Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Walt Disney World Monorail Crash. One person dead.


Recommended Posts

Don't know if anyone notice it or not but in the video, the trains are in the station while the one picture from the other link has the trains outside the station.

 

Did the crash occur inside the station or outside along the track. I'm just wondering why the trains may have been moved. Do you think its a possibly that after the crash, the trains were somehow moved into the station to allow the guests to get out?

 

Of course we'll find out the full details after the full investigation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 241
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Don't know if anyone notice it or not but in the video, the trains are in the station while the one picture from the other link has the trains outside the station.

 

Did the crash occur inside the station or outside along the track. I'm just wondering why the trains may have been moved. Do you think its a possibly that after the crash, the trains were somehow moved into the station to allow the guests to get out?

 

From what I've heard, it occurred outside the station, and I believe they were towed in so that they could get the guests and the driver off. I don't know for sure though.

 

EDIT: Never mind. New info counters that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thankful for my ride in the front seat during my 2002 trip. It was really educational, fun, and gave fantastic views....it really was something else! For one bad crash in nearly 40 years; I hope then still let people in the front cabin...it's a unique experience.

 

But sad news; I'm afraid this will linger around Disney for a quite some time.

-Zach

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't know if anyone notice it or not but in the video, the trains are in the station while the one picture from the other link has the trains outside the station.

Yeah, I was thinking that too. I can't imagine that the first thought after seeing how devistaing the crash was that someone would go "Hey, let's try to MOVE these trains!" at the risk of creating even more damage or potential injury.

 

We also don't know when the photos or the video was taken. It's possible that the video was taken right after the crash and then the photos could have been taken a couple hours later when they attempted to move the trains after everyone was off.

 

--Robb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was posted at micechat.com

 

"Hi guys,

 

I'm a former Mark VI railie, and I stay in touch with a fair number of folks in the department. Here's what I've heard. I'm going to stress that it's what I've heard, and I can't represent this as absolute fact. Take that for what it's worth.

 

The short, short version is that Monorail Central cleared Monorail Pink in reverse into the Concourse (the Epcot side of the TTC) station without being aware that Monorail Purple was still in the station. Pink was cleared with MAPO override, meaning that the driver would have disabled the anti-collision system (there are a variety of legitimate reasons for doing this), and would have been acting on faith that Central wouldn't have cleared him into a dangerous situation because it sometimes is difficult to see everything you'd want to in the cab mirrors, particularly at night on a curve such as the one he was backing along. For whatever reason, Purple just sat in the station without attempting to avoid the accident, and was struck by Pink moving at the full 15 mph allowed during MAPO override. From what I understand, the driver of Purple was a new transfer from another department. Why Central would not have made sure the station was clear before moving any trains is a bit of a mystery, but I've heard that no one was actually in the control console (the control tower-looking place at Concourse) at the time. To my knowledge, there were no electrical or mechanical problems in play here. Again, I have to stress that I'm relating what I've heard, and I was not there. This is a second-hand account from others more familiar with the situation.

 

Okay, speculation time.

 

Why would Purple have just sat in the station and let himself get hit? Well, it was a new driver from what I understand, and when Pink got close enough to trigger Purple's MAPO system, it's quite possible that the driver of Purple freaked a little bit (any time a driver gets an unexpected red MAPO light, it gets their attention), and was so intent on looking at his console trying to figure out what was going on that he simply did not see Pink barreling down on him. I suppose it's also possible that the Concourse station didn't have power at the time, preventing Purple from leaving, but I rather doubt that was the case.

 

Why would Central clear a train into an occupied station? Inattention, most likely. As I said, I'd heard that Central was not at the console at the time of the accident. IMO, if this is the case, it's the root cause of the accident and whoever was Central should be strung up.

 

Also, here's a little primer on how the anti-collision system on the WDW trains works, since there seems to be some confusion as to how the system works:

 

The system at Disney is called the MAPO system, or more precisely the Moving Blocklight System (MBS). It consists of a number of transmitters along the beam every 7-10 pylons or so that place RF signals of three different frequencies onto the positive buss bar (power rail), and a corresponding receiver in each train. The trains are wired with a capacitor that shorts the MAPO signals to ground, preventing any signals generated ahead of the train from getting past it. The transmitters are arranged sequentially around the beam- if any given transmitter is putting out frequency #1, then the next one will be emitting frequency #2, and the next one after that will have frequency #3. The one after that will be transmitting frequency #1 again, and the cycle continues all the way around the beam. The upshot of this is that in normal operation, the following distance should be such that there will be three or more transmitters between a given train and the train ahead of him, thus the following train will "see" all three frequencies, and the driver will have a green MBS light on his console. As he begins to get close to the leading train, there will only be two transmitters separating the trains, and the leading train will be shorting out the third MAPO frequency being generated by the next transmitter ahead of it. The following train will then see only two frequencies, and the yellow MBS light illuminates on the driver's console. This signals the driver that he needs to stop at the next designated holdpoint until his MBS indicator turns green again (i.e., the leading train has gone far enough away that there are now again three or more transmitters between the two trains). If the driver ignores the yellow MBS light and continues on, then the following train will only have one transmitter between it and the leading train. This triggers an emergency stop on the following train, with a big ol' blinking red light (a "red MAPO") to let the driver know he screwed up, and a corresponding entry is made in the train's daily event log. It's a reasonably fail-safe system, meaning that if there are problems with the system itself, it will result in a train being stopped instead of being allowed to continue into a dangerous situation. It's not rocket science, and is similar to moving blocklight systems used on subways and other similar systems. Being so simple, the system is pretty reliable, although it rarely can get a bit flaky during thunderstorms, resulting in the occasional yellow MBS light even though there may be a mile or more between trains.

 

However, there are a number of situations where the MAPO system needs to be turned off, and for that, there's a "MAPO override" button on the console, which allows the driver to do just that. When MAPO override is active, the train is limited to 15 mph, and the driver has to continue to hold the button down to keep the system overridden. Some examples of when the system needs to be overridden are when trains are on any of the spurlines (since they have no MAPO transmitters), or when trains are being switched between beams.

 

Anyway, regardless of what actually did happen, my thoughts go out to the family of the driver that died, and also to the driver of Pink, who I'm sure is living with his own awful grief. No one should have to deal with this kind of stuff for a crappy hourly position, and I hope that this sad event brings some (IMO) much-needed change in the Transportation Department management."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very, very sad. Could've happened anywhere (and has, as we know).

 

I think the comment(s) about texting were not in reference to this particular driver, but rather a reminder that texting while operating any vehicle is very bad and strictly to be avoided. There's nothing wrong with making sure this is widely known. At any rate, I do not assume that texting was in any way involved with this accident, and like others have said, neither should you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll just copy what I posted on another forum...

 

Austin started at Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. We worked together the last two summers. He was such a happy go lucky, nice guy. His dream job was to be a monorail pilot and was SO excited when he found out his transfer to monorails had gone through.

 

It's so sad. He was supposed to be off at 9 last night, but extended. The monorail he was on was his last of the night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that post, Natalie.

 

What's weird is during my last front seat ride on Saturday night (7-27) back to Epcot, I was talking to the pilot about safety measures.

 

I'm just as confused as anyone else as to why Central would ever clear one to reverse into Concourse as Pink did (*IF* this is what actually occurred). The Monorail Shop holds 10 of the 12 monorails (where they are stored overnight) leaving the remaining 2 to be parked at various stations. The remaining two are VERY RARELY parked nose to nose, so I can't imagine that's what they were going for in this situation. Again, I'm confused as can be.

 

And I'm with Robb. I unfortunately don't see front seat rides happening ever again. That's truly unfortunate for ALL guests.

 

For those wondering, here's several pictures of what's being discussed:

nosetonose.jpg.592ebeae216bcf7c8b61057728073d14.jpg

Finally, a very rare photo of two monorails parked nose to nose at the TTC. Special thanks to MonorailYellow.com for this one!

1803852085_TPRmonconsole.jpg.7a3115363f5beff002c02d52e525c83b.jpg

A look at Monorail Purple's control console. These were all updated within the last couple years.

1718557494_TPRmoncentral2.jpg.48f310cc5de16abce478d6e29dee0901.jpg

From one report, "Central" may not have been paying attention to the fact that Monorail Purple was still sitting at the TTC. Odd, if true.

1225726354_TPRmonCentral.jpg.26e725c473efeb1eb42107050e47c38b.jpg

A look at the Monorail Central booth. This is located in the Epcot station. This one is like the air traffic controller's booth for the entire monorail circuit.

598548963_TPRmoncrash.jpg.74be2039dc812d8e0c881786ae2a4efc.jpg

A somewhat eery shot of Monorail Purple's pilot seat and console. You can see the red MAPO override button in the center.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I was all excited to be able to post some informed speculation, but it appears the story's somewhat out already. I worked in monorails very briefly a few summers ago, but they drill the ins and outs into your head pretty well, and I did well on my "test."

 

My initial thoughts were that this had to be some form of combination human/machine error, being that I've seen MAPO Red happen and it's not something you miss easily. It's sad to read the story and now see it may have been completely human error, and not that of the pilot (Something I assumed from the start as MAPO override requires consent of the central dispatch person [i'm like 90% sure on this, can anyone confirm?], who is supposed to be a supervisor of some sort.) The system is designed so that the driver cannot make an error like this. I'm still incredibly confused as to how this could have happened. There should have been at LEAST 4 people in the area that could have stopped this, even at 2 AM. Additionally, monorail pilots spend a minimum of 30 days working only the platform before they even get to do training to really drive the thing. These people know their surroundings.

 

Having the "pilot" in the monorail is what really makes the experience "magical" for Disney guests. If it pilots itself, it might as well be the tram at the airport. So what does Disney do now?

 

I, personally, think there's going to be some sort of mechanical failure here. It seems impossible for this to be 100% human error. Whether it was a MAPO failure, control failure (not braking correctly or being stuck in forward motion) it just doesn't seem possible for NO ONE to be able to hit an E-Stop button before this happened.

 

This is absolutely a tragedy in so many ways. As someone who's been behind that console in the past, it's chilling to see these pictures and hear this terrible news.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were down at WDW yesterday and stayed over night. The news kind of the accident put the resort we were staying at (Saratoga Springs) in a damper because everyone was saying, "how could that happen?" I think people were also very concerned for the driver and his family as this is a freak accident. CM's were asked about it but were just answering (very nicely as always) questions with replies such as, "The monorail is not operating today, other forms of Disney Transportation will gladly get you to your destination" as well as. "I'm sorry sir, I don't know more than what the news is telling me right now."

 

The crazy thing was, we rode shotgun in the monorail just an hour before the accident... When we heard the news, needless to say my wife and I kinda freaked. It wasn't our train, but still, it really hit close to home.

 

Like someone else said, accidents lead to change in SOP... It's just sad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't know if anyone notice it or not but in the video, the trains are in the station while the one picture from the other link has the trains outside the station.

Yeah, I was thinking that too. I can't imagine that the first thought after seeing how devistaing the crash was that someone would go "Hey, let's try to MOVE these trains!" at the risk of creating even more damage or potential injury.

--Robb

In typical Disney style, they probably towed the trains away to the maintenance shed, with little regard to safety, and just wanting to get the system back up and running.

 

Also, I really don't understand how this could be central's fault. The accident happened at the TTC, right where central can see. So many things went wrong for this to happen. It's all very unfortunate, and I hope this never happens again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beemerboy, the red button in the center of the console looks more like an Emergency Stop button than a MAPO override.

You're correct. After I went back over it, I realized I uploaded the wrong picture. Thanks for catching that though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at the track record of Disney versus the other operators, there seem to be more mistakes as a result of operator/operations policy issues at Disney, while accidents at Cedar Fair/Six Flags are more commonly result of rider error.

Refresh my memory, but I can't think of too many accidents at Disney where this is the case.

 

I don't remember any major incidents since 2006 when the last Mission Space and Rockin' Roller Coaster fatalities occured and neither one of them were mistakes of operators or operations.

 

In fact, I think you have to go back to 2004 with the Magic Kingdom parade float incident where anything "operator related" can be found at Walt Disney World.

 

And then it's 2003 with the Big Thunder accident at Disneyland where maintenance was found to be an issue.

 

Before that at Walt Disney World, it was the 2000 Splash Mountain incident where the man got out of the boat and was hit by another one. Not operator error.

 

And then it's the 1999 worker that was killed while doing work on the Skyway.

 

So really, in the past decade I can only see TWO incidents where it looks like there was operator or human error at Walt Disney World.

 

Sorry, Chris, don't mean to be calling you out or anything, just wanted to point that out it may be an unfair statement to make. Unless of course there are other incidents that I'm not aware of or have forgotten about.

 

--Robb "Also, remember that Disney parks are open EVERY DAY versus Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks..." Alvey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^I still wonder about the timing of the Mission Space 'no spin' side.

 

Sure maybe the accident helped them open it a bit sooner, but let's be honest. The ride never had a line and people were scared of it before any death or injury. If they wanted to save their expensive ass ride they needed to do something!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As they say in academia, it's an empirical question. If I had more time, I would list accidents from all operators from the last ten years and then categorize them as operator or rider error.

You could...but really, what would be the point? And furthermore, does anyone really care or NEED to be reminded about past accidents at ANY park.

 

How about just moving forward and NOT being like the journalists who over-glamorize a tragic theme park accident just to stir up drama?

 

Focus on the fun you can have as a family while visiting theme parks, not on mechanical or operator failures that could impact that from happening.

 

Remember, that odds are ALWAYS in your favour.

 

--Robb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Therefore, you can probably argue the number of accidents that we know about from the media is less than the actual amount.

 

It would basically be impossible to compare Disney to the SF / CF chain. One of the reasons that they would probably automatically have a higher rate of large scale accidents that is operator / operations error than rider error is because of the type of rides that they have. While it is still dangerous, hopping off a dark ride mid ride would 99 times out of 100 be a lot less catastrophic than, say, hopping out of an coaster during the ride.

 

Accidents on any amusement rides get TONS of attention because of how rare they are. I heard today that on an average day, the monorail system moves 150,000 riders. That's over 54 million riders per year. EPCOT Center opened 27 years ago, so even at a conservative estimate, it has had over 1 billion riders since then.

 

According to another site that had a timeline of monorail issues, there have been 12 people hospitalized due to something happening on a monorail trip, and now one person killed. That means (if I calculated correctly) that you have a one in one billion chance of having a fatality, and a one in 83,333,333 chance of being hospitalized from your ride on the monorail.

 

With a quick glance at some airline statistics at another site, there have been approximately 143,500,000 flights from 1970-2005, of which there were 59 fatal accidents. That means every 2,432,203 flights end tragically.

 

It also means that monorails are approximately 411 times safer to ride than airplanes.

 

Amusement rides and attractions are *incredibly* safe, and I'm sure that Disney will find a way to make the monorail system even safer now that this has occurred.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/