One of Five
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'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
Niles Monorail Tour Page 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
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