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  1. #16

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Outhouses and horse manure would make Frontierland more convincing too, but they aren't there for a reason. The wires WOULD make it more authentic, but they are ugly. New subdivisions bury their utility lines for many reasons. One of those reasons is that all of those wires above ground are unsightly. I have seen the wires that run the Blue Line Metro Rail in Long Beach. They are ugly, especially along Long Beach Blvd. Sure, they're necessary and I'm not suggesting for a minute they should change the Blue Line. What I am saying is that Disney does NOT need to hang ugly wires above the street if they do actually build the trolley system.

    No matter what they do, someone will complain. I am not complaining about potential wires. I am just stating that my preference would be for them not to have wires. I will not cancel my AP or start a protest thread if they are there. And, since I prefer no wires, I would rather have people complain about no wires than have to look at them every time I visit DCA.

  2. #17

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    They aren't seriously thinking of running trollies through crowds in the streets are they? Sure, they could do it with the crowds DCA draws now but once you get some real crowds in there it seems like an accident destined to happen.

  3. #18

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoMatt View Post
    Outhouses and horse manure would make Frontierland more convincing too, but they aren't there for a reason. The wires WOULD make it more authentic, but they are ugly. New subdivisions bury their utility lines for many reasons. One of those reasons is that all of those wires above ground are unsightly. I have seen the wires that run the Blue Line Metro Rail in Long Beach. They are ugly, especially along Long Beach Blvd. Sure, they're necessary and I'm not suggesting for a minute they should change the Blue Line. What I am saying is that Disney does NOT need to hang ugly wires above the street if they do actually build the trolley system.

    No matter what they do, someone will complain. I am not complaining about potential wires. I am just stating that my preference would be for them not to have wires. I will not cancel my AP or start a protest thread if they are there. And, since I prefer no wires, I would rather have people complain about no wires than have to look at them every time I visit DCA.
    Disney toys with "ugly" stuff sucsessfully all the time, take for instance the outside of Phantom Manor, or Condor Flatz as a whole. The wires wouldn't be ugly IMO but hey, it's just your opinion and you're entitled to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandicorney View Post
    They aren't seriously thinking of running trollies through crowds in the streets are they? Sure, they could do it with the crowds DCA draws now but once you get some real crowds in there it seems like an accident destined to happen.
    they do it on Mainstreet. no?

  4. #19

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Wow... a lot of buzz when I was merely pointing out that the trolley budget should not have ballooned out of proportion in the first place! It appears a lot of what I wrote went unnoticed including the comments about mechanisms raising/lowering the wires, making the wires show only, and having the cars be self propulsion... I was commenting on the lack of a solution presented by WDI. Per Al the theater's inside was cut due to a variety of reasons, but the lack of imagination and ballooning budget of the Trolley was the final nail! Seriously, it isn't that hard to figure this one out.

    Loved the Franklin Mylar comment. My point is that Franklin is reputed to have proven through experimentation that Electricity will flow through material in order to reach the ground. So a kid with a balloon that hits a live power line will get the shock of a lifetime. I want to know how a "minor" detail like that went unnoticed right up until it landed on the budget department desk!

    Lines, no lines, I really do not care either way. I am just a bit annoyed that something as simple as Trolley Cars has become this huge budget that killed another project. As I said, you have the MS Vehicles and Horse Drawn Carriages to use as a template of scale and self power. If you continue to use the Horse Drawn Carriage then you have a track gauge, and the possibility of interchangeable parts which would further reduce costs. You also do not have to reinvent the trolley design because there is an amazing collection of historic designs also floating around. In short this is a very simple "attraction" and the most difficult problem should be the track layout. If the budget for something this simple has ballooned then I am fearful of how far that $1 BILLION will actually go.
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  5. #20

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Well, considering that California is thinking of banning mylar balloons anyway...

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,6634197.story

  6. #21

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman13 View Post
    they do it on Mainstreet. no?
    Yes, but don't they shut them down when the crowds get to a certain level? Or is it just that that's the time the horse gets to go on break?

    I also think the horse drawn trolley gets noticed by guests more than a self propelled Red Car type trolley would.

  7. #22

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandicorney View Post
    Yes, but don't they shut them down when the crowds get to a certain level? Or is it just that that's the time the horse gets to go on break?

    I also think the horse drawn trolley gets noticed by guests more than a self propelled Red Car type trolley would.
    It can still work just as good on Walt Disney Plaza as it does on Mainstreet(don't forget the Omnibus and fire engine car)

  8. #23

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandicorney View Post
    Yes, but don't they shut them down when the crowds get to a certain level? Or is it just that that's the time the horse gets to go on break?
    Not sure if policy has changed but they used to run them right up until an hour before parades... even watched them on very crowded days... vehicles and horse drawn

    I also think the horse drawn trolley gets noticed by guests more than a self propelled Red Car type trolley would.
    I'm actually a bit surprised Steve D hasn't chimed in yet. Believe it or not I am EXTREMELY confident that the trolley will be even more popular then the horse drawn. The trolley strikes a massive sentimental chord in the American public. Many cities that once dismantled them then scrambled to bring them back, others are grateful they never took them out. One thing to note. The DCA trolleys are currently being modeled after the lovable "Big Red Car" which was literally a moving billboard in bright read! For a wonderful time I highly recommend riding the one they have for tourists in San Pedro.

    Because of the size they would have to scale these things down. Likely something slightly larger then the horse drawn. Which is why I recommended using that as a template in order to maximize the efficiency and allow for interchangeable parts. I am very very grateful that they are bringing this important piece of American history to DCA, but I do not understand the ballooning budget!
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  9. #24

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by drb View Post
    Well, considering that California is thinking of banning mylar balloons anyway...

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,6634197.story
    Ah...California...where legislators feel the need to regulate every portion of our lives. Pretty soon, they're going to regulate how much you use the restroom for fear of using too much water and polluting the environment. Sorry, I'm off my soapbox now.Back on topic, I really hope they keep the overhead wires. They may be "ugly"...but they are an important detail. I agree that they should not be electrified, but just props. Like Techskip said, the solution for parades should not be a hard one for the Imagineers. Some sort of servo-actuator type thing to raise them to a safe level for passing tall floats should work.

  10. #25

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by anziodogface View Post
    Ah...California...where legislators feel the need to regulate every portion of our lives. Pretty soon, they're going to regulate how much you use the restroom for fear of using too much water and polluting the environment. Sorry, I'm off my soapbox now.Back on topic, I really hope they keep the overhead wires. They may be "ugly"...but they are an important detail. I agree that they should not be electrified, but just props. Like Techskip said, the solution for parades should not be a hard one for the Imagineers. Some sort of servo-actuator type thing to raise them to a safe level for passing tall floats should work.
    I was thinking about this last night while looking at pictures of both the Big Red Car and the design of the New Orleans line. One major issue is that the trolley will be running down the center of the street, instead of on it's own island. If it was on an isolated island then it would be a snap to beautify the lines. This does not appear to be an option for DCA, So when you are talking about running overhead lines down the middle of the street then you also have to consider the support lines holding them up. These support lines are the key to the height of the main line. They can easily be lengthened or shortened to raise or lower the main "power" line. It's simple and effective, except in high winds. But if the wind effects the lines it would likely also effect the floats.

    So lets recap
    • There are multiple blueprints of various sized trolleys that are publicly accessible so you don't have to re-design the wheel so to speak.
    • There are various local trolley systems and trolley museums which provide tours and or rides of a fully restored trolley.
    • Disneyland has horse drawn carriages which could be utilized as an inspiration for scale, parts, and track gauge.
    • Disneyland has MS Vehicles which are run on CNG which would be a likely inexpensive method for the trolley system.
    • There are multiple historic photos of various trolley systems including the LA line they plan to mimic.
    So... why a ballooning budget? I would expect a ballooning budget in a high tech system, but this really isn't the case. The trolley has been around a very long time, it isn't exactly a brand new technology.
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  11. #26

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Mylar balloons and overhead wire would present no problem, Skip. In fact, you could hang from the wire yourself and suffer no ill effects. So a balloon touching the wire would, if you'll excuse the term, not be very shocking.

    You are forgetting the other half of the equation necessary for a electricity to make a "short" circuit: Ground.

    So, really, there is absolutely no problem with live overhead wires. The Imagineers didn't goof on this one.

  12. #27

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    I put this up in another thread around here, probably the 'Mass Transit" one, but...

    It's easy to build 'Mylar Balloon Resistant' trolley wires - all you have to do is make all the support cables insulated, float them electrically with ceramic egg insulators at each end, or use fiberglass rods. And you could rig them with a ground fault detector that drops the power if they become energized.

    There might be 600VDC on the trolley line, but if there's nothing within 10 feet that it can be shorted out to, no short. You'd have to be using magnet wire instead of balloon string, and at the price of copper... Someone would have to actively try to hurt themselves on it, disable safeties and stick a wrench in an energized power panel.

    Quote Originally Posted by patattack View Post
    The trolleys in San Francisco are pulled by an underground cable, that seems like a reasonable solution. Although as far as theming goes I dont know when the first underground cables were implemented.
    They had cable-operated streetcar systems not too long after steam power got big, 1850's. It might sound good, but IMHO cable cars would be bad. First, there's the slot in the street for the grip that can be big enough to get a body part into, and small children walking in the street. And the access hatches in trhe street to restring the cable and to grease the corner sheaves - while the access hatches are heavy and can be secured with bolts, they can be gotten open - and there's that inch-thick steel cable whizzing by over lots of bone crushing pulleys and pinch points...

    Then there is the problem of unintended acceleration which would make cable cars a TOTAL NO-GO in a theme park setting. They depend on the grip maintaining a precise grasp on the cable - to stop, you loosen the grip just enough so the cable slides through. But if there is a snag or broken strand on the cable, it can snare the grip and pull the car forward whether the operator wants to go or not. And it won't stop till it gets to a "Drop Cable" pulley point (at a turntable or line crossing) and gets ripped out of the grip, or someone manages to call in and get the powerhouse motors shut down.

    Streetcars aren't just a mature technology, they're an ancient technology. They could easily buy up a few antique Red Line cars and restore them to full operation, and repair parts are certainly available, but nothing is cheap anymore when they are made in small batches.

    Big Money would be if they scratch-build new 'scale model' streetcars that wouldn't look 'too big for the street'.

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  13. #28

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Most of the city councils around Southern California have either enacted, or are planning to, polices and rules about Mylar Balloons. We may no longer have the overhead electric Trolly wires, but we do have overhead city power lines, and the Mylar Balloons are the major cause of power failures. Most Party stores and balloon stores have to provide extra fees to customers and the customers have to understand and sign documents that if a Mylar Balloon gets away and causes a power failure, they will be held responsible and have to pay a huge fee for causing the damage, and the balloons can be traced. Many balloon stores now pay a fee just to carry them, and if one of there's get away, they will be held responsible and pay a huge fine. Most have stopped carrying them altogether.

    The other thing you brought up was the Carthy Circle Theater Building. Well it seems to me they are not paying attention at all. Most of the buildings in DCA are nothing but empty shells now (look at the "San Francisco" section. Empty buildings. So now we add a huge central "Weenie" and it's going to be nothing more than a big empty building. Back to square one. Why do anything if they aren't going to learn from past mistakes. I am starting to loose any faith in this big expensive makeover, if the first major structure is nothing but an empty building, with "something" planned for the future. Anyone remember how long the promise of something new coming in the old America Sings Building? 7 Long Years!!! How long are we going to have to wait around this time for something to be put in that empty theater? Heck even putting a big screen and a good sound system in there and showing classic Disney Animated Features in there would be something. But letting a huge major Icon just sit empty is stupid. Same old Team Disney Anaheim. They never learn.
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  14. #29

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Mylar balloons and overhead wire would present no problem, Skip. In fact, you could hang from the wire yourself and suffer no ill effects. So a balloon touching the wire would, if you'll excuse the term, not be very shocking.

    You are forgetting the other half of the equation necessary for a electricity to make a "short" circuit: Ground.

    So, really, there is absolutely no problem with live overhead wires. The Imagineers didn't goof on this one.
    Tell Al... don't shoot the messenger on this one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    Someone would have to actively try to hurt themselves on it, disable safeties and stick a wrench in an energized power panel.
    Where there's a will there's an idiot who will find a way!

    Streetcars aren't just a mature technology, they're an ancient technology. They could easily buy up a few antique Red Line cars and restore them to full operation, and repair parts are certainly available, but nothing is cheap anymore when they are made in small batches.

    Big Money would be if they scratch-build new 'scale model' streetcars that wouldn't look 'too big for the street'.
    I have seen different sizes, not sure if they have a small enough version to be adapted easily. Again though, where is this ballooning budget coming from when they already have everything at their disposal to do the R&D and they already get parts for everything else so it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Boy View Post
    Most of the city councils around Southern California have either enacted, or are planning to, polices and rules about Mylar Balloons. We may no longer have the overhead electric Trolly wires, but we do have overhead city power lines, and the Mylar Balloons are the major cause of power failures. Most Party stores and balloon stores have to provide extra fees to customers and the customers have to understand and sign documents that if a Mylar Balloon gets away and causes a power failure, they will be held responsible and have to pay a huge fee for causing the damage, and the balloons can be traced. Many balloon stores now pay a fee just to carry them, and if one of there's get away, they will be held responsible and pay a huge fine. Most have stopped carrying them altogether.
    Likely this is what Al was thinking of, or Al's sources... personally it could be the safest thing in the world but convincing the public might be a hard sell.

    The other thing you brought up was the Carthy Circle Theater Building. Well it seems to me they are not paying attention at all. Most of the buildings in DCA are nothing but empty shells now (look at the "San Francisco" section. Empty buildings. So now we add a huge central "Weenie" and it's going to be nothing more than a big empty building. Back to square one. Why do anything if they aren't going to learn from past mistakes. I am starting to loose any faith in this big expensive makeover, if the first major structure is nothing but an empty building, with "something" planned for the future. Anyone remember how long the promise of something new coming in the old America Sings Building? 7 Long Years!!! How long are we going to have to wait around this time for something to be put in that empty theater? Heck even putting a big screen and a good sound system in there and showing classic Disney Animated Features in there would be something. But letting a huge major Icon just sit empty is stupid. Same old Team Disney Anaheim. They never learn.
    Again... not me... Al... all I did was read it and give my 2 cents.
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  15. #30

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    Re: Trolley Car Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    They could easily buy up a few antique Red Line cars and restore them to full operation, and repair parts are certainly available, but nothing is cheap anymore when they are made in small batches.

    Big Money would be if they scratch-build new 'scale model' streetcars that wouldn't look 'too big for the street'.
    Actually, and I am fairly confident Steve will agree given the material covered in his books... a restore can easily be as expensive as building from scratch. Especially if those who are purchasing the old clunker don't know what they are looking at!

    And for all to see, so you know it was not me starting this whole Mylar thing.
    The nail in the coffin came with the ballooning budget for the elaborate Pacific Electric Railway Red Car system to be installed from the DCA entrance back through the Hollywood section. When the Imagineers realized that running high capacity electric trolley lines down the middle of a busy theme park full of kids holding Mylar balloons would prove to be a real design challenge, the costs for the installation of this custom built trolley line began to skyrocket. With the Red Car attraction needing more money, and with the Walt Disney Story receiving lots of pushback from TDA, the decision was made to abandon plans for another tribute to Walt in Anaheim.
    from Al's article. http://miceage.micechat.com/allutz/al040808a.htm
    Last edited by techskip; 04-20-2008 at 12:46 PM.
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