Saturday, 16 January 2016

Tokyo Night Walk, Part 11: Tama Center Illuminations

EMU Tama Monorail 1000 series arrives at Takahatafudo Station
"Tama Newtown" is located in a south-western suburb of downtown Tokyo. The population is nearly 200,000. It was developed by the central and metropolitan governments in the 1960s to solve the explosion of the urban population. Tama Center is the central area of this new town.

"Tama Center Illuminations" is an annual event held in front of Tama Center Station from November to January. This year, 400,000 LED lights are used as the illuminants. Specifically, the blue lights in the illuminated tunnel are beautiful and dreamy. A glowing stature of Hello-Kitty is also beautiful as a symbol of Tama Center. As you may know, she is a mascot of Sanrio Puroland (an indoor theme park), which is located near Tama Center Station.

Three railways pull into Tama Center Station. They are the Keio, Odakyu and Tama Monorail. The Tama Monorail was opened in 1998 as the newest line in the new town area. It adopts a straddle-beam system. Connecting Tama Center and Kamikitadai, its operating length is 16.0 km. The track is double and the electric system is 1,500 V DC. Four-car trains, named the EMU 1000 series, are operated every 6 to 10 minutes.

Passengers can enjoy both urban and country views from the train windows. The only problem with the Tama Monorail is its train speed. The maximum operating speed is only 65 km per hour. To make matters worse, there are many curved sections on the line. The company should learn from Tokyo Monorail and Shonan Monorail, which conduct high speed operations.

"Tama Center Illuminations" is held in front of Tama Center Station on the Tama Monorail Line