Monorails are a working technology, but still niche. China has 140Km or so. Japan has about 80Km. They're useful when you have to cram a transit system into a built-up city. The switch problem has been solved. But there's still little standardization; each is a one-off.
BART started as a gadgetbahn. Active suspension. Solid state motor control. Computerized train control. Very fancy. All three of those systems had major problems in the early years. Forty years later, everybody has those features.
Japan is building a maglev from Tokyo to Nagoya and on to Osaka. It makes sense there. Those are Japan's three biggest urban areas, and they're in a line. There's a mountain range in the way, and so much tunneling is required (about 250Km) that the tunneling cost is more than the maglev cost. 45Km of the route is already running in test, so most of the debugging is already done. Started in 2007, planned opening 2027, coming along nicely.
The Morgantown (WV) personal rapid transit system, built in the 1960s, is still running. Last year it got a refresh - new electronics and propulsion. Works OK, but was never cost-effective.
See the "new" trains by Siemens on the Bedford - Brighton line which have worse comfort and reliability that the older electro stars.
I used to live somewhere / have a commute where the time difference between public transit and driving was negligible. Nowadays I live somewhere much nicer, but I drive to work; the drive is 15-20 minutes, public transit would take me an hour. There is some traffic issues from time to time, but even with traffic it's faster than public transit.
It was in the news (all articles/videos in French) .
A lot of times, you will see things like “this new technology can be built elevated/underground really cheaply so you don’t have to buy the land underneath!” Except that’s not how property rights work in Western countries at all, and at a practical level things like emergency walkways or fire ventilation or maintenance passageways end up eating whatever the miniscule difference in right-of-way width is.
So the subway cost per mile includes stations, while the Gadgetbahn cost per mile doesn't include anything other than tunnel boring. Certainly not the costs of each ludicrous car elevator.
This applies with the gadgetbahn. It is best when a gadgetbahn doesn't actually work properly, is slightly dilapidated and from a future that never happened. There used to be a monorail at Birmingham Airport (UK) that took people to the trains or maybe to the exhibition centre. This eventually was scrapped but for a while it provided visitors with something to talk about. Rather than discuss the food on the flight (yawn) you could discuss the monorail. I thought the monorail added great value and was well worth the trouble of its existence just because it provided people with a little conversation starter. Heck, I am talking about it now, decades on. Therefore it is well worth any city getting a gadgetbahn rather than some giant Ferris Wheel to put them on the map. A gadgetbahn can give the illusion of being 'business travel' and serious in a way that something like the London Eye cannot.
Detroit's PeopleMover is a useless toy gadgetbahn that was expensive and served not a lot while the citywide bus system literally fell to pieces.
The arguments around monorail vs light rail in Seattle during the '90s and '00s probably set back transit back a good decade.
Hyperloop/AVs are currently being used as talking points across the United States as an argument to put off public transportation investments for decades more.
In some cases they even get in the way of things; Sydney tore its city center monorail down to build a useful light-rail link for commuters instead.
Make it so.
To nitpick bahn can refer to these concepts, but actually has a wider meaning. The most well known of these is of course the Autobahn.
I've always taken it to be closer to the British English word 'way' as used in railway, motorway and right-of-way.
Perhaps Gadgetway would be a more consistent term, or even Gerätbahn if we're going for a full loanword.
If you want a real example of a 19th century Gadgetbahn in New York, the obvious example is the Beach Pneumatic Transit (which was a total flop and was remarkably similar to Elon's "hyperloop" in numerous other ways as well.)
Of course, it happens that new technology makes older concepts suddenly viable. But in public transport, the cost of the track is one of the major factors. The high cost for Maglev tracks killed the technology (yes, it may work in Japan where the geography leads to lines with insane capacity demands). Hyperloop will suffer from the same problem.
The New York subway started with a revolutionary pneumatic railway and some other lines using standard gauge railway tracks. The pneumatic railway was quickly abandoned.
"Guided buses" seem to be in the same category. Edinburgh had some which were replaced by conventional trams at great cost. Cambridge has some which has endemic problems: https://www.smartertransport.uk/guided-busway-defects/
I have often wondered what a delivery U-Bahn might look like... something that was devoted entirely on deliveries of materials and packages.
Anything to get more of the cars and trucks off the streets and devote more space in the city to people.
Chicago too https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Tunnel_Company
Many cities including New York had pneumatic tube mail systems https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatic_tube_mail_in_New_Yor... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumatic_tube#In_postal_servi...
Instead of having delivery vans on the sidewalk, you'd have U-Bahn-to-store forklifts on the sidewalk.
I'm more sick than collegues using there cars and bikes. That is really expensive.
And there might be a moment in time where it is not a cold virus.
I would assume that those droplet infections should become less.
2. Everywhere else, even in dense cities, cars are very good at delivering people from where they are to where they want to go, without a large investment in single-purpose facilities like passenger railroads.
Especially in the US, it makes almost no sense to send passengers on rail when it would be more time efficient to fly between dense areas, and use the railroads for transporting freight - a task where they excel.
It's however completely unclear to me which CO2-calculators account the infrastructure, and which do not.
I feel like I'm missing something.
But I’m guessing that in terms of CO2 impact, these are fixed costs. So, it would seem reasonable to me to assume the operating CO2 costs would dramatically outpace the fixed initial costs, hence why it would be ignored.
Or potentially, when comparing two systems, the initial building/infrastructure CO2 costs may be assumed to be roughly equal, so are factored out.
My main point is: there seems to be a non-neligible impact, and CO2 calculators don't help me grasp that.
"There is no such thing as a truly environment friendly means of transport. Combined transport is not inherently superior to pure road transport in terms of environmental impact, as measured by energy consumptionand CO2 emissions."