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Old March 29th, 2014, 12:43 AM   #6921
quashlo
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Yokohama City to test fuel cell buses
エコカー「燃料電池バス」、横浜市が14年度試験運行

http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1403060032/

On 2014.03.06, Yokohama City Transportation Bureau revealed a plan to test fuel cell buses in FY2014. The city has included about Ą2 million in its FY2014 preliminary budget to cover studies to look at introduction of the buses. The test would be conducted by leasing vehicles from an automobile manufacturer.

While the buses are quiet and smooth and feature major environmental benefits by eliminating carbon dioxide emissions when running, with the ability to operate longer distances than electric (EV) buses, the Bureau chief noted several hurdles to the technology: fuel cell buses cost about Ą100 million—five times the price of a standard bus—and there is only one hydrogen station in the entire city. The FY2014 trial will be designed to confirm vehicle performance and study potential siting of hydrogen stations.

===

Testing of a fuel cell bus developed by Toyota at the Kyūshū University’s Ito Campus in Fukuoka earlier this year in January:

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Old March 29th, 2014, 02:25 AM   #6922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
MLIT establishes new guidelines for articulated buses
国土交通省、連節バスの導入を促進するため「ガイドライン」を作成

http://response.jp/article/2014/03/27/219942.html
Any talk about making the standard length for vehicles longer? As I understood it, the standard is shorter than most other countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Tōkyō Metro produces smartphone app for foreigners
東京メトロ、訪日外国人向け乗り換え検索アプリを配信へ

http://response.jp/article/2014/03/25/219737.html
Fantastic to see that some actually make a tourist app tourist-friendly. Offline mode in such as an app is important.
I guess it's easier for Japan to make such an app given that almost all their departures are on time and reliable.
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Old March 29th, 2014, 04:26 AM   #6923
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northridge View Post
Any talk about making the standard length for vehicles longer? As I understood it, the standard is shorter than most other countries.
There are several standard sizes, but I believe the typical public transit bus in urban environments is usually around 10 or 11 m, so yes, it's slightly smaller than the 12 m you see in many other countries. Not sure of the exact historical circumstances... It could easily just be the result of standards / regulations established decades ago, but I imagine the smaller size is better suited to the running environments in Japanese cities, where buses frequently need to make tight turns or travel down narrow roads. Operating philosophies among bus companies in Japan also tend to favor a lot of branching and interlining, so a bus will frequently need to be able to run on both wide and narrow roads and serve both trunk and feeder needs. These factors would naturally limit the practicality of articulated buses, and I believe most of the current routes using them are primarily trunk routes along reasonably wide roads.

Not sure if I made it clear in the translation, but the new guidelines aren't really "guidelines" in the sense of a relaxation of regulations or restrictions... It's more like a blueprint that outlines the process to obtain all the approvals and permits to operate the buses.
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Old March 29th, 2014, 07:46 PM   #6924
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Interesting stuff.

Who will be the one providing the articulated buses? Mercedes Benz? MAN of Germany? SAAB SCANIA? Or will they use modified JDM surplus buses? (i.e. like the modified Fuji Industries or HINO bus)
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Old March 30th, 2014, 02:02 AM   #6925
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Perhaps I didn't explain myself eloquently enough, but I think you've lost the context... When you say that AVE services offer verbal announcements in English and French, are you including announcements to deal with unforeseen situations like fire or natural disaster?

Many modern systems worldwide, including those in Japan, already have programmed announcements in English for the basic things like "This train is bound for ..." or "The next station is ...". But when I say that the article (and some foreigners in Japan) are setting the bar too high, I am referring to unforeseen situations that normally aren't considered for computerized announcements like "We are currently experiencing X minutes of delay on Y Line due to a fire at Z Station" or a situation where passengers need to be directed to disembark a train that is stranded in between stations. In most situations, these types of announcements are given verbally by railway staff, and I think it's unrealistic to expect most railway staff in non-English countries to have enough English proficiency to give these types of announcements in English.
Well actually, Paris' network (RATP) does a pretty good job with that.

Automated announcement are made in French, English, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese (languages are used based station locations and line users)

Message such as "Mind the gaps...", "Beware of Pickpockets...", "Train momentarily stopped...", "Bus/Train has reached final destination...", "Station closed for renovation..." are already most of the languages I mentionned earlier.

However in case of major breakdown, some announcements can exceptionnally be made in English, especially if the issue concerns Airports, Theme parks or major tourist locations.

Then as for the SNCF which is France's national rail operator, the announcements are usually made in French + one other foreign language in case of issue.

For instance, as 437.001 said, for train stations where there are AVE or other trains going to spain, announcement will be made in French and Spanish.

For stations where there trains going to England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy it is the same principle, French + at least one the languages of these countries.
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Old April 1st, 2014, 09:47 PM   #6926
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There’s an article in the Marin Independent Journal about the new SMART cars for San Francisco that are being produced by Nippon Sharyō:
http://www.marinij.com/novato/ci_254...-marin-testing

Quote:
Once the working prototype cars get approval, they will be disassembled and then put back together later this year at the Nippon Sharyo USA Passenger Railcar Factory in Rochelle, Ill. After more tests in Illinois and Colorado, another dozen cars will be assembled at the Illinois locale.

Some cars will then come west in March 2015 and undergo more testing on Marin and Sonoma rails. While local service is not set to start until 2016, the train will be used to test the track and other aspects of the system.
Pictures:



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Old April 1st, 2014, 09:48 PM   #6927
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On 2014.04.01, Hanshin Electric Railway renamed their station at Sannomiya (三宮) to “Kōbe Sannomiya” (神戸三宮). Sannomiya is effectively the central rail station for Kōbe, so hopefully this should make it a bit clearer to tourists and visitors. The change also matches Hanshin’s terminal nomenclature on the Ōsaka side (“Ōsaka Umeda” 大阪梅田 and “Ōsaka Namba” 大阪難波)

Changed signage:



Of course, the change was also made to the digital announcements on the PA system:

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Old April 1st, 2014, 09:49 PM   #6928
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On 2014.03.29, Fukui Railway unveiled the ex-Stuttgart tram it purchased third-hand from Tosa Electric Railway to press officials. It will officially enter service on 2014.04.12 with the start of the local 越前時代行列 festival in Fukui City, afterwards holding down four roundtrips daily on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

Being pushed by manpower back into the car barn:

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Old April 1st, 2014, 09:50 PM   #6929
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The new station tenant building at JR Takaoka Station, curun TAKAOKA (クルン高岡), and a connected underground retail mall, opened on 2014.03.29. The station building serves as a new gateway for Takaoka, one of the larger cities in Toyama Prefecture, and includes a realigned / extended Man’yō Line tram stop that also opened on this day, as well as an elevated concourse, platform bridge, north-south public passage over the tracks, and a new pedestrian deck outside the station connecting to other uses surrounding the station, including the city’s central shopping street. Apparently, this is the first fully-canopied pedestrian deck in Japan. The North Exit station plaza was also expanded from 9,530 sq m to 11,350 sq m with new vehicle, bus, and taxi zones.

The building covers from B1F through 3F and comprises about 8,4000 sq m gross, with 1F housing the new Man’yō Line station (2 tracks in a standard bay configuration), a glass-enclosed waiting room, and a police box and 2F housing 11 retail stores (convenience stores, restaurants, and souvenir shops). The underground mall encompasses about 620 m and 10 stores. Takaoka City began work on the project in 2005 in preparation for the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension opening next year.

Tour on opening day. Turned out pretty nice, especially for one of the smaller cities.

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Old April 1st, 2014, 09:51 PM   #6930
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The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) selected platform door projects for the Tōkyō Metro Hibiya Line and Toei Subway Shinjuku Line for funding:
http://www.kentsu.co.jp/webnews/html...328500054.html

Looks like these will be some of the next rail lines to get platform door installations.
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Old April 1st, 2014, 09:52 PM   #6931
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For the hardcore railfans, business card and iPhone cases that feature stylized “circuit” diagrams of Tōkyō’s rail network:
http://ascii.jp/elem/000/000/880/880002/

Business card cases:







iPhone cases:





Video:

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Old April 2nd, 2014, 06:57 PM   #6932
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That's awesome idea! Very cool!
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 09:36 PM   #6933
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Maps - real time and Google?

Was in Reddit this morning and found a real-time map of busses in Barrie, Canada: http://barrie.mapstrat.com/nextvehicle/Map.aspx

So, thought I'd search for something similar for Tokyo rail, and found this: http://www.demap.info/tetsudonow/

I don't recall this being posted before, sorry if it was. Edited to add: I'd be amazed if the Tokyo train map is actually real time, I suspect it's based on schedules and speeds travelled on the routes, which is a pretty good assumption based on how the tightly the schedules are followed. The Barrie map is near-real time, with delays of anywhere from 5-10 seconds, still pretty good, but again, doubt it could stand up to a Tokyo-sized web traffic hammering either.

Also - I've seen layers or some other facet of Google maps (extended in some way) with each JR line and subway line highlighted on them - but for the life of me I can't find them again. All of the ones I had bookmarked are gone now... any pointers?

Last edited by smithrh; April 2nd, 2014 at 09:49 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 08:21 AM   #6934
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That map has been posted here before, but it is certainly worth a repost.

I've seen traffic in the middle of the night, so I've wondered if it is live at all?
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 12:03 PM   #6935
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The tetsudou now website is not live- it's based on published schedules. It's good for planning and to get an idea of traffic patterns, but useless if you need real time info in the case of a service disruption, which happens not infrequently, as it did when I was in Tokyo this Monday, when there were accidents on both the Yamanote Line and Toyoko Line at the morning rush. It's better instead to use one of the smartphone apps offered by the railway companies which give updated info on their networks.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 02:11 PM   #6936
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I made a new schematic map of Tokyo subway network.

All lines are represented, metro and commuter, stations are labelled in Japanese and English.

Yamanote line is represented as a rectangle with rounded corners framing the city center.

I tried to make the map as symmetrical and harmonious as possible but still small enough to be printed on 20cmx20cm



You can see it in better resolution on

www.inat.fr/metro/tokyo/
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Old April 8th, 2014, 05:14 PM   #6937
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Nice job, do you have one for Osaka too?
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Old April 8th, 2014, 06:19 PM   #6938
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@Svartmetall

Thank you

I haven't done one for Osaka, though it is on my to do list with Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Singapore.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 08:58 PM   #6939
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From an aesthetic point of view, I really like the Tokyo network - not so many straight lines and nearly all lines appear to take weird curves every now and again. Makes the maps look very "spaghetti" and chaotic compared to the regimented nature of Osaka by comparison. Don't know if you felt that too.
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Old April 9th, 2014, 12:47 AM   #6940
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wow. looks cool and dense. I love Japan.I have been to several Asian countries(Japan,China, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Singapore). I found Japan to be a great country with great infrastructure. The only city in Asia i see rivaling Tokyo is Shanghai. Tokyo and Shanghai are my 2 best cities in the world. i both love these 2 cities. great going Asia.
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