Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Rapid Transit Penetrating the Kamakura Mountain

EMU Shonan Monorail Type 500 passes through Kataseyama Tunnel on the Enoshima Line

Following my blog on July 5th, I would like to introduce you to the other monorail line in the Tokyo metropolitan area. That is the Enoshima Line of the Shonan Monorail in Kanagawa Prefecture. Connecting Ofuna on the JR East Tokaido Line and Shonan-Enoshima, the operation length is 6.6 km. The route passes through industrial and residential quarters in the Kamakura Mountain and its surrounding area.

The Enoshima Line was partially opened in 1970 between Ofuna and Nishi-Kamakura. Then, the entire route opened in 1971. The same suspended system is adopted as the Ueno Zoo Line and the Chiba Urban Monorail Line (see my blog on October 25th, 2011).

My first impression of the Shonan Monorail was that it was faster than I thought. Although the maximum speed of the train is only 75km per hour, the sensory speed was much faster. It is probably because the train runs very close to buildings, houses and trees in the forests (see the following picture). It's also very thrilling, like a roller coaster ride in an amusement park, when the train goes downhill.

The other feature of the Enoshima Line is its tunnels. There are two tunnels on the route penetrating the Kamakura Mountain (see the top photo). It is also an exciting experience for passengers that the train passes through these tunnels at maximum speed. The train running on the elevated track offers remarkable landscapes as well.

Shonan Monorail, it's worth it for those who love railways.

EMU Shonan Monorail Type 5000 passes through the forest on the Enoshima Line

More information about Shonan Monorail (in Japanese):