A strange 1909 monorail

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Greg_Lewis
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A strange 1909 monorail

Post by Greg_Lewis »

Here's your next live steam project: a 1909 monorail:
Einschienerp.jpg
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And here are links to a Youtube vid and a Wikipedia article:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUYzuAJeg3M


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyro_monorail
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of the dull toolbit.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 35 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.
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NP317
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by NP317 »

I've always wondered if that Monorail had "kickstands" in case of a power failure to the gyro...
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ChipsAhoy
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by ChipsAhoy »

What could go wrong?
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NP317
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by NP317 »

ChipsAhoy wrote: Sun Feb 04, 2024 5:41 pm What could go wrong?
Having been the Maintenance Manager of the Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, I can give you MANY things than can/did go wrong...
At least it can't fall off the beam... baring The BIG (HUGE!) earthquake, maybe.
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Bill Shields
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by Bill Shields »

Would be an interesting live steam model.

Spin the gyro with a small steam turbine 🤔
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Charles T. McCullough
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by Charles T. McCullough »

I have heard of this before and have viewed the YouTube video and read the Wiki article, and I still think it is a colossal hoax. Yeah, yeah, I see the old videos and read the articles.

So, okay, I'll believe it.

And from my viewpoint, this 1909 system is just one of THREE "Monorail" systems ever in existance!

Even when Disney came out with the supposed "Monorail" system at DisneyLand/DisneyWorld, they are not really a "Monorail"! They may be a monolithic structure in cross section, but back when it came out, as a kid, I didn't recognize it as a "MONO-rail" system. Aren't there 6 wheels in contact with the "Rail" to pinch it such as to keep the cars upright on it? Two on top of the "rail head" (at a slight angle), and two more touching the bottom of the "rail head", (also at a slight angle) and TWO MORE touching the tall and wide "web" that lifts the "rail head" above the "Base".

Look how many wheels contact the HUGE rail the supposed "Monorail" systems of the world use. The rail is either exceedingly wide or exceedingly tall and there are wheels touching it at multiple places in the cross section. It may be a monolithic structure, but how many points are in contact with that structure at separated points to keep the cars upright on the "rail"?

It is like casting the present twin rail system (in use through your town and all over the world) as one monolithic structure (change the wood or concrete ties to steel and cast them with twin bumps 4-ft 8.5-in apart and call it a "Monorail" because it is just one structure that the train happens to contact at those two bumps that are separated by 4-ft 8.5-in apart... and you only need two points of contact! The wider apart the points of contact the more stable the cars on this "monorail"! You can use gravity to have the cars grip the rail instead of having to pinch it between wheels.

The only other "monorail" systems I have seen were:

One where a single rail is supported on tall posts and twin cars hung from it to get the center of gravity below the contact point (wheels) so it could not "tip over". The problems were: 1) the cars hitting the support posts in curves due to centrifugal force causing the cars to swing to the outside of the curve, and 2) having too much weight in the car on one side that was not counter-balanced in the car on the other side of the rail and 3) it needed another point of periodical contact somewhere if the cars got to swinging/oscillating side to side (which could be thought of as a 2nd and 3rd rail in the system, even if it was not in contact all the time).

The other was similar but a single car hung from a "J" hook from the rail like a barndoor does. This also suffered from the cars swinging out on curves, which necessitated extending the support posts far enough away from the curve so the cars would not hit them, and a method to keep the cars from starting to swing in oscillations while moving and swinging too much as to either hit the support posts or making the passengers motion sick.
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Bill Shields
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by Bill Shields »

I have ridden on the Wuppertal (?) monorail in Germany, and have to say it was a quite pleasant ride.

Been there 100+ years IIRC

Admittedly it is a bit of a tourist draw, but gets you around town.

There is also one in Bangkok Thailand that is a cornerstone of public transit.

Any others?
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NP317
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by NP317 »

So instead of calling the ALWEG systems "monorails", call them "Mono Beams."
Pic is looking down from the train interior, showing the main drive tire (with a fatal bubble in the sidewall), and several of the lower, smaller diameter, side support guide tires. Each bogie (2 bogies/car) has 2 drive tires on top of the beam, and 3 side guide tires on each side.
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Bill Shields
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by Bill Shields »

I would hazard a guess that this could not be repaired with an inside patch. :shock:

Ah...the 3rd monorail is the one in Shanghai to the airport....Mag Lev..floats above the rail.

Goes very fast but is very annoying to the passenger
.seems to 'hunt' to find magnetic center. A most disconcerting motion.

Guess one would get used to it, but the several times I have ridden it, I almost became sea sick.
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NP317
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by NP317 »

Bill Shields wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 4:03 am I would hazard a guess that this could not be repaired with an inside patch. :shock:
[snip]
That tire bubble is the result of those truck tires - the only ones available to fit the 1960 wheel hubs - being down-graded by the manufacturer and becoming quite low in operational quality. Also the original wheels were beginning to show some cracks. Totally unacceptable...

To replace that tire meant:
Jacking up that bogie off the beam,
Removing seats and floor panels inside the car body, and assembling a special mobile crane over the opening,
Removing the drive shaft to access both tires,
Removing and replacing the tire/wheel assembly,
Lubricating the bogie while it is accessible.
Finally reversing the above access processes. Two people could do this in about 1.5 hours.

With 4 cars/train and 2 trains, that means there are 16 of those truck load tires per train, in 8 pairs. And we saw an average of 1 to 2 tire failures/week while I was there.

The final corrective action was to design and have fabricated new wheels that fit modern available radial truck tires. That process was ongoing when I retired from that job in 2013. We (Seattle Monorail Services, LLC) were federally designated as the Manufacturer (because ALWEG was long gone) which gave us many hoops to jump through. The new wheels were tested at a Minnesota facility that ran the wheel/tire assemblies through 1 million forward/backward cycles under load. We actually broke one of those testing machines!

Happily, today there are all new wheels and radial tires on both Monorail (mono beam) trains, with time between replacements now being so long that wheels periodically need to be removed for access to the bogies for scheduled lubrication. And that is far longer than the former tire replacement schedule, and a return to the original ALWEG maintenance schedule specified in the 1960s.

That's my experience story and I'm sticking to it!
RussN
Happy retired Maintenance Manager of the Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, WA
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Bill Shields
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Re: A strange 1909 monorail

Post by Bill Shields »

Wish I could get a set of tires to last that long.. :shock:
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