In a Galaxy Far, Far Away model railways are mono rail. Why not here?

han solo trainWhere are the monorail model railways?

There have been mono rails almost as long as there have been railways.

In 1888, the Listowed and Ballybunnion Railway in Ireland built a narrow gauge steam train balanced on a monorail that ran until 1924.

But with modern manufacturing and technologies, they’re now increasingly popular as a transportation system worldwide. From Walt Disney parks to normal commuter services in Germany to high-speed maglev lines and high capacity passenger services in China that carry 682,800 passengers per day they’re catching on across the world.

And it’s likely mono gauge systems will overtake and outlast standard railways. Once the basic mechanics have been worked out they’re much more efficient, more compact and easier to operate. Just watch this and you see why designers like them. It looks insane but the advantages are obvious.

The sci-fi world certainly thinks so. The latest Starwars movie — Han Solo — is basically a railway heist film but set around a snowy mountaintop monorail: see at 1 minute 57 seconds into the trailer for the film below.

And let’s face it, even a model railway version would be a lot easier to maintain. Just one rail to keep clean for starters! But they’re surprisingly rare.

There are monorail model train sets available in China (available via import in the UK here) and E R Models did offer a range of European style monorail systems in HO Gauge (1:87 Scale) but these are no longer available. hielscher-dampfmodelle in Germany also apparently offers suspension model railway system in HO scale.

And several modelers have created their own.

But where are the model monorail trains from Hornby, etc? As said, the mechanics are easier than two rail systems and they’re the future so why no mass market model systems?

It’s already possible with Lego as in this video

And there have even been Meccano models. So why not with Hornby etc? A monorail OO gauge set could even tempt me away from my GWR / Southwestern railways, especially if they did a freight train version as in Han Solo! A model of that set in mountains would be amazing to model! And, I think I know one modeller who would be very interested…

Would you build a monorail model railway? Have you already built one? What setting would you put it in? Share your ideas in a comment below.

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