Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    715

    Monorail system suffers power failure

    Wow, Seven trains of in the MK area of WDW lost power at 1am on the 13th, while the Magic Kingdom was in the process of closing out the operational day of the 12th. Three of the trains had guests aboard, and of those three, two were towed into a station, a third was evacuated via the Fire Department coming with Latter Trucks.


    This power outage was cause buy a failed hard drive. Now a fail hard drive, I suppose, could happen to any type of computer system at any time, anywhere. This just happen to be at WDW, for the computer system that manages the power system for the monorails.
    To say 2009 has been a "bad year" for the Monorail would be fair. It certainly is not living up to that once bragged about 99% efficiency rating.

    I know WDW insists the currently fleet has not live out is usual life expectantcy, but I do think they need to acknowledge that the technology need to be upgraded.

    I get tired of hearing "we are waiting for traffic clearance" while ride aboard. And no, I do not take that as a neat thing because it reminds me that its a real transportation system. I love Disney, but not blindly and "traffic clearance" stops need not occur with the regularity that they do on the WDW lines. They are not neat, or fun in any way. The neat part about riding the monorial, if you can get one that doesn't smell old on the inside, is just that..... RIDING the monorial. The standing still with no forward progress are not fun reminders that this monorails system is a real transportation system. I have been on a few railed transportation systems in DC, Chicago, San Fransisco, Phoenix, and LA. I do not recall traffic stops. Oh I am sure they occur, but not with the regularity that they do at WDW's monorail system simply because in all of those cases, I just didn't experience one, except once. It two of those cases, Chicago, and DC, they were my primary means of moving around as I visited. And I vaguely recall an unschedule stop, aka a traffic clearance stop, once in Chicago. Just once.

    But it seems to me the majority of riders of the WDW system, but the nature of its frequency of occurance, will experince the fun and joy of a traffic stop. Thats no fun. I applaud when I make it from either the TCC to MK or back with out a stop. Its kewl! its the way its SUPPOSE to be.

    I hope this latest incident wakes them up that the system is under funded, and needs upgrades. I am fine with keeping the trains, but upgrade them. Not the look, the technology.

    They should have back up hard drives and the latest automation running the trains. Yes automated. Pilots should be there to talk with guests and handle any emergency situations. But let the system be modernized via automation. The trains HAVE this capability. They CAN be automated. WDW just doesn't want to get rid of the pilots due to the guest interaction piece. Well, now that guests can't ride in the front nose cone, that excuse is no longer valid. It was never Valid in the first place. Just because you Automate the trains, doesn't mean you need to get rid of the pilots. They can still be there, sitting with guests in the nose cone (or alone as it is now and hopefully only a temporary change), but they would just be more in the role of conductor rather then driver.


    They should have AC that work. All to often you get into a train that either is a freezer or is too warm.

    They should not have ripped seats.

    They should never smell old and musty on the inside.

    And they should not have lop sided cars (MONORAIL GREEN CAR 4)

    They should have a GPS system where each train truely understand where its at, whats ahead of it and whats behind it, not matter what position the switch a switch is in.

    And none of the above is some wish for "Futureistic" techology, but rooted in the reality of technology availible to us, today, here and now. Time to do it WDW..... way past time really.

  2. #2

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Too Far From Disney
    Posts
    3,497

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    I've had a lot of experience with computers (heck, I'm even majoring in them) and all I have to say is Sh** happens. Sometime hard drives fail and it's just the nature of the beast. Solid state drives are still in the process of being perfected. Regular platter hard drives have a better lifespan at the moment (so that I hear) and Solid state has a harder time of transferring higher amounts of data. I don't think this is a failure to update their systems. Updates can't stop failing hard drives. Plus, there is no way of knowing how new the drive was. Some new drives are defective and have a shorter lifespan than others.

    I have absolutely no problems with traffic clearance. The problem here is that it is a real transportation system. Rail Systems in large cities are way bigger than those at WDW. many subways are on an automated system which cause them to know where each other is and if one figures out that it's too close to another, it stops, which I think probably happens more than you think and seeing this happen shows how automated systems can turn from convenient to down right pathetic in an instant.

    I guess the next real problem is their bus systems stop at stoplights.
    DisneyTwins
    Since May 2003

  3. #3

    • Occasional Reader
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wigan, England
    Posts
    397

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Over the last 10 years I have made a living out of installing and supporting Servers. there should be no way a single failure could bring down the system. There should be resiliance built in. The tech refresh programme of IT equipment means that the kit should not be anywhere near the age of the overall system. As I'm sure even the least savvy IT people realise that it's quickly cheaper to buy a modern system than it is to repair old systems.
    Smile, you never know who's looking !

  4. #4

    • Exec Asst to Captain E.O.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    597

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Haha, dude, rather or not you WANT to be reminded that it is a "transportation system", the fact of the matter is that it IS. In fact at WDW, unlike DL, it's not even an "attraction", it's a straight up transport system to get you from point a to point b. Unfortunately, when you're dealing with thousands of people trying to get to actual destinations (theme parks, ticket centers, hotels), not just ride a ride (which this is not, no more than a bus is), you're going to have to wait. Sorry if the reality of a wait in line for something ruins the magic for you and "reminds you" of the real world implications. In fact, if you truly feel this way about having to be "reminded" of lines and the fact that you're at a huge tourist destination (not just a magical land where you're the most important person ever), exactly *what* are you doing at WDW in the first place???

    You also mentioned never having to "wait for traffic clearance" in real-life big city rail lines in SF, LA and Phoenix .... um, are you kidding me? I've lived in both LA and PHX, and have been to SF extensively ... I'd sure like to know what you're riding. I've had to wait in subways on occasion in LA and SF, and even on above-ground raillines (especially San Francisco - ESPECIALLY the F-Line). Phoenix's light rail runs along the ground with regular traffic, and is NOTORIOUS for red-light stops, traffic issues, and even drivers who ignore the oncoming trains. The predicted 70-minute one-way trip takes close to two hours sometimes. No, they might not call it "traffic clearance" verbatim, but it's the same concept. And WDW's monorail is not a simple massive loop, as I'm sure you know. You complain about the two monorails that crashed yet also rip into WDW for instituting traffic clearance issues ... which is for your safety.

    So again, sorry if day-to-day life interferes with your magical experience ... but it's also real life, like it or not. And computer crashes happen, all of the time. I've seen this happen on the newest technology used. Considering how many people the WDW system transports on a daily basis, I dare you to compare it to actual statistics from any transportation systems you've referenced on your post; don't forget to include the safety statistics.

  5. #5

    • Pilot EdForceOne
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    15,650

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Kidgenie View Post
    I have been on a few railed transportation systems in DC, Chicago, San Fransisco, Phoenix, and LA. I do not recall traffic stops. Oh I am sure they occur, but not with the regularity that they do at WDW's monorail system simply because in all of those cases, I just didn't experience one, except once. It two of those cases, Chicago, and DC, they were my primary means of moving around as I visited. And I vaguely recall an unschedule stop, aka a traffic clearance stop, once in Chicago. Just once.
    It's quite simple.

    The WDW system packs a lot of trains in a small space with inefficient rider patterns.

    Think about it..
    - How big the metro systems are in terms of available tracks and stations in a city system vs Disney? The closer packed stations and trains are... the more likely they will hit backups.
    - The vast majority of riders on a Disney monorail get on and off at the same place. This means longer stops. Longer stops = greater chance for backups.
    - The demographic. When you were in Chicago and or DC... how many ECVs did you see? Or Wheelchairs? Or strollers? All of those are in hyper exaggerated concentrations at Disney. That means longer load/unload times = longer stops = more backups

    Since we can't get rid of the strollers, ECVs or wheelchairs and can't treat them like cars and just line them up in a trailers... or change the system doesn't have many other places people want to go... you're going to have long stops. Nothing you can do about that. All you can do is avoid backups by
    - being mean to guests and push them out quicker
    - make trains go slower sooner.. so instead of a stop they just crawl or hope the previous train clears before they get there
    - run less trains

    So which is your choice? No manner of GPS or other technology changes any of this. You must improve load/unload times if you want to run more trains with less holding stops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kidgenie View Post
    The trains HAVE this capability. They CAN be automated. WDW just doesn't want to get rid of the pilots due to the guest interaction piece.
    You're assuming the pilots are the ones causing the backups. It's the guests - not the pilots. So you can remove the pilots if you want but you would likely increase stop times instead of decreasing them - because the system would err more on the side of caution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kidgenie View Post
    They should have AC that work. All to often you get into a train that either is a freezer or is too warm.
    I bet if you went in there with a thermometer most times you'd find it consistent. Just what you want varies based on your condition.

    If you really want to avoid holding stops - you gotta get people on and off the trains quicker. That's what causes backups you know. And since Disney doesn't want to be rude and yell at their customers to move their fat *****.. this is what you get.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  6. #6

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Too Far From Disney
    Posts
    3,497

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorpeedo View Post
    Over the last 10 years I have made a living out of installing and supporting Servers. there should be no way a single failure could bring down the system. There should be resiliance built in. The tech refresh programme of IT equipment means that the kit should not be anywhere near the age of the overall system. As I'm sure even the least savvy IT people realise that it's quickly cheaper to buy a modern system than it is to repair old systems.
    Actually, you do have a point.

    If it was a hard drive, I have no clue why they wouldn't have a spare that would start running automatically when the old one failed.

    getting on a completely different point...

    Face it. Computers seem like their smart, but their one of the stupidest things on the face of this earth. Getting rid of the pilots is a completely stupid idea. What if the computers screw up? Somebody has to sit there and make sure that the computer isn't putting guests into danger. One of the good points of having a pilot is many times loading and offloading is faster than the time automation would do things, therefore better ride capacity.

    Automating them would be somewhat a waste of time and money because in order to get the same ride capacity, they have to keep the amount of trains running at one time the same and if the system is automated the computer will probably frequently find out that a monorail is too close and stop anyway. So, we can (respectively) whine about stopping and waiting for clearance or we can wine about how long it takes for the next monorail to come.
    DisneyTwins
    Since May 2003

  7. #7

    •   
      MiceChat Moderator
    • Where should we go next?
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    All smiles at the DL!
    Posts
    20,517
    Blog Entries
    4

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Commuting to and from NYC, almost daily the trains had to hold for traffic. Only there the views the darkness of a tunnel or dirty streets and row houses. At least in WDW you have gorgeous grounds and hotels to look at.
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  8. #8

    • Pongo is my hero.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,374

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Just an hour shy of this happening to me! :o

    *phew*

    I told my dad we should of stayed until 1 and got stuck for a few hours with a screaming baby in my party. It would of been quite the story to tell

    one hundred and one

  9. #9

    • 1,200 Miles from da Mouse
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    902

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverNeverland View Post
    Commuting to and from NYC, almost daily the trains had to hold for traffic. Only there the views the darkness of a tunnel or dirty streets and row houses. At least in WDW you have gorgeous grounds and hotels to look at.

    Same here in Chicago, they don't have the exact same message but I ride the L back and forth to work and theres usually one or two stops where we have to wait for traffic it's even worse when they are repairing a large section of track...but once again I'd much rather have the WDW views than the graffiti etc. of the side of our tracks...

    The one thing that has been happening more frequently though is the L going into express mode in order to get back on time...I suppose Disney could do something along those lines but with a limited amount of trains I don't think that should be done anyways...
    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
    -George S. Patton


  10. #10

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    715

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    you know, I will conceed that I did not consider stops for red lights as traffic stops. Your point there is absolutely valid. And the WDW monorails aren't crashing into cars. Also very valid.

    As far as AC... no. there are issue there. There are times its like an ice box and other time were my friends and I have joked we are riding the "Sauna Rail".

    And no, I do not think the pilot are the cause. I do agreed load times are the primary contributing factor. But with automation, when the train leave the station it can make adjustment to its cruising speed to factor in the traffic ahead it. Too many time I have been on a train that glides up to 40 out of the Poly station just to come to halt has it curves towards the GF. It that case, being a short distance, it probably should not have left at all. Automation would fix that, the train could either now its not time to dispatch due to the traffic ahead, or it could reduce the speed at which it leave the station and cruises at in attempt to adjust on the fly. As the traffic cleared head, it could make the appropriate adjustments to its cruiseing speed.

    From what I understand, but can't say first hand as I have not been on them, the LV monorail due exactly that.

    Anyway, I love the currently fleet, I don't want to see it go. I just want to see some inventments in them to bring them up to 2010+ technology. You can either settle for the status quo, or you can hope they try to improve and raise the bar. I fall on the latter half of that.

  11. #11

    •   
    • Circle of Ancients
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,642

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Capital improvements to the stations and trains are the ONLY way you will be able to make the WDW system more efficient. The CMs can only do so much, and most Monorail Pilots are the best CMs out there. Plus these problems are all systems problems... not because they are faulty, but because there aren't enough systems in place to prevent downtimes due to the requirement of manual override modes and the like in order to switch tracks and park nose to nose.

    Here's what needs to be done:

    On the trains:
    • A new door design on the trains that doesn't move a door downward.
    • Automation of the trains with a new computer system... preferably a UNIX based system designed specifically for the trains, instead of running a program on Windows 2000. (which is how they operate now) I know automation of the trains isn't a popular idea for many of you, but with Tokyo Disney and Vegas both doing it successfully, it's hard to deny that automation isn't the way to go, especially if you have a good central monitoring station that CMs staff, and continue to have CMs at the stations to prep people on how to load quickly.
    • New communications systems in the cabins.
    • DVC ADs inside the cabins... I'm not kidding about this one, DVC makes enough money that they could sponsor these upgrades.


    New stations with:
    • Raised platforms that are at the same level as the train to eliminate the need for Wheelchair / ECV ramps. (This goes hand in hand with the door change on the trains)
    • A new loading and unloading process at the resorts so guests can get on and off at the same time, thus minimizing time in the station.
    • New automated loading gates at all stations. (The current ones at MK and TTC don't work well for what needs to happen) The new gates need to slide open at the same time as the new sliding doors.


    Once those major capital improvements are made, efficiency will go up, not to mention the idea of possible expansion of the system to the other parks, DTD, the FL High-Speed Rail Station and ESPN's WWoS.
    -Bill

  12. #12

    • Shubisha
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Laramie, WY
    Posts
    3,957

    Re: Monorail system suffers power failure

    Long stops may be inevitable but I can't stand WDW's philosophy that efficiency means packing as many people into a vehicle as physically possible before sending it off. Many many times while waiting for a parking tram, monorail, or bus to leave they'll be ready to go but try to get that last group of people on board. Or not ready to go at all but you know, no one's coming right then and there's another one coming so get going already even if it is only half full. Standing in cramped quarters along a 20 minute bus ride getting jolted around everywhere, or pressed face first against the monorail door while I go around the lagoon, isn't my idea of the transportation of tomorrow.

    The busses have long routes with fewer vehicles per destination of course, but the monorails don't. I feel like a lot of those "we're waiting for clearance ahead" could be avoided if their vision of efficiency was to keep the trains moving at a regular pace instead the pack as much as you can before you send it philosophy with them holding the train while they walk the boarding area back and forth a couple times trying to find a small crack in one of the cars to slip that last few families with strollers.

    Maybe it wouldn't make a big difference, I dunno I'm sure they have a graph for such things. :P With the parking trams especially it's damn annoying. "This is our last call for boarding!" *no one's in the vicinity of the tram so nobody not already on it could hear the message anyways*. ..... * a few minutes go by* "all right at this time there is no more boarding" *a bunch of people who just walked up want to get on and there's more behind them and they keep getting on regardless of the call for no more boarding even if they could hear it seeing how the speakers are actually on the tram*

Similar Threads

  1. Disneyland Monorail System - We Brake for Ducks
    By SpokkerJones in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 04-20-2007, 02:46 PM
  2. WDW Monorail System Expansion
    By WDW Monorail in forum Walt Disney World Resort
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: 01-19-2007, 08:37 PM
  3. New Ideas for the New Monorail System
    By PragmaticIdealist in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 02-16-2006, 08:58 PM
  4. A New Monorail Line, or A Refub to the existing system?
    By nsxdrift_89 in forum Walt Disney World Resort
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 10-22-2005, 06:51 PM
  5. New Monorail System Idea
    By nsxdrift_89 in forum Walt Disney World Resort
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-27-2005, 06:12 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •