Jump to content
Japanese Modelling & Japan Rail Enthusiasts Forum
Sign in to follow this  
miyakoji

12-car formations, bi-level green cars on Chuo Line in 2020

Recommended Posts

Just caught this on Ompuchaneru (http://rail-uploader.khz-net.com/index.php?id=37663)...

Work will start this year to prepare for the inclusion of 2 bi-level green cars in Chuo Rapid Line and Ome Line train formations.  Additionally, the trains will be lengthened to 12-car formations.  Based on the pdf, the bi-level green cars will be the familiar cars we see now in other Tokyo-area JRE consists.  The service is planned to begin in 2020.  This involves more than just building the cars; they'll have to improve stations, lines, signalling, and depots.

 

A little green car history from the pdf:

 

May 1969 - First-class cars on the Tokaido and Yokosuka lines are changed to "green cars"

October 1980 - Green cars appear on the Sobu Line when the line's connection to and direct services with the Yokosuka Line begin

March 1989 - Bi-level cars are added to Tokaido Line trains

March 1990 - Bi-level cars are added to Yokosuka/Sobu Line trains

July 2004 - Bi-level cars are added to Utsunomiya/Takasaki Line trains (which operate as locals until October)

October 2004 - Bi-level cars are added to Shonan-Shinjuku Line trains

January 2007 - Bi-level cars are added to mid-distance Joban Line trains (which operate as locals until March)

 

JR East pdf: http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2014/20150203.pdf

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good find.  This is the first time I have heard of JR East's "sit down service" policy, though apparently its been around since 2012, as part of the corporate business plan vision five, dubbed "ever onward":

[グループ経営構想Ⅴファイブ~限りなき前進~]

 

It's interesting that capacity issues seem to have been solved enough to allow introduction of green cars, rather than tacking on more regular, high capacity carriages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also on Chuo Main Line, Green car has been used on 165系 Shonan, and 183/9系 Azusa and Asama service for well over 30 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but never on the Tokyo-area commuter services.

 

The PDF says they'll be upgrading "all 44" stations, which will be quite an undertaking to lengthen them all by two cars. Taking a quick look at Google maps satellite view it looks like most stations between Kichijoji and Tokyo have enough space to squeeze on the extra length, though in one or two cases the ends of the platform might be a bit narrow. Though I speculate they be adding platform doors at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are they doing this because of the fact the E257's and E351's now assigned to the Chūō Main Line Home Liner services will be assigned somewhere else or retired within the next six years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, I never thought that they would actually do that, I wonder if it's going to look good on the train though haha, beause the picture they posted are only photoshopped. I'm sure they will do something about the apearance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well they look good on the other lines they run on... they break up the monotony of the identical-looking single level cars. I always like to see them. Like to ride 'em too! Though whenever I have, I've always ridden at the end because I'm riding with luggage, so I've never really had the full "bi-level" experience there. I wonder if I'd even be able to stand up in the middle section of those cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are people allowed to stand inside the Green cars or is it seated only?

 

Seated only. "You need a green ticket to ride in the green car", as the announcement says.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any people standing would block the - quite narrow - aisles and slow down boarding/disembarkation.

 

I took one of these cars recently, ended up walking through both levels to find a seat but didn't need to hunch or duck or anything (I'm about 175cm). Someone taller might do though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are they doing this because of the fact the E257's and E351's now assigned to the Chūō Main Line Home Liner services will be assigned somewhere else or retired within the next six years?

 

No, it's to increase the number of guaranteed seats to all commuters, not just those taking the Home Liner services.  It's part of the JR East push to add value to the customer experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seated only. "You need a green ticket to ride in the green car", as the announcement says.

Are you sure about that? My wife and I were specifically told by JR that seats are not guaranteed in the green cars of suburban/commuter trains. You need a green car ticket to ride in a green car, but they don't keep track of how many they've sold and you don't buy them for a specific train. You just buy them to your destination like the regular ticket.

 

That said, I've never seen anyone standing in one of the bi-level cars, but that's probably just because I've never seen one that was more than half full.

Edited by spacecadet
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it's essentially a non-reserved ticket, so you can stand in the deck area (vestibules) if you can't find a seat.  However, it's a premium that many don't want to pay if it comes to that- if you ask train staff while on the train, they can issue a certificate which you can reimburse at a station to get a refund on the green car fee. It all works out in the end, as the people most in need of seating are those at the outer ends of the route, and they have the biggest chance of getting a seat.

Edited by bikkuri bahn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you sure about that? My wife and I were specifically told by JR that seats are not guaranteed in the green cars of suburban/commuter trains. You need a green car ticket to ride in a green car, but they don't keep track of how many they've sold and you don't buy them for a specific train. You just buy them to your destination like the regular ticket.

 

That said, I've never seen anyone standing in one of the bi-level cars, but that's probably just because I've never seen one that was more than half full.

 

Hello spacecadet,

 

For commuter/suburban rail services, such as Tokyo - Yokohama, Green Car is not reserved.  You can take a seat on a regular ticket and pay the upgrade fare to the conductor mid-journey.  All seats have an overhead light.  If the seat is vacant the light will be off.  A sensor in the seat alerts the conductor and when you pay the Green Car surcharge the light will turn green.  I believe that a reserved seat will have a red light overhead on some services.  You should only use such a seat when you have a ticket with that seat number printed on it.  However, I have not experienced such.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello spacecadet,

 

For commuter/suburban rail services, such as Tokyo - Yokohama, Green Car is not reserved.  You can take a seat on a regular ticket and pay the upgrade fare to the conductor mid-journey.  All seats have an overhead light.  If the seat is vacant the light will be off.  A sensor in the seat alerts the conductor and when you pay the Green Car surcharge the light will turn green.  I believe that a reserved seat will have a red light overhead on some services.  You should only use such a seat when you have a ticket with that seat number printed on it.  However, I have not experienced such.

 

IIRC the light is red by default, and green when occupied by a paying passenger. There's a machine on the platform where you can charge your Pasmo/Suica with the additional fare, and after finding a seat you tap your card against the sensor next to the light, which will then turn green (presumably if you travel past the station you paid to, it will turn red again). You can move seats by "tapping out" of the old seat and "tapping in" to the new seat. How that works if you pay the conductor directly, I don't know; the surcharge is greater in that case anyway. Somewhere I have photos I took of the various signs etc. involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How that works if you pay the conductor directly, I don't know; the surcharge is greater in that case anyway.

I've actually done it both ways - I've been riding in the green cars of the Joban Line whenever I visit since before Suica really took off. When I first started riding, they would still issue you a paper ticket on the platform, although you *could* use a Suica card as well. When they switched to not even offering the paper tickets at the green machines, that's when my wife and I started buying Suica cards. (One of those things we wondered later why we hadn't done years before, it's so much more convenient.)

 

Anyway, with the paper ticket, you just give it to the conductor and they tap your light green. Same with paying on the train I imagine. They have their own card IIRC. It's probably like a master key.

Edited by spacecadet
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well they look good on the other lines they run on... they break up the monotony of the identical-looking single level cars. I always like to see them.

 

Indeed, this is why the E531 is the only Tokyo commuter stock I own.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not the first line or E233 seires to have bi-level cars. So I see no reason why these wont look just as good as others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of friends and I rode from Oyama to Ueno in the upper level of a green car of an E231 on a Rapid Rabbit service using standard class JR passes in Dec 2012.  We had our wallets out ready to pay the green car surcharge but the female guard just looked at our passes and continued on.

Edited by westfalen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just remembered that I read about this a few months ago. JR East then announced that the addition of two bi-level Green Cars to the Chuo/Ome Line Rapid trains will be postponed from 2020 to 'a few years later'. Here's a few pictures of construction work going on at Ome station to facilitate these trains.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering what was happening with that project, haven't seen any kind of construction activity involving platform extension on the bits I regularly use (basically between Hachioji/Tachikawa - Tokyo). The only major ongoing construction is at Ochanomizu, one presumes they'll include the platform lengthening but haven't looked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×