The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The United States should make a trans-continental monorail for human transportation

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2012 Category: Technology
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,681 times Debate No: 21086
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)




Round 1 is acceptance.

Pro must say: the united states should make a trans-continental monorail intended for human transportation

Con must say: the united states should not make a trans-contental monorail intended for human transportation

I will take this as serious or as funny as you wish, you may also use Google docs to post your argument if it does not fit the characters limit.


I accept this debate.

By trans-continental, it is meant that the monorail will extend from one side to the other, from sea to sea, that encompasses the entire nation

By monorail, it is a railroad, essentially

Please if you disagree with these definitions, comment or PM me about it. Otherwise, if you start posting, it is assumed that you agree.
Debate Round No. 1


I would first like to thank my opponent for agreeing to this debate. Those definitions are what I had in mind so we shall be using those definitions for trans-continental and monorail.

Observation 1: The status quo (inherency, what is going on right now)
Currently America's railroad system is a joke "In 1926, almost 32 billion passenger-miles were traveled via the major railroads. By 2000, however, these rail passenger-miles had declined by more than half to 15 billion."[1] clearly Americans are not riding the current train system anymore. America's current transcontinental railroad train releases huge quantities of green house gases and help ruin the environment. A plane trip to Las Angeles from New York the cheapest I could find, that was a round trip, was from delta airlines but it costs "$556."[2]

Observation 2: The advantages of a transcontinental monorail

1. It is nearly free!
As I said on in my observation 1, plane tickets from either end of the nation are expensive but a ticket on a monorail would become really cheap. Most places that have a monorail do not charge money to ride their monorail or they charge a minimum fee. An example of a monorail's benefits is the Las Vegas monorail, "One-Day Pass$12.00"[3] Now also keep in mind that places such as Disney land do not charge money for their monorail tickets. Now just try to imagine this fee but to travel all the way across the nation. The reason behind this is because the monorail does not take any expensive fuel to make it move, instead it uses cheap electricity.

2. It is fast enough to move across country
Let us look back at the Las Angeles to and from New York. It is 2807 miles (you can just Google maps it, also that is by road). If we were to take just the Las Vegas monorail again as the example, "Reaching speeds up to 50 mph"[3] I did the math for you and it would take a little bit over 2 days to reach one end. But also keep this in mind that the monorail can be upgraded and developed to go even faster and get to one end. I believe that if America were to start constructing the rail, that scientists given the task to construct a faster monorail would be able to solve it by the time the rail were to be created.

3. It is environmentally safer than other means
"In 2011, the Las Vegas Monorail aided in the annual removal of an estimated 2.2 million vehicle miles from Southern Nevada's major roadways, reducing emissions by more than 35 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) over the course of the year. "[3] Now imagine this but on a larger scale. The transcontinental railroad and airplanes currently hurt the ozone by using burnable fuel that will release gases that will hurt the Ozone, unlike the monorail it will not because it will use electricity. Depending on what the scientists who make the finished designs will decide on what will give it power, whether it will get solar energy or charge up at each station, even I can not tell the future, but the best thing would be to use solar energy but have back up energy from either the sun or from the station when it has gotten charged. In the end it will be much cleaner than a plane, the current transcontinental railroad, or by car.

4.It is very convenient to go coast to coast
The monorail will open a new path way from coast to coast, allowing people on one side travel all the way to the other side in a very cheap and still fast way. It will open more tourism on both ends, allowing small companies and businesses to grow and to help the American economy. Here is a story for us to understand why America needs a monorail, there is giant chasm and there are multiple ways to get across, you can walk across but that would take you too much time, you can drive across, although it would be faster than walking but it would cause more trouble, you could walk on the bridge that goes across the chasm but it dips down to almost the chasm floor, you could drive across the flat bridge across but there will be many others doing the same thing and you would have to pay the huge toll to get on the bridge, or you could walk across the other flat bridge that is nearly free. In my story walking across the chasm intended to walk across the nation, it would be very long but free. To drive across intended to drive across the nation, it wouldn't be as long but there would be a lot of problems with the chances of getting lost and other problems. The bridge that bent down was to take the current railroad, it wouldn't be long but still longer than the other bridges. The bridge to drive across but pay a huge toll was to fly across it would be fast but you have to pay a lot of money. And the last bridge to walk across was the monorail, it is faster than the previous ways except flying, and it wouldn't cost a lot of money.

5. Wouldn't take that much money or that much time to get one up
"Simply put...dig a hole, drop in a pre-built support pylon, truck in the track which was manufactured offsite, lift into place! Monorail beamway can be installed far faster than the alternatives. This is a Las Vegas Monorail beam being put into place. From truck bed to pylons was a matter of a few minutes. The entire system took only seven months to construct. No other fixed rail can be installed as quickly and as disruption-free."[4] It is simple to put up a new monorail, and with all the benefits of this monorail I don't think the time or money difference would be much of a bad thing.

6. It is safer than any other transportation alternatives
"Monorails have an excellent safety record."[4] Monorails are much safer than other means. A monorail sits above the ground so could not be attacked by other cars or land vehicles. A plane has the chance of having major problems or becoming hijacked. Cars have the chance of breaking down out in the middle of nowhere. The current train system can become derailed or a car can crash into it.

Observation 3: Conclusion
I have stated 6 reasons why America should make a transcontinental monorail for human transportation. It is very cheap to go from one end of the nation to the other end. It is fast enough to get the job done. It is environmentally safer than any other way such as planes or the current train system. It opens a new way to get to and back and that allows growth on both ends. When America decides to make one it wouldn't take that much time or cost that much money. Lastly it is much safer than any other means of transportation to go from one end to the other.

Vote for Pro!

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Okay, let's get down to business.
First off, let's start with a refutation of PRO's arguments.

R.1 Status Quo

This point is about how Americans are not riding the train system anymore. Obviously, this is because there are much better options of travel than train, such as plane or car.

With no need to ride the train, there is obviously no need to build a transcontinental railway system, as why build a railway system for human transportation, when no one rides it? Furthermore, PRO mentions "Americans are not riding the current train system anymore."

This suggests that America already has a train system for human transportation. Therefore, why build another?
Clearly that is illogical. Building another duplicate system is illogical and useless, especialy since no one rides trains anymore.

Therefore, this point clearly supports my case. Please be reminded PRO, that you are arguing for building another train system.

R.2 Cost

Now, PRO says that monorails are really cheap. That would usually be true, if the monorail has been around for a long time. However, this monorail would just be built, and the tickets must be high in the beginning in order to recover manufacturing costs.

Therefore, PRO's argument about cheap-ness is not valid, as it would be much more expensive, like all products, when it is just introduced.

R.3 Speed

Now PRO thinks a travel time of 2 days is fast. That is not true. Compare that to a plane flight, which takes only a few hours.

In today's business world, time is money. Therefore, using the basic economic principle of opportunity cost, the time spent traveling via rail could have been used to make money.

For example, it took you two days to travel. However, during that two days, you could have worked making money. Compare that to plane travel, when you only use a few hours for travel and can spend alot more working and making money.

Therefore, using opportunity cost, train travel costs a lot more than air travel, as you are spending two days not doing anything, as compared to a few hours.

Furthermore, PRO puts a lot of faith into scientists. Monorails have been around for a while, and it is obvious that if a faster one was discovered, we would build one. Because no new monorails have been built yet, it is logical to assume that scientists have not discovered how to build a fast monorail.

Furthermore, a faster monorail is not a priority for scientists. In todays world, we must combat global warming, world hunger, nuclear warfare, etc. Monorails would be at the bottom of the to do list. Therefore, it would take much longer to actually come out with a new monorail system.

Therefore, the conclusion that scientists would constructg a faster monorail is invalid.

R.4 Environmentally friendly

Yes, that might be true, but think about it logically. You said yourself in the first observation that Americans do not ride monorail systems.

What is the point of spending millions of dollars on a system that might be environmentally friendly, but no one rides on it? It would be a failed investment.

There is no incentive to ride the monorail system. It is slow. It is an old fashioned way of travel. Simply put, it may be super environmentally friendly, but Americans do not care about that.

Americans do not care about going green. Therefore, this advantage has no use.

R.5 Convinience

This point was really about how monorails are sort of fast and cheap, and will help tourism.

However, as I pointed out, there is a much larger opportunity cost to monorail travel, that makes it much more exensive that aircraft. While they are sort of fast compared to other methods, it is slow compared to aircraft.

Therefore, the vehicle of choice would be the plane.

Also, PRO talks about tourism. But why can't plane travel help tourism as well? This benefit is not unique to the monorail system. Furthermore, if no one has the incentive to ride the monorail, as I pointed out that it is slow, and people don't care about the environment, then it would not open tourism at all, actually.

Therefore, this is not a benefit.

R.6 Set up

PRO claims that the monorail will be cheap and fast to set up, and uses the Las Vegas example to support this. I must rremind PRO that the las vegas monorail was not transcontinental, which means across the entire nation.

I must point out that that Alaska is part of the US nation. Therefore, we must have a monorail extending from Las Vegas to Alaska, as that would be encompassing the entire nation.

This size is much bigger than the size of Las Vegas, and as a result, it would take much more money and much more time to set up.

Therefore, this would not be an advantage to the monorail.

R7 Safety

PRO claims that monorails are safer than any other transportation method. However, that is blatantly false.

PRO pointed out that this monorail would run on electricity. I must point out that black outs and power outages are very frequent, and occur much more frequently than the examples he listed. Therefore, during a power outage, you would be stuck in the middle of no-where, with a limited food supply. Blackouts can last up to several days, and this is especially unsafe, as there is limited supplies on the train.

Furthermore, trains, like planes can be hijacked and derailed, therefore, safety is not a benefit of monorail systems.


I have proven that each of PRO's supposed benefits are not benefits at all. Therefore, I have proven that monorail systems have no real benefits.

With no real benefits, there is no point of making a multi million dollar system. Furthermore, I have shown, with PRO's agreement, that Americans do not ride trains anymore. This is another reason that there is no point in investing in an obviously failing asset.

Therefore, we should not build a monorail system.

Therefore, vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2


I will first go over my opponents attacks onto my case then say voters.
(CR# = Counter Refutation)

CR1 Status Quo
When I said "current train system" I intended the current transcontinental railroad. I do agree that there is already a current train system but I said that no one ever rides because they are fed up with it and there needs to be a new change to the current situation. I would wish to point out that there are differences and similarities of a railroad train and a monorail the similarities is that they both are train like and the major difference is that the monorail rides 1 rail unlike a railroad train. I wish to remind my opponent that I was discouraging the railroad (steam powered train) because they do not work to best help everyone and that is the only "train like" system we have currently.

CR2 Cost
My opponent agrees with me that a monorail will be cheap. Con says that there will be high ticket costs, that is not the only option. There could be other means to get the money back from building it, either by selling expensive things on board, a type of gift shop, or stores at both end of the monorail. But I would like to point out that I said "Now also keep in mind that places such as Disney land do not charge money for their monorail tickets" clearly it is going to be cheap. Still the difference of plane tickets and this new monorail ticket will be extreme.

CR3 Speed
When I said it would take about 2 days that was an example. I used the Las Vegas monorail and the longest amount of miles through road between Las Angeles and New York city on Google maps. Clearly it is going to be less than two days, depending on the location of both ends and if they use a faster model to do it. My opponent states that we should focus on more important things, something my opponent stated along that is "we must combat global warming" wouldn't a monorail, that does not release any gases, help combat global warming. Therefore my opponent agrees that America should build a monorail to stop people from using cars for large road trips.

CR4 Environmentally friendly
My opponent agrees with me that a monorail is ecologically safe and thus contradicting his claim on doing more important things rather than build a monorail. Like I said ""In 2011, the Las Vegas Monorail aided in the annual removal of an estimated 2.2 million vehicle miles from Southern Nevada's major roadways, reducing emissions by more than 35 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) over the course of the year. "[3] Now imagine this but on a larger scale" Las Vegas monorail proves that it helps the environment. Also it says that it removed 2.2 MILLION vehicle miles, and this is a rather small monorail. Therefore it shows that people care about it. Something interesting I found in my opponents evidence is that it talks about Windex and does not link to my case so it does not prove that people will not use the monorail. I think people will care about something that will allow you to go all the way across the nation for a cheap price.

CR5 Convenient
This is becoming a debate for whether speed is better than money. Companies that will be at either end of the monorail will chip in to aid in the building of this monorail so price can be eased up. I will also point out that the 50 MPH monorail was for the Las Vegas monorail, but there is and will be better and faster monorails and with extensive research about one thing will help in the construction of something better, building a rocket to go to the moon proves this concept. I would enjoy to keep my hard earned dollars and get to the other side of the nation in a day or around 12 hours than spend hundreds of dollars and get there in about 9 hours. Something my opponent said is that people don't care about the environment but previously my opponent said that we should combat global warming, which shows that my opponent contradicts its self. Tourism helps small companies that have high potential, as previous major companies have proved.

CR6 Set up
My opponent says that the Las Vegas monorail is not transcontinental, BUT uses the information of the Vegas monorail for points to prove against my case, which shows more contradiction. My opponent says the Alaska is part of America, but in the definition of transcontinental that me and my opponent agreed to only refers from coast to coast of America, so the Alaska argument falls. I agree that it will be bigger than the Las Vegas monorail but the idea to build one is the same, and because my opponent did not attack the process of creating one we both agree that it will be easy to create. Like I said that companies on either end of the tracks will help chip in to make one and the American government which has a lot of money can easily spend the money to make one.

CR7 Safety
My opponent said that it has the chance to black out, but I said that it would run on solar power and have power reserve to survive through a black out. Like I said that a monorail can not be derailed so if there was a hijacking then the worse they could do is move forward. Unlike a plane that can have engine blow outs, hijacking, crashing into mountains, or running out of fuel in mid flight can lead to certain death.

There are many reasons why you should vote for Pro,
1. I used more sources so therefore I should receive sources points,
2. My opponent misspelled words and used more improper grammar than I have so therefore I should get those points,
3. I have done less contradictions than my opponent so therefore I deserve the better conduct points, and
4. I have managed to keep all of my arguments for reasons why American should make a transcontinental monorail and my opponent has not any stated points that have said any kind of disadvantages for if America were to make a transcontinental monorail so for fully following by the rules that me and my opponent to say why America should/should not make a transcontinental monorail I deserve the more persuasive argument points.
You should not vote for Con because Con has not stated any backlash outcomes if America were to make a transcontinental monorail so therefore you should vote for Pro because there are no harms to do so.
Vote For Pro!


I apologize but I do not have the time to do this debate currently.

You have clearly put effort into your arguments, and I deeply apologize for this.

I have been super busy with school work.

Perhaps we could debate this topic another time?
Debate Round No. 3


Apology accepted.
I understand being swamped in school work, and I would enjoy debating this later.
There must be a winner, so yeah. Good Debate.


Thank you for being so kind and understanding.
I'm looking forward to debating with you again in the future.

Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by kyro90 6 years ago
Lol, I totally agree with Pro, but I dont think I should vote on this, as I have feelings for some debates lol.
Posted by Maikuru 6 years ago
What's a monorail, you ask?
Posted by 1Historygenius 6 years ago
What is a monorail exactly?
Posted by kyro90 6 years ago
I guess I would agree but thats kinda why they made box cars....
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct and arguments go to surpy for the FF.
Vote Placed by wmpeebles 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Even with the FF, no side had really good arguments. Having recently done a debate on high speed rail, I had noticed flaws on both sides and I also noticed very fallacious arguments on both sides as well. I will give a conduct point to Pro for putting in a lot of time for his arguments only to have Con give up on the debate, but I really feel nobody should win this debate.
Vote Placed by imabench 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: con had superior arguments but gave up.....