ON NOVEMBER 26 the Governor of Tokyo Yukio Aoshima participated in ceremonies to inaugurate the first section of an orbital monorail linking the capital’s western suburbs. Also participating were Construction Minister Akira Kiyazaki and Vice Transport Minister Motoo Hayashi.

To be operated by a subsidiary of the Tokyo Municipal Government, the 5·4 km first stage of the Tokyo Tama Intercity Monorail links Kamikitada in the suburb of Higashi Yamato with Tachikawa station on JR East’s Chuo, Nanbu and Oume lines. Built at a cost of ´192bn, the line has six intermediate stations including an interchange to the Seibu Haijima line. Revenue services began the following day, and the line was expected to carry 43000 passengers/day.

Work is under way on a southern extension to Tama Centre on the Odakyu Railway’s Tama line and Keio’s Sagamihara line, which is expected to open during the current year. This will add a further 11 stations serving the suburbs of Hino, Hachioji and Tama.

  • On November 18 the Keihin Electric Express Railway completed a 3·2 km extension of its Kyuko line to Toyo’s Haneda airport. In conjunction with the Asakusa and Keisei lines, KEER has introduced a through service between Haneda and Narita airports, with connections to JR East’s Sobu and Yamanote lines in Tokyo. Trains serve Haneda every 15 to 20 min, with the inter-airport Limited Express running every 80min.