This summer, Okinawa Urban Monorail, commonly known as “Yui Rail”, introduced new three-car trains to ease over-crowding on the increasingly popular line.
Yui Rail is a monorail that serves the cities of Naha and Urasoe in Okinawa, running between Naha Airport and Tedako-Uranishi Station in Urasoe. There are 19 stops along the line which is popular with locals and visiting tourists. The elevated line was first opened in 2003 to ease ground-level traffic congestion and at first ran only between Naha Airport and Shuri, but was extended to Urasoe in 2019.
Yui Rail is especially popular with tourists as there are many attractions along the line such as Kokusai-dori shopping street, the remains of Shuri Castle and the ruins of Urasoe Castle. Though traffic on the monorail fell off during the pandemic, now that tourists are returning to Okinawa in big numbers, the monorail has become busy again and trains can get crowded.
Until this year all trains on the monorail had just two cars and could carry up to 165 people, but the new three-car trains can carry up to 251 people. Two new three-car trains were added this summer and Yui Rail plans to increase that number to nine trains by 2025.
Article by Michael Lambe. Photo by toshi007/pixta (1). All rights reserved.