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  1. #31

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    He'd talk about a little bit of everything and comment on how WDI needs a healthy dose of "common sense".
    That's a polite way to say it.


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  2. #32

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by BoogaFrito View Post
    Cars change lanes. They turn corners. They merge with perpendicular traffic. Car drivers are surrounded by other drivers they do not know and have no way of communicating with. They are not linked by a central command center. They are not on a track.

    The car analogy just doesn't work here. Trying to conflate the two is an example of the kind of hyperbole I'm talking about.
    You must have overlooked the part where I said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Code90 View Post
    Of course, we are talking about something different than mirrors here, but you get the idea.
    Interesting how you didn't quote that.

    The point I was trying to make was that you can take anything off a car (mirrors, turn signals, horn, headlights, seatbelts, etc.). Sure, the car would still run, but why would you want a car with any of those features missing?

    Imagine your favorite car company coming out with a new model that has fewer safety features in order to enhance the car's design. That's essentially what I was trying to explain.

    In this situation, we are missing windows for the pilot which allowed for increased track visibility not possible through just a windshield. It's a simple no-brainer of a safety feature that WDI screwed up on... among many other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Good old Bob... quick to point out the obvious! I love it...

    The few times I've met him I always ended up laughing. Once he discovered I was a Jungle Skip the "game was up". He'd talk about a little bit of everything and comment on how WDI needs a healthy dose of "common sense".
    Bob Gurr definitely knew what he was talking about. As many here know, Bob mentioned that no one ever consulted him on the design of the Mark VIIs. Sure, Scot Drake talked about how his design was inspired by the original Bob Gurr trains, but never once was Bob consulted. There just seems to be an arrogant mentality within WDI that prevents them from making a truly exceptional product.

    That's one reason why I agree that WDI should be held accountable for this window issue. They need to stop designing junk that makes it difficult and less safe for operations and facilities to do their jobs.

  3. #33

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by Code90 View Post
    Interesting how you didn't quote that.

    The point I was trying to make was that you can take anything off a car (mirrors, turn signals, horn, headlights, seatbelts, etc.). Sure, the car would still run, but why would you want a car with any of those features missing?
    It was irrelevant to my point: the monorail is a completely different transport method than a car both in function and design. The safety systems for each are designed with those specific functions in mind. Whether we're talking about mirrors, headlights, etc., this direct comparison between the two is a false one.

    Obviously, you think these windows are an integral part of the safety of the monorail fleet. I'm not convinced.


    How long have these new deathtraps been in use at the resorts, anyway?
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  4. #34

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by BoogaFrito View Post
    It was irrelevant to my point: the monorail is a completely different transport method than a car both in function and design. The safety systems for each are designed with those specific functions in mind. Whether we're talking about mirrors, headlights, etc., this direct comparison between the two is a false one.

    Obviously, you think these windows are an integral part of the safety of the monorail fleet. I'm not convinced.

    How long have these new deathtraps been in use at the resorts, anyway?
    Are you a current Monorail Pilot? We are hearing from actual Pilots that the loss of those side windows is a potential problem, as their view is rather restricted out the windshield - If they can't keep visual tabs on the station and track ahead in the "Spaghetti Bowl" of beam over the Sub Lagoon, they might not know there is another train ahead till they are almost on top of them - and that would be bad.

    You don't want to count on the MAPO Moving Block System alone, eyeballs are always a reliable backup to technological safety systems that can fail.

    I don't drive a Monorail, I drive a medium truck, and I have to be ever vigilant on the safety front to make sure I don't hit anyone or anything. And part of that is not hitting traffic on the sides that may be passing or approaching from the rear. Blocking the side windows on my truck, and replacing the big rear-view mirrors with little camera monitors with a far more restricted field of view would make it far less safe.

    If it is illegal to remove safety systems from a car or truck (that are required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards regulations) why would it be a good idea to remove them from the Monorail trains? If anything, the mark revision upgrades should ADD safety measures, not remove them. They removed the "Bubble Top" domes and added the side windows to the Mark V trains.

    And doing a proper ergonomic study would have caught that - they would learn that the Pilots routinely look out the side windows in normal operations, and deleting them would be a problem.

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  5. #35

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    I'm not convinced it's not overblown.

    So you can't see out of the side to see the station. Ok, lets consider a few things

    1) there is a MBS system in place so this is a backup to start with...
    2) look at the turn radius of these beams. Consider how far away you are if you can see it only from the side window. You also have all that distance to cover where you WILL be able to see it from the front as you progress through the turn
    3) This isn't making a blind turn into an intersection
    4) I thought the trains already approached the station at a reduced speed further expanding the safety buffer the distance in #2 grants you



    If they were so desperate for these side windows - I'd question why they are so dependent on a visual reference to know if they should proceed or not instead of using a more controlled process to start with!

    Certainly taking away things that give confidence is bad - but is this 'blatant disregard for safety' - I think not.
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  6. #36

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    I don't drive a Monorail, I drive a medium truck, and I have to be ever vigilant on the safety front to make sure I don't hit anyone or anything. And part of that is not hitting traffic on the sides that may be passing or approaching from the rear. Blocking the side windows on my truck, and replacing the big rear-view mirrors with little camera monitors with a far more restricted field of view would make it far less safe.
    Code90 made a similar comparison as well. I guess I'm having trouble with the analogy that the side windows on a Disneyland monorail are as crucial to collision avoidance as the mirrors on a medium truck driving in traffic.

    If it is illegal to remove safety systems from a car or truck (that are required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards regulations) why would it be a good idea to remove them from the Monorail trains?
    I'm not saying removing the windows was good or bad, only that the panic over their removal seems unfounded. (As to the FMVS Standards, there are significant differences between cars & trucks being driven by individuals on public roads and the closed, controlled ride system of the monorail.)
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  7. #37

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by BoogaFrito View Post

    I'm not saying removing the windows was good or bad, only that the panic over their removal seems unfounded.
    I don't really think there is any panic here just a discussion of frustrating changes to the pretty but challenged new Mark nightmare monorails.

  8. #38

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    I'm not convinced it's not overblown.
    Well I am pretty convinced it is overblown. And I'm not in any way a big defender of WDI and their bungling.

    1) there is a MBS system in place so this is a backup to start with...
    On top of that, the CMs also have radios, so this is a backup of a backup.

    2) look at the turn radius of these beams. Consider how far away you are if you can see it only from the side window. You also have all that distance to cover where you WILL be able to see it from the front as you progress through the turn
    When you enter the park there are at least two places along the track where you can see the station dead on through the front of the windshield - no side viewing necessary.

    I would like to know where these places along the track are where you could only see the station through the side windows.

    If they were so desperate for these side windows - I'd question why they are so dependent on a visual reference to know if they should proceed or not instead of using a more controlled process to start with!
    Has the Monorail ever ceased operation due to fog?

    Certainly taking away things that give confidence is bad - but is this 'blatant disregard for safety' - I think not.
    Knowing the way that WDI does business, I can't fathom that they didn't have meeting after meeting after meeting to nail down the design, and I would even wager a guess that at some point they asked some Monorail pilots how important the window was and they said it wasn't THAT important.

    If it was absolutely THAT crucial, that's something that ops would have demanded before WDI turned over the monorails for testing. It's something that could have been pointed out while the dozens of Monorail CMs were testing the attraction before it was available to guests.

    It's just not that important at all and it just sounds like a bunch of monorail CMs that are hurt that they changed the design and they weren't personally consulted on it.

  9. #39

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Well, obviously even trains and monorails operating on separate rights of way "in a closed and controlled system" are not immune from needing to see where they are going, in either direction. Oh, and having the operators awake and aware and watching where they are going too - not napping, or texting their buddies, or reading a newspaper, or...

    Examples - the BART accident just this last Saturday afternoon - and initial reports are that the (allegedly) sleeping operator had the train in Manual Override for some reason when it plowed into the back of a stopped train in the station. And the Washington Metro collision, and the WDW collision, and the Los Angeles Metrolink crash last year...

    The lack of side windows and good rear-view mirrors on DL monorails might not be a big issue, but in the eyes of the Pilots who drive them they are an issue. And you never know when a seemingly minor issue makes a major impact.

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  10. #40

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    And which of these accidents would have been avoided with better windows in the trains Bruce?

    Most of these accidents are due to human error (the DC Metro one is actually shaping up to be equipment failure..) so I really don't see how adding another human process as so desperately need as to call it's omission one of disregarding safety.

    If anything these accidents should show why the drivers shouldn't be driving purely on visual references and should be adhering to a control process.
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  11. #41

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    And which of these accidents would have been avoided with better windows in the trains Bruce?

    Most of these accidents are due to human error (the DC Metro one is actually shaping up to be equipment failure..) so I really don't see how adding another human process as so desperately need as to call it's omission one of disregarding safety.

    If anything these accidents should show why the drivers shouldn't be driving purely on visual references and should be adhering to a control process.
    Prior to 2000, Disneyland Monorail pilots operated only on visuals. After 2000, the Mark V trains were upgraded with "intrusion" systems. Even with the intrusion system, pilots were still trained to use normal visual as their primary form of station clearance. The intrusion system is simply the pilot's safety net. Its job is to stop a train if the pilot fails to check for visual clearance. It was never intended to replace the basic responsibility of checking key visual points.

    While WDW has a completely different operation, visual clearance is the name of the game there. Although they rely heavily on their MAPO system (WDW's equivalent of DL's intrusion system), visual clearance always has priority. While it's always better to trust what you can see with your own eyes, radio calls are also used as a temporary backup when normal visual is impossible due to bad weather. By the way, the Mark VI trains all have front cab side windows. Without them, WDW pilots would rightfully complain to no end.

    And no one said anything about "adding another human process". We're talking about a process that already existed as a primary safety procedure. It was only recently removed by Scot Drake when he selfishly pulled the pilots' windows out of his design plans.

  12. #42

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    well if DL operates their trains as visual only.. with radio and a MBS only as 'backups' then I think side-windows is the least of their problems.
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  13. #43

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    I'm with Bruce, if the Pilots feel that installing some windows would add a margin of safety, then they should install the windows - what the big deal?? After all, if they can overhaul California Adventure, then surely they can figure out a way to install some design friendly, safety enhancing, pilot pleasing windows on the Monorail.
    Last edited by Primus; 07-20-2009 at 10:09 AM. Reason: typo

  14. #44

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    My thought is that the monorail side windows issue doesn't exist in a vacuum, but against the background of Disneyland's and WDI's more than decade-long track record of screwing up in areas where they formerly excelled -- common sense among them.

    In the sorry specifics of the new monorail rollout, Disney's appearance is of the Gang That Can't Shoot Straight.

    To me it's no surprise, then, that many people are reluctant to give Disney the benefit of the doubt when it comes to issues such as safety features of the new monorails.


    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 07-20-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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  15. #45

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    Re: Monorail Safety and WDI

    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    I'm with Bruce, if the Pilots feel that installing some windows would add a margin of safety, then they should install the windows - what the big deal??
    I suspect the Pilots are simply used to the windows being there. No one likes when someone else forces them to change their methods.

    I can see pilots using extra caution now when approaching the station, though, as opposed to relying on a glance out a side window from earlier in their journey...
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