Saturday, 3 September 2016

Nomo-chan: Upside Down Monorail in Chiba City

Set number 10, Nomo-chan, of the EMU Chiba Urban Monorail 1000 series (upside down)

Suspended-type monorail is a unique transportation system. Contrary to standard railways, it has rails above the trains. Using this unique shape, Chiba Urban Monorail Company has launched a unique upside down train, called Nomo-chan, on their lines.

Look at the top picture. It looks like a diesel rail-car without overhead wires, but in fact, it is the upside down suspended monorail train... Nomo-chan. The photo is upside down. You can see logos and animal illustrations, which are all upside down. With the legal restrictions, only minimum displays, such as guide stickers for wheelchair users, are not upside down. Incidentally, the train name, Nomo-chan, is the reverse word of Mono (monorail)-chan. Chan is used as the diminutive suffix and rather to call a little boy and a girl.

Nomo-chan is set number 10 of the EMU 1000 series built in 1991. It is a 2-car train with a 1,500 V DC electric system. So far, a total of 20 sets, 40 units, of the 1000 series have been built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 8 sets of them, 16 units, have still to go into service. 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 has been operating since then.

Chiba Urban Monorail Company tries to attract passengers by every possible means the same as the other railway companies in Japan. Railway business in this country is by no means easy.

Set number 10, Nomo-chan, of the EMU 1000 series travels on the Line 2

Official information of the upside down train, Nomo-chan (in Japanese):