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  1. #1

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    Question Mark VII Monorails Fixed?(Merged)

    Wikipedia's article on the Disneyland Monorail System states that the airflow issue and windows have been fixed on the Mark VII's. I don't really believe the solution came that quick, but is this true?
    "To all who come to this happy place - welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you."

    óWalter E. Disney, July 17, 1955



    LONG LIVE Disneyland!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    They haven't been fixed to my knowledge--yet. They are working on it though; it appears they are trying out some test windows on the monorails at the moment (temporary windows set at certain heights) to determine the correct height that is most efficient for air flow. After tests are done, the windows will be redone to the new design on Orange (I think) and then Blue and Red will get the same treatment later.

  3. #3

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    You know what I get a kick out of? I can roll the windows down in my old Ford at the touch of a button. Yet a state of the art, multi-million dollar piece of equipment with years of R&D, not to mention decades of operating experience, takes months (and who knows how much money) to roll its windows down.

    I guess CalTech or Cal Poly or wherever these brilliant engineers went to forgot to put "Common Sense 101" into their curriculum. The body hitting the side of the track can be forgiven, it was a major task and technical errors were to be expected. But sealing 20 people in an airtight vehicle in the middle of a SoCal Summer for 10-15 minutes at a time didn't set off any warning bells? THIS is what happens when you design products while sitting in a $1,500 ergonomic chair in a climate-controlled, noise-free building. When everything is hunky-dory around you while you're designing stuff, you forget (or ignore) the most blatant real-world conditions. I want my engineers miserable when they're designing a form of transportation... I want them to be so empathetic and understanding of the average person's troubles that they'll beg to make the travelling environment more comfortable.

    The monorails are beautiful and the engineers did a fantastic job overall, but apparently they move from one air-conditioned building to another during the summer around here.

  4. #4

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    Monorail Red continues to test its half-down prototype windows. Blue has not received the same windows, but the weather in Anaheim has remained cool enough to be able to run both without any problems. (80 degrees is the limit w/ the current ventilation design.) The final outcome/solution has not yet been decided.

    Wikipedia is jumping the gun.

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

  5. #5

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon View Post
    You know what I get a kick out of? I can roll the windows down in my old Ford at the touch of a button. Yet a state of the art, multi-million dollar piece of equipment with years of R&D, not to mention decades of operating experience, takes months (and who knows how much money) to roll its windows down.
    Yeah, but your Ford windows don't get worn and torn by guests constantly rolling them up and down all the time, playing with them, (not to mention them pulling on them) all day long, everyday, every week, every month, all year long. Designs for durability take a long time to create. They could have gone and actually put in power car windows only to have them break after being abused by guests (and then MC complains about the monorails again ).

    Things from the outside world that work don't necessarily work at Disneyland. Look at the actuators for Flying Saucers. They were tested for a certain amount of cycles to work and they were suppose to only work once for a NASA mission. But when Disney used them, they went far beyond the amount of cycles the actuators were tested and they began to fail.

  6. #6

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    I wouldn't trust Wikipedia's information. You won't believe how many corrections Steve Degaetano had to make to the DLRR page of that site (only to have the changes reversed!)

  7. #7

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    That's why I originally said I wouldn't believe the monorails were "fixed" that quickly!
    "To all who come to this happy place - welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you."

    óWalter E. Disney, July 17, 1955



    LONG LIVE Disneyland!!

  8. #8

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon View Post
    I guess CalTech or Cal Poly or wherever these brilliant engineers went to forgot to put "Common Sense 101" into their curriculum. The body hitting the side of the track can be forgiven, it was a major task and technical errors were to be expected. But sealing 20 people in an airtight vehicle in the middle of a SoCal Summer for 10-15 minutes at a time didn't set off any warning bells? THIS is what happens when you design products while sitting in a $1,500 ergonomic chair in a climate-controlled, noise-free building. When everything is hunky-dory around you while you're designing stuff, you forget (or ignore) the most blatant real-world conditions. I want my engineers miserable when they're designing a form of transportation... I want them to be so empathetic and understanding of the average person's troubles that they'll beg to make the travelling environment more comfortable.

    The monorails are beautiful and the engineers did a fantastic job overall, but apparently they move from one air-conditioned building to another during the summer around here.
    You do realize that there are other departments that can have a say in the final design, right? They had to redesign the windows because the Legal department considered the clearances inside DL to be too tight, therefore they wanted a new window configuration that could help prevent guests from sticking their entire arm out the window. Obviously A/C wasn't an option since the Budgeteers didn't want to fork over the money to retrofit or rebuild the beam to handle the extra weight of an A/C system. Hence why the engineers had to bow down to Legal's whims and redesign the windows.

    Obviously Legal is now biting themselves in the rear because they couldn't figure out that trapping guests in 90+ degree boxes was a bad idea, but unfortunately some people just don't have that kind of foresight when they make demands about a project.
    "Keep Moving Forward."

  9. #9

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    Still testing windows, only on Red though. We have been having really nice, cool, weather, so we had been running both Red and Blue.

    BUT, Blue is out of service as parts are being taken off to be placed on Orange to get her running. Been told this will take a month.
    SOO, 1 month of 1 train op and 1 way trips, ugh....

  10. #10

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nautilus View Post
    Yeah, but your Ford windows don't get worn and torn by guests constantly rolling them up and down all the time, playing with them, (not to mention them pulling on them) all day long, everyday, every week, every month, all year long. Designs for durability take a long time to create. They could have gone and actually put in power car windows only to have them break after being abused by guests (and then MC complains about the monorails again ).
    The wear and tear issue could be fixed very easily by only allowing guests to adjust the window for the first 15-20 seconds of the trip. This would reset everytime the train reaches the station and leaves. They could do that or have the driver adjust them by a master switch depending on the heat level. This would basically stop people from playing with the windows and reduce wear and tear.

  11. #11

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    The windows being tested on Red are not half down. The are the same window, just with the top part of them cut out. If you ride it, you can clearly see where they just cut out a square in the top of the window. Then they glued a strip over the bottom edge so no one can cut themselves. They windows look to be some kind of plexyglass, too. It does not look like glass where the cut was made.

    I don't understand why they would need to take parts from Blue to get Orange running? Didn't they have to do that kind of stuff with the old Monorails? Why in the world would they need to do it with the new ones???

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    It is just so hard to believe the company never saw these problems coming!
    "To all who come to this happy place - welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you."

    óWalter E. Disney, July 17, 1955



    LONG LIVE Disneyland!!

  13. #13

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by disney55 View Post
    It is just so hard to believe the company never saw these problems coming!
    They didn't want to see the problems coming. See no evil, Hear no evil...

    They have centuries of practical knowledge available to them - Bob Gurr designed and hand-built the first few generations of Monorails, and AFAICT he's happily semi-retired but available (and quite willing) to take short-term consulting contracts.

    They could have brought him in (and a few other experts) at the beginning and picked his brain for all the problems that were encountered and solved at the Mark I - II - III stages so they didn't have to make them yet again. And mistakes are a LOT more expensive now.

    As to Power Windows, yeah if the passengers can play with them, they will, and they will break. That's something better left to the Pilot to control remotely, or a thermostat in the car. But you certainly could build a very beefy version of a standard car window mechanism and make it work.

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  14. #14

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    I agree they should bring in Bob Gurr, because he is like an expert at these monorails!
    "To all who come to this happy place - welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you."

    óWalter E. Disney, July 17, 1955



    LONG LIVE Disneyland!!

  15. #15

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    Re: Mark VII Monorails Fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by disney55 View Post
    I agree they should bring in Bob Gurr, because he is like an expert at these monorails!
    From what I hear, Bob heard about the upcoming project, and was waiting for his phone to ring with an offer for a little consulting contract... But it never rang.

    Rather than pay a little to pick the Original Designer and Builder's Brain for clues, they bulled through on their own. Paid a lot to reverse engineer and re-learn how to build a Monorail train, and then spent even more to fix several design errors after the vehicles were completed.

    Things that would or should have been caught in the design and mock-up stages, when you put all the running gear on a rolling bare chassis, put it up on the Disneyland beam, and try pushing it around the park for a lap. They would have found the power pickup shoe geometry problems, and the clearance issues.

    A full body mock-up would have caught the window problem when they noticed "Hey, it's getting hot in here..."

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