Tama Monorail Photo Essay
page three of three
commentary and photographs by Kim Pedersen
Attached to the front of the train is a monorail snow
plow. Snow is a factor in the Tama area and is easily delt with
by simply knocking it off the track and with continuous train
runs on the guideway. As with other monorails of the world, advertising
is one source of revenue. This train is "wrapped with bows."
If you're wondering what that is on the side of the hill, it's
a crowded graveyard.
A heavily landscaped area along the track, something
that monorail allows because of the limited use of land for supports.
The contemporary lines of a modern Japanese monorail
system and station. The trains could be considered a little less
than stylish however, with their boxey look. Later versions of
Hitachi trains have improved upon this, such as with the Okinawa
At the top of one of the hills along the line, monorail
tracks operate at grade level and run through a tunnel.
One of the busiest stations is a university station
at the top of the hill. Students depend on the monorail for transit
to and from the campus to their homes. This view from the university
station shows the hilly area that the monorail operates in. Another
hill section of monorail track can be seen in the distance on
It's a race! I should note that the Tama Monorail is
one of the smoothest riding straddle beam systems in the world,
if not the smoothest. Hitachi's many years of construction
experience have led to fabrication of nearly perfect beams, a
very important aspect of monorail passenger comfort and for reduction
of wear and tear on trains.
Hills? Narrow corridors? Not a problem for monorail!
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