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  1. Just some thoughts on my experience today riding trains around the Kansai area, which is related to some recent posts others made about Kansai private railways. This evening I caught an express service on the Nankai Koya Line originating from Mikkaiichicho Station, which has a stub end layover track for turnback services such as the one I rode. The station is located high in the foothills above Osaka, in an area that probably was originally quite rural but now is a suburban bed town. The route is quite interesting as it takes you from a rather high elevation gradually down through the various suburbs into the urban core, all the while passing through numerous stations, both simple and multi track, ending up at Nankai’s big stub end terminal at Nanba. Being around 17:45 was a good time, as the fading light further accentuated the catenary against the sky, so you really got the atmosphere of a heavy interurban operation. But what was most remarkable was the rolling stock of the service, a 6000 series trainset built in 1963! That a 55 year old trainset is still providing yeoman service is a testament to Nankai’s maintenance and the robustness of Budd Industries shotwelded stainless steel carbody design, which Tokyu had a license to manufacture. Anyway, I highly recommend this ride. If you have the time, try to ride the express service from Hashimoto, which takes you over and through via tunnels the mountain ridge that divides Osaka from Wakayama Prefecture. Otherwise, the service from Mikkaiichicho is a good ride. I rank it one of the better zenmentenbou rides in Kansai, one of my favorites along with the JR West shinkaisoku services.
  2. On October 31st, the first 12000 series EMU for the Semboku Rapid Railway was delivered. It is very much derived from the Nankai 12000 series and will be used on limited express through-services between the Nankai Koya Line and the Semboku Rapid Railway Line. The Semboku 12000 series is scheduled to be in service from February 2017, and will probably replace the Nankai 11000 series on the aforementioned through-services. Japanese article: http://railf.jp/news/2016/11/02/180000.html A few pics: https://twitter.com/Express_kh/status/792889494445838336 https://twitter.com/Express_kh/status/793688605373767682
  3. Just noticed this on Ompuchaneru. Hankai Tramway will end service on the Uemachi Line's south end between Sumiyoshi and Sumiyoshikoen on January 30, 2016. Apparently this section of track is almost 60 years old and the crossing with the main line is aging, and it'll cost a lot to bring it up to standard. This section first opened in 1913 as part of Nankai. Hankai's pdf on the matter: http://www.hankai.co.jp/_wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/648df35ad70a218c95acb246eda4bfb1.pdf previous discussion: http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/8866-hankai-sumiyoshi-station-s-decline Full line ride starting at Sumiyoshikoen. It crosses the Hankai Line at 2:45. Station atmosphere is cool, but the advertisement on the side of the car is for a pawn shop, and there's a pachinko parlor straight out of the station. Ah, Osaka.
  4. This was posted on the FB Japanese Trains group. Nankai is elevating this section of the line, so a new station will be built. This whole building will be moved from its present location and preserved, or rather it will just continue to be used and maintained, as a community center. This is the right way to preserve history, as opposed to letting it deteriorate for a few decades and then saying "hey guys, we should really preserve x/y/z for blah" by which point it needs loads of money to restore to anything worth looking at. The nearby Hankai station is Hamaderakoen Ekimae Eki. "Ekimae eki" being the station in front of the station. So if this moves between its current location and Hamaderakoen Ekimae Eki, does Hamaderakoen Ekimae Eki then have to become Hamaderakoen Ekimae Ekimae Eki? Food for thought http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201601280044 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamaderak%C5%8Den_Station https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFpz2PBZL1A
  5. Hi, I just saw these videos on youtube which made me smile :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ8WStAgQog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPzdOLL5v-w
  6. In conjuction with 130th anniversary celebrations, a 10000 series and 7000 series trainset were repainted in the old Nankai colors last seen more than 20 years ago. This replicates the ltd. express "Southern" as it looked then. The 7000 series trains will be retired in September, and this trainset will wear these colors until then. *thanks to Sr. Horn over at SSC for this http://osaka.thepage.jp/detail/20150614-00000001-wordleafv?utm_expid=90592221-36.ah3mtalbQhWzWqvW1vz4kw.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dnewssearch%26cd%3D1%26ved%3D0CB0QqQIoADAA%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fosaka.thepage.jp%252Fdetail%252F20150614-00000001-wordleafv%26ei%3Dy7uDVYyvBdjt8AWD27iYBQ%26usg%3DAFQjCNEkNVxwL9swL_uKOUyNjiZv01MMrQ%26bvm%3Dbv.96042044%2Cd.dGc
  7. For those living in the Kansai area or visiting soon, this may be of interest: Spotted on advertisements in Nankai trains. Some of the nostalgic items seem to be already sold out. Please excuse the reflections, as these were taken inside revenue trains. http://www.nankai.co.jp/traffic/info/130anniversary.html *the modern livery items go on sale on the 24th of this month. A presale will occur on the 18th in Sakai City.
  8. 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...
  9. Of possible interest to Kansai area forumers and railfan visitors, there was once a double track branch line from Nankai's Tengachaya Station to the JNR Station at Tennoji. The connection at Tengachaya was severed in 1984 coupled with the elevation of that station, and the line was single tracked between Tennoji and Imaike. Passengers had to walk a few hundred meters between Imaike and Tengachaya. The whole line was closed in 1993. Presently the Sakaisuji Subway Line runs under a portion of the ROW, and in effect serves as a replacement for the branch line, though it doesn't directly serve Tennoji, instead veering off towards the zoo. The portion of the branch line that curved away from the JNR approach tracks at Tennoji just before the road crossing is now the site of a new Toyoko Inn Hotel. ride from Tennoji to Imaike in 1993:
  10. Great video taken from a nearby grade crossing of the morning rush hour services at Nankai's Hamadera Koen Station. This station is due to be elevated, thereby destroying all the charm of this location (and making it impossible to watch trains at grade)- I therefore plan to visit this summer. Note the great variety of Nankai rolling stock, as well as the unusual position of the up local platform (a tell-tale remnant of former stub-end services). *I like these types of single position, minimally edited videos, you can soak in the atmosphere of the location, as if you were actually train-watching there.
  11. This week's episode of Seasoning the Seasons (recommended) on NHK World was about a temple/neighborhood in Osaka called Hozenji, not far from Nankai Namba Station. I had a look at the Google map of the area, and when changing to streetview, I noticed these orange spots on the map. Pegman can be moved to them, just like the blue lines, but these are interiors; in this case, many of them are restaurants. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:34.667858,135.502628&hl=en&ll=34.66798,135.503115&spn=0.002001,0.002894&t=m&z=19
  12. Here's another great upload by HINTEL1824TRAIN. This is a zenmen tenbou video of a ride on Semboku 7000 series rolling stock from Nankai Namba, just slightly south-east from JR West's JR Namba (formerly Minatomachi Station), to Izumi-Chūō. Nankai Namba is elevated, while the ground-level Minatomachi was undergrounded when rebuilt as JR Namba. This service operates as a rapid until Mozu where the change to Semboku's line happens, and then stops at all stations to the end of the line. The English Wikipedia page on Semboku has some interesting information; this line was meant to be planned, constructed, and operated by Nankai to serve the Semboku New Town development, but they had some accidents in the late '60s. The government forced them to buy new trains and infrastructure, so they were low on funds and were slow in developing this line. So Osaka prefecture developed the line through Osaka Prefectural Urban Development Company. The rolling stock resembles JR West's 223 series, although I don't see anything about design commonalities. These are built by Kawasaki, who build some of JRW's rolling stock including the 223s. http://maps.google.com/?ll=34.553084,135.51286&spn=0.015251,0.022316&t=m&z=16 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osaka_Prefectural_Urban_Development http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semboku_Rapid_Railway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namba_Station http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senboku_New_Town http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A4%A7%E9%98%AA%E5%BA%9C%E9%83%BD%E5%B8%82%E9%96%8B%E7%99%BA7000%E7%B3%BB%E9%9B%BB%E8%BB%8A
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