Bombardier Claims New Monorail Order That Could Be for Walt Disney World

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It’s been apparent to almost everyone who rides on the Walt Disney World monorail system that this once-futuristic mode of transportation is in need of an extreme makeover. Between the frequent mechanical troubles and mounting safety concerns, it’s clear that the current fleet of Mark VI monorails is in dire need of a major overhaul. No other fleet of Disney monorails has been kept in service past their 20-year design life. (For example, over in Tokyo Disney Resort, they replace their near-pristine fleet almost religiously on schedule.)

Bombardier’s INNOVIA 300 trains share a resemblance with the current Walt Disney World monorail design, and would be a likely replacement choice.

We reported back in April 2018 that internal sources at Disney had been saying that a new fleet was ordered from Bombardier of Canada, the same company that built the Mark VI trains for Walt Disney World, and one of only a few companies in the Western hemisphere with the capability to build mass-transit class monorails. A short time after that, legendary Imagineer Bob Gurr, who was instrumental in the design of most Disney monorails, reiterated the very same information.

Interestingly enough, the latest quarterly earnings report for Bombardier show a new undisclosed North America client purchasing $247 million in services (or maintenance for the existing fleet), plus $104 million in rolling stock and systems (i.e. new trains). A 2017 order for 108 INNOVIA 300 cars was valued at $266 million, or roughly $2.5 million per car.

While the North America client could theoretically be a city municipality looking to improve infrastructure or any other popular tourist destination with monorail transit, the order could well be for Walt Disney World Resort, which we all know is in dire need of a new fleet, despite recent attempts to refurbish the current aging fleet.

Despite frighteningly frequent breakdowns, technical problems, and safety issues, Disney has yet to make any official statement on the future of the monorails at Walt Disney World.

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Jessica Figueroa

Jessica lives in South Florida with her 15-pound cat Gordo and a small army of Tsum Tsums. You can contact her, ideally with photos of your cats, at [email protected]

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Austin
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Austin

What’s Bombadiers turn around time? Could these be ready for the 50th?

Steve
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Steve

Bombardier is known for late deliveries. They are constantly plagued with union shutdowns and parts shortages. They have screwed municipalities for hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars. I live near Toronto Canada and we’ve been waiting for new street car (light rail) for years. Let’s hope Bombardier doesn’t have the contract for Disney.

Larry
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Larry

The category for the line item referenced doesn’t include “rolling stock”, which means trains/cars. So I doubt these are the new monorail cars you’re looking for. Could it be WDW hired Bombadier to refurbish the existing rolling stock, since the WDW monorail cars are undergoing refurbs? This would be covered under services. Another possibility could be technology updates.

From Bombadier’s website, describing their services: Our services include material and technology solutions, overhaul and refurbishment, fleet maintenance and operations, as well as operations and maintenance.

Tom Corless
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Tom Corless

There’s a rolling stock order on there…

Larry
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Larry

Sorry, I must have overlooked it.

Brian Theriot
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Brian Theriot

It could be that since Disney is not a municipality, there is less disclosure required about what is being bought.

Robo Bob
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Robo Bob

What New Monorails I Did Not Approve This!

Walter
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Walter

I hope it’s true, but it may instead be for New York. The Port Authority in New York is replacing its monorail at Newark Airport and building a new one at LaGuardia. Bombardier built the previous monorail trains at Newark and will probably build the new trains (and ~$250 million is about what would be needed to replace the current rolling stock). Bombardier also operates the AirTrain at Kennedy Airport, of which the LaGuardia train is supposed to be of a similar design. Parsons Brinkerhoff (or whatever they call themselves now) are currently in the planning stages for the LaGuardia… Read more »

Bob
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Bob

Haha, how about….they pressure wash the monorail track first…..🙄

Brian Botterill
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Brian Botterill

Unless it’s for a tender that hasn’t been signed yet, the order likely cannot be for a North American municipality due to public procurement law. It’s also listed as services, and separately rolling stock. Unless there are other sources (I’ve heard nothing) I wouldn’t get too excited.

Services could be signalling, maintenance, or refurbishment for a number of different clients.

Bombardier makes far more than just monorails. They run rail servicing contracts, trams, etc globally.

If this is all the info pointing towards a Disney monorail order, I’d look for secondary confirmation.