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Thread: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    Hello chums,

    Back in Australia's bicentenary year (well, the year in which European settlement of the country had its bicentenary!), 1988, Sydney opened a monorail to carry passengers between the city centre and the newly-redeveloped Darling Harbour area. It has always been controversial and this year it finally closed. The last service ran on 30th June.

    Being into this sort of thing (not to mention generally nostalgic by nature), I decided to do my best to record the system in its dying months. Most of the shots in good light are with my 645D. Some of the night time ones (and time lapse sequences) are taken with my D800E.

    As there are a lot of shots - and they hang together as a collection - I felt it better to post a link rather than posting individual images. Hope this doesn't break any forum rules.

    Sydney Monorail - a set on Flickr

    They are organised in the order of the line - providing a sort of virtual tour of the system.

    Ed
    Last edited by Ed Hurst; 28th July 2013 at 02:56.
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    Nice set of images, Ed.
    I don't understand such projects - what a waste of tax payers money.
    I bet in 10 yrs they'll wish they kept it running - and try and reinstate it at an exorbitant cost.
    Thanks for sharing, S.
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    The Sydney monorail unfortunately lacked passenger capacity or comfort and seemed also not to go where most people wanted to go. I found that myself during the 6 weeks I had in Sydney that coincided with the shutdown.

    Now had it extended down to the Rocks / Circular Quay then maybe it would have lasted longer, although it stilled lacked comfortable carriages.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    Absolutely Graham. The monorail was badly thought through from the start. The idea was to link Darling Harbour to the city centre - which it did - but without linking other great places. The distance covered was small, meaning it was easy to walk between many of the places served. Had it gone to Circular Quay and Central station, it might have worked. The fact it was just a single-line loop also meant it could only function in one direction; great if you want to go that way, but short journeys to places in the other direction would have meant going around the whole loop (which would take much longer than walking). The price was also complained about. Not to mention the way it disfigures various buildings/streets.

    So it was a tourist ride in the end, rather than a useful transport facility. I live in Sydney and never rode the monorail until its closure was announced (then rode it numerous times to record it!). Sydneysiders never liked it, objected to its building, didn't find it useful and simply didn't use it. In the end, the equipment needed money (from a private operator) to keep it running and the tracks are in the way of a lucrative redevelopment project. So it got the chop - it is said in favour of an extension to the light rail system. We will see!

    Anyway, not a happy chapter in Sydney transport but an interesting one. And despite its silliness, I will miss it - but would never have cared if it had not closed!
    Last edited by Ed Hurst; 28th July 2013 at 02:59.

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    Graham - don't know if you are still in Sydney, but I hear they are due to start dismantling the system next month - interesting photo opportunities!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    Back to the grind in the US alas. I did manage to get some shots of the last days of operation though.

    I won't miss riding in a carriage with nine people through to Chinatown anytime soon! (If you have a Tokyo sense of personal space you wouldn't be bothered but for the rest of us that's too snug!)
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    Great set of images Ed !! Will definitely have to look into when they are planning on dismantling, be cool to check out.

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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    Nice images, and well worth the time to record it. A bit of city history that no one probably thought to capture. The commentary is also very interesting.

    We have one of those in financially ailing Detroit, a major city that finally went bankrupt due to gross mismanagement and criminal activity. Our elevated tram's local nickname is "The Mugger Mover".

    What I find appalling is that no one is ever held accountable for such monumental mistakes and mis-thought projects.

    Yet, what do you expect when Detroit elects a now federally convicted gangster as mayor, and incredibly incompetent candidates prior to that?

    A real shame whether in Sidney or here.

    - Marc

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    Thanks guys :-)

    Dave - absolutely! I will be keeping my eyes open about what's happening with the dismantling (though hard to get good info. on what and when).
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    Re: Photo project on doomed Sydney monorail

    FYI Ed,

    Monorail Removal Project | Transport for NSW

    Might have already seen this, but seems like removal starts 12th August.

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