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Hokuriku Shinkansen Maibara routing "difficult"- JR Tokai

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bikkuri bahn

The president of JR Tokai, Mr. Kouei Tsuge, on Monday stated that a routing of the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tsuruga to Shin-Osaka on eastern side Biwa Lake routing of the Tokaido Shinkansen via Maibara would be extremely difficult given the congestion of existing traffic on that line.  Also, the desire among Kansai business interests to have the Chuo Shinkansen (maglev) route from Nagoya to Osaka opened concurrently with the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension was deemed outright impossible by the president. 

 

http://www.sankei.com/west/news/150707/wst1507070037-n1.html

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kvp

So they are supporting the blue route?

wst1507070037-n1.jpg

Considering that it was the original route planned by the JNR this isn't a surprise and it would cover a larger area with no shared tracks. Unfortunately this seems to be the most expensive. Also the maglev could kill the only profitable shinkansen route by taking away high paying customers, while at the same time being too expensive for most people. This would just split the traffic between the two routes without increased income but much larger maintenance costs. If they calculate in the traffic drop on the current Tokyo-Osaka line thanks to the maglev, then the red and green routes would be possible, but financially that would be the worst case for JR Central as they would not gain extra customers, just extra maintenance costs. Financially the blue route + no maglev seems to be the best in the short to mid term.

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westfalen

Pity, would have returned a bit of variety to at least a portion of the Tokaido Shinkansen.

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miyakoji

Interesting.  I like "Nishi Kyoto" in Kameoka.  I'm familiar with the area; the upgrades to the San'in/Sagano Line (double track to Sonobe, less a very short section just out of Kyoto) over the last few years have improved service.  But Kameoka as access to Kyoto seems inconvenient.  It's nothing like Shin-Osaka to Osaka.  I wonder which of the western and central routes would require less tunnelling.

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Sacto1985

In the end, I think:

 

1. The route following the eastern side of Lake Biwa means they may have to put in quadruple tracks from Maibara to Shin-Osaka--that won't be cheap!

 

2. The western route via Kameoka will be ungodly expensive, especially with all the tunneling from Obama to Kameoka and Kameoka to the Senri Hills region--and getting the right of way from Senri Hills back to Shin-Osaka!

 

3. The best solution is to follow the western side of Lake Biwa, building a line that will parallel the JR West Kosei Line. It means a lot less tunneling needed, and getting the right of way will likely be a lot less expensive, too. I'd also suggest terminating the train at Kyoto Station, and help Hankyu Railways so they have a line directly into Kyoto Station to take passengers from the Hokuriku Shinkansen train directly into the Hankyu rail network (Kyoto Station already has platforms for JR West and Kintetsu local trains).

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Kabutoni

That was to be expected. The Tokaido line is already at its capacity and adding more trains is impossible. I wonder why the Maibara route was even thought of in the first place.

 

From my point of view the direct connection to Kyōto seems the most obvious option. As said before, the cheapest and probably the most practical one as well. There doesn't have to be much purchase of land, as the line can simply run above the current tracks, like quite a considerable part of the JR East Tōhoku Shinkansen does over the Tōhoku Main Line. Though, purchasing adjacent land or land that provides less curves might prove to be a less expensive option than stacking.

 

I don't think JR West however has any interest in assisting a competing company with ridership from their Shinkansen. JR West and Hankyū already have a fierce competition going on and probably loathe each other like Keikyū and Tōkyū, or JR East and Odakyū do. 

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katoftw

Yup the green option works for me from a financial point of view, also terminating at Kyoto Station.  JRW have so many empty trains between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka.  That a person can just get off a Shinkansen and then grab a local or rapid to Shin-Osaka.

 

Personally I don't know why someone from JR Tokai is commenting, as all the new Shinkansen route proposed are outside their territory boundaries.  Other than a financial interest, as putting extra shinkansens between Maibara and Kyoto, means JRC will have to have trains terminate at either Nagoya or Maibara.  Not good for their business.

Edited by katoftw

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Sacto1985

I don't think JR West however has any interest in assisting a competing company with ridership from their Shinkansen. JR West and Hankyū already have a fierce competition going on and probably loathe each other like Keikyū and Tōkyū, or JR East and Odakyū do. 

 

I disagree, though. Much of Hankyu's network in northern Osaka is not covered by JR West, and they aren't a threat to JR West's commuter services as far west as Himeji like the combined Hanshin/San'yō Electric Railway service is. I think as a condition of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line ending at Kyoto, the Japanese government may require Hankyu access to the Kyoto Station area.

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Kabutoni

I disagree, though. Much of Hankyu's network in northern Osaka is not covered by JR West, and they aren't a threat to JR West's commuter services as far west as Himeji like the combined Hanshin/San'yō Electric Railway service is. I think as a condition of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line ending at Kyoto, the Japanese government may require Hankyu access to the Kyoto Station area.

 

Maybe you disagree, but I'm sure especially Hankyū would like to disagree on this matter. If the local authorities also agree or disagree is to be discussed by themselves when the final decision is made whether this line is to go to Kyōto. If the local authorities also disagree, then a direct connection to Hankyū may be possible. If not, then it will be up to the goodwill of JR West.

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katoftw

Doubtful the shinkansen will come from the north of Osaka, so it isn't really worth the argument.  Even if the proposed Obama-Osaka route goes ahead, it will most likely meet up with the current shinkansen line between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka.

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bikkuri bahn

I believe the Tokaido Corridor was pushed b/c it was seen as the cheapest (i.e. fastest to complete) option, attractive to business interests as it provides the biggest boost to the economy sooner. JR Tokai understandably takes a dim view of JR-W running trains on their line.  As Sacto and Tony mentioned, the Kosei Line routing seems the best alternative- the alignment was built to high speed specs originally.  As far as terminating at Kyoto, that is a non-starter- the Hokuriku Shikansen is intended to replace the current zairaisen services from Hokuriku to Kansai, forcing passengers to transfer at Kyoto would be a downgrade from the current one-seat service. Somehow a route has to be hewed between Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, possibly alongside the Tokaido corridor.

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katoftw

Passengers already transfer at Kanazawa.  And then in whatever number of decades, transfers will be Tsuruga.  Then the planning will happen from there for these alternative routes.  They may be accustomed to transfers but the time the line gets to Kyoto.

 

I was thinking, considering the time of travel between Shin-Osaka and Kyoto, it would potentially only need a single line between the two stations added.  Doubtful, but would make it cheaper option.

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bikkuri bahn

The point of a new line is to reduce transfers in addition to higher speeds, that's what taxpayers expect when their money is spent on infrastructure.

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katoftw

Whatever happens.  I see a super-express running from Kansai Airport, stopping at Shin-Osaka, Kyoto and terminating at Tsuruga for at least a decade and a half.  Maybe another stop somewhere in downtown Osaka.

 

Or the Haruka will be extended to Tsuruga.  A combined Haruka and Thunderbird.

Edited by katoftw

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NuclearErick

I was thinking another option with the Gauge-Change Train to Maibara since the JR Central ends there so no problem with costs or maintenance but this of will kill the Thurderbird and Shirasagi trains and will be the slower service, and the JRW and JRC could run in the Nagoya to Kanazawa without any problems...

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katoftw

Wont happen as JRWest has already invested in regular Shinkansens for the line.

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Sacto1985

The reason why I suggested ending the Hokuriku Shinkansen service at Kyoto is simple: you only need to bore out two new tunnels on the mountains east of Kyoto to accommodate the Shinkansen line into Kyoto--and the tracks will not interfere with the traffic on the already-busy Tokaidō Shinkansen line.

 

Besides, because Kyoto Station is a major stop for zairaisen JR West trains and an important terminus station for Kintetsu trains, riders can easily transfer to the fast kaisoku JR West trains to Shin-Osaka and Osaka (Umeda) Stations or take the Kintetsu trains to various stations in the Namba part of Osaka.

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Kitayama

I disagree, though. Much of Hankyu's network in northern Osaka is not covered by JR West, and they aren't a threat to JR West's commuter services as far west as Himeji like the combined Hanshin/San'yō Electric Railway service is. I think as a condition of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line ending at Kyoto, the Japanese government may require Hankyu access to the Kyoto Station area.

Hankyu has three main lines. IMHO, all of them are in direct competition with JR West. The markets Osaka - Kyoto / Takarazuka / Kobe are served by both companies. Please also keep in mind that Hankyu and Hanshin are both part of the same group.

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