Slope car

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Slope car at Muya Bus Stop, Naruto, Tokushima.

A slope car (スロープカー surōpukā?) is a small automated monorail, or a fusion between monorail, people mover, and rack railway. It is a brand name of Kaho Manufacturing. Since this mode of transportation is relatively unknown, it lacks widely accepted generic name, other than the simple "monorail". The system, however, is different from normal modern monorails in many ways. It is a development from industrial monorails used in 1960s orchards. Slope cars are installed in more than 80 places in Japan and South Korea. [1]

Overview[edit]

As the name suggests, the system is introduced generally when there are steep slopes or stairs between entrance gates and buildings. Slope cars generally function as amenities that provide accessibilities for elderly or handicapped people visiting particular places, such as parks, golf courses, or hotels. As most lines move fairly slowly, people without disabilities often find it faster to walk the same routes on foot, rather than to use slope cars. However, there are also places where slope cars climb very steep slopes which people without disabilities can not climb unless there are stairs. In Japan, slope cars are not legally considered as railways.

System[edit]

There is a type that is 3 m (9 ft 10 in) long, having a 4 to 8 passengers capacity, and another type that is 6 m (19 ft 8.2 in) long, having around 30 passengers capacity. Some slope cars are "trainsets" consisting of two cars. Most slope cars are straddle-beam monorails, but there are suspended monorail slope cars as well. [2] Normal monorails generally use rubber tyres running on a concrete beam, while slope cars use a steel beam with a rack rail on one side. As such, slope cars can climb 100% (45°) slopes at maximum speed. The system is powered by a "third rail" on the other side of the beam.

The system does not require a driver. A car starts when a user pushes a button, and it automatically stops at the selected destination.

History[edit]

In 1966, Yoneyama Industory, an agricultural machinery maker in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, invented "Monorack" (モノラック Monorakku?), a freight-only rack monorail system. It soon became widespread in mikan citrus orchards in the prefecture, and in other parts of Japan. Other makers also started to build similar systems. Later in 1990, a company called Chigusa developed a passenger rack monorail system. These rack monorails were first used to transport workers in construction sites or forests. However, from 1990s, public facilities such as parks also started to use the system. Kaho Manufacturing started to sell their "slope cars" in 1990.

Other names[edit]

As "slope car" is the brand name of Kaho Manufacturing, similar, if not the same, concepts are called differently by different manufacturers.

  • Ansaku makes Trans Mobile (トランスモービル Toransu Mōbiru?).
  • Chigusa makes Raxcar (ラックスカー Rakkusukā?).
  • Monorail Industry makes Monorider (モノライダー Monoraidā?).
  • Senyō Kōgyō makes Mountain Liner (マウンテンライナー Maunten Rainā?).

Slope cars are similar in some ways to personal rapid transit systems.

List of slope cars[edit]

Facility, line name Function Diagonal line length (m) Diagonal line length (ft) Speed (km/h) Speed (mph) Maximum gradient Passenger capacity Opening year Location
Aburagi Dam Dam 87 285 2.1 1.3 45° 6 2002 Soeda, Fukuoka
Aburayama Golf Course Golf course 96 315 2.1 1.3 21° 4 2004 Fukuoka, Fukuoka
Akagi Kōgen Highland Pasture Kronenberg Zorbing 70 230 4.8 3.0 11° 2003 Shibukawa, Gunma
Ashikita Kaihin Sōgō Park Zorbing 140 460 4.8 3.0 15° 2003 Ashikita, Kumamoto
Ashikita Kaihin Sōgō Park Zorbing 153 502 5.1 3.2 11°40′ 2005 Ashikita, Kumamoto
Bay Hill View Chayagadai Diagonal elevator 30 98 1.8 1.1 24° 4 1999 Ōita, Ōita
Bukkō-ji Temple Accessibility 38 125 1.8 1.1 29 6 2005 Kyōto, Kyōto
Bukkoku-ji Temple Accessibility 90 300 2.4 1.5 15° 4 2004 Sendai, Miyagi
Cactus Herb Park Park 191 627 4.8 3.0 19°30′ 30 1995 Nichinan, Miyazaki
Changwon Country Club Golf course 60 200 1997 Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do,
South Korea
Funaoka Castle Park Park 305 1,001 4.8 3.0 18° 40 1996 Shibata, Miyagi
Garden Sight Sakurajima, Sakurajima-gō Diagonal elevator 27 89 1.7 1.0 32°30′ 8 2001 Kagoshima, Kagoshima
Gassan Dam Dam 166 545 2.7 1.7 35°32′ 8 1994 Tsuruoka, Yamagata
Genkai Island Accessibility 47 154 2.1 1.3 33° 2 1998 Fukuoka, Fukuoka
Gifu Prefectural Museum, Rakuraku-gō Diagonal elevator 87 285 4.8 3.0 13° 8 2002 Seki, Gifu
Grandee Nasu Shirakawa Golf Club Golf course 50 160 2.4 1.5 17° 6 2005 Nishigō, Fukushima
Haenam Ttangkkut Park 8 26 0.9 0.6 26°50′ 2005 Haenam, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Haenam Ttangkkut Park 395 1,296 3.6 2.2 23°30′ 40 2005 Haenam, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Hananomori Park, Koinobori-gō Park Hokuto, Yamanashi
Hanatateyama Onsen Park 99 325 3.0 1.9 15° 8 2004 Chikuzen, Fukuoka
Hanawa Ski Resort Ski resort 212 696 5.4 3.4 28° 10 1996 Kazuno, Akita
Hayakuchi Dam Dam 200 660 1.5 0.9 45° 2 2003 Ōdate, Akita
Hinokidai Danchi Accessibility 87 285 3.9 2.4 22° 6 2000 Sasebo, Nagasaki
Hotel Hatsuhana Park 30 98 1.8 1.1 29°50′ 6 2005 Hakone, Kanagawa
Hwaam Cave Park 527 1,729 6.6 4.1 20° 2003 Jeongseon, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Hwanseongul Cave Park 600 2,000 2006 Samcheok, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Iiyama Ski Jump Ski resort 136 446 5.4 3.4 27° 8 1999 Iiyama, Nagano
Iizuka City Chikuho Community Center Accessibility 17 56 0.9 0.6 29° 3 1997 Iizuka, Fukuoka
Ikawa X Park Zorbing 82 269 3.9 2.4 18° 2004 Miyoshi, Tokushima
Inaniwa Castle Konjakukan Park 237 778 4.0 2.5 33°30′ 24 1993 Yuzawa, Akita
Iya Onsen Diagonal elevator 3.0 1.9 42° 2004 Miyoshi, Tokushima
Jōō-ji Temple Accessibility 31 102 2.1 1.3 29° 4 2002 Taku, Saga
Kannondaki Park, Kajika-kun Park 202 663 4.8 3.0 13° 10 1997 Satsuma, Kagoshima
Kayase Dam Dam 231 758 1.5 0.9 45° 2 1999 Isahaya, Nagasaki
Kunimi Forest Park Park 800 2,600 3.6 2.2 35° 40 2006 Shisō, Hyōgo
Kwangju Country Club Golf course 70 230 2002 Gokseong, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Maruoka Park Park 236 774 3.0 1.9 15° 10 2005 Kirishima, Kagoshima
Mashiki Country Club Golf course 73 240 3.6 2.2 24° 4 1992 Mashiki, Kumamoto
Masutani Dam Dam 172 564 1.5 0.9 36° 2 2003 Minamiechizen, Fukui
Minami Kiyosato Flower Park Park 185 607 3.6 2.2 25°30′ 20 2000 Hokuto, Yamanashi
Minamihata Dam Dam 79 259 2.1 1.3 28° 6 2003 Nakagawa, Fukuoka
Minaminooka Memorial Park Accessibility 52 171 2.1 1.3 24°30′ 6 2004 Yokohama, Kanagawa
Misawa Adonis Golf Club Golf course 99 325 3.0 1.9 33° 4 1994 Ena, Gifu
Miyamoto residence Accessibility 19 62 1.5 0.9 28° 2 1992 Hisayama, Fukuoka
Mizutori-gō Accessibility 60 200 0.9 0.6 29° 2 2002 Nagasaki, Nagasaki
Moritate Construction Accessibility 14 46 0.6 0.4 45° 2 1999 Fukuoka, Fukuoka
Mount Hiko, Mount Hiko Slope Car Park 849 2,785 4.8 3.0 18° 80 2005 Soeda, Fukuoka
Muya Bus Stop, Sloppy Diagonal elevator 161 528 9.6 6.0 5°40′ 20 2002 Naruto, Tokushima
Naengcheon Country Club Golf course 110 360 2003 Daegu, South Korea
Nagasaki Subtropical Botanical Garden Park 380 1,250 3.0 1.9 10° 20 1996 Nagasaki, Nagasaki
Nakadake Dam Dam 125 410 1.8 1.1 35° 2 2006 Soo, Kagoshima
Namgwangju Country Club Golf course 40 130 2001 Hwasun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Nanakura Dam Dam 96 315 2.1 1.3 45° 4 1993 Ōmachi, Nagano
Nanreku Shōken-yama Park Park 203 666 6.0 3.7 11°30′ 12 1990 Ainan, Ehime
Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Park Fukuroi, Shizuoka
Okuhagi Honjin Garden Park 453 1,486 4.2 2.6 25° 24 1990 Hagi, Yamaguchi
Okutadami Dam Dam 228 748 4.8 3.0 21° 40 1997 Uonuma, Niigata
Ōtaki Dam Dam 101 331 2.7 1.7 50° 6 1997 Kawakami, Nara
Passage Kinkai Island Golf Club Golf course 95 312 3.0 1.9 22° 5 1997 Nagasaki, Nagasaki
Rusutsu Resort Ski resort 480 1,570 10.8 6.7 9°30′ 36 1998 Rusutsu, Hokkaidō
Saga Sōgō Ground Accessibility 8 26 0.9 0.6 35° 2 1999 Saga, Saga
Sakura-gō Accessibility 50 160 0.9 0.6 33° 2 2003 Nagasaki, Nagasaki
Sanbōdai Schanze Ski resort 145 476 5.4 3.4 28° 8 1997 Shibetsu, Hokkaidō
Sanda Onsen Kumano no Sato Park 43 141 3.0 1.9 14° 8 2006 Sanda, Hyōgo
Sazanka Kōgen Pincnic Park, Kōgen Monorail Park 402 1,319 6.0 3.7 17° 20 1995 Isahaya, Nagasaki
Sazanka Kōgen Pincnic Park, Kōgen Monorail Park 280 920 6.0 3.7 14° 16 1993 Isahaya, Nagasaki
Shin Takasegawa Dam Dam 102 335 2.1 1.3 30° 4 1996 Ōmachi, Nagano
Shirahama Mermaid Town Accessibility 69 226 2.1 1.3 24° 4 2000 Shirahama, Wakayama
Shōkaien Care House Toyonosato Accessibility 48 157 1.8 1.1 36°9′ 16 2001 Mizumaki, Fukuoka
Siesta Patio Park 213 699 4.8 3.0 16° 15 2000 Taku, Saga
Soeda Park, Sakura Park 181 594 3.6 2.2 17° 16 1991 Soeda, Fukuoka
Sugiyama residence, Noboru-kun Accessibility 20 66 1.5 0.9 28° 2 1996 Shizuoka, Shizuoka
Sun Village Akane Ski resort 46 151 2.4 1.5 30° 12 1995 Iizuka, Fukuoka
Tachibana Thermal Power Plant Accessibility 27 89 0.9 0.6 27° 2 2000 Anan, Tokushima
Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden Park 250 820 3.6 2.2 9°30′ 40 2003 Ōita, Ōita
Takasegawa Dam Dam 104 341 2.1 1.3 45° 4 1994 Ōmachi, Nagano
Takayama Dam Dam 72 236 1.5 0.9 42° 8 2006 Minamiyamashiro, Kyōto
Takeo Onsen Hoyōmura, Skybus Noboru-kun Park 488 1,601 4.2 2.6 23° 16 1993 Takeo, Saga
Tenjin Dam Dam 96 315 1.5 0.9 45° 2 1999 Miyakonojō, Miyazaki
Tenjin-kun Accessibility 60 200 0.9 0.6 29° 2 2002 Nagasaki, Nagasaki
Tsunagi Onsen Shikisai Park 56 184 2.1 1.3 32°30′ 6 1994 Tsunagi, Kumamoto
Ueda Women's Junior College Tea House Accessibility 58 190 2.4 1.5 22° 2 2005 Ueda, Nagano
Ulsan Country Club Golf course 32 105 4.8 3.0 12° 6 2005 Ulsan, South Korea
Ulsan Country Club Golf course 135 443 1993 Ulsan, South Korea
Urayama Dam Accessibility 216 709 2.7 1.7 45° 2 1998 Chichibu, Saitama
Wakato Hospital Diagonal elevator 94 308 3.0 1.9 9°15′ 4 1992 Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka
Watanabe residence Accessibility 25 82 0.9 0.6 31° 2 1998 Minoo, Ōsaka
Wespa Tsubakiyama Park 572 1,877 4.8 3.0 25° 40 2000 Fukaura, Aomori
Yamano Hotel Park 36 118 2.4 1.5 36° 6 2004 Takayama, Gifu
Yoichi Ski Jump Ski resort 129 423 5.4 3.4 30° 8 1999 Yoichi, Hokkaidō
Yong-in Country Club Golf course 100 330 2001 Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Yong-in Country Club Golf course 78 256 2001 Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Zaō Ski Jump Ski jump 200 660 5.4 3.4 35° 10 2001 Yamagata, Yamagata

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Delivery results search at Kaho Manufacturing's official website yields more than 80 cases (slope cars only).
  2. ^ [1]

External links[edit]