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.