M onorails have two main advantages: a typically smaller, less obtrusive structure than duo-rail tracks, and lower maintenance costs due to the fact that its one rail or beam would not need to be aligned with another rail. Although they have been around since the nineteenth century, the fervor that we today associate with monorails began in the 1960ís when Disneyland built one to cater to their theme park. The public became enamored with the Disneyland (and then the Seattle) monorailís futuristic look and elegant overhead track structure.

The track structure, however, has been the greatest obstacle to the monorailís financial feasibility. Track switching for conventional rail is relatively simple and inexpensive since the rails themselves are quite slender. In contrast, the single rail of a monorail track or monobeam is a more massive structure and thus switches have historically been more expensive and slower to actuate.

But much progress has been made in recent years in the design and construction of monobeam switches as seen in the web page devoted to the subject by the Monorail Society.

And there's even been a song about monorails which appeared on The Simpsons.