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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #141
quashlo
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Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line quadruple-tracking and Ōimachi Line extension: Futako Tamagawa – Mizonokuchi
Part 1: Introduction


Websites:
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/railw...004/index.html (project PR)
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/railw...chi_dento.html (project overview)
http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/mizonokuti-ensin/ (Ōimachi Line extension PR)
Construction start: 1993
Construction end: 2009 (extension begins service; various elements of the project will continue construction past 2009)

Benefits:
  • Reduced crowding on the Den’en Toshi Line
  • Reduced travel times
  • Improved station design for easier transfers and barrier-free access

This project involves the following elements:
  • Improvements to the Ōimachi Line and Den’en Toshi Line to allow for express service on the Ōimachi Line
  • Quadruple-tracking of the Den’en Toshi Line between Futako Tamagawa and Mizonokuchi and extension of the Ōimachi Line to Mizonokuchi


Source: Tōkyū
The east-west line in pink is the Ōimachi Line (the kink at the left end is the extension). The green lines are the other heavy rail lines in Tōkyū’s network.

Partially a victim of success in Tōkyū Corporation’s development of the Tama Den’en Toshi (trans. Tama Garden City) new town, the Den’en Toshi Line has become one of the most crowded lines in Greater Tōkyō, with average passenger loading during the morning rush hour close to 200% of capacity. Currently, the inbound morning rush hour schedule calls for 28 trains an hour, all of which continue past Shibuya Station onto the Tōkyō Metro Hanzōmon Line. The crowding is so severe that Tōkyū introduced six-door, standee-only cars in 2005 on its 5000 series trains in an attempt to reduce dwell times at stations, increase standing space, and improve passenger flow. In the Tōkyō area, Tōkyū is still the only private railway and the only railway outside of JR East to use these cars, although technically the seats in these cars stay locked until Hanzōmon Station.

In 2007, Tōkyū took further actions by eliminating the express trains bound for Shibuya and the Hanzōmon Line during the morning rush hour and downgraded them to semi-express trains. While the semi-express trains skip some stations west of Futako Tamagawa, east of Futako Tamagawa they stop at all stations until Shibuya. The ultimate goal was to equalize congestion across trains (passengers favored the express trains over the local trains) and reduce delays, in exchange for a slight increase in commute time (1-2 minutes) for passengers. While there was some controversy over the decision, in spring 2008, Tōkyū extended the “semi-express” services over a longer period of the morning. In spring 2009, Tōkyū also added a third standee-only car to some trains.

All trains on the line are currently 10 cars (200 m) long and train length cannot be feasibly increased without substantial modifications to platforms. The Shibuya Station terminal is designed without side tracks and consists of one island platform with two tracks; since all trains stop at Shibuya, any delays or increased dwell times can affect service across the line. While the Den’en Toshi Line’s counterpart, the Tōyoko Line, is partially quadruple-tracked via the Meguro Line, the Den’en Toshi Line has no similar service. The segment between Shibuya and Futako Tamagawa was undergrounded when the line was constructed and quadruple-tracking these tunnels is estimated to be prohibitively expensive and difficult. As a result, Tōkyū decided on a strategy of shifting passengers by quadruple-tracking some of the above-ground segments of the line and extending the Ōimachi Line west onto these new tracks.

In conjunction with the extension, improvements have been made to the Ōimachi Line to permit express service, which will reduce travel times:
  • Mizonokuchi – Meguro: 33min to 20min
  • Mizonokuchi – Ōimachi: 31min to 22min
  • Jiyūgaoka – Ōimachi: 15min to 12min
Through these improvements, Tōkyū aims to shift a portion of the passengers off the Den’en Toshi Line to the Ōimachi Line / Meguro Line and Ōimachi Line / JR / Rinkai Line routes. After completion of the project, the passenger loading on the Den’en Toshi Line during the morning rush hour is estimated to drop by 20-25% to around 175%.

Video:


Source: tzr6063 on YouTube
Den’en Toshi Line crowding, Mizonokuchi Station. Don’t know the date on this one, but it’s been floating around on YouTube for at least a year…
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #142
quashlo
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Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line quadruple-tracking and Ōimachi Line extension: Futako Tamagawa – Mizonokuchi
Part 2: Ōimachi Line Improvements



Ōimachi Station
Construction start: November 2002
Construction end: February 2006

This is the eastern terminus of the Ōimachi Line and connects with JR East’s Keihin-Tōhoku Line and Tōkyō Waterfront Area Rapid Transit’s Rinkai Line (through-services with JR Saikyō Line). Ridership is as follows:
  • JR East Ōimachi Station: 92,420 daily entries (2007)
  • Tōkyū Ōimachi Station: 121,109 daily entries and exits (2008)
  • TWR Ōimachi Station: 60,718 daily entries and exits (2007)

Work at this station involved redesign of the platforms to an island configuration (increasing platform width from 9 m to 16 m) and extension of the platforms to 141 m in order to accommodate 6-car trains. In connection with the opening of the Rinkai Line (shown in blue in the below image), the station was renovated and the elevated sections of the Ōimachi Line reconstructed and reinforced.



Source: Tōkyū



Source: Wikipedia
The west end of the Ōimachi Line platform in 2004. Like many of Tōkyō’s existing rail lines, it was originally operated with streetcars, so platform lengths were relatively small. As population along the line increased, longer trains were needed and platform extensions were shoehorned in where possible, leading to narrow platforms like this. In order to handle passenger demand, the line uses five- and six-car units, but due to right-of-way constraints, some stations along the line can only handle three- or four-car trains. To resolve the issue, “door cuts” are used—i.e., the doors on one or two of the cars will not open at a station. You can actually see some of the construction work going on to the left.



Source: Wikipedia
This is the renovated Ōimachi Line platform in 2008, taken from the east end, facing west. You can see the west end has been substantially widened.


Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkuAYHS-8DA&hd=1 Source: hirokubo77 on YouTube
A 6000 series express train enters the renovated station.


Hatanodai Station
Construction start: January 2002
Construction end: March 2008

This station is a minor station connecting the Ōimachi Line and the Ikegami Line. Ridership is as follows:
  • Ōimachi Line: 19,562 daily entries and exits (2008)
  • Ikegami Line: 14,619 daily entries and exits (2008)
    Total: 34,181 daily entries and exits (2008)

Before construction began, the original station was a two-level design with the Ōimachi Line (upper level) and Ikegami Line (lower level) crossing each other at an angle. The work at this station involved the following elements:
  • Redesign of the Ōimachi Line platforms from two tracks in a side-platform configuration to four tracks with two islands to facilitate express service
  • Elevation of a portion of the station and creation of a concourse to facilitate transfers
  • Installation of elevators and escalators and rehabilitation of aging station facilities
  • Removal of an at-grade crossing and construction of auxiliary roadways and a pedestrian subway underneath the Ōimachi Line tracks


Source: Tōkyū
Aerial and longitudinal section view of project.



Source: Tōkyū
Construction phasing diagram.



Source: Wikipedia
Ōimachi Line platforms in January 2008, showing ongoing work on the inside tracks. When being passed by express trains, local trains stop on the outside of the island platforms, while express trains arrive on the inside.



Source: Wikipedia
The finished Ōimachi Line platforms in March 2008.



Source: Wikipedia
Platform signs showing car-stopping locations for express (red) and local (blue) trains.



Source: Wikipedia
A daytime view of the station, April 2008.


Jiyūgaoka Station
Construction start: 1997
Construction end: 2008

This station is a major station connecting the Ōimachi Line and the Tōyoko Line. Ridership is as follows:
  • Tōyoko Line: 92,323 daily entries and exits (2008)
  • Ōimachi Line: 47,352 daily entries and exits (2008)
    Total: 139,675 daily entries and exits (2008)

Work at this station involved the following elements:
  • Extension of the Ōimachi Line platforms to accommodate six-car trains
  • Creation of a new station concourse, including a new North Exit and new ticketing areas
  • Installation of escalators and elevators and improved transfers between Ōimachi Line and Tōyoko Line

image hosted on flickr

Source: michiro on Flickr
Ōimachi Line platforms, March 9, 2008. Work is proceeding on the platform extensions in the foreground in preparation for the start of express service two weeks later.



Source: Wikipedia
Ōimachi Line platforms after completion of station improvements, February 2009.



Source: Wikipedia
This is Platform 1 towards Futako Tamagawa. The renovated Jiyūgaoka Station has retail inside the concourse area as well as on the platforms. toks is a convenience store chain operated by Tōkyū inside their stations.


Todoriki Station

This station is a minor station on the Ōimachi Line, with 25,633 daily entries and exits (2008), and consists of a single at-grade island platform.

Work at this station involves the following elements:
  • Undergrounding of the station and addition of two passing tracks for express trains (only local trains will stop at the station).
  • Installation of elevators and escalators
  • Elimination of two at-grade crossings, one of which is inside the station itself
Due to some opposition to the project from local residents, some of whom are concerned that the construction would have severe environmental impacts on the nearby Todoriki Canyon, the project has been delayed and construction has not yet begun. As a result, an inbound passing track is to be included at Kaminoge Station to temporarily resolve the issue in time for the start of service.



Source: Tōkyū
Aerial and longitudinal section view of project.



Source: Tōkyū
Cross-section view of project.



Source: Wikipedia
Night view of the platform, as passengers head for the faregates to exit the station. January 2008.


image hosted on flickr

Source: yoshihisao on Flickr
There is an at-grade crossing located “inside” the station. To enter the station, passengers must first cross the tracks to reach the faregates located in beween the tracks. The station building itself continues to the left and right of the crossing.


image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr
There is a single exit at the station, leading down from the platform.


Kaminoge Station
Construction start: 2006
Construction end: 2011

This station is a minor station on the Ōimachi Line, with 21,065 daily entries and exits (2008), located in a trench underneath Kaminoge-dōri.

Work at this station involves the following elements:
  • Undergrounding of the station and addition of two passing tracks for express trains (only local trains will stop at the station)
  • Installation of elevators, escalators, and a waiting room on the platform, as well as contruction of an additional entrance to the station
  • Construction of a new station building, with station plaza and bicycle parking


Source: Tōkyū
Diagram of the new station layout.



Source: Tōkyū
Cross-section view after completion of project.



Source: Tōkyū
Rendering of the new station, designed by architect Andō Tadao (who also designed the recently-opened Fukutoshin Line Shibuya Station). The plaza will feature trees maintained using rainwater and the glass curtain wall will permit natural sunlight to enter the station. Escalators will be low-energy and turn on only when passengers are detected.


image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr
March 2009 view of the station. The roadway above the platform is Fudō-kyō (Fudō Overpass)—i.e., Kaminoge-dōri. You can see some of the structural elements for the new station building, which will extend over the tracks on both sides of the overpass.


image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr
A view of the tracks, March 2009.


image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr
The existing station exit on the south side of the overpass, as construction proceeds all around. March 2009.


Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm1nq6JcpeM&fmt=18 Source: drctamanoi on YouTube
An express train bound for Ōimachi passes the station using the new inbound express track that was temporarily constructed due to the delay in the improvements to Todoriki Station.


Futako Tamagawa Station
Construction start: October 1993
Construction end: July 2006

This is a major station in Tōkyū’s network and the existing western terminus of the Ōimachi Line. The station allows transfer with the Den’en Toshi Line. Ridership is as follows:
  • Den’en Toshi Line: 69,524 daily entries and exits (2008)
  • Ōimachi Line: 33.537 daily entries and exits (2008)
    Total: 103,061 daily entries and exits (2008)
Construction completed before 2000 included the following:
  • Platform widening and expansion of the concourse area and faregates to accommodate passengers generated by the Futako Tamagawa East District redevelopment
  • Switching track layout between the Ōimachi Line and Den’en Toshi Line to improve transfers
  • Construction of a new track connection between the inbound Den’en Toshi Line track (towards Shibuya) and the inbound Ōimachi Line track (towards Ōimachi)
  • Construction of an additional two storage tracks for the Ōimachi Line on the bridge crossing the Tama River
Additional work, including installation of elevators and waiting rooms, has also been completed more recently.


image hosted on flickr

Source: Nemo’s great uncle on Flickr
A 2006 shot of the station, which sits next to the Tama River.


image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr
March 2009 view, showing construction of Futako Tamagawa Rise, a mixed-use redevelopment project containing residential, retail, office, and hotel uses.


image hosted on flickr

Source: Nemo’s great uncle on Flickr
Outdoor advertisement showing a rendering of Futako Tamagawa Rise. The station is located at bottom right. The forking tracks are the Ōimachi Line (top) and Den’en Toshi Line (bottom).


image hosted on flickr

Source: oda.shinsuke on Flickr
March 2009 view of the Monday evening rush at Platform 3 (Ōimachi Line for Jiyūgaoka, Ōokayama, and Ōimachi) and Platform 4 (Den’en Toshi Line for Shibuya and the Hanzōmon Line.


Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJnhmY8Zq4E&hd=1 Source: baltJ on YouTube
A 6000 series express switches over to the inbound track after discharging passengers at Futako Tamagawa. In the distance not too far away is Futako Shinchi Station on the Den’en Toshi Line.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #143
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Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line quadruple-tracking and Ōimachi Line extension: Futako Tamagawa – Mizonokuchi
Part 3: Den’en Toshi Line Quadruple-Tracking




Source: Tōkyū
Aerial view of quadruple-tracking project.



Source: Tōkyū
Longitudinal section view.



Source: Tōkyū
Cross-section view.


Futako Shinchi Station
Construction start: 2000
Construction end: 2009

This station is a minor station on the Den’en Toshi Line, with 18,633 daily entries and exits (2008), located just west of the Tama River, opposite Futako Tamagawa.

Work at this station involved moving the outbound platform (for Chūō-Rinkan) south to accommodate two additional tracks in the center for the Ōimachi Line. No new platforms were constructed, and any Ōimachi Line trains stopping at the station would need to use the outer “Den’en Toshi Line” tracks. In January 2005, the new outbound platform entered service. In August 2005, the inbound platform (towards Shibuya) was shifted to the old outbound platform, while the old inbound platform was reconstructed to serve as the new inbound platform. After the new inbound platform was finished in July 2006, the old outbound platform / temporary inbound platform was removed and the new Ōimachi Line track laid.

In conjunction with these improvements, elevators, escalators and other barrier-free facilities (multi-use toilets) were also installed.


image hosted on flickr

Source: Nemo’s great uncle on Flickr
New outbound track being laid, February 2006. On the opposite side of the elevated structure, a Tōkyō Metro train bound for Shibuya and the Hanzōmon Line heads toward Futako Tamagawa Station.



Source: Wikipedia
A 6000 series train sits on the new outbound track at Futako Shinchi, February 2008.


Source: Wikipedia
The new tracks and the new inbound platform on the opposite side, August 2008.


Takatsu Station
Construction start: 2000
Construction end: 2009

This station is a minor station on the Den’en Toshi Line, with 27,643 daily entries and exits (2008).

Takatsu Station was originally a side-platform station with two tracks, but was widened to accommodate the additional two Ōimachi Line tracks following the same procedures as Futako Shinchi Station (which was also originally a side-platform station with two tracks). The barrier-free improvements (escalators and elevators) are currently being installed. Like at Futako Shinchi, the number of platforms at the station remains unchanged (two).



Source: Wikipedia
The new outbound platform, February 2008. To the left was a temporary exit (now closed), while straight ahead further down the platform leads to the main exit. Protected by a fence is the temporary inbound platform on the site of the old outbound platform.


Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktAwzf1q0QU&hd=1 Source: safaia2008 on YouTube
A Tōbu 50050 series train passes Takatsu. Some Den’en Toshi Line trains continue beyond the Hanzōmon Line to the Tōbu Isesaki and Nikkō Lines.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VINNGvFcopA&hd=1 Source: safaia2008 on YouTube
A Tōkyū 5000 series train departs Takatsu. These units have two six-door cars.


Mizonokuchi Station
Construction start: 1992
Construction end: 2009

This station is a major station on the Den’en Toshi Line and a transfer station for the JR Nambu Line (via Musashi Mizonokuchi Station). Ridership is as follows:
  • Tōkyū: 174,199 daily entries and exits (2008).
  • JR East: 73,612 daily entries (2007).
Before construction began, the station was initially a side-platform station with two tracks. The side platforms have been converted to island platforms and tracks placed on the outside. Currently, only the new track in the inbound direction (eastbound towards Shibuya) is complete, with work continuing on the new outbound track.



Source: Wikipedia
Facing east towards Shibuya, April 2008. The second outbound track is not yet complete.


Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkfo3snCahw&fmt=18 Source: shin1000gatakeikyuu on YouTube
A Tōbu 30000 series train departs Mizonokuchi, bound for Kiyosumi – Shirakawa on the Hanzōmon Line, October 2008. On the other side of the fence closest to us is Platform 2, and beyond the next fence is the new outbound track.


Kajigaya Yard
Construction start: February 2005
Construction end: March 2008

A new small-capacity yard was constructed for the Ōimachi Line at the south end of Kajigaya Station on the Den’en Toshi Line, with capacity to accommodate four six-car trains.



Source: Wikipedia
A view of the yard, with a 6000 series train in storage. In the distance is Kajigaya Station, which accommodates four tracks to allow express trains to pass local trains on the Den’en Toshi Line.


image hosted on flickr

Source: karitsu on Flickr
A view of Kajigaya Station station undergoing improvements, January 2007. This view shows the recently installed canopy on the station platforms.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:19 AM   #144
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Tōkyū Den’en Toshi Line quadruple-tracking and Ōimachi Line extension: Futako Tamagawa – Mizonokuchi
Part 4: Ōimachi Line Express Service


The Ōimachi Line began express service March 28, 2008. To coincide with the opening of the new service, Tōkyū introduced the new 6000 series for exclusive use on the express services. The series is based on the 5000 series already in use on the Den’en Toshi Line, Tōyoko Line, and Meguro Line. So far 6 trains, six cars each, have been produced “in house” by Tōkyū Car Company.



Source: Wikipedia
Orange is the semi-standard color used to identify the Ōimachi Line. The arrow livery on the sides of the car emphasizes the line is a bypass route, connecting all the primary heavy rail lines in Tōkyū’s network.



Source: Wikipedia
The interior uses orange seats.



Source: Wikipedia
The priority seating area is emphasized by orange standee straps and large orange stickers telling passengers to turn off their mobile phones. Two 15-in. LCD displays are provided above each of the 8 doors in each car.



Source: Tōkyū
Designated wheelchair areas are located in Car No. 2 and Car No. 5.


Express trains make stops at the following stations:
  • Ōimachi: Keihin-Tōhoku Line, Rinkai Line (through to Saikyō Line)
  • Hatanodai: Ikegami Line
  • Ōokayama: Meguro Line (through to Mita Line and Namboku Line)
  • Jiyūgaoka: Tōyoko Line (through to Minatomirai Line, Hibiya Line)
  • Futako Tamagawa: Den’en Toshi Line (through to Hanzōmon Line, Tōbu Isesaki Line / Nikkō Line)

Both express and local trains will make use of the new extension to Mizonokuchi, but express services will not make intermediate stops at Futako Shinchi or Takatsu. For service to these stations, Tōkyū will run two different Ōimachi Line local services:
  • Local trains marked with green signs will run local on the Ōimachi Line but will run express on the Den’en Toshi Line—i.e., skip Futako Shinchi and Takatsu.
  • Local trains marked with blue signs will run local on the Ōimachi Line and local on the Den’en Toshi Line.


Source: Tōkyū


Service on the extension to Mizonokuchi will begin July 11, 2009. As part of implementing the new service, Tōkyū will carry out two major schedule changes:
  • June 6, 2009: Changes to the Den’en Toshi Line, Tōyoko Line, and Meguro Line, as well as corresponding changes to through-service lines on the Tōkyō Metro and Tōbu networks
  • July 11, 2009: Extension of the Ōimachi Line
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Old May 25th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #145
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wow quashlo, you really outdid yourself. these are some amazing, detailed posts. thank you so much! i think i have to read through them a few times to make sure it take it all in.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city_thing View Post
I wish I was Japanese.
Amen. The breadth of this primarily rail-based transportation system is immense. Keep up the good work
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:26 AM   #147
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wow so many interesting projects i thought that japan wasn't doing much but i am suprised its alot of construction and planning going on wow.

japan keep it up wow this is so Supa!!!!!!!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #148
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Wireless Internet makes headway on buses, trains
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...1443012-n1.htm

Quote:
Following in the footsteps of railways, bus companies have begun outfitting their vehicles with wireless Internet services. As a result of developments in communications technology, it’s now possible to communicate wirelessly while on the move. It’s likely the technology will see further use in public transport as companies compete to capture customers by providing transit-related information and expanding the service.

Keihin Express Bus teamed with Wire & Wireless (HQ: Minato Ward, Tōkyō) and in June will begin offering wireless broadband connections on all 182 of its vehicles on its routes, including those to Haneda Airport. The service uses a communications standard that works for notebook computers and handheld video game consoles. The company says it plans to create a special portal site and begin providing local information about destinations. “Foreign passengers will find the service useful in gathering tourist information,” says the company.

Airport Transport Service plans to do a full rollout of a similar system this August on all 350 of its express coaches serving Narita and Haneda Airports.

Wireless communications service is expanding into railways as well. Starting in March, JR Central began offering a wireless Internet connection service on N700 trains on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen. While Metropolitan Intercity Railway’s Tsukuba Express, linking Akihabara in Tōkyō with Tsukuba City, began offering similar service back in 2006, JR Central says its service is the first application on high-speed rail in Japan. The service is made possible through a wireless network provided inside the train, which then interfaces via trackside cables to Internet connection equipment located outside the train. The connection maintains at least 2Mbps (more than sufficient for sending and receiving email) and can be used even when the train runs at high speed.

In addition, the wireless connection service provided in waiting rooms at Tōkyō Station and the five other stations where Nozomi trains stop has been expanded to all seventeen stations on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #149
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Tsukuba Express ridership reaches 270,000 daily
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/chi...OYT8T01144.htm

Quote:
Daily ridership on the Tsukuba Express (TX) linking Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture with Akihabara in Tōkyō has surpassed the goal of 270,000 passengers set when the line first opened. According to the operator, Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company, the line recorded 275,000 passengers daily in April. The target ridership of 270,000 passengers a day was a prerequisite for considering the proposed extension to Tōkyō Station. “Ridership has been growing well, and this should help speed up the Tōkyō extension,” say representatives from Kashiwa City and Nagareyama City, along the TX.

The TX opened on August 24, 2005. According to the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company, average ridership during the first year was 157,000 daily. Afterwards, ridership increased, reaching 1.79 times first-year ridership this April. Ridership is growing particularly strong in Ibaraki Prefecture, where total ridership for the five stations in Kashiwa City and Nagareyama City had reached 72,000, double the 35,400 during the first year after the line opened.

Notable ridership increases were observed at Nagareyama – Ōtaka no Mori and Kashiwa no Ha Campus Stations, which had large-scale retail centers open immediately outside, as well as at Minami-Nagareyama Station, the transfer station for the JR Musashino Line. Residential development along the TX is also proceeding, with Nagareyama City’s population increasing to 160,000 this April, up from approximately 152,000 when the line first opened.

Initially, Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company had been planning to break even in 20 years and completely pay off all debts in 40 years. They had initially set a daily ridership goal of 270,000 for five years after opening (2010), but since ridership is expected to continue to increase, they expect to reach their target one year earlier.

Kashiwa City and Nagareyama City, along with several other cities in Ibaraki Prefecture and along the line, have formally petitioned Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company to extend the line to Tōkyō Station. “Hopefully this is a turning point… I’d like to see us begin serious study of the Tōkyō extension as quickly as possible and finally realize the project,” says Izaki Yoshiharu, Mayor of Nagareyama City. On May 25, Mayor Izaki and Mayor Honda Akira of Kashiwa City formally requested the national government’s assistance in extending the TX to Tōkyō.


Nagareyama – Ōtaka no Mori Station
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:30 AM   #150
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Editorial: JR East needs better incident prevention
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/dis...0802000-n1.htm

A stinging critique of JR East…

Quote:
Internal factors number one / Inability to cope with unexpected situations

JR East has been suffering frequent mishaps due to internal factors, including an incident involving equipment failure May 7 on the Yokosuka Line that affected approximately 360,000 passengers. Despite the fact that the company must report to the national government, JR East’s incident rate for 2007 was more than 11 times the average among the major private railways. JR East is currently working on countermeasures for the Tōkyō area expected to result in substantial benefits, but it’s clear that much more work needs to be done.

More than 11 times the rate among major private railways

In the most recent record of railway transport incidents compiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) for 2007, JR East was tops among railway companies in major metropolitan areas for incidents resulting from “internal factors” (staff, equipment, facilities), together with JR West. JR East recorded a total of 388 incidents relating to internal factors—a third of the incidents on all non-Shinkansen lines—and an average rate that comes out to greater than one incident a day. The incident rate was 1.70 per million train-kilometers, over 11 times the average rate of 0.15 incidents per million train-kilometers among the 15 major private railways. Between 2001 and 2006, JR East had incident rates six to eight times those of the private railways.

According to the Office of the Safety Administrator in the MLIT’s Railway Bureau, “While JR East, together with JR West, has many incidents caused by internal factors, we don’t analyze why the incident rate is high or give them instruction bsed on that… We usually tell them what to do on a case-by-case basis,” says the MLIT.

The numbers are only an indication of incidents of suspended service or delays greater than 30 minutes, which must be reported to the MLIT. If delays under 30 minutes are included, the numbers would increase further, but according to JR East, “We don’t keep track of incidents that do not meet the criteria for reporting. If equipment failure is the cause of the incident, our equipment strategy is to deal with each instance individually” (Railway Operations Department, Secure Transport Group).

”Can’t happen” mentality

In its Greater Tōkyō Incident Prevention Project, which it established in 2006 following a series of large-scale mishaps, JR East has been improving equipment and facilities. “The 443 incidents on non-Shinkansen lines due to internal factors in 2006 was reduced to 388 incidents in 2007, and we expect a further decrease in 2008,” says the company.

The recent equipment failure on the Yokosuka Line happened when the train’s emergency brakes couldn’t be released after the wiring was damaged and the auxiliary circuit didn’t kick in. “Normally, the wiring can’t be severed, but the wiring was installed such that it eventually wore away,” explains JR East’s public relations section.

In the transformer substation fire at Kokubunji Station on the Chūō Line in April 2008, which suspended service on the line for seven hours and affected 500,000 passengers, JR East says, “A railway crossing arm got out of alignment by 15 millimeters as a result of vibration, leaving a circuit gap which caused sparks to fly, setting off the fire. The arm isn’t supposed to get out of alignment, and during periodic maintenance checks immediately before the incident, we did not find anything wrong,” says JR.

“Past incidents help form the basis of our countermeasure strategy, but this has never happened before, so we weren’t able to prevent it”… With a “can’t happen” mentality and after-the-fact countermeasures, there’s no easy way to prevent accidents from occurring. In March, a fire at Sagamiko Substation, again on the Chūō Line, started after an electrical short that occurred while work was being done, leading to suspended service on a section of the line for two-and-a-half hours.

It’s critical to cover all your bases

While JR East boasts that it’s invested a total of ¥300 billion on its Greater Tōkyō Incident Prevention Project, the ratio of its railway operations revenue to its investment in safety-related infrastructure was 8.2 percent. The ratio is below most of the major private railways such as Keiō Electric Railway, Keihin Express Electric Railway (Keikyū), and Hankyū Railway, which didn’t have any incidents caused by internal factors.

Keikyū didn’t have any incidents caused by internal factors in 2002 or 2003. “We believe that thoroughly taking care of all the basics such as daily maintenance and training will lead to lower incident rates,” says their public relations head.

While the MLIT’s records for 2007 indicate only one incident for Keikyū, caused by external factors, the company’s own railway safety report records seven incidents total, including incidents caused by internal factors. “Even for delays too short to meet the national government’s reporting criteria, we have stricter internal criteria. If the incident meets the criteria, then we release it to the public,” says Keikyū. It’s a stark contrast to JR East.

“We must exercise discretion when trying to analyze the incident records,” says Takeuchi Kenzō, a professor of transport economics at Tōkyō Woman’s Christian University and a member of the MLIT’s Transport Policy Council. “But every year, passengers are demanding better and better service, meaning railway companies are being forced into tighter and tighter operations as a result of more complexity… As a result, cases where an incident at a single location causes wide-ranging impacts have increased. For example, JR East’s Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, which runs across several lines, is extremely popular with the public, but when you start operating long-distance commuter trains at high frequencies like this, incidents in Saitama Prefecture will also affect operations in Kanagawa Prefecture.”


Passengers are forced to exit a stalled Shōnan-Shinjuku Line train on the Yokosuka Line between Yokohama and Shin-Kawasaki and walk along the tracks.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #151
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Timelapse High Speed Tram in Hiroshima HD 720p
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMqX-9a73T8&fmt=18
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:13 PM   #152
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Very cool! Reminds me of this 20x video of a cab view on the Yamanote Line. The guy who made the video has also graciously uploaded a HD version on his site.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:24 PM   #153
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Ten years for Midōsuji Line platform gates
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/dis...2347011-n1.htm

Quote:
The Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau will begin studies this year as part of the installation of platform gates—designed to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks—on all 20 stations of the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line, which serves approximately 1.20 million passengers a day. There are many obstacles to overcome before the project is completed, including an estimated cost of ¥30 billion in the midst of a financial crisis. With a congested morning rush hour schedule where trains run every two minutes and narrow platforms, the technological and financial constraints are extremely tight. Calling the project a “long-term struggle,” the city has set a target operation date for 2019, but has admitted that the project “may take even longer” before completion.

When passengers are boarding and alighting, the platform gates will open together with the train’s doors using the electrical signaling system. When passengers aren’t boarding or alighting, the platform gates stay closed to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks or coming into contact with the train. In 2006, the Ōsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau installed platform gates on the Imazatosuji Line and will complete installation on the Nagahori – Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line in 2010. By 2014, the Transportation Bureau plans to have gates on the Sennichimae Line completed.

Accidents involving passengers falling onto the tracks or coming into contact with trains are a frequent occurrence on the Midōsuji Line platforms, leading city residents to demand stronger safety countermeasures for the moneymaker of the Municipal Subway network. Including suicides, the line recorded 27 incidents in 2008 and 21 incidents in 2007, with two fatalities in each year, leading the Transportation Bureau to allocate ¥62 million in this year’s budget to begin studies for platform gate installation, with a goal of “zero platform incidents.”

Even though passenger activity is heavy, the Transportation Bureau has so far delayed installation of platform gates on the Midōsuji Line due to numerous technological and financial issues that made the project more expensive than installations on other lines.

The installation of platform gates requires a higher level of driver accuracy in stopping trains and several additional seconds for doors to open and close compared to operations without platform gates. On the Midōsuji Line, where commuters swarm the platform during the weekday morning rush hour with trains arriving every two minutes, “the extra seconds required to open and close the doors will have a substantial impact. The platform gates will require introduction of a new control system in order to maintain operations and line capacity,” says a representative from the Transportation Bureau.

And while trains on the Sennichimae Line are only four cars, trains on the Midōsuji Line are more than twice the length (10 cars), meaning the platform gates must also be longer. The redesign of existing stock will also require further resources. To make matters worse, construction work is limited to the few hours after the last train (1am) and before the first train the next day (4am).

The Midōsuji Line opened in 1933 between Umeda and Shinsaibashi as Japan’s first publicly-operated subway, and as such, has narrow platforms in many places along the line. When designing platform gates for new lines, the platforms can be designed wide, but for the Midōsuji Line, stairwells on several stations must be narrowed in order to ensure sufficient walkway widths on the platform.

For visually-impaired passengers, however, train platforms are full of dangers, and the installation of platform gates is an earnest issue.

Mandokoro Akira, Director of the Ōsaka City Welfare Association for Visually-Impaired Persons, urges the installation to be completed as quickly as possible: “The Midōsuji Line is extremely crowded during the morning rush hour and there is a high risk of passengers falling onto the tracks. There are also cases where regular passengers suffer an attack of anemia and come into contact with the train or fall down. Platform gates are critical in bringing the accident rate to zero.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_g20q33Pg4&fmt=18 Source: naha478 on YouTube
7:00pm on the Midōsuji Line at Namba Station. The configuration here was converted to handle passenger flow, so now each direction of the line has its own dedicated platform.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rtiGLQZ2ds&fmt=18 Source: r0911966 on YouTube
Morning rush on the Midōsuji Line at Umeda Station. Thankfully, the platforms here are very wide, as it is the busiest station on the line, but other stations like Shinsaibashi and Yodoyabashi have fairly narrow platforms.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:26 PM   #154
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More pictures of E233-2000


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Lined up with E231, 203, and 207 series trains at Matsudo Car Center.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Emergency exit.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Only 1 LCD per door, but it’s 17” wide.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Wheelchair space, located in Car 2 and Car 9.


Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/
Driver’s cab.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:34 PM   #155
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JR Kawasaki Station East Exit to be redone
http://mytown.asahi.com/kanagawa/new...00000905300003

Quote:
On May 29, Kawasaki City revealed the proposed redesign of the JR Kawasaki Station East Exit Plaza. The redesign is aimed at improving passenger convenience by installing new elevators to increase accessibility and condensing the bus station. Together with construction for the east-west pedestrian bridge improvements, which has already been contracted out, the total estimated cost of the project is ¥5.799 billion. Completion is scheduled for March 2011.

In 1986, the city made improvements to the East Exit Plaza together with the opening of the underground arcade Azalea. While the latest series of improvements would reduce the number of stairwells between the underground arcade and the surface from 29 to 20, the project would add four new elevators and four escalators for a total of six elevators and 16 escalators. The bus station would mostly be condensed into two areas.

The project would also install a large canopy over the East Exit main stairwell to the underground arcade and a roof over the pedestrian route to Keikyū’s elevated structure. A new crosswalk would be installed at the end of the route, linking the station with the surrounding neighborhoods. The new station plaza would measure 30,900 sq. m., while the pedestrian route would be widened and the tiles converted to a grey color.

Source: Kawasaki City Urban Improvement Bureau
The elevated structure shown running diagonally is actually the Keikyū Main Line, which has a station just out of the view towards the east corner of the image. JR Kawasaki Station is the large complex at the top of the page.


Source: Kawasaki City Urban Improvement Bureau


Source: Kawasaki City Urban Improvement Bureau
Bus station.


Source: Kawasaki City Urban Improvement Bureau
Pedestrian route to Keikyū.


Source: Kawasaki City Urban Improvement Bureau


Source: Kawasaki City Urban Improvement Bureau
Existing East Exit.


Source: Kawasaki City Urban Improvement Bureau
Existing East Exit.


Source: Kawasaki City Urban Improvement Bureau
Main route between JR Kawasaki Station and Azalea.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:43 PM   #156
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Japan’s longest rail crossing closes
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/trend/...2334012-n1.htm

Quote:
The City Route 143 Railroad Crossing, located southeast of Haijima Station in Akishima City, Tōkyō and the longest railroad crossing in Japan, closed on May 31 following the last train of the evening. At a length of 130 m, the crossing was famous among railfans. While the last day in service was marked by heavy downpours, local residents and railfans came to bid farewell to a familiar landmark from the Shōwa Era.

The railroad crossing spreads across a total of 11 tracks including the Seibu Haijima Line and JR Hachikō Line and Ōme Line, as well as a siding for the U.S. Army’s Yokota Air Base. While the crossing is long, it is a mere 2.5 m wide and can only be used by bicyclists and pedestrians. It takes normal adults close to two minutes to cross.

Entering the crossing from the Seibu Line on the north side, the tracks fan out towards Haijima Station on the right. After the first series of tracks is a small area containing a warehouse and track maintenance vehicles nicknamed the “sandbar.” Beyond the Ōme Line tracks is a road leading to the shopping district outside the station.

According to the Akishima City Urban Improvement Department, which manages this City Route, the oldest record of the railroad crossing is a map from 1931. For residents of a neighborhood that has long been split north and south by the tracks, the railroad crossing has long been a vital shortcut linking the two areas.

But the no-man’s land inside the crossing arms has also been dangerous. Near the end of the Shōwa Era, a crossing accident left three people dead. Even now, there are three cases a week where train operators blow their horns when they sense possible danger. As a result, the city decided to close the railroad crossing after completion of the public passageway through Haijima Station.

In a hazy downpour on May 31, railfans and families with children, each for different reasons, gathered at the crossing one last time before it would close. Expecting congestion at the crossing, JR deployed special staff to warn pedestrians and bicyclists of oncoming trains.

Railfans climbed the stairs of nearby apartment buildings and took photos of the crossing from above. At the sandbar, a female caregiver in her 50s from Akishima City put her feelings for the crossing into folk song.

“It was dangerous at times, when the crossing bells would start ringing while you were still crossing, but it’s grown on all of us as a part of our daily lives. I’m sad to see it go,” says a 48yo housewife, also from Akishima City. “In middle school, I used this crossing everyday on the way to and from school. It was always exciting to pass by the sandbar and see some unusual special express train or cars headed for the wrecking yard,” recounts 16yo Fujino Yūki, a first-year student at the High School of Kōgakuin University in Kodaira City, as he took one picture after another from the sandbar.

Towards the shopping district end of the crossing, 5yo Takehara Yūto, a kindergarterner from Mizuhomachi waved his hand at a passing train. “Once a week, we used to cross here just to see the trains. It was fun when people inside the train would wave back.”

The crossing, beloved for many years by residents, closed on June 1 at 12:56a following the last train, bringing 80 years of history to a close.






Source: Wikipedia
Taken from the Seibu end of the crossing as a JR Hachikō Line train passes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT_cIRtiicg Source: KASHIWANANODA on YouTube
Crossing north to south. First an Ōme Line train towards Haijima, then an Ōme Line train towards Tachikawa, pass the crossing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-ZVhCyQ6no&fmt=18 Source: hsoka8 on YouTube
Crossing south to north. A Seibu Haijima Line train towards Seibu Shinjuku passes the crossing.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 12:00 AM   #157
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I was recently back in Japan and took quite a few pictures… This is off a point-and-shoot, so some of the quality may not be that great, but enjoy.
I have a lot of pictures, so I’m only posting the downsized images… Click on the picture to go to the Flickr page if you want a larger size.


After arriving at Kansai International Airport (KIX) and picking up my baggage, the train station is steps away.
Kansai Airport Station, served by Nankai Electric Railway (Airport Line) and JR West (Kansai Airport Line).

image hosted on flickr



After purchasing my tickets on the rapi:t, Nankai’s special express airport service, I head for the Nankai faregates. Outside of the picture to the left, the other half of the station is for JR.

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Nankai 1000 series on a local run bound for Namba, waiting at the platform.

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Platform 1 sign. The station has two island platforms (four platforms total), one each for Nankai and JR.

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Signage at major stations is generally moving towards four languages: Japanese, English, Korean, and Simplified Chinese.

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Another train arrives on the opposite platform as I wait to board my rapi:t.

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On board the train, stopped at Rinkū Town Station.

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On board the train, stopped at Kishiwada Station. A six-car sub express enters the station, bound for Wakayama-shi Station (trans. Wakayama City Station).

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My ticket costs 1,590 yen. Distance fare: 890 yen; special express fare: 500 yen; “super seat”: 200 yen.

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Arrival at Platform 9 of Nankai Namba Station, the terminal for the Nankai Main Line, looking back at the rapi:t. Namba Station is a major transfer station connecting Nankai Electric Railway, Ōsaka Municipal Subway, Hanshin Electric Railway, Kintetsu Corporation, and JR West trains, and is one of two key stations in Ōsaka proper’s urban rail network (the other is Ōsaka – Umeda Station).

image hosted on flickr



After check-in, I board an Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line train, bound for Senri Chūō Station (trans. Senri Central Station) on the Kita-Ōsaka Express Line. The line is actually owned by a subsidiary of Hankyū Corporation, but is effectively an extension of the Midōsuji Line as all trains run thru-service.

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Ōsaka Municipal Subway 10 series waiting at the platform. These units were introduced in 1973.

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Inside the train, waiting to depart. Many of the railway cars in Kansai still use rings for their standee straps instead of triangles or semi-circles.

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The little bit of empty space next to each door is welcome for standing passengers.

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I get off the Midōsuji Line at Umeda Station, part of the Ōsaka – Umeda Station complex connecting JR West, Ōsaka Municipal Subway, Hanshin Electric Railway, and Hankyū Electric Railway. Construction of the new JR Ōsaka Station proceeds, taken from the southwest corner of the station area looking north. The new station will be completed in 2011.

image hosted on flickr



Another construction view, from the northeast corner of the existing Ōsaka Station, looking west.

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Hankyū Umeda Station, the terminal for Hankyū’s three main lines to Kyōto, Kōbe, and Takarazuka. There are a total of 9 tracks, each served by two platforms (one platform is for exiting the train, the other for boarding). Outside of JR, this is the largest station in Japan by number of platforms and tracks (this is considering each company as having its own station). The limited express from the Kyōto Line has just arrived at Platform 1 and discharged its passengers.

image hosted on flickr



Passengers disembarking from the Takarazuka Line express walk towards the station faregates.

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Needless to say, Hankyū is my favorite of the private railways in Kansai. The deep red-brown livery (“Hankyū maroon”) has been in use since the company began and is a de facto trademark, along with the silver window and door frames.

image hosted on flickr



A 9300 series train on a Kawaramachi-bound limited express run on the Kyōto Line. This series was manufactured by Hitachi and entered service in 2003.

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Every ten minutes, a rapid service train on each of the three main lines departs Hankyū Umeda Station. The schedule is such that this happens at the same time for all lines, so that three trains depart the station at the same time. In between, various local service trains depart.
At foremost right: the Kyōto Line limited express for Kawaramachi.
At middle: the Takarazuka Line express for Takarazuka.
At left: the Kōbe Line limited express bound for Shinkaichi on the Kōbe Rapid Transit Railway.

image hosted on flickr



The view from the edge of Platform 1, looking north, after the trains have disappeared.

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The green seats and wood look of the interior is also a hallmark of Hankyū. It’s common to see transverse seating on Kansai area private railways, particularly on rapid services.

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On board the train. The JR Kyōto Line and Hankyū Kyōto Line run parallel to each other for a bit and then cross. This is a JR West 321 series train.

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Katsura Station on the Hankyū Kyōto Line.

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A view from the station platform, facing north, showing Katsura Yard, which adjoins the station. Katsura Yard is Hankyū’s largest yard and together with Shōjaku Yard, houses the Kyōto Line fleet.

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Katsura Yard, facing southwest.

image hosted on flickr



At Katsura, I transfer to an Arashiyama Line train bound for Hankyū Arashiyama Station. I take one last shot of the yard, here showing a 9300 series train. The yard itself isn’t very large and is surrounded by houses (this stretch of the Hankyū Kyōto Line is bounded by houses on the west and a local road on the east).

image hosted on flickr



After a short five minutes on the Arashiyama Line, I arrive at the terminus, Hankyū Arashiyama. This is the view facing southeast, showing the single track. Separate platforms are provided at stations to allow trains in opposite directions to pass.

image hosted on flickr



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My train, a set of refurbished 6300 series units, waits at the platform before heading back to Katsura Station. These units entered service in between 1975 and 1978 and held down express runs on the Kyōto Line. While some sets continue to run on the Kyōto Line, a small fraction were refurbished starting last year to replace 2300 series units on the Arashiyama Line and entered service in April of this year.

image hosted on flickr



image hosted on flickr



The view of the station building and “plaza.” Arashiyama is a popular destination among both tourists and locals looking to go on a day trip, thanks to beautiful scenery and numerous temples and shrines.

image hosted on flickr



I have more to come from both Kansai and Tōkyō area, so be on the lookout.

Last edited by quashlo; June 13th, 2009 at 08:11 PM.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 12:54 AM   #158
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wow these are very high quality pictures even though you say there aren't but they still look like they are.

these kind of joruney's to me is very romantic the idea of traveling to different railways of different companies like for example JR and private railways.

man japan really makes the railways very important in there lives wish it was here in the USA but it seems americans have a different thinking.

nice pictures by the way.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 02:08 AM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Japan’s longest rail crossing closes
Could a crossing like that be replaced with a footbridge?
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Old June 1st, 2009, 01:32 PM   #160
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I guess so. The fact of the matter is that even that isn't necessary: the article states that the crossing's function has been taken over by a public passageway through Haijima station.

@ quashlo: beautiful pictures! Keep 'em coming!
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