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From: halcyon!

Newsgroups: rec.arts.disney

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 personality!

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.

The Basics:

>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 in "run".

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 the train's)

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 go away.

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 System).

>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, the ones

>with the mediocre standing space and the quiet doors ? (missing

>the old !BANG! after a stop :)) BTW, I apologize for 'mediocre'

>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 doors.

>* 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 lowest bidder).

>* 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" script?

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 VI).

>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!

Monorail Green

aka B-Man


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 training.

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 alive.

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 me, okay?


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 work.

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 works!"

10-9: Repeat, say what?, I ignored you the first time

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 Poly

10-51: En route to, hope to get to. . .

10-52: E.T.A., (Always say 5 minutes, no matter what)

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 about.)

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 Group B

BECU, your VOBC, your DPAS, your BCS, your TIM, your

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. An example:

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' and

'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 is easy.

>I have one question now. How does each Mark VI cost?

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 then what?

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...


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...


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