Could Israel's Monorail Change the Way We Travel?
A report from the UK’s Daily Mail indicates that the state of Israel is working on a maglev — or magnetic levitating — monorail is set to be built, and it looks to be a very futuristic ride. So, please save your Simpsons “Monorail” episode jokes until the end of the post.
California-based skyTran is behind the monorail plan, but it will actually be built at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Production is set to start on the units next year, and connect IAI to Tel Aviv. The starting phase at IAI is set to cover 1,640 feet, but once the network branches out, tickets will only be $5.
The monorails have a very futuristic look, as they look like little jet pods. The pods hold two passengers, and will suspend from the maglev track. Because of their jet-like look and that they are suspended, they will have the appearance of flying.
The maglev technology employed is like that of the Japanese bullet train, as the magnets allow it to hover just inches off the track. This non-contact reduces friction, which allows for very high speed– skyTran claims the pods could theoretically reach speeds of 150 mph, but will likely travel closer to 45 mph. They also say the design allows it so that tracks could go through buildings in the future.
We will be very curious to see how this monorail comes to fruition, as it will have implications on mass transit all over the world. As we speak, plans are in various phases to put similar monorails in France, India, and the San Francisco bay area.