Alweg

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ALWEG-type monorail in Kuala Lumpur

Alweg was a transportation company known for pioneering straddle-beam monorails.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Alweg was founded by Swedish industrial magnate Dr. Axel Lennart Wenner-Gren in January 1953 as Alweg-Forschung, GmbH (Alweg Research Corporation), based in Fühlingen, a suburb of Cologne, Germany. The company was an outgrowth of the Verkehrsbahn-Studiengesellschaft (Transit Railway Study Group), which had already presented its first monorail designs and prototypes in the previous year. The Alweg name is an acronym of Dr. Wenner-Gren's name (Axel Lennart WEnner-Gren).

Alweg is best remembered for developing the original Disneyland Monorail System,(Alweg had only licenced their concept to Disney. In late 1958, Walt Disney, pressured for time, pulled the job from The Standard Carriage Works of East Los Angeles, moving it to his Burbank studios. Disney designer Bob Gurr, then headed a superb Disney team that designed and manufactured the cars, chassis, suspension and propulsion systems, thus completing the RED Mk 1, just in time for the re-dedication of Tomorrowland.), of Disneyland, which opened in 1959, and the Seattle Center Monorail, which opened in time for the 1962 Century 21 Exposition.[citation needed] Both systems remain operational, with the Seattle Center Monorail still using the original Alweg trains which have traveled over one million miles.

In 1963, Alweg put forward a proposal to the city of Los Angeles for a monorail system that would be designed, built, operated and maintained by Alweg. Alweg promised to take all financial risk for the construction with the cost of the system to be recovered through fares collected. The City Council rejected the proposal in favor of not building a transit system at all. This move was greatly resented by famed author Ray Bradbury who supported the monorail project and resented the later move to build a subway in Los Angeles.[1]

Alweg's technology was licensed in 1960 by Hitachi Monorail, which continues to construct monorails based on Alweg technology around the world. The world's busiest monorail line, the Tokyo Monorail, was completed in 1964 by what was then the Hitachi-Alweg division of Hitachi.

After Alweg ran into financial difficulties, Alweg's German operations were taken over by Krupp.[citation needed] Alweg's Seattle subsidiary Wegematic ceased operations in 1964, but some of the technology used in the Disneyland monorail was eventually acquired by the Canadian company Bombardier.[citation needed]

In the 1960s there was a plan to build an ALWEG monorail in the High Tatras in Slovakia.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bradbury Speaks: Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars (c.2005) for essay entitled: "L.A., We Are the World! A New Millennium Revelation"(1989)

External links[edit]