The Tokyo Monorail (東京モノレール, Tōkyō Monorēru), officially the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line (東京モノレール羽田空港線, Tōkyō Monorēru Haneda Kūkō sen), is a straddle-beam, Alweg-type monorail line in Tokyo, Japan. It is an airport rail link that connects Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) to Tokyo's Ōta, Shinagawa, and Minato wards. The 17.8-kilometer (11.1 mi) line serves 11 stations between the Monorail Hamamatsuchō and Haneda Airport Terminal 2 stations. It runs on a predominantly elevated north–south route that follows the western coast of Tokyo Bay. The monorail is operated by Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd., which is jointly owned by JR East, Hitachi, and All Nippon Airways. It carried an average of 140,173 passengers per day in 2018.
|Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line|
|Owner||Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd.|
|Termini||Monorail Hamamatsuchō (north)|
Haneda Airport Terminal 2 (south)
|Type||Straddle-beam monorail (Alweg-type)|
|Daily ridership||140,173 (2018, average)|
|Opened||September 17, 1964|
|Line length||17.8 km (11.1 mi)|
|Character||Elevated and underground|
|Minimum radius||120 m (390 ft)|
Plans to build Japan's first airport rail link surfaced in 1959 as Tokyo was preparing to host the 1964 Summer Olympics. That year, the Yamato Kanko Co., Ltd.—later renamed Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd.—was established to build the rail connection. Construction began in 1963 and completed on September 17, 1964, just 23 days ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony. Upon opening, the monorail operated between the Hamamatsuchō and Haneda stations, making no intermediate stops. It has since been expanded with infill stations and extensions, and there are plans to extend it to Tokyo Station in the future.
The Tokyo Monorail is one of two rail lines serving the airport, the other being the Keikyū Airport Line. At Hamamatsuchō Station, passengers may transfer to the Keihin–Tōhoku and Yamanote lines of JR East, as well as the Asakusa and Oedo lines of the Toei Subway via nearby Daimon Station. The monorail also connects with Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit's Rinkai Line at Tennōzu Isle Station.
Tokyo's Haneda Airport had emerged as the country's international gateway by the time Japan's commercial aviation industry recovered from the Second World War in the early 1950s. In 1959, the airport recorded approximately 910,000 total passengers and expected many more for the coming 1964 Summer Olympics. That same year, the government unveiled a plan for a central Tokyo-to-airport rail link. Opponents of the rail line briefly countered with a proposal to extend the Tokyo Expressway instead, but fears that this would only worsen vehicular congestion led to a preference for rail.:9
In August 1959, the Yamato Kanko Co., Ltd. was established to build the rail line; it renamed to Japan Elevated Railway Co., Ltd. a year later. The company applied for a route license to build a straddle-beam, Alweg-type monorail in January 1960, which the Japanese government granted the following December. The company selected Alweg due to two factors. First, the company's president, Tetsuzo Inumaru, was an old friend of Dr. Axel Wenner-Gren, the founder of Alweg. Second, Hitachi, which would build the line, was keen on further developing the technology.:9
Project planners originally intended the monorail line to extend from Haneda Airport to Shimbashi or Tokyo Station, and the license that had been acquired allowed building it up to either station.:3 However, opposition from residents living near the Shibaura Canal, which had been part of the proposed route, as well as cost overruns during the construction of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, which drained government subsidies, resulted in a shortened route from the airport to Hamamatsuchō Station. To further minimize costs, the line was routed over other public waterways donated by local municipalities, which eliminated the need to acquire expensive private land, but reclaimed parts of Tokyo Bay, as well as rivers and canals. The resulting alignment removed a number of fishing and aquatic farming operations, and local fishing cooperatives had their licences revoked by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Among them was a seaweed harvesting field in Ōta Ward that had produced a premium brand of nori since the Edo period called Omori no nori.
The Ministry of Transport authorized the monorail project in December 1961.:9 A groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 1, 1963, and the subsequent construction of the line progressed rapidly.:248 In May 1964, Japan Elevated Railway Co., Ltd. again changed its name to Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd. The line cost a total of 21.1 billion yen (equivalent to approximately $60 million in 1964 dollars), of which 20 billion yen was spent for construction and 1.1 billion yen on rolling stock.:9 Hitachi built the first-generation cars in Japan under license of Alweg (through the Hitachi–Alweg joint venture). Upon its inauguration, the Tokyo Monorail became the world's first commercial monorail service and Japan's first airport rail connection.
Service commenced on September 17, 1964, 23 days ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony on October 10. At the time of opening, the Tokyo Monorail ran a total length of 13.1 kilometers (8.1 mi) and served only its termini: Hamamatsuchō Station and the airport. Most of the artificial islands in Tokyo Bay had not yet been reclaimed, and the line mostly ran over water. The price for a one-way ticket was 250 yen, which was relatively more expensive than other available options at the time. It was notably cheaper to take a taxi with four people to the airport than to ride the monorail. A recession following the Olympics resulted in a decrease in airport arrivals, which severely affected ridership. In 1966, the Tokyo Monorail was forced to reduce the price of its fare to 150 yen to attract more passengers.
Infill stations and later expansionsEdit
Ōi Keibajō Mae became the monorail's first infill station upon its completion in May 1965. It was originally built as a temporary station above the water along the coast and only operated on days when an event was taking place at Ohi Racecourse. Its permanent replacement opened two years later. The city government subsequently reclaimed the area around this station and developed a housing complex known as Yashio Park Town. In November 1967, an overpass connecting the monorail platform to the JR platforms of Hamamatsuchō Station was completed. Between 1967 and 1993, four more stations were built along the original alignment; these were Haneda Seibijō, later renamed Seibijō (1967); Shin Heiwajima, later renamed Ryūtsū Center (1969); Shōwajima (1985); and Tennōzu Isle (1992).:3
When the monorail began operating, the passenger terminal at Haneda Airport was located on the west side of the airfield, south of Seibijō, and this was the southern end of the line. Upon the opening of a new passenger terminal—now Terminal 1—in 1993, the monorail was extended to a new platform and another station, Shin Seibijō, was built for the employees of nearby maintenance facilities.:4 Meanwhile, the former airport passenger terminal was razed and the monorail tunnel beneath it abandoned to make room for an extension of Runway B. The original Haneda Station, which was abandoned along with the tunnel, was rebuilt farther west along the new section of tracks and renamed Tenkūbashi Station in November 1998. Although the rails were removed and its entrance walled off, the now-unused tunnel remains otherwise intact today below the Runway B extension.
The monorail has continued to adapt and expand with the terminal changes and expansions of Haneda Airport. A single-station, 0.9-kilometer (0.56 mi) extension to the airport's then new Terminal 2 opened on December 1, 2004, and resulted in the renaming of the existing Haneda Airport Station to Haneda Airport Terminal 1 Station. The opening of a passing loop at Shōwajima allowed for the operation of express services from March 18, 2007. A new infill station to serve the airport's new International Terminal opened on October 21, 2010. On March 14, 2020, the three stations serving Haneda Airport were renamed to coincide with the renaming of the International Terminal to Terminal 3. In Japanese, the word "building" (ビル, biru) in the station names was modified to "terminal" (ターミナル, tāminaru). From north–south, the stations are Haneda Airport Terminal 3 Station (羽田空港第3ターミナル駅), Haneda Airport Terminal 1 Station (羽田空港第1ターミナル駅), and Haneda Airport Terminal 2 Station (羽田空港第2ターミナル駅).
Planned extension to Tokyo StationEdit
In June 2009, Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd., formally notified the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of its intent to convert the present single-track terminal at Hamamatsucho, which had rested unchanged since 1964, into a dual-track, dual-platform structure. To be built in six and a half years at an estimated cost of 26 billion yen, this would increase the line's capacity from 18 to 24 trains per hour and lay the groundwork for a long-mooted extension to Shimbashi Station. In August 2014, it was revealed that the line could be extended from Hamamatsucho to Tokyo Station, running alongside the Yamanote Line tracks between Shimbashi and Tokyo. Total costs are estimated at 109.5 billion yen, with construction taking approximately ten years.
The Tokyo Monorail is 17.8 kilometers (11.1 mi) long and traverses Tokyo's Minato, Shinagawa, and Ōta wards.:12 From its northern terminus at Monorail Hamamatsuchō Station, the line travels southbound as it crosses over the Yamanote, Keihin–Tōhoku, Ueno–Tokyo, Tōkaidō Main, and Tokaido Shinkansen lines. Upon entering Shibaura, it follows the edge of canals surrounded by artificial islands. On an artificial island within Kōnan just east of Shinagawa Station and the main campus of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, the monorail starts to follow the Shuto Expressway Haneda Route alignment with a stop at Tennōzu Isle.
The following three service types operate on the line:
- Local (普通, Futsū)
- Rapid (区間快速, Kukan Kaisoku)
- Haneda Express (空港快速, Kūkō Kaisoku)
Tokyo Monorail trains operate on an average headway of four minutes. This can be as short as three minutes and 20 seconds during peak hours.:2:33 "Local" trains stop at every station, with end-to-end travel taking 24 minutes. "Rapid" trains bypass the Shōwajima, Seibijō, Tenkūbashi, Shin Seibijō stations, and take 21 minutes to travel across the line. "Haneda Express" trains make non-stop runs between Monorail Hamamatsuchō Station and Haneda Airport; these trains arrive at Haneda Airport Terminal 3 in 13 minutes, Haneda Airport Terminal 1 in 16 minutes, and Haneda Airport Terminal 2 in 18 minutes. The Tokyo Monorail started operating "Rapid" (快速, Kaisoku) trains in December 2001, which departed from Haneda Airport at 11:50 pm; these trains began running all day three years later. In March 2007, the monorail replaced its original "Rapid" service with the two existing "Haneda Express" and "Rapid" service patterns.
|●||Stops at this station|
||||Skips this station|
|No.||Image||Name||Japanese||Distance(km)||Local||Rapid||HanedaExpress||Connections and notes||Location|
|Monorail Hamamatsuchō||モノレール浜松町||0.0||●||●||●||Keihin–Tōhoku Line Yamanote Line Asakusa Line (via Daimon Station) Oedo Line (via Daimon Station)||Minato|
|Tennōzu Isle||天王洲アイル||4.0||●||●|||||Rinkai Line||Shinagawa|
|Ōi Keibajō Mae||大井競馬場前||7.1||●||●|||||—|
|Tenkūbashi||天空橋||12.6||●||||||||Keikyū Airport Line|
|Haneda Airport Terminal 3||羽田空港第3ターミナル||14.0||●||●||●||Keikyū Airport LineName changed from Haneda Airport International Terminal Station (羽田空港国際線ビル駅) on March 14, 2020.|
|Haneda Airport Terminal 1||羽田空港第1ターミナル||16.9||●||●||●||Keikyū Airport Line (via Haneda Airport Terminal 1·2 Station)Name changed in Japanese from 羽田空港第1ビル駅 on March 14, 2020.|
|Haneda Airport Terminal 2||羽田空港第2ターミナル||17.8||●||●||●||Keikyū Airport Line (via Haneda Airport Terminal 1·2 Station)Name changed in Japanese from 羽田空港第2ビル駅 on March 14, 2020.|
All rolling stock that has been operated and/or currently operating in the Tokyo Monorail since inauguration are built by Hitachi Rail. As of 2020[update], the Tokyo Monorail operates three train types: 1000 series, 2000 series, and most recently, 10000 series. All trainsets run in a six-car configuration and are capable of running at speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph). Each car has a combination of aisle-facing bench seats, forward and rear-facing seats, and seats in the center of the aisle. The trains also feature extra space for hand luggage, as a convenience for air travelers. These trains are stored and maintained at Shōwajima Depot beside Shōwajima Station during off-service hours. The 1000 series trains were introduced from 1989, and the 2000 series trains were introduced from 1997.
Former rolling stockEdit
Former rolling stock once used on Tokyo Monorail include the 100/200/300/350 series (from 1964 until 1978), 500 series (from 1969 until 1991), 600 series (from 1977 until 1997), and 700/800 series (from 1982 until 1998).
The Tokyo Monorail operates from around 5:00 a.m. to midnight with over 500 trains. The first departure towards the airport leaves at 04:58 and the last departure is at 00:01. Towards Hamamatsuchō, the first departure is at 05:11 and the final departure is at 00:05 (final departure serving all stations at 23:38). Passengers using the monorail to travel to the airport can take advantage of check-in facilities at Hamamatsuchō. Japan's domestic airlines (JAL, ANA, Skymark Airlines, and Air Do) have check-in counters and ticket machines right at the station. It carried its 1.5 billionth passenger on January 24, 2007.
The monorail line is operated by the Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd. (東京モノレール株式会社, Tōkyō Monorēru Kabushiki-gaisha). In 1967, the Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd. merged with Hitachi Transport Co., Ltd. and Western Hitachi Transport Co., Ltd. to form Hitachi Transport Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd. after Hitachi Transport System acquired an 81-percent share of the company.:11 The company re-established as the Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd. in 1981.:19–21 JR East acquired a 70-percent majority share of the company from Hitachi Transport System in 2002, with the remaining 30 percent going to Hitachi, Ltd.:73 As of March 2019[update], the Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd. is divided between JR East (79 percent), Hitachi (12 percent), and All Nippon Airways' holding company, ANA Holdings Inc. (9 percent).:74
Operation and maintenanceEdit
The Shōwajima Center (昭和島車両基地, Shōwajima sharyō kichi), located next to Shōwajima Station, is the operations and maintenance center of the Tokyo Monorail. The complex houses an operations control room that controls the movement of trains, a power control room that controls the line's power supply, a vehicle maintenance and storage depot where cars are inspected and serviced, a track and trolley inspection and maintenance depot, and a crew depot.
Fares may be purchased from ticket vending machines at any monorail station. As of June 2020[update], Tokyo Monorail tickets can also be purchased from machines at the following airports: Fukuoka Airport, Hakodate Airport, Hiroshima Airport, Itami and Kansai airports in Osaka, Kagoshima Airport, Kumamoto Airport, Nagasaki Airport, Naha Airport, New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, Oita Airport, Okayama Airport, Takamatsu Airport, and Toyama Airport.
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- The Haneda monorail Modern Railways issue 431 August 1984 page 406
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