Communication on the Rails: Safety during Night Training

After beginning the Disney College Program, students must undergo much training before they are able to perform their roles successfully. My training began with two “welcome to operations and transportation” seminars. Then, I began my on-the-job training. As I completed my night training, I experienced many different forms of communication. However, as a monorail operations cast member, I have quickly found my role to be extremely safety critical, and communication is key to safety.

Monorail beams run on 600 volts of electricity, and monorail operations cast members must always be on the lookout for workers or guests who attempt to jump fences or cross the yellow and black line that marks the trough where the beam lays. While this sometimes only calls for simple verbal communication (telling guests not to sit on the top of handrails or fences), it can also call for more advanced communication, such as radio communication.

monorail trough.jpg
Here is an example of the monorail trough at Magic Kingdom’s platform. If any guest or cast member jumps the fence, the beam must be de-energized immediately, and Monorail Central Control must be notified immediately. (Picture via: wdwmagic.com)

During my second night of training, a construction worker decided that he needed to plug a piece of equipment into the wall  by the trough while there was still power to the beam. This had happened after my trainer and I had advised all workers on the platform multiple times via a PA system that there were 600 volts on the beam. A language barrier was most likely present, and I had to de-energize the beam immediately. After the beam is de-energized, monorail traffic comes to a stop. Therefore, I had to inform the Monorail Central Control via radio of the incident. As soon as the worker was safely on the other side of the fence, I notified Central and re-energized the beam. Once a safety incident occurs, the situation must be reported to Monorail One (leaders) via telephone as well.

With 600 volts on the beams and thousands of guests coming in and out of the monorail each day, a radio, telephone, handpack (for de-energizing beams), and nearby cast member must be close at all times. That way, any problem can be quickly communicated.

Another situation that required critical safety communication came with my last training night. In this instance, a small child had been ran over by an electric scooter. First, an alpha unit, or ambulance, must be called via telephone. Monorail operators must verify the location and age of the person injured. Then, the child must be soothed and led to understand that his injuries will be taken care of. A Monorail Leader soon comes to the scene to report the incident. When the emergency personnel arrive, they must be told of the child’s symptoms. My trainer and I followed all of the above steps to ensure medical attention was given to the child in the most efficient manner possible.

Safety is one of the biggest responsibilities of a monorail cast member, and if unable to communicate effectively, safety can become a large issue. If my trainer and I did not know who to call via telephone or radio, workers or guests could become seriously injured. Communicating verbally and effectively is crucial in this environment, and if anything that seems out of the ordinary is not spoken of, it could become a hazard or emergency.

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Communication on the Rails: Safety during Night Training

  1. Very interesting behind the scenes look into the many critical responsibilities of a Monorail Cast Member. I can see how thorough training is so important to performing the steps necessary to insure the safety of all those who may come in contact with the 600 volt monorail beam. Excellent article.

    Liked by 1 person

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