Rob Fendler wrote:
I do think you are right in that the designers of the new monorail abandoned the "worlds fair- like" showcase of a new technology for one that pays tribute to the designs of the first monorail. After all, the "monorail" technology is no longer a cutting edge breakthrough. We've all seen it. Now its time to have some fun. After all, Bob Gurr admitted he did steal the Mark I design from Flash Gordon.
I don't disagree at with your point, but I feel that when people ride the monorail now, they'll lose that sense of validity of it being a transit system...what I mean is that for most people, it's their first (and only, perhaps) ride on a monorail. It's not so much the new-ness of the technology, it's just that monorails have been given a bad rap for so long in the US (as opposed to Japan--they're everywhere!).
I once read that "monorail", back in the 60's was actually singled out from getting any federal funding as a transportation system. The "light rail" consortium really hates Monorail, because it's too good of an idea, and it doesn't produce enough $$ for the "family tree" of politicians, consultants and contractors. Ask the question: how many people are killed by light rail every year, versus monorail?
It was the WDW monorail that caught Bombardier's attention many years ago to operate for Disney, because it was so effecient and made money..
It was Walt that back in about 1962, met with THE "Mr. Monorail", a gentleman that was proposing a huge monorail system down the medians of the L.A. Freeways. This was a serious proposal, that Walt was behind. Too bad it didn't happen. Imagine taking the "Los Angeles Monorail System" train from Glendale, right to Anaheim in 20 minutes--no traffic backups on Highway 5!! (I can almost hear the horns as they'd go by).
As a side note...I wonder why the Calif. High Speed Rail folks like the TGV system instead of the Transrapid Maglev? It seems good enough for Shanghai, China. There's a LOT of politics behind the opposition to monorails. This includes buses, taxis, and steel-on-steel railroads.