Sunday, January 15, 2012

Save Sydney's Monorail

Or maybe not. Acclaimed author, the late Patrick White, campaigned vociferously against its construction. I recall his main argument being the spoilage of views. It really is a hideous and useless piece of infrastructure. Tourists use it, including me. I have to calculate how to use it, because it goes in only one direction. In Melbourne, I would just catch a tram. If it was other capital cities in Australia, just get a bus.

Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoy travelling on it, except it is always crowded, although apparently not at the moment. It is damn hot inside, in spite of the air con. Every one of our visits to Sydney has seen the monorail with a different fare system, from cash, to tokens, to cash, to cards. Naturally the price just goes up and up, to levels where only tourists will pay to use it.

I do recall being quite entranced when I saw it enter the corner of a building and then out the other side.

Well, not often you will hear me suggest that we should get rid of public transport infrastructure, if it is that, but I will be happy to see the demolition of the Sydney Monorail.

But how will I get to Darling Harbour and the Chinese Garden?

This clip is sped up. I wish the monorail would travel at such a speed. It would be much more fun.


  1. I made my first ever journey on the monorail last year and stayed on for a second loop. I suspect I may never travel on it again.

    Apart from the negatives you mention the monorail is also very cramped and it sprays water over all those standing/walking below its track.

  2. I have also been on the monorail a few times to get to the Chinese Gardens... and somewhere else, I think. Long time ago now. It's a pity that it is a 'one off' because it could make traversing the city a great deal easier. Perhaps a cost thing.

    It would be a pity to lose it... hopefully it is not a repeat of the same lack of vision that led to the dismantling of the tram structure in that city.

  3. Sydney is a town I've never been able to warm to; it must have some appealing parts or places or goings on but apart from the Manley Ferry I've no idea what they are.

    But once again a very interesting post, Andrew. Now that I know there is a monorail, I'm convinced I never look upwards [unless I get caught by one of those people who point up at nothing to see who will get sucked in].

  4. Have been on it a couple of times. It's more a novelty than a serious service. ?

    At least Sydney got its novelty up and running vs Melbourne's Big Wheel novelty debacle.

  5. Ah yes Victor, the drips that fall too. I worry about bolts falling off it. Last night a friend said he was at a conference in Sydney and two fellow attendees, men from outback QLD, rode the monorail for a whole afternoon.

    Christine, it really is a view spoiling monster, although clearly not if you are inside it. It has been a while since we visited the Chinese Gardens. I hope they are still well kept.

    FruitCake, I am puzzled. I love visiting Sydney and we find so much to do and still I have a long list of places to see. While you are looking down, I am the one who will be looking up, usually at buildings.

    LS, novelty is a good word to describe the monorail but shh, don't mention the wheel.

  6. Speaking as a tourist back in '06 when I last saw Sydney, I did ride it from the Galleries Victoria only through to Darling Harbour. I walked back from the harbour to the train station (and saw more to photograph that way). The monorail is cool, but I can see where bits coming off, the ticket cost, and the loss of aesthetic values for the streetscape would be factors against it.

    Maybe, if it's on sale cheap, Auckland could take it over? Could be interesting around the Viaduct Harbour area ...

  7. So, it's summer right now in Australia? Right? I was wondering because you mentioned the AC. I know. I should know these things already. :)

  8. TS, I find streetscapes very important and it is a real spoiler. I suppose it would be saleable. Why not Auckland.

    It is Rubye. Not quite stinking hot, in fact rather unseasonably the opposite. Post coming soon.