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trainsforever8

Keihin-Tohoku line to get one man operation and new rolling stock

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trainsforever8
Posted (edited)

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/7636e3b03f2ed82ff55212197778dbf6a4d355b9

 

According to this article, a feasibility study has begun with the intention of equipping the Keihin-Tohoku line with one man operation starting around 2024.

 

I only translated the article through google translate because my Japanese is not sufficiently good, so if anybody who can read this article could add some clarifications it would be appreciated.

 

I might have misunderstood, but it seems to say that a new type of rolling stock will appear on the line with the capacity of ATO and with cameras for one man operation? Can anybody confirm?  

Edited by trainsforever8
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railsquid

Yes, that's the gist. Very vague article.

 

Well, I guess the E233s will be over 15 years old in 2024 which will be positively ancient by JR East main commuter line standards...

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bikkuri bahn

Looking at the comments on Yahoo, there seems to be a lot of skepticism with this concept, namely the issue of safety should a train become stopped between stations.  If a problem/incident occurs at a station, there will be station staff on hand to assist, but out on the line, the driver has to take care of things solo, at rush hour that would be a 10 car lengths worth crush load of passengers. Also, I can see how one man operation is feasible (and is being done) on closed/grade separated systems such as subways or fixed guideway systems, but the Keihin Tohoku line runs at grade on long stretches, with grade crossings and other points where trespassers can enter the line- is ATO operation realistic for this?

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trainsforever8
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bikkuri bahn said:

Looking at the comments on Yahoo, there seems to be a lot of skepticism with this concept, namely the issue of safety should a train become stopped between stations.  If a problem/incident occurs at a station, there will be station staff on hand to assist, but out on the line, the driver has to take care of things solo, at rush hour that would be a 10 car lengths worth crush load of passengers. Also, I can see how one man operation is feasible (and is being done) on closed/grade separated systems such as subways or fixed guideway systems, but the Keihin Tohoku line runs at grade on long stretches, with grade crossings and other points where trespassers can enter the line- is ATO operation realistic for this?

I don't think it's that much of a safety issue if the line turns into one man operation. In fact, considering JR East wants to eventually turn to completely unmanned operation, it makes sense to transition slowly by first removing the conductor and then, in the future, the driver. They will have to learn how to operate this way regardless of how many cars the trains have, new safety and operation methods will be developed specifically with that in mind and I think that's why a feasibility study is being made instead of bluntly removing the conductor without studying the concept.

 

On another note, a lot of people on Twitter are raising the idea that since JR East didn't even specify the name of the model even though intuitively, we would assume that it would be the E235 series, the trains to be introduced on the Keihin-Tohoku line could be a brand new E237 series that is specifically conceived for one man operation and ATO. I wonder if that makes sense since the E235 series have only been deployed on two lines so far and it just feels a bit too "soon" to already introduce a newer model than the E235 series? Does anybody have an opinion about that? 

Edited by trainsforever8

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RossDensha
Posted (edited)

Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to keep the E235 if this does go ahead, the E233-2000s for example on the Joban/Chiyoda lines are fitted with ATO for the subway (and soon the Joban line as well).

But it is JR East who seem to be unpredictable with their new series vs new sub series. They get itchy feet very quickly. So who knows?

Take the E131 for example, if they really wanted to, they could just make a warmer region four door variant of the E129 series.

Edited by RossDensha

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Socimi
Posted (edited)
On 6/29/2020 at 3:12 AM, bikkuri bahn said:

Also, I can see how one man operation is feasible (and is being done) on closed/grade separated systems such as subways or fixed guideway systems, but the Keihin Tohoku line runs at grade on long stretches, with grade crossings and other points where trespassers can enter the line- is ATO operation realistic for this?

 

I don't think there will be any problem of this kind.

After all, the sense of manned ATO is that the driver must still be present, overseeing the ATO's operation and overlooking the line, so if things get sour, he can always slam on the emergency brakes at any moment (or shut off ATO and drive in "manual mode").

 

Also, i wonder if the Yamanote Line will get ATO and one-man operation togher with the Keihin-Tohoku Line.

After all, the two are practically interlikned (and if i'm not wrong, they share even drivers and conductors).

In fact, the signalling was also upgraded on the two lines at the same time (first in 1971 with ATC-6 and later in 2006 with D-ATC).

 

Edited by Socimi

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RossDensha

Aren't JR East conductors and drivers are divided into wards/zones instead of lines?

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Socimi
2 hours ago, RossDensha said:

Aren't JR East conductors and drivers are divided into wards/zones instead of lines?

 

Yep, they're divided by depot, and AFAIK, the Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku Lines share the same depot, the Tokyo General Rolling Stock Center of Shinagawa (altough the Keihin-Tohoku Line also has another depot in Saitama).

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RossDensha

Found a wikipedia article on the "JR East Tokyo Branch"

So that's Tokyo General Rolling stock center, Oku Depot, Matsudo Depot and Tabata.

So is that how it works? Or is google translate rubbing me up the wrong way again?

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Socimi
9 hours ago, RossDensha said:

Found a wikipedia article on the "JR East Tokyo Branch"

So that's Tokyo General Rolling stock center, Oku Depot, Matsudo Depot and Tabata.

So is that how it works? Or is google translate rubbing me up the wrong way again?

 

If i'm not wrong, the JR East Tokyo Branch is just as the name says, JR East's branch that supervises Tokyo area operations (including the rolling stock depot).

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