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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:53 AM   #1101
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Inbound track in Keikyū Main Line / Airport Line elevation project to open in May
http://www.keikyu.co.jp/corporate/pr...20100323.shtml

Quote:
At Keihin Electric Express Railway (Keikyū; HQ: Minato Ward, Tōkyō; President: Ishiwata Tsuneo), as a result of progress on the Keikyū Kamata Station Continuous Grade-Separation Project we began in February 2001 as a Tōkyō Metropolitan Government urban planning project, beginning with the start of service on Sunday, May 16, we will elevate the full length of the inbound track scoped under this project—between Heiwajima Station and Rokugōdote Station on the Main Line and between Keikyū Kamata Station and Ōtorii Station on the Airport Line.

With the elevation of the inbound track, we will begin service on the elevated inbound platforms at Ōmorimachi Station, Umeyashiki Station, Keikyū Kamata Station, Zōshiki Station, and Kōjiya Station, and install elevators.

In addition, as only the outbound track will remain at ground level, it is expected that total closure time at the National Route 15 grade crossing and other grade crossings within the sections currently being upgraded will be reduced by approx. 40 percent.

After completion in FY2012, the project will eliminate all 28 grade crossings between Heiwajima Station and Rokugōdote Station and between Keikyū Kamata Station and Ōtorii Station; improve access to Haneda Airport; relieve roadway congestion; improve safety through the elimination of grade crossing accidents; and reduce noise and vibration generated by the railway.

Benefits of the elevation of the inbound track
  • Total closure time at all grade crossings is estimated to decrease by approx. 40 percent. After the inbound track at three grade crossings including Keikyū Kamata No.5 grade crossing (with Loop Road No. 8) was grade-separated in May 2008 via a temporary viaduct, total closure time at the grade crossings decreased substantially from 43 minutes to 28 minutes during the peak hour (approx. 40 percent improvement), easing roadway congestion.
  • Reduction in accidents at grade crossings
  • Major roads intersecting the inbound track:
    • Umeyashiki No. 4 grade crossing (Tama Tsutsumi-dōri) — Daily automobile traffic: 11,489 cars
    • Keikyū Kamata (Airport Line) No. 1 grade crossing (National Route 15) — Daily automobile traffic: 22,944 cars

Benefits of complete elevation of both inbound and inbound tracks in 2012
  • Alleviation of roadway congestion through grade-separation of a total of 28 grade crossings, including across National Route 15 and Loop Road No. 8
  • Improved access to Haneda Airport (receives funding under the Keikyū Kamata Station Comprehensive Improvements Project)
    • The current ten-minute headways on trains between central Tōkyō (Shinagawa) and Haneda Airport during the peak hours will improve to six- to seven-minute headways.
    • The current twenty-minute headways on trains between Yokohama and Haneda Airport will be improved to ten-minute headways.
  • Elimination of grade crossing accidents and improvements to safety for both the roadway and railway
  • Reduction in railway-generated noise and vibration
Keihin Route 1 (National Route 15) crossing. This will soon be effectively double-tracked with the opening of the elevated inbound track


Source: seigen120kaihin on YouTube

Some pictures (2010.03):
Source: http://thankyou2200.blog.so-net.ne.jp/

On Platform 1 (Airport Line) and Platform 2 (Main Line outbound to Kawasaki, Yokohama, and Yokosuka). They are constructing a temporary stairwell here, probably to connect these platforms to the elevated inbound platform.





An inbound Keisei train from the Airport Line, headed for Keisei Takasago, enters Platform 1. This scene is now dominated by the stacked viaduct.



Bottom deck is for inbound trains towards Shinagawa, top is for outbound trains. You can see they’ve already strung the overhead on the lower deck in preparation.



Station is taking shape nicely.





The stacked viaduct continues down onto the Airport Line.



This single-track crossing will finally get some relief once the inbound track opens.

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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:55 AM   #1102
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Tōkyū adds direct-service Ōimachi Line trains during weekday evenings
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_inde.../100217-1.html

Quote:
At Tōkyū Corporation (HQ: Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō; President: Koshimura Toshiaki), we will implement schedule changes to the Ōimachi Line starting Thursday, March 25, 2010.

These changes will extend three weekday evening outbound express trains currently terminating at Mizonokuchi or Saginuma to Nagatsuta, improving the convenience of the Ōimachi Line on return commute trips and relieving congestion on the Den’en Toshi Line.

Details
Of the weekday evening outbound express trains departing Ōimachi, we will extend one train from each of the 20:00, 21:00, and 23:00 hours—a total of three trains—to Nagatsuta. As a result, together with the one train during the 22:00 hour already extended to Nagatsuta, we will offer a total of four direct-service express trains from Ōimachi to Nagatsuta.
Trains on the Den’en Toshi Line:


Source: azusaline on YouTube
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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #1103
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Groundbreaking ceremony for Sōtetsu–JR line
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/trend/...1034002-n1.htm

Quote:
The groundbreaking ceremony for construction work to allow Sōtetsu Line trains serving Ebina City and Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture to run through-service onto the JR network was held on March 25 in Hodogaya Ward, Yokohama City.

According to Sōtetsu Line operator Sagami Railway (HQ: Yokohama City; Sōtetsu), the construction covers approx. 2.7 km between Nishiya Station on the Sōtetsu Line and Yokohama Hazawa Station on the JR Tōkaidō Freight Line, and is expected to be completed in 2015. A new Hazawa Station (temporary name) would be constructed near Yokohama Hazawa Station, and trains would run onto the Tōkaidō Freight Line, Yokosuka Line, and Shōnan-Shinjuku Line towards Shinjuku.

Total construction cost is approx. ¥68.3 billion, and when completed, travel time between Futamatagawa Station on the Sōtetsu Line and JR Shinjuku Station will be reduced by 15 minutes.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:57 AM   #1104
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Odakyū reveals new plan for former amusement park
http://mytown.asahi.com/kanagawa/new...00001003270004

Quote:
On March 26, Odakyū Electric Railway announced a new master plan for the reuse of the site of the former Mukōgaoka Yūen amusement park (Tama Ward, Kawasaki City) and began the formal environmental impact assessment process. The new plan modifies the original plan from 2007, and switches the focus from large-scale condominium development to a green residential development centered on detached housing. The project will break ground in FY2012, and is scheduled for completion in FY2018.

According to Odakyū, approx. 150,000 sq m of the site (approx. 220,000 sq m total) will be developed. The main development area is composed of two project zones designed around the concept of an “urban oasis.” Residence Zone A consists of 60 detached homes (400 sq m or larger), while Residence Zone B consists of six three-story condominium buildings comprising 160 total units. The homes will not be for sale, but instead offered for lease. The Garden Zone will feature retail, multi-purpose facilities, and gardens.

In 2007, the railway announced a plan centered on a large-scale 850-unit development comprised mostly of five-story condominium buildings, but the plan met with consistent opposition from local residents over aesthetics. Afterwards, the global recession hit, and at the end of 2008, the railway announced it would reevaluate the plan.

In regards to the new plan, Odakyū spokespersons say, “Instead of trying to earn back our investment as quickly as possible through selling off condominiums, we decided to keep possession of the land by offering the units for lease, while at the same time providing environmentally-sustainable, high-quality housing at low prices.”

Meanwhile, Nakajima Hideo—representative for the Association for the Protection of Mukōgaoka Yūen’s Greenery and Creation of Open Space for Citizens, which was opposed to the original plan—says, “I feel like the new plan has incorporated citizen concerns. We’ll now take a more detailed look and see if this plan is really appropriate for Ikuta Park.”

A Fujiko F. Fujio Museum is also scheduled to break ground near the site of the former amusement park as part of a separate project.
This theme park used to have a small monorail system that shuttled passengers from the station to the park, but this was suspended in 2000 and completely shut down in 2001. The amusement park itself lasted until 2002.
Source: mikkagashi on Flickr

image hosted on flickr


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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:57 AM   #1105
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Sagamihara City’s grand aspirations include Odakyū Tama Line extension
http://mytown.asahi.com/kanagawa/new...00001003230005

Quote:
Clustered together are an international convention and exhibition center, hotels, and department stores, and below in an underground station, a rush of people alight from a limited express Romancecar train stopped at the platform.

This is Sagamihara City’s urban development vision. The scene of this activity is a portion of the U.S. Military’s Sagami General Depot scheduled to be returned to Japan, located in the city’s central district.

The depot is the site of a former armory for the Japanese Army that manufactured military vehicles and projectile shells. Following confiscation after World War II, the site was used as a storage base for military goods, and stretches across approx. 214 ha, fronting the JR Yokohama Line between Sagamihara Station and Yabe Station. As part of a restructuring of U.S. military facilities in May 2006, 17 ha of the depot—including 2 ha for railway and roadway right-of-way on the west side of the base—will be returned to Japan, and an additional 35 ha of the base will now be shared with the U.S military. Relocation of housing on the base is already proceeding at this moment.

Kishi Hisao (77) from Sagamihara City’s Susukinochō, who participated in creation of the urban planning vision for the base, is hopeful that the area will become the gateway to the city, which is set to earn designation by government ordinance. About 50 years ago, Kishi moved to his current home next to the depot, later serving as chairman of a federation of neighborhood councils surrounding the base. “When it’s complete, they can’t say we’re a city without a center anymore.”

A proposal to extend the Odakyū Tama Line from its current terminus at Karakida Station in Tama City, Tōkyō Prefecture now seems more likely to happen with the return of base land. The extension would stretch from Karakida Station through Machida City in Tōkyō Prefecture to Sagamihara Station on the JR Yokohama Line, and from there further on to Kamimizo Station on the JR Sagami Line—approx. 8 km total. The extension is expected to travel underground through Sagamihara City and could be implemented as a public-private partnership, with construction carried out by a third-sector company and operations contracted out to Odakyū.

===========================

There are other projects that demonstrate Sagamihara’s latent power. Among them, JR Central’s maglev Chūō Shinkansen, with an alignment through the city that is believed to be the most realistic option, is garnering attention.

Last autumn, boring tests were conducted simultaneously across the Hashimoto district and other areas in the city. The survey sites are in line with an extension of the maglev test line in Yamanashi Prefecture, and residents of the Hashimoto district, which is aiming to secure an intermediate station on the new line, are excited. The surveys were really nothing more than foundation tests, but Chairman Sanada Tsutomu of neighborhood group Alliance for Promotion of a Hashimoto Station on the Maglev Chūō Shinkansen says, “If we can secure a station, Hashimoto will become the gateway to northern Kanagawa Prefecture.”

Construction is also proceeding on the Sagami Through Road (part of the Ken’ō Expressway) along the Sagami River, and is scheduled to open to vehicles in FY2012. The city is also currently planning the construction of four industrial housing estates in areas surrounding the future Shiroyama and Sagamihara interchanges.

In transition talks with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the city cites these large-scale development projects as “proof of the city’s potential power.” The city has been stressing its proactive and independent stance on urban development. “There are no other cities in the National Capital Region that have this number of development projects underway. The city will undergo a drastic transformation in the next ten years, and will become a focal point for southwestern Greater Tōkyō,” says Mayor Kayama Toshio, confident in the efforts to earn government-ordinance status.

===========================

Development requires a massive amount of capital. In addition to some critics who question financial investment in the midst of a recession, there is uncertainty regarding just how many users there will be for public facilities such as the convention center.

With the return of the depot land, the city estimates a payment of approx. ¥30 billion to ¥40 billion to the national government. The cost of extending the Odakyū Tama Line is approx. ¥130 billion. An intermediate station on the maglev Chūō Shinkansen would need to be built underground, and will likely cost locals a hefty sum. And for the Sagami Through Road, the city will pay additional funding of approx. ¥20 billion, as the project is under the direct administration of the national government.

In regards to financing such a massive amount of development, Mayor Kayama is optimistic: “We can incorporate a private-sector development scheme for the depot like for Tōkyō Midtown, and we can receive financial assistance from the national and prefectural governments, so the city isn’t going to foot the entire bill.”

However, the Sagamihara Citizens’ Association on Government-Ordinance Designation, a citizens’ group that is critical of the city’s transition towards a government-ordained city, says the city’s current policy is slanted towards large-scale development.

Association director Imai Seiji slams the efforts to obtain the designation: “Considering the city’s economic power, it’s impossible for the city to move forward with all of these projects. I suspect that a financial crisis will lead to poorer services for citizens. The government-ordinance designation should be used towards providing more comprehensive services to citizens.”

===========================

On April 1, Sagamihara City will be the third city in Kanagawa Prefecture to receive government ordinance designation following Yokohama City and Kawasaki City, and the 19th in the nation. It is the first city incorporated after World War II to receive the designation. As a city with a booming population but only a short history, some say the transition is premature.

Sagamihara City
Established on November 20, 1954, when Sagamiharachō was incorporated into a city. The city’s total area spans approx. 330 sq km, second only to Yokohama City’s approx. 437 sq km. As of February 1, 2010, the population of the city is 712,883, and including the four towns in former Tsukui County, which is now part of the city, the population has increased nine-fold over the 80,767 persons in January 1955.

This year, the city approved an ordinance to attract industrial uses, and with a joint residential-industrial urban development pattern, the city has seen a rapid population increase. Employment locations in the city with four or more workers rose from 68 in FY1955, to 1,477 in FY1990, and back down to 1,227 in FY2007, but still 18 times the original number.

The city has a sister-city relationship with Wuxi, China, and Toronto and Trail in Canada.
Odakyū Tama Line extension


Source: Odakyū Tama Line Extension Promotion Committee (Sagamihara City)

Cab view of an Odakyū Tama Line Tama express service between Karakida and Yoyogi Uehara. This is a special through-service from the Tama Line onto the Tōkyō Metro Chiyoda Line, with some continuing further onto the JR Jōban Line (local).
Source: 0oRAILROADo0 on YouTube

Part 1: Karakida – Kurihira



Part 2: Kurihira – Mukōgaoka Yūen



Part 3: Mukōgaoka Yūen – Kyōdō



Part 4: Kyōdō – Yoyogi Uehara

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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #1106
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Keiō Sagamihara Line converted to ATC
http://www.keio.co.jp/news/update/an...v01/index.html

Quote:
To ensure safer operations, Keiō Railway has been upgrading the existing automatic train stop (ATS) systems on the full length of the Keiō Line and Inokashira Line to the latest-generation automatic train control (ATC) systems. The Keiō Sagamihara Line is the first to have these upgrades completed and the ATC system entered service on March 26.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:59 AM   #1107
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EMobile completes mobile network covering Tōkyō Metro
http://www.asahi.com/digital/cnet/CNT201002220085.html

Quote:
On February 22, EMobile announced that customers can now use its EMobile communications service on all nine lines and all stations on the Tōkyō Metro network.

All stations on the Ginza Line, Marunouchi Line, Hibiya Line, and Chiyoda Line had been covered by December 2009, followed by all stations on the Fukutoshin Line in January 2010. In February, an additional fifteen stations on the remaining four lines—the Tōzai Line, Yūrakuchō Line, Hanzōmon Line, and Namboku Line—were added, covering all stations in the Tōkyō Metro network.

EMobile will now proceed with construction of base stations at underground stations throughout Japan to allow for similar service.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #1108
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Tōkyō Metro opens supermarket at Baraki–Nakayama Station
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2010/2010-15.html

Quote:
At Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi), as part of our commitment to make active use of space beneath elevated viaducts, we will open a Yamaichi supermarket underneath the elevated tracks at Baraki–Nakayama Station (East Exit) on the Tōzai Line on Tuesday, April 6, 2010.

This while be Yamaichi’s first store on Tōkyō Metro property, and in addition to 12 stores in Edogawa Ward, the general foods supermarket also has stores in Funabashi City and Ichikawa City, for a total of 16 stores.

With a motto of “Fresh daily and only the best—We have everything, but cheaper,” the Yamaichi store will offer only safe and healthy products for sale. With a convenient location immediately next to the station and business hours until midnight, commuters to work and school, as well as local residents, can take advantage and make shopping at the store a part of their lifestyle.

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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #1109
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Tōkyō Metro to launch new rendition of manner poster series
http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2010/2010-18.html

Quote:
In an effort to encourage proper etiquette among passengers and ensure a comfortable experience on the subway, Tōkyō Metro (HQ: Taitō Ward, Tōkyō; President: Umezaki Hisashi) and the Metro Cultural Foundation (Chairman: Tsuchisaka Yasutoshi) have displayed manner posters since 1974, and in FY2010, we will continue this program with the new catchphrase, “Please do it again.”

In the “Please do it at home” campaign during FY2008 and FY2009, we focused on behavior and activities that are inappropriate in public spaces, and in addition to receiving compliments from our passengers, have succeeded in raising awareness of proper passenger etiquette.

In FY2010, with the catchprase, “Please do it again,” we will feature cartoons of thoughtful acts that allow passengers to enjoy use of the subway, encouraging passenger etiquette anywhere and anytime.

We will distribute the monthly-rotation manner posters at each station for a one-year period from April 2010 to March 2011. The theme for April is giving up seats to passengers who need them.

Tōkyō Metro will continue to encourage passenger etiquette and ensure a pleasant experience riding the subway.

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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #1110
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Refurbished Marunouchi Line trains

Some pictures of the newly refurbished units. Major changes include a switch from LED strips to two 17 in LCDs for passenger information, use of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs), and the return of the “sine wave” design to the exterior of trains.













Inside a refurbished train, from Shin-Kōenji to Higashi-Kōenji.
A bit shaky, but it’s hard to find videos since the refurbished units are still fairly rare.


Source: VVVFandPMSM on YouTube
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #1111
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More Tōkyō Heart posters

A few of my favorites among the recent ones…
Apparently, actress Aragaki Yui is supposed to take over from Miyazaki Aoi in April, but don’t know how certain that is.

March 2010



January 2010



November 2009



August 2009

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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #1112
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Toei Subway Ōedo Line schedule changes
http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/news...1003042_h.html

Quote:
At the Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation, we will implement weekday-only schedule changes to the Toei Subway Ōedo Line starting Monday, March 29, 2010.

These schedule changes will increase trains and alleviate congestion during morning rush hour and evening periods, as well as improve passenger convenience.

Details
  • Increased capacity during the morning rush hour
    By changing operating times and increasing the number of trains, we will add three Roppongi- and Daimon-bound trips departing from Hikarigaoka. By increasing the number of trains, we will also add two Daimon- and Roppongi-bound trips departing from Kiyosumi–Shirakawa. Together, these additional trips will reduce congestion inside trains.
    • Departing from Hikarigaoka, bound for Roppongi and Daimon
      • During the most congested hour (from Nakai to Higashi-Nakano between 7:50 and 8:50 am): 19 tph → 20 tph
      • During the 9:00 am hour (from Nakai to Higashi-Nakano between 9:00 and 10:00 am): 11 tph → 13 tph
    • Departing Kiyosumi–Shirakawa, bound for Daimon and Roppongi
      • During the most congested hour (from Monzen Nakachō to Tsukishima between 7:50 and 8:50 am): 14 tph → 16 tph
  • Increased capacity during the late evening periods
    Extension of one Iidabashi- and Kiyosumi–Shirakawa-bound train during the 23:00 hour to Hikarigaoka, increasing capacity.
  • Improved convenience from the Hikarigaoka end of the line towards Iidabashi and Ryōgoku during the early morning period
    Adjustment of departure times for Iidabashi- and Ryōgoku-bound trains departing from Tochō-mae between the early morning and 7:00 am, allowing for timed transfers for all trains coming from Hikarigaoka at Tochō-mae and increasing passenger convenience.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #1113
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Press tour of battery-powered train
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/trend/...1811006-n1.htm

Quote:
On March 24, JR East invited press officials to a tour and test ride of Smart Denchi-kun, a battery-powered train developed to reduce environmental impacts, along the Tōhoku Line. The railway says it hopes to ascertain the prospects for the technology in FY2010 and work towards making the technology practical. In the future, the railway hopes to use the battery-powered trains on the Kururi Line, Hachikō Line, and other lines.

The railway began development of battery-powered trains in FY2008 to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Compared to diesel trains, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by more than half. The trains can also run on both electrified and non-electrified tracks, and tests began on the Tōhoku Line this year.

On the day of the tour, the train ran approx. 21 km between Koganei and Utsunomiya. The train is equipped with multiple battery units, collecting energy generated during braking as electricity. The batteries can also recharge from the overhead when the train is running on an electrified line. The level of noise generated by the train is approximately the same as with a regular electrical train.

JR East has already been operating a hybrid battery and diesel train in revenue service on the Koumi Line since 2007.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #1114
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JR East expands LCD advertisement installations
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2009/20100321.pdf

Quote:
Summary
  • At JR East, we have been installing “digital posters” using widescreen liquid crystal displays (LCDs) inside stations as an advertising medium, starting with Tōkyō Station in July 2008.
  • By the end of this fiscal year, we will have installed these posters at 12 stations (18 locations and 170 displays total) primarily in the Greater Tōkyō area, creating the largest digital advertisement media network inside stations in all of Japan.
  • Starting March 29, we will install a 44-display system, our largest installation yet, inside the public passage at Shinagawa Station, and begin broadcasts.
  • Starting next year, we will change the name of this network from “digital posters” to “J Ad Vision,” and continue expanding our network with new installations centered in the Greater Tōkyō area.

Details about this medium
  • Allows for broadcasting of advertisement content using widescreen LCDs installed inside stations.
  • Compared to current advertisement media inside stations, this new medium allows for improved power of expression through video broadcast, and through the use of material that varies by time period and day, offers the ability to advertise goods and services in a timely manner.
  • As all the displays are under consolidated management through the use of a network based on WiMAX broadband wireless transmission technology, even in large campaigns that broadcast the same video content across multiple stations simultaneously, it is possible to efficiently make use of advertisement space.
  • During installation, particularly of multiple displays at a single location, we have designed the installations to be consistent with station improvement works.
  • Operations and administration, as well as advertisement sales, are being undertaken by group company JR East Planning (Jeki).
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #1115
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Circle K and Sunkus stores to begin accepting Suica
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2009/20100318.pdf

Quote:
Summary
  • Starting July 2010, Suica users will be able to use their Suica cards at Circle K and Sunkus stores in JR East’s service area (approx. 2,100 stores).
  • When enrolling their Suica ID number with their account in Circle K Sunkus’ members’ club, Karuwaza Club, users can earn Karu points when shopping with their Suica card at Circle K and Sunkus stores.
  • Users will also be able to transfer their Karu points to Suica points (this service is scheduled to start in fall 2010).
  • This collaboration between Suica and convenience stores’ membership services is a first for the convenience store industry.

Circle K Sunkus Co., Ltd. (President and Representative Director: Nakamura Motohiko), Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS Co., Ltd. (President and Representative Director: Sasaki Sōhei), and East Japan Railway Company (President and Representative Director: Seino Satoshi; JR East) will launch Suica service at Circle K and Sunkus stores in JR East’s service area starting July 2010, in an effort to increase convenience for our customers.

In addition, customers who are already members of Circle K Sunkus membership club Karuwaza Club can enroll their Suica ID number with their account, allowing you to earn Karu points when shopping at Circle K and Sunkus stores using the enrolled Suica card. We will also launch a service that allows users to exchange the Karu points they’ve collected for Suica points under the Suica Points Club managed by JR East.

As a result, after customers transfer their Karu points to Suica points, they can use the points to charge their Suica card with value.

This is the first joint effort in the convenience store industry between Suica and a membership service exclusively offered through a convenience store chain.

Introduction of Suica at Circle K and Sunkus stores
Start of service: Mid-July 2010
Stores covered: Approx. 2,100 Circle K and Sunkus stores in Tōkyō, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima, Miyagi, Niigata, and Nagano Prefectures (excepting a few stores). As of February 2010, there are 2,239 Circle K and Sunkus stores in this area.

Basic information on Karuwaza Club (as of February 2010)
Members: Approx. 560,000

Basic information on Suica (as of February 2010)
Total cards in circulation: Approx. 31.22 million
Electronic money-compatible cards in circulation: Approx. 28.76 million
Affiliated stores: Approx. 83,210 (Stores accepting Suica will also accept PASMO, Kitaca, TOICA, ICOCA, SUGOCA, nimoca, and Hayakaken cards)
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:06 PM   #1116
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JR East reveals plan for improvements at Ochanomizu Station
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2009/20100322.pdf

Quote:
Summary
  • In the plan to implement improvements to Ochanomizu Station on the Chūō Line, including accessibility improvements and construction of a station plaza at the Hijiribashi Exit, we have attained basic approval for these improvements.
  • We will now begin preliminary design and are aiming for construction start in late FY2010.

Barrier-free improvements
We will construct an artificial deck above the tracks, implement improvements to the Ochanomizu-bashi Exit station building, and construct a new station plaza at the Hijiribashi Exit. We will then relocate the Hijiribashi Exit station building and implement barrier-free improvements including installation of elevators and escalators. Currently, we direct passengers to use the stairwell wheelchair lift installed at the Ochanomizu-bashi Exit station building.

Hijiribashi Exit station plaza
To contribute towards community development in the area surrounding the station, we will work jointly with Chiyoda Ward to construct an artificial deck above the tracks at the Hijiribashi Exit and implement station plaza improvements. In addition, we will also relocate the Hijiribashi Exit station building to a new location on top of the artificial deck.

Schedule
In FY2010, we will conduct preliminary design and discussions with the appropriate officials, and are aiming for a groundbreaking in late FY2010.

Other
As Ochanomizu Station is located on an extremely narrow strip of land, the barrier-free accessibility and station plaza improvements will require large-scale and complex construction. As we finalize a station improvements plan, we will work together with the appropriate officials to comprehensively evaluate appropriate construction methods to ensure customer safety and convenience, including possible changes to train operations during the construction period.
JR Ochanomizu Station squeezes two island platforms and four tracks on the south bank of the Kanda River and is a popular place to take photos of trains, as the Chūō Line (rapid), Chūō-Sōbu Line (local), and Tōkyō Metro Marunouchi Line all converge at this location on three different levels.

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Hijiribashi (Hijiri Bridge) from the platforms

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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #1117
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JR East to build office tower on site of former Transport Museum
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2009/20100320.pdf

Quote:
Summary
  • JR East will construct a green office building in Kanda Sudachō 1-chōme, Chiyoda Ward, Tōkyō.
  • As a design that takes advantage of views of the Chūō Line’s brick elevated viaduct, open space such as a through-passage and pedestrian space will be provided within the site.
  • The project will be designed as a next-generation office building with high added environmental value, including “winter gardens” on each floor with windows that open.

Project concepts and features
  • Project concepts
    • The project occupies the site of the former Manseibashi Station and former Transport Museum, and for many years, has been a place where people have gathered. The location also has valuable historical assets including the brick-arch elevated viaduct for the Chūō Line that still remains today.
    • With Akihabara’s Electric Town on the opposite side, the site surrounds the Kanda River, one of the few waterside spaces in central Tōkyō, and is within the Kanda Sudachō / Awajichō area, home to a unique collection of historic shops. There is much anticipation that this project will serve to connect both areas as a focal point and center of exchange.
    • Given these considerations, and in an effort to preserve history for future generations while still creating new value, the project is designed around three concepts: “locally- and historically-aware development,” “green and environmentally-friendly design,” and “design incorporationg social exchange and activity.”
  • Project features
    • Locally- and historically-aware development
      • Realizing that the project is located at the focal point of the neighborhood, we will work actively towards creating open space that is connected to the surrounding area, as well as new pedestrian space along the elevated railway.
      • In order to make use of the aesthetic value of the red-brick elevated viaduct, we will provide unobstructed views of the elevated viaduct from the lower floors of the building and secure a wide entry space. The upper floors will also be designed to be reminiscent of the brick arches on the Kanda River side.
      • Incorporating the history of the location as the site of the former Manseibashi Station (a former terminal station for the Chūō Line) and the former Transport Museum, the exterior design of the project incorporates railway-themed elements and the space will be designed to bring the history of this location alive.
    • Green and environmentally-friendly design
      • The building will have a low environmental load as a result of a layout design that incorporates green building concepts, and will aim for a top ranking (AAA rank) in Tōkyō Metropolitan Government standards, including aiming for a reduction of 25 percent or more over typical buildings in the perimeter annual load (PAL), a measure of a building’s insulation capabilities.
      • The building will incorporate the “winter garden” concept from green architecture in Europe and Australia, and will feature areas on each floor where the windows open. These “winter gardens” will create a comfortable space with greenery and fresh air, and will help reduce the building’s environmental load during the height mid-spring and mid-autumn.
      • In order to actively promote environmentally-friendly commuting, we will construct bicycle parking and shower rooms for use by building tenants.
      • We will actively use greenery on the eaves and roofs of buildings within the site.
      • We will aim for top-rank certification (S-rank) in the CASBEE green building rating system.
      • We are also considering obtaining certification under the LEED-CS standard for green building design managed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), which is gradually becoming a world standard.
    • Design incorporationg social exchange and activity
      • As the site is a focal point connected to the surrounding area, in an effort to establish the location as a node of activity, we are considering providing retail space on the lower floors of the building (floors 1 through 4), in addition to an education facility that will help nurture the next generation.
Other features and access
  • As leasable office space on each floor, the building will provide approx. 980 sq m of open, column-free space. As a security measure, the building will also feature an entry and exit management system using Suica.
  • Within a 500 m radius of the project site, JR operates three stations: Akihabara Station (Sōbu Line, Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line), Kanda Station (Chūō Line, Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tōhoku Line), and Ochanomizu Station (Chūō Line, Sōbu Line). Tōkyō Metro (Awajichō Station, Kanda Station, Akihabara Station, Shin-Ochanomizu Station), Toei Subway (Ogawamachi Station, Iwamotochō Station), and the Tsukuba Express (Akihabara Station) are also within a 500 m radius of the project site, providing a total of 10 stations serving the site and providing a high level of transport convenience.



Pedestrian space along the Chūō Line elevated viaduct.

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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #1118
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JR East opens station tenant building at Sugamo Station
http://www.nikkei.co.jp/news/retto/2...fb2604g26.html

Quote:
On January 26, East Japan Railway Company (JR East) announced that they will open the station tenant building currently under construction at Sugamo Station on the Yamanote Line on March 25. Retail facility atré vie Sugamo, managed by JR East subsidiary atré (HQ: Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō), will lease space in the building, which will be home to 22 shops including a gourmet shop and cafe.

The old station building at Sugamo Station was completed in 1970, but with deterioration of the structure, the railway embarked on construction of a new building, investing a total of ¥3.6 billion. The tenant building is five stories tall, with a gross floor area of approx. 4,300 sq m. Station-related facilities will occupy the first through third floors of the building. The previously separated Midori no Madoguchi ticket counter and View Plaza travel agent office have now been consolidated in one location. The womens’ restroom also contains a powder room.

The atré vie retail facility inside the station building is a small-scale version of the company’s atré brand facilities, the fifth following facilities at Akiharabara and Shinanomachi Stations. Tenants include a bakery cafe managed by Vie de France (HQ: Chiyoda Ward, Tōkyō), as well as a gourmet prepared foods store, a lifestyle accessories shop, and a bookstore. The railway forecasts sales of approx. ¥1.6 billion for the first year after opening.
Renderings:
Source: atré





Pictures (2010.03.27):
Source: http://sora0430.exblog.jp/









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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #1119
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JR Ōmiya Station celebrates 125th anniversary
http://mytown.asahi.com/saitama/news...00381003270001

Quote:
1,600 trains, 240,000 entries a day
1,615 trains. From the first Keihin-Tōhoku Line departure at 4:30 am to the arrival of the last Keihin-Tōhoku Line train at 1:16 am, this is the number of trains, Shinkansen and non-Shinkansen combined, that serve JR Ōmiya Station, one of only a handful even in the Greater Tōkyō that can boast such numbers.

Ōmiya Station opened on March 16, 1885. At the time, only eight trains a day served the station, and annual ridership forecasts were a mere 2,000.

Plans had surfaced to construct a line towards the Tōhoku area, branching off from the privately-constructed Nippon Railway between Ueno and Maebashi. As the plan gradually became real, the current Tōhoku Line alignment was selected as the “most inexpensive and quickest to construct,” and thus, Ōmiya Station was born.

This year, the station celebrates its 125th anniversary, and average daily entries are approx. 240,000 (FY2008), eighth highest among JR East’s stations. From the elevated Shinkansen to the underground Saikyō Line, there are a total of ten platforms, and an array of 11 elevators and 39 escalators help move passengers along. The station stretches across approx. 200,000 sq m, about 4.5 times the size of the Saitama Super Arena, and features 72 ticket machines, 56 automatic faregates, and about 260 employees stationed on platforms, at faregates, and at counters.

“We are always prepared to provide service that understands our customers’ point of view,” says service manager Okuno Tomoko (29). Her main job is to direct passengers as she does her rounds through the station. With many questions not related to trains, she’s eager to “help in whatever way she can.” For her, every day is a learning experience.

Overseeing this workforce is the station’s 47th stationmaster, Nakamoto Kunimasa (56), who entered his post in February 2008. His motto: “A visible stationmaster.” “By interacting directly with passengers, I can understand exactly what services we need to be providing. And hopefully, the subordinates who see me working will feel pride in their jobs as well,” says Nakamoto.

In December, the Tōhoku Shinkansen will be extended to Shin-Aomori Station, and in spring of next year, the new E5 series will make its debut, aiming for the first 320 kph operations in the country. As a hub for railways, the importance of Ōmiya Station will only rise.

“We are making full preparations for the opening of the line,” remarked Nakamoto.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #1120
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Seibu to launch day care facility business
http://www.seibu-group.co.jp/railway...24kosodate.pdf

Quote:
Seibu Railway Co., Ltd. (HQ: Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture; President: Gotō Takashi), in cooperation with a day care facility operator, will develop a new day care facility business near stations under the name Nicot, as part of our plan to strengthen parenting-assistance facilities along Seibu’s rail network.

As a result, in an effort to resolve the current situation where many young children do not have appropriate day care due to the increase in working mothers, we will support both community-building that meets local social needs, and the increasing role of women in general society.

In addition, in an effort to reduce the burdens that come along with raising children, we will work together with local governments and day care operators to provide temporary day care and extended day care, creating an environment that accommodates the needs of all parents raising children along the Seibu network—part of our goal to develop communities where smiles stretch from the station to the town.

In regards to the safety of our facilities, since the candidate locations are located near stations and where many of our passengers pass by, the day care facilities will provide an environment that all parents will find safe and comfortable.

The scope of facility development will be focused on stations inside Tōkyō Prefecture, where the number of children without day care is high, underneath the elevated viaduct near Shakujii Kōen Station on the Ikebukuro Line, and at express stations on the Shinjuku Line. In Saitama Prefecture, we will expand the program to Tokorozawa Station, a major terminal station for both the Ikebukuro Line and Shinjuku Line, opening two to three facilities annually, and a total of 10 facilities over the course of five years after discussions with local jurisdictions.

In June 2010, we are scheduled to open our first day care facility at Higashi-Kurume Station.
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