photo courtesy of Andrew
Putrajaya Monorail under construction!
Putrajaya, Malaysia. Thanks to the eagle eye of
TMS member Greg Keleshian, we have confirmation that the
second project by Monorail Malaysia is well under way. The Putrajaya Monorail is under construction
and evidence has been found online by Keleshian. Putrajaya Monorail
will consist of two lines. One line will be 12 km long with 17
stations and the second will be 6 km long with six stations.
The system will be mostly underground on the central island and
elevated in the city's 'mainland' areas.
construction pictures of Putrajaya Monorail. Structurae website.
General Atomics building test
San Diego, California. Urban maglev, a rail system
that operates at speeds appropriate for urban transit applications,
is quietly making major progress at General Atomics in San Diego.
A 120-meter long test track is being built to test a full-scale
vehicle at the San Diego facility. The track will include 50-meter
radius curve. Once the track is ready, a test period of twelve
months will commence. The chassis for the vehicle has already
been manufactured in Pennsylvania by Hall Industries and shipped
to General Atomics. Once testing at the San Diego facility has
successfully concluded, it is hoped that a passenger-carrying
demonstration line will be built. One possible location is for
a "Sky Shuttle," a 2.5 mile dual guideway maglev is
being proposed for California University of Pennsylvania campus
in California, Pennsylvania. The university backs the project
and the campus has a varied topography that would further test
the maglev's capabilities.
maglev gets Pennsylvania push. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
General Atomics website
TMS Maglev Monorail page.
King County begins collecting
Seattle, Washington. Backers for an expanded monorail
system, built upon the foundation of the Seattle Monorail Project,
received the OK to begin collecting signatures to put their plan
before voters. King County Monorail has until Sept. 29 to collect
45,000 valid signatures. A kick off party is being held today
at the Seattle Center Monorail station. The initiative calls
for creating a commission to come up with a plan for a monorail
system, similar to what voters asked for with the Elevated Transportation
Company (ETC) in Seattle. The ETC plan for a 14-mile monorail
was approved by voters in 2002. If voters vote yes for the King
County initiative (providing it gets to the ballot), the commission
would take two years to come up with a plan. Voters would then
decide whether to go ahead with the plan or not. By the time
that second vote would take place, the Green Line project should
be well under way and voters will have a better sense of what
they could get for King County. King County Monorail supporters
are suggesting a 59-mile system between the Eastside, south King
County and Seattle.
drive OK'd for countywide monorail. Seattle P-I, 7/3/03.
King County Monorail
Dutch Wonderland train auction.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania. On July 28th an auction
will be held in which the last remaining "tube" monorail
train from Dutch Wonderland will be sold. The Universal Design
(UDL) system was originally installed at the park in 1965. Three
of the UDL-built trains circled the park for years, then in 1989
an after-hours fire destroyed the Red and White trains. Two new
boxier-looking trains have operated at the park since the early
1990s. Monorail Blue, the train currently up for auction, has
sat idle for the most part during the last decade. Perhaps it
can be brought back to life at another amusement park setting?
Dutch Wonderland page by David B. Simons,
Jennings Auction Group
E-mail Jennings Auction
Clarian NOT-a-monorail opens.
Indianapolis, Indiana. The Clarian People Mover
is now open for business in Indianapolis. The system was designed
by SDI and uses vehicle bodies very similar to that of Von Roll
monorails. However, the track for each train is clearly dual-railed,
and therefore NOT a monorail. This doesn't keep some in
the press from calling it a monorail, but we TMS members know
better, don't we? So why the News Brief? Some folks have still
been kind enough to write us and point out that we've not listing
"the new monorail in Indy." Evidently two tracks still
means "mono" to some. Thanks, but we aren't the People
Mover Society. Please refer to our What
is a monorail? page if you're still confused by all this.
For further information on the new system, an external link is
People Mover information. Clarian Website.
Seattle mayor speaks on landmark
Seattle, Washington. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels
yesterday urged council members not to stand in the way of the
new 14-mile Green Line monorail by declaring the old Seattle
Center Monorail's columns and tracks a historic landmark. He
may get his wish, most council members have said they were already
leaning against designating the "thick concrete columns
and tracks" a landmark. If the council sees fit to protect
the 1962 monorail track, it would complicate the Seattle Monorail
Project's plans to tear down the old line to make way for the
new one, to be built by Bombardier or Hitachi (see article below).
Councilman Nick Licata, who chairs the council committee dealing
with monorail matters, agreed with Nickels. "We're all dearly
fond of the old monorail, but there's no reason why those ugly
concrete columns have to stay up." The Seattle Popular Monorail
Authority has stated it would work to preserve the Alweg trains,
one possibility would be placement in a museum. Some preservationists
are vowing to continue the fight to save the old system in its
opposes saving old monorail columns. Seattle P-I, 6/28/03.
photo by Keith Walls
Seattle bidders go online.
Seattle, Washington. It's a big moment for monorailists
in North America. Keith Walls, Monorail Society Vice President,
stated "today is a banner day for monorailists all over
the USA as well as the world. Think about it. Just five short
years ago the thought of two of the world's largest transit manufacturers
bidding for a MONORAIL system [in the USA] would have
been unthinkable." Believe it! Two teams made up of heavy-hitter
companies have lined up to compete for the privilege of building
Seattle's 14-mile Green Line. The two teams have just gone online
to officially bring the competition into the public eye. The
teams are (in alphabetical order, and with links to their new
- Cascadia Monorail
Company; made up of a team with Washington Group International,
Fluor Enterprises, Hitachi, Mitsui USA, HDR Engineering, and
other local Seattle and Washington state contractors and consultants.
Cascadia will offer one of two sizes of systems and will narrow
their selection down for the bid when the Seattle Popular Monorail
Authority (SPMA) determines the final design criteria. The CM-110
is based on the Hitachi Small, the newest monorail design from
Hitachi, which will debut in Singapore at Sentosa Island. The
CM-120 is based on the Hitachi Large design, currently in use
in Kitakyushu, Osaka, Tokyo Disney Resort and Tama, Japan.
- Team Monorail;
made up of Bombardier Transportation, Granite, Kiewit, Skanska,
Parsons Transportation Group, Wilder, HNTB, URS, Carter Burgess
and Gensler. Several of the companies are part of the team currently
building the Las Vegas Monorail System in Nevada. Team Monorail
is offering the Bombardier M-VI system, based on the Mark VI
monorails developed for Walt Disney World, Florida.
TMS membership reaches 3000!
Fremont, California. The Monorail Society (TMS)
reached another milestone today with membership reaching 3,000.
Since the humble beginnings of TMS in 1989, a steadily increasing
number of people around the world has expressed their belief
that monorail should be used for transit in more applications.
Thanks to TMS, they have a gathering place to share information
and ideas on how to make it happen. And they are making it happen.
Monorails are being proposed and planned throughout the world
in numbers never seen before. We thank every one of you that
has taken the time to fill out the form on the Join
the Monorail Society page. We encourage you to do so if you
haven't already. We're growing by leaps and bounds, and more
importantly, we're gaining ground! Thank you all.
Jakarta ponders M Trans proposal.
Jakarta, Indonesia. City administration officials
are carefully studying a proposal from the Malaysian firm, M
Trans Holding, for a monorail system in the City of Jakarta.
M Trans Holdings, which is currently finishing the construction
of the Kuala Lumpur Monorail, thinks that a monorail would help
ease Jakarta's chronic traffic problems. According to the city
secretary for development affairs, Irzal Djamal, "one
of the things that is important to us is the price for passengers,
and whether the price is feasible for the average Indonesian."
M Trans is prepared to invest Rp 3.28 trillion (US$400 million)
in the first stage of the project. The monorail, if built, would
pass through the city and connect Bekasi and Tangerang.
studies monorail proposal. Jakarta Post, 6/18/03.
Las Vegas downtown extension
Las Vegas, Nevada. The Regional Transportation
Commission (RTC) unanimously approved hiring Transit Systems
Management of Las Vegas to extend the new Las Vegas Monorail
System from Sahara Avenue to downtown Las Vegas. Transit Systems
will be the manager of the project's second phase. This follows
an April 9 approval by the federal government of the project's
Environmental Impact Statement. The RTC approval was the last
step needed so that the project's final designs can be drawn
up and so agreements can be entered for grants from the Federal
Transit Administration. The extension will add 2.3 miles from
the Sahara Station to downtown, with as many as four stations
to be added. Las Vegas government officials and downtown businesses
have been seeking to draw more visitors from the Strip for years
and the monorail is seen as the best way to do it. Construction
may start shortly after the opening of the first leg of the Las
Vegas Monorail opens in early 2004.
OKs firm to build monorail to LV downtown. Las Vegas Sun,
extension still on for 2004. Las Vegas Business Press, 6/13/03.
Map of Las Vegas Monorail and downtown
Monorail Malaysia bound for
Middle East? (6/11/03)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Mtrans Holdings Sdn
Bhd is holding talks with an unnamed business group in the United
Arab Emirates (UAE) regarding a possible joint venture. Mtrans,
builder of the soon-to-open Kuala Lumpur Monorail, is working
with the group to set up a manufacturing facility for monorails
and public buses in the UAE. "We have held serious talks
with a big group in Abu Dhabi to start manufacturing facilities
for monorail and buses," said Federal Land Consolidation
and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) chairman Datuk Hamzah
Zainuddin. Zainuddin is leading the Malaysian delegation.
If the venture comes to fruition, it would likely lead to the
first transit monorail system in the Middle East.
eyes UAE venture. The Star, 6/11/03.
Ground broken for first Hitachi
Sentosa Island, Singapore. The first of a new breed
of monorail systems by Hitachi has broken ground in Singapore.
Hitachi Small, a smaller, more maneuverable and affordable monorail
than earlier Hitachi systems, will debut for the first time here
in 2006. A 2.1 km dual-beam line will link Singapore's MRT transit
line to Sentosa Island, a popular resort destination. The Sentosa
Express will be driver operated; yet fully computerized. The
Hitachi Small two-car monorail trains are capable of carrying
3,000 passengers per hour in each direction with 174 passengers
per train. To date, access to the island has not been easy and
the new monorail is expected to encourage more visitations. With
four stations, the Sentosa Express will start at Harbour-Front
MRT Station, cross the Sentosa Causeway Bridge and stop at three
stations on the island. The 21-year old Von Roll Sentosa
Island Monorail that currently circles the island will be
dismantled by 2005.
stop: Sentosa in under 4 minutes. The Straits Times, 6/6/03.
(includes Quicktime video)
courtesy of Rezn8
Las Vegas touts "thrill
Las Vegas, Nevada. As many have predicted, the
Las Vegas Monorail is becoming a high-profile attraction/icon
for the famous Strip, even before its 2004 opening. A recent
Wall Street Journal article took a look at the marketing side
of the Las Vegas Monorail Company, and printed large color illustrations
of the Monster Energy drink train, the first new of the M-VI
trains to sport advertising. To help pay for the construction
of the system, the private authority building it is marketing
it as "a tasteful, entertaining, captive environment"
to advertisers. The a starting price tag is $1 million a year.
What makes some cringe though is that the system is being touted
as a "thrill ride." For years, monorailists have been
attempting to distance monorail from the theme park association
that many people have. In order for monorail to be accepted as
a legitimate transit option for urban communities, monorailists
say it is an effective mode that is "more than just a ride."
Still, the Las Vegas Monorail will likely inspire more productive
debate as rail is looked at in various communities. The Las Vegas
Monorail will likely end up in TV productions and movies, much
more than other high-profile monorails. As for selling monorail
for urban transit though, Seattle's Green Line probably has a
better chance of discarding the "theme park ride" typecasting
in the USA.
Monorail to carry marketing blitz. Wall Street Journal (via
Unveils Monster Monorail in Times Square. BevNet, 6/16/03.
Lockheed-Martin supports LA
Santa Maria, California. This week the Southern
California Association of Governments (SCAG) received an important
boost in their efforts to build maglev. Lockheed Martin announced
its support to ensure timely completion of a high-speed maglev
project for Southern California. "We applaud SCAG's efforts
to address serious transportation infrastructure issues in Southern
California," said Ralph Tourino, vice president,
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems. "We look forward to working
with SCAG to build this proven, high-technology ground transportation
system that could revolutionize the transportation industry."
In 2002, SCAG awarded a Lockheed Martin-led team a three-year,
$16-million contract to perform large-scale engineering pre-deployment
studies and design efforts for the proposed maglev. The team
includes Lockheed Martin, Transrapid International-USA and the
IBI Group. The team is completing Phase 1 study efforts and will
soon begin work on Phase 2 engineering. The proposed initial
leg, if financing is found, will run between west Los Angeles
and Ontario. A full intra-regional system could connect major
destinations in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino
Counties. The SCAG Maglev proposal is separate from the California-Nevada
Maglev, which is proposed to eventually link Anaheim and Las
Martin Supports Maglev Deployment for Southern California.
Space Daily, 6/4/03.
California Maglev Project
Lawmaker oversight of Las
Vegas Monorail (5/28/03)
Carson City, Nevada. Nevada State Governor Kenny
Guinn has signed into law a bill that boosts oversight of
the Las Vegas Monorail project. SB362, by Senator Dina Titus,
D-Las Vegas, requires the Las Vegas Monorail Company to turn
over financial data to the Legislature. Titus voiced concerns
as a result of financial problems being experienced by the main
contractor, Bombardier Inc. "You can see there are some
real serious financial problems with that company," she
said. "And that, I think, suggests that the state should
be having more oversight into the issue." Titus added that
the monorail project relies on funding from many sources and
used "the state's good name" to generate bond revenue
to pay for construction. The bond issue drew criticism as "corporate
welfare" and was the largest in state history. Phase I of
the monorail is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2004.
lawmakers get more oversight over Vegas Monorail. Associated
Press, May 27, 2003,
Lawmakers urged to boost oversight of Vegas Monorail. Las
Vegas Sun, May 13, 2003.
||TMS website celebrates
five years. (5/22/03)
Fremont, California. Computers; you love them,
you hate them. Strangely enough, it was a hate moment that brought
about the Monorail Society website. A major computer crash and
loss of all files led to the decision to switch from printed
newsletters to a monorail website for our communication tool.
Monorail Society President Kim Pedersen had considered
producing a website, but couldn't find time because of the labor-intensive
and expensive to produce newsletter. Monorail Newsletter had
been in production for eight years and was greatly appreciated,
although readership was limited to a few hundred paying subscribers.
When Pedersen's old computer crashed, it ended up being a blessing
in disguise. He made the decision to leap into new territory
and attempt webmastering of his first website. Since the Monorail
Society went online on this day in 1997, TMS membership has climbed
from a few hundred to nearly 3,000. Beyond these impressive number
gains, the Monorail Society has become a respected source of
information all over the world, for professionals and monorailists
alike. Our thanks to all TMS members that have contributed and
supported TMS and monorail promotion. Considering the advancements
the movement has made in the last five years, we see great things
happening in the next 5 years as well!
Bombardier vs. Hitachi
Two bidders for Seattle. (5/18/03)
Seattle, Washington. Not surprisingly, Hitachi
and Bombardier are the two bidders for Seattle's 14-mile Green
Line. They are two of the world's largest transportation companies,
both with experience in monorail production. Hitachi Ltd. is
part of the Cascadia Monorail Company. Its members include Washington
Group International Inc., Fluor Enterprises Inc., Mitsui USA
and HDR Engineering Inc. Team Monorail is the name of the Bombardier
team. Its team members include Granite Construction Inc., Kiewit
Construction Co., Skanska, Wiler Construction Co., Parsons Transportation
Group, HNTB, URS, Carter & Burgess, Gensler and Transmax
Group. Monorail Malaysia was believed to be a possible third
bidder at one time, but currently they are concentrating efforts
on completing the Kuala Lumpur Monorail and perfecting their
relatively new product. Hitachi has built the vast majority of
straddle-beam monorails in Japan, while Bombardier supplied trains
for Walt Disney World and is building the Las Vegas Monorail
System. May the best system win!
Bombardier vie to build monorail. Seattle P-I, 5/16/03.
Make Mine Walk-Through. Differences
of two train types discussed in editorial.
Landmark debate heats up in
Seattle, Washington. Should a historic monorail
be torn down to build a longer monorail system? That's the hot
topic in Seattle these days, and a solution has yet to be worked
out. When voters said yes to building the 14-mile Green Line
in November of 2002, part of the proposed line was drawn along
the same route that the Seattle Center Monorail has operated
along since 1962. Now voices are getting louder that yes...a
new monorail should be built, but no...the historic Alweg monorail
should not be torn down for it. The Seattle Landmarks Preservation
Board recently unanimously voted to grant the monorail landmark
status. The Seattle Popular
Monorail Authority (SPMA) is lined up on the side of replacing
the old line, yet preserving the trains. The SPMA believes that
ridership would be far better on 5th Avenue than alternatives,
but others would like to see the alignment moved back to 2nd
Avenue or another route. As well as opposing the 5th Avenue alignment,
opposition to the current plan to cross Seattle Center is increasing.
It's another challenge for monorail planners to contend with,
yet the agency has solved many problems to get to this point.
Letter to Landmark Board regarding
historical Seattle Center Monorail. By Glenn Barney.
Landmark designation of monorail a simple call. Seattle Times,
to monorail route escalates. The Stranger, 5/15/03
TMS Panorama Pages include 360 images
of Seattle Center Monorail.
D.C. TV gives monorail a look
Washington, D.C. TMS member Karl Parker
has done it again. In collaboration with Kim Pedersen,
in 2000 he first edited the Monorail Society's video "Why Not Monorail?" Now he's gotten
many shots from the video on television in the Washington D.C.
area, and thereby got many good positive comments about monorail
to viewers . WUSA TV recently did a story on Karl and his "mania"
for elevated single-beam transit. The story can be seen online
at the following link.
Solutions-if it works for Disney. WUSA TV, 5/7/03.
joins Campaign USA (5/17/03)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. TMS member Alexander K.
Naylor has jumped into monorail promotion with a great deal
of energy, and he recently premiered a new website dedicated
to promoting monorail for Milwaukee. Alexander suggests that
Siemen's H-Bahn technology would be ideal for Milwaukee. H-Bahn
systems currently operate at Dortmund University and Düsseldorf
International Airport in Germany.
Campaign USA page.
|| / News