Tama Monorail Photo Essay
page two of three

commentary and photographs by Kim Pedersen

On my second journey to Japan, in 2003, I enjoyed the pleasure of riding two monorail systems that didn't exist on my previous trip in 1990. The Tama Monorail was only in the very early stages of construction in1990. By year 2000, a 16.0 km system was in full operation. Here we see a train traversing over long steel spans at it approaches the busy Tama Center Station. The steel spans carry the monorail over several major conventional rail lines, including the Chuo and Ome Line.

All nineteen stations are large and passenger friendly. Simplicity of use also makes it easy for foreign visitors to take advantage of the system.

On the 2003 journey, I was accompanied by TMS members Ken Streit and David M. Ice. David can be seen here on the right of the train videotaping POV footage for our popular Monorails of Japan DVD Set.

Interiors of the Hitachi trains are spacious and comfortable. One of our favorite features is the walk-through trains. One can easily walk from one end to the other end of the train, which is an advantage for safety and comfort.

A unique triangular access switching point gives trains access to the maintenance, storage and operations center. That's Tama Monorail's headquarter building at the end of the dual-rail spur line.

Another view of the spur line access and switch section. Two stations are visible in the distance.

Lots of power lines in Japan! That's one thing I always notice while visiting the country. It makes me think of Godzilla films, when the big guy has to walk through a lot of these lines to get to the cities he wants to destroy. How annoying! Back to reality...Note that this is one of the steel span sections that allow longer distances between pylons. NEXT>>>

Tama Special one / two / three

/ back to the Special Features Page