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A.J. Designs a Mark VIII Monorail

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One of my favorite things to do when I'm screwing off is to open up Inventor, RollerCoaster Tycoon, or NoLimits and let my imagination go wild. This seems to be sort of a recurring theme here in the games forum. This project, however, started away from the comfort of my desk.


I was riding the Monorail into the Magic Kingdom, when I overheard some guests talking about how Disneyland's monorail is more high-tech and fancy than Walt Disney World's is. In my head, I was agreeing with them. I then remembered all the posts around the forums and how fanboys were scratching against walls to get Walt Disney World to incorporate the Mark VII monorails that Disneyland has into their system.


Then, I remembered that I learned that Walt Disney World's monorail system was designed first and foremost as a transportation system, while Disneyland's was designed first and foremost as an attraction.


The engineer inside of me woke up at that moment. How can the futuristic design of the Mark VII Disneyland monorails be incorporated into a package that is more people-friendly?


As I got off at the Magic Kingdom stop, I got my sketchbook out and a pencil and went to work. I watched four or five monorails go by, looking at proportions, style of design, and the amount of people that got off. I eventually had a design that I was happy with. After I enjoyed myself at the Magic Kingdom for a few hours, I went home, and sat down in front of my computer.


Because I was only working with my sketch, I decided to design the form of the monorail first before working on the mechanicals (that a guest would see). After a few hours of work, I managed to make a shell I was happy with. I created a glass dome for the nose cone, and framing for the window panes.



You can see that the window frames "wrap around" the shell. I wanted a design that felt as open and airy as possible.

Over my next few sessions of work, I designed the interior of the car (excluding the nose cone). I incorporated seats that feel as if they "float" over the floor, while in reality they are merely anchored at the sides of the interior. I then worked on the side skirts, going with a unified design to make the monorail look less like a bubble with a skirt and more like a streamlined cruiser.



Three strakes are indented into the side skirt, a nod to what probably won't be the third generation of WDW monorails.

With most of the form modeled, I did a comprehensive check on how the monorails would work in real life. As such, I made the conclusion that the design and length of the side skirts would not allow for adequate clearance for major hill climbing, so they were modified. Air vents (for the running wheels) were also designed. Finally, I designed the interior of the nose cone.



Similar, but different to the Mark VIIs.




Now, I present my work in progress - what could possibly be, but most likely won't be a reality - the nose (and tail) of my fantasy Walt Disney World Mark VIII monorail.



I am truly proud of my work on this project so far.

This monorail is designed to move people quickly and efficiently, while still bearing an instantly iconic design. Keep in mind that it is a work in progress - there are plenty of details that I have not incorporated as of yet, such as headlights, a tow hook, and running wheels to name a few.


Stay tuned to this topic for more developments, details, and designs - as I work to "imagineer" my first masterpiece.

Edited by A.J.
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Are you using Autodesk Inventor or Autocad?

I'm using Inventor. I plan on exporting it as a .dwg when I'm happy with it for my personal design portfolio.

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While guests wish upon a star, the Mark VIII monorail wishes upon sunlight.


Solar panels affixed to the roof of each car absorb the harsh Florida sunlight to provide a luxury to the passengers on board - HVAC. The electric motors actually propelling the train can operate more efficiently when they are not required to provide HVAC for the cars.



When HVAC is not required, the eight window panels on the roof can be opened - to ventilate the cars. The opening is large enough to provide adequate ventilation, but it is small enough to prevent something - or someone - from getting through.


One very large emergency exit is located at the center of each car, that is large enough for four average-sized people to climb out of at once. The doors open outward and stop at a 120 degree angle - to provide protection so guests cannot climb out and fall off the side. Handrails are located on either side of the roof to assist guests as they safely crawl across the roof.


The combination of the glass panels and black-painted pillars makes for a unique wrap-around look for the greenhouse of the monorail car. Also, a very open and airy feeling is achieved for the passengers inside the car.



The seats are colored the same color as the monorail's exterior.

The glass roof panels and windows also provide natural light for most of the day.


Stay tuned for more developments.

Edited by A.J.
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So, as some of you might be aware, I'm intending on declaring the Interdisciplinary Digital Studio major at Penn State. Each student entering the major must submit a portfolio. I already had plenty of material to use, but I wanted to put in something new.


Now, when I say something "new", I mean something "revisited".


I dug out the source files for the Monorail and went to town in Maya over the course of Spring Break. It actually got to a point where my own Macbook Pro couldn't handle the job! I've spent the past five hours in the lab working on fit and finish stuff like the lighting. I just finished the last rendering about a half an hour ago.


I am so freaking ecstatic right now, and I am so proud of this work. Check it out!




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  • 4 months later...

I don't know if you're done and finished with this project or not, but it would be cool to see the interior as a walk-through train instead of separate cars. The Seattle monorail is the only western monorail (if I remember correctly) to have walk-through trains and it makes them feel a lot more open than separate cars, plus helps in an emergency.

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^Disney has a policy regarding unsolicited submissions of creative content, ideas and intellectual property. They will not be allowed to even open the email or physical package in which a concept is sent, otherwise they become liable to the concept's creator making a claim that they might have used or taken the concept without proper consideration, compensation or credit. Most making amusement companies take this proactive stance to ensure their own liability is minimized.


Anyways, this looks great A.J.!

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