Web Japan > NIPPONIA No.31 > Special Feature*
NIPPONIA No.31 December 15, 2004

Special Feature*
Eco-friendly People Movers for
the Expo: The Future Is Now
Cars are certainly convenient, but they also create problems—like traffic accidents, pollution and road congestion. Expo 2005 in Aichi will focus on the environment, and the new transportation systems for the Expo offer practical solutions.
Written by Takahashi Koki, Photos by Sakai Nobuhiko and Kono Toshihiko
Additional photo credits: Toyota Motor Corporation

The 3-car Linimo train is designed to seat 244 passengers and to carry up to 370 during peak travel times. Maximum speed, 100 km/hr. Trains will run at intervals of 6 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours, and 10 minutes at other times.

Gliding silently above the track
Normal-conducting Maglev Linear Motor Train
No wheels. No noise except for the sound of the inverter. Electromagnets levitate the train 6 mm above the guideway and propel it forward. "Riding it will be a little like someone pulling you on a skating rink," says Aichi Rapid Transit Co., Ltd., the main operator of the system.
The linear motor train (nickname, "Linimo") will carry the majority of visitors to the Expo. Trains will run about 7 km, from Fujigaoka, the last station on a municipal subway line, to the site's North Gate. Similar systems have been used experimentally for on-site transportation at other expositions, but this will be the world's first commercial line to use normal-conducting magnetically levitated (Maglev) linear motor trains.
A Linimo train costs a little more to build than a conventional one, but operating costs can be kept down because it is unmanned (it is completely automatic), and because there is almost no wear-and-tear (the trains do not touch the guideway). The Maglev transport system could one day be a good candidate to replace medium- and long-distance railway trains.


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