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JR Hokkaido to close 18 unmanned train stations, to scrap 20 local and some express services

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Tony Galiani

Always disappointing to see service cut backs but probably sensible in light of the current situation.  The clip does show a largely empty train leaving a station.

 

I wonder if they have ever tried on demand use of those stations.  Back in the day in the USA, there used to be flag stops at small unmanned stations.  If someone needed to get on the passing train, they would set a signal.  If no signal, then the train would just pass by.  With Japan being so hi-tech, they could do that with an app.

 

Tony Galiani

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katoftw

Flag stops dont decrease running and maintenence costs.

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fpav_2125

kato has right, infrastructure and maintenance are the biggest costs in railway systems. In my final university years I did a preliminary research for a hipotetic railway system (passenger services without including freight trains) between Santiago and Valparaiso/Viña del Mar in Chile and the financial results (no social costs) were negative thanks to maintenance and infrastructure, profits were not enough to cover all costs, social evaluation for this project had profits but not enough to qualify for possible subsidies. In Chile there are separation between infrastructure and operation in railways (EFE is the owner of railway lines and infrastructure and there are freight and passenger operators) In JR Hokkaido and Japan in general I don't know if there are this kind of separation or similar, maybe only in third sector railways but I can't remember.

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Socimi
19 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

Always disappointing to see service cut backs but probably sensible in light of the current situation.  The clip does show a largely empty train leaving a station.

 

I wonder if they have ever tried on demand use of those stations.  Back in the day in the USA, there used to be flag stops at small unmanned stations.  If someone needed to get on the passing train, they would set a signal.  If no signal, then the train would just pass by.  With Japan being so hi-tech, they could do that with an app.

 

Tony Galiani

 

Most of the stations being closed are already unmanned ones, some do not even any kind of amenity - just a bare platform. "flag stops" (or "request stops" as they're known in europe) might still be a good solution, but they won't cut costs by much.

 

10 hours ago, fpav_2125 said:

 infrastructure and maintenance are the biggest costs in railway systems. In my final university years I did a preliminary research for a hipotetic railway system (passenger services without including freight trains) between Santiago and Valparaiso/Viña del Mar in Chile and the financial results (no social costs) were negative thanks to maintenance and infrastructure, profits were not enough to cover all costs, social evaluation for this project had profits but not enough to qualify for possible subsidies. In Chile there are separation between infrastructure and operation in railways (EFE is the owner of railway lines and infrastructure and there are freight and passenger operators) In JR Hokkaido and Japan in general I don't know if there are this kind of separation or similar, maybe only in third sector railways but I can't remember.

 

In Japan, infrastructure separation parctically does not exist: railways own and maintain their networks. The only exceptions are: JR Freight, wich (except for it's yards, depots and freight-only lines) runs on tracks owned by the passenger-JR companies; a few third-sector railways, wich handed over the management of their networks to other railway companies as they couldn't bear the maintainance costs (such as in the case of Hokushinkyuko Railway, wich handed over it's network to the Kobe Rapid Transit Railway co.) or when land ownership/bureocratic/political issues arise, as in the case of the Kintetsu Keihanna Line: the line is operated by Kintetsu, but the company only owns the western half - the eastern half is onwed by the Nara-Ikoma Rapid Transit Railway co. - an ad-hoc created company subsidiary of Kintetsu.

 

A passenger service between Santiago and Valparaiso wouldn't be a too far fetched idea, considering the infrastructure still exists and it's still being used for freight trains (including the Matucana tunnel, wich would allow trains from Valparaiso to terminate at Santiago's central station).

 

 

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