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Revisiting the Yurikamome AGT

March 2014
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Back in Tokyo last February, I made sure that time to go and ride the Yurikamome Line, an automated guideway transit (AGT) system serving the Odaiba area and beyond. These areas are reclaimed land from Tokyo Bay and features many modern buildings. It used to be that the only transit system resembling rail serving the area was the Yurikamome. It was relatively expensive compared to both Tokyo JR and subway lines and there weren’t much choices so people, especially residents in that area welcomed bus services and the Rinkai Line of the Tokyo Waterfront area Rapid Transit (TWR), which is the same company that operated the Yurikamome AGT. The AGT is a driverless train with rubber tires and running on guideway tracks instead of rail. Capacities are similar to light rail and are more suitable to residential and medium intensity commercial or office areas.

2014-02-23 10.06.53Escalators to the station platform at Shinbashi

2014-02-23 10.10.03The Yurikamome is popular with children whom their parents usually take on  the front seat for a magnificent view of the line and adjoining areas. I think some parents tell their children they can pretend to be the train driver given the best seats are right at front.

2014-02-23 10.11.40The AGT is driverless and that means you can be seated up front.

2014-02-23 10.32.05Escalator and platform at Daiba Station.

2014-02-23 10.32.38Stairs from the platform at Shinbashi Station

2014-02-23 10.57.57The approach to Odaiba Kaihin Koen Station from Daiba Station shows the equivalent of a switch (rail) for the guideway tracks along the other direction.

2014-02-23 11.00.07Section along the Rainbow Bridge. Note the roads on either side of the AGT guideways.

2014-02-23 11.06.28Auxiliary guideway tracks to allow trains to change guideways direction. Note that the train picks up electricity along its sides from the rails along either side of the guideway. This allows for continuous movement though there are breaks as the train shifts position.

2014-02-23 11.08.45The guideway to between Takeshiba and Shiodome Stations feature what appears as a rubberized strip for better traction for the tires to the guideway tracks.

2014-02-23 11.10.03The approach to Shiodome Station.

2014-02-23 11.11.37The approach to Shimbashi Station shows the AGT equivalent of a switch to allow arriving vehicles to change directions towards the platforms of the end station.


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