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Seibu, others to introduce reserved seat trains between Chichibu and Yokohama


bikkuri bahn

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bikkuri bahn

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

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Wow, that's pretty impressive! A four-company through service with reserved seats. So far, the only metro through running trains with reserved seats are the Odakyū MSE Ltd. Express services from Kita-Senju to Odawara/Hakone-Yumoto and occasionally Enoshima. I wonder how successful this will be.

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bikkuri bahn

There are some points to ponder (taken from a Toyo Keizai web article):

1. On the weekday services, Seibu has not decided yet if the reserved seat service will run during the AM rush, PM rush, or both

2. On the Seibu Chichibu Line, other than Chichibu Station, the station platforms are not long enough to handle 10 car length trains.  The stop pattern has yet to be determined.

3. The distance between Chichibu and Yokohama is greater than 100km, so toilets will have to be installed.

4. Apparently not all trainsets of the order from KHI for 8x10 cars of the 40000 series will feature rotating seats, the proportion of non-rotating to rotating is TBD.

5. As for demand for this type of service, apparently Red Arrow services have become popular among commuters, to the extent that services have sold out for the evening rush, with people on wait lists.  This new service is aimed to address that demand.

http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/123135

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5. As for demand for this type of service, apparently Red Arrow services have become popular among commuters, to the extent that services have sold out for the evening rush, with people on wait lists.  This new service is aimed to address that demand.

http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/123135

 

This is definitely the case, on those luckily few occasions when I'm on the way home on the Seibu Shinjuku line in the evening from Shinjuku or Takadanobaba, the Red Arrow seats always seem pretty close to being sold out. Mind you those seats only cost a few hundred yen and probably seem quite attractive.

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This is the beginning of a trend of more reserved-seat service from the western parts of Tokyo to central Tokyo. I believe Keio plans something similar from Takao on the Keio Takao Line some time in 2017, and JR East plans to implement Green Car reserved seating on the E233, probably using something similar to the SaRo E232/E233 bi-level cars that are part of E233-3000 series trainsets (that's in addition to Home Liner reserved seat services).

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Reducing local services or normal seating then change them as limited express or green class, is this the trend to increase pricing?

 

The 40000 series feature rotating seats, convertible between longitudinal and airline configurations.

 

How do they do that? So, busy time longitudinal seating to accommodate more standing and airline seating while quiet? 

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bikkuri bahn

^^

Ticket pricing is very reasonable in Japan, I think it has been quite a few years, if not decades, since fares have increased in any significant way.  The reserved seat charges are also reasonable, and as railsquid mentioned, likely why the existing services are so popular.

 

How do they do that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tDgxTo81II

*this just shows the change in facing, but the seating can also be positioned longitudinally for peak hour services.

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