New Monorail Fleet Ordered?

hertamaniac

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
I never said it was a definitive order as if it was there would have already been a PR. You're probably right about the signaling under the services, but reading the next paragraph gives a little more information.

"In the North American market significant opportunities are foreseen during the upcoming quarters of 2019. In the U.S., several orders are expected to be awarded for commuter and regional trains, and metro and automated people mover (APM) trains, and in Canada, future orders are anticipated for LRVs".

I am not sure if a new monorail would qualify under an APM train.

It has been radio silence on an updated/upgraded monorail system for WDW since a rumor broke about 1 year ago on a contract. I get the sense that there will be an announcement around August 24-26th of this year (if not by the end of this year).
 
Joined
May 25, 2017
Im not sure i buy the one train at a time idea. Wouldnt they want to update the beam power supply to accomodate the new trains? Could the 2020s and 1990 infrastructure run simultaneously? Gotta imagine there would be some downtime to convert at least one beam for the new trains. Maybe retrofit the existing trains to run on a new power supply.
 

TheGoofster

Old Foggie
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Any thoughts on how long the monorails would be down while they changed them (assuming this of course turns out to be a true rumor). Do you think it could be a one or two day project, or would they be down for a few weeks or so?
 
  • rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    Any thoughts on how long the monorails would be down while they changed them (assuming this of course turns out to be a true rumor). Do you think it could be a one or two day project, or would they be down for a few weeks or so?
    IF this happens it would be a gradual thing. They wouldn't just shut down the system and switch over night. You'd be looking at a couple trains at a time most likely and one line at a time so they can upgrade what they need too while still be able to use the other lines.
     

    TheGoofster

    Old Foggie
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2006
    IF this happens it would be a gradual thing. They wouldn't just shut down the system and switch over night. You'd be looking at a couple trains at a time most likely and one line at a time so they can upgrade what they need too while still be able to use the other lines.
    yeah, that makes a lot of sense! I was thinking about a one time kind of change, where they did them all at once. Good thing, I'm not in charge, I'd have a lot of angry guests!
     

    hertamaniac

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    Im not sure i buy the one train at a time idea. Wouldnt they want to update the beam power supply to accomodate the new trains? Could the 2020s and 1990 infrastructure run simultaneously? Gotta imagine there would be some downtime to convert at least one beam for the new trains. Maybe retrofit the existing trains to run on a new power supply.
    Possibly. The current system is 600V with 7 inverters to drop to 230V for use of A/C, etc. I know the current system uses capacitors from the motors as regenerative braking (maybe this is where they could increase the onboard energy storage). Personally, I would like to see solar panels on top of the monorail fleet.

    If the new trains need more power via higher voltage, I suspect changing over to that bus bar system would be a very long upgrade and take the line down.
     
  • jknezek

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2016
    Possibly. The current system is 600V with 7 inverters to drop to 230V for use of A/C, etc. I know the current system uses capacitors from the motors as regenerative braking (maybe this is where they could increase the onboard energy storage). Personally, I would like to see solar panels on top of the monorail fleet.

    If the new trains need more power via higher voltage, I suspect changing over to that bus bar system would be a very long upgrade and take the line down.
    There is no way to change that system without taking it down in a major way. I'm guessing WDW does not want the monorails down for months or more (looking at you Bombardier). I'm not sure what putting solar panels on the monorail would do. It's an electric system already and there isn't that much space on top to actually generate the electricity to run the train. You could run the ancillary electric, lights, maybe ventilation (though not AC) from solar panels, but it's probably not worth the expense when you can build giant solar farms on property much more efficiently.

    It's also worth remembering the escape in case of fire protocol is to climb up through a ceiling hatch to the top of the cars and walk along them, then slide down a rope on the front or back cab to the beam and walk the beam. Putting solar panels on top would have to accommodate this planned, but hopefully never used, escape route.

    I expect we'll get pretty much what we have now. In fact, I suspect they will rebuild the running gear and maybe slap new cabs on top like they did at DL. One train at a time for a few years. But this rumor is old in the teeth, and if the monorails weren't in such crap condition and long past their expected operational life, I'd say it's all shouting in the wind. Unfortunately the reality on the ground says WDW has to do something with the monorails. And it has to be contracted relatively soon since the most likely contractor, Bombardier, is a bloody disaster for getting anything done correctly and on time.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the hold up on this was WDW trying to get some major contractual penalties out of Bombardier if they deliver their typical half done, twice late, transportation project. The problem, of course, is I'm not sure there is anyone else who will touch the WDW system. It's not compatible with anyone else, though to be fair it's not compatible with Bombardier's latest gen stuff either. But at least Bombardier has the history...
     

    hertamaniac

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    I'm not sure what putting solar panels on the monorail would do. It's an electric system already and there isn't that much space on top to actually generate the electricity to run the train. You could run the ancillary electric, lights, maybe ventilation (though not AC) from solar panels, but it's probably not worth the expense when you can build giant solar farms on property much more efficiently.
    There are concentrated photo voltaic panels that could increase the amount of energy versus traditional PV. Ford actually has been testing PV on top of a prototype in Colorado at NREL for some time to quantify the gain(s).

    I was looking at the PV as an additional supplementary system should the main bus go offline (thinking A/C via onboard energy storage and/or communications) on a stuck monorail situation. The PV could feed into onboard energy storage so the use doesn't necessarily have to be "use it or lose it". Clearly, the energy contribution from the PV or CPV wouldn't add much to the traction motors, but as a secondary function in back-up situations, it might be worth the investment.

    But, adding a nearby solar farm that can back-feed the onboard storage could be more efficient and far less costly (and use the current azimuth tracking they already have in place). You could also add a cab as a storage tender, but the dwell time at the station might not provide enough Ah to feed the onboard storage during daytime operation(s). If your PV farm can dump XXX amps, but the onboard storage can only accept XX amps, you just limited the system. Naturally, if the PV farm has no interrupts and can back-feed the 600V bus, then that is a solid solution. But, reliable onboard energy storage "cuts the cord" to the ancillary feeders and might be worth the investigation. The core issue in this application, as I see it, is heat rejection.

    Bombardier recently built a silicon carbide train that is smaller, lighter, greener and more efficient (https://www.engadget.com/2018/09/17/bombardier-battery-powered-electric-train/). Might we see a hybrid monorail in the coming years? And with onboard energy storage, assuming sized for the HP correctly, it could self-power to a station. How much value would WDW put on that functionality?

    I also don't see the value in increasing/changing the voltage on the bus line with this application. The monorails are fast enough and adding voltage for power likely wouldn't be utilized (I can't see them increasing the number of cabs per line).
     

    hertamaniac

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    Looks like the latest public quarterly earnings report via Bombardier may point to a WDW monorail order. I think this rumor is weak, but some are claiming there is a connection.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    Looks like the latest public quarterly earnings report via Bombardier may point to a WDW monorail order. I think this rumor is weak, but some are claiming there is a connection.
    Yes I agree it is weak as well.
     
  • hertamaniac

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    Yes I agree it is weak as well.
    What I do think is possible is the new Universal park will utilize a new method of transportation. I don't know if Bombardier has an exclusive agreement to not supply another theme park with a mode of transportation. Perhaps the rolling stock order in this Q3 report points to this.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    What I do think is possible is the new Universal park will utilize a new method of transportation. I don't know if Bombardier has an exclusive agreement to not supply another theme park with a mode of transportation. Perhaps the rolling stock order in this Q3 report points to this.
    Last I saw/heard was universal wasn’t going to use a monorail for that.
     

    KYMickey

    Adding EARS to Kentucky!
    Joined
    Sep 14, 1999
    It is about time or maybe they are rethinking the skyline.
    The Skyline hasn't been running long enough for them to be thinking one way or the other about it. After a year or 2 they may be ready to make some decisions about its future but as of now it's still in the infant stage. Anything regarding the monorails has probably been decided quite a while ago and if and (hopefully) when new trains are purchased I don't believe the decision will have been influenced by the skyliner at least for the present lines.
     
    Joined
    May 25, 2017
    Hopefully their thinking is evolving with the skyliners... they just arent reliable and they stop too frequently walking from epcot to dhs is 2-3x faster...a monorail line connecting Ep, AK, and MK would go a long way to restoring confidence and building hype...they have the $$$ now they just need the will. hopefully new management isnt too miserly to do a real transit expansion
     

    EastYorkDisneyFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2006
    Hopefully their thinking is evolving with the skyliners... they just arent reliable and they stop too frequently walking from epcot to dhs is 2-3x faster...a monorail line connecting Ep, AK, and MK would go a long way to restoring confidence and building hype...they have the $$$ now they just need the will. hopefully new management isnt too miserly to do a real transit expansion
    Monorail expansion isn't going to happen because of the way that the existing lines are built. Epcot is a closed loop and there isn't space at the TTC for another line to be added.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top