News Brief Archives
  • News Brief Archives
    May 23 - October 18, 2013


Wuppertal Schwebebahn train evacuated (10/18/13)
Wuppertal, Germany. 76 passengers were rescued from Wuppertal's famed Schwebebahn system on Thursday night. An electrical busbar fell off the track and onto a road below. Drivers of automobiles below reportedly suffered electrical shocks, but were not seriously injured. Witnesses said there was some panic on the stranded train. Passengers feared the train could fall from the guideway as occured in a freakish, fatal accident in April of 1999. In that tragedy, workers had left a bolt on the guideway that resulted in a derailment. Officials say the system will be out of service until early next week while the incident is investigated and repairs are made. Dating back over 100 years, the system is the oldest operating monorail in the world.

Cable car fault leaves 76 passengers dangling. The Local, 10/18/13 (Ed: cable car?)
76 Menschen hangen in Schwebebahn fest. Bild.de, 10/18/13.



RFP for Seattle Center Monorail issued (10/18/13)
Seattle, Washington. Seattle Center has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a concessionaire to operate, maintain, market and manage Seattle Center Monorail. The City of Seattle owns the monorail and is seeking a suitable candidate for a ten-year concession agreement beginning in 2015. Seattle Center Monorail carries over 2 million annual one-way riders between downtown Seattle and Seattle Center. The concessionaire will be responsible for operating the monorail, providing routine maintenance services for the trains, guideway, electrical supply system and electrical systems of the ramp, gates and signaling structures, fare collection, janitorial services and station maintenance. Seattle Monorail Services (SMS) has been the concessionaire for the past 20 years. SMS General Manager Thom Ditty tells us, "SMS is going to be first in line with our bid and believe that we have the skills and commitment to continue our stewardship of the monorail for the City of Seattle. We welcome the opportunity to reconfirm our commitment."

Seattle Center Monorail RFP page


Jakarta Posts

Jakarta Monorail breaks ground (10/16/13)
Jakarta, Indonesia. After a five-year stall, which left dozens of unfinished pylons in the streets, Jakarta has restarted its long-awaited monorail project. Groundbreaking took place today for the two-line system. Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo told a group of government officials and business people at the ceremony, "Having been put on hold for five years, today I decalre the restart of the Jakarta Monorail project." The first line will be a circular 14.3-kilometer route connecting the city's business center, Kuningan and the Palmerah area with fifteen stations. Construction for the first line is expected to take three years. Jakarta Monorail will be built by parent company, Ortus Holdings, along with the following contractors: Indonesian telecommunications company Indosat, Germany’s TUV Rheinland Group, Thailand’s Bangkok Mass Transportation System, Singapore’s ST Electronics and SMRT International, and China’s Changchun Railway Vehicles and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC). Old pillars from the original project will be tested before being used in the revived monorail.

Jakarta Breaks Ground on Renewed Monorail Project. Jakarta Globe, 10/16/13.
Jakarta Breathes Life Back into Monorail Project. Wall Street Journal, 10/16/13



Turkey produces new suspended monorail (10/12/13)
Duzce, Turkey. Turkarge Transport A.S. has developed a new suspended monorail system. The Safege-type prototype is being tested at a test track in Duzce, Turkey. Each car has a capacity of 18 passengers. While a YouTube video shows the prototype crawling along at slow speed, the system is said to be capable of speeds up to 85 kph. It can also climb slopes up to 15 degrees. The system is automated. Developers say their monorail is ready to provide weather-proof, traffic-proof transportation for as much as 81 cities in Turkey. While metro systems in Turkey cost 60-70 million dollars per kilometer, Turkarge says their monorail is only about $3-million per kilometer. Interest in the Turkarge monorail has also been expressed in the countries of Iran, Lithuania, Nigeria and Ukraine. Officials at Turkarge tell us, "We are at the stage to sign some contracts in different countries."


The monorail system produced in Turkey will put an end to the existent traffic. railynews.com, August 30, 2013
Trafik cilesine yerli mali "monorail." Kaynasli Haber, 08/22/13. (in Turkish)
YouTube video of prototype
Turkarge Transport A.S website



Indonesia develops freight monorail (10/11/13)
Jakarta, Indonesia. For years monorailists have discussed whether it would be possible to build freight monorails or not. Indonesia has now proven in hardware that it is very possible. State-owned construction company Adhi Karya is investing in a consortium developing straddle-type container monorails and has produced a full-scale prototype. An automated container monorail transport project is planned to link Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya with Teluk Lamong Port in Gresik, East Java. State railway manufacturer Industri Kerata Api (Inka) and electronics manufacturer LEN Industri are other investors in the system. The 11.4-kilometer line is hoped to start construction in December and last two years. Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthy emphasized the importance of improving Indonesia's connectivity, "We are not going to reach the end game without investing in 21st-century infrastructure."


Adhi Boosts Ports Monorail Stake. Jakarta Globe, 09/26/13.
YouTube video of proposed freight monorail


Rivers Monorail Nigeria update (09/19/13)
Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The Rivers Monorail is scheduled to open its Phase A segment in early 2014. Phase B, which runs from the city center to the Water Lines, is set to open in 2015. Each Intamin-built P30 train has six cars and has a capacity of 172 passengers. When complete the system will be approximately 20 kilometers long with 14 stations between Aggrey Road and the loop North/East of the Garrison station.

Rivers N150bn monorail project to be completed 2015. Business Day, 05/30/13.
Intamin page on the Rivers Monorail



Rio de Janeiro picks monorail for Line 3 (09/06/13)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio de Janeiro has changed plans for the city's third metro line from conventional rail to be monorail. Citing public protests in June, which demanded better urban transportation systems, monorail was reportedly selected due to lower construction costs. Line 3 will be 22 kilometers long and will link Niteroi, Sao Goncalo and Itaborai. The monorail line will include fourteen stations. Brazil is well on the way to being the monorail leader in the Americas, with two major systems already under construction in Sao Paulo and several others planned.

Rousseff to sign agreement for US$875mn monorail construction in Rio. BNAmericas, 09/06/13.



Monorailex to meet in Daegu (08/27/13)
Daegu, South Korea. The International Monorail Association will be meeting at the location of the exciting new Hitachi-built Daegu Monorail System in South Korea on October 7-9, 2013. Conference attendees will be able to visit the new monorail, as well as the Daejeon Maglev Research Center, Woojin monorail factory, Seoul Metro System and Incheon Maglev Monorail. They will also get a ride on Korea's high-speed bullet train system. Conference presentations and a trade show will take place in Daegu on day one. For further information, please see the following links.

Monorailex 2013 Conference flyer (PDF)
International Monorail Association website




Bangkok switches plans to monorail (08/23/13)
Bangkok, Thailand. Because of the public outcry over plans for more massive elevated rail lines in Bangkok, the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) has switched plans for its Yellow Line to be a less-imposing, more aesthetically pleasing, quieter system: monorail. The Yellow Line will be a 30.4-kilometer dual line monorail with 23 stations. The alignment is from Lat Phrao to Samrong. Bidding for the project is expected in 2014. Passenger operation is targeted for 2018. The MRTA is also asking the government to establish monorail standards so that future systems are compatible, as they have also approved plans for a 21.6-kilometer Brown Line monorail between Kae Rai and Lam Salee. Existing pillars built for a halted Expressway Authority of Thailand project will be used to support part of the monorail. The 22-station Brown Line will start design work in 2016, with a 2021 opening date planned.

Plans for monorail Yellow Line progresses. The Nation, 08/24/13.
MRTA board approves new train route. Bangkok Post, 08/22/13.

Bangkok switches away from its massive 'Skytrain' to monorail.



SkyTran confident in Colorado (08/20/13)
Press errors from Daily Camera story corrected 09/09/13...
Boulder, Colorado.
SkyTran's R. Paul Williamson says, "I'm as confident as I've ever been." His confidence is over skyTran's new proposal for a Boulder-Longmont high-speed monorail line, named the Colorado City Connector (CCC). SkyTran is made up of three-passenger Personal Rapid Transit pods (PRT), which use magnetic levitation (maglev) for guidance and propulsion. SkyTran intends to build the system using private investors. Securing right of way is the biggest hurdle for skyTran. They are seeking that through the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Williamson says the CCC project could launch as soon as 2016.

Company pitches Diagonal Highway monorail to ease Boulder-Longmont commute. Boulder Daily Camera, 08/18/13.



First FCF SpA train delivered to Qom (07/29/13)
Qom, Iran. Italy's new monorail manufacturer, Furno Railway Construction (FCF SpA), has delivered its first two-car train to Qom Monorail. The Alweg technology-based train will operate on Qom Monorail's initial 6.2-kilometer system, now under construction. The line will be Iran's first major monorail and will feature eight stations. Plans are to expand the system later to 25 kilometers with 17 stations. The project is FCF SpA's first monorail project. Qom Monorail is scheduled to open in late 2014.


Construction Gallery - featuring exclusive train and construction sight photos



First passengers ride Mumbai Monorail (07/21/13)
Mumbai, India. India's first major monorail system debuted this weekend by carrying its first non-employee passengers. The journey started at 1:31 p.m. at the Wadala Station. Special guest passengers were treated to a round trip journey to Chembur and back, covering the length of the 8.8-kilometer line. The passenger run was part of the monorail certification process, the monorail has yet to officially open. After the Phase I line opens, Phase II to Jacob Circle is scheduled to open next year.

India's first monorail makes maiden journey with passengers in Mumbai. dna, 07/21/13.


Line 18

3rd line plan for Sao Paulo advances (07/06/13)
Sao Paulo, Brazil. No other city on the planet is building two major monorail systems, yet Line 15 and Line 17 are currently well under way in this South American city. But wait, there's more! Athird major monorail line in the city advanced recently, as state governor Geraldo Alckmin has started the public consultancy phase for Line 18. The Bronze Line will link the neighborhood of Djalma Dutra in Sao Bernardo do Campo with the southern neighborhood of Tamanduatei. The 14.9 kilometer line will have 13 stations and is estimated to cost $1.56 billion. A Public Private Partnership (PPP) will include expropriation, civil construction, train purchase, operation, maintenance, and upkeep. Interested parties have until August 6th to submit suggestions or comments about the project, after which changes will be implemented within 30 days. A call for bids should be launched shortly thereafter.

Sao Paulo starts consultancy for US $1.56 bn monorail PPP. BNamericas, 07/05/13.


Jakarta Skyline

Another try for Jakarta (07/01/13)
Jakarta, Indonesia. Governor Joko Widodo gave the green light to complete a mass transit monorail system in Jakarta. Widodo stated, "Today I announce that I have approved the plan to resume the monorail project by consortium PT Jakarta Monorail. I expect the project will be completed within three years." The announcement took place at a monorail exhibition being held at Monas, Central Jakarta. Jakarta Monorail has signed agreements with a consortium including Indonesian telecommunication company Indosat, Germany's TUV Rheinland Group, Thailand's Bangkok Mass Transportation System, Singapore's ST Electronics and SMRT International, China's Changchun Railway Vehicles and China Communications Construction. Changchun Railway has monorail experience through its work for Chongqing Monorail, currently the largest monorail system in the world. According to the Jakarta Monorail website, the system will have two lines running through the capital; a 14.2-kilometer (8.83 miles) 'blue line' connecting Kampung Melayu with Tanah Abang and a second 14.8-kilometer 'green circle line' from the Casablanca area to Rasuna Said. The project is estimated to cost Rp 8 trillion ($800 million).

Joko Seeks to Remove Brakes on Monorail. Jakarta Glove, 06/30/13
Jokowi finally gives long-stalled monorail project the green light. Jakarta Post, 06/27/13.
Jakarta Starts Monorail Project After Five-Year Pause. Jakarta Globe, 06/27/13

Jakarta Monorail website



Despite Sydney, monorail building boom continues (06/30/13)
Fremont, California. Monorail detractors around the world are busy pointing out the so-called flaws of monorail technology based on the closure of the tourist loop monorail in Sydney. Predictably, journalists usually reach no further than for stock footage or audio of the Simpson's Monorail episode when monorail is reported on. Monorail continues to be the brunt of jokes and scorn from the uninformed. Conveniently ignored is that a worldwide monorail building boom is under way and continues to expand. The following transit-scale monorail systems are currently either under construction or are being expanded...

That's not all, numerous other major monorails are in advanced planning and will be under construction within the next few months and years. As TMS Vice President has pointed out in his recent editorial, new monorail manufacturers continue to show up as well. The Monorail Society will continue to shine a light on the advantages of monorail and provide information and visual proof of their success in transit. Stay tuned readers, monorails are here to stay!



Sydney Monorail 1988-2013 (06/30/13)
Sydney, Australia. After 25 years, today the Sydney Monorail operated for the last time. The 3.6-kilometer loop peoplemover monorail has been the subject of debate since it opened. During its lifetime it has been ridden mostly used by tourists, but the final days of the monorail have seen a spike in local patronage. Riders are clambering for a chance to get a last ride on the iconic Von Roll-built system. The system, like many other Von Roll monorails, has been plagued with technical problems since opening. In recent years, sources with firsthand knowledge have told The Monorail Society that the operators have done a less than stellar job maintaining Sydney Monorail. The monorail will be torn down shortly after closure and Sydney transportation planners are working on more 'trains in traffic' (trams/light rail) for the expansion of the city's rail transportation.


Farewell Monorail. ABC Radio, Australia. (includes comments by TMS President)
One-track minds as thousands turn out for one final ride on monorail. Sydney Morning Herald, 07/01/13.
Sydney monorail makes its last loop after 25 years of service. Herald Sun, 07/01/13.
Big crowds for Sydney monorail's final run. 9 News, 06/30/13.
End of the circle as last ride nears for monorail. Sydney Morning Herald, 06/28/13.
Railing against the death of the monorail. Sydney Morning Herald, 06/26/13.
One-track minds led to monorail's scrapping. The Age, 06/25/13.

Monorail Society six-page Special Feature: Sydney Photo Essay



Sydney countdown (06/17/13)
Sydney, Australia. Sydney's controversial monorail will carry passengers for the last time on June 30. Officials are using the event to benefit five children's charities, with all ticket sales revenues on the last weekend being donated. The 3.6-kilometer loop peoplemover monorail has been the subject of debate since it opened 25 years ago. Despite the controversy, it has been popular for tourists visiting the city, connecting downtown with various destinations including hotels and the Darling Harbour area. However, like many of the world's other Von Roll monorails, it has suffered numerous system failures for a variety of reasons. Before being bought out by Bombardier, Von Roll's last monorail was built at Newark International Airport. Sydney Monorail's ticket sales have increased since its closure was announced last year. Once the monorail closes, 90% of the 1500 tons of steel will be recycled. Two carriages will be preserved.

Never the rail deal. Sydney Morning Herald, 06/18/13.
End of the line nears for maligned monorail. Canberra Times, 06/17/13.
Sydney monorail goes out with a bang. Sky News, 06/17/13.

Monorail Society six-page Special Feature: Sydney Photo Essay



India remains a hotbed of activity (05/30/13)
India. Mumbai Monorail train testing continues as opening of the groundbreaking first major monorail of India gets closer. Construction of the second phase to downtown Mumbai is well under way as well. Meanwhile, other proposed monorails in the country have continued to make progress as well. In Thiruvanantapuram, the state government as given administrative sanction for a 22.2 km first phase monorail from Techno City to Karamana. Both the Thiruvananthapuram Monorail and the Kozhikode Monorail project still have major hurdles, including sources for funding and selection of suppliers. Another project, the Chennai Monorail, now has two bidders left in the running for the RM 4.65 billion project. India's IL&FS/Scomi consortium is competing with Gammon India for a 57.1 km monorail. Scomi made great inroads into the India market by winning the Mumbai Monorail project. The Chennai plan is for an eventual 111 km monorail system. The tender is expected to awarded later this year. Numerous other proposed monorails for India are in various stages of planning.

Thiruvananthapuram monorail project gets administrative sanction. New Indian Express, 05/30/13.
Search for monorail funding agency begins. Times of India, 05/30/13.
Only 2 Firms Left in Bidding For Chennai Monorail Job. Bernama, 05/30/13.



Sao Paulo Line 15 wins award (05/30/13)
Sao Paulo, Brazil. Bombardier's first South America monorail project has been awarded the Intermodal Innovation Award for Latin America at the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) World Congress and Mobility & City Transport Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland. The recognition is important for both Bombardier and monorail, considering the awards are highly sought after by hundreds of applicants. The UITP recognized the new monorail, still under construction, as a game changer for public transportation in Latin America. Line 15 will be 24 kilometers long with 17 stations when complete in 2016.

Bombardier Press Release



New stations planned for Palm Jumeirah (05/23/13)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates. New developments on the man-made islands of Palm Jumeirah include two new stations. One station exists already but is unused. It was originally to be part of an iconic Trump International Hotel, a project that was cancelled. Now that station will become part of a new project; Nakheel Mall. The five-story mall will include one million square feet of retail space. A 40-story hotel will also be located at the mall, all slated to open in 2016. Another project will be located at the tip of The Palm, just across the bay from Atlantis. The Pointe is a large scale complex featuring more shopping and dining facilities. A new Palm Monorail station will be built for The Pointe. The two new stations and associated large developments promise to vastly increase ridership of the Palm Monorail.

Nakheel Mall and hotel. Nakheel website
The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah. Nakheel website

Fanciful new Nakheel Mall at Palm Jumeirah


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