Monday, May 20, 2013

Monorail Track (and post # 2500)

Well whaddaya know... GDB celebrated its 7-year anniversary about a week ago, and now another milestone has been reached; today marks the 2,500th post. BUT... I'm not going to make this an excuse for another "hooray for me" fest! 

I have an unusual series of photos for you, featuring some sort of work being done on the Monorail track. The slides are date-stamped "November 1961", and the Monorail had been extended to the Disneyland Hotel that year, so it is safe to presume that this work had something to do with the new track.

As you can see, workmen are up on the beamway, operating a concrete saw that appears to have been mounted to some sort of custom jig that acted as a guide. Maybe Bob Gurr was involved in designing the jig! I wonder if the extended area in the front and back were there in order to make the unit the same length as a Monorail car? (Maybe not, it looks a bit short to me).

A little extra bonus is the rare peek at a sliver of Holidayland, the picnic & playground area once located outside the berm (to the west of the park, in part where the Haunted Mansion show building is now located). Looks like it was a windy day, check out those trees!

Who's the guy in the suit? That is like potentially dirty work up there, with water and concrete dust flying. I'll bet a concrete saw sounds great, too.

I wonder if they were just smoothing off some rough edges, or if some part of the 2.5 mile addition was too wide. Or maybe a groove was being cut. WHO KNOWS!

Mr. Suit isn't just standing around twiddling his thumbs, he is in there working! Hmmm, I wonder what the view would be like from up there?

Oh, like that! There's a vantage point that you don't see every day. Over to the left, part of the Holidayland baseball diamond is visible. 

This day was more blustery than Winnie the Pooh's; tables have been knocked over and Eeyore lost his tail.

Thanks for sticking with GDB for 2,500 posts!


Chris Jepsen said...

That's not just any wind, Major. That's a "Santa Ana Wind." (Or, as we prefer to say here, it's a "Riverside Wind.") This phenomenon has been known to take down whole buildings. It's exactly the kind of weather in which you DON'T want to be standing atop an elevated monorail track. Yikes!

Nanook said...

Wow-! Some unusual views, to be sure. I don't think the red vehicle is performing the same function as the service vehicle we have up here for the Seattle Monorail, but our service vehicle is nicknamed "the Cadillac". No, I don't know how it got to be called that, as it in no way resembles any sort of automobile.

Geez - at 2,500 posts, you're only a few days behind that of The Maury Povich Show, which on Friday celebrated the airing of its 2,500th show. Other than the number, I see little in common. (No 'baby daddies' involved here).

TokyoMagic! said...

Congrats on your 2,500th post, Major....these are some real beauties! Is that water pouring off of the beam as they are cutting it? We can see the TWA Rocket off in the distance in that second to last pic, but is that a totem pole hiding among the trees in the very last pic (just to the right of the second post from the left)?

Nancy said...

Well, hooray anyway!! ;-D

Very cool look today at something I never expected to see...who are you in with that they were there in the thick of it and standing right THERE to get these great shots!?! definitely insider photos, esp from topside!

The last one reminds me of our monorail at WDW, where we have wide expanses of track thru the neighorhood that carry us from EPCOT Center to TTC on our way to Magic Kingdom. No wonder I actually set aside one afternoon when we are there to go "monorailing"

Thanks for a great Monday morning!

K. Martinez said...

Congrats on your 2,500th post! What an awesome set of images to mark the GDB milestone.

I can understand why you'd say that sometimes it's hard to come up with commentary after so many posts. I'd say you've done an excellent job all through out.

TokyoMagic! - Good eye spotting the Moonliner in the distance. I didn't catch that on first view.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations again, Major. Another "Major" milestone, ha!

These are really unusual pictures, I'm trying to decide what they're doing here. I always thought the beams were precast pieces made in the shop, so I don't know what sort of field activity is needed to fit them together. Maybe this is remedial work to fix an error, which might account for Mr. Suit, who is probably an engineer (designer) or maybe a representative of the construction company? Usually the design engineer would not operate equipment owned by the construction contractor. But if Disney handled the construction for this specialty task with their own forces, it's conceivable.

@Tokyo, concrete saw activity generates a lot of heat. The saws are water-cooled to prevent damage,the water flow directed into the cut is a by-product of cooling and the runoff is always an issue with their use, especially indoors.

Very cool views indeed.


Major Pepperidge said...

Chris, those Santa Ana winds are a real pain in the butt! I can only imagine the guys up on the track getting pushed around by those gusts.

Nanook, what purpose does "the Cadillac" serve on the Seattle Monorail? As for Maury Povich, I have never forgiven him for marrying Connie Chung!

TokyoMagic!, yes, that is water and concrete gunk pouring down. I see that "totem pole", but am not sure it is REALLY a totem pole. I'll go find my high-res scan to see if it is any clearer.

Nancy, obviously these must have been taken by a member of the crew who was working on the track. They showed up as a lot on ebay a year or two ago.

K. Martinez, the commentaries come easier when the subject is unusual, like today! It's those endless Mark Twain/Matterhorn/Small World exterior/Castle shots that drive me nuts.

JG, I think your suggestion that the "suit" is an engineer is a good one. And it seems pretty clear that they are fixing an error. If only we had more info on these!

Chuck said...

TokyoMagic! - that sure looks like a totem pole to me, too, and the location is about right for the Indian Village, isn't it?

Major - Congrats on 2.5K posts!

I don't think I've ever seen pictures of Holidayland from this angle before. The trees, tables and ball diamond make it look like a much more inviting place than the shots I've seen of the big top.

Nanook said...


"The Cadillac" is a custom-made, small, service vehicle, perhaps eight feet in length, and the same width as the monorail cars (which are much wider than those at Disney parks), that traverses the beamway(s) to allow maintenance to be performed on each beamway. It was used a few years back assisting in the replacement of all the bus bars and to re-surface the running surfaces of each beamway. And it is also used on a routine basis to perform on-going maintenance of the bus bars, insulators, etc. One of these days when it's out and about, I'll get a shot of it and send it your way.

I would be most curious to know how Disney manages the same upkeep on its monorails. This seems like the obvious choice, but if so, it seems to be a big secret - at least to me.

SundayNight said...

These are just incredible. It makes going through all those Sleeping Beauty Castle pictures worth it. I totally get that Hoildayland was to attract companies to have their company picnics there but can you imagine sliding down some little kiddie slide and then seeing the monorail go by? Forget that! I’m off to Disneyland!

Another incredible thing - 2500 posts and still amazing us with these rare images. Long live GDB!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, thanks! I'm still not sure how fun Holidayland looks, but I'm glad for even a partial view of it.

Nanook, am I hallucinating, or have I read some reference to a vehicle called a "mule" that is used on the Monorail track? Maybe it is strictly for towing a broken down Monorail.

SundayNight, first you had to get liquored up at a company picnic, and THEN go to Disneyland. Everything is more fun when you are drunk, or so I'm told. Thanks for the nice comment!

Tom said...

Congrats on 2500 posts! Wow, in seven years' time? Let's see... divide by 7, carry the thirteen, square root of negative one, that makes... well, anyway, congrats on 2500 posts!

Anonymous said...

After looking again, I am sure these are construction meeting documentation. Something is wrong with the beamway and the suits are there to help determine or confirm the fix.

This is a guess, but I wonder if the problem has to do with the tangential "smoothness" of the curve. Notice the shot along the viewpoint of the train. Maybe the pieces didn't fit together in a tangent curve and the saw was grinding down the discontinuity.

Just guesses. And concrete saws make a hellacious noise. No one wearing ear or eye protection here though.

Also I thought either you or Daveland had a pic of the mule? It was visible only over the top of the monorail car in direction of travel, so we couldn't see it all.


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Snow White Archive said...

2500 congrats to you Major! I think I love monorails even more than trains. Nice shots.

outsidetheberm said...

Wow, David - 2500 posts! You've created a pretty special blog here. Thanks for all you've done and congratulations!