The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.
Death of the Monorail
I remember the childhood joy of riding the old Sydney monorail – a single-loop that connected Darling Harbour, Chinatown and the Sydney central business and shopping districts. You had to board with a little gold token and were whizzed through what seemed like futuristic tubes wrapping each station. While it captured my young imagination, in reality it was one of the most critiqued and controversial pieces of transport infrastructure in Sydney’s recent history. Powerhouse Museum, others were souvenired and made availble to the public in 2015 via an online Gumtree advertisement. Complete with an accompanying inspiring video, the advertisement encouraged potential buyers of one (or more) of the 22 large carriages that were available for $3,000 each, to contemplate possibilities like 'making a cubbyhouse, a caravan or even a monorail coffee shop.'* Google purchased two carriages for meeting rooms in Pyrmont, and most recently the Sydney Metro Northwest project used 60 steel monorail beams, many of them removed from Pitt Street in 2013. Even though we thought we got rid of it, these vestiges mean the Monorail still lurks within the veins of our city. Take a seat on the monorail's last journey and watch the world go by, care of City of Sydney Council photographer Paul Patterson on the Dictionary here: https://dictionaryofsydney.org/media/4633 and read Garry Wotherspoon's Dictionary entry on the history of the monorail here: https://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/sydneys_monorail Minna Muhlen-Schulte is a professional historian and Senior Heritage Consultant at GML Heritage. She was the recipient of the Berry Family Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria and has worked on a range of history projects for community organisations, local and state government including the Third Quarantine Cemetery, Woodford Academy and Middle and Georges Head . In 2014, Minna developed a program on the life and work of Clarice Beckett for ABC Radio National’s Hindsight Program and in 2017 produced Crossing Enemy Lines for ABC Radio National’s Earshot Program. You can hear her most recent production, Carving Up the Country, on ABC Radio National's The History Listen here. She’s appearing for the Dictionary today in a voluntary capacity. Thanks Minna! For more Dictionary of Sydney, listen to the podcast with Minna & Alex here, and tune in to 2SER Breakfast with Alex James on 107.3 every Wednesday morning to hear more stories from the Dictionary of Sydney. Notes * 'Monorail Should Be a Lesson to All Transport Ministers';, National Times, 24 June 2013,http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/editorial/monorail-should-be-a-lesson-to-all-transport-ministers-20130623- 2oqjq.html, viewed 3 July 2013 * Clive James ‘A Postcard from Sydney’, https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000d29l/clive-james-2-postcard-from-sydney, accessed on 26 August 2020. * Saulwick, J 2013 Plans for Sydney's abandoned monorail stations include a giant fish tank https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/plans-for-sydneys-abandoned-monorail-stations-include-a-giant-fish-tank-20131108- 2x730.html, accessed on 26 August 2020. * https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/for-sale-on-gumtree-sydneys-monorail-20150203-134rhe.html
CategoriesBlog 1980s 2SER Breakfast Alex James city. transport demonstrations Minna Muhlen Schulte monorail sydney history Trains urban planning