Tokyo Artsy

State of the Art
by Keith Walls
June 29, 2013

When I first joined The Monorail Society back in 1999 (yes it’s hard to believe it, but has been 14 years), things were a lot different. The only real transit-grade monorail manufacturer (ALWEG-style) was Hitachi. Now we have SCOMI from Malaysia as well as Bombardier from Canada. New companies have come online as well (e.g. PT INKA in Indonesia, Changchun in China, Metrail of UK, Woojin in South Korea and Furno Railway of Italy).

Transit planners here in the USA and other countries still say to this day that monorails are neither mainstream nor cost effective. Try to tell that to the following cities that have actually built or expanded monorail systems since then (in order of their opening):

  • Dusseldorf International, Germany - 2002
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 2003
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - 2004
  • Chongqing, China - 2005
  • Moscow, Russia - 2005
  • Sentosa, Singapore - 2007
  • Palm Jumeirah, UAE - 2009
  • Xi’an, China - Opening 2014
  • Mumbai, India - Opening 2014
  • Sao Paulo Line 15, Brazil - Opening 2014
  • Daegu, South Korea - Opening 2015
    Sao Paulo Line 17, Brazil - Opening 2016
  • Qom, Iran - Opening ?
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Opening ?
  • Jakarta, Indonesia - Opening ?
Editor note: some opening dates have been revised since this article was written in 2013

Many more are in the planning stages and the above list is only that of monorails built or under construction.

The USA is still woefully behind 14 years later. We still have Las Vegas as a “win,” but others are slow to come. However, the rest of the world is putting them in at breakneck pace.
In the last 14 years monorails have advanced from a curiosity to mainstream. They clearly are not just for zoos and theme parks anymore!

Keith Walls
Vice President
The Monorail Society



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