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Old June 3rd, 2010, 09:42 PM   #1361
dale88
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Thanks for all the pictures, the information and videos about japanese railways. By the way I have a question, I saw that Keisei will soon open a new narita line via the Hokuso line that will allow trains to go as fast as 160 km/h.

So what will happen to the already existing keisei narita airport line, especially with the trains used on the current Skyliner express service.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 03:07 AM   #1362
quashlo
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See here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1286

Service to / from Narita Airport via the Keisei Main Line will still remain, but on a smaller scale than currently. They will still have a limited express train (no extra fare), as well as a version of the existing Skyliner known as the "City Liner" that only runs hourly during the midday and has an additional stop at Aoto.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #1363
nouveau.ukiyo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
English (US).

I can't take all the credit, though, since I have some assistance:

http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/c...wwwjdic.cgi?1C
(Best JPN-ENG dictionary out there)
I use this dictionary often as well...but still, you got some pretty impressive skills. The number and length of translated articles you post are immense! That's some crazy dedication man! It must take a good deal of time; I'm actually curious to know as to why you put in so much effort...
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Old June 4th, 2010, 08:00 PM   #1364
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Yeah, good question... Not so sure of the answer myself. But I work in transportation / urban planning, so reading all these articles gives me some creative ideas that I can use in my career (or a least I hope so). Japan has many unique situations in regards to transportation that aren't found in many in other places:
  • the private railway model (department stores, amusement parks, zoos, sports stadiums, hotels, convenience stores, supermarkets, office buildings, etc. all owned by the railway)
  • high degree of competition between lines
  • complexity of train services (different stopping patterns, different passenger markets, etc.)
  • high degree of schedule complexity (interlining, passing, coupling / decoupling, etc.)
    etc.
Just following this forum in general also helps keep me abreast of the latest news in public transport around the world and gives me an edge over others in my industry.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #1365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Narita Sky Access to open July 17
http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/kouhou/news/22-017.pdf



Interesting that they appear to be reviving (or at least attempting to revive) the Narita-Haneda direct services. According to the press release, this journey will still take 100 minutes.
Don't be so modest Quashlo, your work is phenomenal. Anybody who has ever tried to do this knows that actually translating an article into something that is consistent and makes proper sense in English is much harder than just reading the article.

I wonder has there been any official updates on the Asakusa Bypass Line? That project was going to bring that 100 minute trip down to under an hour, including a stop at a so-called "shin-tokyo" station to be built underground nearby to Tokyo Station.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 06:59 AM   #1366
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Thanks.

I don't think there's been any news on the Asakusa Bypass Line recently—I think the MLIT is still continuing with their cost analysis / engineering studies of the line.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #1367
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Mitsubishi and Hitachi team to tap urban rail market overseas
http://www.mhi.co.jp/news/story/100622.html

Quote:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI; CEO: Ōmiya Hideaki) and Hitachi, Ltd. (CEO: Nakanishi Hiroaki) have signed a basic agreement to join forces on projects involving urban rail systems for overseas clients, with the aim of strengthening competitiveness in the global market and expanding our business in the industry. Our two companies will now work together on efforts starting from marketing to construction and maintenance for urban rail projects, where we can take advantage of our overseas competitiveness.

Currently, it's forecasted that growth in the social infrastructure market, including power systems and railway systems, will be concentrated in developing countries. But even in developed countries and regions which have already established some level of social infrastructure, there is a demand for the renovation of such social infrastructure, supported by high-performance information transmission systems.

In particular, eyes are turning towards railway systems—one form of "green mobility"—as a mode of transportation with low environmental load but the capability to move large volumes of passengers. In addition, the market for railway systems overseas is expanding, with new construction, network expansions, and upgrades through rolling stock and systems improvements becoming more and more active in most regions of the world, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Central and South America.

The latest agreement between MHI and Hitachi is in response to these market trends, and will advance cooperation between our two companies on overseas urban railway projects, in everything from suitability and marketing to development, design, manufacturing, engineering, construction, and maintenance. In addition, by being able to offer the product lineups of both firms, our two companies will be able to meet a complex array of railway system needs for urban transport, including commuter rolling stock such as subway trains; "new transit" systems including fully-automatic trains such as the APM (automated people mover) and light rail transit (LRT); monorails; and other systems.

Both MHI and Hitachi possess cutting-edge products, technology, and knowhow in general railway systems as well as the various composite elements, including rolling stock, signalling, power, and rail. In particular, MHI's technology development capabilities, experience in overseas projects, plant engineering knowhow, and partnerships across a wide variety of fields, together with Hitachi's railway systems hardware and software development capabilities and systems engineering capabilities have earned much trust in the industry.

Under this latest agreement, MHI and Hitachi will put each other's experience and knowhow to good use in actively expanding our railway systems business into overseas markets.

Last edited by quashlo; July 5th, 2010 at 10:54 AM.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #1368
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Blue lighting to be installed at Nippō Line grade crossings in Beppu City
http://mytown.asahi.com/oita/news.ph...00001006300003

Quote:
In an effort to prevent railway suicides and accidents at grade crossings, JR Kyūshū’s Ōita Branch Office has installed blue illumination—believed to have a calming effect on people—near 13 grade crossings between Kamegawa and Beppu Stations on the Nippō Line in Beppu City. Spokspersons for the Ōita Branch Office say, “It’s generally believed that scientific proof of the benefits is difficult to find, but we want to do everything we can to prevent suicides, accidents, and the resulting service disruptions.”

Fluorescent lights emitting blue light were installed on existing poles near grade crossings. The one to two lights at each grade crossing illuminate the surrounding area from sunset to sunrise. The project is a three-year trial installation, and the lights first began operating on March 26. The Ōita Branch Office says it also plans on installing the lights at another two grade crossings this fiscal year, between Beppu and Higashi-Beppu Stations.

The track section selected for the installation has a high frequency of accidents and suicides. Of the 59 railway suicides that occurred within the Branch Office’s area of jurisdiction between 1999 and 2009, 13 (over 20 percent) occurred on the tracks between Kamegawa and Higashi-Beppu Station. With regards to accidents at grade crossings during the same time period, of the 49 cases in the Branch Office’s area, seven occurred on this section of track.

Blue lighting is spreading across the country. JR West introduced the lighting in December 2006, and JR West has also installed it at all stations on the Yamanote Line. In Kyūshū, blue lighting has already been installed at seven grade crossings on the JR Kagoshima Line between Kyūsandai-mae and Hakozaki Stations in Fukuoka Prefecture.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #1369
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Kumamoto Station plaza to become an architectural masterpiece
http://www.asahi.com/travel/rail/new...007030039.html

Quote:
In an effort to increase awareness of the design for the Kumamoto Station area, which is awaiting the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen next spring, the architects and others held a symposium for Kumamoto Prefecture residents on July 2 in Kumamoto City. As many as 350 people participated in the symposium, including residents living near the station and students studying architecture. The symposium revealed the intentions and inside story behind the design.

The east and west station plazas and police boxes have been selected as part of Kumamoto Artopolis, which enlists famous architects to design public buildings. The eye-grabbing piece is the police box outside the station, designed by Italian-born Astrid Klein. The police box is a friendly, but unique design, with a second-floor exterior that features round cutouts similar to a polka-dot pattern, while the inside will be painted in rainbow colors.

Panelist and Kumamoto Artopolis commissioner Itō Toyoo was particularly eager for the project: “I think we’ll have a station plaza that can’t be found anywhere else in the country. I have no doubt that it will become a destination to visit for architects and others interested architecture coming from Asia or around the world.”
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Old July 5th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #1370
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Bus connections a major issue for new Kyūshū Shinkansen stations
http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/item/178935

Quote:
On June 17, it was revealed that Chikugo City mayor Nakamura Seiichi has requested that Nishitetsu (HQ: Fukuoka City) and Horikawa Bus (HQ: Yame City) run bus services to the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Chikugo Funagoya Station (Tsushima, Chikugo City), scheduled to open in March of next year.

According to the city, the mayor requested that Nishitetsu extend its current bus service between Nishitetsu Kurume Station and Funagoya (National Route 209) by approx. 1.5 km to serve Chikugo Funagoya Station. The mayor also asked Horikawa Bus to establish a new line running between Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station, Chikugo Funagoya Station, and the Fukuoka Prefecture Chikugo Regional Park entrance (Oshima, Chikugo City).

The city began concrete discussions with the two operators starting last fiscal year. In order for the route extension and new bus line to make it in time for the opening of the new station, the discussions must be wrapped up by the end of the year, but the two companies are asking for additional funding to compensate operating deficit in the event the lines end up in the red. As a result, an agreement has yet to be reached.

In a response, Mayor Nakamura hinted that he would continue talks with the two bus operators: "With only private auto and taxi access, we'll have difficulty getting people to use the station. We're going to need a little more time."

Fixed-route bus services stopping at new stations on the Kyūshū Shinkansen have also become an issue of concern in Ōmuta City.

The only buses currently passing by Shin-Ōmuta Station (Iwamoto, Ōmuta City) are on Nishitetsu Bus' Yoshino Line. Ōmuta City had petitioned Nishitetsu Bus to extend the Yoshino Line to serve the station, but was told in late March of this year that the Nunowada – Nankan (9.25 km) section of the Yoshino Line, including the route portion passing by the new station, is scheduled to be eliminated at the end of April next year.

As a result, the city is discussing a vision for transport access between the station and the city's urbanized areas, including strategies to preserve the Yoshino Line.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #1371
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Nishitetsu likely to overtake Love FM radio in northern Kyūshū
http://www.asahi.com/business/update...006050016.html

Quote:
On June 5, it was revealed that discussions are underway to transfer the broadcast business of radio station Kyūshū International FM (Love FM; HQ: Chūō Ward, Fukuoka City), which broadcasts across the northern Kyūshū region in multiple languages, to Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu; HQ: Fukuoka City). Nishitetsu already has community broadcasts under its Tenjin FM radio station, but Nishitetsu is considering accepting the offer as a means of broadcasting information about Fukuoka’s Tenjin area, where an increasing concentration of retail facilities is attracting people from all across Kyūshū, across a wider area.

Kyūshū International FM was established in August 1996 with ¥499 million in investment capital from Fukuoka City, Kita-Kyūshū City, Fukuoka Prefecture, and major local firms including Nishitetsu and Saibu Gas. Broadcasts begin in April 1997. The biggest shareholder is Fukuoka City, with 10 percent ownership of the radio station.

The studio was set up inside the main building of the Iwataya department store in Tenjin, Fukuoka. The station broadcasts in ten different languages, including Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese, Tagalog, and Spanish and its broadcast zone covers all of Fukuoka Prefecture, as well as parts of Saga, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Ōita, and Yamaguchi Prefecture.

According to spokespersons for the radio station, advertising revenue dropped substantially after 2008 as a result of the economic downturn. Revenue (unconsolidated) at the end of FY2009 (March 2010) reached ¥292 million, the fourth consecutive year of declining revenue. While the station took efforts to reduce costs, as a result of cumulative deficits, the station is still insolvent on its debt.

Although the station is past the typical ten-year mark to upgrade its broadcast equipment, the prospects for assembling the necessary capital for equipment investments are unclear, and its multilingual broadcast business in the northern Kyūshū region will now likely be transferred to Nishitetsu.

The station is currently evaluating employment options for the six company employees and two contract employees.
Official website of Love FM:
http://lovefm.co.jp/pc/ln_top.php
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Old July 5th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #1372
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JR Kyūshū to expand SUGOCA’s presence
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...006230019.html

Quote:
JR Kyūshū will expand the number of stations accepting SUGOCA, the railway’s IC farecard with electronic money functionality, to 270 stations, approximately twice the current number. With the addition of Nagasaki and Kagoshima Prefectures, passengers will now be able to use SUGOCA to board and alight trains in six prefectures on Kyūshū. As infrastructure investment and staff would be required, the expansion will occur after FY2012.

SUGOCA debuted in March 2009, and can now be used at 146 stations focused in Fukuoka Prefecture and surrounding Saga, Kumamoto, and Ōita Prefectures, with 360,000 cards in circulation. Use of the card for payments at stores is expanding throughout Kyūshū, but after the expansion, passengers will also now be able to use SUGOCA for fare payments at approximately half of the railway’s stations.

Afterwards, the railway will put its weight behind efforts to increase passenger convenience, including increasing the number of affiliate stores accepting SUGOCA electronic money and allowing use of the card on limited express trains. The railway says it is currently not envisioning expansion of the system into stations in Miyazaki Prefecture.

In addition, JR Kyūshū will also allow the card to be used at convenience stores and mini-stops starting in July of this year. As a result, the 137 stores throughout Kyūshū currently accepting the card for payment will jump to 5,555 stores.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 10:59 AM   #1373
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JR Kyūshū inks deal with Indian IT firm
http://www.asahi.com/business/update...006080017.html

Quote:
On June 8, JR Kyūshū held a press conference in Fukuoka City, announcing that it had teamed up with Indian information technology (IT) firm Patni Computer Systems to launch a joint venture business in corporate financial management and manufacturing systems.

The new company, JR Kyūshū Patni Systems, will launch in July with ¥100 million in capital. The headquarters will be located in Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City. JR Kyūshū System Solutions (JRQSS; HQ: Fukuoka City), which handles railway-related computer systems including JR’s IC farecard SUGOCA will have a 51 percent stake, and Patni will have a 49 percent stake in the new company. The president of the new company will be selected by JRQSS.

Faced with struggling revenues as a result of an aging population and discounts on expressway tolls, JR is accelerating the diversification of its business, such as in retail.

Up until now, JRQSS’s primary client was almost exclusively JR Kyūshū. At the press conference, JR Kyūshū president Karaike Kōji emphasized, “We are hoping our group businesses individually work to expand their reach into new areas, contributing to the growth of JR as a whole. JRQSS can provide a high level of IT services to clients outside of JR Kyūshū Group.” Karaike also expressed his hopes for the deal: “I hope to eventually expand annual revenues from our IT business to several billion yen.”

Patni was founded in 1971, entering the Japanese market in 1995. The company’s revenues in FY2009 were approx. ¥60 billion, but only five percent of the total is in the Japanese market. At the press conference, Patni CEO Jeya Kumar was hopeful of the new joint effort: “With this deal, we can expand our wins for manufacturing management systems and other products.” Kumar also remarked that the high number of factories in Kyūshū was also a factor in deciding to work together with JR Kyūshū.

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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #1374
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Fukuoka City Subway to introduce station numbering
http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/entame/r...OYS8T00236.htm

Quote:
The June session of the Fukuoka City Council held an open question and answer period on June 16. The Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau expressed its plan to consider introducing a “station numbering” system that pairs station names with numbers in order to make it easier for foreigners and other passengers to use the Fukuoka City Subway.

“I see foreigners who are clearly having trouble with the name of their station. Shouldn’t we introduce a station numbering system immediately?” remarked members of the City Council. In response, transportation operations administrator Kano Itaru said, “Such a move will help in creating urban development that has potential to attract international visitors. We will now be taking active steps in evaluating how to implement such a system.”

According to the City Transportation Bureau, station numbering schemes have been introduced primarily in cities with a large foreign tourist presence, including Tōkyō, Kyōto, and Sapporo. The most common scheme involves taking a letter of the alphabet indicating the name of the line and adding a number at the end. The system is likely to be introduced on all three lines and 35 stations in the subway. No date for implementation has yet been finalized.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #1375
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JR West posts first monthly year-over-year increase in revenue in 22 months
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...006180039.html

Quote:
On June 17, JR West announced that transport-related revenues during May showed a 3.7 percent increase above May 2009, marking the railway's first monthly year-over-year increase in 22 months, since July 2008. At a press conference the same day, JR West president Sasaki Takayuki remarked, "While we haven't returned to the same levels as two years ago, the decline has come to an end."

The railway says that the reasons for the year-over-year increase are partially due to a bounceback in ridership from the low passenger numbers in May of last year as a result of the swine influenza scare. However, transport-related revenue for June 1 to June 16 also posted a 0.8 percent year-over-year increase, and it’s expected that the railway will post year-over-year increases for two months straight. It's believed that the railway's groupwide efforts at promotional campaigns in coordination with the 1300th Anniversary of Heijō-kyō Capital festivities have paid off, and ridership at Nara Station posted monthly year-over-year increases of 35 percent for May and 27 percent for June (June 1-15).

However, transport revenues are 8.8 percent down when compared to May 2008 and 8.6 percent down when compared to June 2008 (June 1-16), indicating that revenue has yet to return to the levels seen before the downturn in the economy. Sasaki said the railway will actively expand its planned tour programs, "working to create new passenger demands."
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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #1376
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Ōsaka Station construction updates

These were taken 2010.06.
First, a look at the South Gate Building…
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

















Next, a look at the station canopy…
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/







Apparently, they’ve been storing the structural elements for the canopy on the roof of the North Gate Building itself, and then just moving them down as needed.









Doing some work near the reinforced glass openings.



Moving down to the platforms… I’m not too fond of the exterior of the canopy, but the inside is looking pretty good. Once they remove all the scaffolding, etc., the interior should be even more bright and open.







I think this could surpass Kyōto as my favorite major terminal station in terms of architecture and design. Now if only they could do something similar for the major terminals in Tōkyō…
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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #1377
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New North Gate Building will feature eight public spaces including rooftop farm
http://www.asahi.com/national/update...005290001.html

Quote:
On May 28, JR West announced that it would create a "sky farm" on the roof (76 m aboveground) of the new fourteen-story North Gate Building midrise tower scheduled to debut at Ōsaka Station in spring 2011. The farm will span 250 sq m and will cultivate rice, fruits, and vegetables for restaurants inside the building, but portions of the farm are also planned to be leased out to individual customers.

JR West has identified all of the new Ōsaka Station as an "ecostation" designed with the environment in mind. A 1,000 sq m garden will be constructed on the tenth-floor terrace of the midrise tower, in the hopes of helping to alleviate the heat island effect. The railway also plans to install solar panels on the 18,000 sq m dome roof over the station's platforms and use rainwater collected on the roof in the building's toilets.

The building will feature as many as eight open spaces including the garden and farm. The railway says it will design each of the spaces with an eye towards making them meeting spots.
The “Eight Public Spaces” of the new Ōsaka Station. These are photos of the panel exhibits on display inside the central concourse of the station, taken 2010.06.
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

South Gate Square
The glass canopy also features solar panels, and the panel also says there will be some sort of “water clock,” whatever that means.



Sun Plaza
This will be located on the roof of the new Acty Ōsaka annex, and is designed like a Spanish patio.



Wind Plaza



Garden of Serenity
The original blogger says he thinks this will be located on the roof of the North Gate Building.



Sky Farm



Time Square
This is part of the north-south public passage, which will be directly above the elevated station concourse and the platforms. There will be one gold clock and one silver clock.



Carillon Square
This is located on the pedestrian bridge connecting to Hankyū Umeda.



Atrium Square
Eight-story tall atrium. A sundial will also be provided at the front of the square.

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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #1378
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JR West teams with prefectural police to fight chikan
http://www.asahi.com/kansai/travel/n...006140014.html

Quote:
On June 14, JR West launched a chikan (groping) prevention campaign together with the police departments of six prefectures in the Kinki Region. At JR Ōsaka Station in Kita Ward, Ōsaka City, members of the Ōsaka Prefectural Police Railway Investigative Forces patrolled trains and stations since the morning, and JR West employees distributed pamphlets summarizing ways to make sure that passengers don’t become victims of chikan.

This marks the first time that JR West has simultaneously teamed up with the six prefectural police departments in its strategy to counteract chikan. According to the Ōsaka Prefectural Police, the number of reported cases of chikan last fiscal year in Ōsaka Prefecture totaled 338 incidents, 129 (approx. 40 percent) of which occurred inside trains. The highest number of cases occurred in the month of June, when women go lightly-dressed due to seasonal changes in weather. The campaign will last until June 18.

In addition, on June 14 JR West established chikan victim consultation offices inside the administrative offices at Ōsaka, Tennōji, and Kyōbashi Stations. The consultation offices welcomed victims of chikan to tell their stories, which were then relayed by proxy to the police. A female vocational school student (19) from Nishi Ward, Sakai City who disembarked at Ōsaka Station said, “I do my best to keep guard, including avoiding really crowded trains.”

In December of last year, JR East installed security cameras inside trains on the Saikyō Line, and the number of reported cases of chikan for January and February of this year dropped 60 percent year-over-year. In regards to installation of security cameras inside trains, JR West spokespersons remarked, “We want to wait a little bit longer and see exactly what the benefits are.”
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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #1379
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JR West manner campaign CMs

I missed these earlier, but JR West teamed up with Eagle Talon, a popular online anime show as part of their campaign to encourage passenger etiquette.

Here’s the first set of CMs:
Source: DreamLinkEnt on YouTube





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Old July 5th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #1380
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Cab view of JR Fukuchiyama Line

This is a cab view (2009.12.20) from a Tanbaji Rapid on the JR Fukuchiyama Line, from Ōsaka Station to Sasayamaguchi Station. You get to see some of the contrasts between dense suburbs leading up to and through Takarazuka, but then empty, almost rural areas further north.
Source: HINTEL1824TRAIN on YouTube

The train is a four-car 223 series.

Part 1: Ōsaka to Amagasaki



Part 2: Amagasaki to Kawanishi – Ikeda



Part 3: Kawanishi – Ikeda to Takarazuka



Part 4: Takarazuka to Dōjō



Part 5: Dōjō to Hirono



Part 6: Hirono to Kusano



Part 7: Kusano to Sasayamaguchi

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