By Anthony Robins
NEWS UPDATE May 2010 by Anthony Robins
Electrifying Tetsudo Journal
An unelectrified island in JR Tokai's Nagoya area, the 19.3 kms Taketoyo Line from Obu to Taketoyo is due for electrification to be completed in Spring 2015. 28 type 313 cars will be used and the electrification is aimed to save 2,900 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
A Second Life Asahi Shimbun
A 260 metres stretch of the JNR era maglev test track in Miyazaki is now lined with solar panels producing up to 50 kilowatts. Part of Miyazaki Prefecture's plan to reduce CO2 emissions, the prefecture intends to extend the installation to 3.5 kilometres.
Fewer Doors Yomiuri Shimbun/Tetsudo Fan
The Yamanote Line has featured some cars with six doors since 1991, but those in current sets (two E230 500) will be replaced by cars (E231 600 and E231 4600) with four doors by August 2011. This will achieve the uniformity in door spacing necessary for platform doors which are being installed on the line in the 2010 financial year. Ahead of that, with reduced congestion on the Yamanote Line, the seats which were usually folded up during the rush-hour, remained down from late February.
Honoured Canine Mainichi Shimbun
Following the success of Tama, the cat at Kishi Station on the Wakayama Electric Railway, recently promoted from honorary stationmaster to board member, a rather less alive dog has been appointed honorary stationmaster at unstaffed Kitago Station on the Echizen Railway in Fukui Prefecture. A 30 cms tall model of the dog 'Otosan-ken' (father dog), well known for his appearances in mobile phone advertisements is now located there.