Elevated railways are a good means of rapid transit and have many of the advantages of monorails, but cost more, are bulkier, and are noisier.
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Elevated Railways are a form of grade separated transportation so have many of the advantages of monorail — it is faster, safer, and causes less disruption to surface traffic.
Several cities use elevated railways, including Chicago (The El), Manila, Philippines (LRT), and Vancouver, B.C. (The Sky Train).
However, elevated railways have some of the same disadvantages as other railways, such as noise. Additionally, elevated light rail, usually with two parallel railroad tracks, requires a wide, bulky structure of steel and/or concrete to support the tracks and trains. The elevated structure of a monorail blocks less of the sky, casts a much smaller shadow, and because the two guideway beams are much lighter, the supporting structure can be much smaller.
The heavier construction required to support a railway is also more expensive than that for a monorail.
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©2002 Robert M. Fleming Jr.
This page was last updated 9 September 2015.