The Niles Monorail Tour - Page One
Welcome to Niles, a historic district in the City of Fremont, California. You're in the backyard of the Pedersen residence and what you are looking at is the station of the Niles Monorail. That's Kristi, our security for the system. I think she's on break here.
Here's what the control panel of the Rob L. Stephens train looks like. Pretty sleek, huh? It was designed by Paul M. Newitt, friend of yours truly, and fellow monorail enthusiast. Only drivers are briefed on what all the switches are for, but I can tell you that the speed control is on the top right. We have P1 through P4 settings. The red button is for the VW-buglike horn (it's suprisingly loud on a garden monorail).
If you pull the control panel back, you can see some of the electronics hidden behind. That big box is a custom-built Model WMC120 motor control from the nice folks at Winland Electronics, Inc. of Mankato, Minnesota. The monorail gets power from two 12-volt motorcycle batteries, located in car two. A special thanks to Terry Larson of Winland for all the great electronic advice. I don't think our train would be anywhere as cool as it is without his help and this speed controller. I'm also very grateful to Keith Walls, TMS Vice President, for all the electronic advice he provided as well.
Let's go for a cruise! Here's Kory pulling out of Kitchen View Station at P2 speed. Notice the custom-made bellows that connect the two cars.
Applying P4, Kory starts the climb up the first grade. While we go around the loop, imagine how much of the garden and fence we would have needed to rip out to put in a garden light rail instead of this!
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