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  1. Last month our friend Ayokoi recorded the test run of rolling stock from Sotetsu and Toei on the soon to be opened (this March) Tokyu Shin-Yokohama Line, at Hiyoshi station, where the line begins its underground run. There has been a lot of news about this new line, too much to unpack now, but a posting sometime in the near future will cover run through patterns, schedules, etc.
  2. Official Sotetsu video. Arrival at Shin-Yokohama is on the middle track used for turnbacks/terminating services. Revenue service is scheduled to begin March 2023.
  3. Couple weeks ago, the opening date of this new line from Hazawa Yokohama Kokudai to Hiyoshi via Shin Yokohama was announced- March 2023 as expected. Sotetsu trains will, via the Meguro Line, run through to either the Tokyo Metro Nanboku Line or the Toei Mita Line. Any Nanboku Line and Mita Line through trains will likely terminate and turn back at Shin Yokohama, utilizing the center track at that station. Seibu is not going to utilize this line for their trains, keeping them exclusively on the Toyoko Line to Yokohama, but interestingly, Tobu has announced they will have a limited number of their trains run through to Shin Yokohama, putting high value on the connection to the Shinkansen services. Sotetsu press release: https://cdn.sotetsu.co.jp/media/2022/pressrelease/pdf/r22-14-hz9.pdf Tetsu Bozu video. Use the translation feature for close captioning. Sotetsu 21000 series test run on Tokyu Meguro Line last autumn:
  4. April 1st saw the start of 8 car train services on this route, rolling stock is the Tokyu 3020 series. Scene at the Urawa-misono terminus, Saitama Rapid Railway:
  5. Media event marking one year until the opening of the link between Sotetsu and Tokyu. Rolling stock of seven railway companies which will utilize the route were lined up at Tokyu's Moto Sumiyoshi yard. The link is also advertised prominently on a large banner on the Sotetsu Joinus/Takashimaya Building at the western exit of Yokohama Station. TV news report: Norimono Channel by Gami:
  6. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Transportation/Tokyo-plans-to-extend-subway-network-eyeing-return-of-tourists The Namboku Line will be extended towards Shinagawa Station in anticipation of increased footfall after the Chuo Shinkansen opens. My view is that extending the Namboku Line from its current terminus at Meguro, for which the line heads south-westand away from Shinagawa, will result in an illogical near-180 degree turn north-east towards Shinagawa, so considering that the Namboku Line and Mita Line both share tracks between Shirokane-takanawa and Meguro, I suspect that the extension will be from the existing terminating tracks at Shirokane-nakanawa (some trains terminate while most continue to Meguro) continuing due south-west towards Shinagawa (which is a more sensible routing), and that Mita and Namboku will be segregated with Tokyu Meguro Line trains only operating through services onto the Mita Line. I still wonder what through-trains could the Namboku Line connect onto after Shinagawa? The Yukaracho Line will also be extended towards the Skytree.
  7. An internet survey conducted last month of 703 adults living in the Tokyo Metropolitan area yielded these results(selected reasons follow): Best 3 1. Yamanote Line (convenient, the core of the transport network) 2. Tokyu Toyoko Line (runs through nice neighborhoods, passengers are fashionable) 3. Tokyu Den-en Toshi Line (same as above) Worst 3 1. JR Saikyo Line (full of chikan) 2. JR Keihin Tohoku Line (dirty image) 3. JR Joban Line (full of drunks, delinquents from the boondocks i.e Chiba, Ibaraki) http://bizmakoto.jp/makoto/articles/1505/26/news080.html
  8. Recent broadcast on NHK general about the redevelopment of the Shibuya Station area, with a focus on the opening of the Saikyo Line platform adjacent to the Yamanote Line platform, and the movement of tracks as well as the railway bridge crossing the old Oyama Road leading to Dougenzaka and the Shibuya Scramble intersection. 1000 construction workers and specialists along with 100 vehicles were given 52 hours to do the task, while observing covid-19 countermeasures. Everything had to be finished at the end of 52 hours and full restoration of Saikyo Line services. Everything was timed to the minute, with each person tasked with specific duties. There was even a mock bridge set up off site to rehearse the move and set procedures. Other parts of the documentary explain the redevelopment of the station area to improve passenger and pedestrian circulation and safety in the event of natural disasters, in coordination with four different railway companies.
  9. JR East will loan a diesel railcar set for use on the Soya Line, while Tokyu will provide the Royal Express trainset which will be used on a yet undetermined itinerary from Sapporo to Eastern Hokkaido. The Royal Express is a DC EMU, so in AC and unelectrified JR Hokkaido territory, it will be pulled by a set of diesel locomotives coupled with a generator car providing hotel power.
  10. Yoro Tetsudou will be introducing ex-Tokyu 7700 series trains on their network from February 2019. The newly introduced trains will replace the more recently built ex-Kintetsu 600 series trains. The 7700 series will come in a variety of two and three car sets and will be painted in various different liveries. Original source: https://www.nisimino.com/yorosenportal/annex/54_Field08.pdf
  11. 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.
  12. more: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003772392
  13. On November 2, Tobu Railway introduced a 50050 series with Crayon Shin-chan wrapping: https://twitter.com/toutetuN700A/status/793996801325953024 https://twitter.com/tetsudomynavi/status/793709616261574656 From November 3 it will be running on Tobu lines, the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line and the Tokyu Den'entoshi Line.
  14. Yesterday a joint statement of four railways was issued announcing the intention of starting reserved seat service using the to-be-delivered Seibu 40000 series. Starting from Spring 2017, this service will operate weekends and holidays between Chichibu and Yokohama Chukagai (for sightseers), and weekdays, on a Seibu Ikebukuro Line-Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line routing (for commuters). The 40000 series feature rotating seats, convertible between longitudinal and airline configurations. http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2016/06/16/264/ press release: http://www.seibu-group.co.jp/railways/news/news-release/2016/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2016/06/16/20160616_zasekisiteisouchoku_1.pdf
  15. Related to the the post about the Keikyu poster, here is some info on train crowding at selected stations on the Toyoko and Den'en Toshi Lines. From the Tokyu corporate website. Toyoko Line (*crowding level is at arrival at Naka-Meguro) Yokohama: http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/guide/off-peak/pdf/rail-ty_yokohama.pdf Kikuna: http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/guide/off-peak/pdf/rail-ty_kikuna.pdf Musashi Kosugi: http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/guide/off-peak/pdf/rail-ty_musashi-kosugi.pdf Jiyugaoka: http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/guide/off-peak/pdf/rail-ty_jiyugaoka.pdf Den'en Toshi Line (*crowding level is at arrival at Shibuya) Minami Machida: http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/guide/off-peak/pdf/rail-dt_minami-machida.pdf Nagatsuta: http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/guide/off-peak/pdf/rail-dt_nagatsuta.pdf *note on the Den'en Toshi Line the relatively uniform level of services ("heikou daiya" or parallel pathings), the service pattern from Futakotamagawa to Shibuya is all stops for all trains during the morning rush, regardless whether the train is designated a local or semi express. The very high congestion levels on this line dictate this pattern- it allows more trains to be squeezed into the rush hour, at the sacrifice of speed.
  16. So on Sunday I was doing a bit of "zenmentenbouing" on the Toyoko Line, when I observed some trackwork being done at Yutenji Station, just one stop from Naka-Meguro. I was completely unaware of this, but this station will have a center passing track, usable in both directions, but primarily for up trains in the morning rush. The platforms (quite generous in width now), will be narrowed to allow the extra width of ROW to fit the center track, and the roof will be rebuilt with an arch design with a higher clearance. Currently on the Toyoko Line there are only four locations where faster trains can overtake or allow cross platform transfers with stopping trains: Shibuya, Jiyugaoka, Moto Sumiyoshi, and Kikuna. As the section of the line approaching Naka-Meguro in the up direction is the most congested, and with the planned 2019 introduction of through trains off the Sotetsu connection at Hiyoshi, extra line capacity is needed, especially on the 7.0 km of line between Shibuya and Jiyugaoka Stations. This additional track is expected to help with that problem. This YouTube video is already a few months old, and the track work as of last weekend is a bit more advanced than depicted here (iirc), but it gives a general idea of the layout of the approach to the station where the center track begins (currently being used as the up line). First is the approach in the up direction, followed by the down direction. Website with diagrams of the track layout: http://mirai-report.com/blog-entry-1309.html * I will try to make a visit to this station this summer holiday to get some on-site pictures, and post here.
  17. Really just a re-branding of existing services using the Fukutoshin line for through running, but intended to be easier to understand for passengers, given the different train designations attached to a train as it passes through each railway. Began running under this monicker from the March 26 timetable revision. http://www.tobu.co.jp/file/pdf/3d2881ee48143e73f17131401fbfdbfd/151218-4.pdf?date=20151218192334 *the "F" stands for "fast", "five", and "Fukutoshin"
  18. This is a Danny Choo video shot with a camera mounted on the bike when he headed out for lunch. The route is from from Musashikoyama to Togoshi Ginza in Tokyo. The trip starts on a narrow commercial / residential street, moves out to a major artery with bike lane and then onto another narrow street but this one is a local retail center. Lots of interesting details everywhere. The grade crossing is the Tokyu Ikegami line at Togoshi-Ginza station (Ik03)
  19. YouTube definitely knows what I want to see. They probably know better than I do, a fairly upsetting thought. Anywho, here's video from Tokyu's open day at Nagatsuta in 2014. This is a demo of the exterior and interior visual inspection, with point and call, done before leaving the yard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzwlyBP0DwU
  20. As of 9:30pm services haven't been restored. Power outage affecting signals and crossings. https://youtube.com/watch?v=skvi_J8uGHI
  21. 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 :).
  22. Back from three weeks in Kanto and Kansai. Just a number of notes I made of the railway scene, opinions fully my own, of course. Toyoko Line- heaps more interesting with the run-throughs via the Fukutoshin Line. Has opened up more railfanning opportunities in the western regions of Tokyo and Saitama w/better access for someone based in Yokohama, like me. I have long lamented the demise of the Tokyu 8000 series on Tokyu Lines rails, but I have found an acceptable substitute- the Tobu 9000 series, which can be seen on the Toyoko Line thanks to the run-through ops. A contemporary (a wee later, actually) in design era with the 8000/8500's (1981), and thanks to that I can hear that sublime chopper whine once again on Toyoko Line rails, AGI (as God intended). And like the 8000 series, or 8500's for that matter, a spot in a motor car will give you a nice symphony of traction motor roar when running in notch 4. Almost enough to make you forget the vulgar GTO or characterless IGBT traction. At Tsunashima station. Blur your vision a bit, and you can almost believe it's an 8000 series moving out:
  23. I haven't seen any other mention of this: the July 2013 issue of Continental Modeller (which just showed up at my local Barnes and Noble last week) has an eight-page profile of the Setagaya line in it, with lots of photos. CM occasionally profiles Japanese layouts or railways, which is one reason I pick it up (the other is that there is a lot of very creative modeling of European lines described, so it's a good source of inspiration).
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