Reader responses to our article on the Bricklyn Loop Monorail

Bricklyn Eagle Masthead

Read our article on the opening of the Bricklyn Loop Monorail

Here is the video clip:

In light of the troubling nature of this video, we have forwarded a copy to the Bricklyn Police and to the Bricklyn Rail Transport Agency (operator of the monorail) for comment. We will post their replies as soon as they are available.

Update — Nov. 5, 2023: The Bricklyn Eagle just received the following replies from Stephen Plater Mills of the Bricklyn Rail Transport Agency, and from Chief Walter Strongbrick of the Bricklyn Police Department:

“The crash video-taped by your anonymous poster points to the very reason we ran extensive test runs of the monorail before starting service. As your poster did not mention, our cars sustained quite minor damage due to their construction with high quality plastic LEGO construction materials. The operator on board suffered a common head pop-off which was promptly treated and popped back on, causing no more than a minor headache. We have also reinforced the pylons at the sharp curve in the track where this incident occurred. Out of an abundance of caution we are also temporarily running trains of two-car length, instead of four, while we evaluate whether any other modifications to the track are needed. So, no cause for the public to be alarmed in any way. Get on board and enjoy the ride!” — Stephen Plater Mills, CEO, BRTA

“The Bricklyn Police Department was unaware of the incident described by your anonymous complainant. As you know, due to budget cuts and our low crime rate, we do not have officers on duty between 6am and 6pm. Most crime in recent years occurs between 6am and 9am when donut theft (primarily from Dunk Them Donuts outlets) is highest. Apparently the accident scene had been cleared by BRTA and Bricklyn EMS personnel before our 6am police station opening. We were not informed of the incident by BRTA, even though it occurred less than 200 feet from our station house.” — Chief Walter Strongman, Bricklyn Police Dept.

To the Editor: What gives with Bricklyn’s planners? Don’t we have more than enough rail transit without adding an expensive monorail that will likely be used by only a handful of residents and tourists. Why can’t people walk the half kilometer between the north and south ends of downtown South Bricklyn? Isn’t that much healthier than riding the monorail such a short distance? Do we really need this pint-size monorail? Put that money into something more useful, like finally building an Olympic size swimming pool! — George B. Goodenough, South Bricklyn, VT

To the Editor: Ya, building a monorail in Bricklyn, VT modeled after our Wuppertal suspended monorail was a wunderbar idea! Our monorail is a fantastisch example of efficient transportation. It glides above Wuppertal, conserving precious ground space. It is a great solution for congested areas, easing traffic and pollution. Our Wuppertal monorail is renowned for its safety and reliability, making it a wise choice for public transit in Bricklyn. Plus, the picturesque views from the elevated tracks provide a unique and enjoyable travel experience. Bricklyn residents will surely appreciate this innovative and eco-friendly addition to your beautiful town. — Werner Schmidt, Wuppertal, Germany

To the Editor: As Chair of the Board of Vocal Brickmotion, the Realm of Bricklyn’s leading bicycle advocacy organization, I must convey our organization’s disappointment with the lack of bicycle facilities on the new Loop Monorail. This was troubling to learn of, especially given that the BRTA has included bike storage areas on its Brickstar high-speed trains. We urge you to redesign the monorail cars so that Bricklynites can bring their bikes on board! — Susan Tiler Powers, Bricklyn, VT

To the Editor: Hiya! You know me, I’m Melody. I wrote that article on those awesome weathervane sculptures you published when I was a high school intern for the Eagle couple of years ago. Yeah, me and my friends already love the monorail. We’ll be riding it every weekend and taking lots of loops. Cool, it’s even called the Loop! Just realized that! We can hang out in the monorail cars while taking in the sights of South Bricklyn!!! Sweet!!! — Melody B. Olsen, Bricklyn Jct., VT

To the Editor: As the author of the best-selling book, The Scam Called Monorails, I need to call attention to the fact that your monorail is likely a scam, as is the case with most monorails. Here are the five biggest problems with monorails your planners should have taken into account:

1. Limited capacity: Monorails typically have limited passenger capacity compared to traditional trains or buses, making them less suitable for high-demand routes, which can lead to overcrowding and longer wait times. Your monorail cars are woefully undersized.

2. High construction costs: Building and maintaining monorail infrastructure can be significantly more expensive than other transit options, which can strain public budgets and lead to higher fares or taxes.

3. Limited route flexibility: Monorails are often fixed along elevated tracks, limiting their ability to adapt to changing transportation needs or extend their routes. This lack of flexibility can make it challenging to serve growing or shifting populations.

4. Integration challenges: Integrating monorail systems with existing transportation networks, such as bus and train lines, can be complicated and costly, potentially leading to inefficiencies in overall transportation planning.

5. Maintenance and downtime: Monorail systems can experience prolonged downtime and maintenance issues, disrupting service and inconveniencing passengers. Moreover, it can be time-consuming to evacuate passengers from monorails. Unlike buses and trains, which can be rerouted or replaced easily, monorail systems often require specialized equipment and expertise for maintenance and repairs. This problem may be compounded with your Bricklyn monorail, given its unusual use of rails primarily designed for LEGO-built roller coasters.

While monorails may be suitable for specific circumstances, such as scenic routes or connecting isolated areas, these do not appear to be relevant to your South Bricklyn location. I only wish your transit planners had read my book before embarking on such a costly and ill-conceived project! — Arthur “No Fan of Monorails” Fleming, Seattle, WA

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