The Railway - The Mono Rail

The monorail-railway at Örkaggen Railway consists of rails and a locomotive of the "Monorail Transporter" type manufactured by Road Machines (Drayton) Ltd, England.

The line was last used when the cathedral at Linköping was undergoing a major renovation in the early 1960's. After having been unused for a couple of years the equipment was set up at a summerhouse outside Motala in Sweden. It was used for pleasure rides for a couple of years. When I got a chance to aquire it in September 2005 it hadn't been used for at least 10 years.

The railway was moved to ÖkJ in September 2005.

Road Machines
Road Machines (Drayton) Ltd was founded in 1946 in Drayton, Middlesex, UK. The company manufactured equipment for the building industry and had 180 employees in 1958. Road Machines first "Mono-Rail Transporter" was sold in 1949. The sales must have been good and resulted in lines being sold to most continents and was protected by patents in 48 countries.

This steam train, running on Road Machines monorail track, can be found at Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales, UK

From a Road Machines advertisment

The rail
The rail is 9" (229 mm) high, and is made up of a 1 1/4" (32 mm) steel at the top and a 3" (76 mm) U-beam at the bottom. A double flanged wheel straddles the steel rod and two support-wheels runs on the outside of the U-beam. Two guide wheels guides the double flanged wheel. A straight rail section is 11' 8" (356 cm) long and weighs 1 1/2 cwt (76 kg). A 30 degree curve is 5' 8" (173 mm) long. The rail sections are joined on a stand which also incorporates a 4" (10 cm) rail section. The stands have adjustable feet to compensate for uneven ground.

A detailed description can be found here.

Two sections of rail and a joiner stand

A section of curved rail

The loco at Ökj
Road Machines manufactures locomotives and wagons. Both had the same basic design, the difference being the engine on the locomotive. The length is 8' 3" (245 cm) and it used a 7 1/2 hp, air cooled, 4-stroke petrol engine to drive the only traction wheel via a reversible gearbox. Later designs used hydraulic transmission on both wheels. The speed is approximately 3 1/2 mph (5 1/2 kph). The locomotive carries a side tipping skip of 12½ feet3 (1/3 m3) capacity.

The locomotive at Örkaggen Railway was manufactured as "Machine No 3878" and was one of no less than 56 (!) that was delivered to Sweden. No 3878 was delivered to the importer AB ALDO on October 26th 1954.

The power wagon was fitted with a set from a bus (not shown( instead of the skip that was originally fitted.

"Job No 3626", "Machine No 3878"
Manufacturers plate on the loco. This loco was delivered 1954-10-26 to AB ALDO, Stockholm, Sweden

Click here to view a video clip from a test run in November 2005

Below I will show a few pictures to explain the technology used for the monorail.
This is the un-powered bogie. It is connected to the powered bogie by means of a frame (not present on this picture).

Double flanged wheel

The wheel assembly can turn inside the frame using small rollers.


Double flanged wheel

Guide wheel. These guide the main wheel along the track.

Balance wheel. These prevents the monorail loco from tilting. They are running along the U-profile at the bottom of the rail.