another Monorail Society
Page Four of Six
Here's a close up look at what every major transit rail system
should have, a passageway from car to car.
We're off and running. Drivers were undergoing extensive training
and we had the privilege of riding along for a full circuit of
the entire system. From the inside, the driver's cab is reminiscent
of the rounded features of the Seattle Center Monorail. Incidently,
wearing white gloves is commonplace for transportation drivers
While drivers would take turns "at the helm," other
trainees would time and take notes of the current driver's performance.
Precision of stop locations in stations was also watched closely.
Talk about peer pressure! The ladies and gentlemen driving our
brand new monorail train were being carefully watched by trainers,
fellow drivers and a couple of tourists from the USA. The Okinawa
Monorail is the first in Japan to have female drivers.
A great workstation that comes with a view.
Every transit monorail in Japan has this, a door at each end complete
with a ramp for emergency train-to-train evacuation. Like walk-through
trains, all transit monorails should have this feature. For further
information, see "Make Mine Walk-Through" in our Editorial Pages.
Accompanying us all the way from Tokyo to Okinawa and with us
throughout the day, our gracious host was Kentatsu Ito,
from the Hitachi Transportation Systems Sales Division, Overseas
Marketing Department. Mr. Ito not only helped David and I get
from point to point, he also took on the challenging task of translating
for us when talking to officials at Okinawa. As you can see, Mr.
Ito also had to become an Okinawa Intercity Engineering System
JV staff member for the ride.
This man is smiling for a good reason. Videographer David M. Ice
was allowed to shoot footage with his super-duper mini-DV camera
from the driver's cab along the entire route. This should make
you happy too, because currently in production is a fabulous David
M. Ice DVD, Monorails of Japan
2003 (now available!). The footage David will be including
is just incredible. In Hollywood, David established an excellent
reputation for his skills (known as Mr. Fixit). Next
Okinawa Monorail - Photo Essay page ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR / FIVE / SIX
/ back to the Special Features Page