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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:37 PM   #6621
quashlo
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Japanese government to begin IC card export push starting with Vietnam
IC乗車券をアジア展開 まずベトナムに20万枚 政府、ODAで後押し

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...20C14A1MM8000/

The Japanese government will begin exporting public transit fare collection systems based on IC card technology to the Asian market. Making use of official development assistance (ODA), the government will first distribute 200,000 farecards, including the necessary processing equipment, free of charge to bus users in Hanoi, Vietnam starting in May. Transportation infrastructure development is making headway in developing Asian countries as a result of population growth, and the government hopes to give a push to Japanese technology in this particular business sector.

The system being introduced to Vietnam is Sony’s contactless IC card technology, called FeliCa (フェリカ). East Japan Railway Company’s Suica (スイカ) card and virtually all of Japan’s IC cards for commercial businesses are based on the FeliCa system.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (国際協力機構) will team with Dai Nippon Printing (大日本印刷) and local affiliates of Sony and NTT Data (NTTデータ) to provide the system. Local production of the cards in Vietnam will begin in May, together with installation of the fare collection system and reader equipment. The estimated total cost of the endeavor is approx. ¥100 million, with the Japanese government footing the entire cost through ODA.

By June, Vietnam plans to roll out the system on 26 buses operating on a 30 km north–south bus route through Hanoi City. The first step involves distributing IC card-based monthly passes, with the system eventually expanding to a prepaid system that allows passengers to top up their cards with value, paying each time they ride, once local residents have taken to the cards. The system is also being considered for use on new under-construction railways.

Hanoi, with a growing population of about 6.5 million, is faced with chronic traffic congestion as a result of a dramatic rise in the number of motorbikes and automobiles. As a result, expansion of bus and urban rail services has been a critical task for the city.

In the past ten years, the number of bus routes through the city have almost tripled to the current network of 80 routes, and there are plans to construct bus rapid transit (BRT) routes in the future, complemented by a six-line urban rail system being constructed with funding from Japan, France, China, and others. As a result, there is a high probability that demand for IC cards will increase in the future.

Many other developing countries in mainland Asia have ambitious plans to expand transport infrastructure, and there is plenty of opportunity for growth in IC card systems. The Japanese government hopes to target Thailand, India, and China as potential end markets for its IC card technology.

There are several public transit smartcard systems in use worldwide. Japan’s version features a high-performance integrated circuit (IC) chip with a low processing time at card readers. The card is also capable of recording a large amount of data, making it an ideal solution for situations requiring transfers. Overseas, a “Type A” system developed by Philips and other European and North American firms is the de facto standard. While the system falls short of the Japanese system in functionality, the selling point of Type A systems is the lower cost. As a result, these card systems are making some headway in the Asian market.

Japan’s system has already been introduced to Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, and other locations, but isn’t compatible with the Type A system. To prevent a complete blackout of the Asian market by Type A systems providers, the Japanese government will use ODA to minimize the initial investment costs for local governments in developing countries when going with a FeliCa-based system.

Increased takeup of Japanese smartcard technology in mainland Asia could also make it easier for Japanese residents to make travel arrangements and go shopping in overseas destinations. Demand for IC card-compatible products including rail and bus rolling stock, vending machines, and other products is also expected to increase. The Japanese government has established a goal of bolstering the country’s infrastructure exports to ¥30 trillion, triple the current amount, by 2020.

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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:38 PM   #6622
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Construction approvals are all go for Nanakuma Line extension
福岡市交通局、七隈線延伸区間の第2次工事施行が認可

http://response.jp/article/2014/01/25/215803.html

On 2014.01.24, the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau (福岡市交通局) received approvals to begin construction on the second phase of the Nanakuma Line extension, which would involve constructing 1.4 km of new track and stations to extend the line about 1.6 km from Tenjin Minami (天神南) to Hakata (博多).

Fukuoka City was successfully awarded a franchise to operate the extension in June 2012, later filing an application on 2012.12.07 to begin construction on the first phase of the extension, involving civil and structural works. Those construction approvals were awarded on 2013.04.11. The city filed applications one month later on 2013.05.10 for the second phase of the extension, involving the electrical and automatic train control (ATC) systems.

The award of construction approvals for the second phase means that all the necessary construction approvals have been obtained. The city will break ground on the project this fiscal year, with an opening scheduled for FY2020.



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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:39 PM   #6623
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Kintetsu–Hanshin through-services to begin with charters in March
神戸から伊勢志摩へ 臨時直通特急3月運行

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/shakai...06657518.shtml

On 2014.01.23, Hanshin Electric Railway (阪神電鉄) and Kinki Nippon Railway (近畿日本鉄道) announced that they would begin operating special through-services between Sannomiya Station in Kōbe and the Ise–Shima area in Mie Prefecture starting on 2014.03.22. The services will operate on an irregular basis and will target groups looking to charter trains. Hopes of seeing direct service from Kōbe to the major tourist destinations in Ise–Shima ran high when the Hanshin Namba Line (Amagasaki – Ōsaka Namba) first opened in March 2009, but those dreams are just now being realized after five years.

Currently, there are “rapid express” (快速急行) through-services running on both Hanshin and Kintetsu tracks, between Sannomiya and Kintetsu Nara. To reach Ise–Shima, however, passengers needed to change trains to a limited express (特急). Kintetsu has been actively negotiating with Hanshin to operate direct-service limited expresses from Kōbe in the hopes of capturing new tourist demand. Hanshin had expressed some concerns, however, particularly with respect to how to charge fares (Kintetsu charges a premium for its limited expresses, while Hanshin doesn’t).

In order to make the through-services possible, Kintetsu limited express trains will be equipped with additional Hanshin-compatible automatic train stop (ATS) modules. The trains will operate as group charters on an irregular basis, targeting sightseeing groups and school fieldtrips. Kintetsu plans to operate about 50 roundtrips annually, primarily on the weekends. The new service will connect areas along the Hanshin network with Ise–Shima and Nara, and the railways will operate the service with flexible stopping patterns to meet the needs of the charter groups.

At a joint press conference on 2014.01.23, Kintetsu says that it hopes the change is the first step towards making limited express through-services part of the regular schedule, with the eventually possibility of operating the new Shimakaze trainsets on these runs. Hanshin was eager to capture new tourist demand, but said that developing a timetable pattern that could accommodate regular limited express through-services would be difficult.

The first trips on March 22-23 will be day trips operated by 6-car Kintetsu 22600 series Ace sets first introduced in 2009, with stops at Uji Yamada (宇治山田), Toba (鳥羽), Shima Isobe (志摩磯部), and Kashikojima (賢島). A total of four different courses to destinations such as Ise Jingū shrine (伊勢神宮) and Shima Spain Village (志摩スペイン村) will be offered, and the trips will take about 3 hours one-way. Tickets will range from ¥10,500 to ¥15,500 per adult.

22600 series





===

Good news, and hopefully they can find a solution for regular through-services that are suitable to both parties. I can imagine Kintetsu might even be thinking of extending it further, out to Himeji… Himeji to Ise–Shima might be a stretch, but Himeji to Nara is entirely doable and seems like it could compete well with JR given that Kintetsu Nara Station is in a far better location than JR Nara Station.

Action on the Hanshin Main Line, with Hanshin, Kintetsu, and San’yō rolling stock:

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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:40 PM   #6624
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Ōsaka City earmarks funding for design of new Ume-Kita Station
うめきた新駅:大阪市、来年度予算に設計委託費計上へ

http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20140...40243000c.html

In regards to construction of a new underground rail station and alignment through the Ume-Kita (うめきた) area north of Umeda Station in Kita Ward, the two project leads—Ōsaka City and JR West—have agreed on a funding sharing arrangement. The new station will be directly connected with JR Ōsaka Station, and when the project is completed, travel times from the two stations to Kansai International Airport (関西国際空港) will be reduced by about 20 minutes. Construction will begin in FY2015, with completion targeted for FY2022 close.

According to the city, the total project cost is approx. ¥69 billion, with JR West funding about ¥11.5 billion and the remainder being split half-half between the local (Ōsaka City) and national governments. The city plans to ¥10 million in its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year to cover the cost of subcontracting the design work for the project to JR West. Detailed design will begin as early as this autumn.

The new route is about 2.4 km long and involves underground about 1.7 km of the existing Umeda Freight Line (梅田貨物線) between Shin-Ōsaka (新大阪) and Nishi-Kujō (西九条), a branch line of the JR Tōkaidō Line, as it passes through the Ume-Kita area.

Currently, the Haruka limited express connecting Kyōto and KIX via central Ōsaka uses the Umeda Freight Line through Kita Ward, and does not stop at JR Ōsaka Station. Between JR Ōsaka Station and KIX, the fastest one-seat service is provided by the Airport Rapid (関空快速) through-services operated via the Ōsaka Loop Line and Hanwa Line, which takes a minimum of 63 minutes. The new route will allow Haruka trains to stop at the new station, which will be directly connected to JR Ōsaka Station, reducing the travel times to as little as 45 minutes between the new station and KIX.

===

Great to see this moving forward… This is one of Ōsaka’s next big rail projects, and while it doesn’t offer a one-seat ride connection between Ōsaka Station and KIX in the purest interpretation, it’s still pretty good, and doesn’t look to be much worse than the Yokosuka Line / Sōbu Line situation with the Narita Express at Tōkyō Station.

Map:
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/new...1338011-n1.htm

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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:41 PM   #6625
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ICOCA will launch on JR Shikoku on 2014.03.01

Press release:
http://www.jr-shikoku.co.jp/03_news/...4-01-27/01.htm

Currently, JR Shikoku accepts JR West’s IC farecard ICOCA at only two stations in Shikoku—Takamatsu (高松) and Sakaide (坂出). The current service is designed to cater to ICOCA users who travel between the Okayama / Fukuyama areas of the main island (Honshū) and Shikoku via the Seto Ōhashi Line.

Last year, the railway announced that it would expand its acceptance of ICOCA to additional stations, and they have now selected 2014.03.01 as the official launch date. IC card-compatible faregates will be installed at 11 stations on the JR Yosan Line between Takamatsu and Tadotsu (多度津) and the Seto Ōhashi Line between Kojima and Utazu (宇多津), now making it possible for ICOCA users to pay with their ICOCA card for fare payments within the coverage area.

JR Shikoku will issue a unique version of the card featuring a special graphic design distinct from JR West’s version. Cards issued by JR Shikoku will only feature stored fare capabilities and will not come with other functionality such as electronic money. However, cards issued by JR West, which feature these additional functions, will be accepted on the railway.

Coverage:



Card design:
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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:42 PM   #6626
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Yokohama City earmarks money in FY2014 budget for Blue Line extension
地下鉄3号線延伸 事業化に向け14年度予算に計上へ/横浜市

http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1401270031/

A committee tasked with investigating a comprehensive future transportation vision for Yokohama City met on 2014.01.27 and indicated that it plans to begin preparations to move forward with the proposed extension of Yokohama Municipal Subway Line 3 (横浜市営地下鉄3号線), which the Transport Policy Council, a national-level government entity, identified as appropriate for an opening by 2015. The committee has identified the extension as a high-priority project, and according to city officials, plans to begin basic detailed studies for the extension starting in FY2014, in preparation to move ahead with the project. About ¥30 million will be earmarked in the FY2014 budget to cover various costs related to the project.

The project involves extending the city’s Blue Line subway from the current terminus at Azamino to Shin-Yurigaoka, which would significantly improve regional transport connections. The project is expected to financially feasible, and the city has established it as a high-priority item, with movement possible once things have settled into place with the under-construction Kanagawa East Line (神奈川東部方面線), being built as part of the Sōtetsu–JR Link (相鉄・JR直通線) and Sōtetsu–Tōkyū Link (相鉄・東急直通線).

According to an interim report by the committee, the Blue Line extension is expected to generate about 45,000 to 53,000 new daily passengers, similar in scope to the Sōtetsu Izumino Line. Estimated costs for the project are about ¥130 billion to ¥150 billion, and its expected the line will completely pay itself off some time between its 23rd or 31st year of operation. Travel times between Azamino and Shin-Yurigaoka will be reduced frm the current 30 minutes to about 10 minutes.

According to officials, the city plans to earmark about ¥55 million total in its FY2014 budget for railway planning efforts. Aside from the ¥30 million for the Blue Line extension, the city will also set aside about ¥25 million to study improvements to existing stations, including overcrowding relief at Higashi-Totsuka Station, barrier-free improvements to the South Exit at Ishikawachō Station, and changes to allow mid- and long-distance commuter trains to stop at Tsurumi Station.

===

Of particular interest is the mention of having mid- and long-distance commuter trains (中距離電車) stop at Tsurumi Station. I have never heard of this project, but we can be fairly certain that they are talking about the Tōkaidō Line and / or (more likely, perhaps) the Yokosuka Line / Shōnan–Shinjuku Line… Currently, only the Keihin–Tōhoku Line stops at Tsurumi and is perhaps one of the three most important stations in the Keihin corridor between Shinagawa and Yokohama, the other two being Kawasaki and Kamata.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:43 PM   #6627
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Haneda Airport express coaches to begin accepting IC cards
http://response.jp/article/2014/01/14/214834.html

Airport Transport Service Co., which operates a variety of direct express bus routes serving Haneda Airport—the so-called “limousine buses” (リムジンバス)—will begin accepting PASMO cards for ticket payment on 2014.01.21. The company will also accept any of the other nine cards participating in the nationwide interoperability program, such as Suica and ICOCA.

Initially, the service will only be rolled out for airport-bound buses, and only on selected routes—from Toyosu Station, from Kokusai Tenjijō Station (国際展示場駅), from Tōkyō Big Sight, from Tōyōchō Station, from Akihabara Station, and from Ichikawa Station / Tomihama (Myōden) / Gyōtoku Station. While the service will not be available for trips departing from the airport, the company will eventually include those trips in the program.

===

Press release:
http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/news/140121.html
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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:44 PM   #6628
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Platform door installation on Tōkyō Metro Yūrakuchō Line complete
東京メトロ有楽町線、ホームドア全駅設置を前倒し

http://response.jp/article/2014/01/24/215681.html

On 2014.01.23, Tōkyō Metro announced that it would begin opereating the platform doors at Senkawa Station on the Tōkyō Metro Yūrakuchō Line on 2014.02.08, ahead of the original schedule (2014.02.22). The start of platform door operations at Senkawa Station will mark the completion of Tōkyō Metro’s initiative to install platform doors on all 4 stations of the Yūrakuchō Line.

The first platform doors on the Yūrakuchō Line began operating at Kotake–Mukaihara Station (小竹向原駅) on 2008.06.14, with later stations gradually being outfitted with the safety system. By June 2013, only Senkawa, Toyosu, and Tatsumi Stations had yet to see their platform doors installed. With the latter two stations receiving their doors last year, Senkawa is the last remaining station.

Currently, platform doors are installed on 23 stations on the Yūrakuchō Line; all stations on the Namboku Line, Maruouchi Line, and Fukutoshin Line; and two stations on the Chiyoda Line (Kita-Ayase Station and Platform 0 at Ayase Station). Once the installation at Senkawa enters service, a total of 84 stations in the Tōkyō Metro network (47% coverage) will feature platform doors.

===

Press release:
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2014/p...syurakucho.pdf

New platform doors at Tatsumi Station:

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Old January 29th, 2014, 05:58 AM   #6629
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Quote:
I have never heard of this project, but we can be fairly certain that they are talking about the Tōkaidō Line and / or (more likely, perhaps) the Yokosuka Line / Shōnan–Shinjuku Line
I agree with you that likely they are talking about Yokosuka/Shonan Shinjuku line trains. Having Tokaido Line trains stop at Tsurumi may impact their time competitiveness vs. Keikyu's Kaisoku Tokkyu service, which do not stop at Keikyu Tsurumi.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 08:06 AM   #6630
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Has Tokyo Metro announced plans to put in platform doors on the Ginza Line?
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Old January 29th, 2014, 08:45 PM   #6631
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Yes, it's part of the ¥50 billion refurbishment of the line:
http://www.tokyometro.jp/series1000/...on/enterprise/
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Old January 29th, 2014, 08:46 PM   #6632
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Asahi Shimbun has a nice photo series on the experimental platform door technologies currently being tested in Japan.
http://www.asahi.com/and_M/gallery/2...rain_formdoor/

First, the rope doors at Tsukimino Station on the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line, developed by Nippon Signal (日本信号). The ropes are lightweight, alleviating the structural burden of existing platform doors and reducing the installation costs to one-third of the current systems.





The pylons are placed at 10 m intervals. The installation began operating on the full length of the outbound platform on 2014.01.18.



The ropes are resilient, stainless steel. Chimes and voice announcements are played when the ropes are moving.





The ropes remain in a low position and don’t begin moving until just before the train has come to a complete stop. Most existing platform doors don’t open at all until the train has come to a complete stop.



The train’s doors can be opened once the ropes have been full raised, minimizing time loss and schedule impacts.



The ropes are designed to be well clear of the vertical clearance of train’s doors when fully raised, eliminating any impacts to passengers boarding or alighting.





The ropes only begin moving down once the train has begun departing, but will not close if the safety device detects a passenger at the platform edge.





Some of the Tōkyū 5000 series cars feature six doors per side, which made it impossible to accommodate platform doors using existing designs.



Train crews were out in the field to observe the system in operation and identify any potential safety concerns in the trial installation.

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Old January 29th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #6633
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Next, an alternative rope design at JR Sakurajima Station on the JR Yumesaki Line, developed by JR West.



Unlike the Nippon Signal design, the pylons in the JR West design move up and down together with the ropes.



Signage warns passengers not to put their fingers in the pylon pocket.







Once the train has come to a complete stop, the conductor steps out and operates the doors. When preparing for train departure, it’s the same, but in reverse… The platform doors close first, followed by the train doors, just like existing platform door systems.





Video monitors are mounted at the last car position to allow the conductor to confirm that there are no trapped or stranded passengers.



This type of system is perfect for JR West, which operates a lot of different door configurations on its zairaisen rolling stock.

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Old January 29th, 2014, 08:48 PM   #6634
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The bar type at Yayoidai Station on the Sōtetsu Izumino Line, supplied by Takamizawa Cybernetics (高見沢サイバネティックス), which has experience supplying existing platform door systems.





In emergencies, passengers can press this button, allowing them to manually move the bars. Staff from Takamizawa Cybernetics are deployed at the station all day while trains are in service, but there have been no issues thus far.



After confirming that the train has stopped at the correct position, the conductor steps out to control the platform doors. The system can be adapted to allow for automatic operation of the platform doors in coordination with the train doors.





Like the JR West design, the pylons in this design also move up and down in concert with the bars.





The bars only rise once the train has come to a complete stop and the conductor has confirmed that everything is clear.



This system is only being tested on the end car position on the outbound platform.

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Old January 29th, 2014, 08:49 PM   #6635
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Last is the “smart” platform doors that can move laterally along the platform edge to match the door configuration of the arriving train. This system is being tested at Shin-Tokorozawa Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line and was developed jointly by Tōkyō University’s Institute of Industrial Science (東京大学生産技術研究所) and Kobelco (神戸製鋼).





The trial installation is only one carlength, located on the lightly-used Platform 1.



Existing platform doors move only the door leaves, but this system moves the entire pocket as one unit.





A location detection sensor (位置検出センサー) installed along the track, detecting the train’s movement and stopped position.



About one minute before train arrival at the platform, the lamps begin flashing and the doors begin to slowly move into the correct positions.







Once the train has come to a stop, the platform doors move again to correct for the train’s ultimate stopped position, as long as the margin of error is less than 1 m in either direction. Currently, trains that have over- or under-run existing platform door installations must have their positions corrected manually by the train operator.



After the doors correct for the train position, the conductor opens the doors.





The conductor presses the button to close the doors. The “half door” at the conductor’s standing position closes separately.





These doors are scheduled to finish testing around February, with the remainder of the systems wrapping up by this fall.

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Old January 29th, 2014, 11:09 PM   #6636
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I know they're beyond expensive, but those moving "smart gates" are amazing, aesthetically pleasing and a triumph of technology. If only they were cheaper...

Excellent summary, Quashlo.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 02:45 AM   #6637
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Itōchū to participate in PPP rolling stock project in Queensland
http://www.itochu.co.jp/en/news/2014/140129.html

Quote:
On January 15, 2014, the NGR Consortium which includes ITOCHU achieve Financial Close upon concluding a project agreement with the Queensland Government for the “New Generation Rollingstock Project”. The Project will be delivered as a Public Private Partnership (PPP)*1 whereby the Consortium will deliver 75 new six-car trains and will be responsible for the maintenance of the trains for a period of around 30 years .

The other members of the Consortium are Bombardier Transportation Australia, John Laing and Uberior. The project scope includes the delivery of the 75 new six-car trains, the maintenance of the trains as well as the construction and maintenance of a new maintenance center (depot). The Consortium is expected to deliver its first train by end of 2015, complete the delivery of all trains by the end 2018 and provide maintenance services until 2046.

ITOCHU Corporation will participate as 25% equity shareholder and provide directors to the NGR project companies. In addition, Bombardier Transportation Australia and ITOCHU Corporation through its subsidiary have formed a consortium to perform the design and construction services during the Delivery Phase pursuant to the Design & Delivery (D&D) Contract. Four Japanese banks - Mizuho Bank, Shinsei Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Aozora Bank will be a part of an international banking group who will provide project finance for the project.

Background of the New Generation Rollingstock Project and the NGR Consortium
The State of Queensland, the third largest state in Australia whose current population is 4.7 million people, expects a population growth of 2.3 million over the next 18 years. The New Generation Rollingstock Project will provide increased passenger capacity with the cutting edge six-car trains, while simultaneously providing superior performance, reliability and cost-effective services for passengers. The Project is the largest order of new trains and will be an integral part of its vision to deliver better infrastructure to the people of Queensland.

For ITOCHU, the Project is the second PPP project following the successful Aquasure desalination project in Victoria in 2009. ITOCHU is currently placing a strategic emphasis on PPP projects and its participation in PPP projects is deemed to increase in regions where the demand for the implementation and enhancement of infrastructure through the PPP framework is expected to intensify such as Australia, Europe and North America.

(Note 1*) Public Private Partnership (PPP) is a partnership between the public (government) and private sectors for the purpose of more effectively delivering government projects (e.g. infrastructure projects) or government services.



===

Japanese press release:
http://www.itochu.co.jp/ja/news/2014/140129.html
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Old January 30th, 2014, 02:46 AM   #6638
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Okinawa bus lane to be extended
バスレーン延長で調整 4月目指す基幹バス

http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article.php?id=59615

In regards to exclusive bus lanes for trunk bus routes between Naha City (那覇市) and Okinawa City (沖縄市), on 2013.12.26 it was revealed that Okinawa Prefecture and the Okinawa Prefectural Police Department were in the final stages of preparing a plan to extend the first-phase implementation of the project starting in April of next year. The extension would add a new section of exclusive bus lanes between Ameku (天久) in Naha City and Yafuso (屋富祖) in Urasoe City.

The Prefectural Police Department has expressed a cautious stance towards extending the bus lanes as a result of concerns that roadway congestion could substantially worsen, and has been emphasizing the need for additional measures to mitigate the traffic impacts and supplement enforcement of the bus lanes. In response, officials have proposed options to deploy staff along the proposed route to increase driver awareness, as well as improve bus stop signage, in the hopes of implementing an extension in April 2014. Should an evaluation of the effectiveness of the project show that the measures have not improved the situation, officials also promised that they would re-evaluate both the first phase and the future second phases of the project to address the concerns.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 02:47 AM   #6639
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Tokushima planning riverboat service
乗降場、助任橋など7カ所 徳島市の川の駅構想

http://www.topics.or.jp/localNews/ne...383576502.html

A citizens’ workgroup tasked with discussing a proposed riverboat system for the Shinmachi River (新町川) and Suketō River (助任川) surrounding Hyōtan-jima island (ひょうたん島) in central Tokushima City compiled its final plan on 2014.01.22. The plan calls for establishing a total of boat slips at seven locations around the island including at Shinmachi Bridge (新町橋) and Suketō Bridge (助任橋). The working group will submit its report to the mayor on 2014.02.10.

The final plan recommends that the terminus of the new riverboat service be established at the new Shimachi Bridge Riverbank Pier (新町橋河畔桟橋) to be constructed as part of the Shinmachi West Area Redevelopment Project (新町西地区再開発事業), with additional stops at existing piers at the Shinmachi River Riverside Park Boat House (新町川水際公園ボートハウス), Awa Bank Hall (あわぎんホール), Tokushima Prefectural Museum of Literature and Calligraphy (文学書道館寂聴), and Bandai Central Pier (万代中央埠頭). New piers would be constructed at the foot of Suketō Bridge and at the Tokushima Culture Park (徳島文化公園).

A “station” with an information counter and waiting space would be estsablished inside the redevelopment building at terminal. Station buildings at the two new piers would be designed to double as event spaces. Boats would be operated by Guardians of the Shinmachi River (新町川を守る会), a non-profit organization that operates an existing sightseeing boat around Hyōtan-jima.

After receiving the working group report, the city will establish a liaison group in FY2014 and begin construction of the piers in FY2015, starting trial boat operations in FY2016. The city will need to negotiate with the Agency for Cultural Affairs (文化庁) to determine the feasibility of a new pier at the foot of Suketō Bridge due to its location within the ruins of the former Tokushima Castle (徳島城跡), a nationally-recognized historic landmark. A decision on the new pier will be made in FY2014.

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Old January 30th, 2014, 02:49 AM   #6640
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Kinki Sharyō has begun testing its Smart BEST battery-powered trainset on the JR Shikoku network, including several invitation-only public test rides. This experimental trainset can run on unelectrified track and is intended as an alternative to the common diesel-powered trains in JR Shikoku’s fleet.

Arrival and departure at Awa Ikeda Station on the Tokushima Line:

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