Friday, May 06, 2011

Concrete Highway in the Sky From the March 1959 edition of the Disneylander employee publication

05.06.11 - Watch closely Disneylanders, for right here in Disneyland, U.S.A., history is being made — a preview of tomorrow's transportation systems.

Soon we will see a Stephens-Adamson "Speedramp" or moving sidewalk, carrying passengers from the ground level to the futuristic 2nd story station of the "concrete highway in the sky" — a beam-way reaching heights of 35 feet and supported by concrete pylons.

Under Walt Disney's personal direction, the architectural and engineering talents of Bill Martin, WED, Disneyland Engineering Dept., Roger Broggie, WDP, and Ernst Schroeder, Ernst Wendt and Eberhard Lemcke, of the Alweg Company, Cologne, West Germany, have been combined to produce the first rapid transit monorail system of its type to operate daily in the United States.

The Disneyland-Alweg system will cover four fifths of a mile of track, with two modern trains running on rubber tires over a concrete beamway.

The bluepints of the beamway and the wheel sections of the new attraction show some of the things most of us will never really see as the construction progresses. For instance, each wheel section has six, yes six, rubber tired wheels — two above and two on each side of the beamway. Because these tires are similar to those used on our automobiles of today, the contact surface has to be extremely smooth, and the precast forms must be of the finest concrete, with a surface tolerance of 1 16th of an inch.

The track will follow a route that crosses over and under itself, over the Autopia Freeways and the Submarine Lake, curving, then straightening, then curving again.

The track, like all other Disneyland trains will have a switch to a siding and maintenance area. This switch is interesting in itself. It will be the only section of track that will not be concrete. It will be an hydraulic powered aluminum beam capable of 12-15 second operation.

The close tolerance of the entire project is evident when you realize that every section of these precast concrete beams when placed end to end over the supporting pylons, will form a continuous length of track totalling 3,830 feet with no more than 3/8ths of an inch separation between any one of the sections.

These 3-car futuristic trains of tomorrow will preview the high-speed inter-urban transportation systems which could well be the answer to the growing problems of metropolitan area traffic congestion.

From the March 1959 edition of the Disneylander employee publication, published by Disneyland.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, I always wonder about the history of Disney.

    Meanwhile, you might want to check decorative concrete for your concrete floor needs.


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