Subject: The Monorail FAQ List *LONG*
Hello Everyone. The response to monorails was so
overwhelming that I decided just to compile all
the stuff and post it as a FAQ list. The technical
and operations data is for the Mark VI trains at
WDW. I much preferred the Mark IVs, but it's unlikely
you'll see one of those again. Theye were a LOT
more fun to drive. They were clunky, but they had
Thanks to everyone who sent me mail or posted questions.
If I didn't respond to you, please forgive me, as
I only get 40 minutes a day on line. If you have
anything else or if one of these questions raises
another pleas feel free to ask...
OK. I'm gonna try to cover this stuff from ground
zero, hopefully I'll catch myself before saying
something too technical or specific. The Mark VI
trains are really big on acrynyms for simple stuff.
>How do you make it go?
On the control console in the cab at each end of
the train is a M.C.U. or Master Control Unit (the
stick). Also on this console, next to the stick
are two rocker switches. One is a forward/reverse
selector, the other is a run mode/stop mode selector.
The train won't go anywhere without the selector
The forward/reverse switch controls not only the
direction of the train's movement, but the direction
in which the MAPO system receiver (I know you don't
know about that - It' coming) is pointed. The train
can travel equally well in either direction driven
from either end - It can't tell the difference.
>How do you make it stop?
The MCU has 10 selections, 5 forward, 1 center,
and 4 back. The 5 forward positions are propulsion
selections labelled P-1 through P-5. They correspond
to speed travelled as follows:
P-1 15 mph
P-2 20 mph
P-3 25 mph
P-4 30 mph
P-5 40 mph
35 zones are a real pain in the posterior. The center
position is Neutral. In this setting the train will
do whatever it was doing. If youre cruising along
and put it in neutral, the train will coast. If
you're sitting still with brakes on, the train will
leave on brakes until you give it a power selection.
The four rear positions are labelled B-1 through
B-4 (for Braking). The higher the number the harder
the brakes. How much dynamic current or air pressure
you get depebds on how fast you're going. For those
who don't know what dynamic braking is, imagine
that the wheel of the monorail is a windmill. When
you take the train out of propulsion, the wheel
is still spinning because youre still moving. Use
that spin just like a windmill blase to provide
electricity. Use that electricity to slow the motor
down, using it's own energy against it. Its cheap,
and efficient. (NOTE to all Engineer types: This
is how maintenence always explained it to me. If
I've grossly oversimplified please forgive me. I'm
a driver not a techie.)
>How do you keep from crashing into each other?
On the beamway at certain points there are transmitters.
These MAPO transmitters send an electrical signal
through the track. When a train is on the track,
it blocks that signal. These transmitters correspond
to locations on the beam called Holdpoints. The
holdpoints are located at certain numbers, which
must all be committed to memory (your memory, not
Each train has a receiver that can tell how many
of these signals it is receiveing. Say Monorail
Red is driving behind Monorail Blue. If there are
four transmitters between the trains, Red will only
get four signals, because all the signalls ahead
of Blue are blocked by that train's presense.
If Red gets within two holdpoints of Blue, the train's
MAPO receiver will say "Hey, you're gettin'
close buddy!" and turn on an amber light on
the console with a beeping alarm. At that point
the driver consults his super-keen monorail-intellect
and figures out where the next holdpoint is. He
then stops there and tells all the passesngers that
the train is "waiting for further traffic clearance."
If Red doesn't stop at that holdpoint? When he passes
over the transmitter at that holdpoint, and his
MAPO is then only receiving ONE signal, the train
will automatically assume the driver is insane:
"Hey this idiot is tryin' ta dent my nose!"
The train puts on 85-90 psi air brakes and stops
on a dime, then you get canned. Well actually you're
allowed three "overruns" (the term for
crossing the line). If however you do something
that is really dangerous, Good Bye. Three overruns
is the limit for your entire career. They never
What do we do with overrun victims? Send 'em to
Buses of course!
>What does MAPO stand for?
MAPO is a subsidiary of WED (Walter Elias Disney)
Transportation. The name is short for Mary Poppins.
The MAPO system is also called the MBS (Moving Blocklight
>How much track is there?
There are 13.6 miles of rail including all spurlines.
The EPCOT rail is 7.6 miles of that, the Lagoon
(Hotel) beam and the Exterior (Kingdom Express)
beam are about 2.6 miles each.
>Is there any way to see switching in progress?
Yes. Just take the footpath from the Contemporary
to the Kingdom, it runs right under switch 2. Trains
come out between 6:30 and 8:00 am during a regular
openning. You might have trouble getting past the
Guard at the head of the footpath, but if you tell
him you only want to walk over to the switch and
take some pictures he should oblige you, (this IS
WDW after all).
>* when were the new style trains at WDW introduced,
>with the mediocre standing space and the quiet
doors ? (missing
>the old !BANG! after a stop :)) BTW, I apologize
>to people with strollers or wheelchairs, but
for my height
>(1.89 m), standing in that train is strainful.
I'm 2m. tall. I agree. The Mark VI Monorails came
on line in the spring of 89, but we didn't start
loading them until X-Mas. The intervening time was
all test and adjust period. We had a third shift
crew (which I was on) that came in at 8pm and ran
the trains around in circles all night trying to
get malfunctions (and boy we sure did). It was endurance
testing and de-bugging. Even after the Mark VIs
went on line, we had problems.
a. Before we got the trains we realized that the
design wasn't going to let them fit through the
air door at the Contemporary Hotel. We went down
for several months in the fall of 88 for widening
of the openning at the Hotel and for extraconcrete
to be poured on the platforms (the trains are taller
than the Mark IVs.
b. Once we had the first one on line (they came
on about one per two months at first) we found that
the power draw was too high. We couldn't operate
two of them within a certain distance of each other.
Major changes were made to the power grid to compensate.
c. The software had so many bugs I could've caught
fish with it. The trains were very prone to shutdown
from software glitches. The Mark IVs were built
in 1969 and had squat for electronics, so this was
really new to us.
d. The doors were a mess at first. Jim Whitman's
arm got broken in a recycling test (the door DIDN'T
recycle). Forever after that we used special bat-like
clubs (made by Disney Central Shops - Disney doesn't
send out for anything that it can make) that were
known as "Whitman Probes" to test the
>* who actually builds the monorail trains ?
I recall that the
>original design (Alweg ?) was of Swiss origin,
but this could
>be related to the first DL monorail only.
Alweg built up to the Mark IIIs, all of which operated
only at Disneyland. I know this because the nose-cone
door from Monorail Gold Mk.III is displayed at Monorail
Shop and is clearly labelled "Alweg".
The Mark IVs (used at WDW from opening until replaced
by Mk.VIs) were built by WED Enterprises and Martin
Marrietta at a cost of around six million per train.
The Mark Vs that replaced Disneyland's Mk.IIIs were
designed by Ride and Show inc. I think. I'm not
completely sure about that one, but Ride and Show's
press packet claimed it. The infamous (two years
late and hideously overbudget) Mark VI trains were
designed and built by Bombardier of Quebec, (the
>* how are the tracks maintained ? The concrete
did not look as good as it once did, when I saw
it last September.
Ummmmmm. weeeeeeeeeell. It's like this.
Me: "Hey, there's a chunk missing near pylon
24!" Maintenence: "Keep your britches
on." Me: "Monorail red just plunged to
it's doom!" Maintenence: "Woah, good thing
we bought new ones." Just kidding. The beam
is supposed to be inspected yearly and drivers report
anything that looks interesting.
The original tracks (MK loop) are lots better than
the EC racks, which were manufactured in 1981. Strange
how quality goes down through the years...
>* ever had any safety problems with the exposed
electric rails at the track ?
Yes. People can be really stupid. I personally watched
several people jump into the trough with the live
bar and trains barrelling down on them. Twice to
retrieve a lenscap, and once was a teenager showing
off. All should've been killed but got lucky. Can
ya believe it?
>* ever had a runaway train :) ?
>Ever had any accidents?
>Ever had a train get stuck and the people on
it have to be rescued?
Nope. The procedure for stuck trains is to try everything
possible to make that sucker move. If it's too broke,
we bring out a diesel powered work tractor to tow
it to a station where the people can be unloaded.
This HAS resulted in people getting stuck for hours
(worst case - two mark VIs on EPCOT died simultaneously
along with one on Exterior beam - suicide pact I
guess...). The guest relations folks were handing
out free passes like candy.
>Are the drivers allowed to "ad lib"
their speeches or is there a "Disney Approved"
As long as you get all the pertinent info in there
and don't offend anyone, go for it. Sometimes we
can cut loose, like Grad Night or at the Cast Christmas
Party. (Want to have the best time of your life
at the MK, get a job at WDW and go to the Cast Party
in the Magic Kingdom!)
>Are there any plans to extend the monorail to
the MGM studios or to the EPCOT hotels / Marketplace?
Plans? Sure. There have been PLANS to do that since
the park was built. World Showcase is sitting on
top of buried pylon footers for track extension
from there. The problem is that it's expensive and
impractical. The amount of constructin would be
disruptive, and the sites can be served fine with
buses. There are plans to construct a light rail
trolley (San Francisco style) to those areas. We
don't have one of those yet...
>When were each Mark model (I, II, etc) introduced?
The Monorail Mk.I at Disneyland started running
in 1959. I don't know when the II and III replaced
it. The Mk. IV went on at WDW in 1971, and the Mk.V
replaced the Mk.III at Disneyland sometime after
that, Early-mid '80s I think.
>What are the differences between the models?
The I,II,and III had the "bubbletop" design
that had the driver sit up in a bubble on top of
the train (similar to the way the Submarine Pilots
sit in 20,000 leagues - which is incidentally a
lot like monorails for ops purposes). The biggest
change for the Mk.V was the automatic door system,
and the VI is tall enough to stand in and carries
a LOT more people (244 in the IV vs 350+ in the
>What is the energy effieciency of the monorails?
Don't have numbers but it's pretty good. Granted
it would have to be utilized by people in order
to be efficent enough, so planning would be a major
factor in setting up a real monorail system.
Interesting Factoid: Houston appropriated a billion
dollars to start a monorail project downtown. They'll
be licensing the tech from Disney and their trains
will be commuter models of the Mk.VI built by Bombardier.
>How much power do they consume?
They run on 600 volts DC, rectified from (don't
quote me on this) 13,000+ AC. We make our own power
at the plant north of the contmporary, across the
street from monorail shop.
>What kind of brakes do they have and what is
their stopping distance?
Dynamic braking slows the train down, but is ineffective
below 7-10 mph. Air brakes are used to stop. Distance
depends on how fast you're going. At 40 mph, roughly
(very) a hundred feet with regular braking. Emergency
brakes are faster, but REAL rough on the passengers.
(see also "How do you make it stop?")
>I'd like to know, for example, about the markings
on the pylons.
The pylons are all numbered for location reasons.
If my train has a problem and dies, I can't say
to Central "Well I'm sort of near that big
tree..." The pylons are for traffic control
as well. Remember that there are three or four other
trains out there on 2.6 miles of loop. If somebody
gets stuck I want to know EXACTLY where they are
before I find 'em the hard way.
>Do you use the numbers to judge where to sit
and wait before pulling into the station?
What I assume you mean is that the train sometimes
stops in mid-beam, for no reason that's apparent
to you. The train isn't required to stop before
pulling into a station, but often has to because
there's still another train inside. The numbers
on the pylons dont tell us where to stop, but there
are designated holding points for each zone (which
you have to memorize). When you get an amber signal
you have to stop at the designated number (see also
"How do you keep from crashing into each other?")
Stopping at weird points is frowned upon because
it might cause the train behind you to get an indication
at an unexpected time, overrun his holdpoint, and
beat you up after work. This is the preferred method
for dumping undesireables out of the department,
as safety violations are not tolerated in rails.
> Is there one central command, or is there a
separate "command center" at each station?
Each station has a Lead, who CAN give orders to
trains if necessary, but only as pertains to his
station. For instance the Kingdom Lead could call
the train approaching his station and tell him to
hold for some reason (someone fell in the track
or something...) but if he calls down a train at
EPCOT, he'd better have a good reason.
Monorail Central is at the Transportation and Ticket
Center (TTC), on the "To EPCOT Center"
side of the station building. The enclosed glass
tower (just like at an airport but smaller) is the
Central Console. Mind you though, Central doesn't
actually have any control over the trains outside
of dealing with unusual situations. Just driving
around it's the driver's responsibility not to bump
into anyone. Central can only give orders, it's
not like he has a remote control...
TTC The Transportation and Ticket Center, (also
called the Ticket and Transportation Center by Tickets
people, but they don't count.)
MK The Magic Kingdom station
GF The Grand Floridian (oops, I mean "Disney's
Grand Floridian Beach Resort." - the Duty Manager
can be touchy about that!)
CO The Contemporary Resort
POLY The Polynesian Resort
SE Spaceship Earth (the big golf ball at Epcot)
* Switchbeam One and Two (see "switching")
- goes between Exterior, Lagoon, and Spurline.
# Switchbeam 8 & 9 - goes between Exterior,
Epcot beam, and Epcot spurline.
That's it (wheeew!) See ya round!
AN INTRODUCTION TO DRIVE TRAINING BY JOHN ROBERT
Welcome to the wonderful world of drive training.
For the next six days, I will be your sole Lord
and Master, otherwise referred to as your drive
trainer. During this time, we shall learn how to
operate the Mark IV or Mark VI Monorail Train, and
how to use them on the Walt Disney World Monorail
System. You're probably exited about drive training,
and who could blame you? After two or three months
of repeating "How many in your group?"
or "Take this train to the next stop and get
on another." six or seven hundred thousand
times a day, you'd be excited about anything. Just
keep in mind that the time you spent on the platform
was well worth it. It built up your anticipation
for driving. Think about it. While you were on Exterior
Load, busting your butt to get five hundred Brazilians
onto Monorail Gold, you saw all the drivers at the
water cooler, or in the console, or on unload, not
doing any work, and the same thought kept going
through your mind. . .
When will I be able to do that? Soon now, very soon.
Soon you'll be able to get out of going to turnstiles,
or taking hour lunches and not getting docked, or
getting back cab times where you're allowed to turn
your brain off. Soon, very soon. But first, comes
I realize there's a great deal of resentment between
drivers and platform people. Drivers are always
the "snots", while the platforms are always
the "slaves". I remember when I was a
platform-only. I used to hate drivers just like
you probably did. I worked like hell, and they did
nothing but ride around in trains all night, and
actually bitch about it sometimes. I used to resent
them. In fact, I began to hate them. Especially
whenever I'd put people in their front cab and they'd
look at me like I'd just asked them to donate their
liver. Drivers were stuck- up jerks, and I swore
I'd never be like them. Then I became a driver.
I saw what makes them that way. I saw what makes
them stand around while the platform people do all
the work. I learned the truth. I became enlightened.
Drive training is hard. Real hard. It looks like
a piece of cake from a platform person's point of
view. After all, all they do it push the stick to
go, pull it back to stop, and talk into a microphone.
That's it. Pretty easy. Well, as I learned, there's
more to that. Much more.
Driving a monorail is a lot like driving a bus filled
with drunk people on a crowded highway with your
fuel gauge hovering just above "E". There's
a lot to do. A lot to look out for, and a lot of
bad things that could happen to you. It can be fun,
but it takes a lot of practice. In comes me.
For the next week, I'm going to show you just what
it's like to drive that bus, with all those drunks
vomiting all over the place, and trying to find
a gas station that will accept your expired Radio
Shack credit card. Before we begin drive training,
I will sit you down and discuss something with you.
Call it a sort of disclaimer. I will look you in
the eye and say something like: "Listen, it's
going to be rough out there, and I'm going to be
rough on you. The pressure will be on you like you've
never felt it before. I'll be asking you to do sixteen
things at the same time, and if you mess up, I'll
be on your case about it. But just keep one thing
in mind--nothing personal." This will probably
make more sense after about three days of training.
Day Four of training is often referred to as, "Hell
Day". That's when it suddenly dawns on your
that driver's don't really have it that easy. That's
when you realize that you're operating a monorail
carrying anywhere from 244 to 364 people, and you
have to get then to the next destination, preferably
A lot of trainees quit after Hell Day. We don't
think any less of them, they just couldn't take
the pressure, that's all. They just usually announce
that "This isn't worth $5.25 a @!&%!! hour!"
and quit. The main reason they quit is that they
didn't realize the pressure involved. That's why
I wrote this. To let you know. But I don't want
to scare you. I don't want you to think that I'm
going to prod you with sticks and make you accept
Satan as your Supreme Being. All I'm doing is attempting
to bring out the best in you, and make you the best
damned monorail pilot you can be. So don't hurt
TALKING ON THE RADIO
by John Robert Kappeler
Talking on the radio is one of the most important
aspects of drive training. Our goal is to make you
sound as professional, accurate and most of all,
coherent as possible. This is not as easy as it
sounds. Talking on the radio is the major stumbling
block to most trainees, because it's your responsibility
to repeat back verbatim whatever it was Central
or Shop has told you to do. Still sound easy? Okay
then, try doing this:
CENTRAL: Monorail Green from Central.
GREEN: Green bye.
CENTRAL: I show you clear MAPO Bypass through Switchbeams
8 and 9 to the EPCOT Center Mainline, following
Monorail Pink Delta in a temporary three-train normal
visual operation. You're clear normal visual to
pylon 95, hold and notify Central. Also notify Central
upon passing pylons 27 and 45.
GREEN: (30 second pause) What?
Not very professional, is it? That's why we have
the most important radio code you can use--10-9.
10-9 means, simply, I don't have the slightest idea
of what you just said and would you mind repeating
it very much. Here's an example of how the code
10-9 improves the professionalism of your radio
CENTRAL: Monorail Pink from Central.
PINK: Pink bye.
CENTRAL: I show you clear to put your train in stop
and your control arm in neutral. You're clear to
press Linebreaker Reset and Group A/B Reset for
fifteen seconds, hold and notify Central the status
of your groups.
PINK: (30 second pause) 10-9?
See? Much more professional. To help you sound even
MORE professional on the radio, we use a variety
of different codes to make your radio experience
as confusing as possible. Here's a listing of the
codes you will need to know.
10-1: Reading you poorly, get a new battery
10-2: Reading you perfectly, you don't have to shout
10-4: Okay, yes, acknowledged, sure, uh-huh, whatever
10-6: Busy, (Only supervisors can be busy. You can't)
10-7: Out of service, off, broken beyond repair
10-8: In service, on, "My God! It actually
10-9: Repeat, say what?, I ignored you the first
10-20: Your exact location, (In pylon numbers, please)
10-22: Disregard, never mind, I goofed
10-23: Stand-by, wait, hold, don't move or die!
10-26: I understand, (Only Poly leads can say this)
10-36: The current time of day, (In military time)
10-45: Phone call, you were speeding through the
10-51: En route to, hope to get to. . .
10-52: E.T.A., (Always say 5 minutes, no matter
10-56: Come here, you're in biiiiig trouble!
10-99: Deadheaded, no guests on board. . . I think
SIGNAL 25: Fire, flames, Chernobyl
SIGNAL 96-S: There's a huge snake on my train!
As a Monorail Pilot, you will use each and every
one of these codes during your career, although
the last one might not come up as often. I put it
there just in case you do get a huge snake in your
front cab, you'll know the exact radio code to relay
this information to Monorail Central. (Chances are,
however, they won't know what the hell you're talking
RED: Central from Red.
CENTRAL: Central bye, Red.
RED: Be advised, I have a Signal 96-S on board.
CENTRAL: (30 second pause) 10-9?
RED: Be advised, I have a Signal 96-S on board!
CENTRAL: I copy you have an auto accident on board?
RED: Negative! A Signal 96-S!
CENTRAL: I copy you have a robbery in progress?
RED: 10-22, I threw it out the window.
CENTRAL: I copy, you threw the robber out the window?
I think you get the picture. Now then, it's important
to learn those codes, because in the coming days,
Central, Shop, Maintenance, Leads, and just about
everybody with a radio is going to be calling you
up to see if you know them inside and out. This
is especially true after Day Three of training.
On Day Four comes a lot of radio from Central. It's
used to see if you can talk and drive at the same
time. Up front, it sounds pretty easy. Here's an
example of radio Mark VI traineesreceive:
CENTRAL: Monorail Gold from Central.
GOLD: Gold bye.
CENTRAL: What's the status of your CMPAS?
GOLD: Be advised, my CMPAS is 10-8.
CENTRAL: 10-4, what mode is your CMPAS in?
GOLD: Be advised, my CMPAS is in 'play'.
CENTRAL: What's the status of your Car 3 LMCU?
GOLD: Uh. . . 10-8?
CENTRAL: 10-4, how do you know that?
GOLD: Uh. . .
CENTRAL: What's the status of your Group A PECU?
And while you're at it, give me the status of your
BECU, your VOBC, your DPAS, your BCS, your TIM,
LVPS, and the OVERHEAT light in your upper display.
GOLD: (30 second pause) Central from Gold.
CENTRAL: Central bye.
GOLD: Please 10-56 hell, Gold clear.
CENTRAL: 10-4, will 10-56 he. . . 10-9!?
Take into account that while you're attempting to
answer Central's questions, you're also attempting
to keep your train from smashing into the one ahead
of it, spieling to your guests, and watching your
trainer's face distort in disgust whenever you mess
up. When you first start out, the trainer will be
there to coach you along the difficult radio parts.
But after awhile, the trainer will no longer take
an active interest in what you say over the radio,
and begin taking an active interest in his nails,
the weather, or the gorgeous blonde on the Grand
Floridian's beach. After some practice, you'll notice
that you will know ahead of time what it is Central,
Shop, Etc. is going to say to you, so it gets easier
to repeat it back. The reason it takes practice
is because there are a lot of people on the Monorail
System who are not easy to understand over the radio.
This is especially true when you're taking a train
to or from Shop.
SHOP: Mo'rail Peenk fro' Shap.
PINK: Uh, Pink bye. . . I think.
SHOP: I sho' ya cleer usin' MAYPO Buypays outta
da Shap to th' No' Side o'th' Shiller Playnt, hol'
an' notify Swiytchbeem.
PINK: (30 second pause) What?
It's not just Shop. There are some Central Leads
who are a bit difficult to understand at first.
But, if you know what he/she's going to say ahead
of time, you'll be able to repeat back the commands
with no problem. Just listen to any veteran operator
on the radio, and you'll see how it's done.
CENTRAL: Monorail (Garbled) from (Garbled).
BLUE: Blue bye.
CENTRAL: I show you (Garbled) to use (Garbled) to
(Garbled), hold (Garbled) (Garbled) (Garbled).
BLUE: 10-4, MAPO Override to pylon 34, will hold
and notify Monorail Central. Blue clear.
That's why it's important to study your radio codes
and scripts. If you memorize them, then you won't
have a cow trying to talk on the radio and drive
your train at the same time. In all seriousness,
if you have a problem repeating back a command,
just ask them to 10-9. They know you're in training,
and won't get it perfect! A lot of trainees get
all flustered on the radio, that's perfectly understandable,
and acceptable. What isn't acceptable, (at least
to me), is keying your radio to talk back to them,
messing up, and continuing to hold down the radio
button! All this does is make you sound unprofessional,
make me look like an idiot, and give Central Leads
funny stories to tell each other at their parties.
CENTRAL: Black from Central.
BLACK: Black bye.
CENTRAL: You're clear in reverse, MAPO Bypass if
nec- cessary to reach pylon 62, hold an notify Central.
BLACK: 10-4. . . clear MAPO. . .uh, necessary to.
. . in, uh, reverse. . . what did he say? Huh? Why
are you giving me the 'cut off the flow' hand signal?
What? I didn't hear what he said! How can anybody
understand what he says? All I heard was 'Black'
'MAPO' something. Hey! Why are you grabbing my ha-
CENTRAL: (Laughter) Monorail Black, please have
your trainer 10-45.
See what problems that causes? And don't think to
yourself that you won't do it. You will! Everybody
does it during training. But with me, you will do
it once. Now then, I don't want to give you the
idea that talking over the radio is going to be
the worst experience of your life. Come on now!
There are a lot of things worse than that. Drinking
Oven Cleaner comes to my mind. But if you practice,
practice, practice, and know your radio codes and
scripts, you will find that talking over the radio
>I have one question now. How does each Mark
Between 6 and 9 million depending whether you include
certain aspects, (refitting powers systems, post
delivery mods, etc.).
What is the complete evacuation procedure for when
a monorail is going up in flames? You mentioned
that you move the passengers onto the roof, but
The truth? You're supposed to take a rope from the
cabinet under the driver's seat, attatch it to a
clip on top of the train near the nose. Repel down
the windscreen to the beamway. Attatch the other
end of the rope to a clip near the headlight. The
passengers are supposed to follow you down the windshield
and walk down the beam to a station. They don't
figure you'll be wanting to save any handicapped
guests, I guess. In fact, for $5.25 an hour, most
pilots probably wouldn't get out on the roof anyway
and have said so. I would because I'm me, not because
of any S.O.P.. The whole thing is nuts considering
that a full car's load of people couldn't get on
the roof all at once anyway (not enough space/handholds).
Can the trains be separated easily? Like can you
break the train and leave the burning car(s) behind?
Nope. The trains are assembled as one unit.
I should clairify that. Monorails come in 1 car
portions on the back of a flatbed truck. They are
assembled onto the beam with a crane, not to be
separated until they're dismounted for scrap. One
Mk.6 got misassembled (they reversed cars 3 &
4) and had to be taken down and switched before
it could run...
A monorail isn't like a normal train in that it
has an engine and the rest of it is dead weight.
A monorail train has 8 motors in it, 113 horsepower
each in the new trains, 100 HP each in the mk.4s,
spaced through the train. The resistors and other
components aren't set up in a fashion of "one
per car" either. You can no more split a monorail
than a bus, but maintenence HAS tried...
WARNING! MONORAIL WAR STORY TO FOLLOW!!
When Adrian Scott was new to the department and
going through drive training, he was assigned one
morning to bring monorail orange out of shop. He
and his trainer were getting the train though switch
#3, south of shop, but Adrian was taking a REAL
long time because he was a trainee. Book procedure
calls for a train to notify shop by radio when he's
clear of switch #3, since shop can't really see
there. Shop then knows that its OK to move the switch
for the next train.
Well, since most of the opening crew are vets, we
never much bothered with extra radio traffic and
got pretty loose on this point. Shop would hear
us notify switch #2 of our position and know that
we'd gotten clear of #3, so why bother?
Adrian was two cars over #3 when shop decided that
it had been SOOO long that he HAD to be clear of
#3. They just must not have heard the call to #2.
Adrian's train started to shake. It made a funny
noise that made his trainer say "What the #@*%!
is that!". Cars 3-6 started moving sideways
in his mirror.
After a judicious amount of Adrian screaming into
the radio, shop turned the switch motors off and
went to see what happened. The train wasn't torn
in half, so they OKed it to continue on out and
we ran it that whole day. We just kept waiting for
it to "liberate" cars 1 & 2...