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Darling Harbour Monorail - Official Videos

"A Ride Into The 21st Century"

This is a 12 minute video about the Darling Harbour Monorail system produced by vonRoll Transport Systems and TNT, recorded between 1986 and May 1988. It is short but it remains the definitive promotional video about the system from when it first opened in 1988.

It includes shots of Sydney CBD and Expressway traffic in 1988, shots inside vonRoll's design office, the monorail cars at the factory with an inspection party, a Darling Harbour monorail train on exhibition indoors, shots of crowds in various locations at Darling Harbour, breif shots of a street of Melbourne Z-class trams, and Sydney double deck train exiting the City Circle, monorail support column foundation drilling, the original 8-station system map, artist's drawing of Haymarket station, design office with '80s CAD computer equipment, column test core drilling, guideway beams being fabricated in the Allco factory, transport of the beams by truck, errection of guideway columns including placement on foundations, installed track beams being welded together, shot of completed curved track around the entertainment centre, track under construction at George and Liverpool Streets, shots of the track over the western distributor, beams being lifted by crane and placed in position during installation, night views of beam delivery in Pitt Street and on Darling Drive, installation of the longest system span over the western distributor, shots of Park Plaza and Haymarket Stations under construction, shots of the beam conductor rails and electrical installation, shots of the decorative finish columns and original column protective planter boxes, the maintenance facility under construction, the special Pyrmont Bridge swing span beam installation with a full bridge opening, more shots of cars being assembled and painted in the factory, the first train being lifted into incomplete maintenance facility, the fleet of trains at the faciliy, interior train electrical equipment, system control and monitoring computer and software demonstration, train on traverser and traverser in motion, bogie wheels fully exposed on maintenance road, test train running backwards near Powerhouse Museum, view from train running backwards in Liverpool Street, train running through S-curve in Market Street, festivities leading up to and Queen Elizabeth II's official opening of Darling Harbour on 4 May 1988, the first public operation of the Monorail with round trips run from Haymarket Station on 4 May, press coverage of this, a train turning into Market Street, a train in Pitt Street, train passing through Market Street S-curve, rear of train in Liverpool Street crossing George Street viewed from front of train behind, passengers aboard trains, train crossing Pyrmont Bridge, view of Darling Harbour from train approaching Harbourside Station, shots of easy wheelchairs and pram access onto trains - showing platforms level with car floors, interview with disabled passenger about access, aerial view of train unloading within Haymarket Station, and finally a sequence of action shots of the trains in motion around the system.

"Saipem And vonRoll Present The Sydney Monorail"

This is a 6.5 minute pre-opening promotional video about the Sydney Monorail System, recorded between 1986 and early 1988, produced by Saipem and vonRoll (the Saipem Allco Joint Venture produced all the monorail steel work at Tomago), with narration in Italian. Contains some of the same shots used in the above video and additional material. It includes Vancouver Expo 86 monorail sequence, track under construction in Darling Harbour, track segments being fabricated and transported, monorail cars under construction, internal and external shots of the monorail trains in action, including trains being test operated through unfinished stations (notably Harbourside) and over Pyrmont Bridge, a brief reverse running segment in Liverpool Street, shots of the demonstration column and track segment next to the Entertainment Centre, and views of the unfinished computer/comms and control rooms within the Monorail Maintenance Facility. (To get an approximate translation of the commentry, play video to turn on (CC) option, then pause it, select "Italian (automatic captions)" then select "Translate Captions" and set to "English")

Darling Harbour Monorail in Promotional Videos,
Feature Films and Telemovies

The Saint - Fear In Fun Park

Showing how the Monorail captured the public imagination, the following 5 minute sequence is from the 1989 telemovie The Saint - Fear In Fun Park starring Simon Dutton. In this Australian/British co-production there is a short monorail train and track sequence taken in Liverpool Street at around 10 minutes, then a longer 5 minute sequence at around 80 minutes with Pyrmont Bridge track and trains, a full Pyrmont Bridge opening (track included), and Harbourside Station shots with train departure and interior scenes. The second is a chase sequence forming part of the action movie climax. This low resolution excerpt is presented for the purposes of study and review. This telemovie was part of three-DVD set, released in Australia (Region 4 PAL format) by Umbrella Entertainment in 2008 but is no longer available.

Sydney - Australia's Harbour City

A tourist promotional and information video on greater Sydney from 1992. Within this 50 minute video is a 30 second segment promoting a ride on the monorail as the fun way to get from the City Centre to Darling Harbour. This 1 minute 23 second except opens with an elevated panned view of Darling Harbour in 1991, then shots of the TNT HarbourLink monorail in action; including shots of a train on Pyrmont Bridge, a cab view decending Market Street, a view from the train crossing Park Street, a cab view in Harbour Street, more shots of the train on Pyrmont Bridge and a view of a train entering Haymarket Station. It finishes with the follow on segment on the Harbourside Festival Marketplace as built. This low resolution excerpt is presented for the purposes of study and review. The video was released on VHS by EDVid Productions (then) of Willoughby and has been converted from an original in NTSC format.


Filmed in 1995, the following 1 minute 15 second sequence is from the opening of the Australian childrens' movie Napoleon voiced by Jamie Croft (Napoleon), Philip Quast, Susan Lyons, Coralie Sawade, Brenton Whittle and others. Napoleon the dog is carried away in a basket held up by helium filled balloons, and while drifting gets snagged on the monorail and is then taken for a ride. The sequence is filmed on Pyrmont Bridge, in the CBD street sections of the monorail loop, with one cut shot at Convention station. There is no loop continuity. This low resolution excerpt is presented for the purposes of study and review.

Two Hands

Filmed in 1998, the following 5 minute sequence is from the 1999 AFI award winning Australian movie Two Hands starring Bryan Brown, Heath Ledger, Rose Byrne, David Field, and Susie Porter. As part of an unsuccessful night-time getaway, Heath and Rose initially escape by monorail, with the famous on-board kiss scene. Includes shot of train within and departing Haymarket Station, views from train in Market Street and a rare record of the street access from the "temporary" Park Plaza station. Some liberties are taken for production and dramatic effect as regards loop continuity, skipping stations and lighting, but the clip is very atmospheric. This low resolution excerpt is presented for the purposes of study and review.

The World's Greatest Railway Journeys - Australia

Released in 2005 by Musicbank, within this 60 minute DVD on Australian Trains is a 1 minute 10 second segment on the monorail. After the introduction there are shots of a monorail train on Pyrmont Bridge, then cab views approaching Harbourside station, a station arrival and departure sequence at Harbourside from within and outside the train and within and outside the station, a cab view over Darling Drive, a shot of the train over Darling Drive, a view inside a car, a long shot of the train at the bottom of Market Steet, a cab view in Liverpool Street, and finally a shot of the train crossing York Street in front of the Queen Victoria Building. This low resolution excerpt is presented for the purposes of study and review.

Janet King

Made for the ABC and broadcast in early 2014, this TV drama series was recorded in early 2013 just before the monorail system was closed. Typifying how the monorail became an ordinary part of Sydney, in this series it is featured in a few atmospheric cut shots of city buildings and streets. One of the repeated locations used for CBD street views is at Market and Clarence Streets where there is prominent monorail track, including nearest station signage. This location provides the second of two sequences including monorail trains (S1E7 at 49:02). There is also a panning shot including Darling Park Station from the pedestrian overbridge (S1E4 at 9:30). The first clip with train is an elevated long view of a train travelling between Harbourside and Convention Stations. A short clip is currently in preparation. The Series is currently available on DVD from the ABC shop.


Darling Harbour Monorail showing the system as built

This video shows the Sydney Monorail in March 1991, including a look at some of the stations, riding the trains and more.
From Simon P. Smiler

Darling Harbour Monorail 1994 loop timing

This video shows a circuit of the Sydney Monorail from a rear car end window view on Wednesday 19th October 1994. The recording quality is limited by the equipment used and poor weather, but nevertheless it is a valuable recording of mid-week loop circuit timing under semi-automatic control. The unedited video is a just over a complete loop from Park Plaza Station around to just past Park Plaza. There is a full speed run down Market Street to the added Darling Park Station. Between Convention and Haymarket stations some slowed running is apparent, due to the proceeding train. It appears 4 trains are out on the loop and typical station dwell times are revealed by noting the clearly audible door and parking brake sounds.  From Michael Costello

Darling Harbour Monorail November 2009

This video shows the trains in the advertising liveries of the time including the Fly by Monorail advertising set. Features telephoto shots at Convention Station, shots in in Pitt Street and Market Street, and telephoto shots from near Darling Park Station. Very high quality video with stereo audio.  From Jiri


Official Darling Harbour Monorail Video Archive

Monorail & Light Rail Movie


Monorail Timelapse Movies


Historical Archive - The vonRoll-Habegger System

Internationale Verkehrs-Ausstellung Munchen 1965

The International Transport Exhibition in Munich in 1965 was the first installation of the vonRoll-Habegger Mk2 (then) Minirail system. This installation was the predecessor of the Mk3 system, first used in Sydney. When the formal submission for a People Mover was presented to the Darling Harbour Authority in May 1985, vonRoll-Habegger had been building light monorails for over 20 years. The 3km monorail is shown in this five and a half minute film segment of the exhibition from around 2:41. This low resolution excerpt is presented for the purposes of study and review. (To get an approximate translation of the commentry, play video to turn on (CC) option, then pause it, select "German (automatic captions)" then select "Translate Captions" and set to "English")

The Merry Hill Monorail 1991-6 - Parts 1 and 2

This video shows the Merry Hill Monorail in operation, including a look at some of the stations, riding the trains and more. The Merry Hill System was a Mk 3 system like Sydney. From Simon P. Smiler

A ride on Jungle Jim's monorail

The seven vonRoll Mk2 trains from the closed Lion Country Safari/Kings Island Monorail were purchased by Jim Bonaminio for display at his International Market Food Stores in Fairfield (and later Eastgate), Ohio, America. About 600 metres of track have been installed from a station in the car park to the Oscar Event Center on the Fairfield store's second floor. One set is operated for special events on this track, powered by on-board diesel alternator. From the The Cincinnati Enquirer.

More to come!

HL 2013