, formally the is a magnetic levitation train line in Aichi, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, near the city of Nagoya. While primarily built to serve the Expo 2005
Expo 2005
Expo 2005 was the World's Fair held for 185 days between Friday, March 25 and Sunday, September 25, 2005, in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, east of the city of Nagoya. It was a Specialized International Exhibition under the scheme of the 1972 protocol of the Convention relating to International Exhibitions...

 fair site, the line is still operating to serve the local community.

Linimo is owned and operated by . Linimo claims to be the world's first commercial automated "Urban Maglev", although it was predated by both the Birmingham Maglev (1984) and the Berlin M-Bahn
The M-Bahn or Magnetbahn was an elevated Maglev train line operating in Berlin, Germany in 1991. The line was 1.6 km in length, and featured three stations, two of which were newly constructed...



The linear motor
Linear motor
A linear motor is an electric motor that has had its stator and rotor "unrolled" so that instead of producing a torque it produces a linear force along its length...

 magnetic-levitated train has a top speed of 100 km/h, floating eight millimeters above the track when in motion, and is intended as an alternative to conventional metro
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 systems, not high-speed operation
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

. The line has nine stations and is 8.9 km long, with a minimum operating radius of 75 m 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
Nippon Sharyo
, , formed in 1896, is a major rolling stock manufacturer based in Nagoya, Japan. In 1996, it abbreviated its name to "日本車両" Nippon Sharyō. Its shortest abbreviation is Nissha "日車". It was a listed company on Nikkei 225 until 2004. It is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Nagoya Stock Exchange...

, cost ¥40.5 billion (US$380 million). The overall construction cost thus came to roughly $100 million per km.

Technical and financial difficulties

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/train 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 ppd in the first six months after the Expo, and the line lost over ¥3 billion in 2006. While ridership gradually increased to 16,500 ppd in 2008, the line still made a financial loss of ¥2.1 billion in FY 2009.

Construction History

  • October 3, 2001 — Permission to build the line granted
  • March 6, 2005 — Line opened to the public
  • July 3, 2005 — Ten millionth passenger
  • April 1, 2006 — Stations L07 and L09 renamed


Number Name Distance (km) Connections Location
0.0 Nagoya Municipal Subway
Nagoya Municipal Subway
is the subway system that serves the Nagoya, Aichi, Japan area. Like other large Japanese cities, Greater Nagoya's subways are heavily complemented by suburban rail, forming an extensive network of 47 lines rivaling cities such as New York and London...

, Higashiyama Line
Higashiyama Line
The is a subway line, part of the Nagoya Municipal Subway system in Nagoya, Japan. Officially, the line is referred to as . It runs from Takabata, Nakagawa Ward to Fujigaoka, Meitō Ward, all within Nagoya. The Higashiyama Line's color on maps is Windsor yellow; its stations carry the letter H...

Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Meito-ku, Nagoya
is one of the 16 wards of the city of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.It is home to Meitoh Senior High School, one of the city's best schools, frequently attended by American Field Service exchange students....

, Nagoya
1.4   Nagakute
Nagakute, Aichi
is a town located in Aichi District, Aichi, Japan.On March 25, 2005, Expo 2005 opened with its main site being in Nagakute...

, Aichi District
Aichi District, Aichi
is a district located in Aichi, Japan.As of September 1, 2008, the district had an estimated population of 91,533 and a density of 2,310.0 persons per km²...

("Expo Memorial Park")
formerly Banpaku-kaijo Station ("Expo Site")

8.0   Toyota
Toyota, Aichi
is a city located in the Mikawa region of Aichi Prefecture, Japan, east of Nagoya.Toyota's main plant, the Tsutsumi plant, is located here. The longstanding ties between the Toyota Motor Corporation and the town of Toyota-shi, formerly known as Koromo, gave the town its current...

formerly Banpaku-Yakusa Station
8.9 Aichi Loop Line
Aichi Loop Line
is a Japanese railway line between Okazaki Station, Okazaki and Kōzōji Station, Kasugai, operated by . The company or the line is abbreviated as . This is the only line the company operates...


Cancelled plan in Taiwan

In 2006, there was a plan to use the system for Xinyi LRT (信義輕軌), a proposed line in Xinyi
Xinyi, Taipei
The Xinyi District is the seat of the Taipei mayor's office and the Taipei City Government. Key buildings including Taipei 101, Taipei City Council, Taipei International Convention Center, Taipei World Trade Center, and various shopping malls and entertainment venues make Xinyi the most modern...

, Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The line was later cancelled in 2007.

External links

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