The main four suppliers of operational straddle-beam (ALWEG) monorail systems, each have a product line that features different types and size of system depending on capacity requirements. It is our view that a large high-capacity monorail system would be unsuitable for the WestOx proposal but each of these suppliers can provide a system that would be ideal for a Witney to Oxford Rapid Transit.
In addition, two other suppliers have developed working systems that are also suitable although, as yet, do not have any examples in operation.
Bombardier – Canadian company that has 25 years’ of successful monorail design. Systems in operation include Las Vegas and Sao Paulo (Line 15). The latest technology is employed in Bombardier’s Innovia Monorail 300 which offers CITYFLO driverless operation and regenerative braking. Over 500 Innovia Monorail vehicles have been ordered or are in operation – including the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) monorail, currently under construction in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Scomi Engineering Bhd - a global service provider in the oil & gas and transport solutions industry based in Malaysia. Scomi supplied the original carriages for the Kuala Lumpur monorail when it began service in 2003 (an upgrade to Scomi SUTRA 4-car type began in 2014). Scomi pioneered the first Indian monorail in Mumbai which they constructed and operate (until 2029) with partners Larsen & Toubro. The company increasingly specialise in monorail and are currently constructing the monorail Line 17 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hitachi – since providing the Tokyo monorail in 1964, Hitachi Monorail Systems have continued to be refined over 4 decades. The straddle design is based on the ‘Alweg’ system and utilises a narrow beam that is slimmer and therefore less intrusive than other designs. The beam is produced off site allowing the route corridor to remain highly accessible to the public during construction. The design uses less construction material and results in significant cost savings. Hitachi Monorail System has been selected for mass transit corridors in Kita-Kyushu, Osaka, Tama and Okinawa. Hitachi has pioneered the development of the compact monorail – SMARTRAN – which can be seen operating in Sentosa, Singapore. Hitachi’s most recently completed system is Line 3 of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit in Daegu, South Korea.
Hitachi offers three vehicle sizes and other subsystems to meet different passenger carrying capacities.
Small Type Medium Type Large Type
Intamin Transportation– based in Switzerland, Intamin began developing amusement rides (INTernational AMusement INstallations) before evolving into a supplier of automated ‘People Mover’ systems, including monorail. Intamin have successfully completed a number of monorail projects including Moscow’s 4.7km system. Three system platforms, the P6, the P8, and the P30 capable of handling inclinations up to 15 to 20%, compound curves, and 1,000 to 5,000 persons per hour and direction. Intamin monorail systems are currently in development in China, Nigeria, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.
P30 monorail design for 2017 Asian Games, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Port Harcourt, NIgeria
Intamin's P30 People Mover is being used to provide a monorail system proposed to cover approx. 20km serving 14 stations within the city of Port Harcourt
The monorail project is part of the city’s and River State infrastructural investments to improve the traffic situation.
Metrail – a monorail system employing innovative technology developed by Fraser-Nash research based in Surrey, UK. Metrail is completely self-powered - it has an advanced on-board Frazer-Nash intelligent hybrid-electric power supply and motors - there's no need for an external power supply either overhead or on the guideway. Designed as a ‘green’ solution for public transport, Metrail’s use of hybrid electric technology make it the natural choice for clean, efficient transportation. Emissions per passenger kilometre are a small fraction of those produced by grid powered systems. Regenerative braking and the use of solar panels on top of the carriages can be used to provide further on-board energy.
The Metrail Hybrid Monorail range consists of 3 types to suit required capacity, the Plus, Super and Ultra – ranging from 25,000 pphpd to 55,000pphpd. Metrail system features include driverless operation, automated signalling (e-ATP), flexible guideway switching and multiple steering allowing a turn radius of less than 30 metres.
Cost comparison against other Transit Systems
Metrail Hybrid Monorail system
AMT (American Maglev Technology) – headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, USA, AMT have developed an innovative transport system utilising magnetic levitation technology (maglev). The principles of propulsion being developed by AMT could make such a system a cost-effective solution for the WestOx Monorail proposal.
“Magnetic levitation vehicles are neither a new nor an especially challenging technology. Distinct, full-scale operational maglev systems have been built in Germany, China and Japan. These systems employ a high-tech guideway, generating powerful magnetic forces that yield very high speeds and utilizing very sophisticated electronic controls. As such, they are “technology focused” — overly complex and extremely expensive (between US $50 and $100 million per mile) to build and operate.
AMT has reversed this design concept and, by putting the magnets and controls in a light weight vehicle and developing a much simpler or “dumb” track, has slashed the system cost of construction and operation to levels sharply below even a conventional “steel-wheels-on-steel” light rail alternative — i.e. a “market- focused” approach. AMT considers itself the only market-driven company in the world that is ready to serve the low budgets of the mega-regional transportation sector”
(source: AMT website)
AMT are involved with the development of a $400m Maglev passenger rail line connecting Orlando International Airport with the Orange County Convention Center. Work is expected to begin soon on the privately funded system between the airport and the Convention Centre along 13.7 miles of Orlando’s International Drive corridor. Ricardo Plc are expected to deliver the first two Maglev cars by next summer and limited operations are planned to begin before 2017.
AMT have provided detailed capital expenditure estimates for a similar system between Witney and Oxford.
AMT maglev in operation at its test facility at Powder Springs, GA.