Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 27 (pp.2 & 59–63)

Photostory
Japanese Railways—50 Years Ago and Today

Passenger Interface
Station clerks sold tickets at ticket windows for many years (top left), but the introduction of the MARS seat reservation system in the mid-1960s (see p. 63) changed the image of booking offices dramatically (middle left). Today, sophisticated ticket vending machines are used widely for short journeys (bottom right), while long-distance tickets are sold at counters similar to those of airline offices (bottom left).
In 1966, JNR President Mr Reisuke Ishida (top right) had to issue a rare order reprimanding station clerks at ticket wickets for their bad manners; manned wickets were replaced by automated wickets (middle right) after JNR privatization.

Photo: (Transportation News)
Photo: (Asahi Shimbun)
Photo: (Transportation News)
Photo: (EJRCF)
Photo: (EJRCF)
Photo: (EJRCF)

Maintenance Works
Track maintenance was a very hard job and workers often sang unique chants when moving rails with a bar or tamping ballast with a pick (top left). Introduction of mechanical tampers (middle left) during the 1950s and 60s seemed a good solution, but the heavy vibration was blamed for causing Raynaud's disease. Today heavy track-maintenance machines such as multiple tie-tampers are used instead of manual workers (bottom left).
Maintenance of steam locomotive was another hard and dirty job (top right), and the advent of electric locomotives made workshops cleaner (middle right). Today's shinkansen workshop at Sendai (bottom right) is unbelievably tidy compared to steam workshops of earlier days.

Photo: (Transportation Museum)
Photo: (Transportation Museum)
Photo: (Transportation News)
Photo: (JR East)
Photo: (JR East)
Photo: (JR East)

Link between Honshu and Hokkaido
JNR's ferry services between Aomori (north Honshu) and Hakodate (south Hokkaido) suffered serious war damage and ships of poor wartime design were used until the 1960s (top left) when 10 new high-capacity vessels including three freighters were built (middle left and right). The Toya Maru disaster in 1954 claimed 1200 lives (top right) and prompted construction of the undersea Seikan Tunnel, which was finally opened in 1988 (bottom).

Photo: (Transportation Museum)
Photo: (JNR Centennial Photo History)
Photo: (Transportation News)
Photo: (JNR Centennial Photo History)
Photo: (Japan Railway Construction Public Corporation)

Link between Honshu and Shikoku
JNR's ferries between Uno (west Honshu, top left) and Takamatsu (northeast Shikoku) also suffered from poor design, resulting in a disaster in 1955 caused by lack of radar (top right). Four new vessels were built during the 1960s (middle left), and hovercraft were also introduced in 1972 (middle right) to provide faster passenger services with shinkansen connections at Okayama. These services were stopped when the Honshu – Shikoku bridges (bottom left and right) were opened in 1988.

Photo: (Transportation Museum)
Photo: (JNR Centennial Photo History)
Photo: (Transportation News)
Photo: (Transportation News)
Photo: (Honshu – Shikoku Bridge Authority)
Photo:(Honshu – Shikoku Bridge Authority)

Commuter Trains in Tokyo
Tokyo's postwar commuter services suffered from shortage of rolling stock and insufficient line capacity for many years (top left). Even in the late 1960s, the only improvements were new rolling stock with many wide doors and organized 'packers' at major stations (top right). The 1970s saw remarkable increases in line capacity as JNR quadrupled five main lines radiating from central Tokyo, but trains are still crowded at peak hours due to population concentration (bottom).

Photo: (JR East)
Photo: (Transportation Museum)
Photo: (Transportation News)

Signalling and Seat Reservation
Semaphore signals were still widely used in the 1960s on single-track lines (top left), while coloured light signals were used on doubletrack lines (middle left). Most lines today, including single-track sections, use coloured light signals with automatic block and automatic train protection systems. All shinkansen and some busy urban lines use cab signals on speedometers (middle centre), eliminating trackside signals.
The traditional seat reservation system of ledgers and telephones (top right) was used until the mid-1960s when the fully computerized MARS (Magnetic Electric Automatic Reservation System) was introduced (middle right). Today's MARS system (bottom left and right) is run by Railway Information Systems Co., Ltd. (JR Systems) and is much bigger and more sophisticated than its early predecessor.

Photo: (Transportation Museum)
Photo: (JR Systems)
Photo: (JR East)
Photo: (JNR Centennial Photo History)
Photo: (JR East)
Photo: (JR Systems)
Photo: (JR Systems)

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