Monorail Accident at Metro Toronto Zoo

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Calvin Henry-Cotnam

Jul 12, 1994, 9:32:39 AM7/12/94
On the afternoon of Monday July 11, there was an accident involving
two of the "monorail" trains at the Metro Toronto Zoo.

These trains ride on rubber tires with horizontal tires to guide it in
its concrete "track". Known as the "Canadian Domain Ride", it takes
visitors through an area of the zoo property that is inaccessible by

One train had just left the Weston station where it must then climb a
hill. Reports say that when the train reached the top of the hill, it
"lost power" and began to move backwards. On many weekdays, the headway
between trains is about 15-20 minutes, according to a zoo official who
was interviewed. However, due to the larger than ususal crowd in
attendance, the trains were running more frequently. As such, there was
a train either arriving or already stopped in the Weston station when
the first train returned backwards.

From television pictures of the scene, it appeared as if one of the
trains telescoped into the other about 1 to 2 metres. Even so, only
about 20 people suffered injuries, 10 of which were treated for broken
bones. One person who was on the train was interviewed and said they
feared that the train would fly off the tracks with the way it took a
curve. She described it as being like a roller coaster-type ride.

Today, Tuesday, officials are looking into why the brakes failed to
stop the train from moving the way it did.

One further note, the reporter from CITY-TV made the statement that
the train was probably being driven by a summer student. The implication
in the way the statement was made was that the inexperience of a summer
student probably contributed to the accident. From my experience on the
train, it is common practice for a summer student to operate it and the
loss of power and braking would have occurred with anyone at the controls.

Calvin Henry-Cotnam, CATE | "...My brain IBM"
Ryerson Polytechnic University | "So if you see me, acting strangely..."
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | STYX, Mr. Roboto
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