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Author Topic: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)  (Read 18956 times)

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Offline DarrwestLU6

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #585 on: August 05, 2019, 11:39:45 AM »
Squid san - I've been on holiday in North Wales (see https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=46082.msg582152#msg582152) with very little Wifi, so only just caught up on this one...I loved the video of the shunting operations a few posts back, fascinating stuff!

Offline railsquid

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #586 on: August 06, 2019, 01:39:01 AM »
This is an educational layout! Didn't really know much about Japanese railways other than the classic Bullet-train - which I secretly wanted as a child. Thanks for these posts. I am learning much! :thumbsup:

I must admit, around this time 5 years ago I didn't know much more, despite living here and having travelled pretty extensively on the Japanese railway network. I mean, I've always liked trains, but never really had any reason to go into much detail since abandoning trainspotting in the 1980s.

Then one day, if memory serves correctly it was July 2014, and I was pottering round Tokyo's Akihabara district looking for some cheap computer parts, and happened to stumble upon a shop selling trains, wandered in and found they had baskets of second-hand rolling stock split from sets, thought it would be nifty to have a little model of one of the trains running on our local line to display on a shelf, so wandered back out with a single EMU end car and a bit of track to put it on... and the rest, as they say, is history.

And despite Japan being a bit of a latecomer as far as railways go, boy is there a lot of history, which is quite fascinating, especially as it provides an excuse to acquire ever more obscure stock.

But, returning to the present day for a while... you may recall this JR 209-500 Chuo-Sobu Line train from a few weeks ago, specifically:

Quote
You may notice it looks a little chubbier around the tumblehome than the previous 209... that is due to an increased proprortion of dairy products in the Japanese diet, err sorry, due to the fact that someone had the bright idea of increasing capacity by making the trains a little wider, which turns out to be practical as you don't need to increase the width of the whole body. This was actually planned for the successor series (E231) but due to delays in development it was decided to plonk the E231 body on the 209 series chassis, resulting in what we see here.

Here is the genuine E231 series:


MicroAce E231-0 series (Chuo Sobu Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

Like the 209-500 series, from MicroAce, available by the bucketload at knockdown prices, because an older model (ca. 2004) and not quite as good as more recent offerings from Kato and Tomix, but very acceptable at the price paid, which is low partly because the MicroAce mechanism is notoriously noisy, but Railsquid knows a simple trick to cure that; before-and-after:



(Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRLz3Y1UCHg )

To be continued...
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline railsquid

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #587 on: August 06, 2019, 03:22:20 AM »
I believe I mentioned this previously, but with many Japanese models there is a certain element of self-assembly required, which many people don't bother with because it's fiddly and also diminishes the resale value.

So as-is, typically multiple units will come with bare destination blinds/indicators, like this:


MicroAce E231-500 series (Yamanote Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

(please excuse the sudden change of train, I don't have a photograph of the one in question in that state) which to be honest doesn't look too bad at normal viewing distance but sticks out like a sore thumb in pictures.

So with no further ado, Railsquid jumps into the realm of mm-sized fiddliness:


MicroAce E231-0 series (Chuo Sobu Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

knocking yen off the potential resale value, which is fine as I don't intend to sell it and wouldn't get much anyway. The black part next to the scalpel is where the stickers go, conveniently it can be removed from the train.

The result:


MicroAce E231-0 series (Chuo Sobu Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

which doesn't look too bad (a bit tricky to take a photo of due to the curvature of the windscreen causing reflections).

I did start with this on Friday and only finished last night  :goggleeyes: but that was because one needs to pull the cab end off to gain access to the bit where you put the stickers, and unexpectedly the entire assembly burst apart, casting the protective assembly below the front coupling into the Great Unknown, so I ended up spending most of the available free time over the weekend tidying up the Railsquid Railway Lair which was quite productive and needed doing anyway. In the course of which I not only located the missing part, but discovered several other bits from other trains which had gone AWOL, but not as I had thought into the maw of the much-maligned carpet monster, but had found their way into various drawers.

Oh yes, these things also have one destination indicator on the side of each car (so 12 for a 6 car set), I suspect I'll leave those for another day year.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 03:23:41 AM by railsquid »
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline Bealman

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #588 on: August 06, 2019, 04:16:11 AM »
The cleanup adventures of railsquid!!  :headbang:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline railsquid

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #589 on: August 07, 2019, 07:34:26 AM »
So, continuing our ad-hoc perambulations through the fascinating world of Japanese commuter trains, feast your eyes upon this strange-looking beast:


MicroAce E231-0 series (Chuo Sobu Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

One day in the late 1980s or early 1990s someone was devoting some cranial capacity to the perennial problem of overcrowded trains and presumably travelled along a train of thought (hah!) along these lines (hah!): "Hmm, at peak times it's standing room only, so why not make a carriage which is literally that? And add some more doors so people can embark/egress more quickly.".

And so the six-door carriage was born. But what about outside of peak times, I hear you ask? Well it is actually fitted with seating, implemented as folding benches which are folded up against the walls (providing some support at buttock height) until about 10am on weekday mornings, after which point the train conductor releases a lock and announces that they can be folded down. The evening peak is more spread out so the seats stay down until the start of service on the next weekday morning.

These are however now falling out of favour, partly because the benefits don't really outweigh the costs of maintaining a bunch of non-standard cars, partly because additional capacity is reducing congestion, and partly because installation of platform-edge doors requires a standard door pattern. The 6-door cars on the Chuo-Sobu line are, as far as I know, the last ones still in service, and will probably disappear in the next couple of years once the next round of stock redeployment takes place.

Here's a video showing a bunch from the Yamanote Line (green stripe) heading to the knacker's yard a few years ago:



(Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIw3aO6mygQ )

Note the reason why they are sandwiched between some Chuo-Sobu line cars (yellow stripe) is so they form a contiguous multiple unit for braking purposes, as the cars by themselves could not be braked directly by the locomotive.
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Online Train Waiting

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #590 on: August 07, 2019, 08:33:02 AM »
Fascinating stuff!

Many thanks.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

The Table-Top Railway is an attempt to create, in British 'N' gauge,  a 'semi-scenic' railway in the old-fashioned style, reminiscent of the layouts of the 1920s to the 1950s.

Online weave

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #591 on: August 07, 2019, 08:35:00 AM »
Hi Ian,

Yet another nice and informative post. I think I now know more about Japanese trains than I do Spanish ones. I must do more homework and cut down on the Rioja  :)  :no:.

Great stuff.

Cheers weave  :beers:

Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #592 on: August 07, 2019, 07:29:54 PM »
 :hellosign: Many thanks Ian
       regards Derek.

Offline railsquid

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #593 on: August 09, 2019, 02:22:59 AM »
But, returning to the present day for a while... you may recall this JR 209-500 Chuo-Sobu Line train from a few weeks ago, specifically:

Quote
You may notice it looks a little chubbier around the tumblehome than the previous 209... that is due to an increased proprortion of dairy products in the Japanese diet, err sorry, due to the fact that someone had the bright idea of increasing capacity by making the trains a little wider, which turns out to be practical as you don't need to increase the width of the whole body. This was actually planned for the successor series (E231) but due to delays in development it was decided to plonk the E231 body on the 209 series chassis, resulting in what we see here.


In today's lesson we will confuse things further by considering this:


Tomix E231-800 series by Rail Squid, on Flickr

which as you can see from the photo caption is an E231 series, but has reverted to the narrow body type. What madness is this?

Well, as I have probably mentioned before, there is a somewhat mind-boggling amount of inter-running between different train companies in the Tokyo area, and the JR Chuo-Sobu line is no exception, being connected with the Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line (literally "East-West Line", because - get this - it runs east-west through Tokyo, though depending on your viewpoint it could run west-east) before joining back up with the Chuo-Sobu line (and also branching off onto another private line far to the east of Tokyo which we don't care about here). As a wide-bodied train would not fit into the Tokyo Metro tunnels (actually I suspect they would fit, but get badly dented by bits of lineside infrastructure), the narrow body is needed, hence this E231-800 series subclass. Only 7 sets were built; for through-running there is a complex formula/set of rules determining which company provides how many trains, and as the majority of the route is operated by Tokyo Metro, they provided most of the trains, hence the small size of the JR subclass.

These do not and have never had 6-door cars.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 02:48:40 AM by railsquid »
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline railsquid

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #594 on: August 10, 2019, 04:53:59 AM »
Talking of 6-door carriages, here's a picture of the inside of one I took many years ago (very early in the morning):


P1010088 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

A normal 4-door carriage (outside of the rush hour ;) )

Yamanote line train (205 series) at Osaki by Rail Squid, on Flickr

For anyone who's eyes have not yet glazed over, these are 205 series trains, in model form the 6-door one looks (on the outside) like this:


Kato 205 series (Yamanote Line), 6 door car by Rail Squid, on Flickr
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline Bealman

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #595 on: August 10, 2019, 05:06:10 AM »
Rush hour it wasn't!
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline railsquid

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #596 on: August 10, 2019, 02:56:57 PM »
My, doesn't time fly? It is a mere half-decade since I got my first sniff of that N gauge gateway drug called Kato, and in those distant, innocent days this was the extent of my addiction:


layout-2014-08-17_01 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

At this point I owned 2 (two) powered trains, a Kato 0-series Shinkansen (the original "Bullet Train") and an orange 103 series EMU, which was my first proper purchase and which is a cheap starter set by Kato derived from their original early 1970s tooling, and consequently crude by modern standards, though as at that point I had no idea what modern standards were, I was very much taken by it. We also see a random selection of freight wagons, which I purchased without considering the lack of suitable motive power, so for a while the Shinkansen buffet car was roped in as a short-term workaround.

The yellow car all on its lonesome is the spontaneous purchase intended for display on a shelf wot got me into this in the first place (I have since acquired enough additional cars to turn it into a viable EMU set).

To commemorate my descent into madness, here the original two powered sets and some proof that some scenic work has been carried out during the intervening years:


original-n-gauge-trains-2019-08 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 02:59:13 PM by railsquid »
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Offline cornish yorkie

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #597 on: August 10, 2019, 10:32:09 PM »
 :hellosign:  :greatpicturessign:
  My how time flies by Ian, thanks for sharing your interesting, entertaining & educational layout   :thumbsup:
    regards Derek.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #598 on: August 10, 2019, 10:51:44 PM »
That's a great photo. Sort of like a Marvel origins movie.

The pic itself could become a collectors item!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline railsquid

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #599 on: August 12, 2019, 07:21:24 AM »
Whoops, slight infestation of space/time wormholes here  ???


Dapol "Broome Manor" by Rail Squid, on Flickr
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

 

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