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Old February 27th, 2014, 09:11 AM   #6761
k.k.jetcar
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Quote:
Tsukuba Express begins track improvement projects
Whenever I use the Tsukuba Express and observe its infrastructure (which is superbly engineered) and operations, I always think this is what BART should have been. Likewise with run-through operations such as the Den-en Toshi/Hanzomon/Tobu Isezaki Line.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 11:47 PM   #6762
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For sure, BART has a lot it could improve upon... One thing the Japanese do really well that few other systems do is express / skip-stop service, making it possible to provide relatively high station density (good for making transit accessible to passengers) while minimizing travel time impacts. Given how spread out the BART network is (and will be, once more of the suburban extensions are built), hopefully they can start looking into this, coupled together with re-focusing expansion into the urban core of the system with infill stations and urban alignments.

BART actually has quite a few stations that are performing visibly poorer than their counterparts in terms of ridership, and with the relatively low train traffic densities, it should be quite easy to implement a rudimentary express service without any major infrastructure improvements like passing tracks, just some simple scheduling creativity and willpower.

Daily ridership at stations:



Potential candidates for skipped stations:

Richmond line:
Richmond
El Cerrito Plaza
North Berkeley
Ashby

Pittsburg / Bay Point line:
North Concord / Martinez
Lafayette
Orinda

Fremont line:
Lake Merritt
San Leandro
Bay Fair
South Hayward
Union City

Dublin / Pleasanton line:
Castro Valley
West Dublin / Pleasanton

San Francisco / SFO / Millbrae line:
West Oakland
Glen Park
Daly City
Colma
South San Francisco
San Bruno
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Old February 28th, 2014, 06:27 AM   #6763
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More clips of three-door trainsets on Ōsaka Loop Line services. As mentioned previously, this was part of a week-long trial by JR West to test out a three-door configuration for the line to help inform the design process for the next generation of rolling stock for the line.

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Old February 28th, 2014, 06:28 AM   #6764
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Clips of the Kintetsu 22600 Ace series testing on the Hanshin Main Line (2014.02.27). These trainsets are normally used for limited express services on the Kintetsu network, but Kintetsu and Hanshin recently agreed to allow Kintetsu limited expresses to through-service onto the Hanshin Main Line for charter runs. The testing is probably to confirm that the train operates properly on the Hanshin side and to familiarize Hanshin operators with the train.

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Old February 28th, 2014, 06:46 AM   #6765
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Speaking of Hanshin, they just released the second in their new CM series featuring Satō Eriko (佐藤江梨子):



Making of:

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Old February 28th, 2014, 03:21 PM   #6766
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Domo arigato for all those great pictures from the Ueno-Tokyo Line work!

Unfortunately, right now there is a big fight on just what train will be allowed to travel this new line beyond Tokyo Station. The E233's originating at Takasaki and Utsunomiya will definitely use it, as are the E657's on the Hitachi limited express coming from Iwaki (at least for now) to Tokyo Station. But will JR East also add the E531 EMU's coming from the Jōban Line?

By the way, I think the new trainsets that will replace the older trainsets on the Osaka Loop Line will be a modified 321 trainset but with three doors per side of each car instead of four.

Last edited by sacto7654; March 1st, 2014 at 02:43 PM. Reason: correct wording
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Old March 1st, 2014, 02:54 AM   #6767
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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to supply electric bus to Satsuma Sendai City
http://www.mhi.co.jp/en/news/story/1402261776.html

Quote:
Tokyo, February 26, 2014 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will supply an electric bus to the city of Satsumasendai in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu. The bus is a full-size, low-floor model that operates on MHI's high-performance "MLiX" lithium-ion rechargeable battery enabling a dramatic increase in continuous travel distance. The new bus will go into service in the city's regular route network starting in April.

Satsumasendai is introducing the electric bus as part of the city's initiative to make use of next-generation energy resources based on the comprehensive municipal vision and action plan. The bus will operate as a shuttle bus between Sendai Station and a high-speed ferry terminal, Sendai Port, and will play a significant role in enhancing the environmental compatibility of the local transportation network and tourist infrastructure. The city also considers using the electric bus as a power supply source in an emergency.

The bus exterior and part of interior were designed by a famous industrial design company, Don Design Associates (Managing Director: Mr. Eiji Mitooka). The blue and white exterior color concept reminds the beautiful sea surrounding Koshiki Island, where the high-speed ferry will ply. The exterior design will also include a Chinese character of "Koshiki."

The "MLiX" lithium-ion rechargeable battery featured in the newly ordered electric bus combines a lightweight, compact design with outstanding reliability and long service life. It has already amassed a significant track record through its widespread adoption in cargo container-type energy storage systems, hybrid forklifts and other advanced products developed and marketed by MHI.

The supply to Satsumasendai follows the recent order of two electric buses to Kitakyushu city planning Zero Emissions Transportation System. MHI's abundant track record of electric buses both in Japan and overseas and low-carbon related demonstrations has now succeeded in commercial supply of electric bus.

From February 26 to 28, MHI will exhibit at the 4th International Smart Grid Expo at Tokyo Big Sight showing a model of the electric bus and make presentations of smart community world though MHI technology. Going forward, MHI will strive to achieve such communities ever more aggressively through increased adoption of electric buses.

The exterior design



* Actual travel distances can vary widely depending on the bus's usage conditions
(use of air-conditioning, etc.) and/or road and traffic conditions.
** Specifications are subject to change without notice.
*** SOC: State of charge
===

Japanese press release:
http://www.mhi.co.jp/news/story/1402265499.html
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Old March 1st, 2014, 02:55 AM   #6768
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Stationmaster cat going strong in old age
http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2...ng-in-old-age/

Quote:
Japan’s rapidly aging workforce may be able to draw some encouragement from a cat that continues to attract tourists from around Asia in her role as station master at a small train station—despite advancing years.

Tama, who turns 15 in April, continues to attract tens of thousands of tourists each year after seven years on the job at the Kishi station in Wakayama, western Japan. Her appointment helped to turn around a rural area that had been hit, like many parts of Japan, by a declining population.

Tama’s work is not exactly demanding, consisting mostly of sitting around having her picture taken with tourists.

The station – and Tama of course — attracts tourists mainly from Hong Kong and Taiwan, with the number of visitors from those two countries having surged 240% in the six months ending in September, according to the Wakayama Electric Railway. The company operates one line with about 2.2 million passengers annually.

In all, some 20,000 tourists from Asia visit the small town annually and officials say the recent Lunar New Year holiday season may prove to have been an even bigger hit with hundreds of tourists visiting on many days.

“The idea is clever, as the cat has become the symbol of the railway, attracting many tourists,” said Ka Wing Wu, a 22-year- old college student who came from Hong Kong with his friend to see Tama.

From her initial appointment in January 2007, Tama has been on the fast track for promotion, being named a deputy president in 2013. Not surprising given the key role she has played in attracting tourists and helping to rescue a rail line that was sinking deeper into the red annually as passenger figures fell every year.

In 2008, Tama was given a special award by the prefectural governor for providing an estimated Y1.1 billion ($10.8 million) boost to the region. “Tama has stimulated the region and I’m happy to see many tourists leaving in smiles after watching her,” said Maki Miyashita, a company staffer.

Company president Mitsunobu Kojima, described as a dog lover, claims credit for the hire. He says the idea came to him when he first set eyes on Tama, particularly since it would save money. Similar to many rural rail operations in Japan, Wakayama Railway now has no staff at many of its stations.

But like many of a certain age, Tama appears ready to take it easy. She works only four days each week with a “junior station master,” a three-year-old calico named Nitama, filling in.

But the substitution has not put off visitors.

“The cat is so cute,” said a young woman visitor.

Tama, a cat who turns 15 in April, works as station master a Kishi station, helping attract tourists from around Asia.


Tama's work isn't exactly demanding, consisting mostly of sitting around and having her picture taken.


Tama's appointment as station master seven years ago helped turn around a rural area that had been suffering from economic downturn.


Tama's managerial success put her on the fast track to promotion to acting president in 2013.


A three-year-old calico named Nitama has recently been filling in for Tama, who is scaling back her working hours due to old age.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 02:57 AM   #6769
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JR West to purchase stake in underground malls at Sannomiya
JR西、神戸地下街の株式取得へ 三宮再開発の構想推進

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/keizai...06734243.shtml

On 2014.02.24, JR West announced that it would purchase a stake in Kōbe Underground Mall (神戸地下街), an auxiliary organization (外郭団体) of the Kōbe City government that operates the santica (さんちか) underground mall and other facilities. The shares would be purchased from the current majority stakeholder in the company, Kōbe City. The railway will purchase 39,000 shares total, including 20,000 shares on its own, an additional 9,500 shares each through two of its subsidiaries, Sannomiya Terminal Building (三宮ターミナルビル) and Kōbe Shopping Center Development (神戸SC開発, eventually becoming the third largest shareholder in Kōbe Underground Mall, owning 18% of the company. The purchase will be executed in March and is intended as a move to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the city government on the redevelopment vision for Sannomiya Station, Kōbe’s central rail station.

Currently, Kōbe City owns 44% of Kōbe Underground Mall, while private railways Hankyū Corporation (阪急電鉄), Hanshin Electric Railway (阪神電鉄), and Kōbe Rapid Railway (神戸高速鉄道), all part of Hankyū–Hanshin Holdings (阪急阪神ホールディングス), collectively own 16% of the company. The other shares are spread among various shareholders including Hyōgo Prefecture and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (三井住友銀行).

Now, the city will sell about half of its stake (22%) to the JR West group (18%) and Hankyū and Hanshin (4%) at a total estimated purchase price of ¥125 million. While the city’s stake in the company will drop to 22%, it will still enjoy majority ownership, with Hankyū–Hanshin Holdings increasing to 20% ownership as the second largest shareholder.

JR and Hankyū are each planning major redevelopment of their station buildings at Sannomiya, and the city hopes to extend the redevelopment to areas surrounding the station. By incorporating JR into the operation of the large underground malls at the station, the city hopes to make it easier to reach a consensus on urban planning efforts among the railway operators.

Kōbe Underground Mall was established in 1963, and operates the santica mall at Sannomiya as well as the 170-tenant Duo Kōbe (デュオこうべ) mall at JR Kōbe Station.



===

Press release:
http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/articl...page_5228.html

There was another article earlier this year that said JR West was also looking at trying to tap some natural hot springs (温泉) at the station. There wasn’t much more detail than that, but this may be an indication that they may be looking at a hotel / spa use as part of the redevelopment, or perhaps one of the public foot baths (足湯) that seem to be all the craze.
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/compliance/n...1607011-n1.htm
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Old March 1st, 2014, 02:58 AM   #6770
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Hitachi Naka City publishes study on Minato Line extension
ひたちなか市、湊線延伸4ルート案 調査報告書 総工費12〜28億円

http://ibarakinews.jp/news/news.php?...13934232260212

On 2014.02.26, Ibaraki’s Hitachi Naka City (ひたちなか市) published a report analyzing four alternatives for a potential extension of the Hitachi Naka Seaside Railway Minato Line (ひたちなか海浜鉄道湊線) from its current terminus at Ajigaura (阿字ケ浦) Station to Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園). The study includes an analysis of the benefits and issues surrounding each of the four alignment options. The city hopes the extension will serve as a catalyst for tourism to the city, and will continue further analysis of estimated construction costs and tourism- and economy-related benefits.

The study looked at four potential routes, ranging from ¥1.2 billion to ¥2.8 billion in total construction costs based on unit costs for the Kashima Rinkai Railway Ōarai–Kashima Line (鹿島臨海鉄道大洗鹿島線).

The first route option would proceed north from Ajigaura Station, crossing the Hitachi Seaside Park Prefectural Route (県道常陸海浜公園線) on an elevated structure, proceeding east of the prefectural route towards the parking lot entrance for Hitachi Seaside Park. Route 2 would follow a similar route, but would lay tracks inside the park, terminating at the park’s South Entrance. Route 3 envisions a light-rail transit (LRT) solution for the line, looping south from Ajigaura Station in the direction of Isozaki (磯崎) Station and crossing farmland to reach the parking lot entrance. Route 4 would proceed on a fully-elevated alignment from Ajigaura, connecting to the park’s Seaside Entrance (海浜口) and constructing a new station near Ajigaura Beach (阿字ケ浦海水浴場)

The plan also suggests a long-term extension of Routes 1, 2 and 3 to the Hitachi Naka district, home to large-scale retail facilities, and Route 4 to Hitachi Naka Port (常陸那珂港). The plan also provided some preliminary evaluations of the options, rating Route 4 the best in terms of scenery and aesthetics and Route 3 the cheapest in terms of construction costs. Route 3 was also the longest in terms of route distance, and would potentially be subject to worse on-time performance than the other options due to traffic signals.

The city prepared the study based on a report by Tōkyō-based railway consultants Light Rail (ライトレール) after holding working group sessions with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry, local citizens, and other stakeholders.



===

Scenes on the railway:

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Old March 1st, 2014, 02:59 AM   #6771
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Sōtetsu to introduce station numbering
相鉄が駅ナンバリングを導入へ、外国人客にも分かりやすく

http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1402270002/

Sagami Railway (Sōtetsu) (相模鉄道) will begin introducing station numbering to all of its stations starting on 2014.02.27. The program is intended to make the system easier to use for foreigners, and pairs the railway’s two-letter code, “SO”, with a two-digit number. The Sōtetsu Main Line begins with Yokohama (SO-01) and ends with Ebina (SO-18), while the Izumino Line begins in the 30s, from Minami-Makigahara (SO-31) to Shōnandai (SO-37).

===

Press release:
http://www.sotetsu.co.jp/news_release/pdf/140225_01.pdf

Station key and signage template:

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Old March 1st, 2014, 03:56 AM   #6772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
More clips of three-door trainsets on Ōsaka Loop Line services. As mentioned previously, this was part of a week-long trial by JR West to test out a three-door configuration for the line to help inform the design process for the next generation of rolling stock for the line.

It makes me wonder what they might find out from this?
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Old March 1st, 2014, 05:03 AM   #6773
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Right now, the line is operated with a mix of three- and four-door configurations... The three-door sets are generally on the "rapid" through-services with the Yamatoji Line and Hanwa Line / Kansai Airport Line, while the four-door sets are generally on the Yumesaki Line through-services to / from USJ and the Ōsaka Loop Line local services.

They want to see if switching entirely to three-door cars for the line will adversely affect the dwell times. This would be the case for the Yamanote Line in Tōkyō, but the Ōsaka Loop Line is significantly less busy, so they may very well be able to make an all three-door fleet for the line work out. This would then eliminate the need for all those platform stickers with color-coded circles and triangles marking door positions and make it much easier to install platform doors.

Due to the regional nature of the rapid through-services, it's desirable to operate them primarily with three-door sets, so any attempt at standardizing the stock will mean pushing the four-door sets off the line.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 02:55 PM   #6774
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A couple of comments:

1. I'm not surprised JR West wants some ownership stake for the shopping areas at Sannomiya Station. After all, Sannomiya is THE central passenger rail station for the city of Kobe and as such, the shops around that station are always busy, just like the shops in the underground mall at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo are.

2. I do think if the test is successful, JR West will standardize on three-door configurations for the commuter trains on the Osaka Loop Line. This means with standard platform door configuration compatibility with the 221/223/225 EMU's that traverse parts of the line now; I expect JR West to order a number of new-build 321 EMU's specifically for Loop Line service in the three-door configuration to replace the aging 103 and 201 EMU's.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 09:35 PM   #6775
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I know this might not be the best place to post these, but here are some photos I took back in December 2013 of public transport in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

Narita Airport Station (Keisei Platforms)



Ueno Station (JR)



Yamanote Line at Ueno Station



Yamanote Line at Tokyo Station



Tokyo Station





Chuo Rapid at Tokyo Station



Interior of Chuo Rapid Train (E233)



Shinjuku Station (JR Platforms)



Tokyo Metro at Shinjuku



Oedo Line Platform



Interior of Oedo Line Trains




More to come later if people are interested (I have pictures out to Hachioji, around Yokohama, Takao and others).
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 01:29 AM   #6776
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Please do so.

This IS the right thread, and I'm very much interested.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 06:02 AM   #6777
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Tōkyō Metro to extend platforms at Kita-Ayase Station
東京メトロ、北綾瀬駅ホームを10両編成対応に

http://response.jp/article/2014/03/01/218247.html

On 2014.02.28, Tōkyō Metro announced that it would extend the platforms at Kita-Ayase (北綾瀬) Station on the Chiyoda Line’s Kita-Ayase branch in Adachi Ward, Tōkyō and construct additional entrances to the station.

The Kita-Ayase branch of the Chiyoda Line opened for revenue service in 1979, taking advantage of the yard leads connecting Ayase Station with the Chiyoda Line’s yard facilities. Kita-Ayase Station opened at a location just south of the yard. Services are operated with special 3-car trains designed exclusively for the branch line, and the platforms at Kita-Ayase were only designed to handle 3-car formations. As a result, the 10-car formations that operate on the rest of the Chiyoda Line between Yoyogi Uehara and Ayase do not serve Kita-Ayase.

The recently-announced upgrades to the station will allow for direct service from Kita-Ayase onto the rest of the Chiyoda Line and towards Yoyogi Uehara, extending the current platforms by about 135 m towards Ayase Station to accommodate standard 10-car formations. The platform canopies and platform doors will also simultaneously be extended. New entrances equipped with elevators will also be constructed on the Shōbu-numa Park (しょうぶ沼公園) and Kan-nana-dōri (環七通り) sides of the station, making it possible to access the station from three directions.

Completion is scheduled for FY2018 close. Tōkyō Metro hopes to break ground on the improvements in FY2014.



===

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

If you remember, JR East, Odakyū, and Tōkyō Metro are working to allow for expanded three-company through-services. Currently, only Tōkyō Metro trains are equipped to do the three-company runs, while Odakyū trains do not continue past Ayase onto the JR Jōban Local Line and JR East trains do not continue past Yoyogi Uehara onto the Odakyū Odawara Line. The major impetus behind that is the huge Odakyū quadruple-tracking project that will soon come to a close, substantially increasing capacity on the Odakyū side and probably increasing the number of through-services at Yoyogi Uehara.

Besides the increased passenger convenience, upgrading the Kita-Ayase branch will likely have some operational benefits in permitting more flexibility for Tōkyō Metro, allowing them to quickly move trains out of Ayase Station (only a three-and-a-half track station currently), secure more effective turnback and passing capacity at Ayase, and more effectively dispatch and recall trains to and from the yard.

Late morning (0900) cab view on a Tōkyō Metro 16000 series from Yoyogi Uehara to Ayase (2014.02.13):



Tour of Ayase Station, showing the three-track layout (plus a “half-track” for the Kita-Ayase branch 3-car trains). Extending the platform at Kita-Ayase will allow the trains that currently turnback at Ayase, laying over in the center track, to do so at Kita-Ayase instead, giving them more flexibility at Ayase in terms of scheduling and recovery from service disruptions.

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Old March 2nd, 2014, 11:47 AM   #6778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
I know this might not be the best place to post these, but here are some photos I took back in December 2013 of public transport in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

Narita Airport Station (Keisei Platforms)

Nice

However, one quick comment:
Train stations in Airports need PLATFORM DOORS AND GATES.

As an example:
The monorail that serves Haneda has one



Hence, I hope that the train companies and airport mangaement are working on installation as soon as possible.

After all, train stations in Japanese airports only compose a really small percentage out of the more than 1,000 train stations on the Japanese rail network. (maybe 1% or even less than that)

It shouldn't be that hard imho....

Last edited by Blackraven; March 2nd, 2014 at 11:53 AM.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 12:54 PM   #6779
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Ikegami line



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Old March 2nd, 2014, 01:15 PM   #6780
dimlys1994
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Tōkyō Metro to extend platforms at Kita-Ayase Station
東京メトロ、北綾瀬駅ホームを10両編成対応に
I'm reading the news and I was thinking that if Kita-Ayase station platforms will be extended, so Ayase station platforms also must be extended, or it's unnecesary?
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