Three WDW Cast Members on Leave Following Deadly Monorail Crash

Railfanning.org News Wire

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Three Walt Disney World resort employees are on leave following a monorail crash between two trains that left one of the drivers dead, CNN reported.

The network’s Web site quoted a Disney spokesman as saying the action is “part of an investigative process, not a disciplinary action.” The three employees include a manager, the pilot of the second monorail train and a maintenance shop cast member. The manager was at an off-site restaurant at the time of the crash, WESH-TV reported.

On July 5, Monorail Pink backed into another train, Monorail Purple, near the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) monorail station. The operator of Monorail Purple was killed and six passengers on that train were treated at the scene.

Prior to the crash, Monorail Pink stopped to unload passengers at the TTC station before driving to a switch point where the train could be backed through the track switch from the Epcot loop over to the Magic Kingdom loop, according to the NTSB.

After moving to that point, the operator of Monorail Pink was then instructed to back through the track switch, toward the Magic Kingdom loop. At about the same time, the Purple train, which was inbound to the TTC station, was instructed to stop at the station to detrain passengers.

However, the switch did not change the position needed to allow Monorail Pink to be routed to the Magic Kingdom loop and Monorail Pink backed down the same track it had just come from, putting it on a collision course with Monorail Purple.

Monorail Pink passed through the TTC station and struck Monorail Purple while it was outside the station.

There are indications that the operator of Monorail Purple had brought the train to a stop and had attempted to put the train in reverse prior to the collision, the NTSB said. The investigative board said no anomalies or malfunctions have been found with the automatic train stop system or with any mechanical components of the switch or with either of the trains.