Sydney’s monorail is (most probably) going nowhere
The Sydney Monorail will finish operation at the end of June.
It’s been interesting to see speculation on whether it would be purchased and moved to another site, such as elsewhere in Sydney or interstate.
What this speculation appears to have missed is the important fact that the hardware is not in good shape.
Last month when I was in Sydney for a day, I noted one train crawling along the monorail above Market Street.
Fact is, anybody taking it on will need to spend up big to keep it in operation.
“The monorail has never been truly embraced by the community and is reaching the end of its economic life.
“The NSW Government cannot justify costly upgrades like the purchase of new vehicles required to keep it running and the removal of the infrastructure will make way for the development of the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct.”
– NSW government: Monorail to cease operations June 2013
That said, they have invited expressions of interest in buying it (or simply removing it).
But the implication is you’d need to basically get new trains to keep it running… and unlike conventional rail systems, it’s difficult to buy trains and track — you may need to build them yourself.
And unless you’re going to re-use all of the track (can it be pulled apart and re-laid like bits of model railway?), then it doesn’t seem like there’s a big chance of it running anywhere after the end of June.