Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Not in Use

I brought my camera to work last week, and snapped a few pictures of something you will not be seeing in Vegas for a while -

Yes, our new monorail is again down for the count. It seems that things keep falling off of it, which is not really safe. At least for people walking underneath. It seems that the three month test of the monorail was extended to seven months after experiencing lots of problems. It finally opened a few weeks ago, and still was not doing very well. This one was parked between the Sahara station and the parking barn at the end. Right off of Paradise and Sahara. The Sahara hotel is to the right, our new condo towers to the left. ($$$$)
Then last week a wheel fell off of one train while it was running. This did not seem to be very good. There was an investigation - seems that there was a warning on a monitoring computer, something like 'wheel problems - it might fall off', and this was ignored by the crew. Well, guess what happened the next day? Right! - a wheel fell off. How unexpected. But what problems can dropping a wheel cause? At least the 60 pound wheel landed in an unoccupied parking space.
Then the next day a drive shaft fell. Well, it didn't fall far. Seems like one fell off during the testing (yes, hit the ground then too) and some safety brackets were installed. These don't keep the drive shaft from falling off, they just keep it right under the car when it does. So the safety brackets worked - held on to the shaft. But the car stopped moving without a drive shaft.
So the monorail is down for testing again. No word on when it will be back running.
Here's the back of the Sahara station.

This is currently the last stop on the north end. The MGM station is the last stop south - only four running miles, but from both ends of the strip. If it works then it will be extended downtown, and eventually to the airport. Then it will be useful for more than a quick ride.
And here is another of my favorite Vegas scenes - clouds. We don't see too many of them, so when they do show up they are dramatic. I missed the bright red and orange colors a few minutes before, it all changed dark when I ran for the camera.

But it still looks pretty.

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