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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Las Vegas monorail now newest strip attraction

Today, the Las Vegas Monorail Co. opened the country’s first privately funded, fully automated line-haul urban monorail system.

Owned and operated by the non-profit organization, the $650 million system includes seven stations and serves the east side of the Las Vegas strip, with stops at the Sahara, MGM Grand, Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas Convention Center, Harrah’s/Imperial Palace, Flamingo/Caesars Palace and Paris/Bally’s.

The system was designed and built by a consortium comprising Granite Construction Co. and Bombardier Transportation. Granite designed and built the four-mile dual-lane guideway; Bombardier supplied 36 driverless monorail vehicles, power distribution, automatic train control, communication and automatic fare collection systems, and operations and maintenance facility equipment. The car builder will operate and maintain the system for five years, or possibly longer under two renewable five-year contract options.

Gensler Architecture, Design & Planning Worldwide designed five new and two renovated two stations, as well as all support structures and graphics. The stations include open-air platforms and bowed roofs.

Alcatel Transport Automation Solutions installed its SelTrac® S40 communications-based train control system, which is designed to provide automatic train protection, operation, supervision and central control. The system features spread-spectrum radio technology for data communication between trains and wayside controls.

Last year, Bombardier and Granite were awarded a design/build contract for a 2.2-mile monorail extension. Scheduled to open in 2005, the extension serving downtown Las Vegas will include four stations and 20 additional vehicles. A proposed third phase would connect the system to McCarran Airport.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/15/2004