Talk:Monorail

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Monorails in Simpsons/fiction[edit]

I'm personally surprised nobody has added a section about the satirical views on the monorail as a mode of transportation presented in the Simpsons.

That is covered at Marge vs. the Monorail.--MrFishGo Fish 16:02, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't really understand what the big deal is with monorails. Why one rail? Could someone add an "Advantages" section? --Spikey 16:36, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
I suppose taking fiction as a primary information source has the merit that we can prove what we damn well please by the expedient of simply making up the facts. Gordon Vigurs 12:01, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Added. Jpatokal 01:51, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

Removed quite a bit of vandalism from the page (or maybe monorail really is used as a colloquial term for any form of pidgeon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.37.164.130 (talk) 07:30, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

New monorail is being built in Ukraine[edit]

Its secret project I assume (no info on it in press or internet). Testing suite is situated in Gostomel, Ukraine, about six kilometers from Antonov airport. Actually, it's ready (the vehicle). I got exclusive picture of it. Black Phoenix 16:45, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

New Ukrainian monorail
It is a project by Antonov Design Bureau.--Nixer 17:01, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
This is clearly NOT a monorail as it runs on two beams, not one. --Dygituljunky (talk) 06:25, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Computer[edit]

There was also a computer company named Monorail. I think the story was: Some guys from Gateway ripped off from them and made computers. They mostly made all-in-one computers, but also made towers. (I own one of there computers). I just have in my hands a computer named monorail but I can not find information about it. It looks like a notebook but is heavy.

disadvantages[edit]

  • Monorails must be elevated, they can't be safely street level (without safety zone) or tunnelized.
    • But this is illogical. Look at the Seattle monorail. How would it make a difference to the system whether the guideway were elevated or not? The base of it could be in a well for easy entrance the same as a subway train. There is a shroud that must clear the ground, covering the bogeys which are typically rubber-tired.

This elevates perhaps higher (though not by much) than huge steel wheels sitting on top of steel rails. Train wheels have an automatic clearance provided by the rails. But you don't want to get anywhere near them and have to board over or around them. Mea (talk) 04:47, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Emergency plans for monorails are difficult and reliant on emergency responders, not on e.g. exit routes.

KeithTyler 18:15, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

    • Incorrect -- eg. Malaysia's Putrajaya monorail has tunneled sections. Admittedly it doesn't make much sense to not elevate a monorail though, since requiring little space in the air is the mode's primary advantage...
    • Some monorail systems (eg. Las Vegas) do provide full-length exit routes along the track.

Jpatokal 10:18, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

    • The Tokyo-Haneda aiport monorail has tunneled sections as well: The aiport stations are underground. It seems a monorail requires no more (and no less) space underground than a subway does.

Yes monorails are easier to construct, and cheaper to maintain (Don't need drivers, total computerization, etc) but I dont think they are necesarily cheaper to build. I think light rail is cheaper to build than monorail, but more expensive to maintain. Any one know the average price of both systems? --Weyoun6 06:37, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"Average" prices are so vague as to be meaningless... but in terms of construction material alone, elevated monorail track is a lot less bulky than the equivalent amount of elevated light rail track, and hence much faster (and one would presume cheaper) to build.
Contrariwise, drivers can also be eliminated from light rail systems, so this is not an argument in monorail's favor. Most existings monorails do in fact have drivers. Jpatokal 07:54, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Except for any recently built monorail (such as the one in Las Vegas, Nevada.) Not sure what the comment means. Not many monorails get built, most of them were built before the advent of the computer, hence they have drivers.

-Why not just use an inflatable "slide" like on airplanes, if an emergency occurs? That cannot be terribly expensive to install/maintain.

The monorail in Wuppertal Germany is statistically safer to ride than an elevator. But you touch on the core issue about monorails. To our human brain (which is certifiably poor at assessing risk) they just don't appear robust. Mea (talk) 02:37, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

A gyro-monorail will work at street level, so will the so-called 'peg-leg' design, but this misses the point; a monorail solution is relevant to overcoming the right of way problem in congested city centres, without blotting out as much sunlight as an overhead road or conventional railway.

With turning radii of 7km, without severe hunting limits, and an inability to cope with grades greater than 5%, wheel on steel duo rail solutions introduce a right of way problem in developed countries, where all the land is owned, or large areas are designated as national parks, it is not a problem restricted to cities, and is a problem which is due to get worse.

Light rail industry groups are saying that monorails are much slower to accelerate than light rail trains (with direct impacts on speed, throughput, and finally economics). Could someone who knows more about this please address this in this article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 138.88.175.108 (talk) 18:57, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Light rail people are also saying that monorail cars simply can't hold as many people because they are not as wide and the wheels intrude into the cabin. For a whole list of complaints, see this Light Rail Now link (http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_monorail007.htm). Would like to see some follow up from the monorail experts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 138.88.175.108 (talk) 18:59, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Contact the rabid fanboys at http://monorails.org. Jpatokal (talk) 00:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm a fanboy myself. I reviewed the light rail commentaries that helped kill the Seattle monorail extension. Their objections come from a primitive part of the brain. The support "track" for a monorail is always narrower than the car. This looks a little unstable to the eye. It is a fact, people have a hard time assessing risk. The Wuppertal Schwebeban has a near 100% safety record for going on 100 years. However the system actually counts on the cars swinging to avoid pipes, edges of buildings, etc. as designed by those wacky German engineers. Even worse is the gyroscopic balancing model. This relies on a huge spinning mass and you could count on bringing it safely to rest almost 100% of the time. But it doesn't look as safe as the nice wide-load typical train track setup. So it goes, according to human nature, not physics. Mea (talk) 06:34, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

NOT running at street level is seen as an advantage since there are no wrecks as commonly seen in light rail-automobile wrecks. Having a dedicated right-of-way (above, below, or at grade) with no at-grade intersections can be fully automated which should reduce the long-term staffing costs, even if the initial costs are higher. --Dygituljunky (talk) 06:38, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Seattle Monorail Dispute[edit]

The Seattle monorail expansion is not certain to be built, people who think monorails are unsafe and too expensive are against the expansion, so it's not certain to be built. And the city has said that the monorail would maybe be built in 2008, not 2005. CDNguye1 9 July 2005 01:40 (UTC)

Brazilian Monorail[edit]

Could anyone specify on this? As a Brazilian, I've never heard of monorail around here. The only thing that ressembles monorail would be Porto Alegre's "aeromovel"


There is a monorail at the Barra Shopping Center in Rio. The last time I was in Brasil it was not working (2002).


There was a monorail in Amapá. Not to be confused with the conventional two-rail system that still operates in a different part of the state (http://www.estradadeferrodoamapa.com/). I recalled reading, years ago, in a book, in a library, about a monorail up there, and here at last are some references:

http://www.academia.edu/988768/O_Massacre_de_Amapa_a_guerra_imperialista_que_nao_houve

http://books.google.com/books?id=QiU6AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=amapa+monorail&source=bl&ots=Pl_K_bfUYD&sig=XawtmMW3l9RRkpcO_fXyTtiBKyQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DM40U5qaCPHKsQSK3YLQBg&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=amapa%20monorail&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=kXkwAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA243&lpg=PA243&dq=cassipore+river&source=bl&ots=W0lOUHEQy0&sig=RPanNnmSY0A7R2hWJ7ysNnRjE2g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Zc42U4PCEc6psAS66IGoCw&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=cassipore%20river&f=false

To summarize: a French enterprise, hauling gold with mules, operating near what is now the French Guianan border. I wish I could offer more. Apparently monorails were fairly common utilities in the 19th century, so much so that hardly anyone thought they required much discussion, or photography. I'd guess that where there's a lot of thick vegetation, nothing but human muscle available to remove it, and the freight carried by such a railway is dense and will never complain of uncomfortable accommodations, one rail is obviously easier than two. The only stated advantage I can find for monorails is for the suspended type (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monorail_history#Early_developments), whose pylons can be built of varying heights over uneven ground to ensure shallow or no gradients in the rail itself. But that probably wouldn't apply to Amapá, which is not an especially hilly place. Jahutter (talk) 13:37, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

BHX[edit]

Removed the ref. to monorail at Birmingham international. The 'skytrain' as they call it runs on two rails and is moved via a cable betweeen the rails. It replaced a maglev system (i think the first public maglev?) which had become too expensive to maintain.

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]

I'm considering removing this section, as it tends to list talking points both ways which are not central to the issue of monorail as one transit choice among others. It would be better to include these points in the general discussion of monorail features. -- Cecropia 04:31, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

It's an issue that comes up a lot and there are a lot of myths on the pro and con sides, so having them in one place does make sense to me. Jpatokal 10:27, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

An acriminious debate about whether or not monorails are 'good things', is utterly pointless. Monorails have certain niche applications, where wheel on steel adhesion and cornering limitations restrict the use of conventional railways, and space limitations preclude a conventional road.

The obvious applications are theme parks, where an elevated railway of some form clearly gives a wider unobstructed field of view, a similar comment applies to parkland, but here the overhead guideway would be visually obtrusive to everybody else. The next clear niche is in tackling the right of way problem in congested city centres, where the guideway is less obtrusive than an overhead road or railway, and is more likely to be able to follow streets designed around road vehicles. The alternative of tunnelling may be more expensive, depending on the local geology.

If the objection is raised that elevated monorails are incompatible with tunnels, the answer is; who on Earth wants them to go through tunnels? The overhead monorail solution is to travel above the congestion, whilst a tunnel travels beneath. The overhead guideway must be cheaper than tunnelling.

This is a contrived objection, deliberately combining the features of mutually incompatible solutions to present the worst of all worlds, and then associating the result with the design we wish to discredit. A neat trick, but propaganda, not engineering.

I find many other objections somewhat contrived, particularly as baselines for comparison are usually conspicuous by their absence, or change with each attribute considered. When suggesting that the high monorail presents difficulties in evacuating passengers in the event of an emergency (evidently nobody has heard of ladders), we need to compare with the alternative of an underground railway, where the Kings Cross fire demonstrated beyond any possible doubt, that access to a tunnel in the event of a major emergency is many orders of magnitude worse than getting a ladder up to a monorail.

The right of way problem is not restricted to city centres. Wheel on steel high speed trains have a turning circle of some 14km, and have difficulty with gradients much greater than 5%. Braking distances are positively frightening compared with road transport. These restrictions introduce a right of way problem in densely populated developed countries, where all the land is owned by somebody. Either the rights of the individual must be sacrificed for the convenience of the many, or years of legal wrangling will precede any new project whilst compensation is negotiated.

In countries having extensive central state control, such as France, the TGV system can be constructed relatively easily. In a more crowded country, which has traditionally valued the rights of the individual above the State, such as the UK, the chances of using anything other than the existing rail routes, built in the days of steam traction, are not good, especially as the resulting railway will require a massive state subsidy to operate at all.

The challenge here is to achieve speeds of say 180-200mph on existing routes, and it is not at all clear that wheel on steel can deliver.

Gordon Vigurs 10:09, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I mostly agree with your points but your claims that a monorail can't be both elevated and tunneled is AFAIK incorrect. The Putrajaya monorail will be both tunneled and elevated. While you're probably right that a tunneled monorail has little advantage over tunneled light rail, in practice it does arguably make sense to have a tunneled monorail.
In many countries modern urban transport systems is a combination of underground and elevated. Clearly for a continous system you can't be switching between light rail and monorail so you stick with one. In practice, in most cases light rail has been used. However monorail does have the advantages in elevated sections that you've mentioned. So for a system that is both elevated and tunnelled, using a monorail does make sense as well.
In the Putrajaya case (which is a recently built, planned city), I'm not quite sure of the reasoning. Originally a light rail was planned (KL also has light rail) but the company behind the KL monorail managed to convince the planners to convert to a monorail. The reasons I don't know. There could have be some political wrangling behind it. However it may have primarily been because monorails, arguably look cooler then light rail and would improve the aesthetics in the elevated sections especially. And maybe also because it is primarily a inner city transport system (ala the KL monorail and unlike the KL LRT/light rail). I guess the underground sections were always intended and perhaps with a monorail, some of the underground sections could have been replaced with elevated sections but since the underground sections we're already in the plans, it was decided to go ahead even when light rail was replaced with monorail.
However I suspect in practice it does make sense to have tunneled sections since even if monorails make elevated sections more technically feasible they can still potentially ruin the aesthetics. I guess the Putrajaya monorail is in many ways unique as it is going to become part of a planned city where rail (now monorail) has been included in the design from the outset (I believe) and congestion is not currently a problem (indeed the monorail construction was/is? temporarily halted because it was felt unnecessary). Nil Einne 14:00, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I did a couple of edits [1] again. The "not capable of high speed" seems improbable, as ordinary monorails can exceed 100 km/h and maglevs regularly exceed 500 km/h. The complexity of switches is also highly unlikely to be the reason why there are no large monorail networks. On the other hand, the poor integration with non-monorail systems is a major concern and I've elevated that to the first spot. Jpatokal 10:21, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

With all due respect, since you have apparently spent significant time on this article, can we try to clarify our thinking about maglev and monorail. The maglev technology is easily capable of high speed. But the mentioned maglev train in Shanghai is actually not a monorail, check the references I added to Monorail Society and Einar Svensson. Mea (talk) 05:10, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Too many images[edit]

This article has too many images. At this point they clutter the page and detract from the real information. Anyone have any suggestions for which ones should go? --Hetar 04:34, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I nuked everything except three: the initial KL Monorail pic, because it's pretty and it shows off a straddle-beam monorail; the historical gyroscope monorail, because it's old-school and weird; and the Schwebebahn, because it's historically important and a good example of a suspended monorail. Jpatokal 04:50, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I feel a the Shanghai maglev picture should also be included since it looks cool and is unique. However I'm uncertain whether the maglev can actually be considered a monorail. If it can, then a picture should be added, if not it should be removed from the article! Nil Einne 14:04, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
According to the references I added, it is NOT a monorail. I agree that maglev always comes up with the discussion of monorails. So I just added some carefully worded text that should pass muster with the edit nazis. Mea (talk) 04:16, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

SAFEGE[edit]

SAFEGE trains are wider then their track, see eg. [2]. This is even clearer in SAFEGE's descendant, the Mitsubishi suspended monorail. Jpatokal 16:55, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

There is no reason to employ the term track with reference to a monorail system. There is a guideway with a single rail. On a suspended (type I) monorail it makes even less sense to me. The car is dangling down, looking nothing like a train on its track. Mea (talk) 02:44, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Infobox Monorail[edit]

Template:Infobox Monorail has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. — Dream out loud 22:36, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Tehran Mono rail is just a plan. All the story exists only on paper and at the moment, no monorail is constructed.

Pod monorails[edit]

I suspect this is a weird reference to personal rapid transit. If there are actual PRTs out there using monorails, let's hear it, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Jpatokal 07:29, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Again, SkyTran is complete vaporware and doesn't need more than a sentence in the article. Jpatokal 02:45, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

West Midlands (England)[edit]

The former transport at Birmingham Internation Airport was a Magnetic Levitation Cabin Transport. Not a monorail.

There was a Von Roll monorail at the Merry Hill shopping centre, providing a very useful transport within the site - but alas not beyond its boundary. It closed when the shopping centre (only) was sold, and eventually was dismantled and sent off to Brazil. When I can find exact facts (dates, etc) I'll edit the page. Simon Citytransport.info 13:36, 7 September 2007 (UTC)citytransport.info

Most if not all maglevs are also monorail systems. That said, I'd be open to removing maglev systems from the list though. Jpatokal 14:03, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


Its not in Brazil, its in Broadbeach, queensland, australia, i just saw it - parked and unrepainted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.37.164.130 (talk) 07:34, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Huh?[edit]

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean:

  • Adding extensions by diverging the track is more expensive because of the linear nature of the track itself.

I've removed it until it can be rephrased. Jpatokal 03:52, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


Segway monorail[edit]

Segway scooters stay upright by intermittent momentary actuation of electric motors fixed to flywheels, the divergence from vertical being detected by gyroscopes. It is possible to use such reaction wheels to build a monorail vehicle, the reaction wheels having their axes in line with the roll axis of the vehicle, to keep the vehicle upright.

Reaction wheels have long been used to change the orientation of satellites.

Monorails are cheaper to build than conventional railways. A monorail need weigh no more than a conventional rail vehicle, because the bogeys weigh less. This reduction in weight offsets the weight of the reaction wheels and electric motors.

David Erskine

58.168.40.76 06:54, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


'Track' vs. 'Rail'[edit]

I've been working on fixing article links to the Track (disambiguation) page, and 'track' has come up in this article, does anyone have an opinion on whether Track (monorail) [to redirect here] needs to be added to the disambig page, meaning the physical track i.e. as in railway track? (Also posted on Talk:Magnetic Levitating Train) MickMacNee (talk) 16:13, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

A train track has two rails. A monorail has a single rail. Yes, we have no tracks, we have no tracks today. This article is so off I treasure it. I have seen articles with very minor flaws talked to death. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mea (talkcontribs) 02:15, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

The structure upon which a monorail train travels is generally referred to as the beamway. BEAMWAY. Not "monotrack". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.56.7.213 (talk) 14:58, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Fahrenheit 451[edit]

The SAFEGE suspended monorail test track was used in the 1966 movie of Fahrenheit 451. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.58.133.134 (talk) 03:48, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I removed a bit at the bottom about the different monorail manufacturers "sucking carl kammerer's dick" If this is a noob edit that makes a mess of something else, sorry! -Googlevictim —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.145.131 (talk) 02:34, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Historical Monorails.[edit]

The following press clipping from 1879 describes a military "one-rail" system, so earlier that the name "Monorail" has not yet come into use. [1] It is also being advocated as a "Cheap railway".

Keep a look out for a logging monorail of more recent times. The vehicle had a crane which could be used to move the track around as each area was logged out. It was particularly useful in swampy ares where normal vehicles would get bogged, the monorail track sections spreading the weight and elimintating this problem.

There is of course the famous Irish monorail.


Tabletop (talk) 04:53, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Historical Monorails.[edit]

The following press clipping from 1879 describes a military "one-rail" system, so earlier that the name "Monorail" has not yet come into use. [1] It is also being advocated as a "Cheap railway".

Keep a look out for a logging monorail of more recent times. The vehicle had a crane which could be used to move the track around as each area was logged out. It was particularly useful in swampy ares where normal vehicles would get bogged, the monorail track sections spreading the weight and elimintating this problem.

There is of course the famous Irish monorail.


Tabletop (talk) 05:01, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

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Does not make the important distinction between type I and type II monorail[edit]

Just noting it here, will try to gather the documentation that I know you people will demand.

The Wuppertal, Germany Schwebeban (literally "hanging transport") is an example of a type I monorail. The cars are suspended from the guideway. (Also noted is the fact that the dedicated article on this monorail refers to it as "floating" which indicates a lack of understanding about monorails and basic German.)

Monorails such as the Walt Disney World and Seattle monorail are examples of type II monorails. These monorails have the cars sitting atop the guideway.

I am not really an expert on the subject. I simply produced a report on monorails for a technical writing class I took many years ago. I pity the person who gets their primary knowledge of monorails from this article. I know it's easy to tear down. But let me suggest the only real value is the graphics. The text is almost superfluous, in my opinion. After saving this comment, I will look at the references. I can't believe they were actually read through. Sorry. Mea (talk) 02:24, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Correction: my bad. Apparently the terms "type I" and "type II" monorails have been superseded by newer terms. People in the know know that the hanging one was (practically) realized first and the Alweg system later. But time marches on... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mea (talkcontribs) 06:12, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

good grief. How uninformed... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.56.7.213 (talk) 15:00, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Ridership on Tokyo Monorail NOT 300,000[edit]

I recently edited the page to change the Tokyo Monorail ridership figure from 300,000 down to 120,692. The 300,000 is cited on the web a lot but it is the CAPACITY of the system. If you let google translate this page - http://www.tokyo-monorail.co.jp/company/profile.html - you will see the correct capacity is 311,856 passengers per day (weekday). I have added a note about this. It is still he busiest monorail LINE in the world; Walt Disney World Monorail is the busiest SYSTEM with ~150,000 passengers per day on three lines.

The daily ridership figure is derived from http://www.tokyo-monorail.co.jp/company/profile.html. There is a list of the 2011 "Per day by getting on and off station personnel" by station; if you sum all the figures given then divide by two (i.e. every passenger both enters and exits a station) the daily ridership for that year is 120,692. Tjej (talk) 15:39, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Actually, the Chongqing Monorail crushes both, line 3 alone serves 500k pax/day. Jpatokal (talk) 04:39, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Dubious claims[edit]

From the section Monorail#Perceptions of monorail as public transport:

This high-cost perception was challenged most notably in 1963 when the ALWEG consortium proposed to finance the construction of a major system in Los Angeles in return for the right of operation.

I can't be the only person who finds this claim very dubious. Anyone who follows the progress of large-scale transportation projects understands that costs frequently rise far above whatever was projected at the start of the planning process. How does the proposed cost for a system that was never built serve as an adequate challenge to the notion that monorail systems are very expensive to construct?

This was turned down by the city authorities in favour of no system at all, and the later subway system has faced criticism as it has yet to reach the scale of the proposed monorail.

There's a webpage on past visions of L.A.'s transit future, compiled by a library run by the city's current transit agency, which mentions this proposal. There they suggest that giving up the right of operation over this proposed monorail was no easy choice for the public agency in 1963, something that seems to have been overlooked here. It also mentions a competing monorail proposal, something else that isn't mentioned here.

Also, who exactly is criticizing the Los Angeles subway system on the basis of not being as large as a monorail that was never constructed? And by "the later subway system", are we referring just to the Red and Purple Lines, or are we referring to the entire Metro Rail network (which is now quite a bit larger than the monorail system that was proposed)? If we're only comparing it to the subway lines, why? Is that a fair comparison?

I don't want to just start removing text, because I'm sure that would anger other editors here. But someone needs to start backing up these claims. PerryPlanet (talk) 21:51, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

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Farm monorails[edit]

Mention farm monorails. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=農業用單軌車 Jidanni (talk) 21:10, 1 August 2019 (UTC)