Friday, October 19, 2012

EMU Type 0, New Model on the Chiba Urban Monorail


EMU Chiba Urban Monorail Type 0 arrives at Yoshikawa-koen (Yoshikawa Park) Station

Recently I visited Chiba City after a long absence. Among the many news items on railways in the city, the biggest one was the new model on the Chiba Urban Monorail: the Type 0 (see the top photo).

As I mentioned in my blog on October 25th 2011, Chiba City, which is located 40km east of downtown Tokyo, is the capital of Chiba Prefecture. This city has the world's longest suspension type monorail system: Chiba Urban Monorail.

Chiba Urban Monorail was partially opened in 1988 between the Sports Center and Chishirodai stations. Currently, the total line length is 15.2km. The EMU 1000 series, which was initially launched in 1988, has been operating as a 2 car train since then.

The new model, Type 0, was launched this July. It is also a 2 car train, and 3 sets have been manufactured so far. It was given the nickname Urban Flyer. The sky blue colored body with black face is urbanized and futuristic. Advanced technologies such as VVVF inverter control (variable-frequency drive) with regenerative braking system are applied.

One of the interesting features of this train is a floor window in the cockpit. It is equipped for passengers to view below the vehicle. It means that passengers can enjoy the feeling of floating in the air. That's why the nickname of the train is Urban Flyer.

Needless to say, I also enjoyed the flying experience in Chiba City as a birdman.

Interior of the EMU Chiba Urban Monorail Type 0