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Old February 15th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #901
quashlo
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Survey shows strong support for security cameras against groping
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifest...1956004-n1.htm

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In our latest survey regarding security cameras inside trains, we received 1,057 responses (858 men, 199 women) through February 9. Over 80 percent of respondents said they agree that installing security cameras inside trains is a good idea, and approx. 60 percent said that installing the cameras would help prevent groping. Only 20 percent of respondents said the cameras were an invasion of privacy.
  1. Do you approve of security camera installations inside trains?
    Yes: 87%
    No: 13%
  2. Do you think the installation of security cameras will help prevent groping?
    Yes: 62%
    No: 38%
  3. Do you think security cameras are an invasion of privacy?
    Yes: 20%
    No: 80%
Cameras could prevent false accusations
Female office worker (31yo) from Kanagawa Prefecture: “If they can make the train ride even a little more pleasant, I hope they install them. I don’t see how it’s an invasion of privacy. There are cameras everywhere… ATMs, department stores, bookstores.”

Male government worker (36yo) from Tōkyō Prefecture: “I think it’s difficult to completely stop groping on the trains, but it will definitely help.”

Female employee (33yo) for a women’s organization from Ehime Prefecture: “Trains are a public space and I don’t think the cameras would be an invasion of privacy. For men, the cameras can also be used as evidence to show that they are innocent.”

Male office worker (35yo) from Aichi Prefecture: “If anything decreases, it won’t be the number of groping incidents, but the number of false accusations against men.”

Male office worker (46yo) from Tōkyō Prefecture: “I’ve been at the scene of one groping incident. They made a wall of bodies around the victim, and it wasn’t long before I heard the woman scream from the other side… It was haunting. They should install them immediately on lines where trouble occurs frequently to help prevent crimes. If budget is a problem, they could just install dummy cameras.”

Self-employed man (52yo) from Yamaguchi Prefecture: “We have security cameras inside elevators and convenience stores, and we’re just now getting around to putting them inside trains… What has taken so long? Security cameras have huge benefits, from helping prevent crime to recording evidence and assisting in emergency response.”

Female community college student (19yo) from Ōsaka Prefecture: “I want them to take measures against groping, but security cameras definitely make me uncomfortable. Groping is a heinous crime, but I would hate to be under surveillance when inside the train.”

Self-employed man (21yo) from Saga Prefecture: “Can they really tell whether or not someone is groping someone with cameras on the ceiling of the train? It all depends on the angle, but I doubt it.”

Male government worker (39yo) from Shiga Prefecture: “On a packed train, I don’t see how they will be able to record any evidence with all the people standing so close to each other. There’s just too many blind spots inside the train.”

Male office worker (50yo) from Tōkyō Prefecture: “How exactly will the company in charge of the recordings ensure that the data never gets leaked?”

Male part-time worker (19yo) from Ōsaka Prefecture: “It’s horrible thinking that I’m being watched inside the train… I think I would have a hard time even talking with friends inside the train.”

Male office worker (69yo) from Shimane Prefecture: “The idea that this could somehow prevent groping is pitiful. When it comes to manners, I think we all just need to be a little more vocal to each other.”

Male office worker (61yo) from Tōkyō Prefecture: “Don’t you think the women who dress provocatively are also part of the problem? Middle and high school girls in particular have skirts that are too short, and the schools should be restricting this as part of their policy.”
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Old February 15th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #902
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Two sides in debate over security cameras in trains
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/cri...0728004-n1.htm

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As a countermeasure against groping, JR East installed security cameras on a portion of train cars on the Saikyō Line. While there is hope that the measure is “the ace up the sleeve” in the effort to stop frequent cases of groping inside trains, some also are worried about the cameras’ invasion of personal privacy, with some calling it a bad idea. We asked two experts: Risshō University professor Komiya Nobuo, who says that security cameras “are useful in eliminating crime,” and Nihon University associate professor Mizuno Tadashi, who says the cameras “are not only an invasion of privacy, but also a possible cause of more false accusations.”

Komiya Nobuo: A means to prevent crime
Why do you support the installation of security cameras inside trains?
Most people in Japan think that criminals commit crimes because they have a motive, but that’s wrong. Between the motive and the execution of the crime, there is a “criminal opportunity.” In order to prevent crimes, we must eliminate either the motive or the opportunity to commit the crime, and from my point of view, it’s much simpler to just eliminate the opportunity. Security cameras are a means to eliminate these opportunities.

What exactly do you mean by “eliminating criminal opportunities”?
If we take groping inside trains as an example, it would be incredibly difficult to eliminate the motive. And for someone who hasn’t committed groping, telling them that they can’t board the train based on their face, their appearance, or their actions up until then is an infringement on individual rights. Instead, it’s much simpler to eliminate the opportunities to commit crimes. Right now, the situation is such that perpetrators think that they can get away with groping. As long as we focus not on people, but on the location, it’s not an infringement of individual rights. And if we can also prevent false accusations, the cameras will end up protecting individual rights.

How effective do you think the cameras will be?
I can’t say unconditionally that the cameras will prove effective. First of all, we have to do something about locations where there are no cameras and criminals might think they can get away with groping. Otherwise, the measure is meaningless. The other critical thing is not to leave everything to the machines. If we depend too much on the cameras and people become apathetic, the effort will probably fail.

What else is necessary?
We need not only hard countermeasures, but also soft ones. In order to allow people to be vocal and help the victim when they see an incident of groping, we must create a framework that encourages people to help and protects them in these situations. Of course, there is also a need for an educational system that raises people to take action and not pretend they don’t see crimes happening.

Some people say installing security cameras inside trains is a violation of privacy.
Trains are a public space where people can’t be excluded. It’s exactly because privacy is limited that we call it a “public place.” In public places, we must recongnize others around us and show mutual respect to each other, but there are some people who act as if the train is their own room at home. The cameras are one means of preventing this “privatization” of the space and protecting its public nature. If the recorded images are used inappropriately, however, then it’s an invasion of privacy.

How should we manage the recordings?
In England, for example, the restrictions on images recorded through security cameras are extremely strict. They’ve created rules with legal ramifications that dictate who can see the images and how companies should respond when the police request footage to be turned over. In Japan, there are many individually-run installations, and people don’t know how the recorded images are being used. The most important thing is ensuring that the images are managed appropriately and not used for any other purpose than crime prevention. Instead of debating over whether or not to install the cameras, shouldn’t society’s energies be devoted to restricting the use of the images?

Mizuno Tadashi: An invasion of privacy
Why do you oppose the installation of security cameras inside trains?
It’s not just trains, I’m against installing security cameras anywhere, including in the streets or in stores. Don’t you think it’s strange that people who haven’t done anything wrong have to be placed under surveillance? The installation of security cameras inside trains is also different from installations out in the streets, and the cameras record passengers for the entire time they are inside the train. Since the cameras are taking images from above, they can really only capture people’s heads during the rush hour, but when the train is less crowded, the cameras can take all sorts of images. There’s the possibility that the cameras will record women’s disheveled clothing or unflattering sleeping posture, even the contents of mobile phone text messages. There are currently many of these types of images floating on the Internet.

Is camera installation alone an infringement on privacy rights?
In regards to recording in public places, there are two lines of thought: One that says there’s nothing wrong with recording images as long as you don’t release them to the public, and another that says the act of recording images is wrong to begin with. It’s difficult to judge whether the inside of a train qualifies as a public place or not. But with the installation of the security cameras, there’s a fear that the cameras will record images of women unawares, and that these images could be leaked to the public. I think the installation alone already violates individual privacy.

Is it difficult to prevent the images from being leaked?
The number of cameras installed on the JR Saikyō Line is currently small, but if the number increases, then that also means that the number of people involved in the management of the recorded data must also increase, and maintaining control of all the data becomes more difficult. As such, the danger of data being stolen, lost, or leaked to the public increases.

What countermeasures are needed to prevent the leaking of images?
The individuals responsible for management of the recorded data must be specifically identified, and care must be taken to ensure that the images are not retrieved for any other purpose than investigation of crimes taking place inside the trains. After a specified period of time, the recorded data should also be erased. In addition, we should establish a neutral, independent authority that examines who is controlling images recorded by security cameras and how, for camera installations everywhere. In the event that there is a violation of privacy, this authority can come to the aid of victims.

How effective do you think the cameras will be?
Even if we install security cameras as a countermeasure against groping, with the current cameras taking images from above, I suspect it will be difficult to record any incidents of groping during the rush hour, and that the best the cameras can do is identify possible culprits based on where victims are standing and who is around them. It’s possible that this can result in new cases of false accusation.

What else can we do to combat groping outside of security cameras?
Establishing men-only and women-only cars is better in terms of cost burdens on railway companies, and many passengers have already been asking for this. Cases of groping inside trains frequently occur during the rush hour, so more companies should look into introducing flex time systems.

Komiya Nobuo
Professor at the Risshō University Faculty of Letters (Criminal Sociology). Born in Tōkyō Prefecture in 1956. Graduated from Chūō University’s School of Law and completed postgraduate work at Cambridge University’s School of Criminology. After serving with the Ministry of Justice, he entered his current position. He is also general advisor for Tōkyō Prefecture’s Local Safety Map Campaign.

Mizuno Tadashi
Associate professor at Nihon University’s College of Law (Cyberlaw). Born in Tōkyō Prefecture in 1952. After graduating from Nihon University’s College of Law, he served as lecturer for the university before reaching his current position. He is conducting ongoing legal research regarding computers, including identifications systems and internet auctions.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 08:14 AM   #903
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Tōkyō Metro CM making

Some behind-the-scenes footage taken during filming for Tōkyō Metro’s latest campaign (Tōkyō Heart) with actress Miyazaki Aoi.
Source: aoimiyazaki1130 on YouTube

“Service Manager”



“Platform Doors”



“Ekichika”



“Fukutoshin Line”

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Old February 15th, 2010, 08:15 AM   #904
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Videos of unconnected transfer stations

Some interesting videos of unconnected transfer stations in the Tōkyō suburbs.
Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube

Follow the stream of traffic from Akitsu Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line to Shin-Akitsu Station on the JR Musashino Line. The local commercial district lines the route, complicating construction of a new connecting passage that could draw foot traffic away.



From Shin-Kawasaki Station on the Yokosuka Line to Kashimada Station on the Nambu Line. This is a JR-to-JR transfer, and though there are signs identifiying the transfer, the stations are 300 m apart and passengers do not receive a fare discount. When the new Musashi Kosugi Station on the Yokosuka Line opens in March, it will offer a real transfer between the Yokosuka Line and Nambu Line.



From Keiō Inadazutsumi Station on the Keiō Sagamihara Line to Inadazutsumi Station on the JR Nambu Line. These are approx. 400 m apart.

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Old February 15th, 2010, 01:18 PM   #905
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My recent favorite video (not made by me) from Nico Nico Douga:

Watching the duodecuple (12) tracks section of Nippori, on weekday 8 o'clock
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Old February 17th, 2010, 06:01 AM   #906
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I read somewhere that Kawasaki is getting a metro line and Sendai is adding a second line to its metro.

Is there a chance in the future for Chiba and Saitama to have their own metro lines?

Does the Otaru-Sapporo line have enough of a frequency to justify converting it into a metro line?
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Old February 17th, 2010, 06:12 AM   #907
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On the subject of new lines, a couple of years ago (?) I read that the Japanese government had an announced an initiative to fund the construction of new light rail systems in several cities currently underserved by public transportation. Utsunomiya was named, but I haven't heard anything since then. Has there been any progress on the system Utsunomiya's supposed to be getting? What about other cities? I'd enjoy knowing how that played out; it's been a dangling unanswered question in my mind for a while now.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 06:51 AM   #908
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manrush View Post
I read somewhere that Kawasaki is getting a metro line and Sendai is adding a second line to its metro.

Is there a chance in the future for Chiba and Saitama to have their own metro lines?

Does the Otaru-Sapporo line have enough of a frequency to justify converting it into a metro line?
Yes, there are currently plans for a Kawasaki subway. Link My take is that this project that will go ahead eventually. However, there are concerns over the expected profitability (or lack of) amongst other issues

The new sendai subway line is under construction, opening 2015

source: Sendai transport bureau
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Old February 17th, 2010, 11:20 AM   #909
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Does the Otaru-Sapporo line have enough of a frequency to justify converting it into a metro line?
In this case, no. The existing JR Hakodate Line between Sapporo and Otaru is double track and electrified, with plenty of capacity. There is little population growth in the Otaru area (only Sapporo has growth in all of Hokkaido). On the other hand, the currently DMU served Sassho line will be electrified in a few years, to reduce rush-hour headways to better serve the growing northern suburbs of Sapporo.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #910
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Originally Posted by manrush View Post
Is there a chance in the future for Chiba and Saitama to have their own metro lines?
Both Chiba and Saitama are already covered extensively by existing JR and private railway lines, performing functions akin to your typical "metro."

If you're talking about something like how Yokohama City has a separately-operated municipal subway outside of JR and private railways, then there's no direct parallel for Saitama or Chiba. The closest existing examples might be the New Shuttle for Saitama and the Chiba Monorail for Chiba, but neither of these is like Yokohama's system (or Kawasaki's proposed system).
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Old February 17th, 2010, 06:50 PM   #911
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Originally Posted by sterlinglush View Post
On the subject of new lines, a couple of years ago (?) I read that the Japanese government had an announced an initiative to fund the construction of new light rail systems in several cities currently underserved by public transportation. Utsunomiya was named, but I haven't heard anything since then. Has there been any progress on the system Utsunomiya's supposed to be getting? What about other cities? I'd enjoy knowing how that played out; it's been a dangling unanswered question in my mind for a while now.
The Utsunomiya LRT plan appears to be shelved, at least for the moment:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=837

The proposal for Sakai City also ran into local resistance over cost and design issues. Toyama City recently opened a small loop line, and several major cities are looking at new systems or upgrades / extensions of existing tram networks, including Fukuoka City, Kyōto City, and Sapporo City.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:35 PM   #912
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Plan to contract out Kagoshima City municipal bus operations delayed
http://373news.com/modules/pickup/to...&storyid=21912

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On January 31, the Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau terminated negotiations with Kagoshima Transport (President: Iwasaki Yoshitarō), with which the Transportation Bureau had been negotiating to contract out a portion of its bus routes, bringing back to square one the plan to contract out bus operations starting in April. The move is primarily believed to be a result of the Bureau discovering that buses operated by the company were involved in serious accidents last spring.

A prerequisite for the national government’s approval of contracting out fixed-route bus operations to private firms is that the private firm must have not caused a serious accident within the one-year period before application for approval. According to officials familiar with the details, discovery of the serious accident would have made approval by the national government difficult.

As part of its financial stabilization plan starting in FY2010, the Transportation Bureau had planned to contract out operations from its North Office and Sakurajima Office to a private firm for a five-year period starting in April. In November of last year, the Transportation Bureau selected operators in a public bidding process. Of the three firms that tendered bids, the selection committee ranked Nangoku Transport in first place, but as one of the company’s fixed-route buses had resulted in a fatality in October, the Bureau selected runner-up Kagoshima Transport instead.

After the December regular session of the City Council, the Transportation Bureau had proceeded to negotiate with Kagoshima Transport in the hopes of securing a contract in January, but according to officials, discussions stalled over the Bureau’s treatment of part-time bus operators. The serious accident was then discovered, and the Bureau terminated negotiations on January 29. The Bureau plans to restart the selection process for a private operator after autumn of FY2010.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:36 PM   #913
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Matsue City presents three New Transit aligments to working group
http://www.sanin-chuo.co.jp/news/mod...ryid=517983004

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In order to evaluate the feasibility of light rail transit (LRT) or articulated low-floor bus rapid transit (BRT), on February 16 Matsue City presented three alignments to the seven members of the Matsue City New Transport System Working Group (Chairman: University of Tsukuba graduate school professor Taniguchi Mamoru).

The Working Group will soon conduct an awareness survey asking the city’s 10,000 residents about the need for a “New Transit” system. Based on the survey results and a project cost analysis, the Working Group will determine whether or not to construct the line and if so, the selected alignment.

The three alignments consist of a “bipolar” alignment connecting JR Matsue Station (Asahimachi, Matsue City) and the Ichibata Electric Railway’s Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station (Nakabarachō, Matsue City), as well as two “circular” alignments connecting JR Matsue Station and public facilities in cental Matsue City.

The approx. 3 km bipolar alignment would travel from JR Matsue Station across Matsue Ōhashi (Matsue Bridge) or Matsue Shin-Ōhashi (New Matsue Bridge) and passing the Shimane Prefectural Assembly Hall (Tonomachi, Matsue City) before arriving at Ichibata Electric Railway’s Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station.

An approx. 4 km circular alignment, however, would connect JR Matsue Station with the Kunibiki Messe (Gakuen Minami 1-chōme, Matsue City) and Matsue City Hall (Suetsuguchō, Matsue City). There is also a plan to combine this route with another circular alignment connecting the Shimane Art Museum (Sodeshichō, Matsue City) and Plover Hall (Nishi-Tsuda 6-chōme, Matsue City) to form an approx. 7 km “eight-shaped” route.

In regards to the benefits of the bipolar alignment, city representatives explained that the line would be short, reducing impacts on other transport such as automobiles and increasing convenience for visitors by connecting with the Ichibata Electric Railway. The city identified competition with buses, which operate 214 trips on the same route, as a disadvantage of the bipolar alignment.

The two circular alignments are longer and would operate on major arterials, resulting in a greater impact to other transport such as automobiles and increasing project costs. However, the city identified the lack of competition with buses and the ability to connect the city’s main public facilities as advantages of the circular alignments.
I first posted about the Matsue City LRT proposal here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=714
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:37 PM   #914
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Takamatsu City hands out IruCa cards to elderly drivers
http://mytown.asahi.com/kagawa/news....00001002200002

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Takamatsu City has finalized plans to issue an IruCa card—the IC farecard for the Takamatsu–Kotohira Electric Railroad (Kotoden)—and a Jūki citizen card to elderly drivers when they give up their driver’s license. The Jūki card will serve as a form of identification, and Takamatsu City officials are currently considering how much value to place on the IruCa cards.

The city and the Liaison Committee for the Association of Mothers for Transportation Safety in Takamatsu City conducted a survey in November and December of last year targeted at 3,000 respondents aged 65 or older. A total of 2,634 respondents answered the questionnaire, of which 1,408 were in possession of a driver’s license. In response to the question “What’s different about driving now than when you were young?” approx. 29 percent said their response time to situations has increased, approx. 28 percent said they tire easily and can no longer drive for long periods of time, and approx. 23 percent said nothing in particular has changed.

In addition, approx. 15 percent of the elderly responded that they don’t mind giving up their driver’s license. Reasons included deteriorating health (approx. 45 percent), less confidence in driving skills (approx. 22 percent), and recommendations from family and friends to give up the license (approx. 22 percent). Meanwhile, for those who responded that they didn’t want to surrender their license (85 percent), reasons included a lack of alternative means of transportation (approx. 39 percent), no deterioriation in driving skills (approx. 37 percent), and use of the license as personal identification (approx. 12 percent).

As a result, Takamatsu City decided to exchange surrendered driver’s licenses with IruCa cards to help prevent roadway accidents and encourage use of public transportation, as well as issue Jūki citizen cards to replace the function of the driver’s license as proof of identification. According to the Kagawa Prefectural Police Department’s Transport Initiatives Section, the elderly accounted for 15 percent, or 2,956, of all accidents involving car or motorcycle drivers last year.

According to the city’s Transport Safety Strategy Office, the number of drivers aged 65 or over who returned their licenses was 87 in 2008 and 160 in 2009. The increase in 2009 appears to be the result of a special service that started in summer 2008 whereby many of the taxi companies provide a 10 percent discount on taxi fares to passengers who have surrendered their driver’s licenses. A representative from the Strategy Office remarked, “The number of people who do not mind surrendering their licenses exceeded expectations. I hope this latest campaign gives people who want to return their driver’s licenses a little push.”

In regards to the elderly and driver’s licenses, drivers aged 70 or over are required to take lessons when renewing their licenses. In June of last year, drivers aged 75 or over are also required to take a cognitive ability examination when renewing their licenses.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:38 PM   #915
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Hankai Tramway disappointed with Sakai City’s proposed funding amount
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...002200031.html

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In the dilemma surrounding the survival of the 7.9 km Sakai City section of the Hankai Line, Ōsaka Prefecture’s last remaining streetcar, Sakai City revealed its preliminary budget for FY2010 on February 19, which would include ¥160 million in funding assistance to operator Hankai Tramway. Mayor Takeyama Osami says the measure is “one step towards preserving the line,” but there remains a significant gap between the funding amount and what the tramway had requested in financial assistance.

The city included the funding in its FY2010 preliminary general account budget. Of the total funding amount, ¥120 million would go towards sleeper and track maintenance, and ¥40 million would go towards improvement works at intersections which the Hankai Line passes through.

In December of last year, Hankai Tramway requested ¥3 billion in funding assistance, going towards elimination of the annual operating deficit for the Sakai City section of approx. ¥200 million, as well as long-term improvements including introduction of low-floor trains and facility improvements. In response to the latest proposed funding assistance, Hankai Tramway president Yamamoto Takurō remarked, “We’re still in an extremely critical situation. According to the latest funding assistance plan, we’ll have little choice but to start looking at abandoning the line.”

In January, the city established a group within City Hall to consider a plan to preserve the Hankai Line. After hearing opinions from citizens and experts and receiving approval from the City Council, the city will present a specific funding assistance plan to Hankai Tramway by September.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:39 PM   #916
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Outbound track of Kintetsu Nara Line to be elevated in May 2010
http://www.kintetsu.jp/news/files/20...senrenritu.pdf

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Ōsaka Prefecture, Higashi-Ōsaka City and Kintetsu Corporation have been working together to move forward with the Kintetsu Nara Line Continuous Grade Separation Project (between Yaenosato and Wakae–Iwata in Higashi-Ōsaka City, approx 3.3 km) as an Ōsaka Prefecture master plan project since FY1992.

The outbound track (for Nara) has recently been completed, and the existing track will be switched out with the elevated track in late May 2010. Through the elevation of the outbound track, waiting times for cross-traffic at nine grade crossings along the line will be reduced and traffic congestion alleviated.

In addition, in preparation for the track switchout, open houses at the three stations along the line to receive new buildings (Wakae–Iwata Station, Kawachi–Hanazono Station, and Higashi-Hanazono Station) will be held between 10:00 and 15:00 on Sunday, April 25, 2010. We hope you will join us for a visit.
Some construction photos (2010.01.30), first between the start of the construction section and Wakae–Iwata Station:
Source: http://dkkawachi.blog58.fc2.com/

Ramp for track work vehicles



Facing east towards Wakae–Iwata Station. They have already put up the overhead mast supports and should start on the catenary soon.



The elevated Wakae–Iwata Station is pushed about 20 to 30 m west towards Ōsaka Namba. The building being constructed immediately behind the station is a 15-story, 190-unit condominium block (Lions Wakae–Iwata Station Plaza).







At a grade crossing near the station.



This rendering was actually produced by the condominium developer, but it’s the best one I’ve seen for the new Wakae–Iwata Station, at least a massing of it.


Source: Daikyō

At Kawachi–Hanazono Station:
Source: http://dkkawachi.blog58.fc2.com/

The new elevated station under construction from the south. The existing station is at ground level.



From the north.







At Higashi-Hanazono Station:
Source: http://dkkawachi.blog58.fc2.com/

The exterior of the station actually features a giant object shaped like a rugby ball, drawing attention to the nearby Hanazono Rugby Field, first constructed by the predecessor to Kintetsu in 1929. The stadium is the home field for the Kintetsu Liners, Kintetsu’s corporate rugby team.



Near the junction between the Nara Line and the service track to and from the car yard.



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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:43 PM   #917
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New retail facility to open in JR Wakayama Station Building in March
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/wak...OYT8T01343.htm

Quote:
On January 18, the JR West Group Wakayama Station Building announced that it will open shopping center Wakayama MIO on March 31 inside the JR Wakayama Station Building (Misonochō 5-chōme, Wakayama City) currently under-renovation.

Wakayama MIO consists of one underground floor and four aboveground floors, stretching across approx. 12,000 sq m of floor space. A total of 35 new shops will join the 25 existing shops. The two corridors in each floor have been reduced to one on each floor, with shops lining both sides.

The underground level will feature a food section and drugstore, while the first floor, directly connected to the station’s Central Gate, will be home to restaurants and shops selling local goods. The second and third floors will primarily feature fashion stores targeting women in their 20s and 30s, while the fourth floor is scheduled to be home to a bookstore featuring business books and other items, and a general store.

JR West Group forecasts annual sales of approx. ¥3.5 billion, and Wakayama Station Building operations chief Sawada Ken’ichi remarked, “We want to make this a facility that fits the needs of today, so that people who currently go to Ōsaka to shop will now be able to shop at Wakayama.”

The station tenant building opened in 1968 as a commercial facility. In 1995, the aging facilities underwent a renovation to VIVO Wakayama, but sales have been dropping year-over-year after a peak of approx. ¥3.9 billion in 1996. In FY2008, sales had dipped to approx. ¥2 billion, and the facility closed at the end of last year.
Wakayama Station is JR’s central terminal in Wakayama City, and is served by the Hanwa Line, Wakayama Line, and Kisei Main Line, as well as the Wakayama Electric Railway’s Kishikawa Line. The JR station sees 20,200 daily entries (2006) while the Wakayama Electric Railway station sees 4,500 daily entries and exits (2007).
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:44 PM   #918
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New Fukui Railway station opens on March 25
http://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/module...p?storyid=9946

Quote:
On February 19, Fukui Railway announced that it would open the new Sports Park Station (Iehisachō, Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture) on the Fukubu Line) together with the schedule changes taking effect March 25. The schedule changes eliminate the shuttle trips running between Tawaramachi and Fukui Station during the midday period. The railway will operate trains between Tawaramachi and Echizen Takefu via the Fukui Station branch line, popularly known as the “Moustache Line” because of the way it branches off the main line.

The is the first new station on the Fukubu Line since Harmony Hall station opened in Fukui City 13 years ago. Sports Park Station was constructed after approval in FY2008 from the national government under the Local Public Transportation Coordination Plan. The unmanned station features 40 m long platforms, and the platform waiting area features locally-grown thinned wood and Echizen-style Japanese paper. Ridership is set at 4,000 for the first fiscal year of operation.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will start at 9:00 am, after which the commemorative first train will leave the station. The first 250 people to arrive at the station will be given a one-day pass valid on opening day that allows unlimited travel along the whole line and special commemorative goods until noon.

The discontinued Tawaramachi – Fukui Station shuttle trips were introduced in December 2007, but passengers needed to transfer at Shiyakusho-mae (City Hall Station) when traveling the Tawaramachi end and the Echizen City end. In order to improve convenience for elderly passengers, many of whom travel during the midday periods, the railway will switch to an operations plan that doesn’t require transfers.

With the schedule changes, the railway will also change the names of five of its stations. Takefu Shin will become “Echizen Takefu,” Nishi-Takefu will become “Kitago,” Kami-Sabae will become “Sun Dome Nishi,” Fukui Shin will become “Sekijūji-mae” (Red Cross Hospital), and Saibansho-mae (Court House Station) will become “Jin’ai Girls’ High School.”
I first posted about the new stations here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=317

Fukui Railway trains at Tawaramachi Station:


Source: HAMATAGUCHI on YouTube

A blast from the past, Fukui Railway 200 series trains. These were manufactured in 1960 and 1962, and are still running in regular service. Unlike local private railways nowadays, these units were manufactured strictly for Fukui Railway (nowadays, most just take hand-me-downs from the larger private railways in the Kantō, Kansai, and Chūbu regions).


Source: ayokoi on YouTube
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:44 PM   #919
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Nagoya Municipal Subway 6050 series arrives

This is the new rolling stock for the Nagoya Municipal Subway Sakura-dōri Line extension from Nonami to Tokushige, currently under construction. These are designed to work with the platform door system being installed on the extension and scheduled to be installed on existing stations by FY2011. Trains are five cars long and now feature wheelchair space in all cars (five spaces per train instead of the current two spaces per train). After examination and testing, the first unit is scheduled to enter service in July.

The extension adds another 4.2 km and four stations (Naruko Kita, Aioiyama, Kamisawa, and Tokushige) to the Sakura-dōri Line.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/


Source: Anonymous on http://rail-uploader.khz-net.com/

At Toyohashi Station, being hauled by locomotive.


Source: WL7011 on YouTube
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Old February 21st, 2010, 12:45 PM   #920
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Ōtagawa Station set to become Tōkai City’s new center
http://mytown.asahi.com/aichi/news.p...00001002120004

Quote:
The railway elevation project surrounding Ōtagawa Station, the junction of the Nagoya Railroad (Meitetsu) Tokoname Line and Kōwa Line branch line, is approaching completion. In autumn of next year, the grade crossings will be removed and the station will be elevated. Tōkai City has plans to construct pedestrian paths and a daycare facility, creating a new city center.

Tōkai City was born 41 years ago, when the former towns of Ueno and Yokosuka consolidated. The population increased by 30,000 to approx. 108,000, but the city has lacked a downtown area to serve as its gateway, and this lack of unity has been one of the city’s weakpoints.

Three projects are progressing simultaneously in the area around Ōtagawa Station, including a land readjustment project across approx. 64 ha, an urban redevelopment project, and a railway elevation project. The land readjustment project begun in 1992 is expected to cost approx. ¥39.6 billion and is scheduled for completion in FY2015, with currently over 60 percent of buildings already moved.

The first milestone comes with completion of the elevation of the Meitetsu tracks in autumn of next year, after which development in the area east of the station will proceed. A 50 m wide pedestrian path will stretch 280 m, becoming a space to relax, and there are proposals to hold a special event that gathers together festival shrine floats under one roof. “I’m looking to make this into a vibrant gateway to the city, with morning markets and exhibits of locally-grown orchids,” says Mayor Suzuki Atsuo.

On privately-owned land a little further south, a 14-story condominium development (130 units) is complete, and move-in is scheduled to begin in March. A three-story commercial building is also scheduled to begin construction in the summer. On the third floor of the building, the city will establish a community center and general daycare facility with 3,000 children’s books, opening in April of next year.

A stop for buses circulating through the city, a taxi loading zone, and an auto pickup zone will be constructed etween the commercial building and the station. The first floor of the station will also feature a city administrative services counter and a tourist goods plaza.

In addition, south of the station, the redevelopment union established by landowners last year is hammering out the details of the redevelopment project. The union has internally agreed to construct public facilities on the site, including a city cultural hall and underground parking facility (150 spaces).

West of the station, however, a primary use has yet to be determined. Uny, Meitetsu, and the redevelopment union all own land in the area, and the city is working with the three entities to sort things out.

Uny’s parcel in the area was the former site of one of the company’s stores, and the retailer will likely be receptive to constructing a new commercial facility on the site. For the Meitetsu-owned land closest to the station, however, the railway has yet to indicate a clear policy, so representatives from Uny are holding off on narrowing down the details of any new commercial development.

On January 7, Mayor Suzuki visited Meitetsu’s headquarters to ask Meitetsu vice-president Andō Kazushi for the railway’s cooperation. Mayor Suzuki says, “Especially now that the financial environment is rough and the private sector is wary of investments, we as the public sector need to step up and do what’s necessary to create a corporate-friendly environment.”
Ōtagawa Station is a major station on the Tokoname Line, which connects to Chūbu Centrair International Airport. Daily entries and exits are 13,200 (2007). Frequent direct service is provided to Meitetsu Nagoya Station (Meitetsu’s terminal in Nagoya City) and destinations beyond on Meitetsu’s network in the Nagoya area.

Some renderings of the station area developments:
Source: Tōkai City

Condo block and commercial facility.





The pedestrian path leading to the station.



The railway elevation project covers 2.0 km of the Tokoname Line and 0.7 km of the Kōwa Line in the vicinity of Ōtagawa Station. Six grade crossings will be removed, with a total project cost of approx. ¥34 billion. As it is a junction, the station will actually be quite large, with three island platforms (six tracks) spread across two elevated platform levels.

Construction photos (2010.01):
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/toudou-yuu/

Owari Yokosuka, one station further out on the Tokoname Line, is actually already elevated, so they are going to reconstruct everything above ground level on the section between Owari Yokosuka and Ōtagawa.



Foundation of the new Ōtagawa Station under construction.



North of Ōtagawa Station, the columns for the new elevated structure are taking shape.







Just north of the station, the tracks cross the Ōta River, really just a small creek. Here, they’ve driven in some sheet piles along the riverbank next to the existing tracks.



The frontage road along the riverbank is closed to auto traffic during the construction.

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