Yurikamome / June 03, 2005
New Transit Yurikamome is an automated guideway transit service operated by the Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Corporation, connecting Shimbashi to Ariake on the artificial island of Odaiba in Tokyo, Japan.
The line is named after the black-headed seagull (yurikamome in Japanese), a common denizen of Tokyo Bay and the official prefectural bird.
Yurikamome is Tokyo's first fully automated transit system, controlled entirely by computers with no drivers on board. This is actually not even particularly new technology--Japan's first AGT, Kobe's Port Liner, opened in 1981, 14 years before the Yurikamome--but it still surprises many a tourist.
Yurikamome is often incorrectly called a monorail, and the elevated concrete track does resemble a monorail at first glance, but the track is actually just a funnel and the trains are supported by two rows of rubber wheels. The rail in the center of the track serves only to guide the train, not support it, so it does not qualify as a monorail.
The brief notes at the beginning of this post are from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.