Woolwich Arsenal Monorail
The world’s first monorail system was in operation across the Lea Valley in 1825 In 1816 the Royal Small Arms factory at Enfield.
The first passenger carrying monorail, it opened in 1825, It was built to carry bricks but had a bit of a sideline in passengers. It was horse powered and travelled from Gibbs Brick Pit, west of Gews Corner in Cheshunt High Street, and the Lee Navigation. It was a suspended monorail.
Minehead - Butlins
Opened in 1967 a half mile track in a figure of 8. It reached a max of 30' in elevation. It has 2 cars and one station and closed in 1996 after an accident.
Skegness - Butlins
Opened in 1965 and ran until 2002 and has now been scrapped. It ran as a pleasure ride about a mile long in a loop. There were three cars.
Built in 1987 with 2 stations using the Vancouver Expo 86 Monorail, there are 7 trains with 8 cars per train, the line is 3.2km long.
1.5 miles long, 2 stations travelling through Chester Zoo.
Beaulieu Motor Museum
Opened in 1974 inspied by the 1967 expo monorail in Montreal. Two cars carry passengers around the motor museum. It is 1 mile long.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Originally purchased from the 1964-5 Worlds Fair in Lausanne, Switzerland this monorail is 40' up. It was opened in 1966
Merryhill Shopping Centre
Opened in 1991 but only worked for a short while (closed 1992) before finally being sold off in 1996, the cars went to Australia. It was closed due to a
combination of technical problems and safety concerns.
Chessington World of Adventures
Opened in 1987, called the Safari Skyway, it travels over the zoo.
This Yorkshire theme park has three monorails, the first is a short pedal powered monorail, the second a diesel powered enclosed passenger monorail. The last is a small open monorail electrically powered on a safari theme.
The Listowel & Ballybunion Railway
A unique monorail system constructed in 1888, it was an A frame style rail with the train slug over each side. It was 10 miles long, It closed in 1924, after damage in the war could not be repaired. It carried freight and passengers. There is a section of restored rail and a carriage in Lisselton. There is also a reconstruction of the line and running trains in Listowel.
A test track to prove the viability of this system was constructed in Milngavie, Scotland in 1930. It was a monorail with the carriage suspended beneath. It was powered by two propellers one at the front and the other at the rear, they were designed for petrol or electric propulsion. The test track was 500' long. There was no interest in his plan and the track and carriage remained in situ untin 1956 when it was demolished.
Rhyl has had two monorails, one at the along the seafront, which has now been dismantled. The second an indoor attraction at Rhyl sun centre (an indoor pool complex), a monorail allows a tour around the complex.
The most bizzare railway, the Brennan Gyro-Monorail was 40 feet long and weighed 22 tons, designed to carry 10 tons. Speed on the level was approx. 22 mph. The vehicle was balanced by two vertical gyroscopes mounted side by side, and spinning in opposite directions at 3000 rpm.
In the Gillingham tests the vehicle was fitted with two petrol engines. A small 20 hp unit powered the gyroscopes, drove an air-compressor (for braking?) lighted the car, and propelled it at slow speeds. A r 80 hp engine was used for propulsion.
The sleepers of the test track were 3.5 ft in length, laid 2.5 feet apart without ballast. The steepest gradient on the track was 1 in 13, and the sharpest curve had a radius of only 35 feet. It had double-flanged wheels to prevent slipping off the rail.
It never made it to production.
Rail Machines Steam Monorail Museum
Currently moving to a new site near Coventry.
Electricity Cable Tunnel Monorails
There are two underground systems installed by
Fata Automation in National Grid Cable tunnels Elstree to St John’s Wood and Beddington to Rowdown
The Elstree to St. Johns Wood Cable tunnel has a monorail system through the 20 km long tunnel. There are 4 remote controlled cable inspection vehicles. These vehicles are battery operated travelling at speeds up to 6mph on a suspended monorail beam. The cars also have trailers and can carry 5 people together with 500 kg of tools for a distance of up to 20 kilometres. The Beddington to Rowdown tunnel has a similar system in its 10km tunnel it has two vehicles.