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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:40 AM   #1501
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Date finalized for termination of Hankyū and San’yō Type 2 railway franchises on Kōbe Rapid Railway
http://holdings.hankyu-hanshin.co.jp...01007161N2.pdf

Quote:
At Kōbe Rapid Transit Railway Co., Ltd., Hankyū Corporation, San’yō Electric Railway Co., Ltd., Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd., and Kōbe Electric Railway Co., Ltd. (Shintetsu), as we reported on March 30 of this year, we have been considering reevaluation of the operational structure of the Kōbe Rapid Railway, but the date of termination of all or part of Hankyū Corporation and San’yō Electric Railway Co., Ltd. franchises on the Kōbe Rapid Railway has now been finalized.

Furthermore, the latest proceedings are related to the date of termination of Hankyū Corporation’s and San’yō Electric Railway Co., Ltd.’s Type 2 railway business, and will not change the scope of through-services by Hankyū, Hanshin, San’yō, or Shintetsu or the schedule of the five railway companies. With ensuring passenger convenience as a priority, the five railway companies will cooperate to continue to provide the same service, and are proceeding with consideration of discounted special campaign tickets that will further improve the convenience of the Kōbe Rapid Railway. We will keep you abreast of details in the discussions as they occur.

Changes to railway business franchise
  1. Hankyū Corporation: Revocation of Type 2 railway business between Shinkaichi and Nishidai on the Kōbe Rapid Transit Railway Tōzai Line, currently suspended.
  2. San’yō Electric Railway Co., Ltd.: Revocation of Type 2 railway business across the full length of the Kōbe Rapid Transit Railway Tōzai Line.
The Type 2 railway businesses currently operated by Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd. and Kōbe Electric Railway Co., Ltd. will continue.

Date of revocation of business
October 1, 2010 (after the the end of service on September 30, 2010, the business franchise will be terminated)

Railway business types (for reference)
  • Type 1: A business involving the transport of passengers or freight via railway (excepting Type 2 business).
  • Type 2: A business involving the transport of passengers or freight via railway using trackage outside of trackage owned by the company.
  • Type 3: A business that constructs railway track and permits use of the applicable track in whole by an entity operating a Type 2 railway business.
The first post on this issue is here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1096
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #1502
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Platform doors enter service at Taishō Station on Nagahori – Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line
http://railf.jp/news/2010/07/08/090100.html

Quote:
On July 7, the Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau launched operations of platform doors at Taishō Station (Taishō Ward, Ōsaka City) on the Municipal Subway Nagahori – Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line. The system is designed to prevent passengers from falling off the platforms, and represents the first such installation on an existing line in the Municipal Subway. The waist-high platform doors will be installed at the other 15 stations on the Nagahori – Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line by March of next year.

According to the Municipal Transportation Bureau, the doors are approximately 1.3 m tall. Approximately 12 door channels are installed on each platform at Taishō Station (24 channels total), and the platform doors are designed to open and close in concert when the train operator manipulates the train’s doors.

There were 43 cases of platform falls on the Municipal Subway in FY2009, but no platform falls were recorded on the Imazatosuji Line, which was constructed with platform gates from the beginning, or on the Nankō Port Town Line, which also features platform doors. Starting with the introduction of the system onto the Nagahori – Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line, Ōsaka City plans to introduce the platform doors to existing lines, with the Sennichimae Line scheduled to receive its installations in FY2014.
A few pictures. A pretty utilitarian, no-frills installation.
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/







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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #1503
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Ōsaka Municipal Subway Imazatosuji Line photos: Part 1

A series of photos from the latest Ōsaka Municipal Subway line to open (2006). Like the Nagahori – Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line, the Imazatosuji Line is a “mini-subway” using linear motor technology. However, the line has been struggling with poor ridership performance (about 50,000 passengers daily) because it’s basically on the outskirts of the subway network and doesn’t serve any of Ōsaka’s major terminal stations, although it does to some extent serve areas that never had good rail service. Total length is 11.9 km, with 11 stations.

First, Itakano Station, the northern terminus:
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

Exit No. 2 (there are two exits total):



The area around the station is full of public housing blocks.



Weekday schedule is 15 tph peak, 7-8 tph off-peak.



Minimalist faregate provision of 2+1 (two regular width and one wide).



Station concourse.



One island platform, two tracks. Unlike the Nagahori – Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line, which used different design themes for each station, the Imazatosuji Line strove for uniformity to save costs. Some of the directional signage, like here, isn’t even backlit, only a panel.



Platforms at all stations on the line were constructed with these waist-high doors from the get-go.



Departure boards use these large 32-in LCD screens similar to those in other systems in Asia, but less so in Japan, which seems to favor more practical “row-based” boards given the complexity of stopping patterns and destinations.

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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #1504
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Ōsaka Municipal Subway Imazatosuji Line photos: Part 2

Next is Sekime – Seiiku Station. This station is directly adjacent underground to Sekime Station on the Keihan Main Line and about 250 m walk (on the surface) from Sekime – Takadono Station on the Tanimachi Line (there is an easier transfer between the Imazatosuji Line and Tanimachi Line at Taishibashi – Imaichi Station).
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

Exit No. 2. There are two exits, with Exit No. 1 being the exit for transfers with the Keihan Main Line.





There are only two platforms at the station, but they are on separate levels. The Imazato (southbound) platform is three levels belowground, the Itakano (northbound) platform is five levels belowground.



Imazato-bound platform.





Looking down to the Itakano-bound platform.





Itakano-bound platform. This is about 26 m below surface level, making it second deepest in the Ōsaka Municipal Subway network after Ōsaka Business Park Station on the Nagahori – Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line (32 m belowground).

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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #1505
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Tōkyū considering bringing 109 to Abeno redevelopment in Ōsaka
http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/eco/news/...OYO8T00353.htm

Quote:
On July 2, it was revealed that Shibuya, Tōkyō specialty shop 109, known as an epicenter for young fashion, is considering joining a large retail facility scheduled to open in Abeno Ward, Ōsaka City in spring 2011. If realized, it will be the store’s first venture into the Kansai region.

109 features brands popular among women in their teens and 20s, and outside of the Kantō area, has shops in Kanazawa City and Shizuoka City. The retail facility, located in a redevelopment area southwest of JR Tennōji Station, is being built by Tōkyū Land Corporation, which will also operate it. Itō Yōkadō and Tōkyū Hands are also scheduled to join the facility, and if 109 decides to join as well, its expected that the tenant mix will appeal to a broad range of customer demographics.

Adjacent to the site on the east side, Kinki Nippon Railway (Kintetsu Corporation) is scheduled to construct a 300 m tall skyscraper—Japan’s tallest—housing a department store and art museum, and the surrounding neighborhood is expected to change dramatically in the future.
109 is a one of the major “brands” in Tōkyū’s retail business, alongside Tōkyū Department Stores, Tōkyū Store, and Tōkyū Hands. The name “109” actually comes from Tōkyū: also means “10” and kyū also means “9.” The store in Shibuya is pretty much a landmark of the area.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #1506
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Tennōji Station Midōsuji Line platform construction updates

I didn’t know this project was going on, but here’s some pictures.
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

Basically they are renovating the Midōsuji Line platforms at the station. Currently, they are working on the northbound platforms (the station has one track + one side platform in the southbound direction and two tracks + one island platform in the northbound direction).



Rendering on display at the station. They will be taking advantage of the ceiling height of the station to build a bypass passage directly above the platforms. This should help ease platform congestion, which can get a bit hectic (and dangerous) at times on the Midōsuji Line. Apparently it was so bad that in the past, they had to limit passenger entry flow at the faregates.



You can see more of the steel beams to support the new passage from these slightly elevated views of the platform.



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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #1507
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Tōkyū considering bringing 109 to Abeno redevelopment in Ōsaka
http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/eco/news/...OYO8T00353.htm

Quote:
On July 2, it was revealed that Shibuya, Tōkyō specialty shop 109, known as an epicenter for young fashion, is considering joining a large retail facility scheduled to open in Abeno Ward, Ōsaka City in spring 2011. If realized, it will be the store’s first venture into the Kansai region.

109 features brands popular among women in their teens and 20s, and outside of the Kantō area, has shops in Kanazawa City and Shizuoka City. The retail facility, located in a redevelopment area southwest of JR Tennōji Station, is being built by Tōkyū Land Corporation, which will also operate it. Itō Yōkadō and Tōkyū Hands are also scheduled to join the facility, and if 109 decides to join as well, its expected that the tenant mix will appeal to a broad range of customer demographics.

Adjacent to the site on the east side, Kinki Nippon Railway (Kintetsu Corporation) is scheduled to construct a 300 m tall skyscraper—Japan’s tallest—housing a department store and art museum, and the surrounding neighborhood is expected to change dramatically in the future.
109 is a one of the major “brands” in Tōkyū’s retail business, alongside Tōkyū Department Stores, Tōkyū Store, and Tōkyū Hands. The name “109” actually comes from Tōkyū: also means “10” and kyū also means “9.” The store in Shibuya is pretty much a landmark of the area.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #1508
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Shin-Ōsaka Station construction updates

A few pictures (2010.07) of the construction work in the concourse part of the station. My previous post on this project is here.
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

There’s also work on the new Shinkansen platform, but since that has more to do with the Shinkansen, I’ll leave it out from here (you can see those pictures here).

Now onto the pictures…
The Central Exit area is pretty much a construction zone now:



Same location in March 2010, before construction began:



The Midori no Madoguchi (staffed ticket counter area) is now relocated to this temporary setup.



Because of the construction, they sealed off the Sennari Hyōtan monument. This is supposed to be a replica of the battle standard used by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and is fairly famous—they have station signage (see the top left of the picture) that directs visitors to it. For now, though, all they have are these posters on the columns.

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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:45 AM   #1509
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Ōsaka Prefecture prepares EIA for Keihan Main Line elevation through Neyagawa, Hirakata
http://www.kentsu.co.jp/osaka/news/p01331.html

Quote:
Ōsaka Prefecture will begin production of the preliminary environmental impact assessment documents for the Keihan Main Line (Neyagawa City and Hirakata City) Continuous Grade-Separation Project. On July 21, Ōsaka Prefecture will request bids for six tasks, including vibration surveys and forecast assessments. After selecting a bid, Ōsaka Prefecture will draft and circulate the documents before the October 31, 2011 deadline, and hold information sessions with local residents, aiming for master plan approval in late FY2011, project selection in FY2013, construction groundbreaking in FY2019, and completion in FY2028.

The tasks put out to bid involve surveys and forecast assessments for vibration (2), noise (2), electromagnetic radiation (1), and air quality (1). In regards to the approx. 5.5 km section between Saiwaichō, Neyagawa City and Oka-Minamichō, Hirakata City (3.4 km total within Hirakata City and 2.1 km total within Neyagawa City, Ōsaka Prefecture will prepare preliminary environmental impact assessment documents for each of the topics according to the environmental impact assessment guidelines.

The stations to be elevated are Kōrien Station (double island platform configuration), Kōzenji Station (side platform configuration), and Hirakata Kōen Station (side platform configuration). The project implementation involves the temporary-track elevation method for the east end, where the aerial structure is constructed on space freed up after the existing track is shifted to the side (near National Route 170, near Kōrien Station, and the north side of Hirakata Kōen Station), and the separate elevation method for the west end, where the new aerial structure is constructed adjacent to the existing track (all locations except near National Route 170, near Kōrien Station, and the north side of Hirakata Kōen Station). The aerial structure will consist of steel-reinforced concrete frame viaduct, prestressed concrete girder bridges, and steel girder bridges.

As related work, the project will also include Ōsaka Prefecture’s Yao – Hirakata Prefectural Road Reconstruction Project (3,270 m, FY2013-FY2028) and construction of a frontage road along the elevated viaduct (6,210 m, FY2013-FY2028).
Pictures:
Source: Hirakata City



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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #1510
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Keihan announces FY2010 infrastructure investment plan
http://www.keihan.co.jp/news/data_h22/2010-06-23-01.pdf

Quote:
At Keihan Electric Railway Co., Ltd. (HQ: Chūō Ward, Ōsaka City; President: Ueda Seinosuke), we have been continuing investment in our railway infrastructure every year in order to fulfill our duty and obligation as a mode of public transportation in striving for passenger safety and comfort and advancing barrier-free design. We have now finalized our infrastructure investment plan for FY2010.

In FY2010, we will invest a total of approx. ¥9 billion for various projects, including continuation of the grade-separation work near Yodo Station; seismic reinforcement; installation of new wireless train protection equipment (Keihan Line); upgrades to grade crossings and signaling equipment; construction of new escalators; and renovation of restrooms.

The details are as follows.
  1. Grade crossings and operational safety construction (¥3.695 billion)
    • Grade-separation construction
      In the project to elevate approx. 1.5 km of the Keihan Main Line centered on the area around Yodo Station, following the elevation of the outbound track in September of last year, we will work towards the elevation of the inbound track in 2011. Through the elevation, three grade crossings will be eliminated, not only improving convenience and ensuring safety, but also resolving congestion issues during horseracing days.
    • Grade-separation of grade crossings and new construction or improvement of grade crossing safety facilities
      We will upgrade grade crossing obstruction detection equipment, implement structural improvements to grade-crossing roads, and upgrade the automatic crossing arms at grade crossings.
    • Improvements to rolling stock, etc.
      We will install new operational status recording equipment and wireless train protection equipment.
    • Improvements to track
      We will implement bridge improvements, fire protection measures, trackbed improvements, and conversion to compound sleepers.
    • Improvements to electrical infrastructure
      We will install new platform emergency alert equipment, upgrade signaling equipment, and upgrade interlocking equipment.
    • Upgrades to workshop and inspection equipment
      We will upgrade inspection equipment at the Neyagawa Car Shops.
    • Other
      We will introduce a remote surveillance system at stations that will allow staff at other stations to assist passengers at the ticketing hall using an interphone system, in the event that station staff are not present at the ticketing hall.
  2. Construction related to service improvements (¥4.235 billion)
    • Improvements to station facilities
      We will upgrade station air conditioning equipment and renovate station platforms.
    • Barrier-free measures
      We will install new elevators at six stations, upgrade escalators at one station, and construct new wheelchair-accessible restrooms at five stations. In addition, we will install train approach display equipment.
    • Other
      We will continue with refurbishment of our 8000 series trains, including upgrades to seats and interior design and barrier-free measures such as installation of in-train information displays and installation of wheelchair spaces. In addition, we will upgrade our ICOCA ticket vending machines and upgrade our station administrative equipment in preparation of the start of sales of ICOCA tickets, as well as work on upgrading train air conditioning systems and improving heating capacity.
  3. Construction to increase capacity (¥1.042 billion)
    • New construction and improvement of electrical infrastructure
      We will reconstruct transformer substations and upgrade transformer equipment.
Construction update on the Yodo Station grade-separation project (2010.07):
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

Here, we are standing on the already elevated outbound track, while construction proceeds on elevating the inbound track to the right of us. It’s a bit confusing at first, since Ōsaka is generally the “center” of the Keihanshin area, but the Keihan Main Line officially starts in Kyōto. Thus, the inbound track is actually bound for Kyōto and the outbound track is bound for Ōsaka.



Part of the primary inbound track and the large double crossover is already laid, but there’s not much else visible. The station will be expanded to a four-track station. This station is the closest station to the Kyōto Racecourse.



The ground-level inbound platform. You can see some of the rebar sticking out from the new aerial structure, waiting to be tied into the other half that has yet to be built.





Train repainted in the new two-tone green + white livery. Apparently, this is called the “SMBC scheme” because the colors are exactly the same as the company colors of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.



Bonus shots of the new LED station advertisement displays, which are thinner, maintenance-free, and longer-lasting, with less energy consumption:



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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #1511
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Kyōto Municipal Subway back in the black for first time in 22 years
http://mytown.asahi.com/kyoto/news.p...00001007160001

Quote:
On July 15, Kyōto City published its FY2009 financials summary for municipally-operated businesses including the bus system, subway system, water and sewer services, and hospitals. The municipal bus system recorded its seventh straight year in the black, while the municipal subway recorded its first year in the black in 22 years when looking at its cash flow omitting depreciation costs.

Average daily ridership on the bus system dropped approx. 5,000 passengers year-on-year to approx. 310,000 passengers as a result of the economic recession and the swine influenza scare. Farebox revenue dropped by ¥387 million to ¥17.521 billion. However, expenses also dropped as a result of a reduction in retirement compensations, a drop in fuel costs, and workforce cuts, and the municipal bus system recorded a positive current account balance of ¥1.839 billion, its seventh straight year in the black.

The municipal subway also saw a drop in average daily ridership of approx. 1,000 passengers, and farebox revenue dropped ¥215 million year-over-year to ¥21.601 billion. With the elimination of ¥5.5 billion in annual track usage fees by consolidation of the former third-sector section (Sanjō Keihan Station – Misasagi Station) under municipal operation, current account deficit dropped ¥2.705 billion compared year-over-year, improving to only ¥11.711 billion. Looking at the cash flow omitting depreciation costs associated with station facilities and rolling stock, the municipal subway recorded a positive current account balance of ¥1.581 billion, its first year in the black since 1987.

The municipal water services also posted its third year in the black (¥1.082 billion). For the municipal sewer services, payments on corporate debt related to construction have reached a peak, resulting in the first year in the red in the last nine years (¥(1.309 billion)). The municipal hospital system (Kyōto City Hospital, Kyōto City Keihoku Hospital) posted ¥3 million in the black as a result of reduced expenses and other factors.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:49 AM   #1512
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Kintetsu Kyōto Station construction updates

My last post on this project is here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1166

Now some pictures:
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/so-long7/

The hotel above the tracks is starting to shape up on the east end. We can tell already this is going to be a great spot to watch trains at Kyōto Station, as you have JR West trains on one side and then Kintetsu and Shinkansen trains on the other.







Still not much visible on the west end, but I believe this is all supposed to be the same height as the rest of the building. Unfortunately, I don’t have any shots of the new platform being constructed directly beneath the new hotel.



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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:50 AM   #1513
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Kyōto Municipal Subway back in the black for first time in 22 years
http://mytown.asahi.com/kyoto/news.p...00001007160001

Quote:
On July 15, Kyōto City published its FY2009 financials summary for municipally-operated businesses including the bus system, subway system, water and sewer services, and hospitals. The municipal bus system recorded its seventh straight year in the black, while the municipal subway recorded its first year in the black in 22 years when looking at its cash flow omitting depreciation costs.

Average daily ridership on the bus system dropped approx. 5,000 passengers year-on-year to approx. 310,000 passengers as a result of the economic recession and the swine influenza scare. Farebox revenue dropped by ¥387 million to ¥17.521 billion. However, expenses also dropped as a result of a reduction in retirement compensations, a drop in fuel costs, and workforce cuts, and the municipal bus system recorded a positive current account balance of ¥1.839 billion, its seventh straight year in the black.

The municipal subway also saw a drop in average daily ridership of approx. 1,000 passengers, and farebox revenue dropped ¥215 million year-over-year to ¥21.601 billion. With the elimination of ¥5.5 billion in annual track usage fees by consolidation of the former third-sector section (Sanjō Keihan Station – Misasagi Station) under municipal operation, current account deficit dropped ¥2.705 billion compared year-over-year, improving to only ¥11.711 billion. Looking at the cash flow omitting depreciation costs associated with station facilities and rolling stock, the municipal subway recorded a positive current account balance of ¥1.581 billion, its first year in the black since 1987.

The municipal water services also posted its third year in the black (¥1.082 billion). For the municipal sewer services, payments on corporate debt related to construction have reached a peak, resulting in the first year in the red in the last nine years (¥(1.309 billion)). The municipal hospital system (Kyōto City Hospital, Kyōto City Keihoku Hospital) posted ¥3 million in the black as a result of reduced expenses and other factors.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:50 AM   #1514
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Kyōto Prefecture investigates improving access to KIX
http://www.kyoto-np.co.jp/local/article/20100716000179

Quote:
With the aim of securing a Kyōto route for the maglev Chūō Shinkansen, on July 16 Kyōto Prefecture and Kyōto City announced that they will establish an investigative committee composed of experts. In regards to the as yet undefined alignment between Nagoya and Ōsaka, the prefectural and municipal governments will hammer out the need for the line to pass through Kyōto in the investigative committee before compiling their proposal and lobbying the national government and JR to implement it.

The committee will be called the Investigative Committee on High-Speed Rail for Tomorrow’s Kyōto, and will feature nine panelists including representatives from the financial sphere and for the riding public, as well as transportation engineering specialists. The committee will hold its opening session on July 23 in Kyōto City, and over the course of a total of three sessions, will finalize its findings in late September.

JR Central is aiming for a full opening of the maglev Chūō Shinkansen (Tōkyō – Ōsaka) in 2045. The alignment between Nagoya and Ōsaka is still undecided, but the basic plan called for a route passing near Nara City, and its believed that an alignment through Mie and Nara into Ōsaka is the likeliest candidate for selection.

A subcommittee of the Transport Policy Council under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has been debating over the route between Nagoya and Ōsaka since February of this year, and is scheduled to compile its preliminary findings this autumn or later. Kyōto’s investigative committee will submit its proposal to the MLIT and JR before the subcommittee finalizes its preliminary findings, hoping to put weight behind a Kyōto route.

In addition, the investigative committee will also discuss ways of improving access to Kansai International Airport (KIX). The committee will consider plans to bring the current one-hour and fifteen-minute journey time via the Haruka limited express and one-hour and twenty-five-minute journey time by highway express bus to under one hour.

The Prefectural Transport Policy Section says, “If the maglev is to serve as an alternative to the current Shinkansen line, there’s no way we can ignore Kyōto Station, which already has about half of the ridership of Shin-Ōsaka Station.”
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:51 AM   #1515
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Aonami Line files for bankruptcy
http://www.asahi.com/business/update...007060002.html

Quote:
Nagoya Waterfront Rapid Railway (President: Saitō Keizō), the third-sector operator of the Aonami Line (Nagoya – Kinjō Futō; approx. 15 km), which has been struggling in the red, announced on July 5 that it will file for business rehabilitation ADR (alternative dispute resolution), one form of bankruptcy, in an effort to get back on its feet. The operator is technically already bankrupt, but will continue operations while moving forward with rehabilitation programs, aiming for getting back into the black in FY2013.

According to the press release, the operator suffers from a total debt of ¥46.083 billion, and plans to file for ADR with the Japanese Association of Turnaround Professionals, a third-party entity that specializes in dispute resolution. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), this is the first example of a railway company filing such a request.

Nagoya Waterfront Rapid Railway has a total capital of ¥15.7 billion, with Nagoya City investing 56.5 percent, Aichi Prefecture investing 11.4 percent, and private-sector firms also participating. In the rehabilitation plan, the capital would be completely reduced, and of the approx. ¥44.9 billion debt, approx. ¥26.7 billion owed to the city and approx. ¥4.0 billion owed to the Prefectural Government would be converted into shares in the company, eliminating the burden of interest payments that had been putting stress on the railway operator’s finances. The operator would pay back approx. ¥210 million to the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), and the city would take up the remaining ¥12.1 billion in debt. The city and Prefectural Government would further invest an additional ¥2 billion in the company.

The railway points to FY2009, where it posted a positive primary balance before depreciation costs, and says, “We will further improve our financial situation, with the aim of generating operating surpluses in FY2013.”

Nagoya Waterfront Rapid Railway opened in 2004. Initial projections placed average daily ridership at 66,000 passengers, but actual ridership fell far short, at only approx. 18,000 passengers in the first year. Currently, daily ridership is approx. 27,000. The railway estimates that daily ridership will increase to 32,400 in FY2013.

At a press conference, railway president Saitō apologized: “The ridership projections were too optimistic, among other things… We are truly very sorry this happened.” Saitō said he would take personal responsibility for the railway’s poor financial state and resign from his position in the near future. Meanwhile, spokespersons for the city said, “Keeping the railway running is the city’s way of taking responsibility for the situation. The ridership projections were developed using the best knowledge available at the time, and the city bears no responsibility for that.”
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:52 AM   #1516
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JR Central 313-1300 series makes press debut

The 313 series trains are used on JR Central's suburban services in the Nagoya metropolitan area. The 313-1300 series is part of the fourth order of 313 series trains, a 120-car order to replace aging rolling stock. The 1300 series is the first 313-1000 series group to be formed in two-car units.

The first two-car unit departed Nippon Sharyō's Toyokawa Plant on June 19, followed by two additional units. The first train (2+2) entered service on July 2 on the Tōkaidō Line, replacing 117 series trains from Ōgaki Yard. Eventually, these units are scheduled to be deployed to Jinryō Yard for service on the Kansai Main Line and the Nagoya area portion of the Chūō Line.

Here's a few pictures of the belated press debut (2010.07.26):
Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/

The new series inherits the full-color LED destination signs from other 313-1000 series orders.



At Ōgaki Yard.
The east-end (Toyahashi or Nakatsugawa) car of each two-car unit is the motor car, and holds two single-arm pantographs, as well as the VVVF controller equipment underneath the floor.



Front end section of the west-end (Maibara or Nagoya) cab car, which features transverse priority seating (the orange seat covers and standee straps designate the area as priority seating).



The priority seating in the motor car is at the opposite end and is designed for longitudinal seating, featuring an orange moquette. The door areas feature the yellow floor strips that are becoming more and more common on the newer trains.



The west-end cab car holds the toilet in each unit, which has been redesigned to be more user-friendly.



The west-end cab car. The windowless space at the joint end of the car is the toilet.

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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #1517
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Oyama Station Central Public Passage to break ground in September
http://www.shimotsuke.co.jp/news/toc...0100714/350893

Quote:
In the Central Public Passage Project at JR Oyama Station, Oyama City and JR East’s Jōshin’etsu Construction Office, the construction contractor for the project, signed an agreement to execute the work on July 13. The public passage will break ground in September, with completion scheduled for the end of FY2012. The project is aimed at bringing new vitality to central Oyama City, which has been severed in two by the rail line, and it’s also hoped that it will contribute to making the station much more convenient for users.

On July 13, Mayor Ōkubo Toshio and Chief Kasai Takashi of JR East’s Jōshin’etsu Construction Office gathered at Oyama City Hall for the signing ceremony and put their signatures on the agreement. “The Central Public Passage has been a long-awaited wish for our city’s residents. I hope we can work together to complete this project as quickly as possible,” said Mayor Ōkubo. Kasai also greeted the crowd, saying, “Oyama Station is a critical node in the JR network. In concert with the construction, I am looking forward to bringing the station up to barrier-free design standards.”

According to the detailed design submitted by JR East to the city, the project cost for the Central Public Passage is approx. ¥3.51 billion. Oyama City will shoulder approx. ¥3.35 billion of those costs, down ¥450 million from the approx. ¥3.8 billion estimated in the preliminary designs from March of last year. The city expects approx. ¥1.6 billion in funding assistance from the National Treasury.

The current East Exit at the station is located at the South Exit Public Passage located at the south end of the station, a distance away from the business district. In addition, in order to reach the Shinkansen and the Ryōmō Line from this public passage, passengers must pass through the north-south connecting passage located over 100 m away, and citizens complained that it was not only far but difficult to find.

The Central Public Passage will construct a 10 m wide, approx. 90 m long passage through the station structure on the south of the central concourse, connecting the station plazas for the West Exit and a new East Exit. The South Exit ticketing hall will be abandoned and consolidated into a central ticketing hall incorporating a relocated West Exit. Elevators and escalators will be constructed at both the West Exit and East Exit, improving the barrier-free design of the station.
Previous article on this project:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=838

Rendering of Oyama Station area after completion of improvements:
Source: Oyama City

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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:58 AM   #1518
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New rooftop farm atop JR Takasaki Station tenant building
http://www.mainichi.jp/area/gunma/ne...40163000c.html

Quote:
JR East’s Takasaki Branch Office and Takasaki Terminal Building Co., Ltd., which operates Montres, the JR Takasaki Station tenant building, will open Solado Farm, a membership-based leasable garden on the roof of the station tenant building. This marks the second Solado Farm location at a station under JR East’s administration following one at the Ebisu Station (Tōkyō) tenant building. Targeting use by nursery schools and a growing number of condominium residents around the station, JR East and Takasaki Terminal Building are accepting applications for members.

The rooftop farm will feature 35 plots in 350 sq m. An approx. 20 cm deep lightweight soil layer developed specifically for rooftop greening uses will be laid down, and through construction of ridges, will ensure an approx. 30 cm soil depth. Excepting a few root vegetables, members will be able to grow a large variety of vegetables. Tōhō Leo (HQ: Ōsaka City), which has knowhow in rooftop greening projects, will be contracted to assist in operation and gardening instruction. A 300 sq m rooftop garden will also be constructed on adjacent land.
Rendering:


Source: http://ameblo.jp/machinaka-saien/

Construction (2010.07.29):
Source: http://ameblo.jp/machinaka-saien/



Rentable plots for members:

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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:58 AM   #1519
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Tachikawa Station tops illegal bicycle parking list
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/tok...OYT8T01226.htm

Quote:
A study by the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government has revealed that the area around JR Tachikawa Station features the highest numbers of illegally-parked bicycles of any station in Tōkyō Prefecture—983 bicycles a day. Across Tōkyō Prefecture, the number of illegally-parked bicycles in areas around train stations is dropping, and with measures being implemented at stations that were previously in the top spots, Tachikawa Station—which saw little change in its numbers from last year—rose to the top.

Surveys were conducted in October of last year around 11:00 am on weekdays with fine weather. Each ward, city, town, or village was responsible for surveying all stations within its boundaries, and the results were then tallied by the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government.

Based on the results, there are approx. 53,000 illegally-parked bicycles daily outside train stations across Tōkyō Prefecture—an approx. 11,000-bicycle drop over last year and the lowest since the survey began in 1977. As a result of improvements such as the construction of new bicycle parking facilities, the total capacity of bicycle parking facilities throughout Tōkyō Prefecture reached an all-time record-high of approx. 844,000 spaces.

Tachikawa Station ranked in at No. 7 in the last survey and at No. 10 in the survey before that. At the usual “suspects”—including Ōtsuka, Ikebukuro, and Akabane Stations, all of which were in the Top 3 for three consecutive years up into last year—the number of illegally-parked bicycles has dropped dramatically. According to Toshima Ward, home to both Ōtsuka and Ikebukuro Stations, substantially increasing the number of bicycle parking facilities and implementing almost daily removal of illegally-parked bicycles were the reasons behind the success.

For Tachikawa Station, at the time of surveying last year, the total number of illegally-parked bicycles and bicycles stored inside bicycle parking facilities was 11,246 daily.

Early this month, Tachikawa Station opened an approx. 800-space bicycle parking facility at the South Exit, and will also begin operations of an approx. 400-space facility in September. Spokespersons for the Tachikawa City Transport Strategy Section say, “We are hopeful the situation will improve. However, the number of bicycles around Tachikawa Station is comparatively high, and in addition to constructing bicycle parking, we are also looking to introduce various other strategies in concert, including introduction of a bicycle rental program.”

According to the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government’s Transport Safety Section, the number of illegally-parked bicycles outside train stations peaked in 1990, at approx. 243,000 in Tōkyō Prefecture alone. At the time of the surveys in October of last year, all jurisdictions in Tōkyō Prefecture had implemented ordinances to combat illegal bicycle parking with the exception of Okutama Town, Hinode Town, and Hinohara Village—located in mountainous areas—and Musashi Murayama City, which has no train stations.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 01:00 AM   #1520
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Chūō Line grade-separation construction updates: Kunitachi Station

A handful of pictures of the work at Kunitachi Station to elevate the Chūō Line.

First set was taken in spring of this year, although I don’t have a specific date.
Source: http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com/helicopter/

Daigaku-dōri (University Avenue). Below us, the old triangular-roofed station building has been demolished, but its main parts have been preserved for rebuilding once the grade-separation construction is complete.



The outbound track here was elevated in January 2009. This is looking west from the west end of the elevated platform, towards Tachikawa, Hachiōji, and Takao.



Work is proceeding nicely on the elevated inbound platform…







Elastic sleeper design on an all-concrete trackbed.



Looking west from the east end of the platform.



Looking east.



The ground-level platform for inbound trains.



A handful of more recent pictures (2010.07.21):
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/ef65-1111/

The platform is starting to take shape, and you can see they’ve installed a lot of the columns, the stairwells, etc. compared to the previous set.





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