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Old April 27th, 2009, 06:19 PM   #101
orulz
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The Ginza line and the Marunouchi line are the only Tokyo Metro lines that don't have any through-routed suburban trains on them, I guess because of the standard gauge tracks, 3rd rail power, and small loading gauge meaning that even standard gauge lines like the Keisei couldn't run through because the trains are too wide/tall.

But I think I've read that at least the Ginza line needs to be rebuilt anyway since it's old and would probably fail disastrously in the event of an earthquake. In that case, it should be through routed with the Tobu Isesaki line at Asakusa, and the Keio Inokashira line at Shibuya.

As for the Marunouchi Line, nothing really stands out as a good target for through routing. I haven't heard the same things about earthquake resistance either so maybe this one could just stay as is.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vapour View Post
Thanks for the updates quashlo
No problem. English information on Japanese railways is rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz View Post
The Shin Keisei is a weird line. It slithers around like a snake, and it runs at grade taking up lots of land in probably the densest town that it runs through (Tsudanuma). Burying it through tsudanuma would seem to be a worthwhile exercise. At least one 鉄っちゃん agrees with me. This would allow a direct transfer at JR Tsudanuma and get rid of several downtown grade crossings. At least some of the cost could be recovered by developing the land. I guess maybe businesses in Tsudanuma like the Aeon wouldn't be too happy though since there would no longer be the steady stream of people waking between Shin-Tsudanuma to JR Tsudanuma station.
Yeah, crazy circuitous route... But I don't know if there's much that can be down at this point now to simplify the route since it's hemmed in by buildings. Cleaning up the Tsudanuma end of the line definitely seems like a good idea, though... Would definitely improve the transfer between Shin-Keisei and JR, and as you said, whoever pays for it could recoup some of the cost through development.

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Originally Posted by orulz View Post
But I think I've read that at least the Ginza line needs to be rebuilt anyway since it's old and would probably fail disastrously in the event of an earthquake. In that case, it should be through routed with the Tobu Isesaki line at Asakusa, and the Keio Inokashira line at Shibuya.
To be honest, I have no idea about the structural integrity of the Ginza Line... Apparently they did some structural work after what happened in the Hanshin Earthquake, so maybe it's not so bad. The through-service with the Keiō Inokashira Line definitely stands out as a missed opportunity. In terms of through-service, I'd actually like to see Seibu Shinjuku Line and Tōkyō Metro Tōzai Line come to fruition.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #103
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Green Line: Population increases, ridership struggles
http://mytown.asahi.com/kanagawa/new...00160904210001

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It’s been a little over one year since the Municipal Subway Green Line opened for service, connecting Midori, Tsuzuki, and Kōhoku Wards in northern Yokohama. As a result, areas already popular as Tōkyō bedtowns have become even more accessible, accelerating population growth in Tsuzuki Ward. But on the other hand, ridership on the Green Line is far below what the Transportation Bureau of the City of Yokohama had originally estimated, leading to discussions of possible countermeasures to increase revenue and pay off the project’s large construction debt.

Neighborhoods around the line experience construction boom
The number of households in Tsuzuki Ward, where six new stations were constructed, increased by approximately 3,000 households in the past year to a total of 76,400 households—the highest annual gain in the last ten years. According to the Policy Implementation Department at the Tsuzuki Ward Office, “Construction is continuing on dwelling units aimed at taking advantage of the opening of the Green Line.” Statistics from September 2008 show that the average age of residents in Tsuzuki Ward is 37.7, making it the youngest ward in Yokohama. The secret to its popularity is a family-friendly environment for raising children and good access to Central Tōkyō.

On April 4, Naka Ward-based List, a major seller of residential units in Kanagawa Prefecture, sold condominiums located two-minutes walking distance from Center Minami Station for as much as ¥66.7 million. The selling point is “unlimited access thanks to the Blue Line and Green Line.” Even though the units will be transferred over in December, out of 34 Phase I units, applications are already in for 80 percent of the units. “With connections to the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line, Den’en Toshi Line, and JR Yokohama Line, Center Minami and Center Kita Stations have become the heart of northern Yokohama,” according to Project Development Chief Kobayashi Tetsuo. “In the midst of the condo bust last autumn, they didn’t drop the offering prices, even as they were still in the planning stages,” he says.

Surrounding the Green Line are many condominiums and facilities built in anticipation of the new service.

Two minutes walk from Kita-Yamata Station, children play under the watchful eye of their parents inside the courtyard of a residential block constructed four years ago. Until the opening of the Green Line, the 39-year-old father who works in Tōkyō would walk to Center North Station, a trip that took 20 minutes each morning. Now that the line has opened, he uses Kita-Yamata Station, which has not only reduced his commute time, but also reduced their family’s need to use the car and increased their likelihood to go out for walks together.

A five-minute walk from Kita-Yamata Station, the private Salesio Academy (1,086 students) used to run buses mornings and evenings from Center North and Tama Plaza Stations to the school, but has since stopped after the opening of the Green Line. There’s no traffic on the Green Line, and it’s popular with the students.

Ridership at 70% of projections
While accessibility has improved, ridership hasn’t reached projections made at the start of the project, leading the City of Yokohama to consider ways to increase revenue.

According to the Transportation Bureau, the Green Line’s estimated daily ridership for March is approximately 75,700. While the figure is much higher than the 58,500 when the line first opened, it is only 70 percent of the 104,000 riders initially envisioned.

In response to the claim that projections were too high, General Operations Chief Amagaya Hidefumi says, “Because commuters and students often use commute passes, we only see those passengers switch over when their passes expire. It’ll probably take some for the Green Line to settle in.”

Commuter pass holders on the Green Line are currently at 50,000 of a target 70,000. It was expected that approximately 17,000 passengers would switch from the Blue Line to the Green Line, but actual statistics show only 4,000 do so. Passengers switching from other modes such as buses and private cars are also lower than estimated.

As a result of struggling ridership, the Transportation Bureau has cut down on costs—revising down their budget by approximately ¥1.8 billion, refinancing loans, and having track maintenance work previously contracted out done in-house instead.

Construction of the Green Line cost approximately ¥245 billion. Approximately ¥120 billion of that is from loans to be paid back over 30 years. If ridership continues to be sluggish, however, it’s possible that ticket prices could increase or the city could end up paying for some of the cost through its general account.

The Transportation Bureau is currently advancing its PR efforts to increase ridership. In cooperation with commercial facilities at Center Minami and Center Kita Stations, the Bureau is planning special gifts and discounts for subway riders. It also began publishing special maps of restaurants surrounding each station.

“Many people still don’t know about it. Many don’t even know where the stations are located. But if we get them to ride at least once, I’m confident they’ll realize how wonderful it is,” says Chief Amagaya.

Higashi-Yamata Station: Land owners can’t agree, development stalls
While there are some areas along the Green Line where development is proceeding apace, there are also other areas which leave behind only troubling thoughts.

Higashi-Yamata Station is surrounded by a parking lot and fields. Ever since plans for a new station surfaced in 1996, the locals have discussed the redevelopment of the area surrounding the new station. They formed an association for land readjustment and hired an outside consultant to draw up the plans.

“I’ve got a few plans of the proposal back at my house. There was even a large-scale retail development that was supposed to come in,” says the 72-year-old man heading the Higashi-Yamata Neighborhood Association.

But the land owners, numbering almost 300 in total, couldn’t agree to anything, and progress on the project came to a halt in May 2008. With a remaining ¥300 million due for loans covering consultant fees and other expenses, the head of the association was forced to personally take on ¥150 million of the debt.

“A lot of the land owners here made their profits in the Kōhoku New Town development. They’re set for life now and didn’t want to let go of any more property. The City only says, ‘We will help with the redevelopment.’ If the City had actually taken control, instead of having the association lead the effort, things might have turned out better,” he says regretfully.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:35 AM   #104
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Commercial space inside stations doing well
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/komachi/new...090425ok04.htm

Quote:
Commercial facilities located inside stations, known as “ekinaka”, are doing well. Benefitting from the convenience and pleasure of being able to shop while making train transfers, ekinaka inside terminal stations are bustling with traffic. Facilities combining a variety of businesses such as cosmetics and beauty care services have even appeared. The trip back home from the office or school might just become a little more pleasant.

“Echika Ikebukuro” opened in March inside Tōkyō Metro Ikebukuro Station in Toshima Ward, Tōkyō. Forty stores line the corridor connecting the Fukutoshin Line and Yūrakuchō Line, including shops selling sōzai (side dishes), sweets, and general merchandise.

The combined total floor space of all the shops at Echika Ikebukuro is 1,400 sq. m. The corridor is abuzz with transferring passengers and office ladies from nearby buildings, with shoppers from afar coming in on weekends. In fact, Echika has come to resemble a depachika (the basement floor of Japanese department stores, usually devoted to food).

From cosmetics and beauty care to sōzai
“On the way to and from school, I stop by the cosmetics and general stores. I like being able to shop at leisure on my way to and from the train,” says a 21-year-old female student attending a nearby university.

In the past, “station shopping” meant small-scale, individual shops like kiosks or stand-up soba eats. But as railway companies are seeing their profits max out, they’re tapping the ability of stations to attract customers as a new source of revenue. As a result, there’s been an increase in the number of locations opening ekinaka holding multiple stores.

Tōkyō Metro’s Echika first began in 2005 at Omotesandō Station, with the Ikebukuro Echika following second. Starting in 2005, JR East has opened its own “ecute” facilities at four major terminals including Ōmiya and Shinagawa, where a variety of shops including restaurants, bookstores, barber shops, and more now stand side-by-side.

According to Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) business statistics (2007), the yearly sales of shops located inside station faregates is ¥5.13 million per square meter of floor space, almost eight times the average across all retail businesses combined (¥660,000 per square meter). Because of the constant flow of passengers throughout the day, stations are some of the best places to locate shops. Ekinaka, which have taken every advantage of this potential, will likely continue to evolve as places of consumption.


Echika Ikebukuro

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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:40 AM   #105
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Haneda-Narita maglev proposal to be studied further
http://mytown.asahi.com/chiba/news.p...00000904190001

Quote:
Chiba Prefecture has made preparations to establish a research panel to consider the proposal for a linear motor maglev system connecting Narita and Haneda Airports, which Governor of Chiba Prefecture Morita Kensaku has publicly promised to see through to fruition. Governor Morita has said the project would connect the two airports in a matter of fifteen minutes and could jump-start development in Greater Tōkyō. However, there are a mountain of debates left unresolved before Governor Morita can fulfill his promise, including the prefectural government’s share of a hefty estimated cost of two to three trillion yen and competition with the Narita Rapid Railway set to open in 2010.

On April 7, Governor Morita met with Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture Matsuzawa Shigefumi, after which they both agreed to establish a research panel to study the project. After receiving instructions from Governor Morita, the Chiba Prefecture Transportation Planning Department says it will begun establishing the panel and contacting the Kanagawa authorities for information.

Kanagawa Prefecture’s evaluation report on the project released on April 14 calls for a linear motor maglev system connecting Narita Airport, Chiba City, the Tōkyō Waterfront area, and Haneda Airport via deep tunnels, eliminating the need to purchase land. According to this plan, the current 90-minute train ride between the two airports would become a mere 15 minutes. The plan also mentions the possibility of future extensions, such as to Yokohama, Shinjuku, and Saitama, with the estimated total project cost at ¥1.3 trillion and secondary economic benefits at ¥2.9 trillion.

As for Governor Morita’s maglev proposal, no specific route has yet been selected. “Profitability would be difficult if the line only serves Haneda and Narita, but that is something we will be analyzing,” he said during his regular press conference on April 16.

A linear motor system connecting Greater Tōkyō’s hubs isn’t anything new. In an interim motion submitted in March, the Panel on Global Competitiveness under the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Government Affairs Review Committee called for unifying the domestic (Haneda) and international (Narita) airports through a linear motor maglev system connecting the two in 15 minutes. New Kōmeitō Party President Ōta Akihiro also supports the project.

In the late 1980s, both Chiba and Saitama Prefectures were considering their own linear motor systems, Chiba for a proposed line between Narita and Haneda and Saitama for a proposed line between Ōmiya and Narita. At the time, the Chiba chapter of the LDP also called for an experimental linear motor line between Narita and Haneda.

The Japan Project-Industry Council (JAPIC), which includes companies in the steel industry, proposed a linear motor line connecting Narita and Haneda in 1990.

With Governor Morita’s public promise, the proposal is once again garnering attention, but many critics have already voiced their doubts about the project. “Who will build it? The soils in Tōkyō Bay are so soft, it would cost a fortune. Charisma isn’t going to construct the project,” said Chiba City Mayor Tsuruoka Keiichi at his regular press conference on April 9. “I have faith in linear motor technology, but just how much demand is there for travel between Narita and Haneda?” asked Tōkyō Governor Ishihara Shintarō on April 10.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has pegged a rough estimate of the total project cost at ¥3 trillion. Governor Morita hopes to place the national government in charge of seeing the project through construction, but he won’t be able to avoid Chiba Prefecture’s large share of the total cost. When asked by reporters about Chiba’s share of the cost after a meeting with Minister Kaneko of the MLIT, the Governor evaded the question.

In addition, a 2004 report by the MLIT estimates the number of riders using public transportation to travel between the two airports at approximately 3,100 daily. With projections of daily ridership this low, even with a maglev, profitability becomes an issue.

Duplication of service with the Narita New Rapid Railway, currently being constructed as a means of improving access between Narita Airport and Central Tōkyō, is another consideration.

That project will use trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h, connecting Narita Airport and Central Tōkyō in 30-40 minutes. Construction, including laying sections of all new track, is continuing, with an opening date in 2010. After service begins, the trip between Narita Airport and Keisei Ueno Station will take as little as 36 minutes. In the future, a bypass line could be constructed off the Keisei Line and through to the Keikyū Line, connecting Narita and Haneda in approximately 55 minutes.

Chiba Prefecture is also involved in the Narita New Rapid Railway project, and has contributed approximately ¥20 billion of the total project cost of ¥126 billion. The Chiba Prefecture Transport Planning Department has said that the Governor’s linear motor proposal is a mid- to long-term project, and that their review would be careful to consider the Narita New Rapid Railway.

“I certainly don’t think it will happen right away, but I’d like to see some actual progress within four years,” says Governor Morita.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #106
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Toden 8800 series enters revenue service


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/...post_1006.html
Outside Arakawa Carbarn.



Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/...post_1006.html
Outside Arakawa Carbarn.



Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/...post_1006.html



Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/...post_1006.html
Wheelchair space.



Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/...post_1006.html
Priority seats for the disabled, elderly, pregnant, etc.



Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/...post_1006.html
LCD information display.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Green Line: Population increases, ridership struggles
A slow start but ridership will surely increase overtime. 75k per day after 1 year is actually not too bad IMO.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #108
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Cool about the new cars for the Toden Arakawa line. I've heard a few inklings about an extension (actually a branch line) to Sunshine City and Ikebukuro Station. Do you know anything about that?

I like the Arakawa line. Among all the grandiose heavy transportation infrastructure in Tokyo, it stands out. It reminds me of Hiroshima, where I lived when I was in Japan. Hiroshima never abandoned its streetcars in the first place. Also, there is no subway system for getting around the center of town, and any plans for building one seem to be indefinitely on hold, so the streetcars are and will remain quite crowded.

Last edited by orulz; April 28th, 2009 at 05:03 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
In terms of through-service, I'd actually like to see Seibu Shinjuku Line and Tōkyō Metro Tōzai Line come to fruition.
Doesn't the Tozai Line already run through to the Chuo-Sobu Line? The transfer at Takadanobaba isn't that bad is it?
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Old May 4th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #110
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It's not as bad as other transfers, but Seibu Takadanobaba serves 294,000 pax a day (this is more than Seibu Shinjuku--the terminal for the Seibu Shinjuku Line--which is 189,000/day). Thru-service would relieve at least some of these transfers and improve travel times... Would also improve regional access between western Tōkyō / southern Saitama and Chiba.

Currently, it looks like approx. half of the Tōzai Line trains run thru-service with the Chūō-Sōbu Locals during commute periods... The other half terminate at Nakano. I haven't seen how many people get on the Tōzai Line at Nakano, but it appears in terms of scheduling that there's some flexibility there to divert some of the Nakano trains to the Seibu Shinjuku Line. If there is sufficient demand on the Tōzai Line from Nakano Station alone, then there could also be a few shuttles between Nakano and Takadanobaba timed with the arrival of the Seibu Shinjuku Line thru-trains.

The other reason I like it is because it's fairly simple, since gauge and electrification are the same.

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Originally Posted by orulz View Post
Cool about the new cars for the Toden Arakawa line. I've heard a few inklings about an extension (actually a branch line) to Sunshine City and Ikebukuro Station. Do you know anything about that?
I've heard about it, but don't know if there's been any concerted movement on it... A Google search turned up this proposal, which seems interesting...
http://chizuz.com/map/map33420.html

Creates a new north-south link between the west end of the Yamanote Loop and the Namboku Line / Yūrakuchō Line.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #111
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Hey quashlo, thanks for opening this thread. The information is invaluable here for those who can't speak Japanese (yet). I was wondering, can you provided any information on the following projects?

[JR East] Tōkyō Station City and Tōkyō Station restoration
[Tōkyū] Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line quadruple-tracking and Ōimachi Line extension: Futako Tamagawa – Mizonokuchi
[JR East] Installation of platform doors on Yamanote Line
[JR East | Tōkyō Metro | Tōkyū] Shibuya Station redevelopment

I'm curious to hear what's up with the Den'en Toshi Line b/c I hear it's a nightmare to commute on.

I thought the Yamanote door installation plan was pretty much a go.

Your info on the Odakyu Line was interesting. I live near Yoyogi-Hachiman station on that line and there is an at grade crossing there that is absolutely insane at all hours of the day. Any plans to bury the Odakyu line from Yoyogi-Uehara to Shinjuku for express trains (no stops in between)?

Edit:

[JR East] Tōkyō Station City and Tōkyō Station restoration

http://www.japanrail.com/pdf/news/05...in059_East.pdf
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0080522f3.html

Last edited by nouveau.ukiyo; May 15th, 2009 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Info on Tokyo Station Redevelopement
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Old May 16th, 2009, 11:28 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
[JR East] Tōkyō Station City and Tōkyō Station restoration
[Tōkyū] Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line quadruple-tracking and Ōimachi Line extension: Futako Tamagawa – Mizonokuchi
I’m planning on writing up a more detailed post, since this one is actually set to begin service in a couple of months. Basically, after project completion, there will be an additional pair of tracks on the Den’en Toshi Line between Futako Tamagawa and Mizonokuchi to facilitate the extension of the Ōimachi Line west. The basic idea is to relieve pressure on the eastern portion of the Den’en Toshi Line by transforming the Ōimachi Line into a bypass line and encouraging passengers to shift to other lines in the network via the Ōimachi Line. As part of the project, express service has already begun on the Ōimachi Line between Ōimachi and Futako Tamagawa, which will then be extended to Mizonokuchi.

The Hanzōmon Line / Den’en Toshi Line facilities at Shibuya consist of a single island platform with two tracks, but there is limited opportunity for expansion... So I think they selected this solution as the most feasible option. They’re basically repeating and expanding on what they’ve already done with the extension of the Meguro Line along the Tōyoko Line.
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Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
[JR East] Installation of platform doors on Yamanote Line
Yes, I believe you are correct that the project is basically ready to go, but I wasn’t sure whether any construction activity had actually begun. Meguro and Ebisu Stations are supposed to receive their platform gates first, but it didn’t occur to me to check on the progress when I last visited Tōkyō. Scrounging around 2ch, apparently some construction has begun at Meguro. Personally, I will be a little sad to see the 6-door cars go…

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Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
[JR East | Tōkyō Metro | Tōkyū] Shibuya Station redevelopment
http://www.city.shibuya.tokyo.jp/kur...uya_gaiku.html
They’re redoing the station and the surrounding areas… Some of the major elements:
  • Construction of a new station building
  • Undergrounding of the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line (being done as part of the thru-service with the Tōkyō Metro Fukutoshin Line)
  • Relocation of the Saikyō Line platforms 300 meters to the north, closer to the Yamanote Line platforms, and construction of a new transfer concourse (the undergrounding of the Tōyoko Line is a prerequisite for this to happen).
  • Relocation of the bus terminal (currently at the west side, the terminal will be split between the north and south sides of the station).
  • Relocation of the Ginza Line platforms (currently above the Yamanote Line platforms) east and modification from side to island configuration.
  • Creation of a network of above-ground pedestrian skyways connecting the new Shibuya Station building with adjacent buildings, including Tōkyū's proposed 33-story Shin-Bunka project.
  • Expansion of Hachikō Plaza and construction of new pedestrian open space.
  • Construction of a new underground bicycle parking facility above the Fukutoshin Line and a new automobile garage underneath a relocated underground taxi area.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
Your info on the Odakyu Line was interesting. I live near Yoyogi-Hachiman station on that line and there is an at grade crossing there that is absolutely insane at all hours of the day. Any plans to bury the Odakyu line from Yoyogi-Uehara to Shinjuku for express trains (no stops in between)?
I’m not aware of any. Undergrounding it sounds like a good idea, but I have no idea of the feasibility.

The other option is to perhaps shift some of the trains to the Chiyoda Line. It’s kind of interesting because they’ve already built an underground set of tracks as part of the Chiyoda Line, yet only a very few number of trains actually run this thru-service. Based on the 2007 numbers, Odakyū Shinjuku Station serves 498,918 passengers daily, while daily ridership coming to and from the Chiyoda Line is 179,270, which is almost a 3:1 ratio. However, during the 8:00 to 9:00 hour at Shimo-Kitazawa, there are 22 trains bound for Shinjuku, but only 5 bound for the Chiyoda Line, which is more like a 4:1 ratio. Of course, peak period travel characteristics may be different than daily travel characteristics and justify this (if for example, Shinjuku has more peak period demand than the Chiyoda Line)...
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Old May 16th, 2009, 11:33 PM   #113
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Nakanoshima Line ridership at 30-40 percent of estimates
http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/eco_news/20090513ke03.htm

Quote:
Keihan Electric Railway announced on May 12 that ridership on the Nakanoshima Line (Tenmabashi – Nakanoshima, approx. 3 km.) from its opening in October 2008 until the end of March 2009 had reached a running total of 4,000,000 passengers, approximately 30 to 40 percent of ridership estimates at the start of the project.

In addition to smaller than expected shifts in riders from other lines including the Keihan Main Line, according to Board Member Sakurai Yoshitsugu, “Delays in the redevelopment of Nakanoshima have also affected ridership.” Through opening special events along the line aimed at attracting riders, Keihan says it will set a target of 10,000,000 total passengers by the end of next March.

As a result of the economic downturn beginning last fall and declining commuter ridership on existing lines, revenue from passenger operations for the one-year period ending this March rose only 0.3 percent over the previous year, virtually eliminating the benefits of opening the new line.

In its March 2009 consolidated financial statement released May 12, Keihan showed declining revenue and declining profit: gross revenue was ¥260.7 billion (0.5 percent decrease) and profit after taxes was ¥7.4 billion (11.2 percent decrease). Costs related to the opening of the Nakanoshima Line, as well as the slump in department stores and distribution businesses, contributed to the situation.

Last edited by quashlo; November 7th, 2009 at 09:45 PM.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 11:36 PM   #114
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Hanshin Namba Line doing well
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...905150101.html

Quote:
Hankyū Hanshin Holdings announced on May 15 that average daily ridership on the Hanshin Namba Line from the line’s opening March 20 until May 10 had reached 54,000. While only 80 percent of the target for FY2009, due in part to the high number of long-distance passengers, revenue in April surpassed targets by 12 percent. “The line has started off well, and we expect to reach our first-year goals,” says Director Nakajima of Hankyū Hanshin Holdings.

The Hanshin Namba Line’s start constrasts sharply with Keihan Electric Railway’s Nakanoshima Line, where ridership is struggling at 40 percent of first-year targets. Ridership on non-workdays is high, with weekend and holiday ridership at Sannomiya and Kintetsu Nara—now connected by direct service—having increased by approximately 10 percent since before the line opened. As a benefit of the new line, the flow of people between Kōbe and Nara has increased.

The key to achieving the target of 67,000 daily riders is commuters. Passengers with commuter passes comprise about 50 percent of ridership on the Hanshin Main Line, but have stalled at only 30 percent of ridership on the Hanshin Namba Line. Hanshin Electric Railway now plans on increasing public relations efforts targeted at businesses along the line.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #115
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Kansai’s four major private railways report decreases in profit
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/sumai/ne...905160016.html

Quote:
On April 15, all four major private railways in the Kansai area had released their March 2009 consolidated financial statements. As a result of the rapid economic slump, all companies reported decreases in operating profits. While it has been a lucky year so far with the opening of both Keihan Electric Railway’s Nakanoshima Line and Hanshin Electric Railway’s Namba Line, “The financial benefits of new lines have been offset by the recession,” says Keihan Managing Director Sakurai Kenji.

For Kintetsu Corporation, the increase in revenue was a result of making travel agency Club Tourism a subsidiary; in actuality, all companies had decreasing revenues. Due to reduced consumption, property sales and distribution businesses which had been performing favorably for all companies until now also took hits.

The railway business is comparatively bullish. Kintetsu, with it’s large network of long-distance lines, saw a 1.2 percent decrease in ridership as tourists and visitors toned down their travel, while Hanshin saw a 1.3 percent increase in ridership. Hankyū Electric Railway and Keihan saw slight increases. Nankai Electric Railway saw a minor decrease.

For March 2010, Kintetsu and Nankai are predicting increased revenues but decreasing profits, while Hankyū Hanshin Holdings and Keihan are predicting decreased revenues and decreased profits.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 11:59 PM   #116
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Keikyū CD sells over 10,000
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/entertainme...OYT1T00007.htm

Quote:
Sales of a CD containing eki-melo (station melodies) used at Keikyū Electric Railway (HQ: Tōkyō) station platforms have sold over 10,000 copies in about a month and a half, surpassing the expectations of both Keikyū and the CD producer.

Eki-melo have garnered popularity outside the railfan world because passengers commuting daily to work and school become intimately familiar with the tunes.

The CD, Keikyū Eki-melody Original (¥1500), was released on March 18. Beginning last year, Keikyū has used eki-melo at 17 stations, including songs such as Ue wo Muite Arukō and Yume de Aetara, which were selected in public submission contests. The CD itself contains thirty songs from these 17 stations, including “sound effects” such as the sound trains make when running along curves. The sound of trains with German-made controllers, which sound like “do-re-mi” musical scales, is one of the showpieces of the CD.

The CD’s producer, Universal Music (HQ: Tōkyō), originally shipped 700 copies primarily aimed at railfans. But when one store after another began to sell out and copies sold like fire online, the company increased production. Keikyū has also limited their production, but has begun a new service that allows people to download the eki-melo onto their mobile phones.

According to the manager at the Shinagawa Station shop (61yo), “Not only young men who are railfans, but also older women buy the CD. There’s also many children who ask their parents to buy the CD for them.”

“When we first released the CD, we saw it as a limited production concentrated in areas surrounding the Keikyū line. We never imagined it would sell this many copies in such a short amount of time,” says Universal Music project manager Watanabe Kiyotaka (43yo). He suggests that perhaps more and more children and women have become railfans.

The top-selling eki-melo CD so far has been a collection of JR East’s eki-melo released in March 2004 by Teichiku Entertainment (HQ: Tōkyō), which sold over 50,000 copies. The second volume released in June 2005 sold over 40,000 copies. According to the CD’s producer, people who are used to hearing the melodies have a sense of affinity with the songs and have bought the CDs.

Eki-melo are also incredibly popular among the visually-impaired.

According to Principal Sawada Shin of the Tōkyō Bunkyō School for the Blind, which serves approximately 50 visually-impaired high-school students, “Many students find the eki-melo comforting. There are even students who record the songs for their own purposes.” Shirai Takaaki (25), a blind triple jumper and violinist, is another fan of the eki-melo. “It’s a great help since stations and lines each have their own songs,” he says. Tōkyō-based sound production company Switch, which specializes in the production of eki-melo, is currently considering creating new songs using Shirai’s music.

Eki-melo: Music used in place of the typical bell sound signaling the arrival and departure of trains. In the Tōkyō area, they were first used by JR East in 1989 at Shinjuku and Shibuya Stations as part of image rebranding following the privatization of the national railways. Alarm clocks using eki-melo from these stations are also a popular item.

Source: ADVAN3 on YouTube
Yume de Aetara by the doo-wop group Rats & Star, used at Keikyū Kamata Station in Ōta Ward. Rats & Star members Suzuki Masayuki and Kuwano Nobuyoshi were both born in Ōta Ward.


Source: ADVAN3 on YouTube
Ue wo Muite Arukō by Sakamoto Kyū, used at Keikyū Kawasaki Station. Sakamoto Kyū is from Kawasaki City. Some may recognize the tune, as it became popular outside of Japan under various names.


Source: kawahama1107 on YouTube
Keikyū 2100 series (“do-re-mi” train) at Kanazawa Bunko Station.


Source: KM65536 on YouTube
Matsuzawa Ken performs JR East eki-melo live. The audience reacts as he plays some of the more familiar tunes at major Tōkyō terminals. Watching this, it may be easier to understand the potential of station music as a symbol of neighborhoods or districts.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 12:01 AM   #117
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More of JR East E259 series


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
With gangway open, at Kamakura Car Center.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
View of the green car interior (the green car is Car 1, the end car towards Narita Airport). Leather seats and carpeted floor. The armrests hold power outlets for electronic devices.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
View of the regular car interior.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Operator cab is located high up. The path to the right leads to the gangway when the trains operate in 6+6 configuration.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Luggage storage area. There are dial locks, but I honestly don’t know how they’re supposed to work.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
17 in. LCD displays. Each car has 14 displays.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Large restroom in Car No. 1.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #118
FromLaVega
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
JR East E259 series begins test runs

This is the replacement for the 253 series trains used exclusively for the Narita Express (N'EX). The 253 series is 18 years old and has been in service since the beginning of the Narita Express. The E259 series trains will begin service in Autumn 2009, with a total order of 132 cars. Like the 253 series, top speed is 130 km/h and basic formation is 6-car trains, which are then coupled as 6+6.

Features:
  • Improved comfort through use of active suspension (used on Shinkansen E2 “Hayate” trains) and dampers
  • Improved sound insulation for floor of car
  • Roomier seats, with large tables and electrical outlets
  • Increased space underneath seats for luggage
  • Larger washroom to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs
  • Reduced height gap between train and platform
  • In-train information in multiple languages
  • Security cameras located at each door and at luggage areas
  • Locked luggage areas to deter theft
  • Redundancy of critical electrical systems, train control, etc. (used on E233 series sets for Chūō Line and Keihin-Tōhoku Line)


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
E259 series is at left, 253 series is at right. At Tsudanuma Station on the Sōbu Main Line.



Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Near Ichikawa Station on the Sōbu Main Line.



Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Near Shimousa Nakayama Station on the Sōbu Main Line.



Source: safaia2008 on YouTube
Departing Tsudanuma.



Source: safaia2008 on YouTube
Passing Shimousa Nakayama.



Source: yukinamatusima on YouTube
Full-color LED sign on car.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 12:09 AM   #119
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New Skyliner makes first appearance

Looks like the E259 series’ rival has finally showed its face…
The first train in Keisei Electric Railway's New AE series was manufactured by Nippon Sharyō.
These units will be debut in 2010 on Keisei's Skyliner service connecting Ueno Station in Tōkyō and Narita Airport to coincide with the opening of the New Narita Rapid Railway.

At Sōgo Sandō Station on the Keisei Main Line:

Source: dash8sakura on YouTube
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Old May 17th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
[JR East] Installation of platform doors on Yamanote Line
According to this JR East news, JR East has a plan to install screen door on all stations till 2017. Prior to install on all station, they will install on two station, Meguro and Ebis station, as a showcase and test on by the late of 2012.
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