Sunday, February 22, 2009

Railway News - Spring 2009

Railway News - Spring 2009
basic information

March 2009 brings a timetable revision by the Japan Railways Group (JR) as well as a few other railway related news. Some of the major changes are summarized below:

More night trains to be discontinued
The dying of overnight trains is continuing due to competition by cheaper highway buses and low domestic airfares. The latest victims are the Hayabusa limited express between Tokyo and Kumamoto and the Fuji limited express between Tokyo and Oita. As a result, there will be no more night trains between Honshu and Kyushu from March 14, 2009.

Furthermore, the Moonlight Nagara (Tokyo - Nagoya - Ogaki) and Moonlight Echigo (Tokyo - Niigata), two night trains classified as rapid trains and popular among Seishun 18 Kippu users, will discontinue daily operation. They will, however, continue running during peak seasons.

A night train at Osaka Station
Hanshin Namba Line opens in Osaka
On March 20, 2009, the Hanshin Nishi-Osaka Line will be extended from Nishikujo Station to Namba Station and renamed Hanshin Namba Line. The newly opened section will enable direct train service from Kobe to Namba and Nara by connecting the networks of Hanshin Railways and Kintetsu Railways at Namba Station.
Wireless Internet on N700 Tokaido Shinkansen trains
From March 14, wireless high-speed internet connection will be available on N700 trains sets on the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo - Yokohama - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka). Because the N700 train sets are almost exclusively used on nozomi trains, Japan Rail Pass holders will not be able to profit from the new service.
N700 shinkansen
More prepaid IC cards: Kitaca and Sugoca
JR Hokkaido introduced its Kitaca IC card in autumn 2008. From March 14, 2009, Kitaca will become compatible with JR East's Suica card, which means that Suica cards can be used on JR trains in the greater Sapporo area, and Kitaca cards on JR trains in the greater Tokyo, Sendai and Niigata areas.

On March 1, 2009, JR Kyushu will introduce its Sugoca IC card to be used on JR trains in the greater Fukuoka and Kitakyushu areas. Compatibility with Suica and Nimoca, the prepaid IC card of Fukuoka's Nishitetsu Railways, is planned for spring 2010.

1 comment:

ieng said...

yeah i like japan mostly for the industrial buyer..
the musical of the band is outrages good in my ears..
the horor movie i like it very much..
but the important thing is i wanna see the real japan with my eye open.
if i go on vacation would you be my guide..lol