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Trumpet
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:16 pm

The monorail has to stay, it is an intergral part of the park. if they had some TLC and a clean up, then I think it would give new life to the transport ride.
 
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leammiles
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:46 pm

I think Alton Towers need some form of transportation from the car park to the front gate, even though I'm someone who doesn't mind the walk, it can be quite taxing on people after a full day walking round.

I can't see Alton Towers going for a light rail system, because it would need building, and finding a path through the park, and safety to stop kids wandering on to the tracks etc.

A monorail is most likely the best solution, so if the monorail does go...a new one would be rebuilt pretty much using the same path it takes now.

As a way of relieving a little bit of congestion on it though, maybe opening up the hotel entrance to MAP holders and Internet orders could work
 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:13 am

Thing I love about the monorail is you go passed many big rides before you've even payed. If you wanted you could ride the monorail all day for free.

Its interesting you see Air and all the main coasters before you've even payed. I think its cool.
 
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jmed
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:28 pm

I don't like the idea of the entrance relocating as the views from towers street are great, however logistically and in the interests of the park being able to handle higher customer throughput in the future, it makes sense and I'm sure will happen, soon.

Getting back on the original topic however, I still think that the monorail plays an important role within the park. Before the entrance moves (or if it never does) it is the best way or moving people from the car parks to the entrance on mass relatively quickly. I agree that it does need an upgrade, mainly just to ensure the queues are kept to a minimum. More trains should be running most of the time and the ability to add more trains to the rail should be improved to allow them to quickly be added.

The suggestion of replacing the monorail with a different system would simply be impractical and too expensive in most situations. The only alternative I could see which could be cheap and simple, is to use tractor driven road trains. Vehicles travelling along a traditional tarmac roadway, which can add longer trains easily, or can have more trains bought into operation immediately would be cheaper and easier to run, replace and repair. I also don't like this idea too much because you lose the over park sections, however if cost of repair and maintenance are the main issues threatening the monorail then this solves this problem fairly easily.

For the future, if the monorail was refurbished and the entrance did move, it could still serve a purpose as an in-park transport system, spreading out the crowds from the entrance to two separate areas of the park quickly and efficiently.
Alternately if the system of tractor driven trains was used, and the entrance still moved, they could be used as a general car park transport system to cope with ever expanding car parks (Disney style), or even an in park transport system however this doesn't seem too practical.
 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:10 pm

Im not too sure to be honest. It could go either way. In my opinion, the monorail is iconic to Alton Towers, being one of the only British parks to have one installed in the immediate vicinity of the park. However, there was a new entrance to be potentially opened next to Duel (or whatever ends up in Duel's place), which would make the whole thing redundant...so tbh I really dont know
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:03 am

The new entrance should only be built as a exit only at the end of the day so they can clear the park quicker after the rides close. I know during the fireworks event in 2011 they manned exits around the park to let guests out. I remember using the 1 by the rapids near the water guns.
 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:02 pm

Yea, this has been mentioned before and I can't believe they haven't done it already. It would cost almost nothing to just install an exit gate near air, and would take the strain off the monorail making its use more enjoyable and reliable.

I agree that it shouldn't be an entrance too but as people generally arrive over time rather than in one large group like they do when exiting, the monorail can cope with the guests in the morning, it's around 4pm til 6pm it struggles,especially at events like you mention.
 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:06 pm

Would the car park access roads be able to cope with a higher peak flow of traffic at the end of the day?

The monorail acts as a bit of a limiter on the rate customers arrive at the car park.
 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:00 am

Well I been twice this year and over the years I noticed more and more guests opting to walk to the park and back. Now from FV to the car park it must be a 30 to 45 min walk if they opened the gates 5 mins after the queue lines close then guests would be back to there cars within 15 mins max.
 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:16 pm

I enjoy the wak back, walking through the park once everything has closed is amazing and on e occasions when it's not a term time day I walk to the car :) monorail in walk out ;)
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Monorail - time for an upgrade

Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:55 pm

Think it’s about time to upgrade the parks monorail/ transportation system. The current trains and stations are tired an dated and are the first thing people see when you arrive in the car parks.

Would be good for Merlin to pump money in good transportation systems now they are building more and more accommodation.
 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:39 pm

I still believe that the monorail needs to be scrapped completely and be replaced with a transit system similar to that used in the car parks at Walt Disney World. Apart from the fact that the current system is old and needs replacing/updating, but it kills the immersion a bit when you're supposed to be in front of this spooky haunted house thing and the monorail rattles past behind you on a big grey eyesore of a track. 
Maybe a railway could be built between the car park and the entrance, with the trains themed to look like steam trains, in order to maintain the flow of theme between Towers Street and the car park a bit more - but then again, this is Merlin we're talking about.
 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:54 pm

I agree that the current monorail needs to go. I think they should probably rebuild the hotels station as well and completely overhaul the interior of the park station too, as neither of the stations are overly pleasant to be in and the hotels station doesn't even look nice on the exterior. Having said this, it's not something that I would see Alton putting any money in to. Obviously, at some point the monorail will have to go, and I do see Alton wanting to replace that, but the stations I'd imagine will stay the same unfortunately.

Another thing I would like to see is an extension of the Rollercoaster Restaurant path all the way to the park entrance as it would make walking to and from the park on busy days much more pleasant and a whole lot safer.

Adam.W, I love the idea of a railway by the way. Thematically, it would just fit in, even if I would miss the views from the monorail a bit!
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:24 pm

I recall something about both the Monorail and the Skyride being in line to have some TLC over this closed season but I can’t remember where I read it or if I actually did? I’m pretty sure there was something because I remember suggesting somewhere that the trains of the monorail should be themed to the SWs.
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:39 pm

Tom170499 wrote:
I recall something about both the Monorail and the Skyride being in line to have some TLC over this closed season but I can’t remember where I read it or if I actually did? I’m pretty sure there was something because I remember suggesting somewhere that the trains of the monorail should be themed to the SWs.

Actually, I do remember hearing this as well on the forum, but not from Alton Towers themselves.
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:31 am

In my opinion, the monorail is an essential part of the Alton Towers Experience. I agree with the rest of the posts here, that it needs completely overhauling, but I think that with a new monorail system, new, redesigned trains and a much better hotel station it would be a great way of getting into the park. Failing this, a train could be a fantastic addition also.
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:41 pm

I'm going to be different and say I quite like the monorail just the way it is. Given I don't visit the park often, I still get really excited to go on the monorail and get to the park by it. Its a lovely way to start the day being able to sort of see the rides. I think they need to update the trains and maybe not cover up the window's too, but other than that, I think it should stay the way it is for now. 
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:58 pm

Dom wrote:
I'm going to be different and say I quite like the monorail just the way it is. Given I don't visit the park often, I still get really excited to go on the monorail and get to the park by it. Its a lovely way to start the day being able to sort of see the rides. I think they need to update the trains and maybe not cover up the window's too, but other than that, I think it should stay the way it is for now. 

100 agree with this. I enjoy the monorail a lot, yes it is old and outdated but it's still a great way to see the rides being tested/ running before you get to ride them yourselves especially at Scarefest and Fireworks when it's night with the lighting. If the train themes were updated to the latest area/ride themes in the park and made it better to see out of the windows, it would do the experience a lot of good. I doubt AT will want to spend a lot on replacing the trains to improve the ride (let alone on actual transport system) but if the look and speakers inside had better audio so that it had depth and not just some low quality speaker, it would really be a positive when starting the day.
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:39 pm

The monorail is a transport system and not a ride, so with a little bit of a refresh, the trains should be good for a few more years. They take 1000s of guests all day, every day, therefore, they will be subjected to more wear and tear.
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Re: Future of the Monorail

Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:19 pm

A number of interesting thoughts raised in this thread!  Firstly, I agree that the monorail is showing it's age, even with the refurbishments it has had over recent years.  Worth noting that Europa Park also operate Von-Roll monorail trains practically identical to the Towers ones (& probably of similar age). 

Clearly the monorail trains do have a finite life & there will come a point when it is simply not economical to continue to replace / upgrade parts at the end of their life.  I do think a big factor in the decision will be "what trains are available to replace the existing ones?".  They will have to be fairly lightweight ones due to the track - no way can the Towers monorail track support heavy [and a lot faster] trains suck as the Intamin monorail trains that Disney use - these run on solid concrete beam track.  

So when the monorail does finally go kaput, it could be the carte-blanche that Merlin need to redevelop the entrances & exits to Alton Towers theme park.  Whilst I agree they would be daft to drop Towers Street due to the backdrop of the Towers over the lake - it would free up valuable space for CBeebies expansion.  It cannot be denied that CBeebies has been a saviour for Alton Towers in the past couple of years since the Smiler incident.  Thrill seekers stayed away, but families flocked to CBeebies - you only have to look at the queue times online on any normal day and CBeebies is rarely quiet, whereas the Thrill rides can be.  

So what do I think Merlin may do?  Well they won't go for the whole-hog redevelopment of entrances & exits - will cost too much & cannot be done in a single closed season / without a lot of in-season disruption, which can affect the bottom-line.  I could see a second entrance appearing somewhere, but having said that, there is nowhere ideal within the existing park.  An entrance / exit area ideally wants a good offering of shops & food+beverage units / restaurants to improve the guest experience (& their spend)... think Universal CityWalk in Florida. 

The obvious two candidates are (1) Gloomy Wood - scrap Duel and use the ride area+the disused staff carpark behind it for the entry plaza.  Possible but the pathways that lead out of Gloomy wood in any direction are narrow with limited expansion options.  Option (2) is Forbidden Valley - develop the entire bottom carpark between Splash Landings & the Galactica ride area into the "CityWalk" type area - the obvious benefit being that the proximity to the hotels makes this area available for evening use (& spend) from hotel guests.  The huge drawback of Forbidden Valley as an entrance is that you are dumping guests right onto two of the big rides (no childrens ride offer in the Valley either at present).  There is only one way in/out of Forbidden Valley that does not involve steps / uneven ground / Skyride.  Said pathway is narrow too.  

The compromise solution may be to really shake things up a little and have two, possibly three, entrances aimed at different groups of guests (with associated car / coach parking changes).  Make the existing park entrance CBeebies Land entrance (with a hugely scaled-down Towers St to allow for CBeebies expansion), with the adjacent parking aimed at CBeebies guests.  Then have both a Gloomy Wood & Forbidden Valley "CityWalk" entrance, with cars & coaches for non-CBeebies guests being directed in this direction.  This would greatly reduce the need for the monorail and would allow it to be quietly run-down / withdrawn.  

What is certain is that any re-jigging of the Park entrances is going to need some serious investment in proper infrastructure (just as a complete monorail replacement would).  We are talking new facilities (shops / food&bev etc) and pathway widening to name just a couple.  Do I think Merlin will do it?  Sadly not.  I can see the monorail going kaput at some stage in the future & they may return to the old land-train (like Disney use) to get guests from the carpark to the existing main entrance.  The wait will inevitably be so long that many will choose to walk - as they do now with the monorail.  Cheap option for Merlin - whilst by the time this happens, probably happily charging £10 a day for parking.  

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