|OK. I know its not
really a train in the truest sense of the word but its rail
transportation and I hadn't so much as seen a train in 2 months so when
the trip to Vegas to run the Marathon arrived I lapped up the chance to
Actually to be honest, the Vegas monorail is pretty neat. It runs from
the Sahara Hotel at the North of the famous strip to the MGM Grand at
the south. Stopping at several stations at casinos on the way down.
Conveniently serving all the casinos on the strip. We were esconced in
the Sahara at the northern end of the line and I was quite pleasantly
surprised when I looked out of the window to see the Station below me.
Very nice and convenient. In this morning view you can see a train in
the station area. The line you can see leaving the station heads around
the block to the train shed where the trains are stored overnight.
|This was the just
after 7 am and there was a regular procession of trains coming from the
shed to the station to begin their days work. Here's two identically
liveried Vegas.com cars in the station area.
|After breakfast we
set off to explore the strip. As the strip is over 4 miles long and I
needed to conserve my energy for the race walking was not an option so
we took the train. We bought ourselves a pair of $28 3 day passes
and waited for our first trip. It was to be in this Bank of Nevada
sponsored train. Very nice. The monorail system is entirely automatic.
So there are no drivers, no conductors and no station staff just
visits from the security staff. A little bit strange but it all runs
|Later that day we
found ourselves down at the MGM Grand after collecting my race packet
for the marathon and in need of a trip up the line back to our hotel.
So we picked up this train sponsored I think by a portable
defibrillator company. Seen here leaving the station to access the
switch track around the corner to get onto the northbound line. (more
on monorail pointwork later)
|Later on we found ourselves at
the Harrahs/Imperial palace station waiting for another train this one
sponsored by Monster energy drink.
|I am sure that when
most people think of a monorail they imagine that the route has to be
flat and free from gradients. This clearly is not the case as you can
see from this picture of a plain white unsponsored train arriving the
Bally's Paris station. The monorail has several sections of gradients
as it climbs over and around the casinos and their car parks.
|The line was always
busy, it has 9 trains working on approximately 5 minute gaps between
trains so you never have to wait long and trains cross at almost every
station. My favourite place to watch them pass was Harrah's/Imperial
Palace where trains had to round a sharp curve to enter the station
environs. I thought it made for an interesting shot.
|The monorail was a
very interesting experience. Not at all what I was expecting. These
last pictures show somethng that amazed me. Monorail turnouts. I didn't
know such things existed. My only previous experience of a monorail was
seeing the one at Butlins holiday camp in Skegness when I was a kid. It
was a continuous loop with no pointwork needed so to watch these large
concrete girders move to allow the trains to change track was a huge
surprise. In this picture you can see that the "track" is set straight
for a northbound train to access its platform
|Then with a hiss of
compressed air the huge concrete girder moved sideways and a curved
"rail" lined up with the platform road so the train could access the
|There we go the Las
Vegas monorail. It's a valuable asset to the transportation facilities
in Vegas. We certainly got our value for money from the $28 3 day
passes. Extensions of the line have been proposed both Northwards
towards the famous Freemont Street and East from the MGM Grand to the
McCarron Airport. But the cost has put paid to that for the moment. As
usual if anyone is interested more pictures will follow.