From Nobody Walks in L.A.: The Rise of Cars and the Monorails That Never Were, in Palaeofuture.
The Malacca Monorail, pictured yesterday going nowhere, is the real life Springfield monorail. Built in China at a cost of RM15.9 million, the line along the river was originally opened in October 2010, and the train famously broke down on the first day of operations. In December 2010, the monorail ceased operations when it was discovered that it didn’t work in the rain - a near daily occurrence in the tropics.
Once it restarted, there were 21 service suspensions and passengers were stranded when the monorail stopped working. The operating company were ordered to invest in a cherry picker to rescue people, and were given the green light to resume operations early in 2012.
As the photo shows, it clearly hasn’t gone anywhere in a long time. Built as a tourist attraction, if done properly, it would be fabulous. The 1.6km route along the river is spectacular, but I got to have a good look at the line from a boat instead.
It’s a shame. As this letter to the Star newspaper notes, rather than going to Intarmin, or Scomi, the local politicians went to a company with little experience in building monorails. The local authorities also have a bit of a reputation for poorly-thought-out tourist schemes, and the monorail has suffered for that.
Glass floors in buildings are old news now the Chiba Urban Monorail has glass floors in a suspended monorail train! Thinking about it, it’s probably sensible that it doesn’t seem like you can stand on them whilst it’s in motion…
Souvenir of the day - shiny, gloriously tacky fridge magnets starring the KL Monorail. No, it doesn’t run under the Petronas Towers.
Arrived in Kuala Lumpur this morning. I had deliberately chosen a hotel close to a monorail station, but I was extra-pleased when I saw the view from my window. Much better than the Petronas Towers!
TDMN staff photo by Ed Lallo
From The Dallas Morning News, March 18, 1978
JETRAIL GOES INTO STORAGE
Workmen begin dismantling Braniff International’s Jetrail at Dallas Love Field Friday, March 17, placing the 10-car monorail system in storage. Braniff inaugurated the $2 million, first-of-a-kind computerized system in 1970. At that time, officials predicted the system would be used in airports throughout the world within 10 years. Braniff officials said several prospective buyers have looked at the system, but no decisions have been made to purchase.
Electrical Experimenter was one of Hugo Gernsback’s magazines, and the cover of the August 1919 issue illustrates an article by him on solving the transportation problem. One way involved monorails gliding on water, apparently.
Painting by David Schleinkofer for Champion, a forestry company. Schleinkofer is a SF painter, recently active again. His most famous work is probably the cover for SimCity. Here’s another monorail picture of his, and monorails feature on a painting he did for an ad for Paraloid paint resins. Finally, in the 1980s, he brings the Victorian pneumatic railway bang up-to-date.
Time to put up some of the odder things lurking in the “monorails” folder on the computer. This is, I think, a 1930s monorail concept. I neglected to label it with anything more than “1930s”, but it looks like it comes from one of the science and engineering magazines of the period.
The wheels on this one seem to fit in a slot on the track.