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Bill Cotter

A lot to ponder in one photo

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My guess is the Fair Corp. Fire Dept. hook & ladder truck

Fire engine hydraulic ladders move around wobble a bit as firemen climb up and down them. Based on the different lengths forming an angle, those clamps might be to secure a fire truck ladder to the pylon so it could be secured next to the car's door and the ladder wouldn't bounce around as a dozen or so passengers exit.

There could have been some other type of escape rig that could have been secured with those clamps.

Maybe, I don't really know. Just a guess.

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I'm also speculating why a cable with the clamp on one end is mostly hidden inside a tube or pipe.

Maybe they had a procedure that before bringing passengers down a fire ladder they had to 'ground' the hot wire cable up there, and if it were successfully grounded through this cable & clamp, it would be wise to isolate it within a non-conducting pipe, like fiberglass, so a passenger coming down wouldn't inadvertently reach over and electrocute themselves..

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Hi, I'm new here and just saw this thread. My take: The closeup shot shows that there appears to be a shaft inside the poles. The tubes themselve look like they might telescope. The end of the shaft looks like it could be a universal joint of some sort. So I'm thinking perhaps it is something to be turned to perform some type of adjustment to the track. My 2c.

Vern

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Hi. Vern, and welcome.

Your thought may well be correct - they were sure there for some reason, and adjustments to the track may well be it.

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Here's another shot that seems to confirm that they were not on all pylons, but were on successive pairs of pylons where they did exist:

http://www.matterhorn1959.com/blog1/nywf14.jpg

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I take back what I said before about the poles being tools to adjust tracks, etc.

I now believe they are grappling or tow poles which would be used to move (from ground level) a car which had either become inoperable or needed to be maneuvered in a way not possible or practical using the car's own drive. I think they are in pairs because they would be hooked together then attached to the underside of the car needing to be moved. Since the trains cars travelled in pairs, that may be why, when there are poles, they are attached on successive pylons. In any case, an intriguing mystery to be sure!

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The arrangment on successive pylons made me think that they might be used to electrically connect to sections of track that were powered separately, e.g. if the power to one section went out it could be supplied by an emergency generator or bridged to an adjacent section. (This is wild speculation without knowing how the power was arranged or how the movement of the cars was controlled.)

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Telescoping hot stick insulated voltage testers?

Does anyone know if the track operated on the block system? There was only one tandem car per track, is that correct? Then they would not need a block system to avoid collision but maybe had one anyway, say, to run two cars on one track if needed or just out of general safety principles. Was there a crossover track somewhere to move a car unit from one to the other track?

Their frequent positioning implies the poles needed to be at the ready, and possibly in use in multiple places simultaneously. Otherwise they would stow the gear on an emergency vehicle.

Suppose a Glidaride went up in flames under the track after a joke telling driver, whose initials are unknown, disabled the speed governor? Could that section of track above be electrically isolated and shut down so the cars elsewhere can return to drop off passengers?

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Was there a crossover track somewhere to move a car unit from one to the other track?

I believe there was a crossover capability near the maintenance shed, but it wasn't like a wye split in the track. A section of the entire track separated and was moved horizontally over to the inside track position, where it was then lowered down to align with the maintenance rail. From there the car could be moved under it's own power into the maintenance shed.

maint.jpg

In theory this crossover capability could be used to move a trainset (half the set at a time) from the outer rail to the inner rail, or vice versa.

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This might cause a little rethinking. It looks like the poles may have been hinged at the top. There were two poles at each location, and they weren't the same. It might be that one pole fit inside the end of the other, to make one long pole.

maint2.jpg

A few more pictures of the maintenance station.

maint3.jpg

maint4.jpg

maint5.jpg

maint6.jpg

maint7.jpg

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Okay, now check out these photos of the underside of the monorail cars.

maint8.jpg

maint9.jpg

maint10.jpg

Notice that, other than the flashing red light, there were two of these odd looking points on each car.

Picture for yourself this scenario. Power is lost for whatever reason. The maintenance guys send out their truck and they use the poles with the grappling hook on the end to snatch what I'll call the "tow hook" on the underside of the cab. They then attach the other end to a similar tow bar on their truck, and easily tow it back to the station to let out the passengers.

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But with the top end of the pole attached to the pylon what good does that do them?

Also, the route of the track didn't have many places for a truck to pull the train.

Quite a mystery so far, huh?

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To confirm or refute the theory I thought I'd search through pictures for the tow truck (which seemed an unlikely discovery).

I found something even better! They kept a truck with a hydraulic lift parked behind their maintenance shed.

maint11.jpg

I wouldn't be surprised if it had a rudimentary towing capability.

I first 'discovered' this truck in multiple views all the way from the New York State Pavilion tower observation deck!

maint12.jpg

Nice view of the World's Fair fire truck too. :)

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Great shots, Randy -- EXACTLY what I had in mind!

Your Honor, I rest my case...

I'm satisfied they're grappling poles.

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well... maybe....

The closest of those underbody shots shows what looks like little black wheels on the side of the protrusions.

It now dawned on me that the primary purpose of these protrusions is to keep the car centered between the guide rails while coming into or exiting the passenger station. Of course, in one of the photos we see a hole in each side of the protrusion, so they could have been used to provide a place to grab with the hook as well.

maint13.jpg

maint14.jpg

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We're learning more, but I'm still not convinced we know. The apparently permanent hinges and the sparse spacing still seem mysterious to me.

The guide rails in the station seem to indicate the cars could sway quite a bit, so those poles being stabilizers for emergency exit make sense in that respect, but the wide spacing along the track with provision on adjacent pylons, and permanent hinges (meaning they would only be useful if the car stopped at the right place) do not.

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So there are generally pylons without poles but once in a while one finds a pylon with always two poles attached and always an adjacent pylon also with two poles attached, making a grouping of two pylons and four poles.

How many sets of these double pylon, four pole groups are there and are they spaced evenly around the monorail loop?

Most photos show these poles facing the outer track so that they could conceivably be swung up to attach to the outboard track or cars, not the inner. One photo may show poles facing the inner track but I am not sure.

Are the poles exclusively attached to the outboard track side of the pylons?

In post #15 the shorter pole of a pair is on the INSIDE of the pole-pylon group near the station and extends a foot or so above the "hinge." In post # 38 at least one shorter pole is on the OUTSIDE of the group in another location and the top is flush with the hinge. The bottom of the corresponding pole on the other pylon is not visible so whether it is also short cannot be seen but the top apparently is also flush with its hinge.

Other poles seem to extend above the hinge in varying lengths.

Also, what are those doohickeys extending inward (extending left, above the car ) from the top of the right track in post #38? These two extensions on the track are between the two pylons with poles, mid-set, or mid-group, which I eyeball to be each reachable by the inner poles. Alternatively they could be simply sensors to detect car status.

Apparent permanent mounting and limited play suggest these poles are not for use with moving cars but with the unmoving trackage. Plus there is a two pylon four pole grouping adjacent to the overhead maintenance superstructure suggesting the poles did not accomplish routine or anticipated maintenance.

When I built extended Aurora HO Model Motoring track layouts, the resistance and bad coupling connections between the tracks led to reduction in power with distance from the terminal track where the transformer and rheostats were connected. I mitigated this by jumping wires directly from the power supply to the far end of the layout and inserting a second power terminal track segment.

These double, short-pole and long-pole-pair, sets or groupings spaced around loop look power related.

Watson and Crick faced a similar dilemma on a smaller scale, but I don't think a double helix is our answer. Although, from above that ladder-like track looks familiar...

PS Another of those yellow monorail related signs is unreadable on a distant pylon in Wayne's link, post #32.

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These poles look power related.

Bingo!

Perhaps when extended they short the power rails to ground, for safety in emergencies or maintenance.

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That's kind of where we started out, noting that these are not just poles with hooks attached to the end, but tubes through which pass a cable. I can't think of any reason why they'd use tubes instead of poles unless they wanted to insulate a 'hot wire' from a ground handler.

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anyone think this is what it is?temp-grounding-equipment-1.jpgClamps and accessories to help promote the safety of linemen while doing maintenance work on temporarily "dead" lines.

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