High-Speed Monorail Footprint/Suspension

RED: Linear Motor
YELLOW: Guide wheels
BLUE: Load Bearing wheels

 The High-Speed Monorail is an evolution of prior Inverted-T monorail designs. The system was designed to take advantage of two well understood technologies- high speed wheelsets (Shinkansen, TGV), and Linear Induction Motors (LIMs). This vehicle rides on flangeless (aluminum on steel rims) wheels on standard rail with a 4'11" (1.5m) gauge. The wheels are independently mounted (no fixed axles), and rotate freely as these wheels are for suspension only and not traction. For guidance and stabilization, there are horizontally mounted wheels that run against steel rails at the top of the guideway. The advantages of this suspension include:

  • Improved high-speed stability due to the elimination of "axle hunting" (the tendency for the bogies to get out of alignment with the track) due to no wheel flanges, axles, or wheel-rail traction.
  • Reduced rolling friction due to the elimination of flanges on support wheels. These wheel surfaces can also be lubricated since they're not used for traction.
  • Improved safety inherent in monorails- It's virtually impossible for the vehicle to leave the guideway.
  • No wheel or tire intrusion into the vehicle, allowing for segmenting (as in an articulated bus).

The proposed CIFGA vehicle would be twenty segments long, weighing 210 metric tons. The guideway segments are 125 feet long and weigh about 200,000 pounds each.

The High-Speed Monorail as it would look in the Rockies.

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