• model monorails

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by umtrr-author
 
There was a model of Sydney's "Darling Harbour Monorail" that was available in HO Scale. The train has the markings of the prototype but I'm not sure how accurate it is. It was made in Australia for TNT, the operators of the real monorail. (I have one.)

The now-defunct E-R Models later imported the same set in generic colors for direct sale in the US. An occassional copy comes up from time to time on eBay.
  by CNJ999
 
Indeed, there have been others, but mostly long ago. I rememer at least one way back that followed the classic suspended design like that of the Seattle and the NYC World's Fair prototypes. Another, more recent, example replicated the monorail at Disney World in Orlando and was actually sold there as well. This latter set is still to be found on such sites as eBay from time to time, but it often demands quite a price. E-R Models offered a set they listed as a monorail, but it is similar to the Disney version in that the train rides above the rail, rather that in the classic slung-blow fashion. I think the cars in this set looked more like a Light Rail design, but it may have a prototype somewhere that I'm unaware of. There were surely more, but less sophisticated such models over the many years I've been in the hobby, but at the moment these are the only three that I specifically recall.

CNJ999
  by umtrr-author
 
The E-R Models monorail does have a nominal prototype--- but it's about to become a Fallen Flag!

http://www.darlingharbour.com/sydney-Th ... norail.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Glad I had the chance to ride it... still time if you're "Down Under".
  by velotrain
 
> In addition I've become aware of a WW1 ultra-light monorail for delivering ammunition ....
... used to resupply the trenches in WW1.

However, I've heard that this system was never actually built. I've just seen reference to a "similar" system used to move the wounded through trenches, and may receive some scanned photos.
  by dizelinr
 
There are so many interesting vintage and contemporary monorail systems around the world, particularly in Asia (in China & Japan) that I would like to think an ambitious company like Kato would someday release a series of monorail models in HO and N. I could only wish though. Maybe when manufacturers have exhausted the entire inventory of what can be reproduced in HO and N the next "frontier" will be monorail models. Real life monorails may no longer be the "wave of the future" we once thought them to be they have an interesting history and a lot of nostalgic appeal as well.

I do realize that the proprietary nature of every system's unique track and bogie design makes it difficult to develop a standardized monorail "track" design that could work with a variety of systems and still appear prototypically correct. Still, I would be very happy to at least see a manufacturer release static models with a section of display monorail "track".

On second thought, how hard would it really be for them to make operable monorail "track" for each unique monorail system? At a bare minimum they would just need to create new tooling for a straight section of rail and curved section that is prototypically accurate for the monorail model. Compared to the new tooling required whenever new engines or rolling stock are released the new tooling for the rail sections would be comparatively simple (and costs could be more easily recouped as the rail sections would be purchased in larger quantities than the rolling stock).

Model monorail fans would just have to accept that if they want to collect and operate models of 2 or more different monorail systems their layouts will need to consist of multiple sets of monorail "tracks" that snake around each other or just set them up on a temporary basis like a conventional train set.
  by CNJ999
 
dizelinr wrote:There are so many interesting vintage and contemporary monorail systems around the world, particularly in Asia (in China & Japan) that I would like to think an ambitious company like Kato would someday release a series of monorail models in HO and N. I could only wish though. Maybe when manufacturers have exhausted the entire inventory of what can be reproduced in HO and N the next "frontier" will be monorail models. Real life monorails may no longer be the "wave of the future" we once thought them to be they have an interesting history and a lot of nostalgic appeal as well.

I do realize that the proprietary nature of every system's unique track and bogie design makes it difficult to develop a standardized monorail "track" design that could work with a variety of systems and still appear prototypically correct. Still, I would be very happy to at least see a manufacturer release static models with a section of display monorail "track".

Those are, of course, the severely limiting factors that will likely prevent the advent of any new "western-style" examples of monorail models. One may see some models come out of China of unusual Chinese prototypes in the future, but I suspect anything replicating the now very limited and dated monorail systems of the U.S. and Western Europe are a dead subject for cash-strapped model companies these days.

Just look at what sort of equipment the American importers of model trains are bringing in: locomotives which with only minor detail changes will appear similar to the prototypes seen on multiple railroads and thus one mold can be used as the basis for a number of models. The concept of issuing truly one-of-a-kind locomotives as was done in the past is probably a thing of yesteryear. The manufacturer/importers in our hobby today are dealing with an ever shrinking marketplace where EVERY model of their limited runs must be sold to turn a reasonable profit. We can't even get an accurate camelback-type locomotive or even one with a Wooten firebox, a common steam-era engine in the Northeast, made and these were 100x more common than monorails.

CNJ999
  by dizelinr
 
The concept of issuing truly one-of-a-kind locomotives as was done in the past is probably a thing of yesteryear. The manufacturer/importers in our hobby today are dealing with an ever shrinking marketplace where EVERY model of their limited runs must be sold to turn a reasonable profit.
I actually think the reverse is true. In the last 10+ years in the development of American model railroad practices I have noticed an increased similarity of approach to that of European and Japanese model railroading where every model is representative of an actual prototype and generic "stand-ins" are no longer acceptable. Think of the example of the more recent passenger train offerings from Walther's in HO or Kato in N-scale. They are only released in at most a couple road names as appropriate to the prototype. I find it hard to imagine the old practice of taking a single passenger car design and using it as a generic basis for a quadrillion different road names as being the course of the future.

I think increased specialization is what I think will keep the hobby alive. People will lose interest if told they need to revert to the standards of the 70's thru 90's where mostly generic passenger car designs were the only option.

Back to the subject of monorails: any effort to create standardized monorail models in HO or N would require some compromise but dependent on the guide beam designs there should be some ability to create standardized representations of the basic monorail types. If the variations in guide beam widths are just a matter of inches it's not going to be noticeable in 1:87 or 1:160 scale.
  by CNJ999
 
I suspect that if any American-styled monorail sysem were ever to actually become available in 1:87 or 1:160 scale, it would only be on a solid pre-order basis (a percentage of the final price up front). The pre-order approach is something that I'm seeing slowly increase in the hobby over time. Were the minimum number of pre-orders not reached within a given interval, then the project would simply be dropped. MTH has done several engines like this in O-scale and Con-Cor may have with their series of unique trains (like the NH Comet), I'm not sure, but certainly others in HO have. In brass this has been a fairly common practice for many years. I waited over a decade to see the CNJ Blue Comet produced, even though pre-ordered! At the same time, I think the price of a monorail set would likely be astronomical, given that an entire sizable set-up would be required, not simply a power car, or that plus a couple of trailers.

BrooksObs
  by umtrr-author
 
Administrative note: It seems that I've become the 'originator' of the thread... I was actually responding to a question from another member here... perhaps that OP has been deleted and expunged?