News Brief Archives

News Brief Archives
July 26 - November 11, 2011.

Malacca Monorail closed for month (11/11/11)
Malacca, Malaysia. A 1.6-kilometer shuttle monorail that runs along the Malacca River has been shut down while technical issues are resolved. The train stalled recently, stranding two passengers for twenty minutes until they were rescued with a fire department ladder. The short tourist line features one 24-passenger, three car train shuttles back and forth along the winding river. The train was imported from China. Reportedly the tire traction wasn't strong enough during rain. A rescue cherry picker has been recommended to be ready for mid-track train stalls. The system suspension will probably last for a month while issues are resolved.

Malacca monorail set to resume operations next month. The Star, 11/09/11.
Malacca monorai suspended 48 hours. The Star, 11/03/11.

Kermanshah, Iran's 2nd monorail (11/09/11)
Kermanshah, Iran. Before the first major monorail of Iran is complete in the city of Qom, a second city in Iran has awarded a contract for monorail. TAM Company, a subsidiary of Irankhodro industrial group, has been awarded the Kermanshah Monorail project. TAM will design and construct all parts of the project including trains, electrical and mechanical equipment, civil structure of the route, switches, stations and a storage/maintenance facility. The Kermanshah monorail will be 13.5 kilometers long and feature twelve stations. 14 four-car trains will be capable of carrying up to 16,180 passengers per hour. Completion is expected in 42 months.

TAM website

Indian cities advance monorail (10/21/11)
Indore and Patna, India. As we have reported over the last few years, India has become a hotbed of monorail dreams and planning. As Mumbai continues to construct India's first major monorail, slated to open its first segment next year, other cities are seeing monorail as the optimal rail system for their communities as well. In Indore, a city in central India, officials have met with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to see their proposal for monorail. L&T is Scomi's partner in the Mumbai Monorail project. Indore's state government has already begun a feasibility survey. Meanwhile, in northeastern India, the city of Patna is having its soil tested in four locations and the ground is being surveyed as part of a monorail study. RITES, the consultancy arm of Indian Railways, is conducting the study. The Bihar capital has been preparing for monorail since 2008, when then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad announced the proposal. Lalu was impressed with monorails he toured in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Monorail dream could soon come true for Indore. dailybhaskar.com, 10/21/11.
Indore may soon get monorail. dailypioneer.com, 10/21/11.
RITES begins ground survey for monorail in Patna. rediff.com, 10/21/11.

First Intamin P30 on way to Nigeria (10/19/11)
Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Intamin's all-new P30 monorail train has been completed and is currently on its way to the Rivers Monorail construction site in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The P30 has been designed to increase passenger capacity in a state-of-the-art lightweight car body, operate with a higher top speed and meet ever-increasing industry standards for safety and sustainability. The P30 has an advanced suspension and guidance system which Intamin says will reduce noise and vibration to achieve higher ride quality. The propulsion system allows for speeds up to 80 km/h, which matches the speed capability of the majority of the world's straddle and suspended monorails. Shorter headways are expected when the P30 is paired with the ATGS-P30 automatic train guiding system. The Rivers Monorail is slated to open its first phase line in October of 2012.

Intamin Transportation website

Note: Intamin has provided TMS with updated contact information, which is now available in The Monorail Society Manufacturer List

World's only steam monorail (10/17/11)
Oswestry, England. A group of rail enthusiasts is working hard to preserve the Rail Machines Collection, which includes the world's only steam-powered monorail. The collection is currently in storage, but there are plans to move the rail artifacts to Oswestry, a small town of around 15,600 residents near the Welsh border. There the historic rail items will be restored and hopefully be put on display to operate for tourists. The collection includes a 0-2-OST 146 Monoloco, which is currently the world's only true steam-powered monorail. The Monoloco first operated at Pengwern Quarry in 1998, where much of the collection remains today. The monorail was built upon Road Machines Ltd. technology, an industrial monorail company that operated from 1949 to 1983. While industrial monorails were the staple of the company, probably the most famous monorail the company produced was for the 1967 James Bond film 'You Only Live Twice.' In 1983 Richard Morris obtained the company and equipment to protect the historic collection.

Oswestry Rail Machines Project

Stalled Bangalore project 'not investor friendly' (10/11/11)
Bangalore, India. Last year the state government OK'd the first phase of the Bangalore Monorail System. The project has been stuck since then because investors have termed the state guidelines as 'investor unfriendly.' The 60-kilometer system was to be built using the Swiss Challenge method, in which a global tender is floated. Scomi-Geodesic has been the only team to come forward to build the first 15 kilometers. Geodesic wants to discuss the issue with the government, but no meeting has been organized as of this date. Scomi-Geodesic would like to see Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to be included to help fund the monorail. VGF is usually provided to projects that are economically justified but are not considered financially viable. When it was approved, the first phase was projected to open in 2012.

Monorail project still stuck in the pipeline. Mid-Day.com, 10/05/11.

Toledo proposal (10/11/11)
Toledo, Ohio. Sylvania Township Trustee Kevin Haddad is suggesting Toledo leaders study the possibility of a monorail system. Haddad believes the project would not only boost construction jobs, but it would also spark new business opportunities. He pictures a line running from Westfield Franklin Park with downtown Toledo and Levis Commons in Perrysburg. Haddad is hoping for an engineering study to examine costs and other related issues for the proposal.

Sylvania Twp. Trustee proposes monorail system for Toledo. WTOL11, 10/10/11.

Scomi surveys Jodhpur (10/03/11)
Jodhpur, India. A feasibility study will be conducted in the city of Jodhpur by Malaysian monorail company Scomi. A company team arrived in the city this week and met with Mayor Rameshwar Dadhich. Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, in northwestern India. The city's population is about 1.4 million inhabitants. Scomi will submit a report to the Rajasthan government once the study is complete. The suggested monorail will reportedly connect the city with suburban areas outside city lines.

Malaysian company to survey for feasibility of monorail in city. Dailybhaskar.com, 10/03/11.

Chongqing breaks records with new line (10/01/11)
Chongqing, China. Chongqing's second monorail line has started trial operations. China's first major monorail system first opened in Chongqing with Line 2 in 2005 (Line 1 is subway). Line 3 is the latest addition to the city's growing metro system, and makes the Chongqing Monorail the longest in the world, surpassing the previous record holder in Osaka, Japan. It is the first monorail system in the world with two lines crossing each other. Line 3 also features the highest river crossing of any monorail system in the world, with its crossing of the Jialing River on the new Chongqing Yu'ao Jialingjiang Bridge. Other monorails have spur lines with crossovers, but none where the system lines form an X. The new Line 3 adds almost 18 kilometers to the monorail system, which is now totals around 35 kilometers. An extension to the north is under construction, which will connect Line 3 to the airport. Another extension is planned for Line 3, to the south via a subway under the Yangtze River.

Lianglukou-Yuanyang section of Chongqing Line 3 to start trial operation on Sept. 29. CQnews.com, 09/27/11.

Study under way for Trivandrum (09/30/11)
Trivandrum, India. A survey has begun in the Ulloor Junction area of the city of Trivandrum in southern India. The National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) is conducting the feasibility of a monorail system along the Kashakuttom-Balarampuram corridor. Trivandrum is the capital city of the India state of Kerala. The coastal city is home to science and technology institutions, as well as several educational institutions. Traffic volume along the corridor is part of the study, which is taking place up to sixteen hours a day. NATPAC will decide the best alignment for the 28-kilometer corridor.

Survey For Proposed Monorail Commences. Yentha.com, 09/30/11.
Natpac to do feasibility study on monorail. The Hindu, 08/09/11.

Jakarta Monorail project cancelled (09/19/11)
Jakarta, Indonesia. Construction of the Jakarta Monorail stopped in 2004. Pylons stand unused in the center of major roads the the city. A few pylons even disappeared at one point, presumably at the hands of thieves grabbing them for their rebar metal. Now, after years of on-again, off-again announcements, the Jakarta Provincial Government has decided to give up on the monorail. They will be ending their agreement and concession with PT Jakarta Monorail, the investor/developer of the failed project. Other modes of transportation will be sought to help solve Jakarta's traffic woes.

Monorail Construction Discontinued. Berita Jakarta, 09/19/11.
No more monorail for Jakarta, Governor. Jakarta Post, 09/20/11.

Incheon Urbanaut to be demolished? (09/05/11)
Wolmido, South Korea. In June we reported that the Wolmido Monorail, located in Incheon, South Korea, was ready to carry passengers and begin operating on a regular basis. The ground-breaking monorail is the first Urbanaut-technology monorail in the world, developed by former Alweg engineer Einar Svensson. According to an Urbanaut spokesperson in June, there was a 'stop work' order while politicians argued over the value of the system. Now there is a report that the Incheon Metropolitan Government has decided to "scrap the project due to safety concerns." The demoltion cost is said to be 25 billion Korean won. The system cost 85.3 billion won to build, and is currently two years behind its original opening date of 2009 (still listed as such operational in 2009 on the Urbanaut website). References to the monorail have been removed from the Wolmido Island tourism website. As we go to press, Urbanaut has not responded to our inquiry about the demolition report.

What happened to Korean frugality? Korea JoongAng Daily, 6/23/11.
TMS Wolmido Monorail Photo Essay
Urbanaut Website

Toronto proposal for waterfront development (09/05/11)
Toronto, Canada. Toronto Councillor Doug Ford has caused a political firestorm with his proposal for a waterfront mega-mall, giant Ferris wheel and monorail system. Ford, and his brother Mayor Rob Ford, have been working on the plan for some time. Current plans for the Toronto waterfront would be scrapped and private sector investment would largely develop the new proposal. The plan includes a 'monorail,' which Doug Ford admits could be any number of types of people mover systems. The plan would be for the system to connect Ontatio Place to the downtown waterfront, travel east to the East Bayfront, where a station would serve a large hotel, a mega-mall, a sports arena and "the world's largest Ferris wheel." The development would be built on the site of the decommissioned Hearn electricity generation plant. Reaction to the Ford proposal has been fast and furious, and mostly negative in the press. One of Mayor Ford's first efforts in office was to kill the construction of an extensive new light rail system, and supporters of that system are still angry. The Ford monorail proposal includes part of the alignment of the cancelled light rail system. Doug Ford states the plans are preliminary and, "People are going to say why don't we add this or do that. We're open to it."

Monorail! Could Disney dream be Toronto's reality? The Star, 09/05/11.
Councillor Doug Ford's port lands plans are 'jaw dropping.' Inside Toronto, 08/31/11.
Monorail! Monorail! Monorail! Torontist, 09/01/11.
Ford plans to make waterfront dazzle. Toronto Sun, 08/30/11.

Bidding process begins for Chennai (08/17/11)
Chennai, India. The bidding process has been initiated for the ambitious Chennai Monorail project. The first phase alone, if built to plan, will put Chennai on the map as having the longest monorail system in world with 111 kilometers of lines. Bidders are vying to design, build, finance, own, maintain and transfer the system after 30 years. Four-car trains, each with a capacity of around 560 passengers, will carry up to 10,000 passengers per hour per direction. The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) will be the responsible agency for the project. The system planners are stressing the importance of connecting outlying suburban neighborhoods with the core of the city.

Global bidding process begins. The Hindu, 08/18/11.
Four monorail lines in Phase-I. The Hindu, 08/18/11.

Scomi wins again in Brazil (08/07/11)
Manaus, Brazil. Scomi won the bidding for a presitigious monorail Line 17 in Sao Paulo in June, and along with its partners, this week Scomi won a contract for a monorail system in Manaus, Brazil. The 20-kilometer system will run between Largo da Matriz and Jorge Teixeira. There will be ten train sets, each consisting of six cars. The contract is valued at BRZ Real 1.46 billion. Completion of the system is expected in 40 months. Stations will be located at the airport, port, stadium, at hotels, hospitals and other important locations. It is hoped that the monorail will serve visitors to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The line will be capable of carrying 35,000 passengers per hour per direction.

Scomi Engineering wins monorail project in Brazil. India Infoline, 08/05/11.

Thiruvananthapuram Monorail? (08/03/11)
Thiruvananthapuram, India. India continues to be the hotbed of monorail discussion in Asia. The latest city to consider monorail is Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the Kerala state. The Kerala cabinet has asked the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) to prepare a feasibility report on the development of a monorail system for the city. Officials would like a 28-kilometer monorail line between Balaramapuram to Kazhakootam, with stations included at the Technopark campus and central rail station.

Monorail project suggested for State capital. Zeenews.com, 08/03/11.
Kerala's first monorail in Thiruvananthapuram. TwoCircles.net, 08/03/11.

Bombardier proposal for area near Rio (08/01/11)
Barra da Tijuca, Brazil. In June Bombardier made a presentation to the City of Rio de Janeiro for an integrated transit project in Barra da Tijuca featuring monorail. The monorail would link with Bus Rapid Transit and the Metro bus system. The proposal suggests two monorail lines with total length of 31.4 kilometers. A 'Blue Circle' line would be 18.9 km long and feature 18 stations. An intersecting 12.5 km 'Red Line' would loop to the north off the Blue Line and include 9 stations. If built, the monorail would be ready for Rio de Janeiro's hosting of the Olympics in 2016.

Barra da Tijuca Monorail Proposal. Bombardier Transportation.

Maglev, Inc. files for bankruptcy (07/29/11)
McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Seen as the frontrunner for building the USA's first high speed maglev, Maglev, Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Maglev, Inc. has been waiting for a $28 million federal grant to proceed, but the funds have not been released. The grant was announced by U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey in 2009. The project also failed to obtain any funds from the Obama administration's billions of dollars in high-speed rail funding. The company President Fred Gurney said "It's just part of the economy being down. We've got the money out there, but the funds aren't being released. If we were shutting down entirely, we'd have done it long ago; we believe in what we're trying to do." The $5.25 Billion project proposal is for a 54-mile system from downtown Pittsburgh to the airport, Monroeville and Greensburg.

Maglev Inc. files for bankruptcy protection. Post-Gazette, 07/29/11.
Pennsylvania maglev firm files for bankruptcy. Railway Age, 07/29/11.
The Pennsylvania Project-High Speed Maglev website

Indonesia tries again on another island (07/26/11)
Makassar, Indonesia. Despite the failure to complete construction of a monorail project in Jakarta, Indonesia is postitioned to try again at a different location. PT Bukala Teknik Utama, company owned by former Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, has signed a memo of understanding with Makassar, Maros and Gowa governments for a 30-kilometer monorail system. Kalla says the construction is scheduled to begin in 2012 with a targeted completion date of 2015. The entire project will be financed by private industry. 80-90% of the project development will be carried out by Indonesians.

Kalla Invests Rp4 Trillion to Build Monorail. Tempo interactive, 07/26/11.
Indonesia Makassar to Develop Monorail. Vivanews.com, 07/27/11.

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