Monorail through the Smokies???

Ok, so initially the article below caught my eye because it mentioned the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville.  My parents brought me to the World’s Fair, and it is one of my earliest memories.  It was also probably one of my first trips to the Smoky Mountains.  I was 8 years old.  I remember riding the World’s Largest Ferris Wheel and the World’s Smallest Water Log ride.  I was scared to death of the Water Log Ride.  My parents made me ride that before I could go on the Ferris Wheel.  I’m glad they did, because I’ve loved Water Log Rides ever since. 

Anyhow, an interesting suggestion was brought up in the article, building a monorail in the Smoky Mountains.  That’s an idea I don’t recall hearing before.  It would help with traffic some, and I know personally I would probably try the monorail, but I doubt I’ll ride a bus.  The monorail would be much more reliable, and no matter what the traffic is like, they usually run like clockwork.  The number of people who would probably use a monorail might make it doable as well.  Heck, a side benefit would be, you could hike from one monorail “station” to another without having to bring a car at all.  I know that’s something hikers have to keep in mind.  With a monorail, that would not be the same issue. 

Probably the biggest issues with a monorail would be cost and appearance. I would imagine something like this would cost possibly up to billions.  I’m not a monorail expert, but considering the terrain, I would imagine it would cost as much or more to do a monorail in the Smokies as anywhere else.  As far as appearance, I think that’s an issue that should be looked at as well.  A monorail in the Smokies would need to be built to NOT stand out as much as possible.  I would also think the amount of rail line INSIDE the park should be kept to a minimum.  Perhaps it could be built around the outer edge of the park, and have a couple of lines that go into the park to higher-impact areas. 

With the whole “going green” thing being such a focus, it looks like now would be as good a time as any to consider something like this.  This could even be a way for Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Dollywood to cut back on traffic, or at least increase capacity of their cities while not increasing how many people that appear to be visiting the area.

Perhaps it could be elevated above the current roads, which might help keep it from being too obtrusive. It definately works well for Disney.  I know the times I’ve been to Disney, we’ve used the monorail any chance we got.

So what do YOU think??  Reply in the comment section below!

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/may/02/revive-energy-plans-82-worlds-fair/

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5 responses to “Monorail through the Smokies???

  1. My biggest problem would be with how it affects the view of the landscape up there. However reducing car traffic would help in “Green” ways. I would be for it with reservations depending on how it looks.

  2. Ashley Raybourn

    Hmmm. I’ve always enjoyed the un-commercial appearance of the Smokies. Monorails are too “Disney World” and one of the Parks goals is to keep it preserved in an historic way so visitors can enjoy it the way people (and critters) lived it. I think a monorail would be too destructive and obstructive. Personally, I wouldn’t ride it and I wouldn’t want it to be within eye sight.

    It is hard to balance the need for Green at an appropriate level but something does need to be done about the traffic and pollution problems.

    • Ashley,

      I understand your point. I’d prefer things stay the way they are frankly. I think the monorail is an interesting idea. You’re point about them being too “Disney World” is a great point though. No matter how it looks, we’ll all think “Disney” when we see them.

      Raymond

  3. I would have a problem with a monorail system as it is best known for modern ultra-technological way of transportation. BUT, if they could incorporate a mono-TRAIN type atmosphere and apperance of it where it would blend in more with the atmosphere and ambiance of the era of which the Smoky Mountains has been known for , it may be a solution to the transportation and atmospheric problems that plauge our beatiful mountains. A good example somewhat of this is what they have done in Bryson City with the rail system there. A more ecological friendly type system using the railroad ambiance could be developed possibly. Otherwise, think things should be left as they are because we have disturbed the natural balance of things in the Park too much as it is.

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