A monorail is a railway with just one track. It is often elevated, but this is not necessary to the definition. The name comes from combining "mono" (meaning one) and "rail" (meaning train tracks). Some magnetic levitation train systems are considered to be monorails because the trains straddle a beam. Most of today's monorails are powered by electric motors, though some have diesel powered motors. Historically, monorails were steam locomotives like other trains. In the past, there was a type of monorail called a suspension monorail, where the train hangs belong its track instead of running on top of it. The first example of this was built in Germany in 1901 and is still in operation today.
Monorail vehicles are varied but often look like light rail vehicles. They may or may not have a driver. They can be one small vehicle, an articulated vehicle, or many vehicles strung together into a train. Monorails are safer than other forms of transportation because they are separated from other transportation and pedestrians. This means that the only thing they could possibly run into is another monorail vehicle. This also means they get passengers to their destinations faster, as they do not have to deal with traffic jams or red lights.
Cities all over the world have adopted monorail transportation systems. Countries including Brazil, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, and the United States use monorail systems every day. Monorails are also a popular transportation method in amusement parks and zoos worldwide, perhaps the most iconic of which operate in the Disney theme parks.
The first monorail prototype was created in Russia in 1820 by a man named Ivan Elmanov. However, the first one to be put to use to move passengers was in London in 1821
. Monorails continue to be used as a response to crowded roads in many countries.
Proponents of the Las Vegas Monorail say that it will reduce expenses for many local residents. For example, if you have a car, possibly 2 cars, then you have a monthly payment
, maintenance and more. Not only will it reduce expenses for Las Vegas residents, but it will also reduce the number of cars on the road, decreasing smog, and increasing air quality
throughout the valley.