I was at Disneyland yesterday and I got to take a rather unusual ride on Space Mountain.
It started normally enough, except for the recording playing over the show track on the 'ambient' (as opposed to in-car) speakers saying something about how someone would be around to assist us in a moment. We got through the tunnels, up the three lifts, and started into the ride, only to be stopped at the end of Block #9. We stopped, the show track stopped, and after a warning announcement, the work lights came up. I applauded, and like any good coaster nut, started reaching for my camera (on-ride photography is not forbidden at Disneyland).
My train was the highest stopped train on the ride, and thus the last to be released. So when we got to the station, the storage track was filled with trains, as were the six brakes in the station.
I'm curious...this was a cascade set-up caused by a slow load, probably the most common failure on a Disney ride. Does anyone here know...when this happens, they obviously must transfer trains off to empty out the ride (if they didn't have to do that there would be no such thing as a cascade set-up). Do they typically do this by stopping the train on the transfer table uptrack of the station and sliding the trains off there, or do they cycle through the station and divert the trains through the high-speed switch downtrack of the station which, I assume, leads to the storage track? That seems to make the most sense as it would allow for a normal unload in the station, but it also requires putting more trains into motion in a non-standard operating mode...
Just curious...anyone have any insights?
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Can you post the pictures dave?
Here's how they transfer the trains: after they check the lap bars, you'll notice the cast member in the control tower in front of you. When you're dispatched, the train turns right into lift A. When they are transferring, the turn switches over and the train turns left into the staging area, which is disney speak for the transfer track. The staging area forms a loop in which maintenance can work on trains and when they're taking out trains, it comes out before the station, where another track switch is.
The high speed sliding transfer table after the station is not used for maintenance. Its a loading dock for disabled guests where they can take all their time loading and when its time, the station moves an empty train that get transfered out.
P.S: a very interesting aspect is that each train is weighted in front of the station! Reason being is that a very heavy train would catch up the one in front of it and cause a set-up. So, instead of turning right into the lift A, the heavy train turns left into the staging area, where a cast member come to release everyone, bring them back in the station where they are divided in other trains.Last edited by Absimilliard, Monday, June 29, 2009 11:37 PM
I've been on a "heavy train" and transfered into the staging area. We were released from the train, split into two groups, and reboarded.
Actually, there is a sliding transfer table uptrack of the station (actually in the station, but the second brake uptrack of load/unload) for putting trains back on, not a what I would call a switch. I presume, Absimilliard, this is what you're referring to, but I'm trying to be precise here. :)
For the benefit of those who may be confused by my language...
when I say "switch" I mean a track replacement device that redirects a train to one of two or more possible paths. A switch moves completely into a locked position before the train crosses it, and does not unlock until the train has passed.
By "transfer table" I mean a section of track long enough to hold one train that slides sideways to move a train between two track segments. A train parks on the transfer table, then the transfer table moves between lock positions
As for photos...I'm in California until July 7, and as long as I am out here, I can't load photos or video into my computer, and therefore I can't upload photos or video anywhere...but perhaps after I get back...
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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