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!). While we aren't showing the interior of the train here, it is featured in the Monorails of Malaysia DVD. 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 partnership.


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>>>

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