Metrail Test Track Photo Essay
comments and photos Kim Pedersen (except where noted)
page one of three
New ideas are a dime a dozen. Here at the Monorail Society we
continue to receive communications from companies that make great
claims about their new designs. More often than not, these new
designs don't get beyond conceptual drawings and promotional websites.
When we first learned of Metrail, it came as quite a surprise.
The Metrail Website debuted without warning and had pictures of
a full-scale test track in operation, which caused quite a stir.
Monorail technology continues to advance! Metrail is a design
from the engineering solutions company, Frazer-Nash of the United Kingdom. Since World War II, Frazer-Nash has been
on the cutting edge of high technology in a number of disciplines.
The Metrail Monorail is an outgrowth of their wealth of knowledge
and experience in electric vehicle development. On October 18,
2002, Metrail Holdings entered into agreement with Malaysia Mining
Company Berhad (MMC) to design and build a monorail system. In
February of 2004, David M. Ice and I were graciously hosted
at the test track, located at a MMC facility in Nilai, Malaysia.
(photo by David M. Ice)
The Metrail Monorail train has something that most monorails don't,
a fuel cap and diesel engine! Frazer-Nash has found a way for
smaller cities to build monorails without investing an extraordinary
amount of money: the Hybrid-powered monorail.
Being hybrid-powered, the Metrail system doesn't require a huge
investment in electrical infrastructure. No substations, no busbars,
no worries of power outages. Here we see the prototype train pulling
out of its garage as David M. Ice videotapes it for his
outstanding DVD production, Monorails
of Malaysia, available in our Monorail
Store. The curve in the foreground demonstrates another advantage
of the Metrail system, a minimum curve radius of 20 meters. We
believe this is a tighter curve than any other monorail of this
size can provide.
Frazer-Nash not only developed unique technology for their diesel/electric
monorail, they have proven that a tall, flat floor, walk-through
train can be designed to look beautiful. The driver pictured is
yours truly (a very happy man, indeed!). The panel is right out of Star Trek, with
touch screens to monitor every aspect of the monorails' systems.
Up close and personal! The train was NOT in motion when this was
taken. Since this is a test track facility, most of the guideway
is very close to ground level, allowing a close look at the train/track
This is all we can show you of the bogie at this time. I can't
tell you much, other than it is an entirely new design that incoporates
coil and shock, double wishbone suspension, with six small, load-bearing
tires on each bogie. This configuration allows for a very smooth
ride and the amazing turn radius. The smaller tires also allow
for a lower floor than some other flat-floor monorails. NEXT>>>
Metrail Special one / two / three
/ back to the Special Features Page