I received an email report on an incident on the EPCOT monorail line last weekend. No one was reported injured, but it certainly sounds like some hair-raising moments.
My sister and I were riding the monorail with my two nieces, who were on a stroller. It was around 9pm when on a turn, the monorail was leaning to the left side. It was so bad that the stroller went right to the door, even with the breaks on. Then it stopped for about 10-15 min. The stop was not sudden, it made a turn and started leaning towards the left side, it must have been at least 20 degrees of inclination, as it stopped. It was pretty obvious something serious was happening.
They did not say anything about what was happening. They just put the general “delay” message and said that it was going out of service after we get to the station. Then it started moving really slow and on another turn it leaned to the right side, and it stopped for a few minutes. Until we reached the station.
The monorail was heading toward the TTC from EPCOT and my sources say this is consistent with reports of an axle or suspension unit breaking on the monorail train. A very rare occurrence.
In related news, the same source says that a new Monorail color will soon hit the track. Monorail Maroon is the rebuilt monorail that includes the repaired nose and tail cones from the July accident. Supposedly there will also be an enhanced computer system for the train’s pilot.
In court papers, Disney has denied responsibility in that fatal July accident. But the way I read the story, Disney isn’t denying that things went wrong, just that they shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of their employees. Um, I think someone slept through business 101. Hopefully they’ll reach a settlement with the cast member’s family. That’s the right thing to do.
Finally, one more interesting detail about new safety procedures for the monorail system. If a resort line train misses the station in the Contemporary and has to back up, it first has to wait for an express line monorail to come through the station and clear the track for the resort line train to reverse into the station. It’s good that visual confirmation is being used here, but couldn’t they just send a hotel manager out onto the observation deck with a radio to give the all-clear? What happens if the express line is down and a resort train misses the station?