Alweg Torino 1961

Alweg Torino 2004


Alweg Köln Fühlingen

Alweg Fühlingen Heute

Alweg Monorail 50 Years

Alweg Magic Carpet

Alweg Opposition

KVB Takt im Mai 2009

Kölsche Technikgeschichte

Alweg: Airborne Rail Travel

(Above photo of Alweg's Seattle Red Train in the new downtown station by Ludwig Cremer, September 1994 / imaging by Reinhard Krischer, March 2002/Copyright L. Cremer)

The following text by Reinhard Krischer, March 2002:

Alweg analysis by transport industry experts (and large numbers of non-experts) up to now always excludes one very important aspect of the Alweg experience: PEOPLE LIKE TRAVELLING BY MONORAIL !

This simple and basic truth is evidently considered to be too banal to be included in seemingly serious reports about monorail technology. It is an uncomfortable truth that could focus attention on the fact that for a lot of people unattractive public transport is a necessary evil.

Another factor that may explain why the pleasure of monorail travel is never mentioned in such reports may be the fact that their authors are writing about something in the abstract: they have never actually travelled by an Alweg type monorail train!

A traveller's mind subconsciously pictures the mode of transport used.

When travelling with a conventional two-rail-railroad the rider knows that he is travelling in a car that sits on trucks and the trucks' wheels roll along on two steel rails that are bolted to ties that sit firmly in a ballasted right of way. Knowing this provides a feeling of being always connected with the ground and this is something that can be seen, felt and heard. A look out of the windows shows the ground rushing past. Even on bridges or on spectacular mountain railroad lines this sensation of being connected with ground is never lost.

In a suspension railway the traveller knows that the vehicle is hanging from a track above the vehicle and that underneath the vehicle's floor there is nothing. (The French Safege engineers had reassuringly included a collapsible stairway in the floorsection of their prototype vehicle.) Looking out the window the traveller sees passing by at regular intervals the support columns of the track that is situated above the vehicle. Depending on the system and its size the support structure is always visible and also audible from within the vehicle.

The Alweg Monorail however sits above and wraps around its track called the beamway. Unless the traveller looks out the front or rear of the train from where he can see the beamway he feels as if travelling through the air on an invisible track.

The Alweg bogeys equipped with electrically driven pneumatic tires propel the trains along the beamway. There is none of the noise created by conventional steel-on-steel railways.
Alweg trains provide "airborne rail travel"!

It is this experience that makes Alweg travel so unique and so popular! It is a feature of the aesthetics of Alweg!

Above photo shows a fixed 4-car formation of the HITACHI Company Monorail Series 1000 in revenue service since December 1998 on the Tokyo Tama Inter-City Monorail Co., Ltd. Hitachi's monorails are based on the original Alweg technology concept. (Reproduction with kind permission of the Hitachi Company, Japan)

Text und Illustrationen (falls nicht anders vermerkt)
Text and Illustrations (unless otherwise noted)
von / by Reinhard Krischer
Reinhard Krischer
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