On Wednesday, there was a lot of confusion as to what exactly had happened at the Walt Disney World Resort with their monorail system. Word began spreading that something had taken place, and soon after, it was revealed that there had been an accident on the Express Beam of the Disney Monorail system when a train crashed into a tow tractor vehicle.
According to Orlando Weekly, the accident happened on Wednesday afternoon on the Express Beam that takes the monorail between Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). The TTC is the main parking lot for Magic Kingdom as well.
Luckily, there were no injuries reported.
Disney had a planned down time for the monorail on Wednesday and they were conducting a test of some sort on the beam. It happened near Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the reports coming in state that the damage happened to the front car of the monorail.
Disney's monorail halts service after crash https://t.co/uUxyNNijrG pic.twitter.com/jDzoiUmI1l
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) November 19, 2015
No Walt Disney World guests were on the monorail at the time of the accident since it was a test during a down time. As the test was being run, the monorail struck a tow tractor vehicle and caused the damage.
It appears as if the monorail was being towed by the tow tractor and the tow hitch broke at some point during transport. When this happened, the monorail continued moving at speed and ended up coasting directly into the tractor.
The train that was involved was Monorail Coral.
Talked to Disney. “Incident” happened during planned downtime for monorail. Tractor made contact with monorail during towing. No injuries.
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) November 18, 2015
WESH is reporting that Disney has not said a whole lot about the accident, but did reveal that it was due to a mechanical issue.
The accident happened around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and Disney immediately shut down all monorail traffic. Even though it happened on the Express Beam, Disney closed down traffic on the Resort Beam and Epcot Beam as well.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, the service had not yet started back up again, but Disney representatives said it should be back up again before the night was out.
Tests and advancements have been made in the past year to get the Walt Disney World monorail on an automated system. The mechanical issue and crash into a tow vehicle will likely not cause any delays or problems in that plan going forward.
Back in 2009, operator error and lack of protocol were said to be major factors in a fatal Disney monorail accident that took the life of 21-year-old pilot Austin Wuennenberg. Two monorails crashed during that summer and the young man was pronounced dead at the scene.
— Inside the Magic (@InsideTheMagic) November 19, 2015
With that accident, the practice of allowing Disney guests to ride in the front car of the monorails was discontinued.
Just last month, a Walt Disney World monorail ended up breaking down and sitting idle on the beam for hours. Hundreds of guests were stuck on board and all eventually had to be evacuated since the train could not get started again.
Fire departments and rescue personnel were out on the scene with cherry pickers and fire truck ladders to get the guests out of the monorail and safely to the ground. After the train was empty, the monorail was towed back to the station.
Wednesday’s crash of a Walt Disney World monorail and a tow tractor vehicle was nothing more than a mechanical issue and one that luckily involved no guests or injuries. Rumors on social media made it seem a lot worse than it was before all the information was accurately known.
[Photo by Matt Stoshane/Getty Images]