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Old December 1st, 2019, 05:42 AM   #1981
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Sotetsu/JR thru route opens to the public



Yesterday, I joined a good crowd of rail enthusiasts (along with some regular commuters) in riding the new Sotetsu/JR link line that connects with the Sotetsu rail line in central Yokohama, to JR East's Hinkaku alignment on which the Shonan-Shinjuku and Yokosuka lines run towards Osaki and ultimately Shinjuku along the western Yamanote Loop. This is done by extending the Saikyo Line past Osaki to Musashi-Kosugi and allowing interlining between the two lines.


Ebina Station
The sight of a JR E233 from the Saikyo pulling into the station was a little jarring even for me; there are only two other JR services with mutual service routes in Tokyo-- JR Sobu/Tokyo Metro Tozai, and JR Joban/Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line, the latter which also links to Odakyu's Odawara line.


Trains heading to the new route are either Limited Express or Locals, and on the weekends average 2 trains per hour but increase to 4 during rush hours. Weekday service is more frequent according to the schedule. The destination here says "Hazawa Yokohama-Koku-Dai (Yokohama National University)" but all trains go beyond there to Shinjuku. I don't know why Sotetsu don't program the station signs for their ultimate destination like everywhere else...


Aboard the E233



Hazawa Yokohama-kokudai Station

It's super-rare these days to get a brand new station opening up in the middle of anywhere in Japan, especially around Kanto, so this was a treat. Built on the western edge of JR's Hazawa freight yards, the new station is actually a giant trench with a building placed on top of it; this was the tunnel boring machine launch point for the dig to Nishiya.






The station's platform level is pretty spartan in terms of decoration, but is in line with the more utilitarian specs of Greater Tokyo's suburban rail lines. Even still, it is a very tasteful look, kind of like a loft renovation done to an old factory.










Continuing the loft feel are brickwork found in the stairwells going to the mezzanine level and a very airy ceiling in the concourse. Big windows bring in lots of natural light here and is something not found in many of the older stations around town for sure.


Apparently Japan's most famous "Densha Otaku", Tamori-san and his crew, took a special exhibition ride earlier and signed this station post. I don't know how long it will stay up, but it was being photographed all day!

Heading to Shinjuku




I boarded the next train (which was 25 minutes after I alighted (!) and headed through the Hazawa freight tunnel to the Hinkaku ROW and the newly extended Saikyo Line.





Fun fact: Part of this tunnel is actually a covered viaduct I used to live pretty close to and wonder why they basically built a mid-air tunnel.

I could tell we were passing through this section because the walls are flat and look like the smoundwalls for expressways. Diesel freight trains used to use this alignment in the 70's when this was first built, hence the need to make a covered bridge to keep noise and fumes out of the crowded neighborhoods below.


Arriving at Shinjuku
The rest of the journey past Musashi-Kosugi is just like riding a Shonan-Shinjuku line train. Stops are made at Nishi-Oi, Osaki, Ebisu, and Shibuya before finally arriving at Shinjuku's platform 2.

Needless to say, people were shocked to see navy blue Sotetsu on JR tracks... Some even said "what is Sotetsu?" Unless you live in Yokohama and central Kanagawa, you might not even know it exists because its a relatively short railway and until now, had no presence in Tokyo proper.





Platform 2 along with platform 3 is usually used for shortlining Saikyo trains ending in Shinjuku after coming from Omiya/Kawagoe; most trips usually continue onto the Rinkai line past Osaki and head to Shin-Kiba. Now it seems that they've cut the line in half with the Sotetsu thru runs starting/ending at Shinjuku as a short line, except during rush hours when trains can go as far as Kawagoe in the north.
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Old December 4th, 2019, 05:58 AM   #1982
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Tokyo's new station will have robot staff
Quote:
Tokyo's Yamanote train line will get a new station next year for the first time in about half a century, and the planners say it will be a vision of the future.

Operator JR East says Takanawa Gateway will have a robot guard patrolling the premises looking for suspicious activity. The cleaners will also be unmanned machines.

Screens equipped with artificial intelligence will help passengers figure out their route. The panels will be able to understand and speak Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

The station shop will be run by robots, too. Sensors will monitor what customers take, and deduct payments automatically, eliminating the need for cashiers.

The station will use renewable energy, with solar panels on the roof and wind turbines near the tracks.

Takanawa Gateway is under construction between Shinagawa and Tamachi stations.

JR East is aiming to have it ready in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20191203_41/
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Old December 5th, 2019, 04:28 AM   #1983
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Meet you under the LEDs at Osaka Metro; new meeting spot
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OSAKA--Sweethearts and others have a new rendezvous point in Osaka: Umeda Station on Osaka Metro Co.'s Midosuji Line, where an LED monitor display along a platform wall is now recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's longest.

The display is four meters high and 40 meters long, more than the equivalent of two subway cars.

It will start broadcasting commercials from the first train on Dec. 1.

The display is part of a huge makeover for Osaka Metro that includes giving facelifts to a number of stations along various lines of the underground network by fiscal 2020.

Work to install the monitor began this summer and the equipment was revealed for the first time to the media early on Nov. 30.

Social networking sites were abuzz at the scale of the project.

Masashi Oya, an Osaka Metro executive in charge of publicity, said, "We want to promote this as a new landmark in Osaka that people can use as a rendezvous point."

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201911300044.html
The article has some pictures showing the end result
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Old December 17th, 2019, 12:33 AM   #1984
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"Naniwa Suji Connection Line" "Shin Osaka Connecting Line"

Hankyu, JR West and Nankai have again joined forces for a large new project in Osaka, which was 1st proposed in 1989. They are considering the construction of a new direct line underneath central Osaka that will connect Shinimamiya Station and Naniwa Station in the south via Umeda/JR Osaka Station with Shin Osaka Station in the north. The new line will create a new fast connections from Kansai Airport to central Osaka and the Shin Osaka Station Shinkansen Station.

The proposed line starts in the south at Shinimamiya Station on the Nankai Line where it will go into a tunnel that will run towards JR Naniwa Station where it will be joined by an extension of the JR lines which currently terminates in that station. Together the lines will run northwards in a new tunnel underneath the Hanshin Expressway #1 Loop Route.

In Umeda the line should split again, with the JR trains connecting to the new underground section of the Osaka Higashi Line / Umeda Freight line which is currently U/C towards the existing Shin Osaka Station ground level platforms.

The Nankai trains will continue parallel to the Hankyu Takarazuka Line and branch of towards Shin Osaka Station from the spot where the line crosses the Shinkansen Tracks. The line will then run parallel to the Shinkansen tracks to a new station on the north side of the station. There's enough room next to the Shinkansen tracks to make this possible.

It came back in the news as the permission was granted by the local government earlier this year to the 3 companies to further investigate this new line.

No further time line is given, not even a provisional one. Which is not surprising considering the complexity of this project. We will have to wait and see if this will develop into an actual project.

new sources:
https://news.mynavi.jp/article/railwaynews-197/
http://building-pc.cocolog-nifty.com...st-706ebc.html

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Old December 17th, 2019, 06:02 AM   #1985
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So where does Hankyu come in? Will there be a connection at Juso towards the Hankyu network, and the bit to Shin-Osaka is only for Nankai?
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Old December 18th, 2019, 10:45 AM   #1986
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阪急電鉄は「十三駅」に地下新駅を建設し、うめきた新駅との間に狭軌(1,067mm)の新路線を敷いて「なにわ筋線」に乗り入れます。2つの路線が完成すると南海電鉄の特急「ラピート」は現行の難波駅発着から新大阪方面へ延伸が可能となります。

Hankyu will build an underground station and make a line to kita-umeda station.

The main goal of all of this is for JR haruka and Nakai's Rapi:t trains to go to Umeda from KIX in 30 minutes compared to 1 hour now, and of course to shin-Osaka too.

The red lines in the map will both be made by Hankyu.
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Old December 18th, 2019, 11:05 AM   #1987
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なにわ筋・新大阪連絡線、実現へ一歩 阪急などが協議へ

阪急電鉄が計画する新路線「なにわ筋連絡線」と「新大阪連絡線」の実現に向け、阪急が近く、関係者と協議に入る方針を明らかにした。2線は大阪市の北梅田駅(仮称)とJR新大阪駅を結び、市を南北に貫く「なにわ筋線」と接続を目指す。3線が開通すれば新大阪と関西空港で列車の直通運転が可能になり、利便性が高まると判断した。

「なにわ筋連絡線」(2・5キロ)は北梅田―阪急十三、「新大阪連絡線」(2・1キロ)は十三―新大阪を結ぶ。2031年開業予定の「なにわ筋線」と北梅田でつなぎ、難波や関空と直通させる構想だ。今後、なにわ筋線の運行主体であるJR西日本や南海電気鉄道、地元の大阪府・市と協力し、事業のスキームやルートを検討する。

 近畿運輸局が昨年公表した試算では、阪急の2線の建設について「収支はおおむね良好」との判断を出していた。

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASMBR4H5GMBRPLFA006.html

Here's some more info I just looked up for clarity. Both of the lines なにわ筋連絡線 and 新大阪連絡線 will be built by Hankyu. They are "Naniwasuji connecting line" and "shin osaka connecting line". The Naniwa suji connecting line will be built from Juso to Kita-Umeda (new station), it will be underground. It is planned to be open in 2031. Then there is another connector from juso to Shin Osaka, but I don't see a planned date. The planned date for the Naniwa-suji line itself is I believe also 2031. Nankai will run trains with JR to shin-Osaka.

With the new news Momo posted however, the 3 companies are collaborating now on the red lines in the map, Hankyu will build the line in the same gauge that Nankai and JR use, instead of what they use for their other lines. The reason those 3 companies are collaborating now is to improve ridership on the naniwa-suji line. By connecting with Hankyu, users from Kyoto/Kobe via Hankyu can easily transfer to the naniwa-suji line increasing ridership and profitability for all. According to the source momo posted, it looks like perhaps Nankai might consider using the Hankyu route instead? I am not sure about that. The blog posts speculates him/herself:

南海電鉄にとって、「新大阪連絡線」の存在は“保険”にもなる。北梅田(仮称)~新大阪間でJR線を走行する場合、南海電鉄はJR西日本に線路使用料を支払うことになるけれども、運行ダイヤとしてはJR西日本の列車が優先されるだろう。そう考えると、南海電鉄の特急列車を「新大阪連絡線」経由で走らせることになるかもしれない。

「なにわ筋連絡線」「新大阪連絡線」の路線建設構想が実現に向けて動き出した。次の関心は中間駅が設置されるか。山陽新幹線と阪急宝塚本線の交点から宮原の車両基地北側にかけて鉄道空白地帯となっているため、中間駅設置の要望が高まることも考えられる。開業後のダイヤ、とくに優等列車の動向も気になる。南海電鉄の特急列車は新大阪駅でJR西日本のホームを使うか、あるいは「新大阪連絡線」のホームを使うか。ひょっとしたら、阪急電鉄も独自に有料座席指定の空港特急列車を仕立ててくるかもしれない。いずれにしても、期待しながら続報を待ちたい。

It is possible Hankyu could offer their own type of airport express train, and it is possible Nankai will use the Hankyu route instead of JR (JR might charge more, give priority to JR trains etc). All we know is the 3 are now collaborating on this.
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Last edited by ukiyo; December 18th, 2019 at 12:02 PM.
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Old December 18th, 2019, 01:07 PM   #1988
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That sounds like a mess.

I guess it wouldn't make sense for Hankyu to operate their own trains, given that it's only 3 stations and they'd need to spin up all new facilities given the different gauge.

Perhaps they could just sell trackage rights to Nankai, like a third sector company? Or have dual gauge track so they themselves can at least hit Namba?
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Old December 18th, 2019, 01:33 PM   #1989
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What do you mean by “spin up all new facilities given different gauge”?
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Old December 18th, 2019, 04:20 PM   #1990
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Maintenance depots and equipment? They surely can't use any from the standard gauge network...
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Old December 18th, 2019, 08:24 PM   #1991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luacstjh98 View Post
Maintenance depots and equipment? They surely can't use any from the standard gauge network...
I see. Well according to the news the 3 companies will do commercialization and maintenance together for those 2 extension lines. Basically nankai and JR really want it done since it can drastically increase ridership (and so profitability) due to Kobe/Kyoto connectivity so they seem willing to “help” Hankyu, the government will seemingly get involved too.
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Old December 19th, 2019, 10:40 PM   #1992
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Joban Line full reopen next march

JR East Press Release announced the Joban Line section between Tomioka and Namie in Fukushima Prefecture will reopen before the end of Fiscal Year 2019 which will mean that whole of the Joban Line from Ueno to Iwanuma will be open for the first time since March 2011.

Now JR East starting to test train, preparing for reopen by March 2020, this section closed as it was closest proximity to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was also damaged by the tsunami.

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Old December 24th, 2019, 02:52 AM   #1993
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^ yay, I guess this means we can possibly go from Sendai to Tokyo!
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Old December 27th, 2019, 03:09 PM   #1994
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https://soranews24.com/2019/12/26/ja...ons-this-year/

Quote:
This year’s ranking includes Kanto vs. Kansai regional variations in addition to the overall list.

Every year around this time, commuters on trains operated by the member companies of the Japan Private Railway Association participate in an annual survey to determine the most aggravating behaviors observed on trains and at stations over the past 12 months. This year’s edition was released on December 19 and features similar but different answers from the AirTrip ranking that came out this past summer. Pay attention if you’ll be visiting Japan soon for a guide of what NOT to do when you’re in transit!

First we’ll look at the 2019 overall ranking of the top ten most impolite behaviors. Scroll further down to find the top five most impolite behaviors according to survey participants in both the Kanto (east Japan) and Kansai (west Japan) regions of the country.


Kanto ranking

5. Excessively loud conversations
4. Annoying way of carrying and depositing luggage
3. Rude manners when getting on and off the train
2. Improper use of smartphones
1. Improper manner of sitting

Kansai ranking

5. Improper use of smartphones
4. Excessively loud conversations
3. Rude manners when getting on and off the train
2. Annoying way of carrying and depositing luggage
1. Improper manner of sitting

my own ranking in no particular order

- People who use you as a cushion during crowded trains
- People who fart in the train
- Drunk Salarymen (more of a problem in the Tokyo area)
- Tourists who block all sorts of areas with their caravan of luggage
- People who facetime outloud in the train. I see this mainly with foreigners. No one wants to hear your entire conversation
- the constant bumper in the seat next to you
- young people who don't relinquish their seat for the elderly or handicap
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Old December 29th, 2019, 09:44 PM   #1995
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The old Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Shibuya Station was closed for good after the last train on Friday.



last train




The station will be moved eastwards, to the location on top of the bus station on the east


At the station a live stream of the work going on is shown on monitors.

You can see the construction of the new platform.



https://twitter.com/ShibuyaArchives/...65187785711621


At the old station 1 of the tracks is removed, the other track will



https://twitter.com/ShibuyaArchives/...66088278753281


The new station from above, on the top is the location of the old station.




and a little peak inside, showing the concrete slabs that will form the new island platform.



source
https://twitter.com/zeiko24/status/1211191042810118144


And one more from the monitors, taken on sunday afternoon.



source:
https://twitter.com/ShibuyaArchives/...65881059102720
https://twitter.com/zeiko24/status/1211191042810118144


The station will reopen on Friday 3 January 2020.
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 11:40 PM   #1996
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Ginza Line Station new platforms 1st trains.









source:
https://twitter.com/ShibuyaArchives/...25953812004869




source
https://twitter.com/chamitter/status...41480219328512




source:
https://twitter.com/B4YO_DDR/status/1212838221748428800






source:
https://twitter.com/giru_ko/status/1212831668844793859


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Old January 3rd, 2020, 08:47 AM   #1997
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And here are my shots of the new Ginza Line Shibuya station taken just now!

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Old January 5th, 2020, 06:45 AM   #1998
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It looks pretty interesting!
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Old January 5th, 2020, 10:23 AM   #1999
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Osaka to run trains after midnight in tourism trial
Quote:
A railway operator in Osaka will conduct a trial to run trains past midnight, as part of government efforts to boost night-time tourism in the city.
Osaka Metro Co. will extend service on the Midosuji Line by about two hours after midnight on Jan. 24 and Feb. 21, both Fridays, with the last train no later than 3 a.m. the next day.
The transport ministry announced the plan on Dec. 26.
Depending on the number of passengers, the railway operator will consider changing the train schedules for after-midnight operation.
The move comes ahead of planned strategies by the ministry for boosting the relatively small night-time economy compared to Western countries, including dining, shopping and other events, to increase spending by tourists from overseas in big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.
The ministry said it will conduct Japan's first trial following the examples of London and New York, where subways operate 24 hours a day.
According to the Japan Tourism Agency, an economic effect of about 3.7 trillion yen ($33.8 billion) per year was reported in London.
The Midosuji Line runs through central Osaka from north to south between Esaka and Nakamozu stations, which is home to bustling shopping and business districts. About 1.2 million passengers use the line per day.

http://www.asahi.com/sp/ajw/articles...912270042.html
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Old January 5th, 2020, 03:44 PM   #2000
BenjaminEli
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Nighttime tourism, osaka must have a happening nightlife. what are some shops that are usually open after midnight?
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