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Construction begins for new Haneda airport train line

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Japan is not unique. Many cities in the U.S. have that. Both JFK AND LaGuardia are located inside New York City and can be easily accessed by mass transit. It also costs a lot less to get to the airports there than in Japan.

LA just ran a light rail line to LAX. It ends right in the middle of the terminal area.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd suggest they also add 3rd runway. Haneda vs. Narrita depends on where you live, but obvious Haneda's one having 'growing pains'/success.

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1glennJune 3 10:44 am JST

I am so jealous whenever I read about a country that values things like mass transit, especially into and out of airports!

Japan is not unique. Many cities in the U.S. have that. Both JFK AND LaGuardia are located inside New York City and can be easily accessed by mass transit. It also costs a lot less to get to the airports there than in Japan.

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When Japan won the 2020 games, the very first thing it should have done was tear Hamamatsucho station to the ground and to have built a new one for easier transfers from JR.

Instead, we got a new kayak race venue....

the previous poster is correct about the convenience of the Keisei skyliner AS LONG AS one lives close to Ueno or Nippori (like I do) AND one doesn't mind the 2,900 yen fair (or there abouts).

That's fine for once in a while, but for people who commute to the airport regularly, its a no-go.

This new line will be a great addition. Just wish it were done earlier.

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1glen, only maybe New York, Boston and Chicago have fixed rail transit systems that pay for themselves. I studied this extensively in my urban economics coursework. In the rest of the US and indeed in most of the world, urban rail systems all require significant taxpayer subsidy. The PE was a privately held system. SP made a decision to end all passenger rail service, not urban light rail but heavy transcontinental passenger service too, system wide in 1952.

Urban light rail systems are owned usually by cities, counties or some other public agency that owns the rails and the land they sit on. SP was a bit different since it was paid for by the Federal land subsidy I described earlier. If a railroad abandons one of those rights of way they revert back to the Federal Government. Many of those lines ran freight trains and some still do. Others lay abandoned in places like Stanton and Buena Park. I recall about 15 - 20 years ago there was a dispute in Stanton over an unused line some real estate developers had their eye on but could not acquire because of the laws concerning Federal railroad rights of way. Public agencies can acquire them for public uses but not for private party gain. The law, not urban legend. A few like the old routes on Chandler and Van Nuys Boulevards are about to be reused for modern urban light rail.

But this story you tell is an old urban legend with no basis in fact.

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1glenn

You don't seem to be aware of the existence of something called the "Los Angeles Metro Rail system."

It's a network of 105 stations on seven lines and continues to expand. The airport station, Aviation/Imperial, is set to open next year. It may turn out that LAX will have better rail links to the city than Tokyo's main airport.

Congrats, though, your non-facts have collected plenty of upvotes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I usually agree with you, DT, but not this time.

Ask yourself, if the light rail systems all across the US were so unprofitable, why would major corporations spend a fortune to buy them up and get rid of them? If they were going out of business, the corporations involved could have just stood by and watched them go bankrupt, without any need to force them under, and it is incontrovertible that they bought them up and shut them down.

Offhand I don't remember what year they stopped running in South Cal, but I remember seeing them operate after 1952.

If urban light rail is such a bad idea, why did Chicago and New York refuse to sell their systems, and why are they still operating today? Why are light rail systems operating in cities in Europe, the rest of the Americas, and Asia, but not most of North America? Could it have anything to do with the industries which benefit from forcing people to use cars?

On the subject of the power of certain corporations, why is it that the US is one of the very few countries without a single high speed rail system? Countries all over the world have high speed rail. but our fossil fuel dependent industries spend a fortune making high speed rail a dream and not a reality.

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I remember when we had electric light rail here in South Cal. It was the largest such metro system in the entire world, with over a thousand miles of tracks. What happened to it, you may ask? Thanks to the vagaries of unregulated capitalism, it was destroyed, to make way for higher profits for car makers and gas producers. GM, Standard Oil, and Firestone Tire got together and bought it up, and then ripped up the tracks, and burned the rail cars in massive pyres.

None of that is true. I am old enough to remember all those old Pacific Electric lines running down LA streets. Even though the PE was gone just before I was born I did have lots of opportunities to ride old PCC street cars operated by the MTA, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, on tracks running down the middle of streets in downtown LA. Your story is a common urban tall tale but not at all true.

The Pacific Electric Railway was owned by Southern Pacific Railroad. SP ceased all passenger train operations system wide in 1952. Air travel and the new Interstate Highway system was making passenger rail transportation unprofitable all across the US. Other railroads were either going bankrupt or merging and curtailing their own passenger service. In addition in 1952 SP had a passenger train stranded by snow in Donner Pass that became an expensive emergency followed the same year by the Tehachapi Earthquake that cut the main rail line between northern and southern California, a line that SP owned and ran passenger trains over. SP was in financial trouble and the year before sold off their entire Mexican operation to the Mexican government (SP used to be big in Mexico, now their old operation is called Ferrocarril Mexico).

None of this conspiracy crap you mention is even a little bit true. Passenger rail had become uneconomical across most of the US except the northeast and to Chicago. PE was not public funded. Btw, the rights of way for those old PE lines were Federal property since SP received the usual 20 square miles of free US Government land for each mile of rail laid. That is how SP became the largest private land owner in California. The rail lines persisted for decades afterwards. There were no pyres of old railroad ties. I grew up right by a former PE line down Sepulveda Bl.

The real truth is that drivers and municipal governments both hated the streetcar lines in the middle of the street. Passengers embarked and disembarked in the middle of the street, with their kids, strollers and wheeled baskets of groceries and what have you. Trying to make left turns across those tracks with the skinny bias ply tires of the era was no fun and you could get a tire trapped in the groove alongside the rail. LA back then had both electric street cars and electric trolley buses with an ugly welter of overhead wires strung across its streets that required a lot of expensive maintenance. I can remember many times one or both trolley arms getting knocked off the wire causing the electric bus to come to a stop and all the lights go out. The driver would have to get out, walk to the rear of the bus and use an attached rope that connected the trolley arm to the back of the bus (no electrical connection, purely a mechanical connection) and guide the trolley arm back over to the wire and let a big spring hold it to the wire. Then the bus could more again, but by then you had a line of angry car and truck drivers behind it. They just were not popular.

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How to make it cost so much while it should a matter of adaptation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am so jealous whenever I read about a country that values things like mass transit, especially into and out of airports!

At least NYC has that

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am so jealous whenever I read about a country that values things like mass transit, especially into and out of airports!

I remember when we had electric light rail here in South Cal. It was the largest such metro system in the entire world, with over a thousand miles of tracks. What happened to it, you may ask? Thanks to the vagaries of unregulated capitalism, it was destroyed, to make way for higher profits for car makers and gas producers. GM, Standard Oil, and Firestone Tire got together and bought it up, and then ripped up the tracks, and burned the rail cars in massive pyres. They were sued in court. The US Supreme Court found them guilty, of something or another, and fined them $5,000 for what they had done. They didn't just do it in South Cal, they bought up and destroyed mass transit systems in over 50 metro areas of the US.....all to maximize corporate profits, and to more efficiently funnel green house gases into the atmosphere.

Today, when light rail mass transit is discussed, we are told that it is too expensive to be practical.....unless one lives in Japan, or any other country that isn't the USA. Then, it is very practical.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Only 10 years from now. LOL. Narita is soo much more convenient. Jump on the Narita Express, sit down in a reserved seat and relax with a book until it pulls up at the dedicated airport platform.

Haneda is hellish by comparison. It requires 2 commuter trains (usually packed) from our place, then a several block walk through crowded Shinjuku with suitcases to a hectic bus terminal. But even that's better than the commuter trains to and from jammed-packed Shinagawa Station. No spaces for suitcases on those trains! Hardly any space for humans if it's an evening flight.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

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