The Memphis Suspension Railway or Mud Island Monorail is a suspended monorail that connects the city center of Memphis with the entertainment park on Mud Island. Celebrating its grand opening on July 3, 1982, it is beneath a footbridge over the Wolf River Lagoon connecting to the southern tip of Mud Island.
The line has two suspended cars constructed in Switzerland, delivered in summer 1981. The 1,700-foot-long (520 m) bridge opened to pedestrians on June 29, 1981; the monorail was not operational until July 1982. The cars are driven by a 3,500-foot-long (1,100 m) external cable, instead of by internal motors. The two cars simultaneously shuttle back and forth on parallel tracks between the Front Street Terminal on the downtown side and the Mud Island Terminal. Each car has a maximum capacity of 180 passengers and travels at 7 mph (11.3 km/h).
At the time of its construction, the U.S. Coast Guard stated that the proposed bridge would have to have the same clearance as the Hernando de Soto Bridge, as it was spanning a commercially used public waterway. This resulted in the bridge being constructed at its current elevation.
On June 19, 1994, a 19-year-old female Memphis State University student, Shellie McKnight, fell while cleaning the exterior windows of one of the cars and died. The 26 ft (7.9 m) fatal fall was ruled accidental by Memphis Police. Her family lost the lawsuit they filed against the City of Memphis.