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Densha posted a topic in Japan Rail: News & General DiscussionToday, 20 December, it was officially announced that the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be extended from Tsuruga via Obama to Kyoto. This route was one of the final two options left, the other one being the line being extended from Tsuruga to Maibara, which would have meant that passengers for Kyoto and Osaka would have had to change at Maibara. That would have led to a longer travel time, inconvenient transfers, and even more crowded Tokaido Shinkansen trains than they are already now. The Obama - Kyoto route is however the most expensive option. During the next 5-6 years, the impact on the environment and the exact locations of the stations will be decided. The Kanazawa - Tsuruga section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be opened in 2022, and the aim is to have completed the whole line to Kyoto in ultimately 2046. However, there have been calls to bring this date forward, which could lead to the total costs exceeding 2 trillion yen. Sources: http://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2016122000735&g=eco http://mainichi.jp/articles/20161221/k00/00m/020/117000c http://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newseye2942316.htm
miyakoji posted a topic in Japan Rail: News & General DiscussionHappy 2016 everyone! Old news now, but Kyoto Tango Railway, known as Kitakinki Tango Railway before the operational takeover by Willer Bus, has refurbished one of its KTR8000 series express DMU sets with styling by the one and only Mitooka Eiji. This follows the refurb of 4 (I think) of the KTR700 local DMUs. Service began November 13th. Includes the Alfa Romeo style grill/emblem/ornament from DF200-7000 (btw off topic but did anyone else know that JR Kyushu numbered this thing 7000 not 7001?) http://trains.willer.co.jp/index.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwomLGBjpnA
Two 4-car sets of Nankai's new 8300 series were delivered from Kinki Sharyo on the 29th, the first time in about 40 years the manufacturer has built anything for this railway. Every Nankai train I've ever been aware of was built by Tokyu/J-Trec. After leaving Kinki behind DE10 1192 via the connection at Tokuan, the formation was pulled to Suita Freight Terminal. From there, DD51 1191 took it down the Umeda freight bypass to the west side of the loop around Nishi-Kujo, on to Tennoji, and apparently east to Oji. I assume they continued south via the Wakayama Line. Maybe the Hanwa Line is a little too busy for this less-than-shinkansen speed move :). Interchange between JR West and Nankai is all the way down at Wakayama-shi, which can been seen in the second video below. http://railf.jp/news/2015/06/30/120000.html crossing the Kanzaki River Bridge on the Joto Freight Line, by hankyudensha at Wakayama-shi Station, by jnrkiiline. Cool lineup from 5'00", but we don't see the DD51 depart...
This isn't very new anymore, but I don't recall seeing anything about it... JR West introduced alphabetic line designations for the Kinki and Chugoku regions some time around August 2014. It was asked in an Ompuchaneru thread (http://rail-uploader.khz-net.com/index.php?id=37062) why there's a "Q" on the destination board of a Namba-bound rapid on the Yamatoji Line. The answer is that the Yamatoji Line (aka Kansai Main Line from Nara to JR Namba) is the Q Line. Apparently this is to help foreigners. JR West page with some graphics: https://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/2014/08/page_5993.html I could really do with some higher-resolution versions of those images :)