Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Orlando's Disney World monorail system...

on a recent trip to Orlando, Florida's Disney World, I didn't forget to pack my railfanning interest in the suitcase for this trip. One of the most interesting aspects to moving people around the park's Epcot and Magic Kingdom resorts in a efficent manner would be Disney's monorail system. This 13.6 mile monorail system will carry over 150,000 guests to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot parks on an average day. At Epcot's World Showcase German pavilion, there is also a well designed and attractive garden layout that can be seen.

The current model of monorail began operation in 1990, with the full fleet of 12 in service by early 1991. The Mark VI has a higher passenger capacity as well as improved air conditioning, door systems and improved safety features. Each Mark VI train consists of six cars. The overall length is 203 feet with a capacity of 365 passengers. A quick glance at some of the cars initially lead this causal observer to believe that some cars were vandalized with grafitti! I later saw that these are Disney-themed designs on these cars.

The track consists of 26 inch wide, pre-cast concrete beams supported by concrete columns which are approximately 50 feet apart. Each monorail travels on rubber tires and is powered by a 600 volt DC propulsion system which includes eight DC motors rated at 112 HP each, with the power emanating from each side of the beam. The track's construction gives passengers a very smooth ride that also makes them feel as if they are gliding in air along the elevated track