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Tokyo area railway lines with best/worst reputations


bikkuri bahn

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The same goes in reverse, mainly the commuters could use the ic tracks if needed.

Nope, they can't. Because the local stations around Utrecht only have platforms on the dedicated commuter tracks. The other tracks don't have platforms.

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I meant they could use the ic lines to go around a broken train, then return to the commuter line for the platforms. If they ever add those crossovers i mentioned. Or even use the ic line for travelling and a single commuter platform for both directions, in case a train is stuck at a platform. This would need a few turnouts, but it could work.

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I don't know. I regularly travel through Utrecht and the rail infrastructure around and in the station is being changed enormously. (...) it's the Netherlands after all. What do you think would be the solution?

 

Yes, the plans on that site are already outdated, since there are plans to double the track between Utrecht Leidsche Rijn and Utrecht Centraal, as well as remove the double crossing at Blauwkapel aansluiting, since there is no more through traffic over Utrecht Maliebaan, maintenance is expensive and it reduces the maximum speed and ride comfort on that section (even though it only concerns local trains). Still, with the improvements, the situation is much better than previously where it was just a prewar junction jungle. But yeah, it's still the Netherlands, so Murphy's Law will always abide. xD

 

For the japanese situation, i think the reason for the completly separated tracks is partially the fact that there are different companies running next to each other and the truth that it's much cheaper and simplier to just shut down a whole line in both directions when there is a problem anywhere on the line, than to build an infrastructure and train the various crews to handle the problems on the fly. Having a double track line with no turnouts except at the terminals is easy to operate safely and it's either running as a simple conveyor belt or not running at all. Simple, cheaper and safer, yes. Very customer unfriendly when there is a problem and everything stops, also yes.

 

No, it's not think. It's know, since it has been researched in depth and practiced for decades. A delay of an hour or less does not give an excuse to build points for track interchange possibilities. More points, more maintenance, more safety systems, more maintenance, more technical stuff that can go wrong, more maintenance, more chances of delays, more costs. Especially with headways of 2~3 minutes, this is incredibly inefficient. Customer unfriendly? Not in the least of senses, because this is the optimal system for such operations for everyone. There are very good reasons why all, if not the great majority, of Japanese double track lines operate this way.

 

The fact that overcrowded lines still exist and the companies are very unwilling to change capacity based on demand instead of yearly plans means the system is not as flexible as it should be. But since people in Japan accept the situation, there is really no incentive to change this rigid planning. Personally i'm more used to the practice that an overcrowded line usually means a few extra cars or a few extra trains pop up in the schedule when needed.

 

I don't think you have the slightest of insights in the situations most companies are in... What makes you think that companies are unwilling to increase capacity on demand? Frankly, I find it incredibly ignorant and disrespectful of the capabilities of such companies. It's not what you are used to. It's what is needed and -most of all, what is possible in that situation. Sometimes there is just no room for increased capacity, as most overcrowded lines are already over capacity for decades.

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I meant they could use the ic lines to go around a broken train, then return to the commuter line for the platforms. If they ever add those crossovers i mentioned. Or even use the ic line for travelling and a single commuter platform for both directions, in case a train is stuck at a platform. This would need a few turnouts, but it could work.

The point is, they want less turnouts because they are expensive in maintenance, or rather, they don't know how to maintain turnouts the correct way in the Netherlands (read: politicians decided there is no money necessary to do so) so they thought the Japanese solution would maybe help (where the politicians were prepared to give money for). Now it turns out it doesn't either, because...well it's the Netherlands and not Japan we're talking about.

 

Yes, the plans on that site are already outdated, since there are plans to double the track between Utrecht Leidsche Rijn and Utrecht Centraal, as well as remove the double crossing at Blauwkapel aansluiting, since there is no more through traffic over Utrecht Maliebaan, maintenance is expensive and it reduces the maximum speed and ride comfort on that section (even though it only concerns local trains). Still, with the improvements, the situation is much better than previously where it was just a prewar junction jungle. But yeah, it's still the Netherlands, so Murphy's Law will always abide. xD

Those are just minor differences that the website didn't update yet. :P It's very clear from the drawing that the extra bridge between Leidsche Rijn and Centraal is just not built yet, and the crossing at Blauwkapel doesn't affect anything related to the corridors at all (except for maybe a little speed difference as you say).

 

I also found this map showing the planned corridors:

post-638-0-37624100-1434587592_thumb.png

Looking at both maps I see they forgot something extremely stupid in Utrecht though: the tracks for the locals Breukelen-Veenendaal should have been moved to west of the southern emplacement to allow reversing Amersfoort-Gouda intercities to add or remove cars without interrupting the Breukelen-Veenendaal corridor. Why the bloody hell didn't they do that? Budget cuts?

 

Also, a random rant about the NS. The NS (Dutch railways) often appears to miscalculate the necessary train length. At least it feels like that after having to stand for hours on intercity trains at EVERY Sunday evening for years. Even their own staff complains about it and I often heard them saying they reported to the logistics department that certain trains are way too short. The logistics department doesn't report back and doesn't change anything about it though which even frustrates staff. I can see plenty of rolling stock sitting on sidings on Sunday evenings, but they still don't use them. I know that the NS has a shortage of rolling stock so sometimes trains are shorter during the rush hours on weekdays than the NS themselves wants them to be, but on Sunday evening makes absolutely no sense. The only busy sections during that time are the intercities heading for university cities, which is traditionally the weekly moment when all Dutch students use the train at the same time. But it's still far from anywhere as busy as a Monday rush hour or something.

 

Sometimes there is just no room for increased capacity, as most overcrowded lines are already over capacity for decades.

Sorry to butt into your discussion, but it's politics that decides on national rail infrastructure, isn't? If the government doesn't provide the sufficient infrastructure the railway companies can't help it either. Of course in Japan there are private companies that have their own lines, but if there's no space to lay down extra tracks they can't either.

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Sorry to butt into your discussion, but it's politics that decides on national rail infrastructure, isn't? If the government doesn't provide the sufficient infrastructure the railway companies can't help it either. Of course in Japan there are private companies that have their own lines, but if there's no space to lay down extra tracks they can't either.

 

Yes, politics also play a major part in it, but in Japan it's mostly a financial question. Since most, if not all companies are privately owned, they need to purchase pieces of land (expensive) and/or buy out residents (even more expensive). The same even goes for governmental road building projects, but because roads are more flexible in their construction, you can see double decker and even triple and quadruple-decker roads stacked on top of eachother.

 

With railways, like the Den-en-toshi line on the underground section between Futagotamagawa and Shibuya, Sangenjaya is also stacked to allow for passing tracks (http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/station/info/?id=33). The Odakyu Odawara line has also been heavily invested in to increase its capacity by quadrupling most of the busiest section (Noborito - Yoyogiuehara), so there is certainly willingness to increase capacity.

 

Financially, if it's not a government backed project (e.g. Tsukuba Express), the money comes out of private pockets. As well as that, usually this is not a matter of national governmental issues, but one that is discussed on a prefectural or even a smaller level (like the Odakyu Tama line extension to Tana in Sagamihara).

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With railways, like the Den-en-toshi line on the underground section between Futagotamagawa and Shibuya, Sangenjaya is also stacked to allow for passing tracks (http://www.tokyu.co.jp/railway/station/info/?id=33). The Odakyu Odawara line has also been heavily invested in to increase its capacity by quadrupling most of the busiest section (Noborito - Yoyogiuehara), so there is certainly willingness to increase capacity.

So Sangenjaya has two times two tracks on top of eachother? In total four tracks?

 

Reminds me a bit of the Antwerp premetro (tram tunnel) system that also has stacked tunnels built in streets where two tracks didn't fit.

Here you can see the crossover that was needed to get to the correct tunnel, which for some reason was not built very conveniently because when a tram exits this tunnel it ends up on left traffic while Belgium traffic and thus also the tram doors are on the right. This is also the only island platform on the whole Antwerp tram network because of that. In the second picture you can see the tunnel entrance for the deep level tunnel if you zoom in. The entrance for the other track is just a few meters ahead and is on top of the deep level tunnel.

post-638-0-03447700-1434593020_thumb.jpgpost-638-0-64765700-1434593025_thumb.jpg

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So Sangenjaya has two times two tracks on top of eachother? In total four tracks?

 

Yep, it's just one example, since stations like Shimo-Kitazawa (Odakyu Odawara line) have the same situation going on. Interesting to see the same thing going on in Antwerp! I totally didn't know about that.

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I think one of the stranger examples are the Vancouver Skytrain Burrand and Granville stations on the Expo line, which have the train tracks stacked on top of each other in the same old heavy rail tunnel, that was reused for the Skytrain project. This is why the roof of the top tunnel is curved and the bottom is square, since it's the same tunnel, separated by a thin concrete slab. The two lines stack on one side in the undercity below the port buildings (above surface level but below street level) and split on the other side by two newly built tunnels that emerge next to the old tunnel enterance.

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Sorry, but it is Sakura Shimmachi that has the shunt where the local waits for the express to pass. None of the other stations from Shibuya to Mizonoguchi  has bypass tracks. The Den-en-toshi Line is not convenient if you live before Futakotamagawa. As an aside, Futakotamagawa and my station, Sakurashimmachi have no trash cans at all. 

Grant

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Sorry, but it is Sakura Shimmachi that has the shunt where the local waits for the express to pass. None of the other stations from Shibuya to Mizonoguchi  has bypass tracks. The Den-en-toshi Line is not convenient if you live before Futakotamagawa. As an aside, Futakotamagawa and my station, Sakurashimmachi have no trash cans at all. 

Grant

 

Ah, sorry my bad. I've only been on that part of the Den-en-toshi since last sunday, so hence the misunderstanding. I regularly use the line though, but only to transfer to the Oimachi line at Mizunokuchi. I hardly transfer at Futakotamagawa (like most people I reckon) since at Mizunokuchi, you're almost guaranteed a good spot on the Oimachi line. Waiting times for a transfer are quite short as well on both stations.

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bikkuri bahn

For those interested on how station staff are used to help loading and unloading of trains, and the reduction of delays in the face of extreme congestion, this document may be educational (case study of the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line):

http://railtokyo2015.cs.it-chiba.ac.jp/pres/142p.pdf

 

*to add, this recent conference yielded a good amount of research which may be of interest to those who like the technical side of railway scheduling and operation:

http://railtokyo2015.cs.it-chiba.ac.jp/index.html

 

The actual selection of presentations:

http://railtokyo2015.cs.it-chiba.ac.jp/presentation.html

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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For those interested on how station staff are used to help loading and unloading of trains, and the reduction of delays in the face of extreme congestion, this document may be educational (case study of the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line):

http://railtokyo2015.cs.it-chiba.ac.jp/pres/142p.pdf

 

*to add, this recent conference yielded a good amount of research which may be of interest to those who like the technical side of railway scheduling and operation:

http://railtokyo2015.cs.it-chiba.ac.jp/index.html

 

The actual selection of presentations:

http://railtokyo2015.cs.it-chiba.ac.jp/presentation.html

 

Wonderful information! Thanks for sharing!

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For the japanese situation, i think the reason for the completly separated tracks is partially the fact that there are different companies running next to each other and the truth that it's much cheaper and simplier to just shut down a whole line in both directions when there is a problem anywhere on the line, than to build an infrastructure and train the various crews to handle the problems on the fly. Having a double track line with no turnouts except at the terminals is easy to operate safely and it's either running as a simple conveyor belt or not running at all. Simple, cheaper and safer, yes. Very customer unfriendly when there is a problem and everything stops, also yes.

 

The fact that overcrowded lines still exist and the companies are very unwilling to change capacity based on demand instead of yearly plans means the system is not as flexible as it should be. But since people in Japan accept the situation, there is really no incentive to change this rigid planning. Personally i'm more used to the practice that an overcrowded line usually means a few extra cars or a few extra trains pop up in the schedule when needed.

 

If you can come up with a way to squeeze more trains into Tokyo's maxed-out rush-hour timetables (with trains running at maximum length), I'm sure the railway companies here would love to hear from youThey'd also point out the large sums which have been invested into capacity improvements over the last few decades, including new lines and upgrading existing ones, which is an ongoing process (next major project: extending the Chuo line from 10 to 12 cars).

 

 

 

 

 

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If you can come up with a way to squeeze more trains into Tokyo's maxed-out rush-hour timetables (with trains running at maximum length),

 

The basic idea was to use crossovers to add extra trains and reverse held up trains in case parts of a line is held up because of an accident. This means a disruption anywhere would just split a line in half. This might mean people have to walk one or two stations or take replacement buses, but at least the rest of the line would still function. I understand that this would go against the japanese philosophy of the conveyor belt lines, where there are no crossovers mid line and a line either runs or not. The other idea to add an remove cars or run different (like high capacity standing room only) sets in case of a sudden high load is also something JR East avoids. On the other hand JR West has recently purchased quite a few 3 car small sets that could run in either 3, 6, 9 or 12 car large sets, depending on demand. They are also not painted for a single line, so sets could be moved between lines, meaning they can be regrouped on demand. This works as long as each line has some spare capacity. The tightest schedule i've seen so far in Europe is one 6 car train every minute. This is roughly the same as one 12 car train in every two minutes. As long as a line has a timing larger than this, capacity can be improved with more trains and as long as there is enough platform space, trains can be made longer on demand. This is already practiced in Europe, including multiple train end marks in the Vienna ubahn and Hamburg hochbahn for short, normal and long trains. Normally the normal trains are run, except during low traffic times where only short sets are run, but in case of an event or during rush hours long trains can be used. (up to the capacity of the line and the actual availability of the reserve rolling stock)

 

btw: Someone mentioned that it might be a good idea to tell runners the secret that the next train will come within a short time. Well the Budapest transit co. has done it and let the cat out of the bag...

post-1969-0-74694600-1434719303_thumb.jpg

(the photo was made from a moving tram, so there was no time to wait for people to clear the area, the line actually operates with 1 minute intervals during rush hours and around 40 seconds during the holiday shopping season)

 

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Mudkip Orange

Also, if all lines were to be connected everywhere, they would be no smooth flow of trains, as all lines would be influencing each other.

 

To see this principle in action, just go to DC.

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TokyoImperialPalace
On 6/16/2015 at 9:08 PM, Guest keio6000 said:

 

as an oxbridgeyalehaaavard snob, i'm quite sensitive to the little people 😉

 

but seriously, if those kind of survey results were posted here in britain, the results would be eviscerated.

 

that said, this also smells like tokyu vote stuffing and/or the 'survey' being asked at, say, shibuya and, say, shinkoyasu or some other keihin tohoku place condemned to watch faster trains go by endlessly.

 

The UK is far more classist than Japan though.

 

Seibu Shinjuku line has a bad reputation due to unfortunate circumstances (location of terminus and inability to expand railway). 

Toei Oedo Line is probably the most uncomfortable to ride on.

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2 hours ago, TokyoImperialPalace said:

 

Seibu Shinjuku line has a bad reputation due to unfortunate circumstances (location of terminus and inability to expand railway). 

 

 

Dunno about a bad reputation, but (in my experience) it's certainly the line people seem to have the most trouble placing, when you do the "where do you live?" exchange.

 

The Shinjuku terminus is somewhat inconvenient for changing to the JR lines (which is why most people change at Takadanobaba) but it's more convenient for the Marunouchi Line and the Oedo Line (if heading towards Iidabashi) than say the Keio Shinsen station...

 

A pedestrian tunnel directly connecting Seibu Shinjuku to the JR station area is planned, though currently not scheduled due to the current circumstances...

 

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TokyoImperialPalace
On 9/23/2021 at 1:37 PM, railsquid said:

 

Dunno about a bad reputation, but (in my experience) it's certainly the line people seem to have the most trouble placing, when you do the "where do you live?" exchange.

 

The Shinjuku terminus is somewhat inconvenient for changing to the JR lines (which is why most people change at Takadanobaba) but it's more convenient for the Marunouchi Line and the Oedo Line (if heading towards Iidabashi) than say the Keio Shinsen station...

 

A pedestrian tunnel directly connecting Seibu Shinjuku to the JR station area is planned, though currently not scheduled due to the current circumstances...

 

 

A large percentage of the Seibu Shinjuku Line route is hemmed in on all sides by significant residential property development, underground train tunnels and highway tunnels, walkable rivers and overground highways. It seems hard to build additional rails in any direction. There are also a plethora of railway crossings too which limit the number of trains allowed and probably plays a role in the lack of onward subway through services.

 

Seibu Shinjuku is probably more convenient for the average Tokyoite, but the lack of direct connection to JR lines is a major negative and it would certainly be a hefty walk to Keio and Odakyu. 

 

I would like to see an extension of the Seibu Shinjuku Line southwards towards Yoyogi and a new station built somewhere around there between Shinjuku and Yoyogi stations. And I support the much needed pedestrian tunnel from Seibu Shinjuku Station to the JR station as it is currently a ridiculous walk around compared to how close the two stations are as the bird flies.

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1 hour ago, TokyoImperialPalace said:

 

A large percentage of the Seibu Shinjuku Line route is hemmed in on all sides by significant residential property development, underground train tunnels and highway tunnels, walkable rivers and overground highways. It seems hard to build additional rails in any direction. There are also a plethora of railway crossings too which limit the number of trains allowed and probably plays a role in the lack of onward subway through services.

 

Aaand this is why it's being tunnelized between Nogata and Nakai, and elevated around Higashi-Murayama. The stretch from Iogi to Seibu-Yagisawa is scheduled for elevation over the next few years.

 

I'm not sure if you're familiar with Tokyo, but being "hemmed in on all sides by significant residential property development" etc. has historically been a common feature of most lines, but that hasn't stopped lines being elevated, expanded, and/or put in tunnels.

 

Quote

I would like to see an extension of the Seibu Shinjuku Line southwards towards Yoyogi and a new station built somewhere around there between Shinjuku and Yoyogi stations.

 

(Visualizes the expanse of commercial real estate and complex of tunnels and subterranean passages which infest that area) Now that's what I call an expensive proposition.

 

PS the opening of the east-west passageway across JR Shinjuku station has made it a lot less hassle to cut across Shinjuku.

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