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Musical Pete

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About Musical Pete

  • Birthday 09/30/1983

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  1. Don't worry, you're not going mad - the photos were infact taken in May and it reopened in June. Did you enjoy?... People occasionally say that the track that passes closely over the lift is gradually getting lower - what these people (who are young) fail to realise is that they are simply growing taller. I mustn't have grown much in recent years, as it's always been the same height for me.
  2. Hey - you forgot to mention that the hand and camera in the last photo belong to me! The light grey the structure was painted, was chosen because it's similar to Amanda's dog, Paris I think, the dalmation. I've not met Amanda but I've met Paris (a long story involving a day at Geoffrey's miniature railway). The Mouse is certainly still wild. Long may it continue!
  3. Nice report and great photos. A couple of points - South entrance is not open this year and may not open again (however you can still exit here). PB are moving more toward the themepark regime, hence the payed admission from next year. Times are changing and they need to move with them. Unlike many, I feel it's for the best - but unlike may I also think outside the box, see the bigger picture and don't think totally as an enthusiast even though I clearly am one, and love the place. Also, Grand National has recently been having some lifthill problems - the top bullwheel (return wheel) of the left track was recently replaced and the chain didn't seem to like it as it snapped. It was repaired and the coaster reopened, but it makes sense for the current closure to be related to it. They don't close any ride for no reason - for instance, they were severely peed off recently when they couldn't open the Big One because a section of new track had been damaged by the fabricators - they had to play around to get it to fit the structure, and once installed its profile was badly warped (the hill in the middle of your 12th photo). When the trains were being tested, they went over the track with a jolt far too severe for public operation, so they set about cutting, reshaping and rewelding the track in situ to make it safe for operation asap. They sorted it out and it is now running fine (a little bumpier over the hill in question, but a safe bump) but it missed the first few weekends of operation and PB were not happy at all, as it is ofcourse a signature ride, as is Grand National. If there's a problem, they work to sort it asap - they want all rides open! As an aside, they are also not too happy about the operational problems the Grand National has had since its new system was installed by Kumbak - they are constantly trying to sort it, and one mananger has even said that "Kumbak will not coming back!" because of the problems they've caused. A post a little over the top for a trip report topic maybe, but I just want to make it clear that PB are not the evil, greedy, heartless people they're made out to be these days. They want everything operational but like every park, sometimes have problems with rides and do their best to get them working again. They never shut a ride just because they don't want to run it. I hope you get to go back soon and ride the Nash - despite the lengthy parking operation in the station, it has been running all four trains and in terms of the portion of ride from the top of the lift to the final brakes, it's running really well, better than it has for a few years - the new trains run a bit freer than the old ones - you even get airtime on the final humps where you didn't get it before. Untrimmed, pure shake, rattle & roll classic coaster fun - tears round like a bat out of hell, lol. I'm glad it's not in a corporate US park! At one time there was six trains, and before that even eight! - however this required trimming and there were brakes before Canal Turn, which would've slowed the second half down quite substantially. These days in terms of speed and forces, it's probably the best it's ever been. PB deserve respect for keeping a wild gem of a ride, truely wild!
  4. Not that I'm in any way an SFMM regular or know anything much about the situation (I live in England and visited the park once in 2005), but I too have wondered about the codes thing since it was posted. Is Alton Towers' monorail the same model/built by the same company? - this operates fine but ofcourse various regulations and codes are different in different countries, and different states in USA's case. Seems a little odd, but not knowing the intricacies of the situation none of us can really talk I suppose. All I know is that some rides and attractions in operation today do not meet some of the codes which they would have to meet if built new, and as such have been modified in certain ways to partly comply with regulations while not fully adhering to them. For example, the wood coasters at Blackpool do not meet modern safety codes in regards to kinematic (safety) envelope, which is why the cars were rebuilt in 1988 with taller bodies, to make it harder for riders to stick their arms out the side, thus reducing the risk of a rider's hand striking a piece of structure. Also, the handrails/balustrades do not meet the stipulated safe height, those of Grand National for instance by a good foot - at the moment, this is somehow obviously allowable. Safety cables and track crossing platforms were added in recent years to raise safety standards for maintenance personnel, but the handrails remain the original height. I think in the case of attractions and structures built prior to modern codes and regulations, in most cases it's more a compromise between original state and modern standards rather than pure, out and out closing down. I'm a member of a local model engineering club (we drive live steam trains on an elevated track with 2.5", 3.5" and 5" gauges, and a ground level 7.25" gauge track) and when we've built both a modern road bridge over the 7.25" track (only small, essentially just for members' cars to pass over), and a railway bridge carrying the same track over a small valley, we have had to conform to modern codes - however, for instance, our original road bridge was half the width of the new one, and didn't have as much headroom, but was allowed to operate with paying public as long as we made it clear to passengers that they should not extend their arms or legs out of the train while riding (in railway terms the original was more a short tunnel than an overhead bridge). The only reason we replaced it was that it was old, worn, had started cracking in places and was leading toward becoming unstable due to the heavy truckloads and plant we'd had over it when we had raised the bottom of the site by as much as 2' in places, to lessen the gradient of our main hill leading up to the bridge/tunnel. We'd have preferred to rebuild as per original as we had proven safe operation with such, but as is had to be a completely new build to ensure strength, we had to conform to modern standards and as such now have a short tunnel that could almost fit a full sized tube train through, which as such is now more of an overhead bridge, with a single 7.25" track running down the middle, appearing quite puny as result. lol Anyway, back to the thread - I'm enjoying every post, every image and every bit of info. It's a real gem.
  5. Wow, fantastic pics - you lucky sucker! Vettel made perfect use of the terrain there, quite Miller-esque. A unique ride of its time, with separations and fan turns, not forgetting the turntable too. Something you never get on new coasters is the station atmosphere of the old ones. The typical shed station of modern wood coasters may suit the whole wood theme - which I suppose is a trend these days (almost like it's a cliche, special thing to have an 'old' style coaster in your park because it's made from wood, so wood becomes its theme) - but the old deco stations really set the ride off. Even when quite plain, the old stations still had a charm with their length, overall roof, seperate load/unload and integrated storage. I know the Whippet's station was quite compact but the turntable, and the swooping turns still made it special - that's another aspect I miss; station turns. Cyclone/Texas Tornado at Morecambe had a 180 degree turn straight out of its station, which was part of the building itself and was roofed all the way round. I also loved how it sat right next to the pavement (sidewalk) too, kind of brash - "here I am, come in and ride me!". You know, the station building of PBB's Roller Coaster used to cover the entire first turn before it was reduced to the fairground style station it has today - it even had a tower. This changed when Watson Road was bridged over in the 60s. Back to the Whippet and its station turns - I love the way they swooped out, diving to the valley floor through the building itself, like an extreme version of Kennywood Racer's turns I suppose. I love the strange claustrophobic feeling old coasters gave when they sent you out of the station through a tight tunnel, or swooped you down between clolse walls etc. You also get that effect somewhat from and old station with a storage track running right to the front, as being level it rises next to you on the slope as you roll out. The modern shed/shack type stations have no character at all, especially when they're just train length, load and unload in the one position (which I understand for capacity reasons and am not necessarily against) and stand like a big plain box above the ground. For me the long, deep, stylish older 'pavilion' stations actually form part of the ride experience. It's a shame that things have become so utilitarian today. In some situations only a small station can be accommodated, but in most cases a longer, more classical one could be built - and could still feature one-stop load/unload, the rear portion of track that would be the unload position could instead be the transfer and storage area. But then today, coasters just don't feel like they used to either - a track that has a profile far too refined running out of a thoughtless shed of a station. But maybe that's just me... Don't rush through your closet. Take your time, it's well worth it. It's rare to find threads as good as yours and Shane's. Most forums are just made up of what's currently being built, and countless threads where people slate eachother's personal opinions of a ride... hey I think there's always far too many B&M topics on every site as to me that company while being pure genius engineers, as coaster builders miss the plot and are very over rated, but that's just me being me - give me a Racing Whippet or Montana Rusa any day over a Silverstar or Mantis (former very dull, latter very painful!)... I can almost breathe in the atmosphere. Nothing like the musty air of a treasure filled closet. It's an air of excitement, an air you can smell. Kind of like domestic gas in a way, though the only reason that has a smell is so you can sniff out a leak. LOL Yeah, I know, I'm a little odd. I'm obsessed with vintage wood coasters afterall - being odd is present by virtue.
  6. Fantastic video - this is what coasters are all about to me. Good old shake, rattle & roll. What you tend to get on modern equivalents are relatively dull hills, too many turns and lots of spine hammering from ledger over-saturation... lol. I suppose the world having to be super safe these days is the culprit there. Track doesn't flex quite enough as it needs to, to dampen vibration these days (except at Blackpool where my favourite woodies are made from rubber ). I've devised a simple way to give the track all the support it needs while allowing it to flex right, but having no engineering qualifications and little math skills, I doubt I'll get to try it out. Oh the good old trial and error, eyeball days... Yep, the three surviving mobius racers. I've ridden Grand National far too many times, and have ridden Kennywood's Racer a few times too. Gotta get to Mexico one day, even if the coaster has been somewhat tamed. The modern pneumatic check brake clearly shaves away more speed than the original but looking at the way the train cracks like a whip over a couple of those drops in your video, it is indeed probably a good thing. It probably rides like a bigger Grand National whose speed has increased very slightly with the new cars - very powerful negative force over warped circular hills, with mere 2.25" safety wheels. I have an old one on my shelf. You know, the Blackpool oldies have no footings as such - the legs sit on a wooden foot (the same section laid flat) which sits directly in the ground, and the whole structure basically stays put under its own load - no concrete, no cleats. The motor room floor of the Maxim Flying Machine is bare sand, last seen the light of day in Victorian times when the whole place was literally a beach. The central column rotates above a reasonable concrete plinth and that's it. I love these old quirks - safe, reliable, simple. Flying Machine has never shifted and neither have the coasters, even by the Irish Sea. Southport's Cyclone did lose its lift in a 1960s gale however, hence the twist it later had - the base had probably pitched over a bit but they simply built straight back onto it, lol. The track in its small dips didn't even really have feet, the laminate sat straight on the ground. No wonder it flexed so much - an example of too little support. I enjoy modern spline-based profile, but circles do it for me most. It's a tricky balancing act getting them right as they can be too forceful as your Montana Rusa video shows (particularly at 2:29!), but they often got it right before computers were around to 'interfere' (said flippantly) and before anybody bothered with dynamic equations (which I'd like to learn if my brain wouldn't melt). Afterall, John Miller did a great job with circles and a ~1:40 grade (apart from Puritas Springs Cyclone's first drop, radius a bight tight at the bottom!)... Fantastic topic - the best I've seen on a forum in a while. So much history!
  7. That post is pure bliss - your own photos especially. I didn't realize the trains had been altered so much (though opening in 1964, I should've known it had Flyers). I actually prefer the garish colours too, it's almost magical... yes I'm odd. I'm yet to get to Mexico myself and while I know that CCI did some work on the coaster, it doesn't seem too altered from the photos and video I've seen (including one of those "World's Greatest Rollercoaster Thrills in 3D" DVDs). I can see the check brake before the second turnaround, but the profile seems to remain original - the same straight lines and circles as before (oh how I wish coaster profile hadn't become as fluid as it has today - modern profile often gives a dull ride when running slow, but the old geometry always delivers, whatever the weather, literally!). I expect that aside from that brake, the ride would feel pretty much as it would've done on opening. Gotta get there one day! As for it originally having six trains - so did Grand National, infact, I have it on good authority from a PB manager that at one time, Grand National ran EIGHT trains! Ofcourse, there didn't used to be safety blocks - and I'm told that even with six trains, you'd be on your toes as a brakeman to ensure there were no bumps in the station (the huge sprung buffers on old cars were there for that very reason). There did used to be a check brake leading into Canal Turn, similar to Montana Rusa's modern brake, but it was just a slower, set with a winch so wouldn't act as a stop block (same as the brakes before the final dip before they were replaced with magnetic units). Wood coasters are my thing. Vintage wood coasters are even more my thing. RACING vintage wood coasters are TOTALLY my thing and you my friend, have completely made my day! lol
  8. I know it doesn't quite add up, but it's just the way the world is these days. Safety authorities and insurers make some strange demands today. Sadly it's the way our cultures have become. As for the kidney punches, I agree. It's a facet of wood coasters today that I really don't like, but I accept that it's the way things are. Things are done with structural design that are a bad move to me, the increased number of ledgers placed beneath the track lead to a rough ride. It's done to require less track maintenance as the laminate isn't allowed to flex so much. However, you then feel every vibration through the rigid track, and any tiny error in the height of the added ledgers causes a nasty jolt. At high speed under increased centripetal load, it doesn't half hurt... welcome to Meanstreak...
  9. ^The footage looks more like Cine to me. But what great footage it is! I love stuff like this, thanks for showing it. I keep checking back for more...
  10. You're really THAT bothered by the change in direction of a coaster train? Christ man it's just a coaster. And yes, I love them too...
  11. Simple answer - nobody. Rides are built with a safety envelope these days. The kinematic envelope of the car has riders and their arms (and legs for suspended coasters) added to it, and the structure is built to clear this envelope. If any part of structure encroaches on this safety envelope, it must be modified before operating. Older rides however, frequently flout it which is quite funny. It's a case of new things having to conform to modern regulations, and old things being allowed to stay as they are in a lot of cases. Silly, but true. Allen and Cobb coasters with the taller handrails, built from the late 70s onwards don't actually have a safe envelope as their trestle legs are on 8' centres and you can touch the handrails and passing structure with your fingers. GASM at your home park for instance, had its handrails raised a foot as Allen built them 2'6" tall before regulations stipulating 3'6" came in, and as the structure uses the old 8' centres, the legs and handrails are slightly too close to the cars - that's why some Allen/Cobb coasters now have pads fitted to the cars to make it harder to stick your arms out the side.
  12. Wow, you can tell this is a coaster site - nothing but moaning about just about everything. I remember both sides of KI's Racer being very rough, but it's nothing to do with the direction you face. It's simply due to the oversupported nature of most wood coasters these days. John Allen built a typical 9' spaced structure, but over time the maintenance people decided there needed to be a few more bents put in to lower track maintenance and hey presto, a spine jarring ride. It's a common trait with the corporate parks, CF is no exception - and apart from this issue, I've enjoyed their parks I've visited. Backwards riding is fun, I used to ride the Texas Tornado at Morecambe as a kid and often rode the backwards front car. It's seen as a safety issue today as the coasters weren't designed with backwards riding in mind - not that they'd be structurally any different if they were - it's just something that insurance people don't like. A shame, but not the end of the world by any means. I sometimes wonder whether coaster enthusiasts actually live in the real world...
  13. One of the videos loaded straight away (the front POV) and the other will supposedly take several hours. I'm using RealPlayer's new flash download feature (great for saving YouTube vids, too!). What a fantastic structure! I prefer the simpler, circular geometry of older coasters, I don't like slpine curves and high banking much - but I do love Balder, and I can't deny that I love the structure of these modern Intamin woodies. They're very precisely designed, yet look more random than most vintage coaster structures. It's certainly never going to be a bad thing having another of these in the world!
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