Computer Science Paper
Infrastructure of an Indoor Monorail System
A monorail is a transportation system whose guide is a single rail or beam. The beam is the only support for the monorail. Monorails are slightly raised above the ground, the width is smaller than the width of the vehicle, and they are powered by electricity. Monorails are used because they are cheap in terms of construction compared to the conventional rail roads, they take smaller space horizontally and vertically, and because they are narrow, they do not interfere with existing modes of transport, they are also said to be attractive.
Overall design of indoor monorail system
Different manufactures come up with different designs of monorail infrastructure and vehicle that are not compatible. In the modern society, manufacturers use large solid beams used for running surfaces by the vehicles.
The commonly used designs for monorail are suspended monorail and straddle beam monorail. This paper focuses on the straddle beam monorail. Trains are supported by concrete beam that ranges from 2-3 feet. A tired carriage made of rubber touches the beam, the top and both sides to get a firm grip and stabilize the vehicle, (Kera, et al, 1999). Dual third rails feed electronic motors that contact wires or attached channels that are electrified, and enclose their guidance beams to power the straddle beam monorail. A typical beam will have large precast concrete beam found in between the columns. For every beam to fit its location, it is specially attached. With the guide wheels running on both sides of the concrete beam, the car load wheels are placed. The rolling stock and the track must be placed in such away that there is provision of minimum track turning radius. Usually, the minimum radius is 20 meters and helps in limiting the layout of the track.
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ALWEG is the most developed design. Its weight is low, and the capacity for carrying the load is relatively high. Excess weight as it increases pressure in the monorail system; to reduce cost and increase performance in monorails, avoid. Piers are used to support the ALWEG monorail guide beam with a high strength material design. Indoor monorails have similar features with outdoor monorails and they equally benefit the community. This concept is adopted in lighting systems used for interior decorations in houses, and it is also useful in cranes for their effectiveness in lifting heavy items.
Monorails have benefits in the community because they are cheap and can reduce tax charged on citizens (Kuwabara, et al, 2001). The flexibility of the monorail makes it advantageous. For example, it can be dismantled and assembled. The floor of the monorail and the station are the same, making it possible to accommodate wheel chairs without crowded racks or inconvenient lifts. They have also contributed to speedy transport of goods and people in addition to the fact that it cannot be derailed (CMAA 2002). Monorails are not a distraction to working communities because they are raised from the ground away from any forms of congestion and pollution. Their rates of pollution (both air and noise pollution) are low because they are powered by electricity, they are effective transporters of goods and people and can withstand hurricanes and heavy rains. Thus, a beneficial mode of transport for the populations living in congested urban areas (Harriet, 2011).
Designing a monorail system
When constructing monorails, experts need to consider the following: safety, greatest load of lift design, use of impact and load factor, maximum angle or load due to side pull and a full comprehensive understanding on how the final monorail system needs to be utilized (Cory, 2006).
Experts must determine the biggest and heaviest items that can be lifted to properly access the rail roads,. The following should be used to determine the locations for support: combined axial and bending stresses, fatigue and allowable stress variance, deflection limitations and the maximum beam height allowed. The best connections to be used on monorail are the bolted and the welded ones (Kuwabara, et al, (2001). To begin with, know the weight that is to be lifted and how long it is. Select a suitable lift and method used to power the lift. Make a choice on the most suitable trolley, determine the spacing of the hanger and select a track, calculate the length of the rod and the result is the selection of a suitable motor car (Japan Monorail Association (JMA, 2000).
The monorail technology has contributed to improving efficiency in both indoor and outdoor transport. Congestion in cities and states that have adopted the monorail system has decreased. The monorail has also made transportation of goods and people easier. In addition, it has contributed to economic development enormously but, it is yet to be adopted in most parts of the world especially in developing nations.
CMAA, (2002). Specification No. 70, Specifications for Electric Overhead Traveling Cranes Japan Monorail Association
Cory, D. (2006). Designs for Monorail in Emerging Economies, New York: Macmillan
Harriet, B. (2011). Technology in Transportation in the 21st Century, New York: Routledge
JMA. (2000). “Research on Urban Monorails Corresponding to Actual Demand,” (May 2000) in Japanese
Kera, K et al., (1999).“Next-Generation Needs of Railway Systems and Hitachi’s Approaches,” Hitachi Hyoron 81, pp. 208-214 (Mar. 1999) in Japan.
Kuwabara, T et al., (2001) “New Solution for Urban Traffic: Small type Monorail System,” Hitachi Hyoron 83, pp. 519-522 (Aug. 2001) in Japanese.