The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Monorail Facts and Figures - 19 KAMAKURA - SHONAN MONORAIL
From the Cabalmaster:
Safege suspended system, Ofuna to Shonan-Enoshima, 4.1 mi.
Through fare: $2.50.
21 cars, 7 three-car trains.
Maximum train length: three cars.
Scheduled running time between terminals :14 minutes
Schedule speed: 17.9 mph.
Maximum permitted speed is 46.5 mph.
5:30 am to 11:30 pm.
Every 7.5 min throughout most of the day.
Weekdays: 133 "down" (Enoshima) trains; 133 "up" (Ofuna) trains.
Sundays/holidays: 113 "down and 113 "up" trains.
Major stockholders include:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.: 55.2 percent interest.
Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Ltd.: 18.4 percent.
Mitsubishi, Ltd.: 18.4 percent.
Nippon Steel Corp., Ltd. (world's largest steelmaker): 2.5 percent.
Keihin Electric Express Railway Co., Ltd.: 1.3 percent.
Nippon Kokan, Ltd. (Japan's second-largest steelmaker): 1.3 percent.
Did somebody say, "Supplier Financing"?
Mitsubishi, licensee for Safege technology, wanted a larger-scale showcase than the tiny, unsuccessful Nagoya line. It organized the Shonan Monorail Co, Ltd, and secured permission to build between Ofuna, southwest of Yokohama, and the seaside resort town of Enoshima. Although Enoshima already had a rail connection to Tokyo and a local electric railway, the monorail would operate through an area with considerable development but no fixed-guideway transport. ("Shonan" is a regional name.)
"Interurban" monorail lines had been proposed in Japan since the 1920s, but this line has the character of a suburban connector. It was built over the area's major transport corridor, a two-lane road built by the Keihin Electric Express Railway ("Keikyu") but open for public use. (Privately-financed roads, toll and free, are not uncommon in Japan.)
The Shonan Monorail extends 4.1 miles between terminals. Since it was built along a local road, it has relatively sharp curves and grades to 7.4 percent. The line also has two short tunnels, required by local geography. It is single-"track," with passing sidings at four of the six intermediate stations. Both terminals have two tracks. Trains operate with two-man crews, and the intermediate stations are unattended. Traction current is 1500V dc.
In 1999, the line averaged 15,000 passengers per day. The company reported $14.6 million in revenue and $12.4 million in expenses, leaving a $2.2 million operating surplus, representing 15 percent of revenue. We opinionated TransitCabalists regard this line as a self-supporting technology showcase that also serves a useful transport function (very useful during the summer beach-going season).
The Shonan Monorail provides an interesting ride and demonstrates, among other things, that there is such a thing as a practical monorail "switch" (as opposed to "turnout"). On the other hand, there is no prospect for extension, not even 0.6 mile farther south to Enoshima Island. This link was planned as a monorail line as long ago as 1927 and again during the early 1960s.
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