matters related to listing due to legal restrictions. The timing of listing is undecided.” A Cerberus official also declined comment.

CULTURE CLASH

The Japanese company had been pushing to relist as soon as possible, while the U.S. investors wanted to see more changes in the company’s management and governance to secure a better price for the IPO, which had initially been envisioned for 2012.

Companies typically list their shares two to three months after submitting their application, but this listing could take a bit longer. A source familiar with the deal said Seibu will likely relist in the April-June quarter.

The underwriters for the IPO are Mizuho Securities, UBS and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Cerberus, which led a 2006 bailout of Seibu after its predecessor company was delisted over a false entry in its securities reporting, clashed publicly over the terms of the listing. The two companies stopped talking for about a year until mid 2013, when the U.S. investor demanded major changes at Seibu’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

Cerberus told Seibu to shut unprofitable local rail lines outside Tokyo or sell the company’s Seibu Lions baseball team to increase its returns despite local opposition that at one point saw a push in a local assembly to ban foreigners from owning land.

The U.S. firm also wanted half of the seats on an expanded board of directors, which would have included Quayle and former U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow.

Seibu fought back, personally lobbying Abe’s right-hand man, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, his official appointments diary showed at the time.

Cerberus’s efforts failed at the June shareholders’ meeting, prompting Cerberus to say that Seibu was going against the thrust of “Abenomics.”

(Additional reporting by Chikafumi Hodo; Editing by William Mallard and Matt Driskill)
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Old January 15th, 2014, 03:12 PM   #6604
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I have my doubts that they'll ever move the Shinkansen tracks underground at Tokyo Station--with a singular rare exception, Ueno Station, Shinkansen tracks at stations are always located at the second level above ground level (or in the case of Shin-Kobe Station, almost inside a mountain).

A more likely possibility is (maybe) cover the Shinkansen platforms with a single covered roof just like what was done at JR West Osaka (Umeda) Station.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 06:57 AM   #6605
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Thales Canada will design CBTC system for Jōban Local Line
http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com...to-jobs-129164

Quote:
MONTREAL and TORONTO—Thales Canada has won a contract from East Japan Railway to design the country’s first control signalling system for Tokyo’s Joban rail line.

The value of the contract was not disclosed but Thales says it will help preserve 800 jobs in Toronto and create additional positions in Japan.

The contract is the first of three phases that will be awarded before the signalling system is operational in about five years.

The CBTC (communications-based train control) signalling system continuously manages transit traffic using central telecommunications services. It promises to improve the line’s reliability by replacing conventional train control system while eliminating track circuits and reducing cabling.

The 30-kilometre Joban line has 14 stations and 70 trains.

Thales, a French-based aerospace, transportation and defence giant, was selected over Alstom and becomes the first non-Japanese company to supply signalling services in Japan.

“We are honoured to be the first international supplier to provide CBTC on the world’s busiest network,” said Michael MacKenzie, vice-president and managing director, Thales Canada transportation solutions.

“The work for the Tokyo Joban resignalling project will be designed and executed from our Urban Rail Signalling Centre of Excellence in Toronto.”

Although the CBTC system will be new to Japan, systems designed by various manufacturers, including Bombardier, are in operation in nearly 100 transit systems around the world, including Vancouver’s SkyTrain.

Thales Canada’s CBTC Seltrac system is in operation in more than 55 projects around the world, operating on more than 1,300 kilometres of railway tracks that carry about three billion passengers annually.

Thales Canada has 1,300 employees in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver and generated more than $570 million of orders in 2012.
A bit more info on this.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 06:58 AM   #6606
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Railway accidents involving dementia patients a serious issue in aging society
http://mainichi.jp/english/english/n...na009000c.html

Quote:
At least 149 railway accidents involving dementia patients or those suspected of having dementia claimed the lives of 115 people in the eight-year period ending in fiscal 2012, underscoring the need for prompt measures in a rapidly aging society.

Railway companies are required to report accidents to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, which the ministry compiles into official records. Through a freedom-of-information request, the Mainichi Shimbun obtained the ministry's records and police reports from fiscal 2005 on -- when the Long-Term Care Insurance Act was revised -- and found that because many accident reports did not note that those involved had dementia, the actual number of dementia patients in railway accidents may be even greater.

Many of the accidents are believed to have occurred due to wandering dementia patients entering dangerous areas that were not fenced off, or ducking under crossing bars, because they were unable to recognize the dangers of doing so. Some were found walking on tracks for several hundred meters, while others were hit by trains as they walked on bridges and in tunnels.

A 73-year-old woman who was killed in an accident in Osaka in January 2008 is believed to have climbed onto the tracks through an iron fence door located at the end of the station platform for railway staff. In other cases, people were killed as others were searching for them using information transmitted from their GPS systems.

In August 2013, the Nagoya District Court ordered the family of a dementia patient killed in a railway accident to pay approximately 7.2 million yen in damages to Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), siding with the company's claim that the family had neglected its responsibility to look after the victim. The family has since appealed the ruling.

Members of an association of families of people with dementia said it was impossible to watch dementia patients every single minute of the day, and expressed concern that being held to such heavy responsibility would stop many families from taking care of those with dementia in their own homes. In 2012, there were an estimated 8.62 million dementia patients -- including around 4 million people with mild cognitive disorders -- or about one in every four senior citizens.

The Mainichi Shimbun spoke with the bereaved families and other insiders whose names and addresses could be identified in 10 accidents involving nine railway companies, including the abovementioned case with JR Tokai.

According to the families, in addition to the ongoing JR Tokai case, Tobu Railway Corp. in two cases, and Kintetsu Corp. and the Nagoya Railroad Co. in one case each, had demanded bereaved families pay between approximately 160,000 and 1.37 million yen in damages. The company that demanded some 1.37 million sought damages for overtime wages paid to employees and the cost of alternative transport as a result of the accident. In this and another case, the amounts were reduced over the course of deliberations, but in all four cases, the bereaved families paid damages.

No compensation was demanded in the five other cases involving Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido), East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), West Japan Railway Co. (JR West), Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) and Nankai Electric Railway Co. According to the bereaved families, JR East said that it would "not demand compensation because it was confirmed the person in question had dementia," and Nankai said, "While we suffered a loss of approximately 1.3 million yen, we will not demand compensation."

JR East said that it did not communicate its intentions to the family in those terms, but that it was true that the company had deliberated the case and based on the facts, decided not to demand compensation. Nankai, meanwhile, said it would refrain from commenting on the case.

While there is a trend among JR companies not to claim damages in such accidents, it is not uncommon for other railway companies to demand compensation as a rule.

According to the General Insurance Association of Japan (SONPO), personal liability insurance may cover damages caused by railway accidents. Such insurance is usually a special provision of auto and fire insurance policies, and premiums run around several thousand yen annually. But because railway accidents are not always interpreted as being subject to such insurance policies, SONPO urges consumers to confirm eligibility with insurance companies.

In fiscal 2012, 295 people died in railway accidents. Suicides, meanwhile, whose data are separated from non-suicide railway accidents, numbered at 631.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 09:02 PM   #6607
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There is a plan rattling around to extend the Keiyo line underground clear across Tokyo to Shinjuku and connect it with the Chuo line somewhere in the vicinity of Mitaka. This would be a tremendoulsy expensive project but it would have benefits as far as congestion relief.

Short of that plan, it would make tremendous sense to connect the Chuo Kaisoku line to the Keiyo line at Tokyo Station, but you would need a ramp maybe 4-5km long to make up the 100m elevation difference. If you started climbing just west of the current Keiyo line station at Tokyo, it would surface somewhere in the vicinity of Yotsuya. The Chuo Rapd could be rerouted over this line, which would be a much straighter path dramatically improve travel times to Tokyo, but at the expense of losing the stops at Ochanomizu and Kanda. This would certainly be an awfully expensive project considering that it wouldn't really provide congestion relief on the worst part of the Chuo Line. It would also leave the question of disposition of the current Chuo Rapid line east of Yotsuya.
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Old January 17th, 2014, 05:44 PM   #6608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Thales Canada will design CBTC system for Jōban Local Line
A bit more info on this.
Why? I thought Japan had tons of companies qualified for this job.
I don't remember when was the last time Japan awarded any industrial contract to foreigners.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 12:21 AM   #6609
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Japanese companies tend to overcharge on their home turf. Buy awardibg smaller contracts to foreigners, their customers can bring in competition and force down prices.

As for undergrounding the Shinkansen... Is it really worth the immense costs though? There is some benefit to start the north-bound trains at Shinagawa once the Linear Shinkansen is open, but apart from that? I did change between Tohoku and Tokaido Shinkansen at Tokyo once, but what's the percentage of passengers that pass Tokyo north-southeast? 5%? Less?

With the Tohoku Through Line the biggest problem that the Shinkansen created has been resolved. That project pretty much locked the Shink into its current state. Remember that quite a number of other lines are fighting for the little remaining underground and aboveground space around Tokyo Station, the Monorail, Tsukuba Express and the Asakusa Line Bypass. We're more likely to see one of these.

If I had to pick a billion dollar undergrounding project for Tokyo, I'd rather have them bury the aging and ugly Shuto Highway.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 09:42 AM   #6610
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Quote:
but what's the percentage of passengers that pass Tokyo north-southeast? 5%? Less?
I reckon a low number like that. Those few passengers that need such routings probably just fly.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 05:16 PM   #6611
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Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
I reckon a low number like that. Those few passengers that need such routings probably just fly.
Passengers going from Sendai to Osaka for example would not necessarily be the primary market for such a through connection.

Passengers heading from the Tohoku Shinkansen to somewhere near Tokyo but easier to get to from Shinagawa or even Yokohama, and likewise passengers headed from the Tokaido Shinkansen headed to somewhere easier to get to from Ueno or even Omiya, are probably quite numerous. And as I mentioned above, the real estate taken up by the 10 tracks and 5 platforms at Tokyo Station is immensely valuable providing a big revenue stream that could fund at least part of the project.

The expressways on the other hand are mostly built over surface streets, so although burying them it would certainly make Tokyo look better, there's no real estate that can be sold to easily recover some of the costs.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:36 AM   #6612
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Sendai Subway to move to partial flat-fare structure with Tōzai Line opening
仙台市営地下鉄 中心部200円均一 東西線開業後に新運賃

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...3190000-n1.htm

Sendai City has announced a new fare structure to enter into effect with the opening of the under-construction Tōzai Line in 2015. The core of the network in the center of the city will move towards a flat fare of ¥200, making the system easier to use for passengers.

Fares for trips within a radius of three stations north–south or east–west of Sendai Station will be a flat ¥200. For example, the most expensive trip within the zone—a trip on the Namboku Line between Kita-Yonbanchō (北四番町) and Kawaramachi (河原町)—currently costs ¥250, but will now drop to ¥200 after the new fare structure takes effect. The flat-fare zone will cover 13 stations in the heart of city, between Kokusai Center (国際センター) and Yakushidō on the Tōzai Line and between Kita-Yonbanchō and Kawaramachi on the Namboku Line.

The city will also institute special fares for buses within a 1.5 km surrounding three new “transit hub” stations to open with the Tōzai Line extension: Yagiyama – Dōbutsu Kōen (八木山動物公園), Yakushidō, and Arai (荒井). Bus fares within a 1.5 km radius of each station will be a flat ¥100, enhancing the convenience of bus–train transfers and encouraging riders to take the Tōzai Line.

In regards to the city’s new Exca IC card to be introduced onto the Namboku Line in December 2014, the city will also roll out a points program after the Tōzai Line opens, awarding points to passengers each time they ride. The collected points can then be used to pay for fares. Passengers who transfer between the subway and buses within a fixed time limit will also accrue points.

===

A Mainichi Shinbun article also included some information regarding the fares for the Tōzai Line. The lowest “base” fare will be ¥200, increasing to ¥250, ¥300, ¥330, and ¥360 for each 3-km increment.

Some diagrams:
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2014/01/20140121t15017.htm



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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:37 AM   #6613
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Ibaraki submits petition for more Ueno–Tōkyō Line slots for Jōban Line
知事「一本でも多く」 常磐線東京駅乗り入れで期待

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...3220003-n1.htm

At a press conference on 2014.01.22, the governor of Ibaraki Prefecture reiterated his eager anticipation to maximize the number of slots on the new Ueno–Tōkyō Line (Tōhoku Through Line), a new line under construction between Ueno and Tōkyō Stations, for Jōban Line through-services.

The new line is scheduled to open in late March of next year, allowing Jōban Line, Tōhoku Line (Utsunomiya Line), and Takasaki Line trains to interline with the Tōkaidō Line towards Shinbashi and Shinagawa. With a finite track capacity, however, not all trains will be able to use the new line, and JR is currently working to mete out the slots to the three lines coming from the north.

At the press conference, the Ibaraki governor stressed that the Jōban Line has no Shinkansen service. The Utsunomiya Line and Takasaki Line both have parallel Shinkansen service and already operate direct service onto the west side of the Yamanote Line loop and Yokohama via the Shōnan–Shinjuku Line. While JR is likely considering extending Hitachi limited express services from the Jōban Line onto the new line, the governor also called for interlining as many as regular commuter EMUs as possible.

Currently, there are 39 trains arriving at Ueno Station during the 8:00 hour from all three lines, of which 20 are Jōban Line trains. Through-services onto the new Ueno–Tōkyō Line would reduce travel times to Tōkyō Station to 61 minutes from Tsuchiura (土浦) and 45 minutes from Toride (取手).

On 2014.01.21, the governor joined mayors from other municipalities along the Jōban Line on a visit to JR East’s headquarters in Tōkyō’s Shibuya Ward, meeting with the railway’s vice-president to submit a petition to maximize Jōban Line slots on the new line.

===

Passengers transferring at Ueno from the Jōban / Utsunomiya / Takasaki Lines to the Keihin–Tōhoku / Yamanote Lines:



Construction progress (2014.01.10):

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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:38 AM   #6614
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New pedestrian overpass opens to replace Totsuka grade crossing
“開かずの踏切”解消 「戸塚大踏切デッキ」きょう開通

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ka...802000145.html

A new pedestrian overpass over the major grade crossing on the north side of Totsuka (戸塚) Station in Totsuka Ward, Yokohama City opened to the public on 2014.01.18. The grade crossing is infamous for rarely opening (開かずの踏切) during the rush hours, when train traffic is heavy—the arms would only be open for a cumulative total of three minutes over the course of an hour. A new underpass for vehicles will also open in March of next year, which will mark the eventual realization of a plan that has taken 50 years to see to completion.

The crossing, known as the Totsuka Crossing (戸塚大踏切), was established in 1887 and lies at the intersection of the 6 tracks (JR Tōkaidō Line, Yokosuka Line, and Tōkaidō Freight Line) with National Route 1 (国道1号), a major road. Plans to eliminate the crossing were laid as early as 1962, but are only now being seen to completion after redevelopment plans for the station stalled. The completed pedestrian overpass measures about 80 m in length, and is approximately 8 m tall and 8 m wide. After completion of a new underpass for vehicles at a new location about 50 m north, the crossing will be permanently closed.

The total project cost is approx. ¥37 billion, of which about ¥1.7 billion is attributable to the new overpass. The national government is funding ¥15 billion of the project, while JR East is shouldering the costs of removing the grade crossing and associated equipment.

Completion of the pedestrian overpass now makes it much easier for pedestrians to move east–west across the tracks. The overpass is connected to the second-floor ticketing hall of Totsuka Station, as well as the new redevelopment outside the station and the Totsuka Ward government offices on the same level, enhancing convenience for travelers on foot.



===

Video of this crossing at 10× speed during the morning commute (0700 – 0900):



Kanagawa Shinbun video of the new bridge being lifted into the place:

New bridge:

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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:40 AM   #6615
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Niiza City to throw weight behind Ōedo Line extension
なるか 大江戸線の県内延伸 新座市長「開業へ全力」

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/sa...302000151.html

Niiza City is putting its weight behind lobbying efforts to get an extension of the Toei Subway Ōedo Line into Saitama Prefecture built in preparation for the new Transport Policy Council (交通政策審議会) report to be released next year. The report represents the national government’s policy on major railway infrastructure investments in Greater Tōkyō and is published once every 15 years. The city is currently in the process of assembling funds to construct a new station, and will hold a workshop for local property owners near the proposed station site on 2014.01.26. Hurdles remain in the project, however, including the need to devise a strategy to ensure sufficient and stable ridership levels for the extension, as well as earning the full support of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The site of the planned Niiza Chūō (新座中央) Station is currently not served well by rail, and passengers must instead take their car or the bus to the closest train stations. According to the city, the extension would reduce travel times to Shinjuku to about 35 minutes.

The last Transport Policy Council report published in 2000 recommended that construction of the first phase of the extension in Tōkyō’s Nerima Ward, from Hikarigaoka (光が丘) to Ōizumi Gakuenchō (大泉学園町), begin before 2015. An extension further westward into Saitama Prefecture wasn’t included in the first phase, and only recommended for consideration as a long-term project. The specific alignment of the extension was also not identified, with only a recommendation that the extension continue towards the JR Musashino Line.

Saitama Prefecture’s Niiza City and Tokorozawa City (所沢市), together with Tōkyō’s Nerima Ward and Kiyose City (清瀬市), are hoping to get a route that proceeds west from Hikarigaoka, through both Niiza and Kiyose, to Higashi-Tokorozawa Station on the Musashino Line. However, with the lack of progress on the first phase of the extension to Ōizumi Gakuenchō, Niiza City us hoping that the 2015 issue of the Transport Policy Council report will call for consolidating the two phases, instead having the entire extension to Higashi-Tokorozawa open concurrently.

A committee comprising the four local governments has estimated the total project costs for the extension at approx. ¥190 billion, with the national government funding 30% and the four local jurisdictions shouldering another 30%. Niiza City estimated its share of the funding at ¥5 billion and began assembling funds for construction in FY2000, already amassing ¥620 million.

However, the key to getting the extension built lies in securing enough ridership to justify the construction costs. The last Transport Policy Council report concluded that ridership may not prove high enough to justify an extension into Saitama.

Niiza City has since then crafted a master plan vision for a 90 ha area surrounding the future site of Niiza Chūō Station, including a university campus, medical facilities, retail facilities, and housing. A “smart interchange” would also be constructed along the Kan’etsu Expressway (関越自動車道) near the station in an effort to attract park-and-ride activity, encouraging drivers headed to central Tōkyō to transfer to the Ōedo Line. The city also has plans to construct a new yard for the line within city limits—there is little land of sufficient size in Tōkyō to accommodate a yard.

Tōkyō officials, however, are less enthusiastic about the proposal, saying they aren’t yet in a position to say whether or not the ridership levels will be adequate to justify the project. And while Nerima Ward says the second phase of the project to Niiza is important, it is still concretely focused on getting a groundbreaking for the first phase by 2015.

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Old January 28th, 2014, 02:55 AM   #6616
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Arriving at Shinjuku Station in super slow motion…
Very cool camerawork and editing.

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Old January 28th, 2014, 09:18 AM   #6617
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4:26 is, uhhh, unfortunate.

Aren't there some social mores in Japan regarding picture taking of people like this? But still very cool, you can clearly see the LED signs strobing as well as the AC current frequency seen in the varying light output.

Edited to add: Speaking of new camera technology, there are a few new cameras out that should be very good in low-light situations, one is the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera or BMPCC. I've seen a handful of Japan train videos crop up taken by a BMPCC by adding BMPCC to the YouTube search string of your choice, here's one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmpBqHG91qg

While this one doesn't mention BMPCC, this is the best dusk/nighttime cab view video I've seen yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkkJdgwkz6A

Also - I never would have guessed the Ueno-Tokyo project is still more than a year away from opening, it looks like a few months to my (admittedly uneducated) eye.

Last edited by smithrh; January 28th, 2014 at 09:29 AM.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 07:37 PM   #6618
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithrh View Post
Aren't there some social mores in Japan regarding picture taking of people like this?
Well, there are a few things to keep in mind in this situation, I think…

1. Yes, there are some people who might be extremely offended if they saw this taking place, but the guy isn’t Japanese, so he’s probably given the benefit of the doubt… Much easier to be forgiven for a small faux pas if you look like some tourist from halfway across the globe than if you are (or look) Japanese.

2. We don’t really know the circumstances of the filming, so it’s hard to say… He has similar videos of other stations around the world (you can do a Web search for his name and “Stainless”), so for all we know, he could have gone through all the appropriate channels to get permission to film on one of the trains. If you look like you are doing some sort of “official” film shoot, no one will bother you.

3. He was on a train filming the scene outside of the window… Most of the people on the platform wouldn’t even know they had been filmed and so couldn’t raise a fuss about it, and people on the train wouldn’t necessarily feel offended since they aren’t the ones being filmed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smithrh View Post
Also - I never would have guessed the Ueno-Tokyo project is still more than a year away from opening, it looks like a few months to my (admittedly uneducated) eye.
Yes, that's always been my feeling as well looking at the progress on the trackwork... But given the scope of the service changes that are involved, which could end up affecting several of JR East's major regional corridors in Tōkyō (Tōhoku, Jōban, and Tōkaidō, and potentially Sōbu and minor lines like the Saikyō Line), I think it just makes more sense to give themselves a little more cushion. Must be a headache trying to plan the timetable changes for something this large.

There's also more behind-the-scenes work related to rolling stock maintenance (downsizing of Tamachi Yard) and other stuff.

They probably judged that they wouldn't be able to get all of this done in time for this year’s timetable revisions, so best to wait for next March, although perhaps a mid-year revision may have been an alternative option.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 07:39 PM   #6619
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Itōchū, Kawasaki, Kinki Sharyō consortium
http://www.itochu.co.jp/en/news/2014/140124.html

Quote:
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”), The Kinki Sharyo Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Higashi-Osaka, Osaka; Itsuo Morishita, President) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Shigeru Murayama, President) (hereinafter, the Consortium) announced today that the Consortium has been awarded a contract by MTR Corporation Limited (hereinafter, MTR) to modify rolling stock and to supply new train cars. The value of the contract is approximately 1.1 billion Hong Kong dollars (approximately 14.8 billion yen) and delivery of the new train cars will start in July 2015. The modification of existing rolling stock will be carried out in stages with completion expected for 2018.

MTR is in the process of building the Shatin to Central Link (hereinafter, SCL), a new railway line scheduled for completion in 2018. After the completion of the SCL, the two existing MTR routes, the West Rail Line (Hung Hom Station to Tuen Mun Station) and the Ma On Shan Line (Tai Wai Station to Wu Kai Sha Station) will connect east and west through the SCL and start operations as the new East West Corridor (hereinafter, EWC). With the inauguration of the EWC, it is expected to greatly increase convenience for passengers.

At this time, the Consortium has received the order outlined below.

(1) The Consortium will modify the rolling stock supplied in the past
At present, MTR is operating the train cars supplied by the Consortium in the past in configurations of 12, 7 and 4 car-train divided between the East Rail Line, the West Rail Line and the Ma On Shan Line. The Consortium will carry out modification work of the existing rolling stock to the EWC route specifications.

(2) Supply of the intermediate cars
The Consortium will supply 36 intermediate cars to convert the rolling stock to a standard train configuration for EWC.

The Consortium has been the supplier of the rolling stock to MTR Corporation including the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), the predecessor of MTR. The new intermediate cars are the same type of stainless steel vehicle as the rolling stock supplied in the past, and are noted for the exceptional quietness both inside and outside the vehicles as well as a high level of comfort and environmental performance. The award of this order shows appreciation of the way the Consortium has executed past contracts very well and the high level of reliability of the delivered rolling stock.

The Consortium is pleased to continue to contribute to the development of social infrastructure in Hong Kong through the rolling stock business.
Japanese press releases:
http://www.itochu.co.jp/ja/news/2014/140124.html
http://www.khi.co.jp/news/C3140124-1.pdf
http://www.kinkisharyo.co.jp/ja/news/news140124.htm

Map of SCL:



Existing trains to be refurbished:

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Old January 28th, 2014, 07:41 PM   #6620
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Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyō submitted a bid on the CTA’s contract to build 846 new 7000 series cars, but it looks like Bombardier will get the win based on price ($1.14 billion vs. $1.55 billion). Apparently, Kawasaki was also interested but did not submit:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7601065.story
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