What Does a Monorail Sound like?

What does a monorail sound like? If you've heard a monorail, it's sometimes hard to describe the sounds that comes from this amazing transportation. Why? It's a sound that isn't always heard in our everyday lives. In fact, a monorail sound is so quiet that it's hard to describe.



Standing under a monorail, near a pylon where the transportation races above the beam, the first thing you might notice is how quiet a monorail sounds. It's not loud like other machines that move people. It's also a consistent noise that attracts little to no attention.


Consider other popular modes of transportation and how they sound. A typical train that uses two rails, has a sound of speed as it moves and the clacking behind the engine as cars shift when moving on the rail. A large boat or barge is heard in the distance with the engine roaring and the sounds of water as the bow pushing the water to the sides. Even a jet can be heard cranking up the engines as power is distributed to the engines to push the machine into the air.


There are several noises that compose what a monorail sounds like. The first noise is the actual movement of the machine. There is a gently soft swish that comes with the movement as the air is pushed by the machine. Then there is the actual machine noise. Depending on where the electric and the air conditioning units for each car is located, every monorail has this particular sound that could only be described as a hum. Some monorail sounds are louder than others as the components are close to the bottom of the monorail. However, almost all monorails sound similar to an upside down lawnmower.


As the uniqueness of how monorails operate contribute to the sound, there is no doubt it is also has a sound similar to another special mode of transportation: a blimp. It's really odd, but if you compare a blimp to a monorail, with your eyes closed, you might not be able to tell the difference. (If you want to see if you can tell, go to YouTube and pull up a monorail and blimp video and listen to it at the same time.)


Another part of the monorail sound is the monorail horn. While it isn't used very often, it is used by a monorail pilot to scare off birds on the beam, alert people on the ground of issues and to blow when waving at people. It's a distinctive noise and always draws attention

This is an one-of-a-kind educational site for teachers, students and monorail fans. It is exclusive to monorails, monorail pilots, monorail horns and homage to the unique public transportation known as a monorail. Free printable worksheets, information and more!

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