In 2007, the Las Vegas Monorail aided in the annual removal of an estimated 3.2 million vehicle miles from Southern Nevadas major roadways and reduced emissions by more than 58 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) over the course of the year. Multiply that by many monorails and you can imagine the positive results.
Station architecture can be easily designed to match the surrounding environment. This is the Sydney Monorail City Centre Station, which was hidden inside a downtown shopping center. The quiet sound of monorail allows unlimited possibilities for station locations. Stations can be built to any architectural style to blend with the area.
This is the interior of the Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach, Australia. The skylighted multi-story hall looks typical at first glance. The architect has cleverly blended a monorail track into the top level of the center. Von Roll trains glide through so quietly that shopping patrons often don't even notice their presence.
This is another view of the Oasis Shopping Centre Monorail in Australia. Pylons for the monorail track are also important structural elements of the building. This kind of blending of function is easily accomplished because monorail supports can vary greatly in design.
This is the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World. Who would think that a monorail station could be placed at the entrance of the premier hotel of the area? The building seen to the left is the station. The architecture is Victorian and blends perfectly with the hotel's theme. Look closely and you can see a Bombardier Mark VI train emerging from the structure.
Without the sleek monorail in view, this could look like a train station right out of the early 1900's. It's the Magic Kingdom Station in Walt Disney World, Florida. Located next to the entrance of the park, its architecture has been designed to match that of the nearby Main Street USA. More USA main streets could use monorail.
The alignment space needed for monorail is small but is big enough for landscaping. Shown here is some of the lush landscaping that enhances the route of the Kitakyushu City Monorail in Japan. You can't plant this much vegetation on a street level light rail route without gobbling up more traffic lanes.
One of the best examples of monorail blending with a modern city skyline was found in Sydney, Australia. This station was located above a sidewalk and takes up little space. The tubular design nicely offsets the many squared edges of a modern metropolis.
In several "environmentally sensitive" areas along the Sydney Monorail's route, pylons were enhanced with mirrored panels, reflective metal framing and marble-coated bases. While this may seem to be an extravagant addition, on the whole it didn't add much to the capital cost of the system. However, it does add greatly to the aesthetics of the track.
With some creativity, system designers can make a monorail express a mixture of pleasant moods. Rail transit track doesn't always have to negatively impose itself on an environment, it can also enliven an environment. This track was at Expo '88 in Australia, but the feature of neon lights has been successfully used many times since on monorail guideways.