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Old July 6th, 2010, 06:16 AM   #1461
TheKorean
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^Thank you. Much more clear, still complicated.

So mto put it simply, when a train enters Tokyo, the operator changes? The very same train, ran by 2 different organizations? Is JR company one of those company?

The Japanese government doesnt run the intercity rail right? The shinkasen (cant spell) aka the bullet train?

Its weird seeing what people would generally consider rapid transit cars being operated as intercity trains.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #1462
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKorean View Post
Are cities like Yokohama considered part of Tokyo metropolitan area?
Yes. These cities (Yokohama, Saitama, Chiba, Kawasaki, etc.) are not officially part of "Tōkyō Prefecture," which is a governmental designation, but they are most certainly part of the metropolitan area. To confuse things, what I typically call "Tōkyō Prefecture" is actually officially known as Tōkyō Metropolis or the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government (TMG). I try to avoid using those terms though because it misses out huge chunks of the metropolitan area. In US terms, you might think of a "prefecture" as a county—most metro areas are composed of multiple counties.

In reality, this is the same phenomenon with most other metropolitan areas everywhere else in the world—i.e., city limits ≠ metropolitan area. The Tōkyō-Yokohama (Keihin) corridor is contiguous and densely built up (it's easy too see this on Google Earth or Google Maps Satellite).

Here is a night satellite image of most (but not all) of Greater Tōkyō.
Each of the nodes is a train station. The largest light points near the center of the image are on the JR Yamanote Line, the loop line around central Tōkyō.


Source: http://twitpic.com/1hhoq9

Here, I've circled the main stations for the largest "cities" outside of Tōkyō Prefecture. While this doesn't show city or prefecture limits, it gives some idea of how close things are and how interconnected the metro area is. The big river (Tama River) to the east of Kawasaki Station marks the boundary between Tōkyō Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture (Kawasaki, Yokohama, Fujisawa, Yokosuka, etc.). The distance between Yokohama Station and Kawasaki Station is 10 km. The green loop in the center is the Yamanote Line.

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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:49 AM   #1463
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Quote:
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The very same train, ran by 2 different organizations? Is JR company one of those company?
There are multiple permutations of through-service, although it's typically the subway through central Tōkyō paired with one or two "commuter" lines outside the Yamanote Line loop. These "commuter" lines might be operated by JR, but they could also be operated by any of the private railways.

I guess if we were to boil down the Tōkyō metropolitan rail network into four parts, it would look like this:
  • Tōkyō Subway
    Operated by Tōkyō Metro (a private company whose shares are owned by the government) and the Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (public agency). Mostly underground, and mostly covering only central Tōkyō (the 23 wards).
  • JR East
    Formerly part of the national railways. Technically, it operates trains all over northern part of Japan's main island, not just Tōkyō... But in Tōkyō, the lines serve important roles as part of the rapid transit network.
  • Major private railways
    Seven private companies (Keikyū, Odakyū, Tōkyū, Keiō, Seibu, Tōbu, Keisei), each possessing a "mini-network" of its own, originally developed from interurban streetcars, but now part of the rapid transit network.
  • Everything else
    • Yokohama Municipal Subway
    • Minor private or semi-private railways (Sōtetsu, Shin-Keisei, Tsukuba Express, etc.)
    • Automated transit systems (Yurikamome, Nippori-Toneri Liner, etc.)
    • Monorails (Tōkyō Monorail, Chiba Urban Monorail, Tama Monorail, etc.)
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Old July 6th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #1464
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To make things even more confusing, most of the rail operators operate several different types of train services. In addition to the regular local and express commuter trains, there are also reserved seat express trains, regular commuter trains that feature a couple of "green cars" in each train set, etc.

Is JR East the only operator that uses the green cars? I haven't seen any other operator using green cars on their trains in the Greater Tokyo area.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:46 PM   #1465
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I don't believe there are any private railways in Tōkyō that operate cars directly comparable to JR East's green cars—i.e., higher-grade, higher-fare cars coupled in the same train as regular-fare cars.

However, there are the reserved-seat limited express and "liner" services you mentioned, usually operated with special train sets that offer higher-grade service for a higher fare. The exceptions are the TJ Liner trains on the Tōbu Tōjō Line and the Keikyū Wing trains on the Keikyū Main Line, which are special liner services using the standard commuter EMUs, with only a minimal surchage of a few hundred yen.

If I remember correctly, the only major private railways in Tōkyō to not operate reserved-seat or premium-fare trains are Tōkyū and Keiō, probably because their network length is shorter than the others.

If you look at the Kansai area, though, Keihan uses double-decker cars similar to JR green cars on its limited expresses on the Main Line, without any extra surchage at all.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #1466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AG View Post
To make things even more confusing, most of the rail operators operate several different types of train services. In addition to the regular local and express commuter trains, there are also reserved seat express trains, regular commuter trains that feature a couple of "green cars" in each train set, etc.

Is JR East the only operator that uses the green cars? I haven't seen any other operator using green cars on their trains in the Greater Tokyo area.
Whats a green car?

How do you pay fares in Japan under such complicated system? Different transit cards for different companies? And who operates the buses?

Last edited by TheKorean; July 6th, 2010 at 09:41 PM.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 12:01 AM   #1467
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Only one card, suica.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suica
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Old July 7th, 2010, 01:36 AM   #1468
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AG View Post
Is JR East the only operator that uses the green cars?
JR Central...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AG View Post
I haven't seen any other operator using green cars on their trains in the Greater Tokyo area.
Wikipedia is your friend for this kind of trivial matters (though it's nearly useless for political/controversial matters).

Japanese Wikipedia article of 特別席 (special seats) say there are a few private lines with first class seats, coupled with regular class seats. Examples in the Greater Tokyo include:

- Odakyu's limited express Romancecar (RSE) has Super Seats.
- Izukyu's limited express Resort Odoriko (2100) has Royal Box.
- Tobu's limited express Spacia (100) has compartments.
- Fujikyu's limited express Mt. Fuji Express has observation seats and compartments.

The first three services are co-operated with JR East (JR Central in the case of Romancecar). The seats are called Green Cars when the same train runs on the JR section.

As you can see, all of them are limited express trains. In Tokyo, the non-reserved first class seats on local commuter trains seem to be something only JR East has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKorean View Post
And who operates the buses?
It's just as chaotic as rails.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 01:46 AM   #1469
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKorean View Post
Whats a green car?

How do you pay fares in Japan under such complicated system? Different transit cards for different companies?
Most regions in Japan have their own smartcards that can be used across a variety of different operators and transport modes. In Tokyo, there's both the Suica and Pasmo smartcards, but they are highly interchangeable and effectively operate the same as each other.

For the green cars, there's a machine on the platforms at each station where the trains with the green cars stop and you need to purchase a special ticket to use the green cars. They're effectively like first class carriages attached to the regular commuter trains (on JR East trains, they are double-decker cars attached to long trains of mostly single-deck cars).
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Old July 7th, 2010, 05:43 AM   #1470
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Quote:
Its weird seeing what people would generally consider rapid transit cars being operated as intercity trains.

In the case of JR and predecessor JNR, this has rather historical precedents. Just after the war (~1949), JNR decided to emphasize the development of EMU units over locomotive hauled passenger stock in long distance suburban services on the Tokaido Line. Thus the 80 series suburban type was built. It was a design that in other countries may be considered a rapid transit type, though seating was predominantly box seats for passenger comfort on longer commutes. The success of the 80 series and the experience gained in using distributed power (EMU) for fast longer distance services is considered to be a driving force in the adoption of such a configuration in the first Shinkansen trainsets, the 0 series.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 06:59 AM   #1471
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^Oh ok, I cant say I would be thrilled sitting in a subway car for more than an hour or hour and a half. I like taking subways but it becomes uncomfortable sooner or later.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #1472
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKorean View Post
^Oh ok, I cant say I would be thrilled sitting in a subway car for more than an hour or hour and a half. I like taking subways but it becomes uncomfortable sooner or later.
You're lucky if you can even get a seat on the longer suburban runs in the morning and evening rush hours. Standing for an hour is nothing unusual. And to think crowding is not as bad as it was 20 years ago!
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Old July 8th, 2010, 08:30 PM   #1473
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Just to give an idea of JR as "rapid transit," this is the Sōbu Main Line between Tōkyō and Chiba. This line is quadruple-tracked operating with fully-segregated local and rapid services. In fact, JR's five older mainlines in Tōkyō all received the same treatment when JNR realized that they couldn't carry both intercity traffic and rapidly-growing commuter traffic on two tracks alone. So the local tracks serve entirely rapid transit, and the rapid tracks serve mostly rapid transit with a handful of intercity trains or special services.

Sōbu Local Line at Kinshichō Station during the morning rush
200 m trains, 26 tph peak
This is outside of the Yamanote Line loop, about ten minutes from Akihabara, twenty minutes from Shinjuku.


Source: crg43059 on YouTube

Sōbu Rapid Line at Shin-Koiwa Station during the morning rush
220-300 m trains, 17 tph peak + non-stopping trains
Fifteen minutes from Tōkyō Station, 30 minutes from Shinagawa.


Source: crg43059 on YouTube
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Old July 9th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #1474
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Wow, weird seeing double decker train being used as subway.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 02:05 AM   #1475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKorean View Post
Wow, weird seeing double decker train being used as subway.
This might be taking the discussion around in a loop, but JR East isn't really subway at all (it does run underground in some places, however, and does share tracks with some of the subway operators, making operations rather complex!).
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Old July 9th, 2010, 02:43 AM   #1476
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From what I understand JR East is combination of commuter train and rapid transit. From what I learned JR East has some qualities that rapid transits would possess. But also those of commuter rail, regular rail used for commuting.
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Old July 18th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #1477
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With the opening of the Narita Sky Access Line on July 17, I updated my Tōkyō rail map.
Enjoy!

Greater Tōkyō (Capital Region) Rail Network v1.20 (July 2010)
http://docs.google.com/uc?id=0B4E0EN...xport=download

Major changes:
  • Added Narita Sky Access / New Skyliner and updated stopping patterns for through-service Asakusa Line trains on the Keisei and Keikyū networks.
  • For the legend: Added a new logo (Izu Hakone Railway) and a new "Special Services" section for Narita Express and Keisei Skyliner.
  • Switched the station bubbles / circles to bars. Should be cleaner now and easier to see what's going on at the major terminals.
  • Further cut back the subway through-service to better reflect practical use for a rider and cleaned up stopping patterns.
  • Added line names on top of all the lines in the actual map.
  • Added the under-construction Fukutoshin Line through-service onto the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line and Minato Mirai Line.
  • Added future proposal for Chūō Local Line extension to Tachikawa.
  • Added future proposal for Saitama – Gunma LRT.

Last edited by quashlo; July 18th, 2010 at 02:21 PM.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #1478
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Can't download the file. I just get

"Sorry, we are unable to scan this file for viruses.

We are experiencing technical difficulties. Download anyway"


Is there any workaround?
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Old July 19th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #1479
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I went to Nippori Saturday afternoon and tried to snap some photos of the new Skyliner. The place was quite crowded and I didn't have much time so I only saw the new Skyliner once. Anyway here is what I got:











Anyone who knows about how many Access Express (アクセス特急) trains that will go through to the Asakusa Line? I was checking this rail map at Keisei's website but couldn't find any good timetable of the services.

PS. It is my first post so please bear with me.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #1480
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Hm... Looks like I didn't set the file access permissions right.

Anyways, it should be fixed now. When you get the page about the "no virus scan" just click "Download anyway" and it should start.

Let me know if that still doesn't work.
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