Monorail Refurbishment

Discussion in 'Future Discussion' started by WallisDan, 13th Oct 2017.

  1. micksalt

    micksalt TowersStreet Member

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    I would imagine the bulk of the operating costs are the drivers' wages. I do not think it is beyond the will of Merlin to upgrade the rolling stock to automated trains, with automated barriers on the stations, much like many modern airports have. As others have said, the track seems to be fine.

    Oh, and windows you can see through. The park lost so much magic when you couldn't see it on the way in.
     
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  2. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    Good point, at a guesstimate from last time we were there, there was two members of staff at the top of the walkways, another down the other end to shout at people who dare put a toenail over the yellow line too soon, one in the control room, and two on each train, three trains running, so that was 14 staff members, 16 if it was 4 trains.

    How many does it take to run the Smiler? 6?
    Enterprise? 3?
    Oblivion? 6?

    Even I'd be looking into automation if it took more people to drive the trains than it did run a whole section of the park, and I hate anything remotely autonomous.
     
  3. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    This is my new favourite thread.
     
  4. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    Apparently the mk3 system was designed to have the option of being fitted with automatic system so it could be used in automatic or manual.
     
  5. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Yes, but that system was probably powered by valves and water wheels. Even assuming the original parts could be sourced, it's unlikely the system would meet modern safety standards.

    I'd say new all trains are the way to go, but if the current trend for new rolling stock in this country is anything to go by, they'd only have three seats per carriage to maximise standing room.
     
  6. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I was wondering if the system was installed on the rolling stock when new. If not the modern systems can be retro fitted along with a upgrade to a more efficient motor system.

    Sent from my SM-J320FN using Tapatalk
     
  7. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    This is what I was getting at with my previous question. If the rolling stock chassis are sound (and I don't see why they wouldnt be after only 30 years of relatively unintensive use), then I see it as a bit extreme to discontinue the entire infrastructure and say good bye to Towers Street for the sake of a systems and propulsion system upgrade coupled with a recondition.

    It's why I'm not as confident as others that the monorails fate is sealed. It was expensive infrastructure in the first place, the whole entrance design of the park is built around it and I would struggle to see how it would be in such a bad condition after only 30 years of mild use.

    I would imagine the whole propulsion and operating systems would need an expensive upgrade to meet modern standards and that Merlin are probably wincing at the though of having to do it. But only time will tell if they would see this as preferable or not to leaving large integrated infrastructure SBNO in full public view and sacrificing a park entrance that is so iconic it's still used as an artistic vision of the place in most park marketing.
     
  8. Bert2theSpark

    Bert2theSpark TowersStreet Member

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    I'm not that clever but, Is it feasible to remove the monorail, Somehow keep the station and footers and build a newer, higher capacity, more cost effective monorail?

    If the monorail was to be removed it would be a really big loss for anyone who has visited Towers since it opened. It created many people's first impressions of the park, yet it is so convenient for many who have visited.
    If the entrance of Towers was to be relocated then families would have to trek to the back of the park to get to Cbeebies Land. If the entrance was also to be relocated, we would lose the iconic view of the Towers apon entry.

    It would be a really sad day for Towers when TowersStreet and The Monorail close. :(
     
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  9. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    To upgrade they would need to automate the system to make a business case for the expense.


    Sent from my SM-J320FN using Tapatalk
     
  10. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I don't understand why you couldn't automate with the existing track. It's a steel beam, afterall.
     
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  11. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I'm pretty sure automation could be achieved with existing track, stations and rolling stock.
     
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  12. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    Its the rolling stock that needs the automation systems installed. All they would need is to add sensors and markers for the onboard systems to use.

    Its technically not that difficult with todays technology
     
  13. Britford

    Britford TowersStreet Member

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    Is Tower Street not a "protected view"? Surely there would be a fair bit of opposition from the heritage guys.

    And that's before the BBC get there knark on about cbebies being moved to what is effectively the extreme far end of the park!
     
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  14. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Yes, but nothing does or can say where the entrance to the park has to be. So long as the view over to the Towers from across the lawns and lake is not impacted then all is fine.

    I'd imagine that automated systems are only going to become better value over the coming years so maybe that is something that Towers could look in to.

    :)
     
  15. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    On a side note, with the amount of people who seem to walk to the entrance from the car park these days, I often wonder why they don't have some sort of funky little open top (optional cover if it rains) land train/bus/charabanc type thing that charges £2 a pop to shuttle people.
     
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  16. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Or what about those land trains like you get in holiday resorts - choo choo!!
     
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  17. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    No no no no! Merlin can't even keep the one running at Weymouth reliably, it would still be quicker to walk lol
     
  18. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    The walk to the entrance does need some thought applying to it, it's fine for a small crowd but when it's busy it can be a little sketchy with vehicles.
     
  19. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    TheTowers used to have a couple all those years ago when the corkscrew opened.
     
  20. CoasterCrazyChris

    CoasterCrazyChris TowersStreet Member

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    The Monorail (and Towers Street) are an integral part of the Alton Towers 'experience'.

    Losing one or both of them would badly damage the parks already weakened image as a big player.

    The park needs a monorail even if it means replacing both the existing rolling stock and the track/rails.
     
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