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International Railroad Discussion > Monorails in Japan


Date: 03/27/23 20:53
Monorails in Japan
Author: symph1

I mentioned different Japanese monorail in the Sao Paulo thread. So as not to hijack that thread, here's a new one about them. I've ridden three. (are there others?)
The first three are the Tokyo Monorail. It runs from a connection with the Yamanote Line (the line that circles Tokyo) and Haneda airport (and other stops). Pics 2 and 3 show how the track can be switched.








Date: 03/27/23 20:58
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: symph1

These three are of the Shonan Monorail Line, an underhanging monorail that runs near Kamakura. It connects with the main JR system at Ofuna.








Date: 03/27/23 21:00
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: symph1

And finally three of the Osaka monorail.








Date: 03/27/23 22:03
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: Ritzville

Very interesting series!

Larry



Date: 03/28/23 21:16
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: GeoffM

symph1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I mentioned different Japanese monorail in the Sao
> Paulo thread. So as not to hijack that thread,
> here's a new one about them. I've ridden three.
> (are there others?)

There's another one in metro Tokyo in or around Chiba. I didn't get any photos because it was wedged at the time I went.

Disneyland Tokyo has one as well, I believe.



Date: 03/29/23 00:05
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: cchan006

Got some video responses... first, Tokyo Monorail, then Shonan Monorail.

Besides the ones mentioned (Tokyo, Shonan, Osaka, Chiba, Tokyo Disneyland), there's Tama (western suburbs of Tokyo), Kita-Kyushu (northern Kyushu), and (island of) Okinawa Monorails. There's also Skyrail (Midorizaka) near Hiroshima, but it looks more like a gondola than a monorail, but it's not running on cables, definitely a monorail.

Tama Monorail connects to the JR system at Tachikawa, and Kita-Kyushu Monorail connects at Kokura, which also connects to the Sanyo Shinkansen.

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Date: 03/29/23 19:16
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: pedrop

Very nice series. Interesting to see other monorail types. I wonder how the maintenance of way is done. The type where the train hangs under the beams sounds a difficult job.

Posted from Android

Pedro Rezende
Vespasiano MG,
https://youtube.com/c/minasgeraisrailways1



Date: 03/30/23 07:14
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: ChrisCampi

Seeing that Skyrail system is bazaar at first. Takes some getting used to seeing the train underneath and not wondering if I have my IPad upside down. Thanks.



Date: 03/30/23 16:19
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: ProAmtrak

Cool videos, wonder why none of the US cities ever invested in that without all the plitical crap that goes along with it!



Date: 03/30/23 18:49
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: cchan006

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cool videos, wonder why none of the US cities ever
> invested in that without all the plitical crap
> that goes along with it!

Seattle has a "starter set" (model railroad terminology) and Las Vegas has a system with lots of potential.

Tokyo Monorail was built primarily to host the Olympics in 1964, to shuttle attendees to/from Haneda Airport. Good decision, as there weren't as many landfills around Tokyo Bay yet. Since the structure is part of the "rail" (guidance mechanism), monorail can navigate various terrains easily. Biggest benefit is that it can dodge automotive traffic AND surface rail since it's designed to be elevated, anyway - no need for expensive subway construction.

But Tokyo decided to dig plenty of subways anyway, to connect existing surface rail networks all over. So in such an extensive network, monorails are not necessary, and there are none in the busiest areas in Tokyo - all served by surface AND subway trains.

Tokyo monorail, unlike most other monorail systems does go underground to reach Haneda Airport. Even when it didn't have international flights for ~3 decades (Narita Airport), ridership was good as monorail had a station stop next to Oi-keibajo (popular horse race track). More landfills have added some businesses, residents, and more commuters. 

With all the money wasted on politics (I always barf when media measures a candidate's success by how much money was raised), political crap is more valuable than functional infrastructure, so to paraphrase you, "don't hold your breath." :-)



Date: 03/31/23 00:24
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: gobbl3gook

Wow!  I thought there was only one Suspension Railway in the world -- Wuppertal, Germany.  Now i see there are at least two!

After a little research.. 

Per Wikipedia, there have been many built, and a few that have stayed in operation long-term.  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_railway

For example... 
Memphis, Tennessee, USA.  Started in 1982, operated until 2018!  (I don't recall seeing any trip reports here on TO) 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memphis_Suspension_Railway

Düsseldorf Airport (near Wuppertal) 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Düsseldorf_Airport#Ground_transportation

Dresden, Germany funicular suspension railway! 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dresden_Suspension_Railway

Shonan monorail, Japan 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shonan_Monorail

Looks like their failings revolve around high-profile mishaps with difficulty of rescue.  As would be expected... But also, the small scale of operations makes it difficult to justify the expense of maintaining unique track and unique rail vehicles.  

Thanks for sharing, very fun suspension railway video.  

Ted in OR
 



Date: 09/04/23 15:20
Re: Monorails in Japan
Author: symph1

Terrific video showing the ease of switching monorails. https://www.facebook.com/watch?v=769329571611326



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