There once was a Swedish industrialist who had a lot of money in postwar Germany. Because of laws at that time, he was only allowed to spend the money within the German borders. He chose to invest ot in a new advanced straddle-type monorail, and he named the company based on his own...Axel Lennart WEnner-Gren. The first test track made its debut in 1952 and was geared more towards demonstrating a high-speed intercity rail system. With further study, it was found that the simple elegant design would be ideal for modern urban transit. In July of 1957 the first full-sized ALWEG monorail began testing at the Fühlingen test track. It caught the eye of a visiting tourist in 1958, who wanted a monorail for his theme park. Walt Disney made agreements with ALWEG to build a 5/8 scale monorail which opened in 1959 in Anaheim, California at his then new park Disneyland. The Disneyland-ALWEG monorail captured the world's imagination and attention more than any other monorail had to date.

As a result of that attention, more ALWEG demonstration lines were built. One lasted less than a year at a 1961 auto exposition in Turin, Italy. Another was built for the Century 21 world's fair in Seattle, Washington. That system, along with the one in Disneyland, caught the attention of the Japanese. They in turn purchased rights from ALWEG to build monorails in Japan. Nowhere else on earth can one find more ALWEG-based monorail systems in operation today. However, only one ALWEG Company-built monorail remains in existence, the Seattle Monorail. ALWEG went out of business in the 1960's, but their legacy lives on in Bombardier and Hitachi transit monorails. The Seattle ALWEG monorail has been in operation since 1962. This technology is not new, but tried-and-true. As you will see, it was way ahead of its time.

Original full-scale ALWEG test track in Fühlingen, Germany.

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