On Wednesday, a first-time achievement in China was marked with the unveiling of the first monorail line in the country. Wuhu Rail Transit’s Line 1, located in the southeastern Anhui province, enters in service by riding one of Bombardier's (recently acquired by Alstom) 28 six-car Innovia monorail trains from Baimashan Station to the Baoshun Road station. The construction of this line started in 2017 with a total cost of approximately 1.25 billion US dollars. The townspeople were able to experience it even before putting it in service during trial tests last month.

Wuhu Monorail
Wuhu Monorail - Photo Credit: Alstom


The 30-km-line is equipped with an Automatic Train Operation (ATO) with the highest Grade of Automation (GoA), GoA 4 which means that is fully automated without any staff on board. This line contains 25 stations and operates at a speed of 80 km/h. 

A brief history of monorail

Monorail is a rail-based transportation system based, as its name indicates, on a single rail that acts as its sole support in its guideway. Its idea belongs to Ivan Elmanov that dates back to 1820. Deptford Dockyard in South-East London is where the first-ever monorail was installed in the world in 1821. Since that, many monorail variants were experimented and proposed with but only a few projects were able to be built and to operate like Wuppertal Suspension Railway in Germany and Patiala State Monorail Train-ways in India.

Monorail came to public attention in the '50s when Disneyland Park in California and Walt Disney World in Florida and Seattle built the first monorails, the first to be installed in the USA.


Alstom: https://www.alstom.com/press-releases-news/2021/11/chinas-first-fully-automated-and-driverless-elevated-monorail-provided

Train History: http://www.trainhistory.net/railway-history/monorail-history/

Disneyland: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/attractions/disneyland/disneyland-monorail/