Day! First Images, first impressions
Page One of Six
Pictures and commentary
by Kim Pedersen (except where noted)
What follows is not a comprehensive description of
every aspect of the Las Vegas Monorail, but a glimpse at the system
on its first day of public operation. Special events actually
started on the morning of July 14th. VIPs, dignitaries and press
were invited to a morning ribbon cutting ceremony. The system
was dedicated as the Robert N. Broadbent Las Vegas Monorail,
in a tip of the hat to the man who "got it done." While
their names are not listed in such a prominent way as Broadbent's
is, major credit for the monorail's creation also goes to Jeffery
B. Kimmel and Francois Badeau of Transmax Group. The
Monorail Society salutes you and the hundreds who made it come
into being. Now, let's take a look! The above picture is of the
Only Vegas train awaiting its cue to come around the corner and
into the MGM station for the ribbon cutting.
While the train waited, a Bombardier technician monitored
the automated systems, yet had time to give TMS photographers
a wave. A nice smile from the neon cowgirl too! No, trains don't
normally run with their doors open.
While the train sat waiting for its ribbon-cutting
cue, we snuck a peak under the skirt (hey, it's a train). Guide
wheels, motors and current collectors are visible here.
Just beyond the south end of the MGM station is this
switch platform. Trains use it to change track and head back in
the other direction. I personally haven't seen any monorail system
make a quicker direction reverse than on this system. Immediately
after the 10-second switch movement, the trains would start running
across them. Nice landscaping by the MGM folks too.
Heres the switch platform from below.
With some fanfare music blaring, and streamers popping into the air, the monorail was revealed to guests at MGM Station. While we weren't invited to this particular event, we knew we'd get a good view from the parking lot.
After the Only Vegas train left, the Star Trek Experience train
arrived. This particular stretch of track is from the original
MGM-Bally's Monorail, which first opened in 1995 and operated
until construction of the Las Vegas Monorail was under way. An
emergency walkway was added, power supply was upgraded and the
guideway surface was improved. Still, it's pretty obvious when
you ride on this segment that you're on the original "cheap"
Page One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six
Monorail Society Photograph Copyright
/ back to the Special Features Page