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2013年3月26日 (火)

都市の鉄道網 相互乗り入れで沿線活気づく

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 26, 2013)
Train links could vitalize areas along connected lines
都市の鉄道網 相互乗り入れで沿線活気づく(3月25日付・読売社説)

A new train network has been created in the Tokyo metropolitan area. If it can create new passenger flows, it may lead to economic revitalization, such as tourism promotion and expanded commercial opportunities.
 首都圏に新たな鉄道ネットワークが誕生した。従来にない人の流れを取り込めば、観光振興や商機拡大など経済の活性化につながろう。

Tokyu Toyoko Line and Tokyo Metro's Fukutoshin Line were recently connected.
 東急東横線と東京メトロ副都心線の相互直通運転が始まった。

The connection means that lines operated by five railway companies--Tobu, Seibu, Tokyo Metro, Tokyu and Yokohama Minatomirai--were linked, enabling passengers to travel a maximum distance of 88.6 kilometers from western Saitama Prefecture to Yokohama without changing trains, an extraordinary development.
 東武、西武、メトロ、東急、横浜高速の鉄道5社が接続し、埼玉県西部から横浜市まで最長88・6キロを乗り換えなしで結ぶ異例の取り組みである。

In Saitama Prefecture and Yokohama, local authorities and businesses are stepping up campaigns to lure visitors from remote locations through such efforts as extending business hours of shopping areas and collaborating with sightseeing facilities.
 埼玉県内と横浜市内では、商店街の営業時間延長や観光施設との連携など、遠方からの客を呼び込むPR合戦が熱を帯びている。

Department stores and other commercial facilities in Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, which are located along the connected lines, are competing with each other to attract customers. The intensified competition apparently resulted from the latest linking of the railway lines.
 途中の渋谷、新宿、池袋各駅の百貨店なども集客を競う。沿線が活気づく直通効果と言えよう。

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Annual ridership in billions

In major cities in the country, railway networks cover wide areas, transporting a huge number of commuters to their workplaces and schools. Thirteen billion people a year use trains in the Tokyo metropolitan area, 4.5 billion in the Osaka area and 1 billion in the Nagoya area.
 日本の大都市は広範囲に鉄道網が整備され、膨大な通勤、通学輸送を担っている。年間の利用客数は東京圏130億人、大阪圏45億人、名古屋圏10億人に上る。

More than 70 percent of commuters in Tokyo use railways, a figure far above the 40 percent to 50 percent in New York and London.
 東京では通勤する人の鉄道利用率は7割超で、約4~5割のニューヨークやロンドンを上回る。

The connections of urban subways and railway lines stretching to suburban areas have been driving the development of these urban railway networks.
 都市鉄道の発展に貢献してきたのが、都心の地下鉄と郊外電車が乗り入れる直通運転である。

The total length of connected railway lines in the Tokyo metropolitan area was 155 kilometers in 1970. The figure now tops 900 kilometers, including the length of the latest connected lines, accounting for 40 percent of the total length of lines in the area.
 1970年に155キロだった東京圏の直通運転区間は、今回を含めると900キロを超え、総延長の4割に達する。

Railway companies are reluctant to invest in new lines as they cannot expect an increase in ridership due to the declining birthrate and the aging population. These factors apparently prompted railway companies to link their lines with other operators to cope with the changing demographics.
 少子高齢化で乗客数の拡大が見込めず、新規路線への投資は難しい鉄道各社が、直通運転に活路を求めたという事情があろう。

Connecting lines by making use of existing lines allows railway companies to shorten traveling time by eliminating the inconvenience of changing trains. Railway operators may also be able to attract new passengers.
 既存路線を活用する直通運転なら、乗り換えの不便を解消した時間短縮が可能なうえ、新規乗客の流入が見込めるからだ。

They can expect even more advantages, such as relieving overcrowding at terminal stations, making transportation services more efficient and improving property values of areas along their service lines.
 ターミナル駅の混雑緩和や鉄道運行の効率化、沿線価値の向上というメリットも期待できる。

===

Advantages can be exemplars

These advantages will serve as good examples for railway operators in other regions beyond the Tokyo Metropolitan area, including the Osaka metropolitan area.
 首都圏だけでなく、大阪圏など他地域にも参考となるだろう。

But some concerns remain.
 ただし、懸念材料もある。

In recent railway line connections, multiple railway companies with different car specifications are involved, and their trains run quite long distances. If an accident or trouble involving a train car occurs on one line, it may trigger a chain of delays in other connected lines.
 最近の直通運転は、車両の異なる複数の鉄道会社が乗り入れ、走行距離が長い。いったん事故や車両故障が起きれば、乗り入れ他社の路線まで電車の遅延が玉突きで広がりかねない。

About 40 percent of train delays of up to 30 minutes in the Tokyo metropolitan area are caused by trouble that originally occurred on connected lines, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.
 国土交通省によると、首都圏の鉄道で発生した30分未満の遅れのうち、約4割が乗り入れ先でのトラブルが原因だった。

Railway operators must make more efforts to minimize delays in train services in case of accidents and other problems.
 事故や故障の際、ダイヤの乱れは最小限に抑えてもらいたい。

They also are urged to expand sections on which they can offer shuttle train services in case of accidents or other problems. It will also be necessary to promptly provide information to passengers.
 折り返し運転が可能な区間の拡大が求められよう。利用客への迅速な情報提供も必要だ。

Setting up platform barriers to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks is another issue that has to be addressed. Railway companies must expedite efforts to develop technologies to enable them to set up barriers that can cope with cars with different numbers of doors or those with a different width.
 乗客の転落を防止するホームドア設置も検討課題だ。鉄道各社は扉の数や幅が違う車両に対応できる技術開発を急いでほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 25, 2013)
(2013年3月25日01時12分  読売新聞)

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