In the 1890's traffic conditions in the area of the then independent German towns of Barmen, Elberfeld and Vohwinkel became so congested that an elevated city railway was planned to link the towns.
G.V. Wuppertal suspended monorail travelling over river.
T.G.V. Monorail travelling towards camera.
G.V. Looking under construction at river, monorail coming towards, passes overhead.
S.V. Shot from driver's seat, monorail approaching station.
L.V. Monorail coming in to station, it stops woman passenger steps out, also man, in foreground.
L.V. Snowy street scene, monorail leaves station, lorry passes underneath.
G.V.Travel Monorail travelling up main street, passing another coming towards.
G.V. Showing archway construction, monorail coming towards.
Shot from driver's seat... Monorail turns towards river.
G.V. Suspended monorail travelling over river.
S.C.U. Sign post reading "City of Cologne".
G.V.Towards. Monorail travelling towards, passes camera.
C.U. Driver at controls.
Shot through window.. pan to rubber tyres revolving.
Travel shot pan.. Monorail travelling over track, pan to speedometer, reading 80-kilometers(50-miles).
C.U. Driver pulls lever, to slow down.
C.U. Wheels slow down.
Shot from driver's seat.. showing automatic line change.
C.U.Pan Wheels revolving, pan to window, monorail travelling.
Shot from driver's seat.. Monorail approaching new track.
G.V.Towards.. Ditto-passes camera.
G.V. Monorail towards station.
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Background: In the 1890's traffic conditions in the area of the then independent German towns of Barmen, Elberfeld and Vohwinkel became so congested that an elevated city railway was planned to link the towns.
About that time the German Privy Councillor of Commerce and engineer Eugen Lange of Cologne invented a new epoch-making means of transport - the suspension monorailway. This was finally adopted by the municipal authorities.
The first stage was opened to the public on 1st March 1901, and the total length of line - 13 kilometres - was in operation by 27th June 1903. The Wuppertal suspension railway is the only one of its kind in the world. Its reliability remains unchallenged. From its inception up to the end of 1954 800 million passengers were carried on the system which swings merrily along over streets, canals and houses. It is a very popular means of conveyance, largely because it is entirely independent of weather conditions - rain, snow or fog.
History goes on repeating itself. Just as the German towns of Barmen, Elberfeld and Vohwinkel, in 1890, had a traffic problem on their hands, so does London in the second half of the twentieth century. Very much in the news is the inordinate time taken, for instances, by airways coaches from the city centre out to London Airport.
A fast monorail system is now mooted strongly as the answer to the problem, and it was only recently that members of the British Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation went out to Germany, to the test centre of the Cologne monorail, which our pictures show here. Instead of being suspended, the coach sits astride - on rubber wheels - a single solid concrete rail, or track. Travel with us, and watch that speedometer - an easy 80 kilometers an hour. And what a smooth ride.
If adopted by the British, the system will be a development of the Cologne design, in that the coaches will be dual-purpose - they will be so constructed that they can run equally well on road or monorail.