ALWEG - Switching

The biggest myth about monorails is that you can't switch them. In the Seattle ALWEG system, there are three types of switches: traverser, straight beam, and flexible beam.

  • A traverser consists of steel or reinforced-concrete parallel beams, each as long as a train and spaced far enough apart to have a train on each one.
  • The straight beam is a switch capable of serving 3 monorail tracks. This switch consists of a steel or concrete beam, 140' long and 3' wide. One end's support is pivoted. The other 3 supports are movable carriages which travel laterally with the beam. Switching time is about 9-12 seconds.
  • The flexible switch is used in high-speed installations. This type of switch operates in about 7 seconds. The image here is of the flexible switch at the ALWEG test track.

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