Linimo train approaching Banpaku Kinen Koen, towards Fujigaoka Station
Linimo(リニモ,Rinimo?), formally the Aichi High-Speed Transit Tobu Kyuryo Line(愛知高速交通東部丘陵線,Aichi Kōsoku Kōtsū Tōbu Kyūryō-sen?) is a magnetic levitation train line in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, near the city of Nagoya. While primarily built to serve the Expo 2005 fair site, the line now operates to serve the local community.
Linimo is owned and operated by Aichi Rapid Transit Co., Ltd.(愛知高速交通株式会社,Aichi Kōsoku Kōtsū Kabushiki Gaisha?). Linimo claims to be the world's first commercial automated "Urban Maglev", although it was predated by the Birmingham Maglev (1984-1995), the Berlin M-Bahn (1989-1991) and the Shanghai Maglev (opened in 2004).
The linear motor magnetic-levitated train has a top speed of 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph), floating 8 millimetres (0.31 in) above the track when in motion, and is intended as an alternative to conventional metro systems, not high-speed operation. The line has nine stations and is 8.9 kilometres (5.5 mi) long, with a minimum operating radius of 75 metres (246 ft) and a maximum gradient of 6%. The trains were designed by the Chubu HSST Development Corporation, which also operates a test track in Nagoya. Construction of the track cost ¥60 billion (US$575 million) while the Linimo trains themselves, built by Nippon Sharyo, cost ¥40.5 billion (US$380 million). The overall construction cost thus came to roughly $100 million per km.
Being the first commercial implementation of a new type of transport system, the line suffered a number of highly publicized technical breakdowns during the Expo, with far higher demand during peak hours than the line's carrying capacity of 4,000 passengers per direction per hour. On March 19, 2005 and again on March 24, the number of people inside the trains exceeded the design capacity of 244 passengers and the train was unable to levitate. The line also has to be shut down for safety reasons when wind speed exceeds 25 m/s, a relatively common occurrence in the area.
During the Expo, the line carried an average of 31,000 passengers per day, but ridership dropped to only 12,000 in the first six months after the Expo, and the line lost over ¥3 billion in 2006. While ridership gradually increased to 16,500 passengers per day in 2008, the line still made a financial loss of ¥2.1 billion in fiscal year 2009.