• Kyodo

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The monorail linking Haneda airport with central Tokyo marked its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, with six types of rail cars previously and currently in service featured at a commemorative event.

Tokyo Monorail, which ferries travelers between the airport terminals and downtown Hamamatsucho Station, ran its inaugural service on Sept. 17, 1964, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics later that year. The 17.8-km monorail had carried a total of 1.83 billion passengers by the end of March this year.

The event showcased the latest 10000 series rail car, which made its debut in July, as well as other models such as the 2000 series car with big windows that was introduced in 1997.

“I am deeply moved that we have overcome hard times and marked the 50th anniversary of service without any accident causing injury or death,” said Mahito Kikuchi, a senior official at operator Tokyo Monorail Co., referring to a sharp decline in passenger numbers following the transfer of international flights from Haneda to Narita airport after the latter opened in 1978.

The oldest monorail route currently in operation is at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo. It was constructed 1957.

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