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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:15 AM   #1041
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Setagaya Ward launches solar bike parking at train stations
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...1504015-n2.htm

Quote:
On March 16, San’yō Electric announced that it has supplied Tōkyō Prefecture’s Setagaya Ward with a “solar bicycle parking facility” combining solar and lithium-ion batteries, and 100 Eneloop electric bicycles. The total cost of the contract is approx. ¥90 million. Among local jurisdictions, Tokushima Prefecture is conducting field tests of solar-powered bicycle parking facilities, but Setagaya Ward’s project is the first implemented on a permanent basis. Following this latest implementation of solar bicycle parking, San’yō will strengthen its marketing of the technology to local jurisdictions.

San’yō installed 36 solar panels (each 142 cm long by 89 cm wide) on the roofs at each of two Setagaya Ward-operated bicycle parking facilities, at Sakurajōsui on the Keiō Line and Sakurashinmachi on the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line. The maximum electrical output of each of the 36-panel installations is 7.56 kW. Each of the installations also features two lithium-ion battery systems, each capable of storing 4.71 kW h of electrical power, to charge electric bicycles provided as rentals.

In addition to 40 electric bicycles introduced at each of Sakurajōsui and Sakurashinmachi, San’yō will introduce the remaining 20 electric bicycles to a bicycle parking facility at Kyōdō Station on the Odakyū Line. After charging for 3.5 hours, the bikes can run for 100 km.

The electricity generated by the solar panels will also be used to power LED lighting installed for nighttime illumination of the bicycle parking facility. Setagaya Ward will study usage patterns in the coming year before deciding whether to install the systems at other bicycle parking facilities throughout the ward.

In addition to Setagaya Ward, Tokushima Prefecture has teamed up with San’yō to install solar bicycle parking at its employee bicycle parking facility at the prefectural office building. Electric bicycles are being provided as a public fleet of vehicles during this field test. Programs to expand solar bicycle parking installations are set to take off throughout Japan.
DigInfo news report (2010.03.16):


Source: diginfonewsjapan on YouTube
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:16 AM   #1042
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Tōkyū opens nursery school underneath Den’en Toshi Line tracks
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ka...502000078.html

Quote:
On April 1, Tōkyū Corporation (HQ: Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō) will open a Kawasaki City-certified nursery school underneath the elevated tracks at Takatsu Station on the Den’en Toshi Line. The project will actively reuse space beneath the elevated structure that was created when the Ōimachi Line was extended to Mizonokuchi Station and the track right-of-way was expanded outwards. The railway hopes to attract young families to move in along the line by strengthening daycare school options.

The new Palette Nursery School Takatsu is a two-minute walk from Takatsu Station and is being leased and operated by nursery school and night school operator Rikyū Corporation (HQ: Yokohama City). The site covers approx. 400 sq m and has a capacity for 60 students. The school has ended the application process for incoming students next month.

With the latest opening, Tōkyū has opened four nursery schools in Tōkyō Prefecture and Yokohama City using space freed up as a result of the undergrounding of its rail lines or widening of track right-of-way. This is Tōkyū’s first such project in Kawasaki City.

Spokespersons for Tōkyū’s secretarial and public relations department say they hope to lure new residents along the rail network by developing family-friendly neighborhoods, and plan to increase their nursery schools in Kanagawa Prefecture in the coming future.

Source: Tōkyū Corporation

Tōkyū is also expanding their daycare facility at Ōokayama Station on the Meguro Line and Ōimachi Line. They already have facilities at Fudōmae (Meguro Line), Nagatsuta (Den’en Toshi Line, Kodomo no Kuni Line), and Tsunashima (Tōyoko Line).
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:17 AM   #1043
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Redevelopment at Futako–Tamagawa Station taking shape
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/th...402000090.html

Quote:
The East Exit of Tōkyū Futako–Tamagawa Station is in the midst of redevelopment. A commercial facility near the station and three residential high-rises a little further away on the east side are taking shape. A plan has also been announced to convert the space in between the two parcels, currently used for temporary retail space and other uses, into a 31-story building housing offices and a hotel.

There are some who welcome the redevelopment with applause. And then there are residents who decry the project due to shadows. Not only have they lost views of Mt. Fuji and the Tamagawa Fireworks Display, but cars have flooded the area and polluted the air. The complaints are never-ending.

“It’s like a big naval ship just plopped down into the neighborhood. There’s not much we can do about the parts that are already finished, but hopefully they’ll keep the remaining area as open space,” says Toshiko Stewart, who lives in the area. Her husband is an American architectural historian. With cooperation from her architecture acquaintances, she has drafted an alternative plan designed around the theme of “sustainability.”

In the period before World War II, the predecessor to Tōkyū Corporation constructed amusement parks and pools and developed the Futako–Tamagawa area as a leisure zone. The name of the station actually comes from the former Futako–Tamagawa-en theme park, which closed in 1985. The Tamagawa Takashimaya Shopping Center, which debuted on the west side of the station in 1969, is the prototypical example of large suburban retail.

Will a town that has offered a lifestyle at the forefront of social trends be able to deliver a new attraction in the 21st century that distinguishes it from “just another redevelopment project”?
The Futako–Tamagawa redevelopment, known as Futako–Tamagawa Rise, is being undertaken jointly by Tōkyū Corporation and Tōkyū Land Corporation.
Source: Futako–Tamagawa East Area Urban Redevelopment Union

The blocks closest to the station will feature commercial development, including a large mall, a Tōkyū Department Store, a Tōkyū Store (a supermarket), and office space. The easternmost block contains three condominium towers containing 1,033 units. Further east of the towers will be a park.













Aerial (2010.01), showing the project under construction:
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/helicopter/

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:17 AM   #1044
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Ten years since Hibiya Line accident
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/cri...1003002-n1.htm

Quote:
March 8 marked ten years since the derailment accident on the Tōkyō Metro Hibiya Line that left five passengers dead and 64 injured. Families of victims and officials, including Tōkyō Metro president Umezaki Hisashi, gathered at the memorial for the accident near Naka-Meguro Station (Meguro Ward, Tōkyō), laying flowers at the site and praying for victims’ peace in the next world.

According to Tōkyō Metro spokespersons, the railway had finalized an agreement for reparations to the last injured victim who was still receiving medical treatment, settling all reparations with the 69 victims and their families. Representatives from Tōkyō Metro’s Public Relations Section say they cannot release the details of the agreements.

The accident occurred on the morning of March 8, 2000 between Naka-Meguro and Ebisu on the Hibiya Line when a Naka-Meguro-bound train derailed on a curve and collided with a train in the oncoming direction. The Railway Accident Investigation Committee under the then Ministry of Transport had prepared a report that cited multiple factors that contributed to the accident, including an unbalanced load on the train’s wheels that caused them to jump the rails.

In March 2001, the Metropolitan Police Department filed charges of occupational negligence against five employees of the former Eidan Subway, but the Tōkyō District Public Prosecutor’s Office dropped the charges, citing that it “would have been difficult to foresee the accident.”
ANN news report (2010.03.07):

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:18 AM   #1045
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Five years since Takenotsuka grade crossing accident
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/tok...OYT8T00083.htm

Quote:
It has been five years since the grade crossing accident at Takenotsuka Station in Adachi Ward on the Tōbu Isesaki Line that resulted in four casualties. Families of victims including Kayama Keiko (54), the eldest daughter of Takahashi Toshie from Yokohama City, 75 years old at the time of the accident, gathered March 15 at the scene of the accident at the same time five years ago, paying their respects once again. After the incident, Kayama has been visiting the scenes of grade crossing accidents across Japan and keeping in contact with the families of other victims. In January of this year, in an effort to share sadness and bitterness amongst each other, a special support group for bereaved families was established, the first such example for families of victims of grade crossing accidents. Through newsletters, the group hopes to offer a forum for affected families to share their thoughts, while at the same time beginning efforts to eliminate dangerous grade crossings.

On the afternoon of March 14 in Gyōda City, Saitama Prefecture, Kayama stood at a pedestrian- and bike-only grade crossing on the Chichibu Railway. One middle school-aged boy was killed when traversing the grade crossing in September 2008, while another four-year-old boy was killed in December 2009, both struck by moving trains. The crossing is a “Type 4” crossing, lacking even warning bells or crossing arms. As arguments continued between the railway, which wanted to close the crossing, and the city, which claims that some local residents are opposed to the hassle of having to take a detour if the crossing is closed, another accident happened at the crossing. “If they only took action sooner…” said Kayama bitterly.

Kayama began visiting the scene of grade crossing accidents starting in fall 2008. The impetus came when she received an email from the family of a middle-school student who died in May of that year at a grade crossing in Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture that lacked crossing arms.

“’We haven’t received an explanation from the railway. There’s no one we can turn to.’” Sympathizing with the family’s situation, she contacted them.

In January of this year, Kayama formed a support group with three bereaved families from Nagano and Kōchi, known as the Spinner’s Group. In regards to the name of the group, Kayama says, “I wanted to spin together the isolated, hidden stories and voices of families of victims.” In addition to sending the group’s newsletters, containing the bitterness and frustrations of bereaved families, to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the group intends to begin lobbying railway companies to improve dangerous grade crossings.

According to the MLIT, of the 34,252 existing grade crossings (as of the end of March 2008), there are 3,405 Type 4 crossings and 947 Type 3 crossings, which only have warning bells. The number of victims who died at Type 3 and Type 4 crossings in FY2008 reached a total of 18. “It’s difficult to completely eliminate grade crossings, but we want them to at least establish a priority program, such as improving crossings in residential neighborhoods or near schools first, and strengthening their safety measures,” says Kayama.

At the scene of the accident at Takenotsuka Station, the crossing was automated half a year after the accident. One year following the accident, a pedestrian bridge with elevator was also installed, but as the crossing has five tracks, it still remains closed for much of the time during busy periods. There are many instances when the crossing arms will rise only to fall back down again a mere five seconds later, and there are some people who can’t make it across the 33 m crossing before the arms come down completely.

After the accident, Adachi Ward is proceeding with a plan to elevate approx. 1.5 km of the tracks surrounding Takenotsuka Station as project lead, and in mid-April, will begin moving towards securing master plan approval. The Ward is hoping to begin construction in FY2011, but in addition to requiring as much as ten years for completion, about 40 percent of the total construction cost of approx. ¥50 billion comes from funding from the national government. As a result, the Ward says it’s unclear whether the project will be able to proceed as planned if administrations change, and local residents have petitioned the national government to carry out the plan to completion.
Diagrams for the elevation project:
Source: Adachi Ward



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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:19 AM   #1046
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Two victims of sarin gas attack tell their story
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00071.htm

Quote:
March 20 marks 15 years since the Tōkyō Subway Sarin Gas Attack that left 13 dead and over 6,000 injured when samples of the toxic substance sarin were released inside the Tōkyō subway.

Two victims who had been riding the same train on that fateful day met by chance after the incident. The two victims were able to overcome their fear and the after-effects of the attack by sharing their bitterness and trauma with each other. Now, as the incident is fading more and more into the past, the two are telling their story to the rest of the world, one chapter at a time. “We have a duty to share our story, so that something like this never happens again…”

It was a little after 8:00 o’clock on the morning of March 20, 1995. Yamamoto Kiyotaka (75) from Sōka City, Saitama Prefecture boarded a Hibiya Line subway train on his way to work. When the train stopped at Kodenmachō Station (Chūō Ward, Tōkyō), sarin gas had already spread throughout the station, and ten minutes after arriving at surface level, Yamamoto lost consciousness.

In November 1998, three years and eight months after the incident, when Yamamoto revealed to a nurse at a plastic surgery clinic near his home that he was a victim of the sarin gas attacks, he discovered that the nurse’s husband was also on the same train. The man was Kōno Mitsuru (68), who lived just a ten-minute bike ride away.

At the time, Yamamoto was struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Images of people falling to their knees in convulsions outside Kodenmachō Station were still vivid in his memory. As an after-effect of the attack, the fingers in his left hand were completely numb.

Yamamoto filed a workers’ compensation claim with his company, but failed to get approval, and some of his family members told him that there was nothing else he could do but give up the fight. “After I found that Mr. Kōno was nearby, I didn’t feel so helpless,” says Yamamoto.

When February and March roll by, Kōno himself begins to feel his body acting strangely, with numbness or stiffness—one type of post-traumatic stress disorder known as the “anniversary reaction.” When symptoms started to resurface, Kōno called Yamamoto and the two talked to each other over the phone. “Since we both were victims, he immediately understands what I’m trying to say… No need for lengthy explanations,” says Kōno.

On March 19, 2005, ten years after the incident, Kōno invited Yamamoto to join him on a visit to the platforms at Kodenmachō Station, where four passengers lost their lives in the attack. “I made another step forward to recovery,” says Yamamoto. Tears filled Yamamoto’s eyes, who had avoided the station completely after the incident out of fear.

Two to three years ago, Yamamoto began talking to his swimming colleagues and neighbors about the incident. Putting into words the tragic images he saw that day is difficult for Yamamoto, even 15 years after the incident. But his resolve to never have others go through the same pain again goes stronger year after year.

“By telling our story, in even the slightest bit, we can help keep the incident from disappearing completely into history,” says Kōno.
ANN news report (2009.03.19) of the ceremony at Kasumigaseki Station:



Discovery Channel documentary of the attack. One of the men in the article, Kōno Mitsuru, also makes an appearance in this documentary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TutRDP7RcKs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWEbvSC4CCs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGy5SmdZvSU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lDyZRFqGto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_Mzf4K1TbY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpKdy19FToI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlveqssC054
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:20 AM   #1047
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Keisei launches into retirement home business
http://company.nikkei.co.jp/news/new...NKL0223&type=2

Quote:
Keisei Electric Railway will enter the for-profit retirement home industry with a new project in Chiba City. The railway will open the facility, which will include facilities for daily care and a clinic, in 2011 on land purchased by the railway from a subsidiary. This is the railway’s first real venture into the for-profit retirement home business, but Chiba City and the surrounding area are home to a large elderly population and the latent demand for such facilities is growing. The railway hopes to increase revenue by making use of assets along its rail network.

The retirement home will be constructed on the site of a former office for subsidiary taxi company Nishi-Chiba Taxi (HQ: Chiba City). The site is located in central Chiba City and is near Keisei Chiba Chūō Station. The facility will be five stories, with 115 rooms and a gross floor area of approx. 5,500 sq m. The railway will break ground on the building in April, and plans to open the facility in May 2011 under the name Habitation Chiba Chūō (temporary name). Construction cost is estimated at approx. ¥1.2 billion.

Operations of the facility will be contracted out to Shin’yō (HQ: Fukuoka City; Chairman: Kitaoka Yōko), which operates for-profit retirement homes in Kyūshū and other areas.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:20 AM   #1048
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New development along Tōyō Rapid Railway runs into trouble
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/chi...OYT8T01310.htm

Quote:
The Ebigawa Tributary Land Readjustment Project, targeting an area near central Funabashi City, is close to running aground. A preparatory committee formed 14 years ago to work towards establishing a project union is having difficulty obtaining a consensus among landowners, and the land development firm has expressed its intention to back out of the project. As a result, the future prospects for the project are up in the air.

According to the project plan, residential neighborhoods, commercial facilities, and a new station on the Tōyō Rapid Railway would be constructed on approx. 80 ha of land covering Azumachō, Komegasakichō, and Natsumi in Funabashi City. The total project cost is estimated at approx. ¥37.5 billion.

The project area is located approx. 1.5 km northeast of JR Funabashi Station and stretches along the Ebi River, an area famous for viewing cherry blossoms. The area is zoned for urbanization, but is currently used for farmland and raw materials storage. One nearby man (59yo) who owns a one-hectare plot of fallow farmland in the area reveals his frustration: “I can’t let the land sit idle like this any longer.”

The preparatory committee was established in 1996 immediately following the opening of the Tōyō Rapid Railway, and in 1997, selected a Tōkyō development firm as a project lead to oversee management of the project union and carry out the project. Pre-project talks between the city and landowners failed to obtain consensus on a project plan, however, and about 380 of the landowners refused to certify the plan. As a result, preliminary approval for the project among landowners remains at only about 80 percent. Citing “few prospects of any substantial increase in the preliminary approval rate and a grim outlook for the conversion of the area into an urbanized zone,” the land development firm has stated that it will back out of the project.

For the time being, Funabashi City’s Urban General Affairs Section plans to serve as the lead entity for the project, but with the economic downturn, it may be difficult to find a new developer to fill the position.

The preparatory committee has been evaluating the outlook for both continuing the project and abandoning the project, including inviting experts from the Organization for Promoting Land Readjustment Projects (Chiyoda Ward, Tōkyō Prefecture) to hold an educational session in January. Tanigawa Shinji, the preparatory committee’s project director, says, “I want to steer the project in a direction that everyone can agree with.”

With the land readjustment, the city estimates that over ¥10 billion in investment is needed to construct water and sewer lines and other infrastructure. Chief Itō Keiichi of the city’s Urban General Affairs Section says, “This zone is critical in the urban master plan for Funabashi City, as an area located near the city center, with an urban design that incorporates the surrounding natural environment.”
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:21 AM   #1049
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Yamanote Line announces start of platform door operations at Ebisu and Meguro Stations
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2009/20100307.pdf

Quote:
At JR East, we are in the process of introducing platform doors to the Yamanote Line to prevent passengers from coming into contact with moving trains or other accidents. We have recently determined the start date of platform door operation at the two stations selected for Phase 1 of the project, Ebisu Station and Meguro Station.

Start of platform door operation at Phase 1 stations
Ebisu Station: June 26, 2010 (Saturday)
Meguro Station: August 28, 2010 (Saturday)
*Platform doors will not operate for cars No. 7 and No. 10
*The start date is not final and may change

Currently, in coordination with the installation of platform doors, we are also proceeding with replacement of six-door cars on the Yamanote Line (cars No. 7 and No. 10) with four-door cars. Platform doors cannot be installed at stopping locations for cars No. 7 and No. 10 while both six-door and four-door cars are in service, so installation work at these locations on station platforms will occur after complete phasing out of six-door cars, set to occur in mid-2011.

Platform door specifications
  • High-performance sensor: A high-performance sensor will detect when passengers or their bags, umbrellas, or other items are detected in between the platform door and train car, ensuring the safety of our passengers.
  • Use of glass in portions of the platform door: By using glass for sections of the platform door and designing them similar to windows, passengers can more easily see the area beneath them.
Other
We have established a platform door research center underneath JR East Group company East Japan Transport Technology Co., Ltd. The center features a one car-length mockup of the platform doors to be installed in Phase 1 stations for use in education and training, helping to ensure high-reliability platform door installations.

Tōkyō MX report (2010.03.04):



They’ve already completed work at the very ends of the platforms at Ebisu Station, but it looks like they are still replacing parts of the platform and haven’t gotten to installing any of the doors where the trains actually stop.


Source: http://hide2diary.blog.so-net.ne.jp/


Source: http://hide2diary.blog.so-net.ne.jp/


Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/smilemusashino/
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:22 AM   #1050
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Safety still a concern with platform door installations
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifest...0738000-n1.htm

Quote:
Some concerned about emergency response
As a safety measure against passengers falling from platforms, railway companies are proceeding with installation of platform doors between trains and the platform area. Platform doors have been in operation on the Kōbe Port Island Line since it began revenue service in 1981, drawing attention from the public. In the midst of all this, JR East is about to begin installation of platform doors on the Yamanote Line, its first installation on non-Shinkansen lines. For passengers, the project is a welcome step towards making stations barrier-free and improving safety, but some are also worried about mayhem during the rush hour and the need for direction in the event of emergency situations.

Total project cost: approx. ¥55 billion yen
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), safety measures against platform falls, such as platform doors and moving platform gates, have been installed on 37 lines and 432 stations throughout Japan (as of March 2009). Installation has been proceeding not only in the Tōkyō area, but also on subways and “new transit” systems across the country, including Sapporo, Nagoya, Kyōto, Ōsaka, and Kōbe, as well as Okinawa in Kyūshū.

According to the Technology Planning Section of the MLIT’s Railway Bureau, the New Transport Accessibility Law enacted in 2006 requested railway companies to take action to prevent platform falls, and obligated installation of platform doors or other devices when stations underwent large-scale improvement works.

The reason platform door installation has stalled on JR’s non-Shinkansen lines is due to train or station design considerations, including differing door locations on trains for each line. Despite this, JR East has decided to install platform doors on the Yamanote Line. The initial phase involves installation of the platform doors at Ebisu and Meguro Stations starting in 2010, with the railway expecting to install the doors at all stations on the Yamanote Line in 2017.

The moving platform gates to be installed on the Yamanote Line will feature three-dimensional sensors with an even higher accuracy in detecting umbrellas, walking sticks, or other obstructions. The railway says the total cost for all the improvements is approx. ¥55 billion.

An extra five seconds at each station
Passenger safety is the number one concern for railway companies. However, it’s expected that platform doors will increase the hassle of boarding and alighting trains during the rush hours, as some locations on the platform will lose as much as a foot of width or so with the installation of the gates. The railway has set aside an additional five seconds per station to allow for the opening and closing of train and platform doors, and will proceed cautiously with installation at other stations after examining the situation at Ebisu and Meguro Stations.

In the Kansai area, platform doors have been in operation on the Kōbe Port Island Line (known as the “Port Liner”) since it opened for service, and have since garnered nationwide attention. While JR West doesn’t have moving platform doors on its non-Shinkansen lines, fixed platform gates are installed on two stations on the Ōsaka Higashi Line. “JR West’s Public Relations Department says, “Installation on our non-Shinkansen lines has been delayed because of differing train door locations and station design constraints, but from the viewpoint of ensuring passenger safety, platform gates are certainly a critical concern.”

Nonfiction writer Mito Yūko, who introduced the Japanese railway industry and the precision of its operations systems in Teikoku Hassha (lit. On-Time Departure), points out, “The various efforts by the railway companies to prevent platform falls are critical, along with efforts to prevent grade crossing accidents, but they are especially needed in major urban metropolitan areas, where ridership is especially high.” But at the same time she raises alarm bells: “We must ensure that passengers inside trains are able to efficiently escape in the event of fire, earthquakes, or power outages, and that platform doors won’t malfunction. We must be prepared to deal with emergency situations.”

Incidents on the rise
According to JR East, in its 2008 “Customer Voice” surveys, approx. 35 percent of responses dealt with station issues, and the desire to install platform doors among the riding public has been present for some time. Annual trends in railway operation incidents show that incidents at grade crossings are decreasing, but that “human-related incidents” resulting from platform falls or people entering the trackway has been increasing, and there is a need for safety measures.

Of the 213 cases of human-related railway service disruptions occurring on platforms for the five-year period starting in FY2004, approx. 20 percent occurred on the Yamanote Line. A large number of the cases are said to involve intoxicated passengers falling off the platform.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:22 AM   #1051
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New station building at Nogata Station on Seibu Shinjuku Line to open March 28
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...302000056.html

Quote:
The new station building at Nogata Station (Nogata, Nakano Ward) on the Seibu Shinjuku Line has been completed and will open with the start of service on March 28. The new station building features elevators, escalators, and multi-purpose restrooms, and is designed for barrier-free access.

Up until now the station has only had a ticketing entrance at the South Exit, and passengers entering from the North Exit needed to pass through a grade crossing to reach the faregates. During the morning rush hour, however, the grade crossing stays closed for over forty minutes of the hour, and a solution was needed to resolve the problem.

The new station building places the faregates in an elevated station concourse that allows access from both the North Exit and South Exit, and an elevator and escalator have been installed at the North Exit. For the South Exit, a temporary stairwell will open to the public starting March 28, with the new South Exit featuring an elevator and escalator to be completed in the fall. An open house for the new station building will be held from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm on March 27.
A few recent pictures of the construction (2010.03):
Source: http://donotsmile.blog25.fc2.com/

New elevated concourse under construction.



New North Exit.



Elevator shaft.



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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:23 AM   #1052
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New escalator at TX Akihabara Station
http://www.mir.co.jp/topics/topics_d...?topics_id=640

Quote:
We are currently in the process of constructing a new up-only escalator on the platforms at Akihabara Station.

During the rush hours, there are many passengers who board and alight near the lead car (Car No. 6) of trains arriving at the platform, leading to serious platform congestion. As a countermeasure, the Metropolitan Intercity Railway (MIR) will install an up-only escalator at the end of the platform.

We apologize for any discomfort during the construction period and ask for your understanding and participation.

Construction period: Now to September 30, 2010 (expected end)
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:24 AM   #1053
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First Keiyō Line E233 series unit delivered

Manufactured at JR East’s Niitsu Factory.


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

WiMAX antenna


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

Performing test runs between Ogikawa and Satsukino on the Shin’etsu Main Line in Niigata.


Source: drk7282 on YouTube

In transport, passing Miyahara Station on the Takasaki Line in Saitama Prefecture:


Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Passing Minami-Funabashi Station in what is now home territory:


Source: t100599 on YouTube
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:25 AM   #1054
quashlo
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Sapporo City drops Yamahana Minami area from proposed streetcar extension
http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/politics/218520.html

Quote:
In regards to the plan to extend the streetcar line running through the central districts of Sapporo City, on March 2 the Sapporo City government submitted a financial analysis to the City Council’s Finance Citizens’ Committee that identified a fare raise of at least 10 to 15 percent is needed to make the extension operate in the black.

Of the four areas which the city had originally identified as candidates for the extension—the central city area including Sapporo Station, the Sōseigawa Higashi / Naebo area, the Sōen area, and the Yamahana Minami area, which would involve extending the existing line south—the city has dropped the Yamahana Minami area from contention due to an insufficient expected increase in ridership.

By extending the streetcar line to one or a combination of the remaining three areas, ridership is expected to increase by as much as 7,000 passengers daily, but as all would require additional expenses to cover construction and maintenance, the city determined that “none of the extensions is expected to operate with a surplus.”

In order to break even, the extension would require raising fares by 10 to 15 percent and reducing operating costs by 10 to 15 percent through improvement of operating efficiency.

The estimated project cost for the extension is ¥5.6 billion for the central city extension (3.4 km), ¥5.0 billion for the Sōseigawa Higashi extension (1.9 km), and ¥4.8 billion for the Sōen extension (1.7 km). In addition, another estimated ¥10.0 billion is needed to upgrade the aging existing route. After a public comment period, Sapporo City will now decide on an extension alignment in FY2010.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:26 AM   #1055
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New window inside Ōdōri Station shows progress on Sapporo – Ōdōri underground passage
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/hok...OYT8T00572.htm

Quote:
On March 11, a large 1.5 m tall and 10 m wide window debuted inside an underground passage in the Municipal Subway’s Ōdōri Station in Chūō Ward, Sapporo City. On the other side of the window, construction of the Sapporo Eki-mae-dōri underground passage linking Sapporo and Ōdōri Stations is proceeding. The Hokkaidō Regional Development Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) constructed the window to allow passersby to see the progress on the construction. The window also features renderings of the passage after completion, and commuters immediately stopped in their tracks to watch.

The window is located near the North Gate of Ōdōri Station. From late evening to early morning, a sheet covers the window, but while the Municipal Subway is in operation, the sheet is removed to allow passersby to watch. The underground passage is scheduled for completion in March 2011.

Diagram of the underground passage project, which will connect two existing underground pedestrian networks surrounding Sapporo and Ōdōri Stations. The part in between the two circles is the section being constructed.


Source: MLIT Hokkaidō Regional Development Bureau
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:38 AM   #1056
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JR Hokkaidō reveals new 735 series trains
http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/press/2009/100310-1.pdf

Quote:
With the goal of studying the use of trains with lightweight aluminum-alloy bodies in cold-weather areas, JR Hokkaidō is proceeding with development of 735 series direct-current trains to serve as prototypes for the Sapporo area’s new commuter trains. The 735 series features not only an aluminum-alloy body, but also a train interior that provides for barrier-free access and incorporates universal design concepts, including step-free entry and exit at doors, expanded wheelchair-accessibile toilets, and an increase in the number of rings for standees to hold onto.

Cars to be built: 6 (two 3-car trains)
Start of revenue service: The trains will be finished in March 2010 and are scheduled to conduct field tests of car body insulation in low-temperature and snow environments during FY2010 and FY2011. During the summer season, when tests will not be conducted, they are scheduled to be operated in revenue service.
Lines: The trains will be used as commuter trains primarily in the Sapporo area.

Specs
Name: 735 series DC commuter train
Formation: 3 cars (1M2T)
Maximum operating speed: 120 kph

Characteristics
  • This is the first JR Hokkaidō train to use an aluminum-alloy skin (the ends of the train are still constructed of steel, like existing trains).
  • The car floor has been reduced by about 10 cm lower than existing rolling stock, providing for step-free access at the train doors.
  • As the first commuter and inner suburban train to use all-electric brakes, which allow for efficient regenerative braking all the way to 0 kph, the trains are designed for lower energy consumption and lower maintenance needs.
  • By reevaluating the number and placement of standee rings and increasing the number of poles, the train interior is designed to be easy-to-use for passengers.
  • The train features accessible toilets and wheelchair spaces that are larger than on existing trains, and is designed to be barrier-free.
  • The train interior is designed with three doors to a side and all longitudinal seating, easing congestion during the commute periods.
  • The train is designed to be able to operate in coupled mode with existing 731 series and 732 series trains.



In transport at Hirosaki Station in Aomori Prefecture:


Source: trabulance on YouTube

Near Moto-Wanishi in Hokkaidō:


Source: df200 on YouTube
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:39 AM   #1057
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Arrival of second 9600 series train for Hakodate tram system

Manufactured by Alna Sharyō. This unit is 9602. The first unit, 9601, has been in service for a while already. With the arrival of the second unit, cars No. 1006 (an ex-Tōkyō Toden streetcar) and No. 711 will be retired from regular service at the end of March.

Pictures of the arrival:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/x103nanodayo
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/x103nanodayo
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/x103nanodayo

The train was transported by ground and water to Hakodate City from Settsu City in Ōsaka Prefecture.



Attaching the pantograph…



The heating unit…



Supposedly this is the inverter…



Resistor.





Positioning the ramp to transfer the new train…











Finally on the tracks.



Car No. 530, constructed in 1950, was brought out to give it a final push into the barn.





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Old March 22nd, 2010, 05:36 PM   #1058
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Another great update from the vast Japanese rail system, love it!!

I was trying to find more info about the possible Shinkansen track down to KIX, when I stumbled upon information on Wikipedia about a speed-up on the Tokaido Line with speeds up to 330 km/h, do you have more information about it quashlo?
Link to the information on Wikipedia: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9D%...BA.88.E5.AE.9A

I also spotted a possible Shinkansen expansion to Haneda, any info about that?
http://www.japantoday.com/category/n...haneda-airport
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 06:30 PM   #1059
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loefet View Post
Another great update from the vast Japanese rail system, love it!!

I was trying to find more info about the possible Shinkansen track down to KIX, when I stumbled upon information on Wikipedia about a speed-up on the Tokaido Line with speeds up to 330 km/h, do you have more information about it quashlo?
Link to the information on Wikipedia: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9D%...BA.88.E5.AE.9A
Not the whole line just the Maehara -Kyoto run which is a straight line. The link does quote Mr. Kasai of JR Tokai that they are aiming to speed up the whole Tokaido line up to 300Km/h though.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 03:53 AM   #1060
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loefet View Post
I also spotted a possible Shinkansen expansion to Haneda, any info about that?
http://www.japantoday.com/category/n...haneda-airport
I haven't heard anything about it beyond Minister Maehara's statement in December. I agree there needs to be better access to Haneda, especially as it's role as an international airport begins to take off, but I'm not yet convinced that it needs to be Shinkansen technology. Personally, I like the idea of converting the Tōkaidō Freight Line to passenger traffic and connecting it with the Rinkai Line, as then you could have all of Tōkyō's major terminals connected to the Airport: Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro on the west side via the Rinkai Line / Saikyō Line, and Tōkyō and Ueno via the Tōkaidō Line and Tōhoku Through Line. However, it obviously doesn't do as much as a Shinkansen extension would for trips outside of the region going to / from Haneda via Shinkansen.
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