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Densha

[4K Cabview Video] JR Sanko Line (Gotsu - Miyoshi)

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Densha

A very well filmed cabview video of the whole JR Sanko Line between Gotsu (Shimane prefecture) and Miyoshi (Hiroshima prefecture). This line is scheduled to be closed on 31 March 2018, so hurry if you still want to catch a ride on this line!

 

 

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Yavianice

Too bad. Sure 50 passengers per day is not much, but this line seems perfect for a joyful train to attract passengers? As it is also one of the few lines connecting the seto inland sea to the sea of japan, it seems like a missed opportunity somehow.

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bikkuri bahn

A joyful train may attract passengers on the weekends, but what about the other five days?  If the locals don’t ride the train, maybe they don’t really need it.  

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kvp
13 minutes ago, Yavianice said:

Too bad. Sure 50 passengers per day is not much, but this line seems perfect for a joyful train to attract passengers? As it is also one of the few lines connecting the seto inland sea to the sea of japan, it seems like a missed opportunity somehow.

I assume the main problem is the cost of maintenance. For a flatland line 50 passengers / day / km (or 5400 passengers / day) would be enough to cover most of the costs. But this line has some spectacular bridges, lots of small ones and also a lot of tunnels. Keeping these from crumbling need lots of work in a hard to reach mountainous environment, which could be pricey.

 

In theory the two urban parts of the line could be kept operational as a local railway (possibly 3rd sector), but it seems that there is no support even for that from the local governments. The original privately built Gotsu - Hamara section seems to be cheaper to maintain, right before the first huge tunnel. Also the Miyoshi - Shikiji section contains less tunnels and large bridges, but the elevated infrastructure in Miyoshi alone is also expensive.

 

The line could have around 4 trains on it at the same time (each with around the same capacity as a bus). A trip time of 3.5 hours means a frequency of around 2 hours / direction or one train in each direction every hour. (someone with a schedule could correct me) With an assumed 16 hours / day operation, this means 8 trains per day in each direction. I'm not sure how these 16 trips could carry 5400 passengers a day as it would mean 337 passengers / trip. If each car is assumed to be full with everyone sitting, then the capacity is more around 1000 passengers / day, or 500 round trips. That would put the actual passenger number at 10 passengers / day / km. We could count the number of waiting passengers at each station, double that as the number getting off could be smilar and multiply it by 16 as that's the number of services and this number would be around my assumption above, still leaving the line around 5 passengers / day / km, not because nobody uses the line, but because the line itself is long. The average speed with station stops seems to be 30 km/h, which is pretty normal for an interurban bus service, which would probably replace the service. Due to the mountains, i except a much longer bus trip time as the local roads are not as direct as the current train line.

 

In short the passenger numbers seems to be bad, but not because there are no passengers, but the line is long with lots of expensive infrastructure that has to be maintained, with the final connecting section containing the most expensive structures.

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Yavianice
22 minutes ago, bikkuri bahn said:

A joyful train may attract passengers on the weekends, but what about the other five days?  If the locals don’t ride the train, maybe they don’t really need it.  

Isn't the purpose of a joyful train to put the region on the map, and reinvigorate the business in that region in general, not just the weekends? For example, the Isumi railway had very low ridership and nothing interesting for tourists and had the spectacular idea to make that central to their advertising campaign. What I read is that it is a very natural area with very nice views, seems to me a bit like the Hitoyoshi line which already has 2 joyful trains running on it. The difficult bit would be that the line itself is long and hard to reach. I dunno. I still think it's a bit easy to close such a nice line.

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