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Bill Cotter

A lot to ponder in one photo

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Here's a view I just finished restoring.

monorail-circus.jpg

A few things caught my eye.

1) The red Mustang - no one seems to be paying any attention to it while over at Ford people were lined up to see them.

2) It looks like the circus has left town. There's still a price list for the empty snack bar, but no signs of life. I had scanned this a long time ago and need to pull the slide to see if it's dated in any way.

3) There are some unusual fixtures of some kind on two poles extending down on either side of the monorail pylon. Anyone know what they were for? There's a yellow sign for something about the monorail on the pylon but I couldn't make it out.

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I spotted these tubes attached to the pylons at several points around the track. My guess is, it had something to do with their emergency evacuation plan. Each monorail had a hatch in the floor, didn't they? Maybe these long tubes could be used to pop open the hatch? Other photos are better than this one, but this one seems to be the only one showing some kind of rope hanging out the bottom of the tube.

I spotted the yellow signs in another photo too, but they're no more readable than this one.

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Randy, I thought those poles might have something to do with the exits as well, but they are way up there so who could ever reach them in an emergency?

Here's a closer look at that area.

monorail-circus-2.jpg

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A date would help - two possible explanations are that those fixtures are waiting to be completed or they are broken and waiting to be repaired. Still no idea what they were.

The trees were bare on opening day, were they not?

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Here's another angle. It looks like the poles. whatever they are, just stop part way up the column. I've looked at a LOT of monorail shots just now and found a similar arrangement over near the Texas Music Hall. Other than that alll of the columns appear not to have them.

I'll post the date as soon as I can get to the slide.

monorail-circus-3.jpg

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Let the 'Oohs' and 'Ahhs' for these great photos begin ;). I'll leave the guessing to the people who actually know what they're talking about, however, I'd guess the yellow sign was a timetable or perhaps a list of stations and/or sponsors?

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The top of the pipes is at about the level of the bottom of the doors on the cars, isn't it? Interesting that the device at the bottom looks like some kind of grappling hook or clamp with "claws".

I spotted one more set on a pylon on the other side of the station.

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The pole brackets do extend beyond the pylon, providing clearance for the poles to swing to an upright position… but why? Most curious. In the third photo, note the NY Airways helicopter peeking through.

I'm not grasping the location of the pylon in Bill's first photo. Seems out of alignment with where the track would be.

Randy stole my astute helicopter observation! :( I have to learn to type faster than him.

Edited by Doug Seed

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...

I'm not grasping the location of the pylon in Bill's first photo. Seems out of alignment with where the track would be.

....

That pylon is outside the track, and supports one end of a beam with a matching pylon on the other side of the track, rather than being a single pylon with T top like the others. I think it's at the far left of the picture in post #7.

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Maybe something useful in the construction, and left there because it would also be useful in demolition?

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Are we sure these are not on every pylon? Or since they are on one side, is it possible we just don't see them in some pictures?

A thought: perhaps these could be swung up to grasp the nearer "rail" along the bottom edge of a stuck car to keep it from swinging while a fire ladder brought stranded passengers down. That would explain the two lengths - one for the nearer rail and one for the farther one. What do you think?

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Thanks, Irv, it would have taken me a long time to come up with that explanation! Why would there be two, and of different lengths, for such a rare maintenance event? And why not just have a rig under the track at the loading station or in the service area? Strange.

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This is just begging for a time machine to go back and watch the construction. It can't be for any routine operation on the cars that would more easily be done in the maintenance area, so it has to be something that must be (or can much more easily be) done at those locations.

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One of my colleagues says they're automatic hat catchers for windy days. :P

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