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Jr East Hokuriku Shinkansen: Tokyo To Nagano

Discussion in 'Route Suggestions & Proposals' started by John Murphy, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. John Murphy

    John Murphy Well-Known Member

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    There are only 3 Japanese routes in Train Simulator, one of which is a fictional route. These routes are all set in mostly rural/semi-rural areas and feature a simple local commuter service. Now that's fine. I love the Wakayama-Sakurai and Hidaka Main Line routes as they feature excellent scenery and well detailed trains. However, Japanese trains aren't just about scenery, they're also about speed.

    The first thing most people think of when you mention a Japanese train is the Shinkansen or "Bullet Train" as it's known in the west. The Tokaido Shinkansen line opened on October 1, 1964 as the world's first high speed train service between Tokyo and Osaka. Since then, the Shinkansen has branched out to cover most of Japan, with the Sanyo Shinkansen opening between 1972 and 1975, the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen opening in 1982, the Yamagata Shinkansen opening in 1992, the Akita and Nagano Shinkansen in 1997, the Kyushu Shinkansen in 2004, the Tohoku extension to Shin Aomori in 2010, the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Nagano-Kanazawa) in 2015, and most recently the Hokkaido Shinkansen in 2016.

    I am aware that a section of the Sanyo Shinkansen was attempted in TS, which ran from Osaka to Okayama and featured the 300 Series Shinkansen train. However last I heard, the route was never completed and the project was scrapped before it could be released. My proposal is to make the approximately 226 km section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano.

    The reason why I'm proposing this as opposed to a section of another Shinkansen line like the Tokaido or Tohoku Shinkansen, is because on this section, you can run a complete service from start to finish. Other routes like the Tokaido Shinkansen are too long to make the entire route in TS. The Asama service runs from Tokyo only as far as Nagano and was the original service that ran back when the line terminated at Nagano. This service stops at nearly all stations along the way. Stations in this route would include Tokyo, Ueno, Omiya (where the Tohoku Shinkansen diverges), Kumagaya, Honjo-Waseda, Takasaki (where the Joetsu Shinkansen diverges), Annaka-Haruna, Karuizawa, Sakudaira, Ueda, and Nagano. Speed limits along the route average mostly at 260 kph (about 160 mph) and the trip usually takes anywhere from 90 to 140 minutes. The route passes through many different types of scenery, including picturesque mountains, sprawling suburbs and rice paddies, and the modern urban super-metropolis of Tokyo. 2 types of trains are used on this route. The E2 Series (8 car sets introduced in 1997) and the E7/W7 Series (12 car sets introduced in 2014). I would suggest including both to give players a little variety, however if you can only include one, I'd pick the E7/W7 sets, since they're now the only trains running on the route (the E2 sets were withdrawn from the Hokuriku Shinkansen Asama services in March of 2017).

    The Shinkansen desperately needs to be represented in TS and I think the Tokyo-Nagano route would be the perfect way to do it, at least for a start.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  2. EchoKilo

    EchoKilo Member

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    I'd be very happy to see any Shinkansen route -including the original 1960's one!- (or more Japanese routes in general - there is no shortage of options), but I'm not holding my breath. I have all three existing ones, and I do like them, but as you say something faster (or even more urban, such as Yamanote line) would be nice to have. Perhaps it's just difficult to get the licensing sorted out, many (if not all) of the Shinkansen routes are already officially licensed for various console/arcade games (PC gaming isn't anywhere near as popular in Japan as it is in Europe/US), don't know if those licenses are exclusive ones or not. And there is the language barrier, too, which may be putting smaller developers off.
     
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  3. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    I think the big reason why the Shinkansen was dropped was licensing. The Japanese seem pretty proud and strict about their Shinkansen, and have managed to trademark the very shape of the train! So you can’t just unbrand it, you’d also have to make it look different, which is just not worth it. It’s not a Shinkansen if it doesn’t look like one.

    And yes, it is definitely possible to have licensed Schinkansen, but I think that the whole pride in the brand meant also not letting Western countries in on it. Seems odd, but it is a very odd situation anyway. Maybe if DTG was in Japan instead of being those ‘darn englishmen’ they could get licensed for it.
     
  4. John Murphy

    John Murphy Well-Known Member

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    Last I heard, the Japanese actually offered to help the US build its own Shinkansen with their trains and technology. They were even going to sell us a fleet of N700 trains like the ones on the Tokaido Shinkansen, only slightly modified to comply with FRA standards. (Mind you, this was back during the Obama administration. It's probably not gonna happen while Trump is in office.) I don't think it's a matter of not wanting the west to get hold of the Shinkansen license. I think it's probably just a matter of them wanting a certain amount of money for it that DTG doesn't want to pay. Same with Septa.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  5. John Murphy

    John Murphy Well-Known Member

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    The Yamanote Line would be another good choice. I know it's licensed for Trainz because they have the 0 Series trains. I've also seen a 700 Hikari Rail Star set and an E4 set on trainz too, but I think they were user created and not officially licensed. I know they also have the whole Sanyo Shinkansen from Osaka to Hakata in Densha De Go, but that's a Japanese game that's not available outside of Japan, except for pirated copies.
     
  6. [UK] Alien Baltan

    [UK] Alien Baltan Member

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    If DTG ever announces a route with the 0-series, I don't think I could throw my money at the screen faster! The NRM in York has the only 0-series power car outside of Japan, so that could expedite research and provide a useful resource if and when the 0-series would be developed for the game.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. SD40Australia-Daniel

    SD40Australia-Daniel Member

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    Japan is extremely strict with licensing.

    Television and video for example.

    You can buy a DVD Blu Ray recorder in Japan yet it has encoding so it cannot play (disc) on other players. Copyright is HUGE, I mean MEGA HUGE in Japan. If you thought Hollywood was strict on copyright, you seen nothing yet!

    But the Odakyu line was done for Microsoft Train Simulator so it has been done before. While a different company, it generally would be the same.

    I would think the Odakyu line would be brilliant for TS2019 and even Train Sim World. It has the branch to Enoshima so there is lots of playability/simability!

    With regards to the Shinkansen, well I would rather see the mainline route, the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen. Or the Osaka-Okayama section, which is very high speed.

    Since Japan will be entering a mega promotion period for the Olympics, anything could be on the table in terms of licensing and marketing etc.

    If the cost was an issue Dovetail Games could discuss with the railfans about 'crowdfunding'. For example, an amount of $1,000,000 could be fund-raised (with those donating more than $250 getting a free copy of the route, and more than $1000 a Japan T-shirt, cap, memorabilia, poster and free Gold edition of Train Simulator with the Shinkansen route etc and those that give more than $2000 could go in a draw for 5 prizes which are a Business class trip to Japan with tour of Japan Railways (2-3 days), 7 day rail pass on Japan Railway trains including Shinkansen and a few tickets to the Olympics). But this would have to be a decision for them.

    Marketing in Japan is very difficult as well.

    I'm not even sure Train Simulator is known very well in Japan.

    But there are obviously some railfans which do enjoy Train Simulator.

    A movie was done with the Japanese zero in 1975 with the very famous actor Ken Takakura (featured in Black Rain with Michael Douglas) and I was surprised at how well done it was. I recently watched it on TV in full widescreen so was impressed with the footage and film.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080479/


    SD40Australia-Daniel
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

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