Bombardier’s Blundering Is Alstom’s Gain

Recent problems with Bombardier’s delivery of new trams for Toronto has made Canadian customers look elsewhere. For two long, Ottawa has twisted arms of Canadian transit operators to buy the Canadian Bombardier product, to keep production going, propping up the giant multinational company and garnering votes from Ontario and Quebec. This is not to say [...]

Abandon SkyTrain 4

Memo to TransLink: When Aging Gadgetbahnen……………………..

One of the perils of expensive proprietary transit systems, is that they do not age well. The SkyTrain ALRT/ART mini metro Expo Line is now 30 years old and it is beginning to show its age, it stops; it goes kaput from time to time. With no drivers or attendants on board, the public start [...]


The Perils of Proprietary Railways

The Sydney Australia monorail was another expensive and short lived line. Now torn down, Sydney is now investing in light rail. The pitfalls of buying into a proprietary railway are many; for what was once “high tech” and “state of the art”, soon becomes yesterday’s tech and obsolete. Owners of proprietary railways, like to sell [...]


Not so reliable, our SkyTrain – Eh?

SkyTrain is on the fritz again. The problem with proprietary transit systems is that they age very poorly.   SkyTrain delayed by communication system disruption Vancouver Sun March 28, 2014 METRO VANCOUVER – TransLink says there are system-wide delays on SkyTrain today following a disruption to the communication system. SkyTrain is running single-track between Broadway [...]


Transit News From Eastern Canada

An Artist’s rendering of the Laval aerial tramway Well, TransLink isn’t the only transit authority toying with the idea of an aerial tramway…. …….and I do believe an aerial tramway is a gimmick. Aerial tramways may prove to provide a transportationAi??solution for a unique transit problem, but they may cause more problems than they [...]


Another Gadgetbahnen Bites the Dust – Las Vegas Monorail Files for Bankruptcy

This news is not surprising and well illustrates the nonsense pandered by the light-metro lobby that grade separated, automatic transit systems themselves attract ridership. Monorails are in fact proprietary light-metros and once one invest with monorail, it is stuck with both monorail and the supplier, which is very bad for future transit planning, with Vancouver [...]

atmospheric railway

The atmospheric railway, the original gadgetbahnen – With appologies to I. K. Brunel

The atmospheric railway can be said to be the first ‘gadgetbahnen’ as it was the first attempt to replace regular railway locomotives with atmospheric trains. On paper, the atmospheric railway was a sure winner but in revenue service a failure. What surprises myself is that this complicated transit mode ever worked at all, as the [...]