The Fastest Way to Enoshima

Kamakura-Enoshima Shonan Monorail

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Railway with Ups and Downs

2019.01.24

 One of the attractions of Shonan Monorail could be its roller coaster-like railway.
 For 6.6 km from Ofuna Station to Shonan Station, there is about 40m difference in the heights.
 The most steep slope is 74‰, meaning that the train goes up by 70m while running 1000m. Except trains like Cable tram and like tram with a gear, this per-mil is about the same as the steepest section (80‰) of Japanese steepest train of Hakone Tozan Railway.
 What does it mean that steep rate of Shonan Monorail is about the same as Tozan Railway (mountain railway)?
 Isn't that impossible that a monorail runs like a mountain rail way?
 Climbing that kind of steep slope, in my opinion, is what ropeway is good at.
 Or roller coaster?
 There are so many things that Shonan Monorail and roller coasters have in common. (I will introduce them later on this blog.)
 By the way, Japanese steepest roller coaster, which is Takabisha at Fuji-Q Highland, has 121 degree of inclination. Crazy to have more degree than a right angle of 90 degree, isn't it? The steep rate of Shonan Monorail seems slightly small if it's compared with roller coaster's one, but we can say that in the train's world Shonan Monorail still runs over top-level steep slope.
 Top on that, we cannot miss another excitement about Shonan Monorail, which is that this monorail runs through 2 tunnels.
 You might have no idea that hanging type monorail has a tunnel because in Japan there are no hanging type monorails having a tunnel, except this Shonan Monorail. We have seldom seen such a sight even around the world. You might feel almost as if you were riding starship or submarine by watching the monorail running through tunnel without any railroads on the ground.
 The moment is quite exciting. It reminds me of riding roller coaster that is ready to go its big finale.
 Some people may know or even experienced inverted coasters running through a tunnel. Actually, there are so many roller coasters with a tunnel out there. But, how about monorail? Even though the monorail having tunnels, itself, is excitement, there is another excitement which is that acceleration starts towards the exit of tunnels. It reminds us of roller coaster, doesn't it?
 Especially the tunnel connecting Shonan-fukasawa to Nishi-Kamakura, the highest speed gets to 75 km/h, while descending down the steep slope.
 I was so surprised at the 75km/h speed where the monorail runs only 6.6 km.
 This speed also reminds me of roller coasters.
 As to the tunnel for Mt. Katase where the final station of Shonan-enoshima is appeared right after the exit, you will experience final excitement, which is that the monorail suddenly at the same height as 5th-floor building when it went through the exit.
 Can you imagine the open feeling? This spectacle feeling is also what this Shonan Monorail can provide you. (To be continue...)