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  1. So In march 2023 I went through japan for the 1st time since my American trip in 2018/19, and Loved every second of it. went Tokyo -> Kyoto -> Hiroshima -> Osaka -> Mount fuji/Nagoya -> tokyo in about 3 weeks and several extra days. Here are a couple of photos I took that I think were the best
  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. Media report on the approx. 80% complete Umekita station complex on the former JR Freight terminal adjacent to JR Osaka Station. Two island platforms/four through tracks layout with full length platform screen doors that will accommodate different rolling stock types. Projected opening spring 2023.
  4. drakestravels

    Hi from Orlando, Florida

    I'm new to the group and just rode the Shinkansen the "Nozomi" last month (June 2018). It was my first bullet train and rode similar trains in Europe but think the Japanese trains are the best - smoothest and fastest. Very impressed and a huge fan and hope to go back to Japan next year to explore more. I also went to the Shinkansen museum in Nagoya and highly recommend for everyone here. Even if you are not a train fan you will become one as you see and learn about the wonderful trains and get to board and explore most. I took a lot of pictures and even made some videos that I'll work to post to share. Look forward to learning and interacting here and glad to find this great group. In the United States we don't have many impressive trains so it's always exciting to leave the country to see incredible trains. Thank you for this forum and to everyone for sharing! I attached a YouTube link of my first ride from Nagoya to Osaka with a brief stop in Kyoto.
  5. Sad news, but it seems from this article that the 103 series will be retired in Osaka this October. Are there any other 103's left running in relatively original configuration or in JNR style paint? I'm disappointed I missed seeing the famous Osaka 103's, hopefully I can make it over before all of the type are gone. http://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/13544953/
  6. Was flipping through the channels last night, and stopped at the variety program "kenmin show", which highlights unique aspects of each of the 47 prefectures in Japan. I usually wouldn't bother to pay much attention, but the theme was Osaka, and specifically the characteristics of the railways there, particularly Hankyu. Two little trivia factoids came out: 1. at one time, Hankyu was thinking of changing their rolling stock colors (probably to seem more "up to date" or "modern"), but community opposition from people living along the line(s)* quashed that. For that we are thankful, as Hankyu has kept their classic maroon livery. I shudder at the thought of unpainted stainless steel stock running on Hankyu.(other than the subway run-through services). 2. Hankyu's rolling stock is known for its spotlessness, and higher than the usual standard for comfort in commuter stock. Particularly, the plush, heavily cushioned olive green seating on trains is made of felt fashioned from Turkish Angora goats. *likely places like Ashiya, with high real estate values, where the maroon color of Hankyu trains is symbolic of the cachet of living in a chichi neighborhood.
  7. The new 3-car train will ply the route between Kintetsu Osaka-Abenobashi station and Yoshino station in southern Nara prefecture in about an hour twenty minutes. Aboard the train, cars 1 & 3 are seating with a 1+2 across formation. Car 2 is the lounge car which features a long bar and lounge style seating. Drinks, cocktails, and light meals will be served aboard the train, and an attendant will point out particular scenery over the PA system while en-route. The Yoshino-gawa area is famous for its fruit and wines, and a selection will most likely be served aboard the train. We can expect to see it go into service during autumn of 2016. Cost is very reasonable; Regular fare (970 yen as of today) + 720 yen for the premium class charge. Personally, I'm surprised to see it take this long for Japan's largest private (Non JR group) railway to get into the resort train business. With other prime destinations like Kyoto, Saidaiji, Nara, Iga, Ise, Toba, and Nagoya, I expect this to only get bigger as time goes on. (Translated by me from Tetsudo Shinbun coverage.)
  8. Two 4-car formations of the 225 series 100 subseries left the Kinki factory on February 23rd for Aboshi Depot. The cab facade has the same appearance as the 227 series, the 3rd generation 521 series, and the upcoming 323 series, although the exterior displays above the gangway doors and windshields are full color (I think). I'm sure it's got various improvements, but I feel JRW peaked with the 223 http://railf.jp/news/2016/02/24/170000.html
  9. 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.
  10. In this video, RailKingJP and his son visit car 951-1, which is on display across from the Railway Technical Research Institute in Kokubunji, Tokyo. It appears that during the daytime, the car is open to the public, and has displays and a small library inside. I'll check it out when I drop off my résumé at RTRI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_951_Shinkansen location: https://goo.gl/maps/LGaZoVmHu8p
  11. This looks interesting, a version of Monopoly with familiar places and companies replaced with... well it's hard to see, but it's got to do with Osaka :) http://railf.jp/news/2015/11/27/000000.html http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/2015/11/page_7960.html
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. *Related to the thread started by Santa Fe about his/her trip, and since it has some bearing on people's travel plans, I post this here rather than in the "off topic" section. Occupancy rate of 84.1%! That's possibly the highest in Asia. Average daily rate increase of 31% from the previous year in Osaka. Big numbers. http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article83841.html
  15. NHK was running a news item a day or two ago about the referendum on the Osaka-to plan being voted down by a slim margin. There was also some mention of the plan to privatize the subway. Will this still go ahead? It was said that the system has been running in the black for a few years now. If it were to be sold, would the sale price be enough to pay off existing construction (et cetera) debts? Or would there be other consideration to cover this? Or would the taxpayer be on the hook, while still paying fares, while the new owner makes bank? :(
  16. This Thursday the lead car of the first revenue service 0 Series trainset (1964) was moved out by road haulage from the now closed Osaka Transportation Museum. It will be cosmetically restored and then eventually put on display at the now under construction Kyoto Railway Museum, scheduled for opening in spring 2016. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZRaww63YY
  17. Here's an interesting one. I searched for an article with pictures of the distillery itself, but no luck. I assume it's the one along Tokaido Main Line (aka Kyoto Line) near Yamazaki Station, but I don't see any confirmation. Oddly, the articles I read don't have detailed information about the regions railway operations. I'll have to write to the editors :) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/04/suntory-time-japanese-whisky-named-worlds-best-in-sour-dram-for-scotland
  18. Did anyone post this yet? http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/09/07/the-most-crowded-train-lines-during-rush-hour-in-tokyo-osaka-and-nagoya-are/ Pretty interesting, data is apparently from MLIT, so I think it's trustworthy. I never lived in Kanto, so the figures for those lines don't mean a lot to me, other than explaining why JR East buys so many new trains . The figures for Osaka and Nagoya, however, help me picture train interiors, platforms, and seas of people at the gates :). The private railways really take the prize in Osaka, and in Nagoya, the municipal subway system appears the most in the list. Also interesting to see how Meitetsu places. JR Central only appears once, at number 5, further reinforcing my impression that they probably don't want to worry about the zairai lines too much :).
  19. 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
  20. As discussed here http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/7717-osaka-modern-transportation-museum-to-close-april-6-2014 , the Osaka Modern Transportation Museum will close April 6, 2014, and its contents (some amount of it, anyway) will move to JR West's new museum at Umekoji, which is to open in 2016. The video below is by YT uploader KENKENKAICHO, who has quite a lot of Kansai private railway material, particularly Kintetsu. In this video, it appears that the museum is having a sort of special exhibit, "Shuzohin Collection: Bakuryoten." I don't have a good translation of that, particularly the second word , but I'm thinking that these items were maybe in storage, not part of the regular display, and the don't want them to get moldy (based on that second word). The plates in English from New York and Pennsylvania ironworks might have come from the Amarube Viaduct, I think some of the technical drawings shown are of its structure. It was rebuilt in concrete in the last few years, but the previous structure was around 100 years old. I hope all of this will go to the new JR West museum, it looks like a very interesting group of items.
  21. In JR West's March 15th schedule revision there's an interesting change. KIHA189 series DMUs, built in the last few years to replace the JNR-era 181s used on Hamakaze services, will be assigned to a Biwako Express run on weeknights, departing Osaka at 8:36PM and arriving at its destination, Kusatsu, at 9:27PM. After initially thinking what the !@#$, I assumed this train was coming off a Hamakaze run that conveniently puts it at Osaka to operate this service. The second poster in the Ompuchaneru thread writes just that, it arrives at Osaka as Hamakaze #6. It still seems quite strange for a DMU to be used on a service that's in an entirely electrified section, and a later poster writes that the only others are some JR Shikoku limited express services on the Yosan Line. Also in the thread (http://rail-uploader.khz-net.com/index.php?id=1128280), a poster bemoans JR West's schedule changes. It used to become gradually more convenient, now it gradually becomes more inconvenient . Another replies that it's got to do with Japan's population changes. JR West's pdf: http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/items/131220_00_kinki.pdf
  22. Today was the last day of pedestrian access on the Akagawa Bridge spanning the Yodo River in Osaka (Awaji area). The bridge will be double tracked, the additional track taking the space now occupied by the boardwalk pedestrian path. Youtube poster ayokoi's medley of recent action on this stretch of railway:
  23. 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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