A 10-year-old boy and his parents suffered minor back and neck injuries late Thursday afternoon after two trains collided on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad — the second crash on the ride in three months.
Read more from The LA Times via The Sun-Sentinel.
As for going to disney parks i cant wait for my trip to wdw this dec. and if i was visiting DL i would go on BTMR, the ride from the airport would be much more dangerous than going on any theme park attraction.
When the ride is E-stopped or shut down, the computer suffers a bout of amnesia, and doesn't know where the trains are. While it is possible for the computer to check the lifts and brakes to try and figure out where all the trains are, because the computer can't "see" the whole ride, it can't be sure that it knows where the trains are. It has to assume that all blocks are occupied, then the operators have to manually clear the blocks that don't have trains in them as part of the procedure for bringing the ride back up. I don't know if that is what happened in this case, but if that procedure is not done right, it is apparently possible to clear an occupied block, causing a collision.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
You're correct that when in manual mode blocks can be cleared out manually, overriding what the computer may or may not see. At that point it is up to the operators to follow proper proceedure and avoid the accident that happened last March. Normal operating proceedures should still have the safeguard in place to not advance a train into an occupied station. Heck, there are even brakes on the short section of track leading from the switch to each side of the station. I really hope Disneyland gets this ride back together and running properly.
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