Another week begins and it’s indistinguishable from every other lockdown week as the routine doesn’t really vary – unless you count doing the same things in a different order, just to try and add some variety and a frisson of excitement as this is about as good as it gets right now!
Therefore I won’t bore you with the mundanities of life, I’ll cut straight to the chase and take you to the picture of the day. This one comes from the latest batch of old slide scans which will be added to my website tomorrow. I took it near Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia in the last week of January 1998.
With the Sydney Tower in the background, the monorail passes over the heads of tourists walking to the harbour. Monorails have never really taken off as a means of mass transit, mainly due to their low-speed, limited capacity and inflexibility.
Sydney’s monorail was an eight station, 2.2 mile loop that opened in July 1988. It connected Darling Harbour, Chinatown and the central business and shopping districts in an anti-clockwise loop. Six trains of seven cars worked services on the loop, working from a depot in Pyrmont. The never met its passenger projects and the last franchise that operated it was bought out by the New South Wales Government in 2012. On June 30th 2013 the monorail was closed to make way for the new Sydney Convention and Exhibition centre. The monorail tracks were dismantled shortly afterwards.
2 cars from one of the trains and a short section of track are preserved at the Powerhouse museum in Sydney.
Whilst monorails haven’t had much success, one operates in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (opened in 2003) and another in Melaka. Another (larger) system in Bangkok, Thailand is due to open later this year. There are other systems dotted around the world, mostly in China and Japan, but most as short systems serving amusement parks or airports, like this suspended system in Dusseldorf, Germany. Of course, Germany also has the father of them all, in Wuppertal!
I’ve a favour to ask…
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