Disney worker faulted for third train crash on Thunder Mountain

Posted Sunday, August 29, 2004 11:51 PM | Contributed by Jeff

State investigators said Friday that mistakes by an inexperienced ride operator and a software glitch contributed to an accident last month — the third in less than a year — on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Read more from The LA Times.

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Monday, August 30, 2004 12:17 AM
What I found to be remarkable was that the CalOSHA report showed that the CM's retraining had been completed recently. I'd have thought that Disney would immediately fire that CM rather than retrain them on that attraction.

I don't feel the ride is unsafe at all, but I don't like that the crew running the ride may have a history of causing accidents.

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Monday, August 30, 2004 8:37 AM
Looks like Disney needs to get someone who made the ride to do an in-service for these people. Show them how to work on it and upkeep the ride cause it seem's as if those people are forgetting.
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Monday, August 30, 2004 10:21 AM
The ride op's action is the least troubling to me---basically, he pushed a button before he should have. More troubling is that the ride computer allowed a block violation, but at least this was addressed by a software update. Most troubling is that, according to reports, the lead op at the time saw the block violation about to happen, hit e-stop, and that still didn't stop the violating train, though Folks Who Claim To Be In The Know (e.g.: other DL employees who post on various boards) think it should have.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 6:44 PM
what is up with these ride ops? I can't get away from hearing that this ride has crashed.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 9:11 PM
Apparently, the name Disney dosen't compel some CM's to work their best to ensure guest satisfaction and safety as much anymore.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 9:24 PM
I've read the DOSH report, and one thing puzzles me. It states that the trains are moved in the station area by means of linear induction motors. This must be a fairly recent change, as the last time I was on BTM it used rubber tired pushers. The statement that once the lead op realized what had happened and hit the power disconect, is cause for concern. Now if you kill the power,wouldn't you effectively lose control, especially if the train had already passed the brakes?With the rubber tire pushers, when the the power is cut they stop alomost instantly. You kill the power to a LIM, the train will coast right through.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 10:18 PM
Unless there is a mechanical way of stopping the train associated with the LIM... for instance, the Dragster drop down brakes, by default, stay in the up possistion, even if the power has been "killed".
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 10:57 PM
According to the specs in the report the brakes are air on - spring released, ergo they are not failsafe, unless they are on a competely different control circuit from the op panels. Ideally if that E stop button is hit all the brakes should engage.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2004 1:34 PM
Ah Dutchman...

Disneyland's Big Thunder has never had rubber tires on it. It opened with the LIMs on it way back in 1979. As such, I think it might have been the first ride to use LIM technology, (anyone know for sure?) though it would be years later before a ride would be built that launches at a high speed using LIMs.

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