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  1. YouTube member Arkibk Train Aki just released a zenmen tenbou video of the Airport Rapid Service from Otaru to Shin-Chitose Airport from a JR Hokkaido 721 Series train set F-4103: It's the first time I've seen such a clear video of this service.
  2. Anyone have any good shops they know of near Sapporo Station or vicinity?
  3. Bridgestone produces tires for Sapporo Subway, the first and only rubber-tired metro in Japan. This nice 1971 commercial shows the Bridgestone tires mounted on sapporo subway 2000 series trains, with some nice special effects. Also note the unusual wheel arrangment of the DM (single wheel at the front, double at the middle, one between coaches) and the unique track arrangment: single central guiding rail, plus the ̶t̶h̶i̶r̶d̶ second live rail in the middle of the two tracks (or shuold i say "lanes"?).
  4. My local line is starting to see some changes, namely the upcoming installation of platform doors and ATO operation. First of all, the old rolling stock was retired last month. Small rather handmade-like notice of the retirement event: Balises for the ATO system were installed several months ago. Recently the platform edges have been marked for the installation of the platform doors: Posters announcing the change in stopping points at stations and changes in the timetable. Headways will be shorter, but the time stopped at each station will be longer, thanks to ATO operation.
  5. Hakodate Liner may be expanded to 6 car trains for peak period services. It appears JR Hokkaido is considering adding an additional 3 carriages to the originally planned 3 carriage Hakodate Liner shuttle services between Shin-Hakodate Hokuto and Hakodate, scheduled to start next spring. The additional carriages will require lengthening of a platform at Shin Hakodate Hokuto Station. Cited was the capacity of a Hokkaido Shinkansen H5 trainset at 731 passengers, while the capacity of a 3 carriage shuttle train would be 441 passengers. Doubling that number would ensure all could get a ride to Hakodate during heavy traffic periods. Business interests are welcoming the move. http://dd.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/area/donan/1-0151676.html Hokkaido Shinkansen terminal platforms may be located west of the main Sapporo Station platforms. It has come to light that JR Hokkaido is considering locating the platforms of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, scheduled for completion to Sapporo in 2030, approx. 300m west of the current station. Originally it was planned to build the shinkansen platforms at the current location of the (south side) #1 and #2 zairaisen tracks, and build a new zairaisen platform on the north side. However, doing so would result in traffic conflicts affecting up to 100 scheduled zairaisen services due to trains crossing over, so the option of building at the west location is being considered. However, having shinkansen platforms at that location would reduce greatly convenience for passengers, as they would be located far from subway and long distance bus connections. http://dd.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/economy/economy/1-0152629.html
  6. Going to Sapporo in September and am trying to determine the best shots to watch trains outside of Sapporo Station of course. Anyone in the group been there? I'm gun I g for as much ground level and at-grades as I can since I don't use zooms anymore to take pix.
  7. Some recent views of the low floor tram recently acquired by Sapporo Transport Bureau for their streetcar line in Chuo Ward. It appears most of the locations are on the portion of the loop closest to Susukino. This unit will begin revenue service in May. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZu_RtDLX48
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