Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bikkuri bahn

Kita Kinki Tango Railway to be renamed Kyoto Tango Railway

Recommended Posts

bikkuri bahn

(summary)

The Willer Alliance, parent group of long distance highway coach operator Willer Bus, and designated operator of Kita Kinki Tango Railway since May 2014, has announced that it will rename the Kita Kinki Tango Railway as Kyoto Tango Railway.  Though the railway division is named Willer Trains, the new naming will be the public face of the service.  The designated nickname will be "Tantetsu". Also, the current Miyazu Line will be split into two sections, the Miyamai Line and the Miyatoyo Line. The logo mark for the renamed railway will feature the pink of the Willer Alliance.

 

The aim of Willer Trains is to aid economic revitalization of the region, provide better connections with other transport, and provide employment opportunities attractive to young people.

 

http://response.jp/article/2015/01/29/242921.html

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

So are there any information about which services will be replaced with buses? The new website says 'will be announced later' in the Q&A section about train service reductions, but they do promise more local bus services for smaller towns. I just wonder how did a 3rd sector (local government owned) company got handed to a train (and bus) operating company.

Share this post


Link to post
Azumanga Davo

Shame no one wants to be Kinki anymore... :P

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

My wife jiggles every time I mention the Kinki region.

 

I understand their choice to include Kyoto in their business name. People dont know the region as Kinki but they recognise Kyoto. By adding Kyoto to the name, they are tapping into a better recognised tourism market.

Share this post


Link to post
miyakoji

Possibly, but does that mean that people will actually ride (and pay)?  The JRs took on plenty of loss making JNR lines; in cases like KTR's lines, where the JRs refused to take on a line (and I assume MLIT had to allow this), they must be nowhere near in the black, ever.

Share this post


Link to post
bikkuri bahn

"Kyoto" has about 1000x more brand name power than Kita-Kinki, which the average Japanese likely would have difficulty locating on a map.

 

Miya, maybe they were so desperate that they figured a successful bus operation, with its focus on customer service with some flair, and keeping costs low, would have a better chance of turning around the operation with their knowhow. 

Share this post


Link to post
Nick_Burman

"Kyoto" has about 1000x more brand name power than Kita-Kinki, which the average Japanese likely would have difficulty locating on a map.

 

Miya, maybe they were so desperate that they figured a successful bus operation, with its focus on customer service with some flair, and keeping costs low, would have a better chance of turning around the operation with their knowhow. 

 

Remembering that as far as bus company operation is concerned, it's a bus company (+ the crackers) which keeps the Choshi Dentetsu from going under.

 

Cheers NB

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

 

Miya, maybe they were so desperate that they figured a successful bus operation, with its focus on customer service with some flair, and keeping costs low, would have a better chance of turning around the operation with their knowhow. 

The only knowhow is that buses are cheaper to operate because road maintenance is paid by the government and if road usage tax is added the costs are still shared by the various users. Actually this is the only price difference between a bus and a single diesel railcar, assuming driver only operation and unstaffed stations in both cases. The weight difference between a bus and a railcar is offset by the lower rolling resistence on rails. So if a railcar operator is only using the rails and maintenance is still a government responsibility, then the profits will be very similar if the stations are located practically. The ability of buses to relocate stops with little cost to be nearer to riders also makes buses slightly more profitable. A bus rapid transit system with a private right of way costs roughly the same as a normal light duty rail line.

 

Rail only starts to get an advantage above the capacity of normal articulated bus and only if usage is above 100% of the bus. Still to make it actually profitable, the maintenance costs should be covered, so when a rail line provides enough profit to maintain the tracks and the rolling stock then it is considered financially viable. For a bus operation that would mean enough profits to maintain the public road network it is running on without help from other users. If this condition would be added to a bus operating contract, then nobody would take them.

 

In case of the Tango railway, the exact conditions are not really known but what i could translate, it looks like only the operating rights are transferred, so the rails will still be owned and maintained by the government as a pure loss, while the profit making part will be given over to the bus operator, who will add local bus services to the network and this might increase ridership on the total network to make it profitable. The government will take the loss of rail and road maintenance while the operator could make some profit from the services and might give some of it back to the government. This is actually the british model. The reasoning is usually that the operator will bring fresh capital by getting new stock (buses in this case) and the government could provide public service by taking the loss of road/rail maintenance. The truth is that by creating a nonprofit company (a 3rd sector railway), less public money is wasted since the profits from the services could be routed to cover parts of the maintenance, so the operating losses will be lower and being non profit means no money has to be paid to the owners. A purely 3rd sector way could be to get extra capital from the markets and try to manage the company, so instead of paying the owners, the bank takes some of the profits. Since the whole operation is still lossy, it would be simplier to just skip this and add any extra expenses (like new rolling stock) to the already high loss of maintenance. Of course this might not be politically viable, so extra tricks (legal but morally false) have to be employed by the local goverments.

 

The only case where this public-private partnership is useful is when the government wants to close some of the lines and change from rail to road (to decrease the costs), but don't have the political will or power to do it alone. Adding an external company justifies the restructuring and it's easier to say that in case a line is closed or changed to bus operation that 'the capitalists did it'.

 

Another case for similar privatisation is when the lines are actually making a profit, so they are given away to move this profit to private hands, while still taking public money for rail maintenance. This case might be considered a crime in some countries.

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

 

"Kyoto" has about 1000x more brand name power than Kita-Kinki, which the average Japanese likely would have difficulty locating on a map.

Bingo!!!

Share this post


Link to post
keitaro

i have traveled a lot around here

 

great area and really nice rides.

 

the issue is everyone is a dinosaur up there.

 

I can remember being in amano hashidate and 2 other placed on their lines.

 

No restaurant was open after 6pm! they were operated by 60+ year olds and they went to bed.

 

In all three cases we had to use the convenience store to eat. that or go to the supermarket which closed at 7:30 .....

 

There are young people up there but not alot or they are in hiding, maybe the old have a curfew *que the Simpsons*

 

I think more than just keeping the rail network alive is required to revitalize the region. i think the rail is to stop a black hole appearing and sucking a hole on the japanese map.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

Interesting insight David. Thanks for that. Does highlight their need to align the regional area with the "Kyoto" branding. It's only 2 hours away from Kyoto, but still relatively unknown. I wouldn't have known of the Miyazu area if I wasn't a railfan. This is probably one of many steps for the region to create some tourism oppotunities. Or perish.

Share this post


Link to post
Sacto1985

For those what want to see what some of the trackage on the Kita Kinki (soon to be Kyoto Tango) Railway looks like, here is a zenmen tenbou video of a trip from the JR West Toyooka Station to Miyazu Station:

 

 

This part of the railway is unelectrified except for a very short segment at the very end. The electrified segment is actually an extension of train operations from the railway's Miyafuku Line.

 

There is another video, this time on the Miyafuku Line:

 

 

Note that this train starts from the JR West Fukuchiyama Station.

Edited by Sacto1985

Share this post


Link to post
keitaro

 

I see you hit Nishikicko also. Those Tokotoko carts. Was the dream tunnel awesome?

 

I didn't even know a SL museum exsisted up near Hashidate.

yes it was ok. nothing special just a bit of fun for the kids. the tunnel was very interesting. would love to break into the rest and walk through them.

 

get attacked by hundreds of bats i would imagine though.

 

One of our friends parents lives on that line so we went to see that and visit them also while they were visiting from Australia.

the museum is interesting and so is the way they get their coal delivered.

 

I may be heading there this summer. assuming i do not trip to somewhere bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

I'm actually quite amazed at the engineering that would've gone into the Miyafuku Line. Viaducts, raised track bedding, tunnels, hanging platforms etc. They simply haven't just cut the land and followed the ly of the land. Quite impressive for a middle of nowhere rural line.

Share this post


Link to post
westfalen

I'm actually quite amazed at the engineering that would've gone into the Miyafuku Line. Viaducts, raised track bedding, tunnels, hanging platforms etc. They simply haven't just cut the land and followed the ly of the land. Quite impressive for a middle of nowhere rural line.

The engineering that went into rural branch lines like this in Japan has always amazed me compared to what was typically done in Queensland, to us this is heavy duty main line standards.

 

I'm sad to see the name change, Kita Kinki Tango was my favorite Japanese railway name, the sort of thing you couldn't make up.  Almost as good as the sign I saw once at Kansai Airport advertising the Kinki School of Medicine.

Edited by westfalen

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...