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  1. #31

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Newseditor44 View Post
    Miss both of them (Coleen was my lead on Star Tours for a couple of summers in the early 90's, Jackie was just a sweetheart!)... I never looked at Monorail Blue the same way again

    Also, how about the poor guy at the switch.. He must have been s-ing his pants when he saw the train coming right at him. I heard he jumped to save his life and might have been injured, but I don't know that for sure. I remember seeing CFA there. We had to close Autopia for a while that night. I ER'd so I don't know if they closed it for the night, but I assume they did.
    Well he had to jump, the back end of the train took out the switch platform.

    I was on Autopia that day as well. They pulled me to subs when TA closed (blech).

  2. #32

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Hi all I'm new to this forum haha I never knew there was a forum. Until it popped in my mind and decided to do a search on google. I've been a monorail pilot for a while now. Its a great job it would be the only choice of job I would choose to do. Even though working a double shift and when its night time on the epcot track it gets pretty dark in the cockpit with all the flashing lights will get to you after a while usually the MAPO system will wake ya up after a while. : ) As for the job being safe? haha it has its points we still run the monorails even though there might be an electrical storm headed our way usually what central is mostly concerned about is the wind sitauration. We have had lighting hit the tracks and hit some monorails if it hits the right spot on the train ofcourse it will go through the wires and transfer onto the panel the throttle is actually metal covered by an hard plastic. It has happened before. Anyways as for new people they start you off at 7.40 an hour. Isnt much but its quite intersting. takecare

  3. #33

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Monorailpilot View Post
    Hi all I'm new to this forum haha I never knew there was a forum. Until it popped in my mind and decided to do a search on google. I've been a monorail pilot for a while now. Its a great job it would be the only choice of job I would choose to do. Even though working a double shift and when its night time on the epcot track it gets pretty dark in the cockpit with all the flashing lights will get to you after a while usually the MAPO system will wake ya up after a while. : )
    Welcome to MiceChat, and have fun here. But...

    Standard CM Admonition: If you admit in postings or through your screen name that you are a CM, you (more or less) have to follow the same rules here as if you were talking to Guests at work - If you have to apply a liberal dose of Magic to the answer when asked there, you have to do it here, too.

    Unfortunately, there ARE spies here from the Team Disney buildings, and if you are too loose with the real dirt you are likely to see a printout of what you said sitting on the table during the disciplinary meeting. You signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement when you hired on, and they will pull it out.

    This is not meant to scare you, just a friendly reminder not to cross the line in the first place and give them any ammunition against you. (Which is why there are several people here we suspect are CM's, but who don't admit it outright.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Monorailpilot View Post
    As for the job being safe? haha it has its points we still run the monorails even though there might be an electrical storm headed our way usually what central is mostly concerned about is the wind sitauration. We have had lighting hit the tracks and hit some monorails if it hits the right spot on the train ofcourse it will go through the wires and transfer onto the panel the throttle is actually metal covered by an hard plastic. It has happened before. Anyways as for new people they start you off at 7.40 an hour. Isnt much but its quite intersting. takecare
    I wouldn't be too worried about a lightning strike on a train, it's kind of like when it hits an automobile - the chassis acts like a Faraday Cage around you, and the lightning will go around on the way through to a ground source. Which will probably be through the ground power pickup arm and shoe, and to the ground rail on the side of the beam and the rebar steel in the track and pylons.

    Of course, if that lightning pulse decides to jump across and go through the +600V Power rail it's going to get back to a power station and trip the rectifier for that area off line, and you get to sit there for a while.

    And yes, holding onto the Throttle/Brake control handle could be a bit of a problem... This is why they tell you to put your hands in your lap while sitting in a car in a lighning storm, you want to stay insulated from the chassis. I have this nice pair of Lineman's Rubber Gloves I could loan you...

    (With a lightning storm imminent or happening I would suggest getting on the PA and have the pasengers close all the windows, and then all sit well inboard from them with their hands in their lap, NOT touching the walls in case of a direct strike. And explain why they don't want to have their hands on the window frames with the metal car framework underneath...)

    Wind isn't going to be a big problem until you start talking hurricane velocities in just the right direction. Those trains aren't that light.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  4. #34

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Thats a great point ofcourse rubber tires roll down on the top and sides of the track. The point I was trying to make was in 2001 Monorail black all systems on board electrical the whole 9 yards were fried. We found out it was due to a lighting strike having an impact on the train itself.

  5. #35

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Monorailpilot View Post
    Thats a great point ofcourse rubber tires roll down on the top and sides of the track. The point I was trying to make was in 2001 Monorail black all systems on board electrical the whole 9 yards were fried. We found out it was due to a lighting strike having an impact on the train itself.
    If you are saying that rubber tires ground a vehicle from lightning, that is an old wives tale, so very untrue.

  6. #36

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    I wouldn't be too worried about a lightning strike on a train, it's kind of like when it hits an automobile - the chassis acts like a Faraday Cage around you, and the lightning will go around on the way through to a ground source. Which will probably be through the ground power pickup arm and shoe, and to the ground rail on the side of the beam and the rebar steel in the track and pylons.
    Is the monorail really surrounded by metal? I thought it was just fiberglass surrounding a metal frame or something. I think for the Faraday Cage to work you need to have a more significant amount of metal than what I suspect is in the monorail, of course some is better than none! Airplanes are nearly totally covered in metal, as are cars, so I can see how that works. I don't think I'd want to be struck while in any of those though....

  7. #37

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Newseditor44 View Post
    Anyone remember the story about Monorial blue taking a nose dive??? I was there that night working autopia. Imagine our suprise when we saw the nose of the train pancaked on the ground... YIKES!!! That happend while another cast member was being trained.
    OK, could we please back up for a moment? A MONORAIL HIT THE GROUND?!? When did that happen? HOW did that happen? Can some one relate the story for those of us who haven't heard? I mean, holy crap!

    - Johnny
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." - BB

  8. #38

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by revol yensid View Post
    Is the monorail really surrounded by metal? I thought it was just fiberglass surrounding a metal frame or something. I think for the Faraday Cage to work you need to have a more significant amount of metal than what I suspect is in the monorail, of course some is better than none! Airplanes are nearly totally covered in metal, as are cars, so I can see how that works. I don't think I'd want to be struck while in any of those though....
    It's a welded metal space frame that will act as enough of a cage to draw the charge around the cabin, down between the windows, through the floor structure and wheel bogies, and jump to ground at the support beam, the power rails, or both.

    It's certainly not a perfect cage with a metal skin, but the odds say the lightning is going to take the easiest low-resistance path it can find to get to ground. And if you aren't touching the walls or ceiling and are only in your seat and feet on the floor, you most likely aren't going to be part of that path.

    (Yes, I'm using a lot of wiggle words - with lightning you can predict what it will do only in general terms, it follows Murphy's Law. There is no such thing as a sure thing.)

    There has to be some sort of reinforcement down the center of the train, so people can stand on the roof and self-evacuate to another car in case of a "severe problem" (and we'll leave it at that ) - so there's got to be something simple yet structural up there under the roof sheet, like some nice corrugated steel planking...

    <Paging> "Bob Gurr, Please call the MiceChat Operator..." </Paging> (If anyone would know for sure... )

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  9. #39

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by savanasue View Post
    If you are saying that rubber tires ground a vehicle from lightning, that is an old wives tale, so very untrue.
    They don't ground you.. they isolate you. If you were grounded, you'd be the best path for current to flow to.

    If your potential floats.. or raises... less current will flow through you. Its why electrical line man can touch a high power line. As long as they stay isolated, they can raise their potential to be the same as the power line and hence, no current flows to them.

    Cars are an inperfect system, but in the scheme of things, you aren't likely to get hit.

  10. #40

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyQuest View Post
    OK, could we please back up for a moment? A MONORAIL HIT THE GROUND?!? When did that happen? HOW did that happen? Can some one relate the story for those of us who haven't heard? I mean, holy crap!

    - Johnny
    The Train Pilot was given clearance in error by the Roundhouse personnel to move the *EMPTY* train, and backed the train through a track switch with the switch beam set the wrong way - and the back car of the train went off the open end of the track where the switch beam wasn't. Oops!

    Edit: Go to www.monorails.org and there's an explanation and diagrams in the Technical section of how the switch beams work. Basically, it's a Y or a W and there's one beam that is hinged at the one end and swings on a track between the two or three beam choices at the other end, moved by a gearmotor. But if the beam is set to one side, the other side is wide open. You could rig a safety switch and turn off the track power on the open side, but that adds complexity and a point of failure...

    (I'm still not clear which track switch they did this at and which direction they were going in, only of how they did it. There's one switch from the main line to the Roundhouse spur line, and then two or three more switches branching out to the four beams inside the Roundhouse proper.)

    This was before they installed the closed-circuit "Back-up" camera in the tail car of each train for bi-directional operations, so the driver didn't know the switch was set wrong till it was too late.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    Last edited by Bruce Bergman; 12-10-2006 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention why the end would be open.
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  11. #41

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    The Train Pilot was given clearance in error by the Roundhouse personnel to move the *EMPTY* train, and backed the train through a track switch with the switch beam set the wrong way - and the back car of the train went off the open end of the track where the switch beam wasn't. Oops!

    Edit: Go to www.monorails.org and there's an explanation and diagrams in the Technical section of how the switch beams work. Basically, it's a Y or a W and there's one beam that is hinged at the one end and swings on a track between the two or three beam choices at the other end, moved by a gearmotor. But if the beam is set to one side, the other side is wide open. You could rig a safety switch and turn off the track power on the open side, but that adds complexity and a point of failure...

    (I'm still not clear which track switch they did this at and which direction they were going in, only of how they did it. There's one switch from the main line to the Roundhouse spur line, and then two or three more switches branching out to the four beams inside the Roundhouse proper.)

    This was before they installed the closed-circuit "Back-up" camera in the tail car of each train for bi-directional operations, so the driver didn't know the switch was set wrong till it was too late.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    That's not exactly what happened.

    Blue was in the shop for a brake problem (air brakes, not dynamic brakes).

    Blue was "repaired" and cleared to go back on the main line.

    The standard way of doing things back then was to back the train out of the round house to a hold point before the open switch and wait for the switch to be moved over.

    The problem with this was, the "repaired" air brakes had no air pressure in them when it left the round house. This was not the train operators fault, it was the fault of the shop.

    The second problem was the hold point before the open switch was on a grade.

    When the train got to the hold point and attempted to stop but with no air pressure in the brake system, it couldn't, it kept rolling and wound up with car 5 on the train tracks and car 4 dangling between the beam and the ground.

    The procedure for adding trains to the line was changed quite a bit after that incident.

    The reason they backed up to the open switch was to reduce down time. When the switch is set to spur, the other trains on the line have to hold at their stations until the switch is put back to main.

    If they back up to an open switch, the other trains don't have to hold as long. Now they back up only after the switch is thrown so if there ever is a brake problem, the train just coasts onto the main line (and not off the end). The downside of this is the other trains on the line have to sit in the stations until the whole operation is completed.

  12. #42

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by FormerDiz View Post
    The problem with this was, the "repaired" air brakes had no air pressure in them when it left the round house. This was not the train operators fault, it was the fault of the shop.
    Thanks for the clarification, that makes more sense. I heard something about the CM at the track switch having to dive off the track switch control platform as the tail of the train was coming right at him...

    Gee, there are no air pressure gauges or warning buzzers on the train's brake air tanks? And no rules that you can't proceed without checking to make sure that you have air pressure up first?

    (With a Semi, there's clear dashboard gauges for the Service and Emergency air tanks, and a big red light and warning buzzer that goes off till they are both up above 90 PSI. Not to mention they have spring brakes that start to come on if the Emergency Air circuit drops below about 80 PSI - and with the spring brakes activated, you don't move.)

    No brake function "road test" when the mechanic *thought* he was done fixing the train's air brakes? You back it 25 feet slow and hit the brakes, see if they come on as planned - a problem like no air pressure would have shown up real fast. And then you apply full system pressure to make sure that no hoses blow and there are no big air leaks - this can be important.

    And the Pilot backing up to the Hold Point should have been thinking - "Gee, I hit the brakes and nothing happened, we're not stopping - I better shift it into Forward and give it one notch of throttle to get stopped, and then I can drive it back to the garage..."

    Yeah, I can see a LOT of things needed to be changed ("Comedy of Errors" all compounding into a mess) and they didn't all have to do with the track switch procedure. And I probably missed a few, since a MiceChat post isn't a comprehensive safety audit.

    Whether all the things that needed changing got changed is another question...

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  13. #43

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    Thanks for the clarification, that makes more sense. I heard something about the CM at the track switch having to dive off the track switch control platform as the tail of the train was coming right at him...

    Gee, there are no air pressure gauges or warning buzzers on the train's brake air tanks? And no rules that you can't proceed without checking to make sure that you have air pressure up first?

    (With a Semi, there's clear dashboard gauges for the Service and Emergency air tanks, and a big red light and warning buzzer that goes off till they are both up above 90 PSI. Not to mention they have spring brakes that start to come on if the Emergency Air circuit drops below about 80 PSI - and with the spring brakes activated, you don't move.)

    No brake function "road test" when the mechanic *thought* he was done fixing the train's air brakes? You back it 25 feet slow and hit the brakes, see if they come on as planned - a problem like no air pressure would have shown up real fast. And then you apply full system pressure to make sure that no hoses blow and there are no big air leaks - this can be important.

    And the Pilot backing up to the Hold Point should have been thinking - "Gee, I hit the brakes and nothing happened, we're not stopping - I better shift it into Forward and give it one notch of throttle to get stopped, and then I can drive it back to the garage..."

    Yeah, I can see a LOT of things needed to be changed ("Comedy of Errors" all compounding into a mess) and they didn't all have to do with the track switch procedure. And I probably missed a few, since a MiceChat post isn't a comprehensive safety audit.

    Whether all the things that needed changing got changed is another question...

    --<< Bruce >>--

    Well hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

    The pilot herself had just finished her 3rd day of training and was signed off on the attraction. She was in the front cab with her trainer and went to go add Blue because they were extra on the attraction so it was easier for them to walk back to the shop.

    Putting it in forward might have stopped it from rolling backwards, without any monorail training myself, I am not sure how the trains react going from reverse to forward without stopping completely first (or if it's even possible).

    There's also the problem of driving it into the shop. Without any pressure in the air brake system, chances are you'll drive it off the other end of the rail and through the back of the shop.

    The air brake system is designed for low speed stopping, the dynamic brake system is for higher speed slowing.

    The checklist for getting a train out of the roundhouse was greatly expanded after the incident.

  14. #44

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Wow, thanks for the great technical details. Although we had switches and a spur track, it's a little more complicated than moving the JC boats in and out of storage...!

    - Johnny
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." - BB

  15. #45

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    Re: Monorail Question

    Nerds!!!


    "Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary... Impossible is nothing."
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    Quote Originally Posted by KISSman View Post
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