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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:39 PM   #741
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Kodaira City introduces payment system using Suica, PASMO
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/tok...OYT8T00060.htm

Quote:
On January 25, Kodaira City will introduce a payment system using PASMO and Suica for residents obtaining certificates of residence or copies of their family register from City Hall teller windows. The city hopes elimination of cash-based transactions will save residents’ time and reduce the workload on city employees. According to city officials, this is the first example of a jurisdiction within Tōkyō Prefecture using electronic money for payment of fees at City Hall offices.

Using electronic money was the idea of Arai Hiroaki (36yo) of the city’s Accounting Division. Arai, who commutes to Kodaira City Hall from Tokorozawa City in Saitama Prefecture, says he purchases pastries or newspapers at convenience stores on the way to work using electronic money. Since there’s no need for coins, Arai says making purchases with electronic money is convenient, especially during the busy morning rush hour, which led him to wonder if it could be used by city residents for the payment of fees.

An average of 400 to 500 people daily visit the Citizen Affairs Division, which is set to introduce the electronic money payment system. The city is also home to many universities and company-owned homes, and between late March to early April when a substantial number of residents are moving in and out of the city, for a solid week, the Citizen Affairs Division sees approx. 200 applications a day for related paperwork.

The city will introduce two registers with electronic money compatibility at teller windows in the Citizen Affairs Division. The city has enlisted Seibu Railway, which has stations in the city, to handle settlement of electronic money payments, and plans to give the railway a two-percent cut on the fees.

The city says it would like to expand the system to other city facilities, including bicycle parking, gymnasiums, and swimming pools.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:40 PM   #742
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TOICA electronic money begins March 2010
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/tabi/domest...OYT8T00908.htm

Quote:
On December 21, JR Central announced that it will launch electronic money service for its IC farecard TOICA starting March 13, 2010.

Users can make payments at station retail shops and other locations by placing the card on readers. Electronic money interoperability will also begin on March 13 with JR East’s Suica and JR West’s ICOCA, which both have similar functionality.

At the time of launch, passengers will be able to use not only a TOICA card, but also a Suica or ICOCA card, at a total of approximately 550 locations including vending machines and retail shops at various locations along the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. TOICA will also be valid at Suica- and ICOCA-affiliated stores in the Greater Tōkyō and Kinki regions. In March of last year, the three cards began interoperability as farecards for train tickets.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:41 PM   #743
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SUGOCA, nimoca, Hayakaken to launch interoperability in March 13, 2010
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...0853004-n1.htm

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JR Kyūshū, Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu), and the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau announced that the three IC farecard systems launched by the three railway operators, which allow passengers to pass through faregates at train stations and board buses by placing the cards next to readers, will begin interoperability in March 13, 2010. Interoperability with JR East’s Suica card will also begin at the same time.

The three operators each have their own IC farecard system—JR Kyūshū has SUGOCA, Nishitetsu has nimoca, and the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau has Hayakaken. All three can be used not only as IC farecards, but also as electronic money. Once interoperability begins, passengers with one of the three cards can board JR, Nishitetsu trains and buses, and Fukuoka’s subway lines. The cards will also be accepted as electronic money at any store affiliated with one of the three farecard systems.

“With the launch of interoperability, public transportation will only become more convenient. We will be looking to expand the acceptance of SUGOCA at stores and increase circulation of the card through our points reward system,” said JR Kyūshū President Karaike Kōji. In addition, coinciding with the start of interoperability, JR Kyūshū will allow for IC farecard use next spring at stations on the Chikuhi Line between Meinohama and Nishi-Karatsu.

Circulation for the three cards is at approx. 218,000 for SUGOCA, approx. 644,000 for nimoca, and approx. 102,000 for Hayakaken.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:41 PM   #744
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Kitaca offers discount to parking facility users
http://mytown.asahi.com/hokkaido/new...00000912210009

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Starting January 12, JR Hokkaidō will launch a new service at Ebetsu Station allowing users of hourly parking facilities to obtain discounts if they use the company’s IC farecard Kitaca. The campaign rewards passengers with a discount when they use their private automobile to the station, take a roundtrip on JR, and then make a payment at the parking facility using Kitaca. “We’d like to increase ridership by advancing the car and rail together, helping to reduce congestion in central Sapporo and contribute to a green environment,” say railway representatives. Depending on the level of use, the railway will consider expanding the system to areas around other stations.

Park24, which operates Times parking facilities, is cooperating in the campaign. Users must park their car at the Times parking facility outside JR Ebetsu Station in Ebetsu City, 2-jō, 5-chōme (cap. 69 cars) and use Kitaca on a roundtrip starting at the station to Sapporo or other destinations. When the parking day and day of railway use are the same, the passenger will be rewarded with a discount. The usual parking fee is ¥100 per hour, but when paying the parking fee using Kitaca within the same day, users will receive a ¥200 discount (for fees above ¥200 only).
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:42 PM   #745
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Residential developments along TX face issues
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...102000055.html

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Along the third-sector railway Tsukuba Express (TX), which opened in August 2005, Ibaraki Prefecture and independent administrative institution (IAI) Urban Renaissance Agency (UR) are proceeding with development of residential neighborhoods. The project involves deforesting open land to create new residential areas, but some critics are still worried that the project won’t pencil out. In addition, not far from the terminal at Tsukuba Station is a forest where a population of endangered goshawks lives, and it’s possible the residential developments may cause an impact. I took a look at this massive tax-funded development plan.

A total of ¥220.0 billion in tax funds invested into six areas
After rising to the surface from deep below Akihabara, Tōkyō and leaving central Tōkyō behind, the TX rapid train quickly picks up speed, arriving at Tsukuba Station (Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture) in a mere 45 minutes. Tsukuba Station is underground, and the end of tracks is sealed off by a concrete wall. After exiting to the surface, a sort of “mini-Tōkyō” with flashing Christmas lights greeted me.

After about ten minutes in a car, the scenery outside the window turns to open fields and cedar forests,and I arrive at the Nakane-Kondadai district in the former Sakura Village area of what is now Tsukuba City. A mere four kilometers from the station, the northern half of a forest has been leveled, exposing the hilly terrain. In the remaining forested area remain the old nests of goshawks. Blue and white tape was wrapped around tree trunks, identifying trees that had been identified and measured.

Including the Nakane-Kondadai area, there are eight development areas scattered along the TX inside Ibaraki Prefecture. With an investment of ¥416.0 billion, the project will construct a town for over 10,000 people. The project cost for the three areas being developed by the Prefectural Government reach a total of over ¥180.0 billion. For three areas being developed by UR, the national, prefectural, and municipal governments are providing a total of ¥40.0 billion in financial assistance, meaning at least ¥280.0 billion in tax funding is being directed to these six areas. As a result of a drop in land values, it’s estimated that the Prefectural Government’s future share of the financial burden will reach ¥86.0 billion.

The Master Plan for the Nakane-Kondadai area development was approved by the Prefectural Government in 1999. In May 2004, the national government gave final approval to the trackside development projects. According to UR, the project scope encompasses approx. 190 ha, an area 40 times the size of Tōkyō Dome. Residents in the existing one hundred homes in the area will be relocated to new homes completed inside the project area, with the remaining cleared land to be sold off in lots. The area will be converted into a town with 2,500 homes and 8,000 residents.

In 2004, the plan called for completion of basic land development in 2017, and completion of sales in 2022. However, UR later expressed its intention to shorten the construction schedule by four years. Local residents claim UR is fast-tracking the project in an attempt to step out of the new town development industry.

The project cost is ¥26.5 billion. The national, prefectural, and city governments are providing financial assistance of approx. ¥4.6 billion to cover the relocation of buildings, reconstruction of roads, site investigation and design, and administrative costs. Of the remaining costs, ¥20.4 billion is expected to be covered by the sale of lots.

Based on rough calculations using the total area of land to be sold, the plan is foreseeing a purchase price of ¥70,000 per sq m. UR says it based its prices on the assessed land values for surrounding areas, but if the lots sell for less than ¥70,000 per sq m, the project won’t pencil out.

In the event that the land sells for less than originally estimated, UR says it has countermeasures up its sleeves, including ways to reduce project costs. In fact, project costs have been cut at other development sites along the TX.

Empty homes at non-rapid station
Among the development areas on the TX is Moriya in Ibaraki Prefecture. Only thirty minutes by rapid train to Akihabara, the area is already the site of fresh new homes, with the showroom for units inside a 30-story condominium tower abuzz with visitors. But outside stations where rapid trains don’t stop, the condominiums sit empty, and the lights are on in only a few scattered rooms.

What about Nakane-Kondadai, located four kilometers from the terminal? “¥70,000 per sq m? That’s definitely tough to swallow,” says a local real estate agent.

The academic performance of elementary and middle schools in the area surrounding Tsukuba Station is high, and land there fetches ¥180,000. Since the Nakane-Kondadai area isn’t within walking distance of the station, however, the prices must inevitably drop.

“At other development sites along the TX, there are some locations where the market price is ¥60,000 per sq m or less. Even further away from Tsukuba Station, local business owners say there isn’t much incentive to buy,” explained the agent.

Just why is development happening in an area that isn’t very convenient? Representatives from UR responded, “We’re just fulfilling requests from the national and city governments.”

Officials from Ibaraki Prefecture say, “The development addresses the housing demands in Greater Tōkyō and also secures the necessary passenger levels required by the rail line. In response to the land use plans of local jurisdictions and requests from local residents, we’ve coordinated with the development being proposed across the entire line and determined these are developable lands.”

Among local landowners, however, some opposed the plan. Nomoto Shinji, Chairman of Nakane-Kondadai Land Readjustment Opposition Conference composed of 28 households within the plan area, said, “Is there really a need to develop in a far-off area nowhere near the station? It’s a stretch to say the least, and it smells of politics. They should just stop the development, fix up the sewer system, and call it good.”

A man who has been living in the area for decades was also displeased: “I can’t believe they’re throwing all that taxpayers’ money into this. I finally found the place I want to spend the rest of my life in, but now I have to move?”

In addition to economic efficiency, critics cite environmental issues as another major reason they are against the development. Within the forest in the Nakane-Kondadai area reside goshawks, which have been declared a threatened species by the Ministry of the Environment. UR established a special committee formed of wild bird experts and local landowners to evaluate the issue. According to the an assessment by the committee, goshawks nest inside the forest, with a total of seven birds leaving the nest between 2007 and 2008. According to a preservation plan drafted by the committee in March of this year, “Securing the existing nesting grounds would be difficult. Candidate land should be identified and compensation provided for feeding grounds lost as a result of the project.”

However, one landowner and representative for the Association to Protect the Kondadai Ecosystem, Takahashi Kayoko, warns that trees nearby nesting sites are being removed. Under the Ministry of the Environment’s protection policy, trees within a radius of 50 m of a nesting ground must be left untouched and creation of temporary roads for construction and other purposes kept to an absolute minimum. Representatives from the Ministry, however, say, “It’s only a fundamental policy, and has no legal binding power.”

Progress on land development had reached 22 percent by the end of FY2008, and UR had already obtained 35 percent of the project land even before starting construction. “There must be a way to protect the forest, even if we have to buy the trees one at a time using donations. If we can develop only the land we’ve cleared already and stop the other construction now, the goshawks can be saved,” says Takahashi, calling for a reconsideration of the project.

For a residential development with several issues left unaddressed, Hōsei University urban policy professor Igarashi Takayoshi, says, “As a result of a decreasing population, we need to rethink our vision, looking at the entire picture of public works projects. Homes aren’t even selling completely in locations near central Tōkyō, and I expect that the Nakane-Kondadai projects won’t pencil out in the end. We need to reevaluate the costs and benefits of this project. In particular, UR has a very strong public element, and needs to respect public opinion.”
Ironically, goshawks are featured in the name of a station on the TX, Nagareyama – Ōtaka no Mori, which translates to Nagareyama – Goshawk Forest. The Tsukuba Express is interesting as a modern example of the large-scale rail-centered residential development that was done in the past. One-off development projects at stations are ubiquitous, but development at this scale—the line has 20 stations and stretches almost 60 km from Akihabara in central Tōkyō to Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture—offers an unusual opportunity today to see urban planning and community development from square one.

Aerials
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/helicopter/

Kenkyū Gakuen Station (2009.10)
The north side of the station features a large shopping center (iias Tsukuba), while several residential towers are already standing closer to the station.



Moriya Station (2009.08)
Immediately southwest of the station is a large shopping center (LOC CITY Moriya). There’s also a block of residential towers out of view to the southeast of the station. Moriya is the transfer station between the TX and the Kantō Railway.



Tsukuba Station (2009.11)
The terminus for the TX. The station is underground, but surrounded by several hotels, a Seibu department store and other retail, cultural functions (museum and library), and residential towers.



Banpaku Kinen Kōen Station (2009.09)
A few residential towers surround the station.



Video

Cab view of a TX rapid, from Kita-Senju Station (Adachi Ward, Tōkyō) to Tsukuba Station. Maximum speed is 130 kph.
Source: mochihamochiyani on YouTube

Part 1: Kita-Senju to Minami-Nagareyama (14.6 km)
The train skips underground stations Aoi and Rokuchō and aboveground stations Yashio and Misato Chūō.


Part 2: Minami-Nagareyama to Moriya (15.6 km)
The train skips Nagareyama Central Park and makes a stop at Nagareyama – Ōtaka no Mori. It then skips Kashiwa no Ha Campus and Kashiwa Tanaka before arriving at Moriya.


Part 3: Moriya to Tsukuba (20.6 km)
The train skips Miraidaira, Midorino, Banpaku Kinen Kōen, and Kenkyū Gakuen.


Metropolitan Intercity Railway (MIR), which operates the TX, is doing a lot of PR efforts to not only get businesses and residents to move in, but to build a lifestyle around the TX, such as this art train earlier this year, featuring pieces created by children:

Source: tokyomx on YouTube

Last edited by quashlo; January 1st, 2010 at 07:19 AM.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:43 PM   #746
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Next milestone in Urawa Station elevation on December 20
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/sai...OYT8T01482.htm

Quote:
As part of the elevation of Urawa Station, JR East will stop operations at the station on December 20 from the early morning to afternoon. The railway has scheduled to provide alternative bus service, but for a “battle plan” that that will affect the approx. 220,000 passengers who use the station on Sundays, the public is on alert to see whether the railway can keep the chaos to a minimum.

The final target date for completion of the new Urawa Station is FY2012. The latest milestone will involve shifting the inbound (towards Ueno) track of the Utsunomiya Line / Takasaki Line at the station to the elevated track, and will be conducted in the early morning of December 20 after the last train.

As a result, the following measures will be taken:
  • Service on the Keihin-Tōhoku Line between Kita-Urawa and Minami-Urawa will be suspended from the start of service until midday on December 20, with alternative bus service provided
  • Trains on the Utsunomiya Line / Takasaki Line, which normally stop at Urawa Station and Saitama Shintoshin Station, will skip these two stations from the start of service until 3:30 pm
The new inbound platform for the Utsunomiya Line / Takasaki Line is scheduled to open for service on December 20 after construction is complete, with the 3:44 pm train bound for Ueno expected to be the first train to service the new platform. In addition to encouraging passengers to detour to the Saikyō Line and Musashino Line, JR East is also taking questions via phone.

This marks the third time that alternative bus service will be provided as a result of construction work related to the elevation of Urawa Station. “We expect roadway congestion on our alternative bus service, and we’ve prepared alternative routes in advance,” explains a spokesperson for JR East’s Ōmiya Branch Office. The Saitama City Railway Elevation Improvement Division says, “In the past two cases, no exceptional congestion has occurred, and we expect this time will be the same.”
The switching of the inbound track was completed, so here’s some pictures of the new platform (2009.12.21):
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/2009/12/20091221.html
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/2009/12/200912212.html

Basically, this is only half of the island platform. When they elevate the outbound (towards Ōmiya) track next, the island platform will be complete.



Only half of the stairwell is finished.







Again, only half is finished.



Green car boarding section.



Like the other escalators, these are basically finished.



Concourse looks bare right now.



The connection between the existing underground passage and the concourse.



The existing, at-grade platform for outbound Utsunomiya Line / Takasaki Line trains. This will be elevated next.



Construction space is constrained towards the north end of the platform, forcing the width to be narrowed substantially.





A Takasaki Line train bound for Ueno departs from the new Platform 3 during the morning rush (7:00 am) on Dec. 25.

Source: rapid0104 on YouTube

Last edited by quashlo; January 1st, 2010 at 07:19 AM.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:43 PM   #747
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Isesaki Station elevation

This project involves elevation of approx. 2.3 km of the Tōbu Isesaki Line and 2.2 km of the JR Ryōmō Line near Isesaki Station, removing 13 grade crossings inside Isesaki City. Shin-Isesaki Station on the Isesaki Line is also being elevated as part of this project. Work began a little over a year ago, but the new station and track have quickly taken shape.

Construction photos (2009.11)
Source: http://chironet.way-nifty.com/chiro/...post-d3d1.html

These are all taken at Isesaki Station. Looks like the elevated structure itself is complete, but they have yet to install the overhead. Below, a Ryōmō Line train is stopped at the existing ground-level platforms.





The old station building. Isesaki Station is the outer terminus of the Isesaki Line, but there are no direct service trains to Tōkyō (other than one limited express train in the morning), so passengers must transfer at Ōta.



Ryōmō Line trains meet.

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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:44 PM   #748
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Tōkyū participates in 1seg trial in Shibuya Station area
http://www.asahi.com/digital/bcnnews...912170008.html

Quote:
On December 16, Its Communications (iTSCOM, President: Watanabe Isao), Tōkyū Agency (President: Igarashi Tadashi), and Hitachi Systems & Services (Hitachi Systems, President: Hayashi Masahiro) announced that they will conduct a field trial of area-confined 1seg information transmission (“area 1seg”) as a means for local information transmission. The trial is scheduled to begin on January 12, 2010 and continue for approx. one year until January 31, 2011, and will be held in the area surrounding Shibuya Station, including locations such as Hachikō Plaza.

The field trial is a joint effort by iTSCOM, Tōkyū Agency, and Hitachi Systems, with cooperation from Tōkyū Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd., and is expected to receive a field trial license from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ Kantō Bureau of Telecommunications. In regards to the role of each firm in the trial, iTSCOM is responsible for systems operation and service planning, Tōkyū Agency is responsible for service planning, and Hitachi Systems is responsible for systems infrastructure and technical support.

The trial will construct a radio propagation field near Shibuya Station at locations such as Hachikō Plaza and Shibuya 109, testing the effectiveness of radio propagation systems in a complex urban environment with buildings and offices clustered around the station. In addition, the trial will transmit local information, event information, and other data to 1seg-compatible units such as mobile phones. Taken together, the effect of viewing the 1seg broadcasts will be analyzed and the practical utility of a future areawide 1seg service tested.

During the trial, a coordinated effort with the [email protected] service launched on December 1 in the Shibuya area as part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s FY2009 Combined IT- and Service-based New Market Creation and Advancement Project (eSpace Trial Project).
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:44 PM   #749
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Urban planning for Seibu Shinjuku Line elevation begins
Kensetsu Tsūshin Shimbun

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Urban planning efforts for the areas surrounding three stations on the Seibu Shinjuku Line selected as candidates for a railway elevation project (Musashi Seki, Kami-Shakujii, and Kami-Igusa) have begun to take shape. In the area surrounding Kami-Shakujii Station, the local Urban Planning Committee has expressed its intention to advance planning efforts assuming the elevation of the rail line is already in place. In the area surrounding Musashi Seki Station, local residents have held the first session of an educational program, working towards establishment of an Urban Planning Committee. Nerima Ward, which is supporting the planning efforts for the three station areas, has commissioned transportation studies to evaluate the level of need for public facilities surrounding each of the three stations.

The Tōkyō Metropolitan Government has shortlisted the section of the Seibu Shinjuku Line between Iogi (Suginami Ward) and Higashi-Fushimi (Nishi-Tōkyō City)—which includes Nerima Ward’s Musashi Seki and Kami-Shakujii Stations and Suginami Ward’s Kami-Igusa Station—as a new-start shovel-ready railway elevation project. Nerima Ward has been advancing urban planning at the local level for all three areas, including for Kami-Igusa Station which is near ward limits, and is aiming to have the stations selected for elevation.

For the area around Kami-Shakujii Station, the Kami-Shakujii Station Area Urban Planning Committee has been exploring urban planning. A preliminary panel discussion of subcommittees has compiled the results of a basic needs assessment for the station area and expressed its support for elevation of the railway line and creation of a station plaza, streets, and other facilities. The committee plans to meet with Nerima Ward and the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government to discuss the issue in more detail based on the results of the report.

For the area surrounding Musashi Seki Station, Nerima Ward and the local town association held the first session of an urban planning educational program in November and evaluated other case examples as well as ways to advance the planning process. Officials have expressed that they plan on establishing an Urban Planning Committee in April 2010 and will work towards establishing a development plan through the efforts of the committee.

For the area surrounding Suginami Ward’s Kami-Igusa Station, the Suginami Ward government has also launched its planning efforts. After understanding the position of Suginami Ward officials and residents in the surrounding area, Nerima Ward plans to move forward with further studies to get the improvements approved.

Based on the progress of planning efforts for the three station areas, Nerima Ward will commission studies evaluating the current transportation conditions, including the conditions for automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians. After quantifying the congestion as a result of grade crossings along the rail line, the Ward will identify inadequacies in public facilities such as station plazas and roads in the vicinity of the stations and determine the required improvements. The JMA Research Institute has been hired to conduct the study.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:45 PM   #750
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MLIT minister proposes Shinkansen to Haneda
http://www.asahi.com/travel/news/TKY200912270258.html

Quote:
On December 27, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Maehara Seiji revealed that he had broached a proposal to bring a Shinkansen line into Haneda Airport with JR Central. According to Maehara, JR representatives said realizing such a plan would be difficult, but Maehara says he hasn’t given up yet and would like to discuss the idea further.

On a Fuji TV television program in which Maehara made an appearance, he emphasized the need to develop Haneda as an international hub airport, and as a means of improving convenience to the airport, was quoted as saying, “The Shinkansen yard is near Haneda. I’ve already broached the topic (of bringing the trains into the airport) with the railway company.” Maehara has expressed a desire to make use of the tracks extending to the Tōkaidō Shinkansen’s yard near Haneda Airport.

After the program, Maehara commented to reporters, “Due to issues such as capacity constraints at Shinagawa Station and Tōkyō Station, JR representatives have told me it would be difficult to realize this plan with the current setup.” He expressed his intention to continue searching for ways to realize the proposal, saying, “I’ve always thought to myself how we could make good use of the tracks that extend to the yard.”
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:46 PM   #751
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Cameras on Saikyō Line enter service
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/cri...1741020-n1.htm

Quote:
In order to reduce the frequent occurrence of chikan (groping), JR East has installed security cameras on a trial basis on a portion of its cars on the Saikyō Line linking Tōkyō and Saitama, and began running the special train in service the evening of December 28. There is a precedence for camera installations on Shinkansen and limited express trains to deter luggage theft, but this is the first time the cameras have been installed on a commuter train.

The security cameras have been installed on one of the 32 trains owned by the company and used on the Saikyō Line. On December 28, the special train was opened to members of the press in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture. The railway installed two 12 cm-tall, 15 cm-wide cameras on the car ceiling near the doors of Car No. 1, which is especially crowded and the scene of many groping crimes, as well as stickers in six locations warning passengers that the cameras were recording footage. Starting in late January, the railway will fit a car on a second train with four cameras. “During the trial period, we’d like to determine the effectiveness of the cameras as well as passenger reaction,” say JR representatives, who will consider expanding the program to other lines by the end of March after examining its effectiveness.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the Saikyō Line saw the most incidents of groping among all trains in Tōkyō Prefecture from January to September of this year, with over 12 percent of all incidents. There have been several insidious cases where perpetrators have searched for accomplices online, and the MPD and other officials requested in October that railway operators in Greater Tōkyō install security cameras inside trains.

JR East says that it will delete footage after the specified retention period has passed and will not use it for any purpose other than criminal investigation. After ensuring the protection of passenger privacy, the railway decided to introduce the cameras on a trial basis.

Inside a packed train during the rush hour, however, capturing footage of hands is difficult. In addition, the program is only being introduced on a limited number of cars, and some observers are critical of whether the program will truly be able to prevent occurrences of chikan.

On December 28, a part-time woman (20yo) working in Saitama Prefecture standing on the Saikyō Line platforms at Ikebukuro Station remarked, “I welcome anything that will make it even a little bit safer to ride.” On the other hand, a male company worker (54yo) from Tōkyō Prefecture quipped, “I’m doubtful a superficial measure like this will have any effect. Shouldn’t they instead be looking at ways to alleviate the overloaded trains that have made this line a hotbed for chikan in the first place?”
ANN news report

Source: ANNnewsCH on YouTube

Last edited by quashlo; January 1st, 2010 at 07:19 AM.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:46 PM   #752
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Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line to receive new trains
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2009/2009-70.html

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In order to ensure a more efficient use of energy in train operations, Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi) will begin introducing new environmentally-friendly 16000 series trains (16 trains, 160 cars) to replace 6000 series trains on the Chiyoda Line starting in Autumn 2011.

The 16000 series trains will feature energy-efficient equipment, including permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs) that consume approximately 10 percent less electricity than induction motors used on 10000 series trains for the Yūrakuchō Line and Fukutoshin Line. In addition, the 16000 series will feature reduced noise and actively incorporate recyclability and safety design components.

In addition, the trains will feature additional comfort, with an open and airy interior design through the use of large glass sections at car ends and portions of the overhead racks. Space above overhead racks has also been expanded through redesign of the car roof. The new trains will also be designed with barrier-free elements, including a reduced height difference between the car floor and platform.

Car features (as compared to Chiyoda Line 6000 series trains)
  • Improved interior comfort
    • In order to improve comfort inside trains, cooling capacity was increased from 48 kW per car to 58 kW per car.
    • Seating comfort was improved by increasing seat width per passenger from 430 mm to 460 mm and improving cushion design.
  • Improved convenience
    • For information displays, two 17-in. LCDs are installed above each pair of doors, allowing for the provision of more information—including transfer directions and station facility information—in an easier-to-understand and more comprehensive way.
    • The height of the car floor was decreased from 1,200 mm to 1,140 mm, decreasing the height difference with platforms.
    • Stanchion poles were installed in front of seats to allow standing passengers to maintain their posture and assist passengers when sitting or getting up.
    • For the ends of the cars, the height of the racks was decreased from 1,770 mm to 1,700 mm (1,750 mm in the center of the cars) in order to improve the ease of placing or removing personal items from overhead racks. To improve grip on handstraps, the height of the straps was also reduced from 1,640 mm to 1,580 mm.
    • The floor area near car entrances is designed to be more visible, using a different color than the rest of the car floor.
    • To allow passengers both inside and outside the train to discern the timing of doors closing or opening, special lights were installed above doors that flicker on and off with door movement.
  • Reduced environmental impacts
    • By consolidating as much as possible the types of materials used and incorporating the aluminum alloy car body technology used by Tōkyō Metro thus far, the trains have improved recyclability.
  • Improved design against fire and toxic gas
    • The trains are designed with stronger countermeasures against fire and toxic gases, including the use of only materials do not emit toxic gases or melt at high temperatures in the event of fire.



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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:47 PM   #753
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Tōkyō Metro 7000 series units to be sold to Indonesia
http://www.krl.co.id/images/stories/dokumen/BA_EMU3.pdf
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/malaysian_bagus/40024580.html

Estimated price is ¥7.5 million per 10-car consist.
The 7000 series was manufactured between 1974 and 1989 and are used on the Yūrakuchō Line and Fukutoshin Line (and through-service operations onto the Seibu and Tōbu network). Some are being phased out as new 10000 series units enter service, while others have already been scrapped.
The five units being transferred to Indonesia are nos. 21 through 25, which were manufactured in 1983.

Former Japanese trains operating on KRL Jabotabek commuter service in Indonesia:

Ex-Tōkyū 8500 series train (8613F) used on the Den’en Toshi Line. Two cars were removed.

Source: helloparty20 on YouTube

Ex-Eidan (now Tōkyō Metro) 5000 series train used on the Tōzai Line. Two cars were removed.

Source: helloparty20 on YouTube

Ex-JNR (now JR East) 103 series train used on the Musashino Line.

Source: helloparty20 on YouTube
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:48 PM   #754
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Odakyū Romancecar cab view: Hakone Yumoto – Shinjuku
Source: ISO8 on YouTube

Cab view from a Romancecar 7000 LSE limited express. The run is Hakone 2, a weekend / holiday train departing Hakone Yumoto at 8:36 am and arriving at Shinjuku at 10:14 am.

Part 1: Hakone Yumoto – Odawara (6.1 km)
This is actually Hakone Tozan Railway track—Odakyū trains just run through-service onto it. The track is dual-gauge until Iriuda, as Hakone Tozan trains use standard gauge, while Odakyū uses 1067 mm.


Part 2: Odawara – Shin-Matsuda (10.7 km)


Part 3: Shin-Matsuda – Hon-Atsugi (26.4 km)


Part 4: Hon-Atsugi – Machida (14.6 km)
Hon-Atsugi marks the furthest extent of regular Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line train through-service, excepting Metro Hakone, Metro Homeway, and other special limited express trains that run through-service onto the subway.


Part 5: Machida – Mukōgaoka Yūen (15.0 km)


Part 6: Mukōgaoka Yūen – Shinjuku (15.8 km)
Starting at Mukōgaoka Yūen the line is triple-tracked (this was completed earlier this year), becoming quadruple-tracked after passing Noborito. Ongoing construction for quadruple-tracking and undergrounding starts at 7:45 after passing Umegaoka. Particularly near Shimo-Kitazawa, the construction is going on right up against buildings on either side of the tracks, with no room to spare.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 10:33 AM   #755
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I remember reading on subway.net that there was a planned LRT system for Asahikawa. Did that ever get off the ground or was it just a preliminary feasibility study?
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Old January 1st, 2010, 08:20 PM   #756
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I did a quick search and couldn't find anything about LRT in Asahikawa City. I think a citizens' group had been proposing some form of new transit system, but that could have been anything. I don't think it's gotten much further than that. That subways.net site seems to have a lot of errors or is lacking in information.

Wikipedia has a good list of where light rail extensions or new construction have been proposed:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%...B8%80%E8%A6%A7

Quote:
  • Extensions to existing systems
    • Sapporo City Transportation Bureau (Sapporo City): Extension to Sapporo Station
    • Hakodate Transportation Bureau (Hakodate City): Extensions planned for Goryōkaku Park – Mihara and Yunokawa – Hakodate Airport, but abandoned due to cost
    • Tōkyō Metropolitan Transportation Bureau (Tōkyō): Extension of Toden Arakawa Line, Minowabashi – Kita-Senju (east end) and to Ikebukuro Station (west end)
    • Toyama Light Rail (Toyama City): Extension to connect with Toyama Chihō Railroad (after elevation of Toyama Station)
    • Echizen Railway (Fukui City): Through-service between Echizen Railway Mikuni-Arawa Line with Fukui Railway Fukubu Line and introduction of 100% low-floor vehicles
    • West Japan Railway Company (JR West): Conversion of Kibi Line (Okayama City and Sōja City) to LRT
    • Wakayama Electric Railway (Wakayama City): Conversion of the Kishikawa Line to LRT
    • Okayama Electric Tramway (Okayama City): Various proposals to construct new lines, extend existing lines, create a loop line, and / or run through-service with the JR Kibi Line
    • Hiroshima Electric Railway (Hiroshima City): Construction of new tracks on Heiwa-dōri and several extensions
    • Iyo Railway (Matsuyama City): Extension to the Matsuyama Ring Road with the elevation of JR Matsuyama Station
    • Kumamoto Electric Railway (Kumamoto City): Regauging of the entire network and extension of the Fujisaki Line to allow for through-service with the Kumamoto City streetcars (other proposals call for no regauging, but a cross-platform transfer, or conversion to guided bus).
    • Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau (Kagoshima City): Taniyama Tram Stop – Taniyama Station, as well as extensions to the Kagoshima Prefectural Office and Yojirō
  • New LRT proposals
    • Utsunomiya City: JR Utsunomiya Station (East Exit) – East Bank of the Kinugawa River
    • Niigata City
    • Toshima Ward (Tōkyō): single-track loop line between Ikebukuro Station and Sunshine City
    • Kōtō Ward (Tōkyō): Kameido Station – Shin-Kiba Station, possible making use of the Etchūjima Branch Line, a cargo branch of the Sōbu Main Line
    • Nishi-Tōkyō City / Musashino City / Mitaka City / Chōfu City: LRT proposed on Tama North-South Road No. 1, but abandoned due to limited road width and high traffic
    • Shizuoka City: Route planned for Shimizu Ward
    • Kanazawa City: Short-term plan for buses, perhaps converted to LRT in the future
    • Ōgaki City: Ōgaki Station – Softopia Japan
    • Nara City: LRT proposed in central area, but abandoned in 2003 due to cost and ongoing elevation of JR Nara Station
    • Kyōto City: Network of seven routes proposed (see here)
    • Sakai City: Sakaihama – Sakai Station – Sakai-Higashi Station – Sakai-shi Station, with upgrade of Hankai Tramway to LRT
    • Itami City: Ōsaka (Itami) International Airport – JR Itami Station
    • Takamatsu City
    • Higashi-Hiroshima City: Saijō Station – Hiroshima University
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Old January 1st, 2010, 08:41 PM   #757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manrush View Post
I remember reading on subway.net that there was a planned LRT system for Asahikawa. Did that ever get off the ground or was it just a preliminary feasibility study?
If there is such a system proposal, it probably was just that, a proposal. Asahikawa is waiting for the opening of the new/replacement JR station, which is part of the redevelopment of the downtown/riverfront area. After the recent closing of the Seibu dept. store in front of the station, the city is fighting to keep its downtown area viable. After the station area is redeveloped, there may be movement to build a starter LRV line, which may be routed out to the extremely popular Asahiyama Zoo, which currently has poor public transport connections (bus only).

Ironically, Asahikawa once had an electric railway serving the city and an outlying town, the Asahikawa Denkikido Higashikawa Line. It closed in 1972 due to pressure from Asahikawa city to shift passenger and freight traffic carried by this rail line to buses and trucks, respectively.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #758
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Nankai campaign encourages families to move in
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...2345038-n1.htm

Quote:
On December 7, Nankai Electric Railway and Nankai Group real estate firm Nankai Fudōsan announced that they will begin a “Move-in Support Program,” leasing homes in new towns along its network which are facing population aging and renting them out to younger households. Nankai is the first private railway in the Kansai area to launch such a program, which is aimed at encouraging households with children to move in to neighborhoods along Nankai’s railway network, where ridership is continuing to decline. The railway hopes the effort will spur use of the railway and commercial facilities.

In support of corporation Japan Trans-Housing Institute (HQ: Tōkyō Prefecture), Nankai Group will use its knowhow to arrange property rentals, targeting retired, empty-nester households over 50 years of age who own their homes, and signing leases for up to the lifetime of the owners. Nankai will then rent the property to households raising children with no security deposit.

The first round of the campaign will begin on January 30 targeting homes in Sayama New Town (Ōsaka Sayama City, Ōsaka Prefecture). Lot sales in Sayama New Town began in 1968 with a planned population of 24,000, but that number had dropped to 20,000 in 2007. Nankai is looking to expand the campaign to Kawachi Nagano City as well.

Recognizing that older empty-nester households have a tendency to relocate from detached homes to condominiums near stations, Nankai Electric Railway says, “In addition to capturing the market of households looking to change homes, we also want to provide quality housing at low cost to households with children.”
Both Ōsaka Sayama City and Kawachi Nagano City are located along the Nankai Kōya Line in southern Ōsaka Prefecture.
Kawachi Nagano Station is also on the Kintetsu Nagano Line.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #759
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Ōsaka mayor receptive to North Yard stadium
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/socc...OYT1T00984.htm

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With the unveiling of a proposal to construct a new 80,000-seat stadium in the Umeda North Yard north of JR Ōsaka Station, Managing Director Tashima Kōzō of the Japan Football Association and Chairman Onitake Kenji of the Japan Professional Football League visited Ōsaka City Hall on December 28 to submit a formal proposal for construction of the stadium by 2018 to Mayor Hiramatsu Kunio. Tashima and Onitake petitioned the mayor for his support in the realization of the stadium proposal.

Mayor Hiramatsu expressed a positive response to the plan, saying, “It would be fantastic to build this stadium right outside a station that serves 2.5 million passengers a day.” At the same time, the mayor remarked, “There are issues to resolve with respect to funding, and I’d like to ask the national government to construct it as a national sports venue.”

Since western Japan does not have a stadium capable of holding 50,000 people, the Japan Football Association and Japan Professional Football League are exploring the possibility of constructing an 80,000 seat stadium to host the opening and final matches of 2018 or 2022 World Cup, for which Japan is placing a bid.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #760
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Sakai City mayor and City Council square off over LRT plan
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/lo...0830000-n1.htm

Quote:
On January 6, Mayor Takeyama Osami of Sakai City announced that he has established an internal committee and special team to evaluate the preservation of the section of the Hankai Tramway’s Hankai Line inside Sakai City limits, as well as construction of an east-west tramway.

The internal committee will debate the city’s overall transport structure. “When required, we will establish working groups. After hearing comments from Nankai Electric Railway and Hankai Tramway, we will also turn to experts and citizen representatives,” said Mayor Takeyama.

In addition, in reponse to the “public ownership, private operation” model proposed by Hankai Tramway president Yamamoto Takurō at the end of last year, whereby the city would own the trains and tracks while Hankai would manage operations, Mayor Takeyama expressed a negative reaction, saying, “I suspect getting the line in the black operationally will be difficult.”

Mayor Takeyama also announced that he will convene an emergency session of the City Council on January 13 and resubmit the FY2009 supplementary budget that failed to get approval last year at the City Council’s December regular session.

At the December regular session, votes were taken on a supplementary budget—which included an approx. ¥920 million cut through a halt on the light rail transit (LRT) plan between Nankai Sakai Station and Sakai-Higashi Station—as well as two revised budget proposals submitted by City Council members. None of the three budget proposals, however, were approved.
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