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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:27 AM   #221
Electrify
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Great video of Chongqing's monorail (3:58 - 4:18)

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Old February 28th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #222
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'Aerorail' to be built for Melaka, Malaysia

It seems that Malaysia is finally getting the Aerobus system...except now it will be built in Melaka and it will be called Aerorail....

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Melaka To Have Aerorail System

MELAKA, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- Melaka is to have a RM1.8 billion Aerorail urban mass transit system, the first in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, which will be completed by 2010.

The Aerorail system will be built, operated and managed by Pyramid Express Sdn Bhd while the technical and project management support will be provided by Pinggiran Pelangi Sdn Bhd, the local agent of Aerobus International of Houston, USA.

Pyramid Express managing director Datuk Lim Sue Beng said today the company expects to earn RM600,000 a month from the operation of the aerorail system when it goes into service.

He said the aerorail will be built in two phases and the construction work will start within six months with a capital investment of RM586 million, while the second phase will cost RM807 million.

"For the moment, the second phase will only start after the repayment of the cost of the first phase is completed," he said after the ground-breaking ceremony for the first Aerorail Hotel and Station at Lebuh Ayer Keroh here.

Lim said the first phase will cover a distance of 9.565 km, which will include the construction of 10 station hotels.

In the second phase, another 8.77 km with an additional three stations will be built.

The system will cover a distance of 18.4 km. The route begins near the Ayer Keroh toll plaza and will proceed to Melaka Zoo, Melaka International Trade Centre, Melaka Mall, Melaka General Hospital, Melaka Sentral, Hang Tuah Mall, across the river to the Clock Tower and ends at the Mahkota Medical Centre in Bandar Hilir.

Upon the completion of the aerorail system, there will be 10 stations with 10 250-room 4-star hotels.

Lim said the company is investing RM500 million in the hotels.

Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam, who performed the ground breaking ceremony, said the entire project is expected to create more than 5,000 job opportunities for the local population as well as economic benefits to local businesses.

"The Aerorail will also be a tourist attraction for both local and international visitors as it will be the only one in this region.

"In addition, it will be a convenient and efficient transport system for the benefit of the local population," he said.

Mohd Ali said the Aerorail will be a welcome boost for Melaka as it will not only reduce traffic congestion and pollution but also cater to the increasing tourist population, which is expected to reach more than eight million in 2010 from the 5.7 million last year.

website of Aerobus International http://www.aerobus.com/home.html
Cheers, m
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Old March 4th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #223
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Massive steel and concrete for Honolulu (02/22/08)

Honolulu, Hawaii. A five member "independent" panel has recommended steel rail technology for Honolulu's transit system. Monorail, maglev and other rubber-tire peoplemovers were eliminated in a 4-1 vote. Mayor Mufi Hannemann wants ground to be broken on the system in 2009.
http://monorails.org/tMspages/News.html

This is disappointing. I am starting to see how light rail has its place, but seeing as how subways in North America these days cost 500 million/km average, monorail does make good sense when hitting heavy use corridors.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 05:52 PM   #224
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Scomi, partners shortlisted for RM5b monorail job
By Marina Emmanuel Published: 2008/03/19
BusinessTimes

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Scomi, together with Larsen and Toubro, has been informed of its pre-qualification for the Mumbai and Pune monorail project in India, a source say

SCOMI Engineering Bhd and its partner have been shortlisted for the RM5 billion Mumbai and Pune monorail project in India, a company source said.

Scomi, which is in the consortium led by India-based Larsen and Toubro Ltd, has been pre-qualified for the project along with Reliance Energy Hitachi and Bombardier Transportation India.

The source said that Scomi, together with Larsen and Toubro, was informed yesterday.

The project involves a 20-25km monorail line that is being proposed to be built in the Pune Metropolitan Region on a turnkey basis.


"The short-listed teams are said to be preparing for the bid for which details are expected to be made known in the next few days," a source told the Business Times.

It is learnt that the bids must be submitted at the end of May.

The proposed infrastructure project was reported to be a possible solution to the city's traffic problems.

It would be implemented on a build, operate and transfer basis for a period of at least 30 years, previous reports said.

Construction is expected to start in June this year and will take 24 months.

Scomi is also said to be in the race for at least three more monorail projects in India.

Locally, it is partnering Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and Penang Port Sdn Bhd for a 30km monorail project on Penang island.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 11:21 AM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
http://monorails.org/tMspages/News.html

This is disappointing. I am starting to see how light rail has its place, but seeing as how subways in North America these days cost 500 million/km average, monorail does make good sense when hitting heavy use corridors.
It was actually cost that ruled monorail out, check the Honolulu transit website.

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Mag-lev and monorail are proprietary applications with a limited number of suppliers in
business today which raises concerns about long-term costs and support.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 11:35 AM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
Great video of Chongqing's monorail (3:58 - 4:18)

Interestingly, the lady who does the announcements on the TTC was hired to do the English announcements on that monorail. This was after the mayor of Chongqing came to Toronto and was impressed by the voice.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 02:52 AM   #227
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Quote:
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It was actually cost that ruled monorail out, check the Honolulu transit website.
The panel of experts ruled out monorail and maglev based on cost; however, they didn't have any actual cost data. The following is a snip from a Honolulu Advertiser article < http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ap...62/1001/NEWS01 > :

"...

The lack of detailed cost information raised concern among some council members.

"By their own admission (panelists) did not get any information on costs from most of the respondents to the (request for information)," said council Chairwoman Barbara Marshall, during a recent hearing. "I think that's critical.

"The whole idea here was that we were supposed to select a system based on cost efficiency."

..."
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 06:11 AM   #228
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It's the lack of cost data that makes it so hard to plan for. That's part of the reason the Seattle Monorail Project tanked.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 10:06 AM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
The panel of experts ruled out monorail and maglev based on cost; however, they didn't have any actual cost data. The following is a snip from a Honolulu Advertiser article < http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ap...62/1001/NEWS01 > :

"...

The lack of detailed cost information raised concern among some council members.

"By their own admission (panelists) did not get any information on costs from most of the respondents to the (request for information)," said council Chairwoman Barbara Marshall, during a recent hearing. "I think that's critical.

"The whole idea here was that we were supposed to select a system based on cost efficiency."

..."
Hmmm, that certainly changes things, now doesn't it...
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 03:24 PM   #230
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Quote:
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It's the lack of cost data that makes it so hard to plan for. That's part of the reason the Seattle Monorail Project tanked.
I agree; however, I would like to note that this is not a problem unique to monorail. I have seen the cost estimates for conventional rail lines be horribly wrong. The light rail line being built in Seattle is a prime example.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 03:44 AM   #231
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I agree; however, I would like to note that this is not a problem unique to monorail. I have seen the cost estimates for conventional rail lines be horribly wrong. The light rail line being built in Seattle is a prime example.
It's all politiking I guess.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #232
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Moscow monorail:

http://www.monorail.ru/


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Old March 25th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #233
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Apparently they are now running it like a regular metro route, and people are giving it rave reviews. Here's hoping they put in some higher capacity vehicles in the near future, since those ones cannot carry much more than a LRT tram can.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
Apparently they are now running it like a regular metro route, and people are giving it rave reviews. Here's hoping they put in some higher capacity vehicles in the near future, since those ones cannot carry much more than a LRT tram can.
Jeez, you act like the vehicle is the only factor. It isn't. What you're proposing is a wider vehicle which would involve a system overhaul. The design capacity is set, you can't change it now except by making longer trains and tighter headways.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 02:50 PM   #235
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Dusseldorf

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Old March 27th, 2008, 08:36 AM   #236
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I wonder if that slim a beam could be used for longer and higher capacity trains? It would definitely make SAFEGE monorail a viable alternative to ALWEG monorails in colder climates.

Anyways, Toronto transit expert Steve Munro recently did a blog piece about the expense regarding the construction of subways. This is what I posted:

Quote:
I’ve mentioned this before with little fanfare, but what about looking at monorails for future heavy rail transit growth? I will admit I may have been a little misguided when I first brought the idea up as an alternative to Toronto’s Transit City plans since ultimately monorail are currently too expensive to compete with light rail, but I do think this post illustrates how they could be an excellent alternative to tunneling subways. While there are many monorails out there which have people-mover capacities, there are some which can carry just as many people as a standard subway train can, or close to it (according to Hitachi’s website, their largest monorail with 4 cars can move over 900 people at crush load).

From what I’ve been able to find, it seems that monorails tend to cost about 50-75% of what it would cost to build a subway through a similar corridor. And in areas with extreme density, I’m confident it could be much less. For example, the new subway line in Manhattan it expected to cost approximately $1.13 BILLION per mile (if my math is correct, which it probably isn’t, it would come to about $700 million per kilometer). In a situation like this, there is probably room for a good argument that a high capacity monorail could be just as effective and of a much better value.
And his reply:

Quote:
Steve: The basic problem with monorails, even if you believe the capacity figures, is that they require a structure completely separate from the corridor they serve. This places not just an elevated structure down the middle of a street, but a large elevated station structure over intersections. This poisons the space under the stations for pedestrian activity.

This is the same complaint I have about proposals for expansion of the RT technology. In Toronto (and in a lot of the Vancouver implementations), the RT/Skytrain does not run down the middle of a street, but runs along railway corridors. This means that stations straddle streets rather than covering them in. Where new lines in Vancouver have followed streets, they were generally placed underground. As design gets underway for the northerly extension of the RT in Scarborough, it will be intriguing to see what sort of designs the TTC comes up with to mitigate the impact of elevated structures.
http://stevemunro.ca/?p=738

I think it is clear where his bias lies, but he does have a point - do you think large monorail stations are too intrusive to the setting? I've looked at some pics of KL's monorail stations (which are designed for high capacity vehicles despite currently only running people mover sized trains) and they don't seem too bad, but I will admit they did not give the best view of what it is like to be a pedestrian underneath them.

Anyone here who has had some experience with large monorail stations, do you think they could not work in an urban environment? Even so, it is not as if subways do not have their fair share of problems either.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
do you think large monorail stations are too intrusive to the setting? I've looked at some pics of KL's monorail stations (which are designed for high capacity vehicles despite currently only running people mover sized trains) and they don't seem too bad, but I will admit they did not give the best view of what it is like to be a pedestrian underneath them.

Anyone here who has had some experience with large monorail stations, do you think they could not work in an urban environment? Even so, it is not as if subways do not have their fair share of problems either.
Even small capacity stations look like ass - Tama Monorail for example, has a very, how shall I put this mildly; "uninspiring" look to their stations, yet it is a 2-door/car times 4-car/train-set vehicle servicing these cookie-cutter stations.

However, that said, while what Munro says is certainly something to be very mindful of, and indeed the RT itself is a testament to what not to do, it is not a finite truth. There is one example that remember vividly as an image, I believe it was from Belgium, it was elevated but not SAFEGE, however they encased the track very artistically and it looked AWESOME. That was not a station though, IIRC. Stations, which should not be above intersections, I absolutely agree with Steve on that point, need be located carefully and incorporated into the built form in a manner that is stimulating to the activity not only around it, but, as Steve pointed out, below it. Is there a way to do this? As long as it is not asphalt below the station, I believe this answer can be a definite yes, but I would like to stress that it is a challenge more difficult than non-elevated modes like LRT.

Subways underground generally don't have problems relating to the space above and around them - they do, but they are so subtle that these are not registered by the general public. Trench, at-grade, or higher is a whole different story though. As someone with some engineering and more architectural knowledge, I know that the general public is a little naive about the reality of subway integration and the nature of the space it uses, but the challenges they face are much more of an engineering and finance nature than the challenges of space-use and creating desirable space out of the station footprint that monorails are burdened with. That said, I would argue strongly that the results of a subway are richer if one addresses it with a problem-solving attitude similar to what is demanded by a monorail. That requires a great deal of creativity, and a multi-industry team or even consortium to pull off.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 04:15 AM   #238
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It's all politiking I guess.
Not really. The cost increase over estimate for light rail in Seattle matches the increases in materials prices. The cost increases that were seen for monorail in Seattle during the same time frame were a couple of standard deviations higher - they were more due to poor projections, and would have been far different even with static materials costs.

The SMP went from a $200 million city bond to a $2.1 billion capital cost. Light rail went from something like $3 billion to $4 billion - and some of that was due to changing from 1996 dollars to year of expenditure dollars.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #239
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The SMP went from a $200 million city bond to a $2.1 billion capital cost. Light rail went from something like $3 billion to $4 billion - and some of that was due to changing from 1996 dollars to year of expenditure dollars.
Ah, OK, that's different then. Thanks for those specifics, helps put things in perspective a lot
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Old March 29th, 2008, 06:42 PM   #240
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Seattle has had many votes for monorail projects. In 2002, voters approved the plan that created the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority (A.K.A. Seattle Monorail Project) and authorized taxes to fund the construction of the Green Line Monorail. The cost history of that project is as follows:

Green Line Monorail - Original Promise to the Voters in 2002
Design-Build Cost
$1.3 billion / 14 miles = $93 million/mile
Total Project Cost
$1.75 billion / 14 miles = $125 million/mile

Green Line Monorail - 2005 Contract Price
Design-Build Cost
$1.615 billion / 14 miles = $115 million/mile
Total Project Cost
$2.016 billion / 14 miles = $144 million/mile

The project was over-budget by about 20% and had a similar percentage shortfall in the taxes that were being collected to fund it. The ballot measure that created the project required a revote if the project could not be completed as originally planned. In 2005, the voters were presented with the following plan:

Green Line Monorail - 2005 Truncated Project Price
Design-Build Cost
$1.334 billion / 10.6 miles = $126 million/mile
Total Project Cost
$1.687 billion / 10.6 miles = $159 million/mile

The vote for the truncated project failed, which effectively terminated the project. The requirement that the project be revoted if it could not be completed in accordance with the original plan was a reaction to what had happened with Sound Transit's Central Link light rail project.

In 1996, voters approved a "10-Year Plan", which included the construction of a light rail line from the University of Washington to Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The cost of the line was to be $1.7 billion and it was to be completed by 2006. The lack of detail behind the cost estimate is reflected by the fact that the campaign literature gave various lengths for the line up to 25 miles. As the engineering of the line commenced, it became clear that that the cost would be much higher than the original estimate. A revised plan was developed for a truncated and delayed initial segment. The wording of the 1996 ballot measure allowed the changes to be made without requiring a revote. The initial 13.9-mile segment is now expected to open in 2009 at a cost of $2.44 billion. A 1.7-mile extension to the airport is expected to open shortly thereafter at a cost of $225 million or $300 million if the cost of necessary changes to adjacent roads is included. A 3.15-mile extension to the University of Washington is being planned. The University of Washington extension is expected to be completed in 2016 at an estimated cost is $1.7 billion. The cost history of the project can be summarized as follows:

Central Link Light Rail - Original Promise to the Voters in 1996
$1.7 billion / 25 miles = $68 million/mile

Central Link Light Rail - Present Estimated Cost
$4.44 billion / 19 miles = $234 million/mile

The actual cost of the project has proven to be about two and a half times what was originally promised to the voters. In addition, it is about 10 years behind schedule.

The fundamental mistake that was made with the Central Link light rail line is that the original costs were projected based on the costs of light rail in other cities, which generally used existing corridors to build cost effective light rail. In Seattle, there was no existing corridor to be exploited. The tunnels and viaducts that are being built to accommodate the light rail line are similar to what might be expected for a heavy rail metro. The result is that the costs are also similar to what might be expected for a heavy rail metro.
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