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Key Services

Meneren provides a unique combination of services for the full life-cycle of a project, including PPP's:

- Project Evaluation and Due Diligence, including Market Assessments, Technical and Financial Feasibility Studies, Technology Assessments, and Risk Assessments

- Project Formation, including formation of World-Class Consortia with Technical, Financial and Operational Partners

- Project Financial Planning and Structuring, including Capital Formation, Debt and Equity Financing, Credits, Guarantees, and IFI Participation

- Project Management, including Legal and Technical Services (cost and schedule management, and start-up)

- Merger and Acquisition Support, including Due Diligence, Financial Analysis, Negotiation, and Integration Planning

Legal Disclosure

Cost Estimating (CE-101)

You have to be careful when comparing cost estimates for transportation systems.  Published cost-estimates for high-speed transit systems range from a relatively inexpensive $10 million per mile to systems costing $100 million per mile, or more.  Why the wide range in purported costs--sometimes even when the same technology is being utilized?

b, following are examples of actual estimated costs for current high-speed projects:


Total Cost

Length (Miles)



Pittsburgh Civic Arena

$147 Million


$b359 Million

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (7 MAR 99)

Pittsburgh Oakland Extension

$550 Million


$55 Million

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (7 MAR 99)


$20.8-$72 Billion


$43.5-$150 Million

Charles Arthur Independent (1 JUN 98)


$5.9 Billion


$33 Million

Scientific American Issue 1097/Time Magazine (9 NOV 98)

Cost Factors (Leveling the Playing Field)

There is no simple way to estimate the costs of a high-speed transit project. In order to accurately compare two cost estimates, one must be familiar with all of the cost categories included or omitted in any given project profile so as to build a proper cost estimate on either a cost per mile or total system cost basis.

Key cost categories are:

         Infrastructure: civil works, guideway structure and materials, construction and installation, rails

         Mechanical and Electrical: switches, electrification

         Subsystems: safety, communications, traffic control, etc.

         Facilities: line stations, parking structures, maintenance facilities, traffic control centers

         Special Structures: tunnels, bridges, overpass reconstruction, urban structures

         Land Acquisition: public and private

         Environmental Mitigation: restoration, wildlife protection, sound walls

         Engineering Design

         Project and Construction Management

         Bonding and Insurance


         Contingencies: design and construction


Local Conditions

The cost of a system in one corridor may also be very different to the cost of the same system in another corridor.  Local conditions can have a major impact on total system cost. For example, comparing a Rocky Mountain corridor project to one in the Midwest is misleading as the Rocky Mountain project may include boring miles of tunnels and traversing rough terrain with steep grades, while the Midwest project may run straight over relatively flat land.  Comparing a system within a major city with one built across open countryside is misleading.  The city project may include expensive land acquisition, rebuilding special structures such as bridges, and relocating utilities, while the open country system may include none of these (but may include for example expensive environmental mitigation).

The Local Economy

A system can be constructed in some countries inexpensively while the same system in another country might be quite expensive.  Since 60% of the cost of the system may be the cost of manufacturing the guideway, stations, and supporting structures (control centers and maintenance yards), the most critical component may be the cost of locally manufactured pre-cast concrete components.  If the system is to be located in a country with large supplies of sand and gravel, numerous pre-cast plants, and cheap labor, then the system will cost much less than one in an area which does not have these resources.

Different Technologies

The MagliftTM monorail system will usually be the least expensive alternative with return the greatest increase in capacity.  This system is lighter weight than competing systems, has greater construction and operating tolerances  than competing systems, has lower total system costs than competing systems, is more environmentally compatible than competing systems, all with equal or greater ridership capacity.

Highway Expansion

A two-way monorail system can provide the capacity equivalent of eight highway lanes, four running in each direction.  Adding eight lanes to a highway will usually cost much more because where there is such a need for additional capacity, the surrounding land is built-up and the cost of acquiring land, relocating utilities, disrupting traffic during construction, etc. is prohibitive.

Conventional Rail

A conventional rail system will typically cost more than the monorail system because it needs a dedicated right-of-way, expensive (and often dangerous) grade crossings, and significant earth works (even tunnels) to provide a gentle grade (2% or so) along the route.

Maglev Systems

Maglev systems are expensive, so much so, they are not economic. The rationale for maglev is that it overcomes rolling friction and the vehicles float friction-free down a guideway. At high speeds (for which maglev is intended), the rolling friction accounts for only 20% of the total drag (aerodynamic drag dominates) - rolling drag it a small factor. Unfortunately, maglev introduces magnetic drag which is nearly as great as the rolling drag which it eliminated. Thus the overall reduction that can be attributed to magnetic levitation is just 5%. And for this minor gain, there is a tremendous increase in complexity, cost and technical risk. Maglev technology is a complex, expensive, and an inefficient solution to a small problem.

To compare MagliftTM technology with other technologies try this link.

Benefits of MagliftTM technology

         Can generate sufficient revenue from fares to cover all operating costs and service construction debt.

         Can be built and operated for much less than traditional maglev systems.

         Can add the equivalent capacity of six to eight lanes of highway.

         Is generally less expensive than highway expansion.

         60-70% of the cost is concrete, which can be manufactured locally.

         Will reduce highway congestion in concurrent corridors.

         Will reduce levels of exhaust emissions. 

Refer to the technical paper, Maglift Monorail, for a more detailed discussion of comparative operating costs.

We invite you to e-mail Meneren principal, Bill Tolbert if you would like to discuss a cost estimate for a monorail system in your corridor. 

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This page was updated December 15th, 2004.
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Please refer to the Legal Disclosure for important legal information.
Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001 by Meneren Corporation.



TransPort Ventures LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Meneren Corporation was competitively selected by the State of Colorado to design, construct, and operate a 170 mile high-speed monorail system that will connect DIA (Denver International Airport), stop in the center of the City of Denver, and proceed up the Rocky Mountain corridor to the ski areas (including Vail), and on to the Eagle County Airport.


MagLift Technology has been designated a "Maglev" technology by the US Department of Transportation.  However, unlike fully levitating Maglev systems, MagLift is substantially lighter, lower cost, and can stay within highway right-of-ways.

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