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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #1801
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Chūō Line grade-separation construction update (Part 3)

Final part covers Higashi-Koganei and Musashi Sakai Stations.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Approaching Higashi-Koganei. Sound wall on the left ends here, while the rest is still being worked on, probably because of conflict with the ground-level infrastructure. However, we already see scaffolding set up at the edge of the structure, so perhaps they will begin constructing the rest of the wall soon.



More scaffolding being set up for construction of the wall and the side columns holding up the platform canopy.



At the east end of the station, the columns are already installed and connected.



On this end as well, the sound wall is unfinished.



Skipping ahead to Musashi Sakai Station, which is a bit of a special design. The left half is the JR half, the right half is the Seibu half, with a single track connection running between the two. The work on the Chūō Line here is almost done. They are removing the ground-level facilities and finishing up the inbound platform and station, but everything else is done.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #1802
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Keisei, NRA, JRTT awarded Japanese Railway Award for Narita Sky Access
http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/kouhou/news/22-067.pdf

Quote:
The Narita Sky Access, which opened on July 17 of this year, has been selected for the Ninth Japanese Railway Awards.

The Japanese Railway Awards are awarded by the Japanese Railway Awards Selection Committee to railway companies and groups that have made achievements in railway development or improvements in passenger convenience, including providing new railway service that sets precedents, developing new technologies, or working together with local communities.

Our selection for the Ninth Japanese Railway Awards is a joint award with Narita Rapid Rail Access Co., Ltd. and the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (an Independent Administrative Corporation), which constructed the new section of track (Imba Nihon Idai — Airport Terminal 2). The Selection Committee recognized our efforts in "bringing Narita Airport closer by reducing travel time between central Tōkyō and Narita Airport to 36 minutes; implementing operations with a 160 kph top speed through the new Skyliner; working with stakeholders and opening the line in a short timespan of only four years and a few months after groundbreaking; as well as substantial reductions in construction cost and environmental conservation efforts in the protection of rare bird species." This is the first time Keisei Electric Railway has been awarded a Japanese Railway Award.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #1803
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New Skyliner wins Good Design Award
http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/kouhou/news/22-066b.pdf

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On Wednesday, September 29, the new Skyliner (AE series) designed and manufactured by Keisei Electric Railway, Nippon Sharyō, Tōkyū Car Company, and Kansai Super Studio received a Good Design Award.

In this latest award, the new Skyliner's "sharp, swift-looking exterior and high-quality, comfortable interior space" were highly praised, making the train Keisei Electric Railway's first to receive a Good Design Award.

The new Skyliner (AE series) trains debuted on Saturday, July 17 of this year together with the opening of the Narita Sky Access, operating at a top speed of 160 kph—the fastest in Japan for conventional train lines—and connecting central Tōkyō (Nippori) and Narita Airport (Airport Terminal 2) in as little as 36 minutes.

The new trains' design is the work of globally-recognized designer-producer Yamamoto Kansai, and with design concepts of "wind" and "elegance," features a swift-looking exterior and pleasant interior space.

In celebration of this award, from Wednesday, September 29 to Sunday, October 31, we will place Good Design Award "G Marks" on all eight sets of the new Skyliner (AE series).
Nicely-edited 30-minute overview and abridged travelogue on the New Skyliner:
Lots of little information and tidbits (if you can read the Japanese)... Otherwise, you can still enjoy the sights and sounds.


Source: mkurashina on YouTube
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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #1804
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Hokusō Line photo updates: After the Sky Access (Part 1)

A recent look (2010.08.22) at a couple of major stations on the Hokusō Line after the opening of the Narita Sky Access. Unlike some of the other stations that received major changes (both hard infrastructure and soft improvements), it appears the Hokusō Line stations have remained largely the same. The other interesting tidbit is that Keisei bills this as part of the Narita Sky Access Line, even though most of the infrastructure is owned by Hokusō Railway (the sections from Komuro to Inba Nihon Idai are actually owned by Chiba New Town Railway, and Hokusō Railway just pays track usage fees; everything else is owned by Hokusō). So the treatment of the Hokusō Line vs. the Narita Sky Access for passenger information is important at these stations.

First, a quick set at Shin-Kamagaya Station, the hub of Kamagaya City and interchange for the Shin-Keisei Line and Tōbu Noda Line.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Faregate entrance. On the left, separated by barrier, is the Shin-Keisei Line. On the overhead sign, they've added a small paper sign showing the Narita Sky Access. Given the importance of the Narita Sky Access, particularly the Access limited express trains, from a customer standpoint it probably makes more sense to have the Hokusō Line side-by-side with the Sky Access... Perhaps they will redo the signage when the time comes for station renovation.



Fare table. Here, the Hokusō Line and Sky Access are given the same "weight" and treatment. In addition to the Sky Access, there's a couple of detour routes to reach Narita Airport, including backtracking to Keisei Takasago and catching a Keisei Main Line train to the airport. The other option is via the Shin-Keisei Line to Keisei Tsudanuma and a transfer to the Keisei Main Line there, but the fares for this option aren't shown in the table, perhaps to avoid confusion. The sign directs these people to just buy a ticket to Keisei Tsudanuma and then pay the additional fare at their final destination. In any case, most people are expected to take the direct route via the Sky Access unless there is some sort of service disruption.



These banners advertise the new Sky Access (as opposed to the new Skyliner). The new Skyliner skips all of the Hokusō Line stops, so for residents along the line, it's the new Access limited expresses that matter the most. Perhaps they will look at improving train frequencies in the future if everything goes well.



Three-row LED departure board. Locals are on an approx. 20-minute cycle and Access limited expresses on a 40-minute cycle, so the latter will always show up on a three-row board.



Schedule change notice for the Sky Access opening.



New schedules for the Takasaga, Keisei Ueno, and Oshiage directions. These are basically Keisei-style schedules.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:04 AM   #1805
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Hokusō Line photo updates: After the Sky Access (Part 2)

Next is Higashi-Matsudo Station, a transfer station with the Musashino Line.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Paper signs have been added to the overhead signs advertising the Sky Access and service to Narita and Haneda Airports. Pretty much the same treatment as at Shin-Kamagaya.



Fare table. Like at Shin-Kamagaya, only fares for the Sky Access route and the Keisei Takasago detour are shown. For the Shin-Keisei route, passengers are advised to purchase a ticket to Keisei Tsudanuma and then pay the extra fare at the destination station.



Ticket machines. The paper sign plastered above: "A limited express ticket is not required for the Access limited express." The name of the new service is a bit ambiguous, as tokkyū (limited express) trains throughout Japan generally require extra fare.



Closeup of the screen. These are a bit unusual, as you actually need to select the route you want to take first... Usually, you just get to pick the loaded value of the ticket, which you determine by looking at the fare table. Naturally, the Hokusō Line / Narita Sky Access are at the top of the list, but also included in the list are the Keisei network (orange), the Toei Subway network (yellow), Keikyū network (blue), and Shin-Keisei Line (green). This must be one of the more complicated TVMs I've seen in Japan.



Three-row LED departure boards inside the concourse.



Exterior of Higashi-Matsudo Station. No changes here since the opening of the Sky Access. The large block text near the top of the building advertises journey times to Ōtemachi (via the Keisei Line and Hanzōmon Line), likely an effort to attract people to move in along the line. Residential influx along the Hokusō Line hasn't been proceeding as quickly as projected, probably because the fares are so high and the overall frequencies not so great. Perhaps they will put up a large sign advertising time to Narita Airport (some residential developments along the Hokusō Line are already using that as a sales pitch).



Message inside the JR Musashino Line portion of the station telling passengers to board Sky Access trains on the Hokusō Line platform. This situation will probably continue until they finally decide to do a major signage overhaul along the Hokusō Line and give "equal treatment" to the Narita Sky Access.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #1806
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JR Nambu Line grade-separation construction update (Part 1)

Some pics of this oft-forgotten project to fully grade-separate the Nambu Line around Inagi Naganuma Station. These are from 2010.09.16.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Between Yanokuchi and Inagi Naganuma. Yanokuchi Station itself is already elevated, but beyond that, the line drops back down to ground level. The tracks have already been shifted to temporary tracks (at right), and the next big change will be when the outbound track (bound for Tachikawa) is shifted to the elevated track.



As we dive down to ground level on the temporary approach, to the left is the permanent elevated structure. It doesn't look new because it isn't... They used the former approach to ground level and jacked it up, reinforcing the columns beneath. Perhaps when they were elevating Yanokuchi, they designed it to be reused in this way for the elevation to Inagi Naganuma and beyond.



At ground level on temporary tracks, the elevated structure up ahead looks largely finished. Immediately to our left, it appears they are still working on the columns.



Approaching Inagi Naganuma. The overhead mast on the left is a "unique" design that speaks to the space constraints of these types of projects, even in this less densely-populated area of Greater Tōkyō.



Looks like the elevated Inagi Naganuma Station still has a bit of work to go. They'll probably elevate one track at a time, starting with the outbound track.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #1807
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JR Nambu Line grade-separation construction update (Part 2)

Part 2:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

At the west end of Inagi Naganuma Station closer to Minami-Tama, they've got some pretty high protective fencing up as they construct the aerial structure behind.



Looks like there's still some major gaps in the structure that haven't been completed yet, while other parts appear further along. The parts near stations appear to be further along, perhaps because these sections take longer and are on the critical path. The siding to the right is for trains turning back at Inagi Naganuma (there are a handful of these, concentrated in the morning and evening peak periods).



Right about midway between Inagi Naganuma and Minami-Tama. Through gaps in the fencing, we can see they are still working on the columns in this section.



Entering Minami-Tama Station, This station will also be elevated.



The new structure looks like it's sloping down, but it's really more of just the ground sloping up to meet with it. From here, the new structure will reconnect with the existing ground-level tracks.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #1808
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Tōkyū Den'en Toshi Line station photo updates (Part 1)

Just a few pictures (2010.09.16) from Futako Shinchi Station and Takatsu Station on the Tōkyū Den'en Toshi Line (and now, after the opening of the extension last year, the Ōimachi Line). Barrier-free improvements including installation of escalators, elevators, and new ticketing entrances were completed at both stations in conjunction with the quadruple-tracking to extend the Ōimachi Line.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

First up is Futako Shinchi Station, with daily entries and exits of 19,000 passengers. The East Exit faregate array has four gates total, one of which is a wide-type.



At the opposite end of the station, the West Exit has three gates total, one of which is a wide-type. The is the new exit, opened last year.



Two double-width escalators side-by-side serving the inbound platform (for Shibuya and Ōimachi). Perhaps because of space constraints or to streamline passenger flow at the mouth of the escalators, the stairwell actually turns 90 degrees before reaching the bottom.



New elevator to the outbound platform. They actually punched through this part of the building exterior for construction of the elevator.



Now moving to Takatsu Station...
The West Exit has four faregates in two arrays of two due to the structural column. This exit was originally the only one at the station.



New East Exit opened last year, consisting of three gates total, one a wide-type.



The new escalators to / from the inbound platform are single-width only. Due to space constraints (notice the proximity of the building exterior to the roadway outside, plus the structural columns), they weren't able to put a stairwell here, instead placing it on the Mizonokuchi side of the station. In fact the inbound platform is quite narrow, so all the vertical circulation (escalators, elevator, stairwell) is aligned in a straight line. I quite like the wood here, which adds a bit of warmth and color... They should think about this at other stations.



A little more room to work with on the outbound platform, which places the elevator side-by-side with the escalators.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #1809
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Tōkyū Den'en Toshi Line station photo updates (Part 2)

Next up is a look at the new elevated pedestrian connection between Mizonokuchi Station on the Den'en Toshi Line and Musashi Mizonokuchi Station on the JR Nambu Line.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Apparently, the new connection was completed in December 2009. Up until now, there was one easy connection between the two adjacent stations, via the large pedestrian deck at the East Exit. Using the South Exit required passengers to go back down to street level and walk along a typical narrow, "barely fits two cars side-by-side" local road. The new connection is completely elevated and canopied, making it much easier to transfer via the South Exit.

This is the view upon exiting Mizonokuchi Station. Tōkyū's ticketing entrance is on the second level, but JR's is on the third, so the connection also has a short flight of stairs. The new elevator allows access to both the second and third levels, as well as the ground level, which houses the bus platforms.



Going up the stairs takes us to the third level. JR Musashi Mizonokuchi Station is straight ahead. This is a major transfer station between the Tōkyū network and the JR Nambu Line. Tōkyū sees about 180,500 daily entries and exits, while JR sees 74,200 daily entries. The width of the platform here should be adequate to deal with the surge of interchanging passengers. Also ahead are the escalators (previously, passengers needed to walk up a fairly long flight of stairs to the third-floor JR concourse). The new elevated walkway wraps around both the the new elevator and escalators to connect to the JR station. The canopy is also a welcome amenity during the rainy season and is placed directly above the yellow guidance tiles.



The new escalators and stairwell to ground level.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #1810
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Nakano Ward holds workshops on Seibu Shinjuku Line undergrounding
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/to...902000072.html

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Nakano Ward revealed plans to underground the Nakai (Shinjuku Ward) — Nogata (Nakano Ward) section of the Seibu Shinjuku Line, where roadway congestion due to grade crossings that rarely open has become a major concern. The plan encompasses approx. 2.4 km of track within Nakano Ward, which held informational workshops on the master plan for the project on the evenings of October 6 and October 7. If all the formalities proceed without a hitch, land acquisition and construction would begin in FY2012, with completion scheduled for FY2020.

According to Nakano Ward, there are 20 grade crossings on the Seibu network inside Nakano Ward, 18 of which remain closed for a cumulative total of 40 minutes or more during the morning and evening rush hours. In 2003, the Association of Nakano Ward Neighborhood Councils gathered signatures from close to 70,000 citizens and submitted a petition to the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government to underground the line.

According to the plan, undergrounding of the line would eliminate seven grade crossings, including the grade crossing with severely-congested Nakano-dōri. In addition, the plan also calls for shifting the platforms at Arai Yakushimae station northward, smoothing out the curves at the station. The estimated cost of the project, including land acquisition costs, is approx. ¥67 billion, and with funding support from the national government, would be covered by the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government, Nakano Ward, and Seibu Railway.

The Tōkyō Metropolitan Government hopes to receive a decision on the project's master plan in the Urban Planning Committee sometime next fiscal year, with project approval and groundbreaking in FY2012. Land acquisition and construction is expected to take approx. eight years.

Meanwhile, in order to take advantage of the undergrounding as a means of revitalizing local neighborhoods, Nakano Ward will implement improvements to areas around stations in parallel, and is considering ways to make accessing the stations more convenient. At Arai Yakushimae Station and Numabukuro Station, both within the scope of the project, Nakano Ward would construct station plazas with boarding zones for buses and taxis. On roads connected to the two stations, street width would be widened and utility lines would be undergrounded. A new north-south road would be constructed on the east side of Arai Yakushimae Station.

The informational workshops for the undergrounding project were held at Kami-Takada Elementary School and Numabukuro Elementary School, and a total of approx. 600 citizens participated. In addition to hopes that the project would "break ground soon and quickly resolve traffic congestion," several citizens also asked questions concerning the upcoming schedule for the project.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #1811
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Seibu Ikebukuro Line construction updates: Part 1

Now, some updates on the ongoign construction along the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.

First up is Hōya Station, where the track layout and platform configuration are getting a major overhaul in preparation for the start of through-service between the Tōkyō Metro Fukutoshin Line and Tōkyū Tōyoko Line. These were taken 2010.09.09. First, a look at the work outside of the station itself:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Between Hibarigaoka and Hōya. The switch here had been removed as part of the track switchout (which is why the inbound track makes a wide swing out to the left), but they replaced it, in exactly the same place as before.



Previously, there was only one siding here in between the inbound and outbound track, but with the new inbound track shift outwards, they've made room for another track. On the right, the outbound track already has one half of a new switch which will connect to both of the sidings in the middle. Doesn't look like they will be adding a switch on this end with the new inbound track—but they've already got the single crossover in the first picture, although that forces trains to use the outbound track.



On the immediate right is the old inbound track... I suppose they will replace this with all-new track and convert this into the second siding. On the left, the layout of the storage tracks has been streamlined and is now much simpler than before.



Approaching Hōya Station, where they are doing some major track and platform reconfiguration. This track, part of a former double crossover, remains for use by trains, as there are services that turn back at Hōya and head back towards Nerima and Ikebukuro.



On the right side of the new inbound track, protective fencing is in place to protect workers as they start the overhaul of the former inbound platform, which will be converted to a third platform in the middle. The single crossover from the new inbound track to the old inbound track which used to be here has been removed.



The grade crossing immediately west of the station feels a bit more manageable now, thanks to removal of the huge track fanout leading to the storage yard. They repaved the surface and added some simple barriers on both sides. They have yet to actually move the crossing equipment though, so it seems this is not yet the permanent configuration.



The old storage tracks have been completely removed, but they've got stacks of track and ties ready to be laid. The overhead gantries remain untouched as of now, but perhaps they will do some work on them coming up.



Walking along the grade crossing and looking west at the track layout...
They'll probably be doing some gradual changes while still maintaining existing switches where they need them to keep service running (e.g., outbound track to siding, siding to new inbound track, etc.).

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #1812
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Seibu Ikebukuro Line construction updates: Part 2

Next a look at the inside of Hōya Station and the platforms, where there seems to have been quite a bit of change since the last update:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

The "shift" of the outbound platform is scheduled to open with the start of service on September 18. They've constructed about 50 m of new platform on the west end (in red) and will now open this portion, closing the other end of the platform (in yellow), which currently is insufficient to allow for access onto the inside platform. Looking at the diagram, they will be cutting into the platform a bit at the east end when they remove that end, providing enough clearance for trains entering the middle track.



Looking towards Ikebukuro. One half of the single-slip switch is already in place to connect to the middle track / platform. They have yet to add the switch from the outbound track to the middle track, but based on the location of the outbound platforms, perhaps that will come after this grade crossing. They'll probably start installation once they demolish the east end of the platform.



Looking at the platform extension. This is one week before opening, but the edge tiles and guidance tiles are in place. They just need to do the surfacing for the main part.



The east end of the outbound platform. Looking at the platform canopy gives us an idea where the dividing point is between what they're keeping and what they're going to demolish.



Looking from the new inbound platform at the former inbound platform (and future middle platform). They're doing what they can for the middle track, but until they get rid of the platform, they can't start work at that end.



Here, it appears they're curing the edge tiles on the middle platform, but likely because this isn't a critical path task, there's places they haven't gotten to yet.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #1813
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Seibu Ikebukuro Line construction updates: Part 3

Next up is Shakujii Kōen:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Approaching the switchout point on the west end, between Ōizumi Gakuen and Shakujii Kōen. The elevated outbound track is pretty much already in place and just waiting for the finishing touches before the switchout.



Temporary catenary masts on the elevated outbound track are in place, but no catenary yet.



Ramping up the approach. The completed elevated outbound track ends here. Actually, this is only a temporary approach for the first phase of the project. In second phase, they will elevate the rest of the way up to Ōizumi Gakuen by removing the temporary ground-level outbound track and building the permanent viaduct in its place. The temporary approach will then be demolished and converted to a frontage road.



On the other side of the protective fence, they are still constructing the elevated structure. The inbound track is shifted outwards at this location, probably to hold future sidings. Seems likely that the temporary elevated outbound track could be converted to serve as a siding in the final configuration.



Approaching Shakujii Kōen, at least the half that's already elevated.



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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #1814
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Seibu Ikebukuro Line construction updates: Part 4

Now a closeup on the actual station work:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

With the elevation of the inbound tracks and platform, the ground-level inbound track and station facilities were removed, allowing them to build the elevated outbound tracks and platform. They've already got some of the outbound platform in place, at least at the west end. For the time being, there will only be one outbound track, with a side platform. They won't be able to complete the second outbound track until they remove the ground-level infrastructure.



From the center of the platform, looking at the base of the elevated outbound structure, mostly complete. On top of this goes the platform, the tracks, and all the station facilities.



Moving towards the east end, where they have a gantry crane to lift supplies and heavy equipment up to the new aerial structure.



Working in tight conditions to construct the elevated outbound track. Looks like a reinforced concrete box girder design. This is from the temporary ground-level outbound track.



Looking at the ground-level platform from the east. Easy to see from this that they can't build the fourth elevated track without removing this ground-level track first.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #1815
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Seibu Ikebukuro Line construction updates: Part 5

Now a look at what's going on on the east end:
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

No real changes here, but the outbound half of the aerial structure is peeking in from the right. The fencing on the right is only low-height since they aren't building very high, just the aerial structure and the trackbed, up to the same level we're currently at. They've anchored the fence quite close to the inbound track, probably to preserve as much space to work with as possible. The overhead masts on the right have connections to join up the other half for the outbound tracks.



Passing the double crossover... The completed portion of the second inbound track ends here.



Work proceeding on the second inbound track as we begin to ramp down a bit.



With completion of the removal of the former inbound track, work is proceeding on the second inbound track. Closer to Nerima Takanodai Station, though, the existing track siding has been temporarily connected to the second inbound track to meet existing service needs, as there are some trains that turn back at Nerima Takanodai.



You can see where the siding was split and temporarily reconnected to the second inbound track. With the new siding to be built at Shakujii Kōen, perhaps they may just use that instead and remove this one completely when everything's complete. In any event, they won't have to move this one until they want to begin building the inner two tracks to complete the quadruple-track section.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #1816
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Tōkyō Monorail and Keikyū battle for new International Terminal demand
http://www.asahi.com/travel/rail/new...010190115.html

Quote:
Tōkyō Monorail and Keihin Electric Express Railway (Keikyū) are battling over which is more convenient for accessing the new International Terminal opening October 21 at Haneda Airport (Ōta Ward, Tōkyō). From both railway's terminals, the journey times are the same: as little as 13 minutes. The competition to capture foreign tourists, forecasted to reach approx. 7,000,000 annually with the formal start of international flights at Haneda, is only getting more intense.

The Monorail's International Terminal Station at the new International Terminal is directly connected to the third-floor departures lobby and it takes less than a minute to reach the check-in counters. Meanwhile, at Keikyū's International Terminal Station located underground, the railway installed seven high-capacity elevators (30 persons each), ensuring convenience for passengers.

From the Monorail's Hamamatsuchō Station (Minato Ward) or Keikyū's Shinagawa Station (Minato Ward), the journey to the International Terminal takes as little as 13 minutes on the fastest trains, some of the best airport to city center travel times for airport access railways anywhere in the world. As for daily ridership, Tōkyō Monorail is expecting approx. 8,500 passengers, while Keikyū is forecasting approx. 10,000, and both railways are competing to win passengers, hanging up posters in stations and other locations advertising the 13-minute travel time.

Tōkyō Monorail was the first to begin serving Haneda Airport, opening in September 1964 to carry visitors from overseas during the Tōkyō Olympics. Ridership has been increasing steadily, reaching a high of approx. 65 million in FY1997, but after Keikyū began serving the airport in 1998, the figure has dropped by over 10 million passengers.

JR East, which made the Monorail a group company in 2002, fought back by having rapid trains on the Keihin-Tōhoku Line stop at Hamamatsuchō. But according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), ridership on Keikyū beat out ridership on the Tōkyō Monorail in 2008.

Keikyū interlines with the Toei Asakusa Line and Keisei Line, covering an east-west network across Greater Tōkyō. It's terminal at Shinagawa Station has also been selected by JR Central as the terminus for the Chūō Shinkansen maglev scheduled to open in 2027, and many in the MLIT and the railway industry believe that Keikyū has already won the battle.

As a result, Tōkyō Monorail and JR East have been investigating an extension to Shimbashi as their "ace up the sleeve." In fact, before it first opened the Tōkyō Monorail obtained a concession to operate all the way to Shimbashi. If realized, the Monorail would be able to connect with 7 JR and subway lines at Shimbashi.

But Monorail executive director Hanabusa Kiichi says, "It's not that simple." The alignment for the extension must avoid the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, JR's non-Shinkansen lines, and office buildings, and Hanabusa admits, "It would be a difficult project if there weren't some major redevelopment involved." As a result, for the time being, the railway will fight back with improvements to Hamamatsuchō Station.

Meanwhile, Keikyū overcame local opposition in May and introduced an Airport limited express service that skips Keikyū Kamata Station (Ōta Ward), where previously all trains stopped. With non-stop service direct from Shinagawa Station, the railway was able to secure the 13-minute journey time.

Sections of the current Keikyū Airport Line opened in 1902. However, service was suspended under orders from the Allied Forces after the war, and after other events, service to Haneda Airport was only finally realized in 1998. At the time, Keikyū estimated the future location of the new International Terminal and strengthened the tunnel structure with the target of joining Haneda and Narita Airports in about one hour. As a result, construction of the new station also went smoothly.

Currently, the Monorail and Keikyū each take about 30 percent of the the mode share to Haneda Airport, with the remainder split between coach buses, private vehicles, and taxis.

Starting October 31, regular-service international flights will make their start at Haneda one after another, and the airport will become a true 24-hour airport. But during the downtime for JR's non-Shinkansen lines, neither Keikyū nor Tōkyō Monorail will be running trains. As a result, coach bus companies will inaugurate late night and early morning services. Airport Transport Service Co., Ltd. is launching several efforts to capture passengers, including establishing new routes connecting to hotels in Roppongi and Shiodome.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #1817
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New stations open at Haneda Airport International Terminal: Part 1

Unfortunately, my usual blog sources are a little silent on the news (probably still a little early), but I'll post some what I have for now and maybe come back later when they finally get around to covering the new stations.

First up is the Keikyū station (羽田空港国際線ターミナル駅):
Source: http://thankyou2200.blog.so-net.ne.jp/

Apparently, Keikyū's fare to the International Terminal is ¥40 cheaper than for the Domestic Terminal. In contrast, Tōkyō Monorail charges the same fare for all of its four stations at the airport (International Terminal, Shin-Seibijō, Domestic Terminal 1, and Domestic Terminal 2). Notice that the old Haneda Airport Station (羽田空港駅) has been renamed as Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal Station (羽田空港国内線ターミナル駅) to distinguish it from the new International Terminal Station. I don't think they changed any of the destination signs on the trains or on the departure boards, which still say "Haneda Airport". Honestly, this is probably better kept untouched.



Toei Asakusa Line through-service train stopped at the station.
The new station features two super-wide side platforms, both with waist-high platform doors. I'm not exactly sure, but my guess is that the doors at the ends are shifted in an extra foot or so to give the train operators and conductors some space to stand when conducting the visual checks before departure. Trains are anywhere from six- to eight-cars long, so the platform doors for Cars 1, 2, 7, and 8 probably need to be placed to handle all these situations.



The new station is KK 16. Time to exit...



Keikyū's special commemorative tickets in celebration of the new terminal and station. Approximately 5,000 were on sale throughout the Keikyū network (except Sengakuji), costing ¥1,100 a piece. The business scheme works twofold by getting people to visit the new station (paying the fare) and buy the commemorative ticket (a collector's item). The sign at right says, "Please form one line," but this was fairly early in the morning on a Thursday, so not many railfans were up and about yet.



(Probably) airport or airline employees falling for the scheme (scam?)...



Baggage carts can be taken straight to / from platform level.



Plenty of people coming to visit the new terminal on Day 1...



Four high-capacity elevators are placed directly at the station exit to take passengers to the departures lobby.



Double-leaf doors and security cameras. They also didn't forget to make everything in shades of Keikyū's company color, blue.



Departure and arrival boards. Things will get more hectic when most of the airlines kick off their new services starting October 31.



In keeping with trends elsewhere in the Keikyū network, as well as the new International Terminal, all the signs are also provided in English, Simplified Chinese, and Korean, even this one for buying tickets to get to the Domestic Terminal. Not sure how much people will use this, though, since there is already a free bus that goes between the International Terminal and the other terminals. Then again, ¥130 is pretty much nothing.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:15 AM   #1818
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New stations open at Haneda Airport International Terminal: Part 2

In addition to the four high-capacity elevators, they have three parallel escalators (two up, one down).



Inside the new station, Keikyū also debuted some digital signage installations. These 42-inch screens in the escalator shaft are all showing JAL advertisements for their new red-eye flights departing from the new terminal starting at the end of the month (from left to right: Paris, San Francisco, Bangkok, and Singapore).





Second floor for the arrivals lobby. The right escalator continues all the way to the third-floor departure lobby.



The commemorative ticket package comes as a cleverly-designed passport and visa, and includes station entry tickets, train tickets, and official station stamps for both the International Terminal and Domestic Terminal stations.



And also for the railfan collection, official station entry and train tickets, fare receipts, and Keikyū promotional material. The two guys on the front of the Haneda Airport Access Guide are a popular comedy duo, Cream Stew (くりぃむしちゅ~), who serve as the official mascot characters for the railway. Apparently, they were also present at the opening ceremony for the new station.



On the return journey, leaving the airport:
Source: http://thankyou2200.blog.so-net.ne.jp/

This is the Tōkyō Monorail station.



Heading to the Keikyū station, a Monorail train passes up ahead.



We also pass by the coach bus terminal for direct service to points all around the Greater Tōkyō area:



Descending down to the inbound Keikyū platform to take us back to central Tōkyō:



The large map display at right that changes for each train arriving at the station is a nice touch. Service is fast and frequent, taking as little as 13 minutes to get to Shinagawa. Midday, there are 6 tph to central Tōkyō, the Keisei Line, the Hokusō Line, and Narita Airport (three are Airport rapid limited expresses, and the other three are locals) and 3 tph to Kawasaki, Yokohama, and Shin-Zushi.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #1819
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New stations open at Haneda Airport International Terminal: Part 3

Set 2:
Source: http://e235kei.blog19.fc2.com/

Outbound platform for Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal Station.



Five wide gates to allow carts and luggage through.



This is Keikyū's first real platform door installation. The Keikyū 800 series, which feature four-door (per side) cars had to be removed from operating on the line for safety reasons, while for the two-door 2100 series sets, only the platform doors lined up with the train doors open.



Departure boards on the platform:
19:03 Airport express for Narita (8 cars)
19:14 Airport express for Narita (8 cars)
19:16 Local for Uraga (6 cars)

The first column of the board color-codes trains by direction (pink is for Shinagawa, central Tōkyō, and Narita Airport; blue is for Kawasaki, Yokohama, etc.)



Closer look at the map displays they have showing the stops for the first train. Good to have the Yamanote Line on there, but perhaps they should emphasize Shinagawa as the transfer. They also have iconographs for the more famous tourist destinations: Asakusa, the Tōkyō Sky Tree (well, it will be one in the future), and Tōkyō Disneyland.



This is what it looks like for Yokohama-bound trains. There are iconographs for Kamakura (the giant Buddha statue) and Yokohama Chinatown.
Source: http://tr64simutrans.blog61.fc2.com/



Set 3, a detailed look at language treatment in the Keikyū signage:
Source: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sz_r2/

Station name boards on the walls. Simplified Chinese is not specifically listed, but most of these passengers should be able to understand from the Japanese, if not from the English.

To Domestic Terminal, English
image hosted on flickr


Japanese
image hosted on flickr


To Yokohama and central Tōkyō, English
image hosted on flickr


Japanese
image hosted on flickr


Departure boards, with English, Simplified Chinese, and Korean display.
8:55 Airport express for Takasago (8 cars)
8:59 Airport express for Shin-Zushi (8 cars)
9:05 Airport express for Sengakuji (8 cars)

Left side of the destination column constantly displays Japanese, while the right half cycles through English, Simplified Chinese, and Korean (in that order). Apparently, there was some criticism of what was done at Shinagawa, where the entire sign scrolls between the four languages, making it difficult for regular Japanese users to use the signs.

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


LCD-type sign, similar to Keisei's recent installations.

image hosted on flickr


Carts can be brought into the elevators and through the gates, into the platform area.

image hosted on flickr


Lastly, some clever advertising:
Source: http://kiiroisen.cocolog-nifty.com/

This is the former Hotel Pacific Tōkyō, a Keikyū Group hotel which closed its doors in September and will be remodeled, reopening in February 2011. The room lights say: "For Haneda, use Keikyū."

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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:18 AM   #1820
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New stations open at Haneda Airport International Terminal: Part 4

Now for the new Tōkyō Monorail station. Photos seem to be harder to find, maybe because it's less popular (?) than Keikyū. But then again, Keikyū has a strong corporate identity in addition to a very loyal railfan following...

Set 1:
Source: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/ymkna/

Platforms. Not bad, but hard not to prefer Keikyū's. One could argue that Tōkyō Monorail makes up for it in having shorter walking distance to the check-in area and more frequent service. During weekday midday periods, there are 15 tph in a very simple pattern cycling between rapid, Haneda Express, and local trains.



All the ad space has been bought out by ANA, the primary competitor to JAL.



One train was wrapped in a special flower scheme to celebrate the opening.



Set 2:
Source: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/smilemusashino/

Definitely less busy than the Keikyū station name signs...





Like with Keisei and the Narita Sky Access, both railways seem to have made a concerted effort to deal with the language needs.



Station entrance:
Source: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sz_r2/

image hosted on flickr


Ground level shot... The station (at left) blends in perfectly with the terminal complex.
Source: http://ameblo.jp/ktmrmt-515255/

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