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 Monorail.

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 the right.

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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