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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:29 AM   #1321
quashlo
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Keikyū construction updates (after the change): Part 2

Next is Zōshiki Station on the Main Line:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Approaching the track switchout point… You can see the fresh ballast they laid.







We jog back in to realign with the rest of the viaduct. Given the curves and the fact that the walls on the opposite side of the viaduct look permanent, it’s likely that this is only temporary track. However, they may end up using the temporary outbound track as part of the permanent inbound track.



Transition from ballast to ladder sleepers.



Approaching Zōshiki. The outbound track looks finished, but is lacking overhead.



The station is being designed with side platforms, and will retain the current design length of six cars.



Approaching Keikyū Kamata, the outbound track ends. The inbound track on this section was temporarily elevated before, so now they will use the space for that temporary track to elevate the outbound track.



The inbound track shifts outward a bit because this is the touchdown point for the ramp holding the outbound track from the third level of Keikyū Kamata. It appears they won’t be adding a crossover here like they did at Kōjiya.





At this location, you can see they’ve already started some of the construction for the supports for the ramp down.



Back to Zōshiki Station, the escalator here is not yet complete because they are basically building the elevated station directly above the existing ground-level station.



New elevator. It seems Keikyū has gone with an entirely new signage style of mostly blue (and yellow for the more important signs).



New waiting room.





Ground-level passage. In order to allow them to work on the elevated outbound platform, this temporary passage actually juts into the former track ROW, covering over the former outbound track (outbound trains have been shifted to the former ground-level inbound track).

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:30 AM   #1322
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Keikyū construction updates (after the change): Part 3

Next is Keikyū Kamata Station on the Main Line. Being at the center of the grade-separation project and the largest of the stations involved, there is quite a bit to take a look at.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Entering the second level of the station from the Airport Line. The curve into the Main Line just makes it before the end of the platform. There is some temporary fencing at the platform edge, but this will likely be replaced after they construct the escalator and stairwell at this end.



Same level of the station, but coming from the Main Line end (from Kawasaki and Yokohama). The elevated platforms are superwide island platforms with additional “cutouts” on the west end of the station to serve some track sidings.



Honestly, I’m not sure exactly what they plan to do with these extra platforms. Seems they could be to hold local trains waiting to be passed by faster trains, but since they built the platform with it (and not just the track), they may be planning other things…



Moving further into the station, we can see the track switch connecting the Main Line and the siding. The platform above the switch is a temporary design, so they’ll definitely be removing this later.



Still on the second level, but the opposite end of the platform, closer to Umeyashiki. The tracks are all straight for the most part with gentle curves and plenty of spare space—a huge difference from the former layout.



The tracks on the third level slowly shift to the right and will eventually come back down to our level.





The outbound ramp breaks off just after Umeyashiki. Because of the short distance, the grade seems to be pretty steep.



Map showing the station layout (at least for the time being).



Given that the station is frequently used by passengers bound to / from the Airport, some of whom may not be familiar with the station (or the station in its current incarnation), Keikyū went with a creative color-based approach to directional signage. One color for each platform. Since there is going to be a fair amount of movement between levels, but the layout of vertical access (stairwells, escalators, and elevators) isn’t very intuitive at this point, this seems like a good solution. Of course, this doesn’t resolve the situation with trains to Haneda Airport stopping at both Platform 1 and Platform 4, but this can’t be avoided.



The connecting passage between the ground-level and second-level platforms. This is from the ground-level platforms.





From the other end on the second-level. Since this is primarily a passage to allow people to switch levels, they have opted not to show this stairwell as an “exit.” Of course, you can still exit the station going this way, just your path will end up longer. Judging from the walls, this is only a temporary stairwell and not part of the final layout, so they will probably fill the gap up later.



Same here for the “exit-only” stairwell. Here, they don’t show the green and the dark blue lines, which would be for people who want to access the ground-level platforms. It seems likely they will convert this to permanent use and install an escalator in the final layout.





A permanent stairwell and escalator towards the west end of the platform, for access to the West Exit.





Near the West Exit faregates.



Back on the second level. This is likely a temporary elevator, given it’s located next to a temporary stairwell and the fact that the platform in this area doesn’t appear finished.



The “cutout” holding the future Platform 5. They haven’t opened this yet, probably because they weren’t able to complete the necessary access (stairwells, passages, etc.) until they had freed up space at ground level. Given that they are constructing all the vertical transportation, it seems likely this is more than just a siding to allow trains to pass, and that they may have trains stop here on a regular basis.



The stopping locations are also not final. Here, a 12-car rapid limited express is stopped at Platform 6, but patly on the section of temporary platform that will eventually be removed once they open up the “cutout” for regular service. The current stop locations are probably temporary to shorten the distance passengers have to walk to transfer to Airport-bound trains or to exit the station.



Here an eight-car rapid limited express is also using part of the temporary platform.



Looking from the opposite end of the platform closer to Umeyashiki during an Airport Line – Main Line transfer, it’s easier to see why they’ve temporarily shifted the stop marks from the ultimate locations.



The LED signs on the second level also have a bit of currently unused space at the beginning of each row, so perhaps they will use this display space when they open Platform 5 for service.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:31 AM   #1323
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Keikyū construction updates (after the change): Part 4

Next is Umeyashiki Station on the Main Line.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Approaching the station from the southern end, closer to Keikyū Kamata.



Similar to Kōjiya, they have temporarily extended the outbound platform outwards because of lack of space to construct the vertical access. They will now do that work, allowing them to bring the platform edge back in, opening up the outbound track. The ground-level platforms only had space for four cars, with the two cars closest to Kamata in either direction not opening their doors when stopped. This situation has been partially resolved now (at least for the inbound track), as the elevated platforms are designed to accommodate six-car trains.



Between Umeyashiki and Ōmorimachi. As on many of the other viaduct sections, the outbound track is largely complete, just without the overhead.



The tracks on this section are much improved thanks to the removal of major curves.



Everything on the outbound platform is largely complete, just the platform has been temporarily widened until they can fix up the permanent inbound platform.





The waiting room is further down on the platform.





Moving down to ground level. Here, the passage actually juts outside the confines of the station because they weren’t able to construct anything atop the existing ground-level facilities.



This pictures gives a better understanding…



Former ground-level inbound platform. After they remove all this, they can get started on constructing the permanent concourse level, stairwells, etc.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:32 AM   #1324
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Keikyū construction updates (after the change): Part 5

Last is Ōmorimachi Station on the Main Line.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Similar to the other smaller stations being elevated, Ōmorimachi will be a side platform configuration.



Unlike at Umeyashiki and Kōjiya, however, the permanent inbound platform has been opened, so there is no need for a temporary widening of the outbound platform.



Transition from ladder sleepers to ballast as we reach the opposite end of the station.



End of the outbound track.



Again, these are likely temporary tracks. Once they elevate the outbound track, it will give them some room on the ground to build the permanent tracks.



Heading back down to ground level.



As we reach the touchdown point, you can see they’ve already placed something atop where the inbound track used to be. Apparently, in order to make the switch, they used jacks to lift up this side to bring it level with the ramp.



Approaching Heiwajima, where the track does a bit of an “S” shape.



Judging from the color of the ballast, you can see they switched out as far as they could go without messing with the existing switch.



Back to the station…





Another waiting room, similar in design to the others. I’m a fan of the round windows.



Escalator still under construction.





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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:33 AM   #1325
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Haneda Airport International Terminal Station to open October 21
http://mainichi.jp/select/wadai/news...40097000c.html

Quote:
Tōkyō Monorail and Keikyū decided on “Haneda Airport International Terminal Station” as the name for the new station connected to the new International Terminal currently under construction at Haneda Airport (Ōta Ward, Tōkyō). The station will open the same day as the terminal, October 21. With the opening of the new station, Keikyū will rename its current “Haneda Airport Station” to “Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal Station.” International flights at Haneda will begin October 31.
Keikyū has announced 羽田空港国際線ターミナル駅 (Haneda Kūkō Kokusai-sen Tāminaru-eki) and “Haneda Airport International Terminal Station” as the official Japanese and English names for its new station.

Probably to be consistent with how they’ve named their other Haneda Airport stations, Tōkyō Monorail chose a different Japanese name, 羽田空港国際線ビル駅 (Haneda Kūkō Kokusai-sen Biru-eki), but has yet to release an official English name for the station. The translation is pretty much the same as the official English name for the Keikyū station, though, so I suspect they will be the same.

Apparently, Keikyū is also accepting suggestions from the public for a station melody for the new station.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:35 AM   #1326
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JR Central receptive to new Kurami Station
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ka...802000083.html

Quote:
While the opening of the Chūō Maglev Shinkansen remains a prerequisite, JR Central has expressed a receptive attitude towards construction of a new station on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, and spokespersons for Kanagawa Prefecture and Samukawa Town, which are hoping to bring a new station to the area, are welcoming the news in the hopes of making the new station the “gateway to the Shōnan area.”

According to Kanagawa Prefecture, various districts in the the prefecture’s central area have been lobbying to have a new station on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen since 1970. In 1997, a lobby alliance formed of Kanagawa Prefecture and stakeholder cities and towns selected the Kurami district of Samukawa Town as the preferred location, out of Hiratsuka City, Ayase City, and Samukawa Town.

In 2002, the Twin Cities Improvements Plan was drafted, calling for construction of a bridge connecting the Kurami district (approx. 63 ha) and Hiratsuka City’s Ōkami district (approx. 69 ha) on the opposite bank of the Sagami River and implement unified infrastructure improvements. The financial impact of residential construction and other benefits for the ten-year period after opening was estimated at ¥630 billion.

In addition, proposals have surfaced to extend the Sagami Railway (Sōtetsu) Izumino Line connecting Futamatagawa Station (Asahi Ward, Yokohama City) and Shōnandai Station (Fujisawa City) to the Twin Cities plan area.

However, JR Central has yet to indicate clear approval for establishing a new station on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, and there has been little progress on the improvements plan. There are even a growing number of local residents who are skeptical of the project.

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

Chairman Muramatsu Masayoshi (64) of the Samukawa Town Chamber of Commerce and Industry couldn’t hide his high-strung hopes: “This will become a paradise.”

“We’ll be only thirty minutes to Tōkyō and within its commuting sphere. I expect more and more people will want to live in Samukawa,” predicts Muramatsu. He also enumerates several synergistic benefits of the new station: “This area will also become the gateway to the Shōnan area’s tourist landmarks, well-known across the country—Chigasaki’s Southern Beach, Enoshima in Fujisawa. The JR Sagami Line (connecting to the new station) will be double-tracked and the convenience of transportation for local residents will improve.”

Samukawa Town mayor Yamagami Sadao tightened his resolve: “The plan (to construct a new station) will now start to materialize. As the local jurisdiction, we must prepare a development plan to address the new station.”
Location of the new station, which fills a 50 km gap on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen between Shin-Yokohama and Odawara:


Source: Kanagawa Prefecture

Details on the extension of the Sōtetsu Izumino Line are here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=900
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:36 AM   #1327
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Sōtetsu reveals FY2010 railway investment plan
http://www.sotetsu.co.jp/news_releas.../100520_01.pdf

Quote:
At Sōtetsu Group, we will initiate infrastructure investment for FY2010 (April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011) of a total of ¥7.05 billion in our railway and automobile businesses (¥6.2 billion for our railway business and ¥850 million for our automobile business).

For our railway business, we will continue work from the previous fiscal year on the seismic reinforcement of the artificial deck and elevated station concourse at Mitsukyō Station, as well as implement improvements to switches, improving our safety. In addition, we will also begin construction of new elevators at Kibōgaoka Station along with other projects to improve passenger service.

In regards to construction related to future through-servicing with JR East, we will perform preparatory work including the conversion of existing rolling stock to ATS-P and digital train wireless systems. In regards to future through-servicing with Tōkyū Corporation, we will move forward with the necessary administrative paperwork necessary to begin construction.

For our automobile business, we will introduce a total of 22 one-step and non-step buses with kneeling capabilities that are easy for our customers to board and alight as part of our continuing efforts to expand barrier-free access.

The main infrastructure investment plan for our railway business and automobile business is summarized below.

Railway business: ¥6.2 billion
  1. Increased capacity: ¥3.2 billion
    • Rolling stock refurbishment and construction related to through-servicing with JR East: Related to the future through-servicing with JR East, we will construct new track sidings, remove obstructions, and construct new track and platforms at Seya Station, as well as equip our entire rail network and existing rolling stock with ATS-P and digital train wireless systems.
    • Enclosure for power receivers at the Kashiwadai transformer substation: We will improve the power receivers at the Kashiwadai transformer substation to an airtight enclosed design, improving the level of security, and use environmentally-friendly dry air for insulating gas.
    • Improvement works at Mitsukyō Station: We will continue work from FY2009 on seismic reinforcement of the artificial deck and elevated concourse, and construct a new platform roof.
  2. Ensuring safe and stable operations: ¥2.4 billion
    • Track improvement and conversion to heavy rail: We will begin construction on track improvements inside Sachigaoka Tunnel (Asahi Ward, Yokohama City) and below the platforms at Seya Station. In addition, we will convert track between Yamato and Sagami Ōtsuka and inside Sagami Ōtsuka Station to heavy rail (from the current 50 kg rail to larger-diameter 60 kg rail), improving ride comfort and reducing noise and vibration when trains pass through the station.
    • Slope improvement: For our slope improvement (reinforcement of sloped earth adjacent to the track at Kashiwadai Station), we will implement countermeasures to prevent damage from heavy rains and other sources before it occurs.
    • Sagami Railway Main Line (Hoshikawa Station – Tennōchō Station) continuous grade-separaton project: In order to ensure safe traffic conditions and relieve traffic congestion at grade crossings between Tennōchō and Hoshikawa Stations, as well as improve the local road network surrounding the rail line, we will elevate approx. 1.8 km of the line including Tennōchō Station and Hoshikawa Station, eliminating nine grade crossing locations (work on this project began in FY2002). In FY2010, we will proceed with construction of foundation piles and frames for the elevated viaduct. At Hoshikawa Station, in parallel with this work, we will also construct a temporary No. 1 track inside the station and temporary electrical equipment, and are scheduling a track switchout later this year in autumn.
    • Countermeasures against excessive speed on track switches: Together with improvement works inside Sagami Ōtsuka Station, we will implement countermeasures against speeding through switches.
    • Improvement of track switches: Replacement of switches at the Yokohama end of Izumino Station to flexible switches, improving the security of operations as well as ride comfort.
  3. Improved customer services: ¥600 million
    • Consideration for the natural environment: At Mitsukyō Station, we will green the walls of the station building, as well as proceed with conversion of the station to an “eco-station” by greening of the plaza atop the artificial deck. We will also replace station air conditioning systems and train air conditioning equipment with alternative refrigerant types, aiming for a railway that is more environmentally-friendly.
    • Barrier-free improvements to rolling stock: We will install standee straps on transverse seating sections (two cars) and install stanchion poles in front of seven-seat longitudinal seating (eight cars), improving the barrier-free design and comfort of our rolling stock.
    • Construction of new elevators at Kibōgaoka Station: We will break ground on new elevators (4 units) at Kibōgaoka Station. Scheduled start of service for these elevators is 2011.
    • Addition or new construction of canopies: In order to improve service during rainy weather and other conditions, we will install additional platform canopies at the Yokohama end of Tsurugamine Station (outbound platform) and install new canopies above the open-air escalators at Mitsukyō Station.
    • Yokohama Station passage improvement construction: We will construct a passage connecting the second-floor ticketing hall of Yokohama Station with the south-side public passage, with two escalators.

Automobile business: ¥850 million
  • Barrier-free improvements to bus fleet: We will introduce 14 one-step low-floor buses with kneeling capabilities and 8 non-step buses with kneeling capabilities.
  • Construction of new canopies at bus stops, etc.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:36 AM   #1328
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Takaishi district in Asao Ward, Kawasaki City launches new community bus trial
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/ka...802000068.html

Quote:
In the Takaishi district of Asao Ward, Kawasaki City, a hilly area home to many elderly residents, a trial community bus service sponsored by the local citizens’ committee is scheduled to begin on June 1 and continue for three months. Residents say they hope to “realize Kawasaki City’s first permanent community bus operation.”

The Takaishi district is a residential district developed in rugged terrain with many hills and and narrow streets, making fixed-route buses difficult to operate. It’s only a ten- to fifteen-minute walk to the nearest train station—Yurigaoka Station on the Odakyū Line—but difficult to make for the elderly, and in 2004 residents assembled a committee with an aim of introducing a community bus service.

The route travels from outside the Takaishi Danchi residential estate to Ikuta Hospital and Yurigaoka Station. The one-way route length is approx. 3 km, with 20 bus stops. A local taxi company will utilize one eight-person vehicle for the service, operating 12 runs between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm on weekdays at approx. 30 minute headways. A portion of the afternoon runs will continue beyond Yurigaoka Station to the supermarket.

In a similar trial in 2007, Yomiuri Land-mae Station was also included in the route, using two six-person vehicles, but the service was not financially feasible. This time, the route has been shortened and the number of vehicles reduced. From the approx. 1,300 households living along the line, the service is estimated to serve a daily ridership of approx. 90 people. Fares are ¥300 for adults and ¥100 for children. In addition to discounts for the elderly and disabled, registered members in the financial support system can also receive ¥50 off the adult fare after paying an annual fee of ¥6,000.

A total of eight such trial programs, including the ones in Takaishi, have been conducted in various districts of Kawasaki City in Asao, Miyamae, and Tama Wards, but there has yet to be an example of a permanent service.

Committee chairman Usui Katsuji says, “We already have 124 members in the registered financial support system, and I hope everyone in the district can work together to bring this to a permanent service.”
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:37 AM   #1329
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Tōkyū announces FY2010 railway investment plan
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_inde...f/100514-2.pdf

Quote:
For FY2010, Tōkyū Corporation will invest a total of ¥45.4 billion in infrastructure improvements for railway business.

Beginning with large-scale improvement works to augment our railway network, we will actively continue with our efforts to improve service and implement safety measures, our most critical duties as a railway operator.

We will invest ¥16.7 billion towards augmenting our railway network. Aiming for a FY2012 start for bilateral through-servicing between the Tōyoko Line and Tōkyō Metro Fukutoshin Line, we will continue with the Tōyoko Line Shibuya – Yokohama Improvements Project, focusing on the undergrounding of the Tōyoko Line between Shibuya and Daikan’yama and the conversion of limited express, commuter limited express, and express trains to ten-car trains.

We will also invest ¥28.7 billion towards safety measures and service improvements. In FY2010, we will introduce a total of 43 cars of our new 5000 series and 7000 series (based on the 5000 series) trains onto the Tōyoko Line, Ikegami Line, and Tōkyū Tamagawa Line. In addition, we will make progress on seismic reinforcement of railway structures, improvement works at Kaminoge Station, barrier-free improvements at Midorigaoka Station, and construction of a new ticketing entrance at Saginuma Station, with the goal of creating a safer, more comfortable Tōkyū network.

¥16.7 billion towards augmenting our railway network
In order to augment our railway network and increase passenger convenience, we will move forward with several large-scale improvement works.
  • Tōyoko Line Shibuya – Yokohama Improvements Project
    We are making progress on the Tōyoko Line Shibuya – Yokohama Improvements Project in preparation for the FY2012 start of bilateral through-servicing between the Tōyoko Line and the Tōkyō Metro Fukutoshin Line. Through bilateral through-servicing, Yokohama – Shibuya – Shinjuku – Ikebukuro will be connected by a single train, further increasing the functionality of the railway network. In conjunction with the start of bilateral through-service, we will also operated limited express, commuter limited express, and express trains as ten-car trains (these are currently eight-car trains). Since March 2005, this construction has been receiving funding from the Special Reserve Fund for Urban Railway Improvements.
    1. Undergrounding between Shibuya and Daikan’yama
      Construction began in 2002. In November 2008, the shield machine used in the tunnel excavation work was transported to the construction site beneath Meiji-dōri, and began boring the tunnel towards Daikan’yama in April 2009. The tunnel boring work for the shield machine stretches approx. 500 m, and in January 2010, the machine reached the point just before the intersection of the Tōyoko Line and JR Lines, completing its mission. Currently, we are proceeding with excavation work on the Daikan’yama end and construction of frame structures to support the railway while we excavate.
    2. Conversion to ten-car trains and speed-up work
      In order to handle ten-car trains, we are proceeding with platform extension work at stations serving limited express, commuter limited express, and express trains.
      • Naka-Meguro Station improvement works:
        1. Extension of platforms and platform canopies.
        2. Widening of the Shibuya end of the inbound platform in order to relieve platform congestion.
        3. Construction of new escalators on both the inbound and outbound platforms.
        4. Construction of a new ticketing entrance at the Yokohama end of the station.
        5. Implementation of structural reinforcement work for the elevated viaduct.
      • Gakugei Daigaku Station platform extension:
        In addition to extending the platforms, we will also carry out seismic reinforcement work.
      • Jiyūgaoka Station platform extension:
        In addition to extending the platforms, we will also carry out seismic reinforcement work.
      • Den’en Chōfu Station platform extension:
        We will extend the platforms at the station.
      • Tamagawa Station platform extension:
        We will extend the platforms at the station.
      • Musashi Kosugi Station platform extension:
        We will extend the platforms and platform canopies at the station.
      • Hiyoshi Station platform extension:
        We will extend the platforms at the station.
      • Tsunashima Station platform extension:
        We will extend the platforms and platform canopies at the station.
      • Kikuna Station platform extension:
        We will extend the platforms at the station.
      • Yokohama Station platform extension:
        We will extend the platforms at the station.

¥28.7 billion towards safety measures and service improvements
As railway operators, “ensuring safety” is our largest and most critical duty to our customers, and we will actively make investments in safety measures. We are also taking up barrier-free improvements and other station improvement works with the aim of becoming a railway that anyone and everyone can use comfortably and at ease.
  1. Introduction of new rolling stock
    In FY2010, we will introduce a total of 43 new cars onto the Tōyoko Line, Ikegami Line, and Tōkyū Tamagawa Line, consisting of our new 5000 series trains and 7000 series trains (based on the 5000 series). The 5000 series trains feature equipment redundancy, allowing us to limit the extent of service disruption in the event that trains experience equipment failure. Compared to the 8000 series train, the previous workhorse of our fleet, the 5000 series consumes approx. 40 percent less electricity, and is a “user- and environmentally-friendly train.”
    On 5000 series trains on the Den’en Toshi Line, we have introduced six-door folding-seat cars, focusing their operation in the morning rush hour to help reduce delays and ease congestion.
  2. Seismic reinforcement of railway structures
    We are making progress on seismic reinforcement works on stations, elevated viaducts, and tunnels. In FY2010, we will carry out seismic reinforcement of Naka-Meguro Station, the elevated viaduct near Gakugei Daigaku Station, and the tunnel between Ikejiri Ōhashi and Yōga.
  3. Kaminoge Station improvements works
    Construction began in June 2006, and a new barrier-free station building opened in December 2007. We are aiming for completion in FY2010. The design incorporates greening and low-energy concepts, including use of vegetation and installation of windows allowing for natural light to enter, and the station will have two ticketing entrances.
  4. Construction of a new ticketing entrance at Saginuma Station
    With the goal of improving convenience for customers, we will construct a new ticketing entrance on the north end of Saginuma Station.
  5. Barrier-free station improvements
    We are actively making progress on barrier-free improvements, with the aim of becoming a railway that all our customers can comfortably use. In FY2010, we are scheduled to implement barrier-free improvements to Midorigaoka Station, and after completion, we will have secured a barrier-free route at 97 of our 98 stations. In addition, we have already secured a barrier-free route at Gotanda Station, but are also proceeding with construction to convert the transfer gate with the JR Yamanote Line to a barrier-free design.
  6. Construction of new bicycle parking
    We will proceed with construction of new bicycle parking facilities along the Tōkyū network, including at Moto-Sumiyoshi Station, Kaminoge Station, and Musashi Koyama Station.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:38 AM   #1330
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Trial project at Yōga Station improves highway express bus transfers
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...005130507.html

Quote:
On May 13, the Metropolitan Expressway Company announced that it will launch a trial project that creates a new Tōkyō-bound only bus stop for highway express buses from the Tōmei Expressway at the Yōga Parking Area (Tōkyō-bound; Setagaya Ward, Tōkyō), allowing passengers to alight buses and transfer to trains. The project is a new effort designed to allow passengers to avoid congestion on the metropolitan expressway system and enter central Tōkyō smoothly.

The Metropolitan Expressway Route No. 3 (Shibuya Route) connecting the Tōmei Expressway and central Tōkyō is chronically congested, and carries the highest traffic volumes in the entire country. A trip between Yōga and Kasumigaseki that normally takes 15 minutes balloons to 30 minutes or an hour during morning and evening rush hour.

Passengers will now be able to walk five minutes from the new bus stop and transfer to a train at the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line’s Yōga Station, arriving at the terminal at Shibuya Station in as little as 11 minutes, where they can transfer to their ultimate destinations. According to preliminary estimates, passengers bound for Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro will arrive quicker by transferring. Depending on the situation, passengers bound for Tōkyō Station, Ōtemachi, or the Ueno area may also arrive quicker by transferring.

The trial will begin May 21 and continue for a half-year, and if popular, will be incorporated permanently thereafter. The targeted buses are Tōkyō-bound highway express buses departing from Aichi, Yamanashi, Shizuoka, and Kanagawa. A total of 128 buses daily depart from Nagoya City, Shizuoka City, and tourist areas such as Kawaguchi Lake, Hakone, and Shuzenji Temple bound for Tōkyō Station and Shinjuku Station, with average monthly ridership of 60,000. Buses from Ōsaka, which run on the metropolitan expressway system during late evening when congestion is low, are not targeted for the project.

Bus drivers will notify passengers of the traffic situation on the metropolitan expressway system and passengers will then make a decision whether or not to transfer to trains. Passengers who wish to transfer can purchase a train ticket from Yōga Station to Shibuya Station (normally ¥190) for only ¥100 inside the bus.

Traveling between Shizuoka and Tōkyō on the Shinkansen costs ¥5,670 and takes one to one-and-a-half hours. Using highway express buses, the journey costs ¥2,800 but takes two hours and 40 minutes.
Investigative report from NTV’s news every program (2010.05.21) (Japanese only):
*Note: Audio is out of sync

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:39 AM   #1331
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Tōkyū revises mid-range business plan
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_inde.../100514-1.html

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At Tōkyū Corporation, we have published our Mid-Range Two-Year Business Plan (FY2010-2011).

Starting in April 2008, we have implemented our Mid-Range Three-Year Business Plan (FY2008-2010), which was designed to deepen and accelerate our growth strategy. However, due to the effects of a rapid economic decline starting in the fall of 2008, we realize that the premises of the plan have changed considerably and have drafted a new plan that revises its contents.

For our main business of railway transport during the fiscal year ending March 2010, the extension of the Ōimachi Line and population growth along our railway network contributed to new record-high ridership numbers for our railways. Meanwhile, the business environment enveloping our retail, leisure / service, and hotel businesses is becoming more and more severe, and there is still uncertainty about what the future will bring. In the new business plan, we stick to concepts enumerated in the previous plan, including the mid- to long-range vision—“To develop neighborhoods along the Tōkyū rail network where people will continue to want to live” and “To develop Tōkyū Group into an independent and robust conglomerate centered on the railway”—and the basic strategy of “Developing business with foresight on the qualitative and quantitative changes in population.” However, in order to achieve continuing growth even when faced with a maturing market, we will pursue profitability and efficiency and carry out a qualitative transformation in our business structure.

Basic Strategy
  1. Growth by strengthening the profitability of core businesses
    By using the cash flow generated by our transportation business to make growth investments in our core businesses and strengthening the profitability of our core businesses by augmenting our property leasing business through expansions and service improvements to our railway network and execution of large-scale landmark development projects, we will establish a growth cycle that improves and strengthens our ability to generate cash flow and our profitability.
  2. Complete use of our asset portfolio and group business portfolio
    In the asset portfolio committee established in our company, we will make the most active use of assets owned by our company or subsidiary companies, and develop and implement proposals that are most appropriate from a holistic point of view. In addition, in regards to business lines which have been considerably impacted by the economic downturn, we will conduct reevaluation of the business, including abandonment of unprofitable stores, and continue a speedy reformation of our company structure.
  3. Pursuit of companywide business efficiency
    By pursuing reductions in fixed expenses for all businesses operated by our company or our consolidated subsidiaries and carrying through with cost management to bring these expenses more in line with the profits, we will aim to increase added value companywide.

Business Plans by Segment
  1. Transport business
    • Through the bilateral through-service between the Tōyoko Line and Tōkyō Metro Fukutoshin Line scheduled to begin in FY2012, we will aim to increase passenger convenience further and make progress on station platform safety measures and barrier-free improvement projects, with the goal of providing safe and stable passenger transport in our railway business.
    • By promoting midday transport and off-peak commuting, we aim to decrease crowding inside trains and increase capacity. By adapting flexibly to market changes, including implementation of schedule changes that meet passenger needs, we will promote construction of the transportation infrastructure necessary to develop “neighborhoods where people want to live.”
  2. Real estate business
    • We will implement a strategy that allows neighborhoods along the Tōkyū rail network to be places people “want to live, want to keep living, want to visit, and want to open business.”
    • By making progress on our four key development projects, we will make the structural transformation of our real estate business a reality.
      1. Tama Plaza Terrace (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture): Grand opening in autumn 2010
      2. Futako Tamagawa Rise (Setagaya Ward, Tōkyō)
        Tower & Residence: Scheduled for move-in in May 2010 and July 2010
        Office: Scheduled completion in November 2010
        Shopping center: Scheduled opening in March 2011
      3. Tōkyū Capitol Tower (Chiyoda Ward, Tōkyō): Scheduled for completion in late July 2010
        The Capitol Hotel Tōkyū: Scheduled opening on October 22, 2010
      4. Shibuya Hikarie (Shibuya Ward, Tōkyō): Scheduled for completion in spring 2012
    • For trackside neighborhoods continuing to mature, we will expand our residential-related businesses, focusing on encouraging people to change residences, while aiming to strengthen our profit base and increase the value of our rail network.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:40 AM   #1332
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Tōkyū opens first phase of Futako – Tamagawa redevelopment
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_inde.../100517-1.html

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In the Futako – Tamagawa East Area Type 1 Urban Redevelopment Project (Location: Setagaya Ward, Tōkyō; Project area: approx. 8.1 ha), being carried out by the Futako – Tamagawa East Area Urban Redevelopment Union (Director: Kawabe Yoshitaka), construction of the large-scale condominium project Futako Tamagawa Rise Tower & Residence (Location: No. 15 Tamagawa Itchōme, Setagaya Ward, Tōkyō) has been completed, and rightsowners who have already had their rights transferred as well as persons who have signed contracts for units can begin moving in starting May 28, 2010. Units in the property are being sold by redevelopment union members and participatory members Tōkyū Corporation and Tōkyū Land Corporation.

This property is part of the redevelopment project being carried out outside Futako – Tamagawa Station on the Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line and Ōimachi Line, and consists of five residential towers and one commercial tower.

While the average unit price is high, at approx. ¥85 million, contracts have been signed for approx. 90 percent of the approx. 800 units currently open, indicating strong progress in sales despite a harsh condominium market. Located in the redevelopment area outside Futako – Tamagawa Station, one of the most popular and exclusive residential neighborhoods in Tōkyō Prefecture thanks to its combination of urbanity and nature, much attention has been given to the property since the start of sales, with responses from over 26,000 visitors up until now.

The move-in period will be divided into two phases, with move-in for the 28-story Tower West and Tower Central scheduled to begin May 28, and move-in for the 42-story Tower East and six-story Residence Aqua and Residence Forest scheduled to begin July 30.

In regards to the redevelopment project, we will continue with construction on the site in preparation for a full opening of the project in March 2011.



(An older) Tōkyō MX news report (2010.04.27) on the opening of the rise BIRDS MALL and rise OAK MALL one month ago. Apparently, this is the largest private-enterprise redevelopment project going on in Japan right now, whatever that means:

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:41 AM   #1333
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Tōkyū Car Corporation releases train model of Shibuya Station area
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...004300559.html

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In hopes of preserving memories of Shibuya, now in constant change as large redevelopment projects kick into gear, Tōkyū Corporation subsidiary Tōkyū Car Corporation (HQ: Yokohama City) has created a diorama that compresses together all the landmark buildings and railway tracks that define Tōkyō’s Shibuya district. The diorama—and all the nostalgia it brings—is grabbing the attention of adults.

On a 60 cm tall by 45 cm wide mount are assembled Shibuya 109, the specialty mall that has an everlasting hold over the younger generations, Tōkyū Department Store’s Tōyoko store directly connected to the station, as well as Dōgenzaka and the statue of Hachikō, the faithful dog. Owners can even operate a four-car Tōkyū 5050 series train with faithfully-reproduced pantographs on the diorama’s railway track.

The diorama was born when Tōkyū Department Store, which had set its eyes on the boom in railway paraphernalia, came to rolling stock manufacturer Tōkyū Car Corporation in late October last year asking for suggestions for a special campaign that “takes advantage of the special characteristics of a railway-operated department store,” in preparation for this year’s gift bags.

Kaieda Hiroshi, who manages Tōkyū Car Corporation’s Densha Ichiba (Train Market) website selling trains and railway-related goods, responded to the request, and diorama producer DDF (HQ: Ōta Ward) created the diorama.

In the area around Shibuya Station, work on constructing the 34-story Shibuya Hikarie redevelopment building on the site of the former Tōkyū Bunka Kaikan (Tōkyū Cultural Center) has already begun at the station’s East Exit. In 2012, the Tōyoko Line will through-service with the Tōkyō Metro Fukutoshin Line connecting Shibuya and Ikebukuro and the platforms will be undergrounded.

Kaieda explains the goals of the diorama: “In the next few years, Shibuya will change dramatically. We wanted to respond to the generations who feel nostalgic for a Shibuya in the 60s that is now getting ready to takeoff into a new era of growth.”

Originally, Kaieda had no intention of including the Tōkyū Bunka Kaikan, which has already been demolished. But Kaieda says members of the diorama team convinced him otherwise: “If we are talking about a landmark for the East Exit of the station, it has to be the silver dome of the Gotō Planetarium atop the roof of the Bunka Kaikan. Rather than confining ourselves strictly to what’s out there now, we felt it was best to combine urban scenes of the Shibuya Station area that everyone could relate to.”

Because of limited time after receiving approval for the diorama project, only a catalog of the company’s railway-related goods made it in time for the gift bags. But after presenting a trial model at the Yokohama Railway Modelling Festival in February, one after another visitor to the festival questioned them on where they could get the final product. As a result, between May 1 and May 12, a joint sales promotion featuring the dioramas with trains running on them will be held at a special corner inside Tōkyū Department Store’s Shibuya flagship and Tōyoko stores. The price of the diorama is ¥150,000 (incl. tax.).

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:42 AM   #1334
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Odakyū to launch large digital signage installation inside Shinjuku Station
http://www.odakyu.jp/program/info/da...4_1163162_.pdf

Quote:
At Odakyū Electric Railway Co., Ltd. (HQ: Shinjuku Ward, Tōkyō; President: Ōsuka Yorihiko), we will install the largest digital signage display in any single location inside a train station concourse in Japan in the underground concourse at Shinjuku Station. The display will consist of a total of 46 full high-vision liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, each 65 inches tall, and will begin operation as an advertising medium starting in October.

The Shinjuku Station West Exit area planned to be home for this digital signage project is a “gateway” location for Odakyū Group, and is perpetually bustling with businessmen, office ladies, students, and shoppers, making it an area with extremely high demand for advertisement displays. By introducing digital signage—with its high visual artistic capabilities such as video playback and ability to transmit different information depending on the day or time period—into this area, we will seek to increase its value as an advertising medium.

At Odakyū, we will continue to develop advertisements that take advantage of the unique characteristics of the stations used by many of our customers.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:43 AM   #1335
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Suica / PASMO electronic money transactions reach 45 million monthly
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2010/20100508.pdf

Quote:
Monthly electronic money transactions using transport IC cards Suica and PASMO has surpassed 45 million transactions in April (approx. 45.31 million transactions).

Since Suica’s electronic money service debuted in March 2004, we have introduced the service at tourist areas and convenience stores, restaurants, supermarkets, and vending machines in ekinaka (station retail) and machinaka (street retail) locations, helping to expand the use of electronic money transactions.

In addition, PASMO’s electronic money service began in March 2007 together with the launch of interoperability with Suica, and the 11 PASMO electronic money acquirer companies (Odakyū Electric Railway, Keihin Electric Express Railway, Seibu Railway, Tōkyū Corporation, Tōkyō Metro, the Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation, Tōbu Railway, Keiō Corporation, Keisei Electric Railway, Sagami Railroad, and Metropolitan Intercity Railway) have aimed to expand opportunies to use the service along their respective rail networks, working to provide the service for ekinaka, machinaka, and public transportation uses.

By continuing to expand opportunities for and convenience of use of the electronic money service, we hope to meet our customers needs.

Details
  • Largest single-day Suica / PASMO electronic money transaction volume: approx. 1.77 million
  • Suica / PASMO cards in circulation: approx. 47.34 million
    • Suica: approx. 32.19 million (approx. 29.75 million electronic money-compatible cards)
    • PASMO: approx. 15.15 million
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:44 AM   #1336
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Narita Sky Access construction updates: Part 1

The debut of the Narita Sky Access line is fast approaching. Here’s some blog updates giving an overview of the action from the Narita Airport end:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

On board a train bound for Narita Airport, we run into a Keisei 3050 series train doing trial runs on the Narita Sky Access. Here, it’s on the siding, perhaps waiting for another train to pass or just getting the operator acquainted with the future schedule.



At Narita Airport Station, we take a look from a distance at the Keisei end of the station. Platform extension work is done and the Keisei trains were shifted north to the other end of the platform. This end will be designated for Narita Sky Access trains. It appears that orange will be used as the official color on platform signage to distinguish the Narita Sky Access from Keisei.



Zoom-in on the platform station sign.



Platform 5 will be the designated Skyliner platform, but as the sign indicates, it appears that some non-premium fare trains will also use this platform.



Platform 1, for non-premium fare Narita Sky Access trains.



LCD departure board outside the faregates. These show arrival times at both Nippori and Ueno Stations, which should come particularly handy when the Narita Sky Access opens. This board is similar to the new ones at Keisei Ueno Station.



The Keisei Line platforms, here still showing the “Platform 1” and “Platform 2” designation. Based on the new Narita Sky Access signage, it seems the Keisei platforms will ultimately be renumbered to “Platform 3” and “Platform 4.”



The departure boards on the Keisei platform only have two rows—not a big issue since only Keisei trains will stop here.



We switch over to Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station, where the concourse LCD departure boards are also in operation. These are similar to the ones at Nippori Station, with an adjacent screen showing the stopping pattern.



A new directional sign at the station, placed above where they are currently constructing a stairwell and escalator down to the platforms. The platforms here will be separated like at Narita Airport Station, with the east end for Narita Sky Access trains and the west end for Keisei trains.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:45 AM   #1337
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Narita Sky Access construction updates: Part 2

Now, a more detailed look at the new facilities at each of the stations. This is Narita Airport Station.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

New faregates to the Keisei Line platforms, nice and wide for luggage. This is going to be the entrance for both the Narita Sky Access and the Keisei Line once the former opens for service, so they’ll be switching out most of the directional signage soon. Straight ahead but currently boarded up are the future escalators and stairwell connecting to the Narita Sky Access platforms.



A closer look at the stairwell. These used to connect the Keisei Line platforms, but after those got shifted off to one end with the platform extension work, they will now be used for the Narita Sky Access. Until then, they’re boarded up.





Connecting passage to the Narita Sky Access platforms. This used to be completely boarded up, but we can now see through the upper half at least.



Peeking through the fence… Continuing down this passage would eventually take us down to the new Platform 1.



The elevator down to the Narita Sky Access platforms. Again, this used to be for the Keisei Line platforms—they’ve only temporarily boarded it up until the Narita Sky Access line opens.



New elevator for the Keisei Line platforms.



Keisei Line platforms, Skyliner side.



The opposite side, for non-premium fare trains. Here, you can see the switch that leads to Narita Sky Access Platform 1.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:47 AM   #1338
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Narita Sky Access construction updates: Part 2

Now, a more detailed look at the new facilities at each of the stations. This is Narita Airport Station.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

New faregates to the Keisei Line platforms, nice and wide for luggage. This is going to be the entrance for both the Narita Sky Access and the Keisei Line once the former opens for service, so they’ll be switching out most of the directional signage soon. Straight ahead but currently boarded up are the future escalators and stairwell connecting to the Narita Sky Access platforms.



A closer look at the stairwell. These used to connect the Keisei Line platforms, but after those got shifted off to one end with the platform extension work, they will now be used for the Narita Sky Access. Until then, they’re boarded up.





Connecting passage to the Narita Sky Access platforms. This used to be completely boarded up, but we can now see through the upper half at least.



Peeking through the fence… Continuing down this passage would eventually take us down to the new Platform 1.



The elevator down to the Narita Sky Access platforms. Again, this used to be for the Keisei Line platforms—they’ve only temporarily boarded it up until the Narita Sky Access line opens.



New elevator for the Keisei Line platforms.



Keisei Line platforms, Skyliner side.



The opposite side, for non-premium fare trains. Here, you can see the switch that leads to Narita Sky Access Platform 1.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:48 AM   #1339
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Narita Sky Access construction updates: Part 3

Next, Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Platform extension at the west end is pretty much complete, just waiting to enter service.



Maximum operating speed.



New elevator for the Narita Sky Access platforms is nearing completion.



New stairwell and escalator for Narita Sky Access platforms.





Cables hanging from the ceiling, at the division between the Keisei half and Narita Sky Access half of the platform. Perhaps they’ll put some directional signage here or something. They’re likely going to put some kind of barrier here as well to separate the two halves, but I’m not sure exactly what that will look like when done.



The new elevator again. You can see the tactile detection tiles are stll covered for curing.



The faregates here have also been replaced. To the right is the new escalator and stairwell for the Narita Sky Access line.



Signage inside the paid area of the station. This LCD board currently shows Keisei train information, but once they physically separate the Keisei and Sky Access halves, they may convert this one to Sky Access use.

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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:49 AM   #1340
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Narita Sky Access construction updates: Part 4

Next, Narita Yukawa Station:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Widening and improvement of the access road to the station.



Exterior of the station building is mostly complete, but they still have some minor work to do on the traffic rotary outside.



On the opposite side, the columns for the Kita-Chiba Dōro (“North Chiba Road”) are standing, but not much else. Apparently, the construction of this roadway is scheduled to be finished much later.



Elevated viaduct at the east end of the station, closer to the airport.



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