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  1. #1

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    7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Kevin gathers together what is known (as well as some informed speculation) on the 7/4 fatal monorail collision at Walt Disney World. Discuss it here...

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  2. #2

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    What a horrific accident -- my thoughts go out to the family of the lost pilot.

    However... it doesn't make ANY sense why both monorails would have to be in override mode. In proper operation, Monorail Purple should have been asked to pause at the previous zone for the track switch to occur, meaning that neither train would have caused a zone violation and a shut-down of operation.

    There should have been no reason that both trains were close enough to one another to necessitate such a workaround to the safety protocols in place -- the managers/leads working the line, the folks in the roundhouse, and the pilots should have known that.

    Someone, not the pilots, was in a hurry to get home and decided it was better to rush things instead of following the proper process. And one young man paid the price for that impatience.

  3. #3

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Excellent job piecing together such a tragedy. I'm guessing some new procedures will be put into place because of this. This really should be simple to clear up officially. Monorail Pinks driver knows what he did. Command center knows what they did or didn't do. And all the record logs should tidy it up. I would have thought a pilot would HAVE to be in the rear during back ups, or that there would be cameras place so it would be clear whether or not anything, was on the track. So sad. Condolences to the families effected by this tragedy.

  4. #4

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyphenom View Post
    What a horrific accident -- my thoughts go out to the family of the lost pilot.

    However... it doesn't make ANY sense why both monorails would have to be in override mode. In proper operation, Monorail Purple should have been asked to pause at the previous zone for the track switch to occur, meaning that neither train would have caused a zone violation and a shut-down of operation.
    This is covered in the other thread = Monorails Collide at WDW - One Killed

    Part of the reason for the override is the switch itself. It disconnects the track, and the system works by listening to signals injected onto the powerbar. The trains act as moving filters. Without continuous track, the monorail behind (Purple in this case) can not 'see' down the track far enough and therefore would be seeing zone encroachments even if Pink wasn't on the track.

    There is much more information in the existing thread.
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  5. #5

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    I am so sorry to read this. How horrible. I will pray for the people involved.

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Disneyland and WDW's monorails have had the same policies and operation -- despite the fact that WDW had the more advanced trains until recently, the zoning system was technically identical.

    When Disneyland's switch track is in operation, the safeguards are not disengaged -- there's no reason for this to be the standard operating procedure. A approaching monorail should not even be allowed to enter the zone of the switch track when the spur is being used.

    As Disneyland's circuit is smaller, at WDW each zone on the track is probably larger, meaning that approaching train probably would be forced to stop far away from the spur -- and this practice may have been seen as overly safe by the crew who have been operating the attraction on a daily basis.

    But, as with the Columbia, the actual daily operation may have differed from the actual written operating procedures, and such "adjustments" on behalf of the team working it ultimately lead to a major mistake here.

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    I just read Kevin Yee's article on that tragic crash, my thoughts & prayers to his family.

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyphenom View Post
    When Disneyland's switch track is in operation, the safeguards are not disengaged -- there's no reason for this to be the standard operating procedure. A approaching monorail should not even be allowed to enter the zone of the switch track when the spur is being used..
    That makes a lot of sense. Sounds like a textbook case of efficiency over safety! I can only imagine the pain of everyone involved.

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Speculation on why Monorail Purple didn't attempt an evasive maneuver:

    Since guests were on the monorail and platform, it's possible the monorail recently unloaded passengers. The amount of time required to verify doors were closed and guests were clear of train may have exceeded any time remaining before impact.

    Austin Wuennenberg may have simply put guest safety before his own.

  10. #10

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Just from what I'v read from WDW Pilots it seems the two systems (WDW and DL) are very different.
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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Newest speculation/witnesses suggest Purple was outside the station, and impact was outside the station.
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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    It may not have had anything to do with the accident, but I wonder why Monorail CMs are working such long shifts. Are the WDW Monorails subject to Federal Railroad Administration, or at least Florida DOT regulations? I know that commuter railroad engineers cannot work more than I think 10 or 12 hour shifts without a sleep break (some may even be restricted to 8 hour shifts, at least on revenue, or passenger, runs), much the same as licensed truckers cannot legally drive too long without rest. Are other jobs performed by these employees (i.e. crowd control in stations) not counted toward their driving time?

    I have a feeling that, at the very least, Disney will now restrict the hours of its monorail operators.

  13. #13

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    This is horrible. My thoughts go out to everyone involved in this tragedy.

    I hope that the reason why this event happened is figured out, so it can be avoided in the future.

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Just from what I'v read from WDW Pilots it seems the two systems (WDW and DL) are very different.
    The difference really appears in the day-to-day "what we usually do" operation, although the zoning system and its implementation per the actual operating procedures (what's written down) are similar.

    Recent news updates have referenced that the investigation is starting to focus on the safeguards that should have been in place but weren't. There still is no reason that either train should have had the zone intrusion system turned off -- that's PROPER operation.

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    Re: 7/6: Monorail Crash Kills Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    This is covered in the other thread = Monorails Collide at WDW - One Killed

    Part of the reason for the override is the switch itself. It disconnects the track, and the system works by listening to signals injected onto the powerbar. The trains act as moving filters. Without continuous track, the monorail behind (Purple in this case) can not 'see' down the track far enough and therefore would be seeing zone encroachments even if Pink wasn't on the track.

    There is much more information in the existing thread.
    That doesn't make any sense. If the spur is in place, there's an incomplete track ahead -- so the "false zone encroachments" would have stopped Purple before it barreled off the end of the track. There is no valid reason that the zone intrusion system should have been turned off on Purple, let alone on Pink.

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