Sightseeing An Interesting Feature Of The Yui Rail Monorail Expansion

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
Monorails, by design, are meant to run on elevated tracks above populated areas in order to cut back on costly underground rail systems.

The 4.1-kilometer extension will run to four new stations upon completion:

Ishimine Station

Ishimine Station

Kyozuka Station

Kyozuka Station

And then it'll stop by Urasoemaeda Station

Urasoemaeda Station

Before taking a surprise twist...

Shortly after Urasoemaeda Station, the monorail will head underground in a tunnel approximately 500-meters (1/3rd of a mile) in length.

Yui Rail monorail tunnel entrance (going north) Yui Rail monorail tunnel entrance (going south)

The monorail's final destination after the tunnel will be Tedako-Uranishi, that is if you take it from the Naha Airport Station and not start it just off the expressway.

Tedako-Uranishi (sign) Tedako-Uranishi

Besides in RollerCoaster Tycoon® 3 and in industrial settings such as transferring coal underground, I've yet to see an "underground" monorail of all the operational ones.

Do you know of any, or is Okinawa the first?

Yui Rail expansion route with tunnel
Pictured: The 4.1 Yui Rail expansion from Shuri Station to Tedako-Uranishi with the tunnel highlighted in black.
 
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Rob Oechsle

New member
This is not the first (or only) line to have a "Monorail Tunnel" within Japan. Until 1993, I rode through the Tokyo Monorail tunnel many times. It has since been closed off, and the line re-routed. And there are still at least (?) two other such monorail tunnels in use. But, the fact that Okinawa's Yui Rail will incorporate one is pretty cool.

It's also interesting in that it combines the TWO most common types of tunnel engineering methods into one stretch --- CUT & COVER, and the standard BORE HOLE methods.

THE FOLLOWING is for TUNNEL NERDS ONLY :

♦ CUT & COVER SECTION on the WEST END : 75.5 m
♦ CENTER SECTION DEEP BORE HOLE : 241.5 m
♦ CUT & COVER SECTION on the EAST END : 170 m
♥ FULL LENGTH (not including open approach cuts): 487 m

Here's a photo from about three years ago of some nosy gaijin checking it all out, while trying not to fall off that really high track pillar he's standing on ! :)

PARK & RIDE ???

Due to problems with the landowners, and related budgetary problems, the always-promised, dedicated PARK & RIDE expressway intersection and huge parking lot that was supposed to open at the same time as the new Monorail extension, has been DELAYED for another 5 years or more!

This makes the last station a kind of "white elephant" until then, and anyone coming from the North (Nago, Koza, etc) will have to get off at the NISHIHARA EXIT, be stuck in traffic while driving all the way over there, and then finally arrive at the station via some complicated back roads, only to find you might have no place to park to ride the Monorail.

Welcome to Japan and their inscrutable, mysterious ways. ^_^

That is to say, until they get it right, I'll be driving to Naha, and conveniently parking right where I want to go!

Cheers !

Rob Oechsle standing in the Yui Rail tunnel during its earlier construction phase.
 
OP
David

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
Awe! They let you in?! They said they MIGHT consider me running on the "working car" but I have to ask Monday. :p
 

Rob Oechsle

New member
Good luck! In the past, they even let kids in there for "engineering tours" during construction off-days. Now that they are getting ready to open, I don't know their policy. But, I hope you get to see it on a work run.

Engineering tours of the Yui Rail tunnel.
 
OP
David

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
Good luck! In the past, they even let kids in there for "engineering tours" during construction off-days. Now that they are getting ready to open, I don't know their policy. But, I hope you get to see it on a work run.
Hopefully.

I'll be able to be the first to ride through it on the work car if so (the one that looks like a window washing platform on skyscrapers). :)

But 487 meters long you say?

I'm still amazed at getting the length I did with GPS points. Though, it does make sense to be 487 as I took a point from where I shot the photos of the tunnel's entrance and exit in the original post, adding up to just under 500 or relatively close to it if I recall correctly.
 

Rob Oechsle

New member
My measurements are from the Monorail Construction Office. Google Pathways gives 488-90m, but I assume that's because it's adding extra ground lengths over the hills and down the east slope to the tunnel exit. So, I just accept their 487m as accurate.
 
OP
David

David

Founder
Okinawa.Org Staff
I didn't doubt you at all with that, @Rob Oechsle! You're very thorough when it comes to stuff like this.

Thank you for sharing this and for correcting me as well! :)
 

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