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

Walt Disney World Monorail Crash. One person dead.


Recommended Posts

If you didn't notice there were NO reports whatsoever of the driver sending text messages when the crash happened. You know I think that is a pretty crappy assumption when you have not a clue what really happened. Have some respect for the cast member and the family of the cast member who lost his life in this horrible accident.

 

I'm just pointing out the obvious: Humans suck at operating machines. Computers do it better!

 

If you think I'm dancing on graves, you've figured me wrong.

 

Bring on Skynet!

 

First of all, humans do not suck at operating machines. I am a heavy equipment operator by trade and can tell you that computers can NEVER be as safe as humans because computers can't think for their own when an unexpected hazard occurs, but humans can. I can't remeber how many times I've been in a situation where I had to make life or death decisions running equipment because the unexpected happened and I assure you a computer cannot make those types of decisions the way a human can.

 

And I never said you were dancing on graves, but when you start making assumptions about situations and people that you couldn't pretend to know, it just leads me to believe that you think the person operating the monorail is neglegent and careless, which obviously is not the case here. If I was related to or a friend of the young man who tragically died in this accident, I would be very offended by your remarks.

First off, I didn't take Joe's comments that seriously. I really think he was speaking mostly in jest.

 

And secondly, if you get offended by anything on Theme Park Review, please remember our disclaimer:

 

Disclaimer! You need a sense of humor to view our site,

if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back now!

 

If you want to argue amongst yourselves, please take it to private message.

 

--Robb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 241
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Seeing the video only a couple times, I can agree that the camera man was doing it for his own benefit. I mean, I was already puzzled as to why he needed to video clip it and how he was considered a witness when the only thing he contributed was a video form of the aftermath...no interviews/comments from surrounding guests. The still images were sufficient enough.

 

On the other hand, that video was kind of a chiller...seeing that guy coming up asking if the driver can hear him, and knowing there's a dead body right on the other side.

 

It is best to let the authorities to take care of something serious like that and clear the area so that things can be done efficiently, unless you actually had something worthy to contribute as a witness.

 

For any of this matter, do you think that these train safety precautions will spread outside of the Disney parks and into computerized/driver operated transit systems?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed it mentioned (the video) that some pilots were working 12 to 14 hours shifts. I recently got my class B license in this state, (CA) to brive buses, and it's interesting because in California if you drive a mass transit vehicle, (such as a bus or light rail) you are limited to 10 hours of consecutive work in a 24 hour period. Sounds like one of the many factors was exhausted pilots. Again, a tragedy for this man's family who now have to make unexpected funeral arrangments. I can't fathom what they're going through right now, but I pray they find the strength to get through it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ It just seemed to me (after watching the clip about 10 times and really focusing on what is happening in the background) the cameraman was more concerned about trying to video tape something rather than the driver, the kids, or anyone else in the surrounding area.

 

The last few seconds of the video tell me a LOT about what is going on, or I should say, what is NOT going on. They just casually walk out of the monorail exit as though it was any other day. There was no sign of wanting to run for help, concern for anyone or anything, etc, just causally walking out of the station as though nothing was going on.

 

It's hard to tell who the kids belong to and who the tattooed guy who is jumping over the hand rails is associated with. There was clearly at least one other person with the cameraman, though as you can hear him in the very last frame of the video and you can see another person's legs walk out with him.

 

It was also hard to tell if the CM was pushing everyone out of the station or just the group who was with the cameraman.

 

Regardless, the one "story" that I extracted from that video is that some people there could care less about the crash or the victims, but just wanted to get video of the incident.

 

That to me just says so much about human behavior...

 

--Robb "Your friend is quite a mercenary. I wonder if he really cares about anything, or anybody!" Alvey

 

I totally agree with this. The person with the camera was trying to get "The story" since presumably their first thought was to get it up. I don't know what time it was posted online originally, but the earliest I saw it posted was at 7:50am this morning, roughly 8 hours after the crash occured.

 

Bonus points for the Star Wars quote as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For example, it saddens me that the Cast Member actually take his attention off of the accident and direct his attention to shoo the cameraman out of the area.

--Robb

This was my first though when I saw the video. It simply amazed me he cared more about someone filming then, you know, trying to get help. Simply amazing.

 

With the guy filming, I can't say I blame him. Some people think they can help by filming so there is documents of the accident. Not saying he did that here, but it could be the case. The one good thing is he did not sell the film and let the news media use it for free.

 

The other positive is the video can be used for further training of the CM. Hopefully seeing what was done right and wrong there can help in future problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you want the guy to do, its pretty obvious help was already on the way. It's not like there's a Jaws of Life laying around the monorail platform for cast members to use in this situation.

 

He was doing his job, simple as that. I'm pretty sure if there was a murder scene and somebody was taking video of it, a cop wouldn't just let them continue doing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For example, it saddens me that the Cast Member actually take his attention off of the accident and direct his attention to shoo the cameraman out of the area.

--Robb

This was my first though when I saw the video. It simply amazed me he cared more about someone filming then, you know, trying to get help. Simply amazing.

No, no, that's not what I meant. The cast member was absolutely in the right for shutting down the camera man! What I was saying is that it was terrible that he actually had to deal with that in the first place.

 

The camera man wasn't there to "document" anything, he was there to get his video on the news, plain and simple.

 

--Robb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if WDW will go ahead and just start replacing their entire fleet for newer models and ones that have greater capacity, maybe like the ones at DLR(the mark 7) but longer, wider and with AC. I do like the current WDW monorail design but it needs to be fixed up a bit more. Makes sense to go ahead and do that now since they are already aging, and showing signs of it already

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For example, it saddens me that the Cast Member actually take his attention off of the accident and direct his attention to shoo the cameraman out of the area.

--Robb

This was my first though when I saw the video. It simply amazed me he cared more about someone filming then, you know, trying to get help. Simply amazing.

No, no, that's not what I meant. The cast member was absolutely in the right for shutting down the camera man! What I was saying is that it was terrible that he actually had to deal with that in the first place.

 

The camera man wasn't there to "document" anything, he was there to get his video on the news, plain and simple.

 

--Robb

Sorry for the misquote Robb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope it's okay that I'm posting yet another thing from another site that was written by someone else, but this seems to be a plausible explanation from a legit source:

 

From the wdwmagic forums:

 

"I am a Seasonal CM and was a CP, and I would like to shed some light on the process for removing trains from the Epcot Beam.

 

Monorail Pink would be "deadheaded" at Concourse, meaning the Pilot announces that the train is going out of service and must be fully unloaded. The pilot walks through the train to ensure this, then closes the doors and goes back to Cab 1 (normal driving cab for Epcot.) At this point the conversation goes similar to this:

 

"Central, Monorail Pink is deadheaded at Concourse."

"10-4, Normal Visual to Pylon 30, hold at notify Central"

 

Pink then continues out in forward to Pylon 30, which places the end of his train (Cab 6) just past the switch point to take trains from Epcot to Express. Once Pink gets to 30 and notifies Central, Central radios shop to move "Switches 8 and 9 to the Spur Line, with power." This is where something went wrong last night. Either Shop didnt comply, Central didn't call, or something malfunctioned. Either way, something went wrong at this point last night.

 

Central will also call Purple and say

 

"Monorail Purple you are Normal Visual [if you have a green MAPO and no visual obstructions ahead, go ahead] to Pylon 379, hold and notify."

 

Pylon 379 is the primary holdpoint for Concourse, meaning if a train is at the station, the train behind will stop at Pylon 379. Pylon 379 is right over the handicapped parking, by the way.

 

Last night, from what I have been told by people who had radios on them (and switching is really the only interesting thing going on at 2am) that Pink was "Clear to use MAPO Override, in reverse, through 9, through 8, THROUGH BASE, through Poly, through Grand Flo to the Magic Kingdom, switch ends" meaning, had the switches been aligned properly, Pink would have been expecting to reverse COMPLETELY through Base on Express and all the way to the MK. "CLEAR" from Central means you GO. Even if you get an MBS, you MAPO override. Clear is as good as gold, when given from Central.

 

By this point, Purple has reached 379 and notified so. Central will then say "Purple you are normal visual to pylon 385 [directly above the tram station] then MAPO Override to reach Concourse, hold and notify."

 

Purple has to MAPO Override because, had the switches been aligned to the spur, there would have been a gap ahead of Purple, which would have given an RED MBS, even though Purple only needed to reach Concourse.

 

So IN MY OPINION, last night Pink was coming in Reverse in MAPO Override (as required to pass over a switch) but instead of being on the Spur Line, was in fact still on Epcot beam. I do not know why the Pilot did not realize this, but that is not for me to debate. At the same time, Purple was MAPO Overriding from pylon 385. The pilots did not realize their RED MBS was not from a switch being open, but in fact due to the other train. So Pink came through Concourse at 15mph in reverse (as restricted by computers) as Purple was approaching Concourse in forward, in MAPO Override, just past pylon 385 (as indicated by the photos showing it past the tram loading area) and this is where the collision I believe occurred.

 

I have tried to be as factual about the switching process as I can without being too confusing, and the last paragraph was pure speculation, although I feel I have some credence as I took trains to shop nearly every night. Either way, it is a tragedy that a Cast Member was killed, and I can't imagine what the other driver must be feeling, as well as everyone else involved."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But yeah, it looks like the WDW monorail system could use some more computerization.

Does it really? I know someone else mentioned something about making the monorail even "more safe" but I gotta be honest, 1 accident in 27 years? 1 fatality in over 1 billion passengers? How many other transporation systems have that kind of record?

 

There needs to be some kind of an invenstigation, sure, don't get me wrong, and hopefully there will be some sort of finding that can be fixed, of course, but I'm not sure I think that it could get any safer or if major changes are needed.

 

Tell you what, let's give it another 27 years and see what happens. If we have another crash, then ok, I'll say some more computerization may be in order, but if not, let's just keep things going as usual.

 

What do you think?

 

--Robb

 

I agree. The more I think about this, based on theories from former pilots, the only thing that could possibly improve is management procedures and scheduling.

 

As has been mentioned, the WDW monorail IS probably the safest mode of mass public transportation on the planet. Its safety record speaks for itself. When you consider all the factors involved in this incident, it would theoretically suggest that a combination of closing procedures and human fatigue may be the most important to consider.

 

At this point, please remember that this is mostly speculation. I would think that you generally don't see trains being taken on and offline that often during daylight hours. First, because they have crowd predictions down to a science, and it's not like WDW officials are gonna be caught off guard by the size of a major holiday crowd. Secondly, it takes time to make transfers, thus making wait times longer.

 

To me, what happened Saturday night seems like a scenario that probably plays out in countless other mass transportation fleets around the country every day. You've got a team of workers closing out a very long day and ready to park everything, head home, and get some shuteye. Someone slacks off on what would normally be a routine, "second nature" procedure because they're at the end of their shift, or possibly into overtime work, and a simple mistake leads to tragedy.

 

Due to the fact that this happened at 2am, only had 6 guests on board, and was probably the last run of the day, it seems logical that closing procedures were being carried out, and someone screwed up royally due to fatigue.

 

Again, that's only an educated guess based on what I've read and heard from former "railies," but it seems plausible. I actually hope it was some sort of computer malfunction, as that would ultimately be easier to explain and remedy, but I'm just not as confident about that scenario as of right now.

 

I, too, just don't see how the WDW monorail could get much safer than it already is. If everyone was so concerned about riding vehicles attached to rails, governed by computer systems, and operated by humans, this site would probably cease to exist. Just sayin'.

 

EDIT: ^Great timing on that post, Natalie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I wonder if WDW will go ahead and just start replacing their entire fleet for newer models and ones that have greater capacity, maybe like the ones at DLR (the Mark VII) but longer, wider, and with AC." (EnglndPatriots6)

 

WDW's monorails already have greater capacity than Disneyland's, and always have. I was told once that they are built to transit standards, whereas Disneyland's---while certainly viable people carriers---are more or less an amusement park ride. But they've always been as such because Walt simply wanted to showcase the technology. WDW's from the get-go were meant to move large amounts of people throughout most of any operating day.

 

Eric

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^^ Just read that (and the entire 55 pages on that topic) and makes you wonder if there was just a communication error. Tragic all around.

 

I will say, I am simply amazed at how safe the WDW Monorail is. Well over 3 billion riders over a period of almost 40 years and this is the first death. There can not be a single form of transportation safer then that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My best guest would be a MAPO system failed (which is crazy, but I guess it could happen) or the pilot was somehow in override. Either way, I wonder if he might have passed out at the controls before the crash. There are headlights on the trains...how could he NOT have seen the monorail ahead of him?

 

There is a MAPO override on the console of every train...It is normal operation for a pilot to be using that at a time like this because trains are going to shop and need to use the override on the switches as there is no MAPO system on the switch. A MAPO system failure is highly unlikely as that has not happened since the new Mark VIs were added to the sytem.

 

He was 21 years old & working the late shift...more than likely that means he was part of the College Program. Sad

 

He was not a CP cast member.

 

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).

 

Even if that happened, the pilot of purple or the cast members in the concourse station would have had plenty of time to get on the radio and tell them purple was still in the station.

 

I guess I am having a hard time reconciling why the MAPO override exists in the first place. It sort of negates the whole purpose to having a block system. If there is more regulation in this industry, which seems to be the trend, I'm sure that having a block brake system will be a requirement on ALL rides with multiple units on the same track. Overriding the system would not be allowable.

 

For the short term, att the very least, policy should be set up that if there are guests in the train, overriding the MAPO system should be grounds for immediate termination. I know that is how operators such as Six Flags and Cedar Fair work. Ideally, even then it shouldn't be overridden unless a Coordinator (disney speak for supervisor) is manning the controls. That's the policy of most other operators when they are overriding safety control systems in order to switch on or off units.

 

The MAPO override button is absolutely necessary to have in the trains. As I said, it is normal for a pilot to have to use this button, especially when they are taking a train to shop. The switch beams do not have a MAPO system on there, so they automatically register a red MAPO when trying to go over them. In order to get the train moving, the pilot needs an override. Also, the ONLY time a pilot is given permission to even touch the override button is in situations like this (taking trains to shop or moving a train to a station after being cleared in situations like trains breaking down). Like you said, if a pilot even touches the override button without permission, it is grounds for immediate termination.

 

The more I think about it, the more surprised I am that there's no e-stop button in the stations. At least, I ASSUME there aren't any. After all, there had to have been at least two CMs working the platform at the time - they must have seen monorail pink about to collide with monorail purple, so surely they would have reached for some sort of all-ride braking system button if it were available to them.

 

All platform cast members have what is called a "killpack" which can kill power in the station...However, that's kinda pointless IF the purple train was already in the station.

 

I mean, you generally don't see a lot of train transfers happening in daylight hours unless maintenance is needed.

 

You'd be surprised...When the beams first open up in the morning (on a regular day, not a busy day like a holiday), they usually put the bare minimum on the system. This is three trains on resort and two trains on Epcot (somtimes Epcot will open with 3). After they have put trains on resort and Epcot, then they beginning adding trains to the Express beam as the Express beam is the last to open. Generally, there are usually 3 trains on Express to start the day unless they are expecting a big crowd. If they start with 4 on Express but the crowds start to slown down, it is not irregular for a train to get sent from Express to Resort mid-day. If Epcot starts with 2, but crowds pick up, they will send a train from Express to Epcot mid-day as well. And towards the end of the night if the beams are 3-3-3, it's common for them to bring another train out of shop mid-day to Express so they have enough trains on Express for the close.

 

So there are many situations where they make transfers between beams in regular hours, even if a train isn't having problems. These transfers on done to handle the crowd levels more effeciently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, you generally don't see a lot of train transfers happening in daylight hours unless maintenance is needed.

 

You'd be surprised...When the beams first open up in the morning (on a regular day, not a busy day like a holiday), they usually put the bare minimum on the system. This is three trains on resort and two trains on Epcot (somtimes Epcot will open with 3). After they have put trains on resort and Epcot, then they beginning adding trains to the Express beam as the Express beam is the last to open. Generally, there are usually 3 trains on Express to start the day unless they are expecting a big crowd. If they start with 4 on Express but the crowds start to slown down, it is not irregular for a train to get sent from Express to Resort mid-day. If Epcot starts with 2, but crowds pick up, they will send a train from Express to Epcot mid-day as well. And towards the end of the night if the beams are 3-3-3, it's common for them to bring another train out of shop mid-day to Express so they have enough trains on Express for the close.

 

Thanks, well aware of that. But the general point is that we're talking about the procedure for what is undoubtedly one of the busiest days/weekend of the year. Sorry I wasn't more specific for you. It's late.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I wonder if WDW will go ahead and just start replacing their entire fleet for newer models and ones that have greater capacity, maybe like the ones at DLR (the Mark VII) but longer, wider, and with AC." (EnglndPatriots6)

 

WDW's monorails already have greater capacity than Disneyland's, and always have. I was told once that they are built to transit standards, whereas Disneyland's---while certainly viable people carriers---are more or less an amusement park ride. But they've always been as such because Walt simply wanted to showcase the technology. WDW's from the get-go were meant to move large amounts of people throughout most of any operating day.

 

Eric

 

Yes i know, but the current design is a bit dated and sometimes it gets really stinky inside the cabins. They can redesign the Mark 7's at DLR to be longer, wider and have AC so they can operate all the time. Just seems logical to start working on a replacement since they now have to fix or replace 2 monorails.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I understand that...I was down there during Spring Break and we were operating all 12 trains pretty much every day. If a train broke down, it was taken to shop in the middle of the day, but unless there wasn't something seriously wrong with it and it couldn't come back out, the train was usually back out by the end of the night.

 

You have to keep in mind, in the mornings and nights, the Express beam is the busiest. Usually in mid-day, Resort beam would have the most trains. So on busy days during spring break, July 4th, etc. If a train breaks down on the Resort beam in the middle of the day, they would usually move a Express beam train over to accommodate for that lost train. But like I said, if they felt that train was ready to go again, it would usually return back to the system by the end of the night, especially during a busy day.

 

What was occurring at the time of the accident was normal procedure for taking a train from Epcot to shop. Since there is no beam from Epcot to shop, you obviously have to bring that train over to the express beam and this involves the spur lines. Well, obviously something went wrong with this procedure that has been flawless for the past 20 years and the result is this. What exactly went wrong, no one knows for sure. But most people in rails right now are more worried about our lost friend than what exactly happened at the time of the accident.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

 

Wasnt the incident with DCA's California Screamin' a result of changing the original brake configuration beyond Intamins specifications and thus, in the end leading to an accident? Id say that was Disneys fault...maybe not an operator but certainly not outside of disneys fault.

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/