Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Station is said to be the busiest train station in the world with close to 4 million passengers a day passing through. I was one of those millions passing through this week on my way to some meetings.

The amazing part about the number of people who use public transport in Japan is not the staggering numbers themselves, but the ability for the system to continue working with so many users, and for it to have procedures in place that actually work smoothly for when things go wrong.

The Yamanote Line

During the time of the Tohoku earthquake last year, JR and some other railway companies were criticized for their handling of matters. I am sure there were manuals being checked for what to do at that time, however, just thinking about trying to manage 4 million people or more at that time must have been very difficult.

Next time you are riding the trains consider yourself a part of the many millions in the system and enjoy.

Hama-san

Hama-san

Hama-san

Hama-san who greets everyone entering the Shiodome Building where the Family Mart was located.

A friend shared these 2 photos with me from their outing to Hamamatsu-cho (浜松町). Hamamatsu-cho Station on the Yamanote Line is undergoing redevelopment at the moment. A number of new buildings have sprung up on the North exit. You can walk from here down to Shiodome and also Hamarikyu.

Family Mart

A new style Family Mart here in Hamamatsucho. Almost looks like a no brand brand.

I visited Hamarikyu and passed through Hamamatsu-cho as well today.

The Pokemon Center at Hamamatsucho.

The Pokemon Center at Hamamatsucho.

The monorail weaves its way along the road and then runs in front of the Shiodome Building. Very cool.

The monorail weaves its way along the road and then runs in front of the Shiodome Building. Very cool.

Here comes the Monorail making its turn now.

Here comes the Monorail making its turn now.

There is a nice sunken garden in between the Shiodome Building and the apartment towers along the walk towards Shinbashi.

There is a nice sunken garden in between the Shiodome Building and the apartment towers along the walk towards Shinbashi.

Bit of a low passage for the trucks here, particularly with the Shinkansen running above.

Bit of a low passage for the trucks here, particularly with the Shinkansen running above.

I have lots more photos from Hamarikyu, but here is a quick preview

Hamarikyu 浜離宮

Hamarikyu 浜離宮

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Yamanote Line automatic doors

Looks like the advertising is going to get hidden out by the new doors. Wont be long before that advert might have to be attached to the new safety doors instead of the train doors.

Looks like the advertising is going to get hidden out by the new doors. Wont be long before that advert might have to be attached to the new safety doors instead of the train doors.

The Yamanote Line auto doors are due to start operation soon. I wrote a few weeks ago about the electronic doors being installed at Ebisu and Meguro. This is an update showing the door panels now in place at Ebisu station.

The panels look a bit strange without the doors attached.

The panels look a bit strange without the doors attached.

The gap here is where currently the 6 door train carriages stop. Most Yamanote Line trains have 4 doors on each side of the carriage, but they tried out 6 door carriages with fold up seats for a while. Those carriages are going to be retired, but until they are, there will be no safety doors for that portion of the platform.

The gap here is where currently the 6 door train carriages stop. Most Yamanote Line trains have 4 doors on each side of the carriage, but they tried out 6 door carriages with fold up seats for a while. Those carriages are going to be retired, but until they are, there will be no safety doors for that portion of the platform.

Looking back at the doors that have been installed at Ebisu station.

Looking back at the doors that have been installed at Ebisu station.

This device looks like it will be used by the JR platform staff to check that all doors are closed properly.

This device looks like it will be used by the JR platform staff to check that all doors are closed properly.

An advert explaining how and when the doors will be working.

An advert explaining how and when the doors will be working.

All of the carriages and doors are numbered. The safety doors highlight this and also give some warning tips about not getting caught in the automatic system.

All of the carriages and doors are numbered. The safety doors highlight this and also give some warning tips about not getting caught in the automatic system.

This portion is one of the 6 door carriage sections.

This portion is one of the 6 door carriage sections.

Do you have safety barriers like this in your part of the world?

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Yamanote Line Automatic gates

Looking back at the Yamanote Line train as it approaches the platform and the test gate section.

Looking back at the Yamanote Line train as it approaches the platform and the test gate section.

The Yamanote Line is going to have automatic gates installed on all its platforms over the next few years in an attempt to prevent passengers falling on the rails and delaying services. The installation of the gates will be done in parts starting with Ebisu and Meguro Station.

Ebisu and Meguro Stations are going to be the first to have the automatic gates installed for the Yamanote Line.

Ebisu and Meguro Stations are going to be the first to have the automatic gates installed for the Yamanote Line.

You can see the platform has already started to be changed for the gates to be installed.

You can see the platform has already started to be changed for the gates to be installed.

The work at Ebisu and Meguro will begin this month and finish by the end of June 2010 and August 2010 respectively. JR have released a schedule and details (pdf document in Japanese).

Note the markings near the edge of the platform ready for the gates.

Note the markings near the edge of the platform ready for the gates.

A test section of the gate set up at the end of the platform in Ebisu station.

A test section of the gate set up at the end of the platform in Ebisu station.

The train lining up to stop at the right place for the gates to open.

Got my camera settings wrong here, as I was waiting for a shot of the train moving away from the station. Suddenly realized this train was a special test run to check the distances between platform and train in preparation for the gate installation.

Got my camera settings wrong here, as I was waiting for a shot of the train moving away from the station. Suddenly realized this train was a special test run to check the distances between platform and train in preparation for the gate installation.

The test gate section is not in use yet and is actually at the end of the platform away from where the train stops.

The test gate section is not in use yet and is actually at the end of the platform away from where the train stops.

The Yamanote Line leaves the station passing the test gate section.

The Yamanote Line leaves the station passing the test gate section.

The door section that opens will be a glass panel rather than just steel. This will allow passengers and staff to see whether any objects have been caught in the doors when they shut, a regular occurrence when trains are busy.

It will be a shame to see the structures go up and block the view of trains coming into the station, but hopefully this will help to prevent accidents and other incidents where passengers end up falling on the tracks. The Chuo Line, which suffers a high proportion of suicides, may also want to consider implementing such a system.

What do you think about these automatic gates being installed?

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Japan Trains

The driver cab of the Yamanote Line heading for Tokyo Station. Really like the place drivers have reserved for putting their pocket watches. When changing shift, they remove the pocket watch and the new driver puts his in the place. Nice touch of the old with new.

The driver cab of the Yamanote Line heading for Tokyo Station. Really like the place drivers have reserved for putting their pocket watches. When changing shift, they remove the pocket watch and the new driver puts his in the place. Nice touch of the old with new.

Although the Yamanote Line generally stays on the same track all the way round the loop, at the flick of a switch it could be diverted to other platforms.

Although the Yamanote Line generally stays on the same track all the way round the loop, at the flick of a switch it could be diverted to other platforms.

The Yamanote Line train approaches the Station.

The Yamanote Line train approaches the Station.

The Shinkansen takes a peak from behind the Tokaido Line. The old and the new. I can easily guess who will win this race.

The Shinkansen takes a peak from behind the Tokaido Line. The old and the new. I can easily guess who will win this race.

Shinkansen 700 series heading to Tokyo Station. Very sleek long nose cone.

Shinkansen N700 series heading to Tokyo Station. Very sleek long nose cone.

As the Shinkansen passes by, can you see the monorail coming in frmo Haneda Airport at the top of the picture?

As the Shinkansen passes by, can you see the monorail coming in frmo Haneda Airport at the top of the picture?

The Tokaido Line train heading South towards the coast.

The Tokaido Line train heading South towards the coast.

The Tokaido Line is going to celebrate its 120th year anniversary in July this year.

The Tokaido Line is going to celebrate its 120th year anniversary in July this year.

Shinkansen passes by the Minatoku sports center.

The 700 Shinkansen passes by the Minatoku sports center.

One of the many overhead electric lines.

One of the many overhead electric lines.

The button is pressed by the rear cab driver for the Tohoku Line. Time for everyone to jump on before and head home.

The button is pressed by the rear cab driver for the Tohoku Line. Time for everyone to jump on before and head home.

Female drivers on the Yamanote and other train lines are not uncommon now. It is good to see a mix of different people being employed, male, female, old, young and maybe even some foreign in the future.

Female drivers on the Yamanote and other train lines are not uncommon now. It is good to see a mix of different people being employed, male, female, old, young and maybe even some foreign in the future.

The Yamanote Line leaves the platform.

The Yamanote Line leaves the platform.