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Naha monorail completes first full length test run

Date Posted: 2002-11-30

Naha’s new monorail train made the first test run covering the whole length of the line, Monday. The monorail is scheduled to go into service in 2003. The train started from Oroku Station near the airport moved through the line stopping at each station on the way to the end of the line at Shuri Station. The train was tested first time last December when it ran from Naha Airport to Akamine Station in Oroku.

A ceremony to ensure the safe operation of the train was held before the train started. At the ceremony, Okinawa Urban Monorail Co. President, Governor Keiichi Inamine sprinkled awamori on the rail and on strategic places inside the car, before taking a seat with over 100 invited guests for the first ride. The test drives will continue through February.

City officials hailed the monorail as a cure for the city’s traffic congestion and estimated originally that as many as 35,000 people would use the monorail daily. Now even most optimistic admit that the figure is likely to be much less. The fares have been tentatively set to begin at ¥200 for the first distance and then ¥20 up for each station.

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