Aerorail is a suspended rail concept that is similar in many ways to the Siemens SIPEM system. It is still in the conceptual stage as no test track or operating scale model has been built so far. The Aerorail Development Corporation is located in Dallas, Texas. It was incorporated in 1992 for the purpose of consolidating and formalizing some six years of research and development on the Aerorail susended rail mass transit concept.

During the early 1980's, Bryant Trenary, a principal in ADC, conducted engineering research intended to design a rail mass transit system which could be constructed without committing huge public resources and would not require large continuing public subsidies for its operation. While conducting this research, the suspended rail system evolved and several entrepreneurial companies involved in transportation-related industries provided, on a voluntary basis, professional support and assistance in the refinement of the concept.

Several design objectives were adopted. They are as follows:

1. Improve operating safety through provision of an exclusive right-of-way, reduction of on-board fire hazards and smoothing of the passenger vehicle's movements.

2. Reduce operating costs through light weight vehicles, high acceleration rates, high crusing speed, reduction of the number of vehicles required and automated control - to reduce or eliminate the public subsidy requirements of operating the system

3. Obtain sufficient ridership and farebox revenue through moving people and goods quickly from their orgins to their desired destinations.

4. Reduce the environmental impact of the system to reduce EIS costs and delays and to gain public acceptance by reducing noise and providing a high level of vehicle and guideway aesthetics.

5. Minimize capital costs of construction through the use of existing technology, use of public rights-of-way and reduction of surface and subsurface disruption during construction.

6. Satisfy the needs of 21st century markets for high speed intercity surface transit systems.

Through Aerorail's suspended, elevated configuration and high power-to-weight ratio, all of these design goals have been achieved, according to the ADC. Generally, the cost to operate per seat-mile is expected to be less than 50% that of existing surface LRT system and the cost to construct is expected to be less than 75% of conventional LRT systems.

The Aerorail vehicle would be suspended from two rails and thus is not technically a monorail like the SIPEM system. It is completely protected from derailment and would generate little noise from its steel wheels on steel rails that are muffled inside the guideway beam. Two types of applications are envisaged, intra-urban and inter-city. Smaller vehicles could be used for the intra-urban system.

An artist's sketch of a possible Aerorail installation is shown below:

[typical aerorail

More detailed information can be obtained from the Aerorail website or by contacting ADC at the following address:

Pete Trenary, Principal, Aerorail Development Corporation, 3310 Fairmount, Suite 9E, Dallas, Texas 75201

Ph: 214-526-1830 Fax: 214-526-4239


Last modified: December 29, 2000