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urbanflyer
Jan 4, 2007, 6:04 AM
A few pics from the Shindeki-machi line

http://photoimg.enjoyjapan.naver.com/view/enjoybbs/viewphoto/pvillage/41000/20061210116575141585687000.jpg

http://photoimg.enjoyjapan.naver.com/view/enjoybbs/viewphoto/pvillage/41000/20061210116575139249484400.jpg

http://photoimg.enjoyjapan.naver.com/view/enjoybbs/viewphoto/pvillage/41000/20061210116575106611280400.jpg

http://photoimg.enjoyjapan.naver.com/view/enjoybbs/viewphoto/pvillage/41000/20061210116575105740028400.jpg

J Church
Jan 4, 2007, 6:20 AM
Is that an O-Bahn?

Justin10000
Jan 4, 2007, 2:26 PM
IT has to be.

I would feel sorry for the driver who has to negioate that with any kind of mechnical help.

Looks awesome though. I like seeing TRUE BRT systems, and not the sorry excuses that we have in North America(ecpet Ottawa, of course).

orulz
Jan 4, 2007, 2:53 PM
Japan builds heavy infrastructure like nowhere else in the world. No matter what they built, function comes first, cost and aesthetics are considered later. I wish things could be built like that in the US...

J Church
Jan 4, 2007, 5:35 PM
You know, Nagoya is like a transit junkie's playpen. There are all the usual modes, of course, but how many O-Bahns are there in existence worldwide? And it has just one of two commercially operating maglevs.

Justin10000
Jan 4, 2007, 5:53 PM
More pics?

urbanflyer
Jan 4, 2007, 10:28 PM
sorry, couldn't find other pics. but I'll be taking my first ride on the line in the coming weeks. I only just recently found out about it when looking at a revised city bus map. For whatever reason it had been mapped seperately until they decided to include all bus services on the base map.

This example is the only one I know of other than the original one in Adelaide.

this article has some interesting comments on how farebox recovery has fared with these expensive projects in spite of the recently-ended Japanese recession

http://www.apta.com/services/intnatl/intfocus/asiastudy.cfm

J Church
Jan 4, 2007, 10:41 PM
A case in point is the balance sheet of Tokyo’s major metrorail system, the TRTA, known popularly as the Eidan, which carries about 5.7 million passengers each day and last year achieved a little more than $100 million in revenues above expenditures after tax and debt service [emphasis mine]. This puts Eidan into an exclusive handful of subway systems around the globe that earn considerably more than they spend.

And that's not even charging Shinkansen fares. Just an ordinary urban Metro. If you could put it in a bottle ...

Deez
Jan 4, 2007, 11:15 PM
Question: If you going to make the expense of what looks like a lot of grade separation, why not go with rail? Especially if the busses are automated? I'm not familiar with the area so I don't know what the demand level is like...all I know is that the Japanese are not usually ones to skimp out on big capital expenditures.

(Aside: Someone may point out that Ottawa's system has grade separation, but in actuality the distance over which this is true is actually quite small compared to the size of the whole Transitway.)

DenverTrans
Jan 5, 2007, 2:39 AM
Japan builds heavy infrastructure like nowhere else in the world. No matter what they built, function comes first, cost and aesthetics are considered later. I wish things could be built like that in the US...

Maybe they care about aesthetics --
http://www.gardkarlsen.com/japan/shinkansen_JR500.jpg

Maybe they just built a lot of things when aesthetic fashions were, uh, different.

As a culture, though, they have an incredible aesthetic tradition:

http://www.jal.com/world/en/guidetojapan/world_heritage/itsukushima/description/img/img_itsukushima_02.jpg

martarider
Jan 5, 2007, 4:15 PM
Cool. So is "O-bahn" a generic term for any guided busway? For whatever reason I'd always associated that specifically with the system in Adelaide.

Anyway there are several similar systems in Europe too, UK and Germany in particular.

This one in Essen is very "green" compared to others, w/ grass planted down the middle of the guideway:

http://citytransport.info/PhotoCD/0376_46a.jpg

And this one in Mannheim appears to share at least a section of its ROW w/ steel-wheel trams:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Spurbus_Mannheim1.jpg

Unfortunately its hard to find much info about these systems online beyond scattered photos like this, at least not in English.

J Church
Jan 5, 2007, 4:54 PM
Are they that common? I thought there might be one or two in Germany but I'd never heard of any in the UK.

My understanding is that any busway guided by rollers and not optics is an O-Bahn. I believe German engineers consulted on the design of the Adelaide system, the original, and that's where the name came from (though I could be wrong).

G-Man
Jan 5, 2007, 5:02 PM
So is there a financial benefit to this. I mean isn't the main cost of a guideway system the guideway not the technology used?

Justin10000
Jan 5, 2007, 5:31 PM
Cool. So is "O-bahn" a generic term for any guided busway? For whatever reason I'd always associated that specifically with the system in Adelaide.

Anyway there are several similar systems in Europe too, UK and Germany in particular.

This one in Essen is very "green" compared to others, w/ grass planted down the middle of the guideway:

http://citytransport.info/PhotoCD/0376_46a.jpg

And this one in Mannheim appears to share at least a section of its ROW w/ steel-wheel trams:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Spurbus_Mannheim1.jpg

Unfortunately its hard to find much info about these systems online beyond scattered photos like this, at least not in English.

I prefer "Guided Bus" to be honest. But O-bahn can is a good coin-term.

orulz
Jan 5, 2007, 5:46 PM
Maybe they care about aesthetics --

True, my statement was too general and sweeping. But then again, look at the station around the train. Completely utilitarian; no unnecessary frills or adornments. Pleasant, clean, bright, and open, but above all it's practical, useful, and safe.

As much as I appreciate mind-bogglingly awesome architecture in transit stations, sometimes letting a transit station just be a transit station and nothing more can be a work of art by itself (and could save more than a few million dollars in the process!) Particularly in the US where money for transit is extremely tight, spending money on radical station designs by famous architects would seems superfluous.

martarider
Jan 5, 2007, 6:40 PM
Just noticed Wikipedia has a pretty good writeup on guided bus systems:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guided_bus

Regarding such systems in the UK:


A number of guided busways currently operate in the United Kingdom. They are at:

* Ipswich (Kesgrave) - opened in 1995
* Leeds (A61 Scott Hall Road) - opened in 1995
* Leeds (A64 York Road and A63 Selby Road) - opened in 2001
* Bradford (A641 Manchester Road) - opened in October 2001.
* Crawley (Southgate Avenue) - opened in August 2003.
* Crawley (London Road) - opened in December 2004.
* Edinburgh (Fastlink - Stenhouse to Broomhouse) - opened in December 2004.


Definitely more than I expected. And there is another one u/c right now in Cambridge, for which there is actually extensive online info:

http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/guided/

BTW, also from that wiki article, it appears the shared tram/guided-bus setup in Mannheim pictured above was only temporary:

In Mannheim, Germany from May 1992 to September 2005 a guided busway shared the tram alignment for a few hundred meters, which allowed buses to avoid a congested stretch of road in a location where there was no space for an extra traffic lane. It was discontinued as the majority of buses fitted with guide wheels were withdrawn for age reasons. There are no plans to convert newer buses.

Too bad... that would have been fun to see.

Lee_Haber8
Jan 6, 2007, 12:30 AM
If guided-bus is done properly, the quality of ride can be equal to that of light-rail. Because it is mechanically guided in a steel track the ride can be as smooth as rail and buses can stop in a much shorter distance. The advantage of bus-rail over light rail in certain cases is that buses at the end of the guideway can get off and serve other destinations. The disadvantages of guided-bus are it has yet to be proven to work in winter climates and capacity (though this is somewhat compensated by the fact that the buses can run more frequently).

miketoronto
Jan 6, 2007, 1:03 AM
There is a difference though between guided bus and o-bahn.

Guided busways like the ones in England, are not the same as the o-bahn, which has special tracks for the buses, and special little wheels, etc on the bus.

The English Guided busways just use computer tech to keep the buses in a certain lane on the road, or on a busway that does not have the same kind of features a o-bahn bus has.

Jared
Jan 6, 2007, 1:10 AM
Maybe they care about aesthetics --
http://www.gardkarlsen.com/japan/shinkansen_JR500.jpg

Maybe they just built a lot of things when aesthetic fashions were, uh, different.



Um, the Skinkansen's sleekness has far more to do with making it aerodynamic in order to minimize air resistance than it does with "looking cool/futuristic".

urbanflyer
Jan 6, 2007, 1:38 AM
^
that said, the coolness factor is a welcome result :)

nito
Jan 6, 2007, 12:17 PM
There is a difference though between guided bus and o-bahn.

Guided busways like the ones in England, are not the same as the o-bahn, which has special tracks for the buses, and special little wheels, etc on the bus.

The English Guided busways just use computer tech to keep the buses in a certain lane on the road, or on a busway that does not have the same kind of features a o-bahn bus has.The UK systems all have the special concrete tracks and side-wheels to move along as if its on a rail. The only thing I can think of that you are thinking of regarding computer technology is the AVL/GPS system that provides ETA's of the next bus.

http://www.fastway.info/service_info/images/guide_wheel.jpg

http://www.fastway.info/service_info/images/bus_in_guideway.jpg

http://www.fastway.info/service_info/images/RealTimePassengerInfo.jpg

London is planning two massive such networks:
- Greenwich Waterfront Transit
- East London Transit
Both are being built so that in the future they can be easily upgraded to a tram network.

Cool idea for a thread - rarely do these systems get a mention, even though they offer a good system that could then later on be converted into a tram line.

mSeattle
Jan 7, 2007, 6:44 PM
Um, the Skinkansen's sleekness has far more to do with making it aerodynamic in order to minimize air resistance than it does with "looking cool/futuristic".

Some others might have tried to get away with just rounding out the corners of a square-headed front or at the most, turning it into a bubble-headed front like LRTs/buses these days. The full extension front is the fastest/sweetest-looking.

Interesting BRTs. Wonder how much they cost.

orulz
Jan 7, 2007, 7:48 PM
Some others might have tried to get away with just rounding out the corners of a square-headed front or at the most, turning it into a bubble-headed front like LRTs/buses these days. The full extension front is the fastest/sweetest-looking.That picture, by the way- is a 500-kei Nozomi. They are the fastest trains running on the Sanyo line, but they are decidedly rare. Only 9 of these trains are in existence. The vast majority of the trains running on the Sanyo and Tokai lines are 700-kei (http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%94%BB%E5%83%8F:700kei.JPG) which emphasizes practicality over aesthetics to a greater degree. The elongated nose and somewhat dustbuster-like profile dissipates the pressure waves generated when entering tunnels or passing other trains inside them just as well as the pointed nose on the 500-kei, and the 700-kei cost about 40% less per train to construct.