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
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
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