The Urbanaut® Monorail
|Comparisons to Other Systems|
In This Section
Urbanaut Costs Less
in Relative Comparison
(Vehicles with same passenger capacity)
v Energy to propel a vehicle is directly related to the weight of the vehicle
v Force = mass (acceleration) or (F = ma)
v A more massive vehicle will require more energy
v Because the Urbanaut has a smaller cross section and more aerodynamic shape than light rail, monorail and maglev vehicles, the aerial drag resistance requires less propulsion energy.
The Alweg monorail system is a 50 year old antiquated monorail concept that straddles (envelopes) a structural beam way that is an essential part of the system. In such a concept, the switching of guide ways involves flexing of a large massive beam way, which becomes cumbersome and expensive, and for this reason, this type of monorail has primarily been line oriented. Examples are Seattle, Disneyland, Disneyworld and Las Vegas monorails in the U.S, and the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and several monorails in Japan.
A cost comparison by an independent consultant suggests that the advantage in flexibility of an Urbanaut® monorail installation is significant. The consultant estimates suggest costs may be only 50% of the Alweg type technology because of Urbanaut's® many features discussed above. This COST involved using the slab for an existing long bridge crossing a waterway.
"Total Projected O&M Cost for a Specific Project"
* Totals based on vehicle/train miles for equal number of passengers
Of the three alternatives, the monorail alternative has the most cost efficient operation and maintenance requirement ($4,000.000.). This results from its several advantages such as being elevated, fully automated, driverless operation of the monorail, virtually no collisions and related repairs, energy efficient on-demand service, and other.
In contrast, the LRT operation and maintenance costs ($12,621,150.) are high which is due to the complexity of hardware, expensive foreign-origin spare parts, mixed traffic operation, extensive labor required, and other contributing factors."
"Based upon our comprehensive cost analysis, it has further been determined that an elevated Urbanaut® alternative offers superior cost advantages when compared to other alternatives; especially in terms of operations and maintenance costs. While monorail presents a 9% greater capital cost (per mile) in contrast to at-grade light rail, it offers a 69% operations and maintenance cost savings. Further, monorail technologies are well proven and attract significantly greater public appeal."
**From "Automated People Movers VI", 2001
This illustration taken from "Civil Engineering Handbook" indicates the large, costly land area and space requirement for light rail at surface.
The Urbanaut®, on the contrary, will be elevated, with much less land and environmental impact on the community.
System Recently Installed in Several West Coast, USA Cities
v The complicated, ugly over-head electrical apparatus
v The interference with cross surface traffic and
v The complex, slow switching of rails
v This is 150 year-old technology, based upon heavy freight transport
Typical dual guideway light rail requires a very large, costly land area at surface and high clearance right of way for the power rail above. Note the tunnel in background with overhead roadway crossing. For frequent crossing at surface, gates are used which cause delays for pedestrians and autos.
v Cost of elevated light rail is several times the Urbanaut® cost
v Cost in a tunnel is 3 times the Urbanaut® cost
v The environmental visual and street impact of a massive elevated light rail is twice that of Urbanaut®
Switching of monorails that straddle or envelope the beamway involves flexing the whole structural beamway for elevated as well as surface guideways.
For an elevated guideway, a platform comparable in size and cost to a station is needed to support the switch and me
From the main guide way, vehicles (trains) are automatically switched onto a highly efficient automatic service and regular maintenance facility. For major overhaul, replacement of tires, etc., vehicles are moved forward into an adjacent mechanical service section.
Within these facilities the guide rail is removed, the Urbanaut is kept perfectly stable by the separated load wheels in the bogie. Most of the vehicle maintenance is automatic and manual cost is reduced to a minimum, part of the effort to make the operation profitable.
For larger trains, the facility shown is expandable.
Facility and land area needed is 10 times larger and more costly than the Urbanaut®'s Facilities
The complexity of the maintenance facility required for a high capacity Straddle Type monorail is illustrated above.
Trains are taken from the Main Track by 2 flexible switches onto a short spur track which leads to several traverser switches. The beamway with the train on top will then be moved sideways to the two entrance tracks of the yard from which it enters the maintenance building or is placed in storage. An additional traverser will move trains laterally from one storage area to the other or to a 20 m (63 ft) tall maintenance building.
Note: The vehicle and massive beam are inseparable.