Why can't People Movers break out of the Airport?

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  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Hope, AR
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Posted by narig01 on Thursday, June 28, 2018 3:40 PM

One of the interesting facets of the people mover at DFW, was the idea that it would move cargo from a freight terminal on the airport perimeter to the gate, baggage from the check-in areas to the gate and underline luggage between terminals. 

    The labor savings had this been able to work would have been large. 

    Some years ago I read all the studies the federal USDOT did in the system. One of which was to take a car and build a small test track in Alaska to see how well the system would work in winter snow/ice conditions(it didn't).  I have to wonder if Newark's Airtrain ran into these problems.

     Morgantown's PRT has also had problems with winter weather(I think), as Morgantown didn't have any snow removal equipment for there system.

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, June 29, 2018 10:32 AM

Do not know anything about the new DFW people mover .  However the original had several bad experiences.  One time a car tried to dump us in a baggage area.  That system used a destination locator system to route cars properly but had some obvious problems.  Later on they were seemly resolved but that system never satisfied any of the tenants.

The Newark system was completely different in its fixed center point guideway.  At the ends of a run and also at switching points the guideways had a monstrous 20 - 40 ton mechanism.  The  switches rotated 180 degrees on end point axels operated by hydraulic pistons.  Water , snow, dirt all caused many failures of the various switches.  Sometimes using the other side of the monorail statoion would solve  the problem by using 2 different switches.

Snow and ice did often shut it down to poor braking.  The trains were made up of several 6 - 8 passenger cars that were articulated between cars with no passage possible between cars. The trains and stations were designed to allow for additional cars to be inserted into trains but as far as we know that was never done. A breakdown between stations would often cause a long time to remove passengers from the aerial structure.

  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: SW Los Angeles county
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Posted by MikeF90 on Friday, June 29, 2018 4:17 PM

I don't know, but the last airport people-mover I was on was in Dallas-Fort Worth about 15 years ago. That thing could never break out of the airport, it could barely get out of it's own way! I can walk faster than that thing!

It's been that way since I was forced to ride it in the early 1980's. IMO the designers got many clues from D/FW locals who never, never admit that they get serious winter weather (e.g. ice and snow). Local substitute shuttle van services must be making a fortune. If it ran totally underground it would work OK, maybe.

Google Map links ---> Sunset Route overview, SoCal metro, Yuma sub, Gila sub, east of Tucson, BNSF Northern Transcon and Southern Transcon

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, June 29, 2018 4:47 PM

Funny that the Newark Airport Monorail is going to be abandoned after so much money went into it.

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    July, 2008
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Posted by rdamon on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 9:08 AM

The Airtrain at EWR is always a interesting ride. My guess is that it will be around for a bit longer than they say. It is great to connect to the NEC and NJT.  They would have faired better using the Disneyland design ;)

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