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Light Rail Vehicles - LRT, ICTS, Monorail, and more
#16
I imagine Canard will disagree with the presenter's opinion of the technology - but here's some lovely footage of the suspended monorail in Wuppertal:



My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#17
(01-25-2016, 02:22 PM)KevinL Wrote: I imagine Canard will disagree with the presenter's opinion of the technology - but here's some lovely footage of the suspended monorail in Wuppertal:

I was also thinking of this thread when I watched the video.
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#18
(01-25-2016, 03:01 PM)timc Wrote:
(01-25-2016, 02:22 PM)KevinL Wrote: I imagine Canard will disagree with the presenter's opinion of the technology - but here's some lovely footage of the suspended monorail in Wuppertal:

I was also thinking of this thread when I watched the video.

I used to be a fanboy of monorail, having bought the "transportation system of the future" line just like many others. But one sunny day in 2000, apropos of nothing and while about to board the Seattle monorail I realized that I had never seen any evidence as to why monorail was "technology of the future". So I started doing a bit of research and realized it was all Disney marketing. The aesthetics are impeccable, but that is not technology. Even Bombardier implicitly admits to this in the title of their monorail web page: "Mass Transit Capacity with Iconic Aesthetics"
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#19
So you just basically said because something looks nice, it should be ignored.  Nice argument!

You know just as well as I do that Monorail guideway takes up less ground space, gets built far faster, operates quieter, smoother, and safer than all other forms of guided rail transport.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#20
Here's my own video of the extensive Walt Disney World Monorail System, which moves 150 000 people a day!  Nothing beats walking around Epcot and pretending you're 100 years in the future, instead of 100 years in the past (coughlightrailcough).



For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#21
But that monorail from the video IS from 100 years in the past Wink
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#22
...and if you want a better video of Wuppertal, which isn't narrated by some ponce who has a semi for buses and other transport systems that generally maim and kill people when they run them own on the roads, please enjoy this great footage provided by Monorail Society member Luke Starkenburg, who has about he most interesting YouTube channel for a transit enthusiast around:



For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#23
(01-25-2016, 04:43 PM)notmyfriends Wrote: But that monorail from the video IS from 100 years in the past Wink

Nice burn, I'll give you that.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#24
(01-25-2016, 04:22 PM)Canard Wrote: You know just as well as I do that Monorail guideway takes up less ground space, gets built far faster, operates quieter, smoother, and safer than all other forms of guided rail transport.

They are not quieter or smoother than rubber tire metros or any of the European LRTs which are so quiet they require a chime to warn pedestrians.

The Disney monorail looks great meandering through vast tracks of parkland in sunny Florida or California, but elevation is a drawback in narrow corridors in Northern latitudes such as Seattle.
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#25
I rode the Wuppertal monorail when I was there 10 years, nice city. They've also got a nice brewpub in an absolutely gorgeous former municipal pool building.

Cars still maim and kill people and they are a 100+ year old technology, they sure are fun to drive and most 'em look cool too.
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#26
I've actually found this thread pretty interesting. Examples like Wuppertal and Chongqing show that there's nothing inherently unworkable about monorails. The reason so many systems have failed in the past is likely the fact that they haven't had the investment necessary to actually make them systems instead of short novelties.

That said, speaking strictly from aesthetics, monorails don't seem modern to me at all. They have a certain nostalgic quality to them akin to the Jetsons. Futuristic, maybe, but in a very dated way.
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#27
Well, the comment about smoothness is entirely subjective. I've ridden both very smooth and very "lumpy" rubber tired metros - in general, I am far more a fan of rubber tired systems (AGT, etc.) than I am steel-on-steel. It's just always quieter. No matter how hard you try, steel-on-steel systems always have flange noise/squeal in curves occasionally.

I don't see the elevation a drawback at all in Seattle, personally. The hotel we stayed at my husband specifically booked because the window of our room was directly adjacent the beamway. Smile It was wonderful.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#28
(01-25-2016, 05:20 PM)jamincan Wrote: I've actually found this thread pretty interesting. Examples like Wuppertal and Chongqing show that there's nothing inherently unworkable about monorails.

Correct. I don't claim them to be generally inferior technology. What they are not is superior or the "transportation of the future" as it so often claimed.


Quote:The reason so many systems have failed in the past is likely the fact that they haven't had the investment necessary to actually make them systems instead of short novelties.

Correct, most are built as toy systems for vanity purposes. Seattle is an example of substandard routing through the commercial district for show purposes, while the main transportation routing would have been completely different. In the case of Seattle, the actual rational routing was suggested in the early 2000s with the Ballard line, but the project never fully got of the ground.


Quote:That said, speaking strictly from aesthetics, monorails don't seem modern to me at all. They have a certain nostalgic quality to them akin to the Jetsons. Futuristic, maybe, but in a very dated way.

Indeed the Mark VII monorail currently in service was designed to resemble the original Mark I from 1958.
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#29
(01-25-2016, 05:11 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(01-25-2016, 04:22 PM)Canard Wrote: You know just as well as I do that Monorail guideway takes up less ground space, gets built far faster, operates quieter, smoother, and safer than all other forms of guided rail transport.

They are not quieter or smoother than rubber tire metros or any of the European LRTs which are so quiet they require a chime to warn pedestrians.

The Disney monorail looks great meandering through vast tracks of parkland in sunny Florida or California, but elevation is a drawback in narrow corridors in Northern latitudes such as Seattle.

Incidentally, the Zurich trams are not particularly quiet when they turn. I might even say that the trolleybuses are quieter and equally smooth. (Trolleybuses are indeed smoother than regular buses somehow.) The stop spacing of the trams is definitely tram spacing and not LRT spacing; I think I've observed 400m spacings between stops.
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#30
(01-25-2016, 05:32 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Correct. I don't claim them to be generally inferior technology. What they are not is superior or the "transportation of the future" as it so often claimed.

And why is that?  I have yet to see you pose a credible reason why monorail technology is not superior.

Quote:Indeed the Mark VII monorail currently in service was designed to resemble the original Mark I from 1958.

Not really.  There are only so many logical shapes you can choose.  You have a body up top, and running wheels below.  How else would you cover them?

And even if it was, so what? Bob Gurr came up with a great looking train.  Why not keep it sexy?  

Or do you subscribe to the theory that we must be bland because if people aren't miserable, it's obviously not working properly?

(And I think you mean MK IV, actually - the 1, 2, and 3 look a bit silly.  4-6 (6 especially) were designed to "rapid transit" standards for cities.  7 is just incremented because Bombardier offered it on their own; it's sort of an unofficial designation.)

(01-25-2016, 05:47 PM)plam Wrote: Incidentally, the Zurich trams are not particularly quiet when they turn. I might even say that the trolleybuses are quieter and equally smooth. (Trolleybuses are indeed smoother than regular buses somehow.) The stop spacing of the trams is definitely tram spacing and not LRT spacing; I think I've observed 400m spacings between stops.

Absolutely.  Light rail can be (and usually is) notoriously loud in curves.  If you think our (ion) trains are going to be silent going around the corners at Benton/Charles or King/Victoria, you're dreaming.  I used to live at the Kaufman Lofts, and as much as I would have loved to have trains circling my building on 3 sides (hey, I'm still a rail fan at heart), just get ready for the complaints at wheel squeal every 10 minutes when a train goes screeching through the corner... at 5 km/h.  Fixed bogie trams (like ours) are the worst for that, too.  Just you wait... you'll see (or hear, rather).

Plam - you're right about trolleybus smoothness - the lack of transmission (fixed gear ratio between traction motor and wheels) mean a very smooth, jerk-free acceleration.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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