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Understanding the Monorail switching maneuver, and how it failed


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  • [Other] Understanding the Monorail switching maneuver, and how it failed

    Since I first heard news of the fatal crash of Monorails Pink and Purple on July 5, I've been--well, obsessed. This incident really struck me: as former Cast Member who, like many Cast Members current and former, feel a sense of "fraternity" or "kinship" with the Cast; as someone who has long championed safety causes in theme parks, both professionally and personally; as an engineer who sees the number of ways in which this could have been avoided; and as a human being who sees and feels the deep sense of loss and tragedy in this incident.

    The Internet has been invaluable in piecing together what happened. Within hours of the incident, I already had report from an "inside source" which I posted on The Horizons Tribute. The other stories I read--including Kevin Yee's excellent report--confirmed and added detail to what I'd already heard and read.

    The one thing missing, was a graphic visualization of how the maneuver was supposed to work. I'd seen pictures of the track switches online, and they helped to jog my memory (of seeing them in person countless times), but they still left some details fuzzy. When I encountered a full overview of the site on All Things WDW, I was finally able to piece it together. I overlayed my own drawing over the aerial image, which I hope will help make more sense of it for others.

    I posted the image and details on a special page I created. I passed the link along to Kevin, and he suggested that I post it here as well:

    Planet 7 Monorail Page
    Last edited by Planet7; 07-22-2009, 12:18 PM. Reason: Fixed typos (blasted rented fingers)

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