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Old May 23rd, 2010, 08:00 AM   #1281
TheKorean
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^Well yea, I agreed with you. We have more land available so we have more roads. Or bigger roads.

I guess the Japanese cities must be quite crowded then. Japan has a lot of people considering how little land they have.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 07:45 PM   #1282
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AFAIK, South Korea has higher population density than Japan, so has less land available. The figure is higher, even if we only consider those of inhabitable lands; excluding mountains.

Japan - South Korea

Pop. density: 337.0 /km2 - 486.8 /km2

Inhabitable land: 33.6% - 36.7%
Pop. density per inhabitable land: 1,003.3 /km2 - 1,326.5 /km2


If South Korea feels less crowded, that's thanks to their better urban plannings, or lack of that in Japan.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:46 AM   #1283
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Kawasaki awarded New York MTA rolling stock order
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/s...hing-line.html

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USA: New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority has awarded Kawasaki Rail Car an $87•1m contract for 23 new R188 subway cars equipped with communications-based train control; delivery is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2012.

The R188 is designed for use on Division A of the New York City Transit network, the former IRT lines, and will be assigned to the No 7-Flushing route. The contract also includes equipping 10 existing R142A cars with CBTC, giving MTA three 11-car prototype trains to test CBTC on the No 7, which is due to be resignalled.

The contract also includes an $384•3m option for another 123 R188s and conversion of 350 existing R142As, taking the total CBTC-enabled fleet to 506 cars. This would provide MTA with 46 11-car trains by the fourth quarter of 2015 to replace the R62A fleet on the No 7 line. Bombardier, which supplied NYCT’s R142 cars, decided not to participate in the tender.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:47 AM   #1284
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Kawasaki wins DC Metro rolling stock order
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/s...saki-deal.html

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USA: Meeting on May 27 the board of Washington DC metro operator WMATA voted to approve a contract with Kawasaki Rail Car for 428 new vehicles, valued at $886m. Kawasaki was selected through a competitively negotiated procurement, and was judged to be offering the best overall technical proposal and the lowest cost. Award of a $1•48bn contract for up to 748 cars had been recommended at the board meeting in March, but the directors wanted more time to consider the proposal.

The deal is the largest single car order ever placed by WMATA. The Series 7000 cars are to be assembled at Kawasaki’s plant in Lincoln, Nebraska, with the first pre-series vehicles due to arrive in Washington in 2013 for an intensive inspection and testing programme. All 428 are scheduled to be in service by 2016.

The first 128 cars are allocated for the metro extension to Dulles International Airport, and will be financed by that project. They will be delivered in batches of 64 for each of the two phases. The other 300 vehicles are intended to replace WMATA’s oldest Series 1000 cars, built by defence contractor Rohr Industries between 1974 and 1978. These have been criticised by the National Transportation Safety Board for their structural weakness when subjected to dynamic forces in collisions.

‘Today’s award is significant because it allows us to address our top safety priority — retirement of the original Series 1000 rail cars, which are more than 30 years old’, said Interim General Manager Richard Sarles.

The Series 7000 cars will incorporate crash energy management systems to improve safety. They will also have better passenger amenities such as more leg room for seated passengers, more handholds, LCD route maps, and resilient flooring instead of carpeting. The cars will be semi-permanently coupled in sets of four, whereas the existing stock is formed of married pairs.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:48 AM   #1285
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Japanese woman keeps Delhi Metro construction site in shape
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/asia/...0003000-n1.htm

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After opening in 2006 with Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan, the Delhi Metro is becoming a critical means of transport in the Indian capital of New Delhi. There is a sole Japanese woman who has been in charge at the site of ongoing construction for subway extensions connecting New Delhi with surrounding areas: civil engineer Abe Reiko (46). With a team of approx. 250 Indian men under her command, she is in the midst of the battle to complete Delhi’s metro network.

“Safety belt!”

Inside the underground space of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Station near central New Delhi, Abe shouts a warning at one worker who forgot to put on his safety belt.

Abe is an assistant principal at general construction consulting firm Oriental Consultants. While small in frame, she has an immediate presence, and when she makes her appearance on the construction site, the workers who were sitting and chatting eagerly with each other begin to frown and assemble together.

“When I come, the whistle sounds: ‘The Madame is here,’” says Abe. “If being afraid of me increases awareness of safety, I will gladly become the devil.”

Between January 2008 and January 2010, Abe was in charge of tunnel boring work for the Delhi Metro. She returned to Japan for a short period of time, but returned to Delhi starting in February for the introduction of new safety technology.

Since FY1996, Japan has provided approx. ¥374.8 billion in international loans for subway construction and other projects in New Delhi. Weekday daily ridership on the Delhi Metro is 1.05 million. Once Phase 2 construction (approx. 83 km) is completed and all six lines are opened, the Delhi Metro will stretch approx. 143 km in length, surpassing the Ōsaka Municipal Subway and approaching Tōkyō Metro’s eight-line network (183.2 km).

Abe was born in Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture and grew up looking at the Kanmon Straits. With dreams of one day boring tunnels on her own, she enrolled in the Engineering Department at Yamaguchi University. She was the first and only woman in the Engineering Department.

But because she was a woman, she was unable to find a career after graduating, and even after completing graduate studies at Kōbe University’s Graduate School of Engineering, she was unable to even earn a chance to take entrance examinations for new positions. With help from those around her, she got a job at a mid-sized general contractor, but without a chance to work on tunnel construction, she became distressed, left behind watching her male colleagues as they made their way to and from construction sites.

After being convinced that she would go nowhere at this rate, she took a crash course in English and headed off to Norway on a company transfer and training program. However, she became mentally distressed, and with only her wallet and passport, took the return flight to Narita. After arriving in Narita Airport, she came back to her senses and made a U-turn back to Norway.

Afterwards, she continued working at construction sites overseas, from Taiwan to China, Qatar, and India. Her male Indian colleagues say she has “exceptional focus on her work” and highly respect her.

“The joy of completing the tunnel and seeing the light on the other side is something else,” says Abe. For female university students having trouble finding jobs, Abe encourages them not to give up hope. Abe herself is building her experience day by day, with hopes of one day having her name mentioned with big projects.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:55 AM   #1286
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Fukuoka Women’s Academy announces joint nimoca and student ID cards
http://www.nishitetsu.co.jp/release/2010/10_023.pdf

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Fukuoka Jo Gakuin (Fukuoka Women’s Academy), nimoca Co., Ltd., and Fuji Xerox Fukuoka Co., Ltd. have agreed to provide nimoca IC card functionality for student ID cards at Fukuoka Women’s Academy.

The nimoca Combined Student Identification Card is an extremely convenient multi-function card featuring the the IC farecard and electronic money functionality of nimoca combined with an ID card for Fukuoka Women’s Academy, which is considering future introduction of ID card-based systems for library use and various other campuswide implementations.

In addition, Fukuoka Women’s Academy is currently considering introduction of nimoca’s electronic money service at vending machines, retail outlets, and dining halls on campus (a portion of campus vending machines already accept nimoca).

Fukuoka Women’s Academy is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding today. nimoca is also celebrating its second anniversary today. Fukuoka Women’s Academy, nimoca, and campus systems developer Fuji Xerox Fukuoka will combine forces in a joint project that utilizes the technology of nimoca, which currently has over one million users, with the aim of improving the convenience of campus life for students and encouraging increased use of public transportation.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:56 AM   #1287
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nimoca reaches 1 million cards in circulation
http://www.nishitetsu.co.jp/release/2010/10_020.pdf

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IC card nimoca, which began service in May 2008, surpassed one million cards in circulation on Friday, May 7.

The spread of the card has far exceeded our expectations, reaching the five-year goal of one million cards in circulation in about two years.

With gratitude to all our customers for their constant patronage, we will launch special commemorative campaigns from Tuesday, May 18 to Saturday, June 12.

Details
  • Number of cards in circulation: 1,003,124 (as of Sunday, May 9)
    • nimoca: 557,507 cards (55.6%)
    • Star nimoca: 410,944 cards (40.9%)
    • Credit nimoca: 34,673 cards (3.5%)
  • Progression of nimoca circulation:
    • 200,000 cards
      • Date reached: March 30, 2009
      • Original target date: March 2009
      • Average no. of new cards issued daily: 862
    • 400,000 cards
      • Date reached: September 26, 2009
      • Original target date: March 2010
      • Average no. of new cards issued daily: 1,869
    • 600,000 cards
      • Date reached: December 2, 2009
      • Original target date: March 2011
      • Average no. of new cards issued daily: 2,941
    • 800,000 cards
      • Date reached: March 6, 2010
      • Original target date: March 2012
      • Average no. of new cards issued daily: 2,105
    • 1,000,000 cards
      • Date reached: May 7, 2010
      • Original target date: March 2013
      • Average no. of new cards issued daily: 3,226

History of nimoca service
2008 May 18: Start of nimoca service
2008 October 13: Number of nimoca-affiliated Lawson stores in Fukuoka Prefecture increases to 50
2008 October 19: Start of service in Kita-Kyūshū area
2008 October 24: Announcement of joint campaign with Japan Air Lines (JAL)
2009 March 1: 50 Coca-Cola vending machines begin accepting nimoca
2009 March 15: Completion of introduction of nimoca to general bus lines in Fukuoka area
2009 March 31: Start of park-and-ride service with nimoca
2009 April 27: Launch of “JMBnimoca” joint JAL / nimoca card
2009 May 18: Kurume Nishitetsu Taxi begins accepting nimoca
2009 August 30: Completion of introduction of nimoca to Nishitetsu Group general bus lines and 14 mid-distance highway express buses serving the Fukuoka and Kita-Kyūshū areas
2009 October 27: All Lawson stores in Fukuoka Prefecture now accept nimoca
2009 October 29: nimoca surpasses 500,000 cards in circulation
2010 February 27: Shōwa Bus begins accepting nimoca
2010 March 13: Introduction of nimoca to the Kaizuka Line, and completion of introduction to all Nishitetsu rail lines; start of interoperability between nimoca, SUGOCA, Hayakaken, and Suica
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:57 AM   #1288
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JR Kyūshū and Fukuoka City Subway hesitant to introduce women-only cars
http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/entame/r...OYS8T00738.htm

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JR Kyūshū and the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau, which operates the city’s subway, are now being forced to take a hard look at whether or not to introduce women-only cars on their trains. After receiving requests from passengers to introduce the cars as a means of preventing chikan (groping), the Kyūshū Transport Bureau requested that the two railway operators consider their introduction. However, both companies say, “Passenger loading in other cars will become more severe, leading to delays in service,” and are hesitant to introduce the cars at this moment.

It’s 8:00 am on the inbound platform at Nishitetsu Futsukaichi Station in Chikushino City, Fukuoka Prefecture. At the door locations for the women-only car, the last car of the train, office ladies queue up in long lines to board. One female office worker (33) who uses this car everyday smiled as she boarded an express train: “I feel at ease, and it’s comparatively less crowded, so it’s great.”

In May 2003, Nishitetsu introduced the women-only cars on a trial basis. After a survey of both male and female passengers, the railway found that 80 percent of all passengers and 65 percent of male passengers supported the women-only cars, and in Novemeber of that year, the railway permanently introduced them.

The service affects a total of eighteen limited express and express trains arriving at Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station between 7:41 am and 9:21 am on weekdays. Out of a seven-car train, the last car is designated the women-only car. Before introduction of the cars, there were approx. 40 reported cases of chikan, but this decreased by about 20 percent after implementation of the women-only cars.

With JR and subway users also clamoring for introduction of the cars, the Administrative Evaluation Bureau of the Kyūshū Section of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) issued a statement to the Kyūshū Transport Bureau requesting JR and the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau examine the possibility of introducing the cars.

However, the two companies have already considered introduction of the cars in the past, and both had opted to forego introduction.

In 2005, JR Kyūshū held a companywide study session, but because train length can vary anywhere from four to twelve cars, the railway judged that it would be difficult for passengers to determine the exact location of the women-only car. “If we take out one car in a four-car train, the space for male passengers to board will be reduced. We also considered only introducing the cars on longer trains, but judged that this would lead to confusion for passengers,” explains the railway.

Meanwhile, among the nine publicly-operated subways across Japan, six operators have introduced women-only cars. But spokespersons for the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau say the operator is not keen on the introduction of the cars: “If we establish women-only cars, the other cars in the train will become more crowded, and there is fear that dwell times will increase.” The subway also operates a through-service with the JR Chikuhi Line, and any such implementation must be worked out together with JR.

Yet even so, the resolve of female passengers clamoring for the introduction of the cars is strong. One female office worker (23) who commutes to her office in Chūō Ward, Fukuoka City by transferring between JR and the Fukuoka City Subway frowned: “Depending on the time of day and the car you’re in, the train can be packed shoulder-to-shoulder. If we had women-only cars, it would be much easier and safer to commute…”

Chief Administrative Advisor Mishima Hajime of the Administrative Evaluation Bureau of the Kyūshū Section of the MIC says, “If we allow the elderly and children to use the women-only cars as well, there are benefits for improving access for the mobility-impaired. I hope we can look at implementation on a trial basis during time periods and on line sections where possible.

Women-only cars
First introduced on a trial basis by Keiō Electric Railway (HQ: Tōkyō) in December 2000 as a countermeasure against chikan on late-night special service trains during the New Years’ season. The practice later spread to JR East, JR West, and private railways and subways throughout Japan. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), 31 operators and 81 lines across the country now use women-only cars.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:58 AM   #1289
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JR Hakata Station area a hotspot for illegal bicycle parking
http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/entame/r...OYS8T00234.htm

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The Hakata Urban Planning Promotion Committee composed of Fukuoka City corporations, groups, and government officials will initiate a campaign against illegal bicycle parking in the area around JR Hakata Station. In March of next year, the full length of the Kagoshima route of the Kyūshū Shinkansen will open for service. An increase in tourists and businessmen is expected, and the committee is eager to make the neighborhood “a comfortable one.”

The area surrounding the station is dense with office buildings, and approx. 5,000 bicycles enter the area every weekday. Virtually all public roads and parks in the area have been designated by city ordinance as prohibited zones for illegal bicycle parking, and bicycle parking facilities in the area have capacity for 6,000 bicycles. However, these currently are not being used effectively.

Starting two years ago, a total of approx. 100 people from member corporations and groups have received training as countermeasure staff, and during the monthly cleanup effort, place tags on illegally-parked bicycles urging owners to use bicycle parking facilities. In April, participants were taken on a tour of locations where bicycles were being removed as well as the bicycle repository where illegally-parked bicycles are assembled.

Committee secretary Nakano Ryōta says, “As a result of illegal bicycle parking, the sidewalk is narrowed, and there are cases where owners park bicycles atop tactile detection tiles (for the visually-impaired). I hope the public and private sectors can come together to spread public awareness on improving bicycle manners.”
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:59 AM   #1290
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Progress on JR Hakata City
http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/magazine.../sh_100522.htm

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JR Hakata City (ten aboveground stories, three belowground stories) will be born at Hakata Station in conjunction with the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen in March of next year. As a station tenant building, it will boast the largest gross floor area in Japan, at 200,000 sq m. I captured the ever-changing construction site through the lens of my camera.

The four massive cranes atop the roof of the building thrust upwards into the sky. At one time, there were eight cranes, but with progress on construction, this number dropped to four. From the observation deck 55 m above the ground, visitors can see Taihaku-dōri stretching all the way to the sea, as well as Hakata Bay and Fukuoka Airport, and its likely this spot will become popular as a new tourist landmark. The cranes will also complete their duties at the end of this month and will disappear completely in June.

The building is a complex composed of three separate structures, with a one meter “gap” separating one building from the next. The design is intended to reduce structural loads during earthquakes, and columns on the third floor and above feature a total of 183 oil dampers to control vibration. When the building vibrates, these dampers deform ever so slightly, part of a seismic design that limits vibration.

With the opening fast approaching, retail facilities in the area are also jumping into action. Last month, Hakata Deitos (135 stores) inside Hakata Station published the New Deitos Times, a free informational magazine chock-full of information about its stores. The mall prepared 50,000 copies, but visitors take about 500 a day, and they will soon run out of spare copies. Itō Iori (29), chief secretary of the Sales Promotion Section at the facility’s Business Department, says, “For Deitos, which has many small, but unique shops, we are doing our best to put up a fight.”

The freshly constructed Platform 11 and Platform 12 at the station are new Kyūshū Shinkansen platforms completed where non-Shinkansen lines used to operate in the past. As part of the construction, the existing Platform 14 can no longer be used, and San’yō Shinkansen trains are getting an “early run” with Platform 12.

The ever-changing Hakata Station… The debut seems far too long away.
Quick view of the building under construction (2010.05):


Source: moriblog on YouTube
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:00 AM   #1291
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Shūnan City converts shuttle bus route to free service for trial
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/yam...OYT8T01072.htm

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On May 1, Shūnan City began a trial service offering free tickets for its Guruguru bus which circles the city’s central neighborhoods to tourists and other visitors of four city facilities.

The city received funding under the national government’s Urban Planning Grant Program and aims to connect visitors of popular facilities—many from outside the city—to the shopping district surrounding JR Tokuyama Station, hopefully bringing new life into the city’s urban areas.

The free tickets will be distributed at the Tokuyama Zoo, the Shūnan City Cultural Center, the Shūnan City Museum of Art and History, and the Kaiten (Manned Torpedo) Memorial Museum, which see approx. 700,000 annual visitors.

The bus service will run every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and on holidays from 8:45 am to 5:45 pm, with one bus an hour. The buses arrive at and depart from Tokuyama Station and run on two routes: the Harbor-Imajuku Route via Tokuyama Harbor and Miyuki-dōri, and the Art Museum Route via the Zoo and the Museum of Art and History. Typical fares are ¥100 for adults, with children below elementary-school age free. The trial service will continue until the end of March next year and an analysis will examine the bus ridership statistics and pedestrian volumes through the commercial district.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:01 AM   #1292
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Elderly in Tokushima City neighborhood take transportation into their own hands
http://mytown.asahi.com/tokushima/ne...00001005220003

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Trial operations of the Fureai ComiBus community bus in Ōjinchō, Tokushima City will begin on May 24. Residents, frustrated at the inconvenience of not having retail within walking distance, have come together to operate the service. With existing bus companies struggling with lines in the red and not especially receptive to the prospects of new service, as population aging continues there is growing anxiety over securing lifeline transportation, even in urbanized areas.

“Lately, I can’t walk like I used to. If I buy ice cream, it just ends up melting, so I don’t buy it anymore,” says Funagi Mitsuko (86), a resident of Ōjinchō Furukawa, sighing. In order to buy daily goods, she goes once a week to the supermarket located 4 km away—a journey that takes her an hour each way.

The store within ten-minutes walking distance closed several years ago. Inside Ōjinchō, Prefectural Routes 29 and 39 have been constructed, but fixed-route bus lines operated by Tokushima City Bus and Tokushima Bus through the neighborhood come about once an hour, and the distance between Funagi’s house and the nearest station, JR Yoshinari Station, is still about 2.5 km.

In July of last year, Funagi and others assembled together approx. 200 people living in the area and established the Association for a Kawauchi–Ōjin Community Bus. The community bus service leases a jumbo taxi (capacity for nine passengers) from a Tokushima City taxi company, running four roundtrips a day on an approx. 7.4 km route between nearby Funagi’s home and the Marunaka Supermarket Seichō branch (Shōzui, Aizumi Town). Approximately 15 stops have been established, including near welfare facilities, fresh food markets, and neighborhoods with a high number of elderly individuals living alone. Dense residential areas and ricefield paths unfit for large buses are included in the community bus route.

The costs of the trial operation will be covered by approx. ¥380,000 in in financial assistance from local corporations. Assuming the service was operated as a free service for one year, the cost would be about ¥6 million. The citizens were largely unable to receive cooperation from the municipally-operated Tokushima City Bus or Tokushima Bus, both of which are struggling with lines in the red. In regards to a funding grant, chief Matsumoto Yasunori of the city’s Neighborhood Transport Section says, “I’d like to see the numbers and age demographics of the people using this trial service.”

Association for a Kawauchi–Ōjin Community Bus vice-secretary Kondō Keiko poses the dilemma: “We might still be inside Tokushima City, but there are still neighborhoods where it is inconvenient for the elderly to make a living. Even if we encourage people to be green and walk or take the bicycle to go shopping, where are all the shops?”

Nagoya University Graduate School of Environmental Studies associate professor Katō Hirokazu, who specializes in transport and environmental planning and provided advice on the trial service, was hopeful: “In areas with declining population, it’s easy for government to find a clear reason to provide financial assistance, but in urban areas, justifying the funding is more difficult. But when neighborhood residents come together to seriously discuss the issue of route alignment, the service ends up meeting residents’ complex needs and the government may find it less difficult to provide funding. I have no question this will be a success.” The trial service will operate until June 11.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:02 AM   #1293
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Kintetsu, Hankyū Hanshin, and Keihan see revenues, profits down
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...2312031-n1.htm

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Financial results for FY2009 for Kansai’s four major private railways were assembled on May 14. As a result of a struggling economy and the swine influenza scare, all companies saw substantially reduced passenger revenues. All companies except for Nankai Electric Railway saw declining revenues and declining profit.

Nankai Electric Railway saw its railway business struggling, with revenues on the Airport Line decreasing by 7.6 percent as a result of declining passenger numbers at Kansai International Airport (KIX), but final profit was still up 34.5 percent over the previous fiscal year thanks to the acquisition of Tokushima Bus as a subsidiary and the completion of facilities construction at the Takashimaya Ōsaka Department Store.

Kintetsu Corporation saw its final profits decrease by 76.0 percent compared to the previous fiscal year as a result of extraordinary losses related to retirement payments, including calls for early retirement requests at subsidiary Kintetsu Department Stores. In its railway business, revenues on limited express trains dropped 8.5 percent, and ridership is at a historic low.

At Hankyū Hanshin Holdings, all business lines except entertainment-related business such as the Takarazuka Revue—including railway, hotel, and distribution—saw declining revenue and declining profit. The Hanshin Namba Line, which opened in March of last year, saw revenues of ¥3.4 billion, a 14 percent increase over initial estimates, as a result of a substantial non-commute ridership share. The renovated Hanshin Kōshien Stadium also performed well. Keihan Electric Railway saw its performance drop primarily in the transport business, including Nakanoshima Line revenues of ¥800 million—below initial projections—and pushed back its conversion to a pure holding company, initially scheduled for FY2010.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:03 AM   #1294
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Closing day for Shijō Kawaramachi Hankyū store announced
http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/eco/news/...OYO8T00741.htm

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On May 12, it was revealed that the official closing day for the Shijō Kawaramachi Hankyū department store, scheduled for sometime this autumn, has been finalized as August 22. The contract with building owner Sumitomo Realty & Development doesn’t expire until the end of November, but will be pushed forward due to the time required to return the leased space to its original state after the store closes. The formal closing day will also allow the current tenant stores to finish their sales of summer wear while making it easier for the new tenant to begin sales of autumn or winter wear.

H2O Retailing, which counts Hankyū Hanshin Department Stores under its umbrella, finalized its intentions.

The succeeding tenant is still uncertain, and Sumitomo R&D’s Public Relations Department explains, “We have been looking at trying to bring in a retail tenant, but we have several proposals from various stores, and are currently in negotiation.”

The Shijō Kawaramachi Hankyū department store has a prime location directly connected to Hankyū Kawaramachi Station, but revenues were struggling as customers abandoned department stores and flocked to more popular bargain fashion shops. In January of this year, H2O announced its intentions to close the store.
Previous article first announcing the closure:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=797
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:04 AM   #1295
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Keihan discovers 200 historic film recordings in its archives
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00728.htm

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At Keihan Electric Railway (HQ: Tenmabashi, Ōsaka City), which celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding in April, 200 original film recordings have been discovered, including internal company movies recording tunnel boring and elevated viaduct construction.

The video is a priceless look at historic construction methods and former stations. The railway will now digitize the video for preservation.

As part of the document collection process for its 100th anniversary program, the railway discovered the films in March of this year in the underground warehouse at the former headquarters building, immediately east of its current headquarters, the OMM Building.

Included among the videos is the movie Rail and Sweat (color, 49 min), filmed over three years starting in 1960 and documenting the construction of the new underground section of the line between Tenmabashi and Yodoyabashi; recordings of the elevation and quadruple-tracking of the section of the line between Tenmabashi and Neyagawa from the 1960s to mid-1970s; and Keihan television commercials from all decades.

Rail and Sweat has deteriorated substantially, and the railway has digitized the film using the latest in preservation technology. Near Tenmabashi, where a unique construction method of sinking concrete boxes into the Tosabori River was utilized, the video shows images of workers stripped to the waist diving into the boxes and digging into the riverbed by hand; commuters switching to Ōsaka City trams, buses, and taxes at the terminal at Tenmabashi Station as they headed for the office districts; and scenes of Tosabori-dōri mostly empty and without any buildings.

Ōsaka University special associate professor Kinoshita Chieko, who specializes in modern art, says, “Video like this is a priceless record of not just company history but also society. However, the video was not preserved well. If other railway companies have video or photographs sleeping in their archives, I’d like to work together with them to examine the condition of the pieces and help preserve them for future use.”
A tour of the exhibit Keihan set up in the concourse of Sanjō Station in Kyōto:


Source: AhiruZuki on YouTube
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:05 AM   #1296
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JR West reveals new 225 series train
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...1126005-n1.htm

Quote:
Using lessons learned in the April 2005 JR Fukuchiyama Line derailment where a rapid train derailed and crashed into an apartment building, JR West has completed its newest 225 series of inner-suburban trains, designed with improved safety features including a cab design that cuts the energy transmitted to passengers in a collision in half. The railway revealed the new train on May 17 at the plant of manufacturer Kinki Sharyō (HQ: Higashi-Ōsaka City, Ōsaka Prefecture).

A total of 226 cars will be produced at a cost of approx. ¥30 billion. The railway will begin running tests soon, and is scheduled to introduce approx. 120 of the cars into revenue service by the end of the fiscal year on special rapid and rapid service trains on the Tōkaidō, San’yo, and other lines.

According to JR West, the strength of the cab area on the end cars was augmented, while the car roof areas were designed to be collapsible to absorb the collision (“crushable zone”), reducing damage to the passenger section of the cars by half. In response to collisions along the side or at diagonal angles, joints at the roof, side, and floor of the cars were strengthened, making it difficult for the cars to deform in shape or be crushed.

A system that softens collisions by absorbing damage to portions of the rolling stock body is also used by JR East, but JR West independently developed its own system for diverting the collision energy to the upper sections of the car.

The size of the rings on standee strips have been increased over current size and the color has been changed to orange to allow passengers to quickly grasp them when needed, and after requests from victims of the derailment, the ends of overhead luggage racks have been designed with curves to prevent injury in the case of collision.

Spokespersons for JR West say, “We’ve incorporated all the safety countermeasures possible with today’s technology. We hope passengers enjoy and feel at ease and safe on these trains.”
KTV news report (2010.05.17):



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

The first consist out of the Kinki Sharyō factory, an eight-car train. Aside from the ends, it doesn’t look drastically different from existing stock.



All the handles for standees have been switched from white to a yellow-orange. The handles attached to the seat have also been rounded. The rings hanging from the ceiling have also been increased from 80 to 130 per car.



Door areas got the typical treatment nowadays, with yellow strips to bring attention to areas where fingers or clothing can get caught.



Toilet.



Cab.



The redesigned cab area with “crushable zone.” The frame, vertical elements surrounding the passage, and the joints have been strengthened, but the roof is designed weaker to absorb the collision energy.







Some videos of testing conducted 2010.05.18:
Source: tobu2181 on YouTube

Testing the air horn and musical horn at Tokuan Station (Higashi-Ōsaka City) on the JR Katamachi Line:



Entering Tokuan Station:



Passing Yamashina Station in Kyōto City:



Departing Ogoto Onsen Station (Ōtsu City, Shiga Prefecture):



Apparently they had one small hiccup the first day where the lid of a fuse box on the roof of the train disappeared, probably because it wasn’t secured tightly at the factory:
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/cri...1311011-n1.htm
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:05 AM   #1297
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JR West: Platform gates at Kita-Shinchi Station by next spring
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/...801000878.html

Quote:
At a May 28 regular press conference, JR West president Sasaki Takayuki announced that, as part of the railway’s efforts towards increasing safety, moving platform gates would be installed at Kita-Shinchi Station (Kita Ward, Ōsaka City) on the Tōzai Line in spring of next year to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks. Such platform gates are already installed at some stations on the San’yō Shinkansen, but this is JR West’s first such project for a non-Shinkansen line.

The waist-high gates will be approx. 1.3 m tall and 140 m long, and will be installed on each of the inbound and outbound platforms, opening and closing in coordination with the trains’ doors. The cost of the project is approx. ¥350 million, with Ōsaka City and the national government each funding ¥100 million and JR West picking up the rest.

JR West’s network consists of many lines with multiple types of through-servicing trains built to different standards, making introduction of platform gates difficult. However, the railway determined that installation at Kita-Shinchi Station is possible by consolidating train types, and if the conditions are right, will consider additional installations at other stations.

According to Takayuki, in the midst of making progress on companywide recovery efforts after the incident involving the leaking of the investigative report on the JR Amagasaki derailment, the railway acted on suggestions from out in the field to install the platform gates.

The area around Kita-Shinchi Station is one of Ōsaka’s premier entertainment districts. According to JR West, daily station entries and exits are approx. 100,000, with many intoxicated passengers. Between FY2002 and FY2009, there have been five incidents of passengers accidentally falling off the platform or coming into contact with moving trains.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:06 AM   #1298
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Delay for Ōsaka Station West Area redevelopment project
http://www.westjr.co.jp/news/newslis...74824_799.html

Quote:
West Japan Railway Company and Ōsaka Terminal Building Co., Ltd. have proceeded with hammering out the development plan for the Ōsaka Station West Area (Umeda Nichōme, Kita Ward, Ōsaka City) together with joint developer Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd., aiming for a construction completion date of 2012.

Recently, after discussions with Japan Post Holdings, we have agreed to reconsider project schedule and other project details in light of last year’s financial situation.

In regards to a future project schedule and other project details, we will continue to work with Japan Post Holdings to hammer out these issues.
This is the redevelopment project proposed on the site currently occupied by the Ōsaka Central Post Office, the building on the left on the opposite side of the JR tracks.

image hosted on flickr

Source: GORIMON on Flickr
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:07 AM   #1299
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Tōkyū Hands joins station area redevelopment projects in Ōsaka
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/sumai/ne...005140010.html

Quote:
On May 13, major lifestyle goods retailer Tōkyū Hands announced that it will lease space inside the Daimaru Umeda department store (Kita Ward, Ōsaka City), which will open a new annex in spring of next year. The retailer has already announced plans to lease space in station tenant buildings in Ōsaka City’s Abeno Ward, opening next spring, and in JR Hakata Station (Fukuoka City), and at all three stores is aiming for first-year sales of ¥12 billion.

The Tōkyū Hands Umeda store (temporary name) will lease space on the 10th through 12th floors of Daimaru’s new annex, with a total planned sales floor area of 6,000 sq m. Daimaru’s total sales floor area will increase to 1.6 times the current area, and Tōkyū Hands will occupy one-fourth of the new space.

Currently, Tōkyū Hands has three Kansai stores in Shinsaibashi (Chūō Ward, Ōsaka City), Esaka (Suita City, Ōsaka Prefecture), and Sannomiya (Kōbe City). At the Umeda store, the retailer is planning to offer approx. 120,000 items for sale, the largest among its Kansai stores.

The Abeno store (temporary name) is entering as the anchor tenant for a shopping center inside a redevelopment area being built out by Tōkyū Land Corporation outside JR Tennōji and Kintetsu Ōsaka Abenobashi Stations. The total planned sales floor area of the store is 2,500 sq m.
Some updates from the construction at Ōsaka Station. First, the North Gate Building (2010.05.24):
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/map/

Taken from the Umeda Sky Building.



The large atrium.





Exterior of the tower section is finished, including the heliport at top.



The roof really reflects light well, but I’m not fond of the small windows, at least from the outside… The earlier renderings seemed to have more glass. Perhaps from the inside, it will still look good though.







And the South Gate Building, which is where the Tōkyū Hands will be moving into (2010.05.18):
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/map/





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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:08 AM   #1300
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TV program on Kansai’s railways

Be-bop! High Heel, a variety show, aired one show on the mysteries of Kansai’s private railways. In particular, Hankyū, Nankai, and the Ōsaka Municipal Subway get a fair amount of airtime.
Source: osoranoiro on YouTube

Part 1:



Part 2:



Part 3:



Part 4 (skip the first part):

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