News Briefs for One-Tracked Minds
The latest news added April 8, 2014

News Brief Archives

 

2017

Another TMS Exclusive...
Intamin contract for 2017 Asian Indoor Games (04/08/14)
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Monorails have been proposed for sporting events for decades, but Turkmenistan will be the first to actually get one built. The 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017 will feature a circulator loop monorail system provided by Intamin Transportation. A massive multi-purpose sports facility will be built in Turkmenistan's capital for the games and years beyond. The complex will feature 30 venues for world class sporting events and all will be connected by the eight-station, single-lane loop system. The system will feature 5.2-kilometers of track with a 550-meter depot/maintenance spur line. The 'Olympic Monorail' will have three Intamin P30 trains. The system will be capable of carrying up to 1,200 passengers and atheletes per hour. P30 trains are capable of speeds up to 80 kph, which matches the top speeds of most of the world's monorails. The system should be completed in 2016, well in advance of the 2017 games.

Turkmenistan1
Olympic Rings featured on one monorail bridge. Images courtesy of Intamin Transportation

Turkmenistan2
Turkmenistan law requires emergency walkways on both sides of the track

Polimeks Olympics complex project page


Bandung

Monorail for Indonesia's Bandung? (04/04/14)
Bandung, Indonesia. The Panghegar Group is planning an extensive monorail network for the City of Bandung. The business group will work with China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation on the project. The plan includes five monorail corriodors criss-crossing the city with 84 kilometers of track. The project is in the feasibility study stage currently.

Indonesia's Panghegar to Build Five-Line Monorail in Bandung. Jakarta Globe, 04/02/14.


Tokyo10000

New trains for Tokyo Monorail (04/02/14)
Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo Monorail will be introducing new train vehicles starting in July. The Tokyo 10000 vehicle design will aid passengers moving to and from Haneda International Airport. The cars have more space for suitcases and will include TV monitors. Information will be displayed in four languages. Trains will also feature Wi-Fi connectivity with fast internet access. Tokyo Monorail is celebrating its 50th year, it opened in 1964 in conjunction with the Tokyo Olympics.

Tokyo Monorail launches new cars for the 1st time in 17 years in its 50th anniversary. Akihabara News, 03/03/14.
Tokyo Monorail press release (pdf in Japanese)

TokyoInterior
Renderings courtesy of Tokyo Monorail


BrisbaneIntl

Brisbane Airport 'monorail' (03/30/14)
Brisbane, Australia. The newspaper is using the term 'monorail' in its story about a proposed transit system at Brisbane International Airport. A draft master plan includes a transit system connecting several areas on the airport grounds. It's part of a planned $2.5 billion in airport improvement plans, to be implemented between now and 2034. The transit system would loop between terminals and a spur would connect to an existing nearby airport gateway facility. Whether the 'monorail' turns out to really be monorail technology remains to be seen, it's still extremely early in the process.

Brisbane Airport plans monorail transit system between domestic and international terminals in preparation for growing future demand. Herald Sun, 03/30/14.


Niteroi

Monorail approved near Rio de Janeiro (03/15/14)
Niteroi, Brazil. In case you haven't been paying attention, in recent years Brazil has discovered the monorail and embraced it enthusiastically. Yet another major system will be built soon, this time next to the city of Rio de Janeiro. Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, has approved the go-ahead for Line 3 of the new addition to the Rio Metro system. After examining various technology options, monorail has been selected for the 22-kilometer system from Niteroi to Sao Goncalo. The fourteen station monorail will start at a dramatic waterfront station, where passengers can transfer to the local water ferry system. Daily ridership is projected to be 350,000 passengers per day. Financing the R$ 2.5 billion project will come from both federal and state funds.

Sistema de Monotrilho da Linha 3. YouTube Video (in Portuguese)
Dilma anuncia R$ 2.5 bilhoes para monotrilho no Rio. Valor, 11/09/13.


LasVegas

Las Vegas Mayor: extend to airport and downtown (03/11/14)
Las Vegas, Nevada. Proponents for expansion of the Las Vegas Monorail got major support this week. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is speaking out for system expansion. "We need it to go from the airport. We need to bring it downtown," said the mayor. Ingrid Reisman, VP and CMO for Las Vegas Monorail, stated, "It has to be community-based. It has to be supported by the community and wanted by the community." As has been the problem all along, the difficulty lies in finding private investors to build extensions. Most of the investors of the current 4-mile monorail suffered large losses after the 2010 bankruptcy. Still, political and public support is extremely important, and the mayor's continued support may help kick start the process.

New Push to Extend Monorail from Airport to Downtown. KLAS-TV, 03/11/14.


Melbourne

Melbourne Airport connector talk (03/04/14)
Melbourne, Australia. Despite the demise of the controversial Sydney Monorail last year, monorail is still being sought for an airport link on the Australian continent. Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder has received a proposal for a Melbourne Airport Monorail connector. The press still loves to show the Simpson's episode every time monorail is suggested, yet promoters persist because of the numerous advantages it features. The idea is from Peter O'Brien, a tourism infrastructure entrepreneur. He prefers monorail as a high-tech alternative to a diesel train. Press reports indicate his proposal would be similar to the Incheon Monorail in South Korea, which features Urbanaut technology. The Incheon installation has been plagued with problems and has failed to open to the public for years as a result. Despite the proposal reportedly being for Urbanaut, Bombardier monorail videos are appearing in online press stories. Already conventional rail backers are poo-pooing the idea, setting up the inevitable battle between technologies.

Bold plan to build $1 billion monorail above Tullarmarine Freeway under way. News.com.au, 03/04/14.
Monorail airport link gains traction. 3AW693, 03/04/14.
Plan for monorail to Melbourne Airport. Sydney Morning Herald, 03/04/14.


Beijing

More Beijing Monorails move forward (02/26/14)
Beijing, China. Only a day after the Yuquanlu Line monorail environmental impact assessment was released, the Beijing Municipal Research Institute announced yet another monorail project is moving forward for the city. A 36-kilometer monorail is planned for the Chaoyang and Tongzhou districts in eastern Beijing. The Fourth Ring Road Line will feature 21 stations, including one at Universal Studios Beijing, currently under development. A third Beijing monorail line is said to be planned for the Daxing district.

Monorail planned for eastern Beijing. Global Times, 02/26/14.


Beijing

Beijing Monorail construction this year (02/24/14)
Beijing, China. The China Academy of Railway Sciences has released an environmental impact assessment for a planned Yuquanlu Line in southwestern Beijing. The line will be the city's first straddle-beam monorail system, stretching 24 kilometers with 21 stations, eight of which will be multi-mode connector stations. Those eight stations will allow passengers to transfer to and from the Beijing subway system. Construction will begin this year and officials are targeting 2015 for the monorail's opening. Beijing Monorail will be China's second major system after Chongqing, the largest monorail system in the world.

Beijing to begin monorail construction. China Daily, 02/24/14.


MandalayBay

Las Vegas Monorail targets Mandalay Bay (02/21/14)
Las Vegas, Nevada. As Las Vegas Monorail approaches its ten year anniversary, officials at the company are focussing on expanding the system. Having survived a bad economy and grueling bankruptcy process, efforts are now being made to find a way to expand the monorail to the west side of the Strip, starting with a one-mile extension to Mandalay Bay. Interviewed by Tom Hawley of KSNV News3, Las Vegas Monorail President Curtis Myles said, "We have done some very preliminary engineering, alignment work on where the alignment would go and it's basically a Koval-Reno alignment." Speaking even more optimistically, Las Vegas Global Economic Development President Tom Skancke suggested, "If you could get from MGM to Mandalay Bay, then it only makes sense to go from Mandalay Bay right on down the west side of the Strip to the north part of the Strip." That would open up the possibility of a full loop around the Strip. Working on potential financing for expansion, underwriters were reportedly "fairly positive at this point," according to Myles. A long talked-about airport extension has evidently been dropped for now as a priority in favor of linking more Strip properties. Mandalay Bay has over 3,000 hotel rooms, a 1,000,000 square foot convention center (5th largest in USA), and a 12,000-seat events center. Most properties on the west side of the Strip are owned by MGM Resorts International. MGM began the monorail in 1995 with the opening of the initial one-mile MGM-Bally's Monorail.

LVMmap
Yellow Line: current Las Vegas Monorail
Dotted Red Line: proposed Mandalay Bay extension
Dotted Green Line: potential future west Strip expansion

Las Vegas Monorail: Turning 10 and in need of expanding. KSNV News3, 02/20/14.
Monorail Future: With debt gone, improvement sought. KSNV News3, 02/21/14.


Colombo

Sri Lanka project may receive Japan backing (02/21/14)
Colombo, Sri Lanka. According to officials in Sri Lanka's capital city, a proposed Colombo Monorail may receive financial backing from Japan. Currently a feasibility study is under way for a first stage line from Malabe to Kotahena, designed to reduce traffic and boost mobility. Reportedly the Japan International Cooperation Agency is willing to fund the first phase. The system would take up to five years to build, after approximately three years to design it. Additional lines are on the drawing board as well.

Sri Lanka to build US$1.3bn monorail with Japan finance. lanka business online, 02/21/14.


MumbaiGreen

Mumbai Monorail opens! (02/02/14)
Mumbai, India. Mumbai Monorail was commissioned by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday. The monorail is the first of its kind in India. Today it opened to the public from both Wadala and Chembur. The 8.9-kilometer first phase of the system will be operated at a frequency of every 15 minutes between 7 am and 3 pm, seven days a week. Plans are to expand operational hours after a month and train frequency if needed. The Scomi-built line between Wadala and Chembur has seven stations. The second phase, scheduled for completion next year, will run between Wadala and Jacob Circle in downtown Mumbai. Once Phase II is completed, Mumbai Monorail will be 20-kilometers long with 18 stations. The monorail is Scomi's first project to open outside Malaysia. There is great excitement being expressed for the new monorail. Monorail captain Fareed Alam said, "Driving the monorail gives me a high. Literally as well. When you manage to manoeuvre the twists and turns on the tracks, it feels wonderful. During our training sessions, the best part was people standing and waving out to us, cheering us to go ahead."

Mumbai gives Monorail a big thumbs-up. NDTV, 02/02/14.
Mumbai celebrates world-class Monorail. Daijiworld, 02/02/14.
Mumbaikers queue up to take their first ride on monorail. IBNLive, 02/02/14.
All aboard! India's first monorail begins operation in Mumbai. Mid Day, 02/02/14.
India's first monorail starts journey. Times of India, 02/02/14.
Mumbai Monorail takes off, opens to public on Sunday. Hindustan Times, 02/01/14.
Inauguaration video. Tv9, 02/01/14. (Warning: features annoying graphics)
Captains on a high as monorail gets set to go. The Hindu, 02/01/14.
First mono runs crowded like the good old local. Mumbai Mirror, 02/01/14.
Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan inaugurates monorail in Mumbai. Times of India, 02/01/14.
India's first monorail inaugurated in Mumbai. NDTV, 02/01/14.
National Institute of Design enliven's interior for Mumbai monorail. Times of India, 02/01/14.
India's First Monorail Opens in Mumbai. Wall Street Journal, 01/31/14.
TMS Mumbai Monorail page (with map)

MumbaiDNA
image courtesy of dnaindia.com


Line18

Sao Paulo launches tender for third monorail (01/30/14)
Sao Paulo, Brazil. A tender for the construction, operation and maintenance of Brazil's third major monorail system has been announced by Sao Paulo's state governor Geraldo Alckmin. The US$1.73-billion monorail will run 15 kilometers between the city and the neighboring ABC region and will include 13 stations. Sao Paulo is already a hotbed of monorail activity with construction well under way for Line 15 by Bombardier and Line 17 by Scomi. Tender documents for Line 18 will be available from February 3 to April 4. Offers are due April 7 and Alckmin stated, "If we don't experience any legal setbacks, we see a contract being signed in about 90 days."

Sao Paulo governor kickes off PPP tender for US$1.7bn monorail. BN Americas, 01/30/14.
The Monorail Society Sao Paulo page


NigeriaMap

Rivers Monorail seeks Operations/Maintenance firm (01/29/14)
Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The Rivers Monorail Company has issued a request for qualification (RFQ) for a contractor to operate and maintain the Rivers Monorail system, Nigeria's first monorail now under construction. The winning contractor will serve a five-year contract period starting August 1, 2014. Interested parties are invited to follow the link below for further RFQ information. Submissions are due by February 25th. The initial Rivers Monorail will be 2.6-kilometers long with three stations and one depot. Phase 1A of the line is single-tracked, but Phase 1B will upgrade the line to two tracks and add 3.9-kilometers and three stations. The project has been delayed due to "unresolved shareholder issues." Currently Phase IA is scheduled for opening in Spring of 2015. The system is based on Intamin P30 technology.

Rivers Monorails RFQ page (Request For Qualification)


Calabar

Second Nigerian contract for Intamin (01/14/14)
Calabar, Nigeria. Intamin Transportation has the distinction of obtaining the first new monorail contract in 2014. Summit Hills, a new 'city of the future' development in southeastern Nigeria, will feature a 1.1-kilometer, single-track monorail shuttle. Intamin will supply a P8 12-car train for the line between attractions at Summit Hills. The P8 will have a capacity of 78 passengers. The train will shuttle passengers between the CICC and the Tinapa complex while allowing access to Studio Tinapa, Tinapa Shopping Center and the Tinapa waterpark. The line provides a quick alternative access connecting Tinapa to Summit Hills. Phase I of Summit Hills and the three-station monorail are both scheduled for completion in November of 2015.

Nigeria: Calabar's New Attraction. allAfrica, 12/23/13 (monorail opening date incorrect in article)
Summit Hills website
About Summit Hills. YouTube video (monorail at 7:06)


Malta

Malta proposal (01/13/14)
Valletta, Malta. Hotelier and construction magnate Angelo Xuereb has wanted better transportation for the Valletta area for over twenty years. Originally he suggested a subway system. However, now he realizes that besides being too expensive, an underground rail line would be unsustainable. Xuereb is now focussed on getting a €300-million monorail built. The proposed 7.5-kilometer system would include still include subway segments. He believes there should be stations in Valletta, Fgura, Marsa and Msida. The Labour administration will carry out a monorail/subway feasibility study this year.

Entrepreneur Anglu Xuereb revives monorail proposal. Malta Today, 01/14/14.


Texas Tech

Texas Tech proposal (01/06/14)
Lubbock, Texas. Lubbock's master developer, Delbert McDougal, has been working on the revitalization of the city's downtown for five years. One of the goals is to increase Texas Tech's presence with the city. One proposal suggested is some kind of a monorail from Texas Tech to downtown. The idea for a Lubbock/Tech monorail comes in part from an existing shuttle PRT system at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown. Citing unknowns such as funding, annual maintenance costs and revenues, McDougal says, "we don't even know enough to talk about it in too much detail. It's a dream right now is what it is."

Texas Tech to downtown monorail could more than daydream for Lubbock, McDougal says. Lubbockonline, 01/01/14.


NewYear

Kim1989
TMS founder in 1989

The Monorail Society turns 25 (01/01/14)
Fremont, California. From the TMS President:

Twenty-five years ago today, New Years Day of 1989 was day one of The Monorail Society. No newsletter existed yet, and the TMS website would not appear for another nine years. The Monorail Society was registered however, and soon ads would appear in rail magazines advertising an upcoming newsletter. Much has happened since and a lot of it has been good for monorailists. The activity in monorail planning and construction has come a long way, and I beleive the future of monorails looks promising! A quick look at our About Us page demonstrates that we've far exceeded your founder's goal of thirty members to 'justify the work.' WE now enjoy over 6,900 members worldwide. There are many people to thank for the growth and improvement of our organization. I personally thank all of you, the membership, for your many years of support. I certainly appreciate the new members as well. As an example, today I just welcomed a young monorail-enthusastic transport engineer from Vietnam into TMS. Monorail interest continues to grow. The other day I had a great phone chat with Keith Walls, your longtime TMS Vice President. He kindly suggested that TMS has probably had great influence on the transit world. I replied yes, but that it's tough to guage. I have heard that our site has had influence in the establishment of some monorail systems, and certainly some of our editorial wishes have come true (such as sleaker-looking trains from Japan and new walk-through, independent bogie trains from Canada). Numerous times I've been personally told by professionals in the transit industry that our website has been very helpful in the planning of monorails. It doesn't get much better than that! We certainly would like to hear more though. Feedback is important to us. We remain an all-volunteer organization, so it's nice to know our efforts are having a positive result. If you have a story about The Monorail Society and its impact on transit, wherever you are, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Please e-mail us your story or post it on our facebook page or Yahoo! Discussion Group. Thanks again everyone, let's make the next 25 years even more amazing!

Kim Pedersen
President/Founder
The Monorail Society

TMS history Posted five years ago on our 20th. The News Brief Archives serve well for the additional five years since then.

CTA

Another initiative in Seattle (12/03/13)
Seattle, Washington. As we reported last year during the 50th anniversary celebration of Seattle Center Monorail, a group called Central Transportation Authority (CTA) is seeking an expanded monorail system for the city. After a year of delay, they are now moving forward with plans for a 16-mile line from Ballard to West Seattle. It is a similar plan to the ill-fated Seattle Monorail Project, but CTA vows to come up with a viable financial plan for construction and operation of the new line. CTA intends to gather signatures to place the creation of the new authority on the ballot. One aspect in favor of their efforts is legislation already in place, set up for the previous efforts for a monorail system from Ballard to West Seattle. They will also benefit from all the preliminary engineering done. Seattle has proven itself to have most pro-monorail citizenry in the USA, despite the monorail-killing politicians they elect. CTA intends to avoid the mistakes of the former Seattle Popular Monorail Authority (SPMA). The new initiative is the brainchild of Elizabeth Campbell, known for her efforts against the city's 'Big Dig West' Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel project and her run for mayor in 2009.

One-track mind: the return of the monorail. Crosscut.com, 11/27/13. (features an execellent history summary of the prior failed effort for expanded monorail)
Century Transportation Authority website


Surabaya

Surabaya Monorail tendering bids soon (11/22/13)
Surabaya, Indonesia. Indonesia's second largest city is not waiting long to join big brother Jakarta when it comes to building a monorail system. A tram and monorail project are about to be tendered separately in December. The monorail, referred to as Boyo Monorail, will be built as a public-private partnership (PPP). The industrial city has a population of over 5.6 million people and like many cities around the world, Surabaya is dealing with growing traffic problems. The monorail will be 23-kilometers long and run from Kejawan to Lidah Kulon. 42.7% of financing for the system is said to come from the Indonesian government.

International Tender Surabaya Monorail and Tram Project in December 2013. Indonesia Investments, 11/22/13.
Surabaya Tram and Monorail video


LVfingers

Study suggests 'Extend Las Vegas Monorail' (11/21/13)
Las Vegas, Nevada. A study by the American Public Transportation Association and the U.S. Travel Association says putting money into rail systems encourages economic growth in the hospitality and travel industries. Hotels with direct rail access to the airport receive almost 11 percent more revenue per room than ones without it. The report specifically lists Las Vegas as a city that needs an airport rail connection. The Clark County Commission already approved an extension of the existing 4-mile monorail to McCarran International Airport seven years ago, but financing has not been found to build it. Las Vegas Monorail President/CEO Curtis Myles said, "An airport connection in any city is always a beneficial piece of infrastructure for that city. Connecting an airport to a city's central business district has always been a goal of city and county planners for years." Approximately 90% of Las Vegas Monorail riders arrive in the area by air travel.

Study Touts Benefits of Monorail Extension. 8 News Now, 11/21/13.
APTA/U.S. Travel Study: Rail Transit and Convention Growth (11.6 MB pdf)


Milford

Fjiordland Monorail receives important support (10/31/13)
Queenstown, New Zealand. A controversial monorail proposal has received 'cautious support' from New Zealand's Conservation Minister Nick Smith. Smith visited Te Anau Downs, the destination point of the proposed 43-kilometer, single track line. The monorail would be part of a three-mode trip to bring visitors to Milford Sound from Auckland. The first leg would be 20 kilometers by catamaran, followed by 45 kilometers by an all-terrain vehicle, then ending with the monorail to Te Anau Downs. The monorail has been controversial in part because of its close proximity to a National Park and that it will cross through an area of the Snowdon Forest. Promoters state the Fjiordland Link Experience would "would open up an area of spectacular beauty for people of all ages and all abilities. It would show off the pristine Fiordland National Park without actually entering it, contrary to the perception opponents have deliberately fostered. The route has been carefully designed through eight years of consultation with the Department of Conservation to ensure its environmental impact will be minor." While Conservation Minister Smith has not turned down the monorail project, as he did recently with a competing tunnel proposal, Smith said "This monorail decision will be no easier than that of the Milford Tunnel. I am very protective of National Parks like Fiordland and this project has the advantage of being largely outside it. I hope to be in a position to make a decision before year's end.''

Fjiordland monorail gets official support. New Zealand Herald, 10/30/13.
Fjiordland Monorail website


Arequipa

Peru added to 'want-a-monorail' list (10/25/13)
Arequipa, Peru. Peru's Ministry of Transport and Communications has approved studies for monorail in the city of Arequipa. Arequipa is the second most populous city in Peru with over 800,000 inhabitants. Brazilian company Queiroz Galvao is proposing a 14-kilometer system. The company is no stranger to monorail. They are partners of Bombardier in Sao Paulo's monorail Line 15, which is now under construction. The estimated cost of the project is US $700-million. The studies are expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2014. Proponents hope to have the monorail operating by late 2016.

Arequipa contaira con un tren electrico el 2016. El Comercio, 10/21/13.


/ News Briefs Archives