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Musical Pete

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Everything posted by Musical Pete

  1. Grand National hasn't had buzzbars since the early 1980s - the old trains just retired were built with them as supplied in 1980, but were modified not long after by the PB with 6" deeper bodywork and the lower bars - I expect these are what you meant by buzzbar as they used the same electrical system (I felt like explaining all this as "buzzbar" traditionally refers to bars such as those on Phoenix). The new cars have individual bars because PTC only build cars with those or buzzbars, and the PB won't be buying buzzbars again. I've not ridden the new trains yet (aside from sitting in a blue car in a PB workshop in October ) but they finally took public round for the first time a week ago. At present, the parking is taking a stupid time due to the cars needing to be lined up exactly for track mounted plugs to raise and push a mechanism on the front of the cars, connected to all the bars. They've messed up with this - the better option would be a long bar instead of little square plugs, so there'd be more range to park the trains meaning the computer wouldn't keep opening and closing the brakes, shunting the trains a few inches at a time to line up exact with the plugs. If this isn't drastically improved, it'll never run four trains publically again - it would be pointless as the throughput would be the same as with two! I was looking forward to the new system (even as a lover of old manual brakes) but at the moment it saddens me. Hopefully lessons will be learnt from this for the similar modification of Roller Coaster and Big Dipper! (it's coming) The new trains are infact running rougher round the turns due to their check gauge (a term I've borrowed from railways - in this case more "guide gauge") is somewhat narrower than previous. Why I'm not sure, as the track is the same old dimensions - someone must've messed up with the correct dimension! Perhaps it was a PTC issue - they did afterall do some things that the PB weren't too happy with regarding construction, but I'll leave that there. Big Dipper is as yet unmodified. There was talk of it getting belts but I'm not sure if it was actually official. Grand National has belts because PTC now don't supply cars without (if a park doesn't want them they have to remove them once out of PTC's hands, but for litigious reasons this isn't wise as the belts are a manufacturer supplied safety feature - hence the PB keeping them). Roller Coaster has finally got belts due to it needing some form of restraint to appease authorities. Be thankful it's only belts and not bars - if bars were required (and who knows, maybe this could become so) then the vintage trains will have to retire! I for one am not happy with the modern nanny-state world we now live in. For my own sanity, I won't get into a rant about it..! By the way, do Kennywood's Racer trains still have buzzbars? - yes the Grand National cars have those new dividers. There's some reports of the new bars pinning during the ride on the Nash, at the bottom of drops - the track oscillates a lot there due to the light construction. In that case, the bars probably aren't allowing airtime (i.e bum leaving seat) after the first drop! I'll see properly for myself in a week's time..
  2. Well, some originals had dips.. Infact I'm sure the unique station arrangement and the long straight sections have been addressed by a quote of John Fetterman's posted earlier in this very topic..
  3. Yeay, a PTC car in a state of undress! I'm obsessed with PTC cars but it's NOT sexual. LOL
  4. ^Wow yep! You have footage of four-row PTC car operation on it, Mr PTC obsessive Pete is jealous! One woodie dies, several new get built. Nasty modern ones but wooden and it could be worse, they could be Boring&Monotonous steel..
  5. Don't be so crude (you know you meant "inside-her information"). Dirty, bad, evil you! I'm barely around here but thought I'd just pop in. Don't quite know what else to say.. yeay for yanks in the UK! (perhaps an unofficial name for your big trip..?) I'm over in your country with the ECC when you're over here at my favourite park (clue: avatar). Cruel, ironic twist of fate. You see you're fun, and I like meeting fun people!
  6. An unused car has a belt fitted as a test but they're not happy with the design so haven't belted the operational cars yet. They will get belted, but exactly when isn't clear. Whether they'll be of any use I don't know.. if people are intent on standing and a belt can be undone, then they'll do it.
  7. I vote "not another effing pointless topic putting me off trawling through for the decent ones"
  8. Yep, but just weekends for a few weeks until full opening commences. For anyone interested, Grand National won't be open the first weekend now but they're aiming for the second..
  9. Exactly, and parks don't exist to simply keep bringing us new coasters. The popularity of the Pleasure Beach proves that!
  10. But now they don't! "Something big" is said to be coming to the NORTH area, not South. Traumatizer's going nowhere, Vikingar's plot is said to likely be for more staff facilities. Vikingar and Turtle Chase have completely gone. Spin Doctor is for sale but will run until sold The main North midway has new paving and lights. The Grand National has had its midcourse signs redone with the new "GT" font as used in the new park logo and literature. Its new brakes and controls have also finally been fitted and it is expected to commence testing next week, hopefully ready for Feb 18th opening. PMBO has had several sections of track replaced recently but not reprofiled (good, I love it as it is!). This is indeed the Flume's last year, and its successor is at present indeed to be a watercoaster. There's also a thrill ride that was supposed to be for this year but has been pushed back due to design modifications to comply with UK regulations. 4D cinema in Black Hole's place, presumably ready for opening day. It will be pay extra as it's a concession like Swamp Buggies and Go Karts. I *WON'T* be working there this year. I WILL be visiting however, firstly on Feb 18th in a couple of weeks - opening day! Oh, Flying Machine has ended Ryanair sponsorship and has reverted back to "Pleasure Beach Airlines" with new red-lined livery. Looking ahead to a time I'm not sure of, the North entrance area may be redeveloped in future to cope with peak season crowds. A new, larger ticket sales building may be built and the area opened out with the relocation or removal of Superbowl Dodgems and Noah's Ark. I personally favour Turtlechase's plot for the Ark if necessary, but it's been said that the plot is already earmarked for something else.. we shall see! ..And that's all from me. zeoooooooooooob P.S - many of the above changes were planned by Geoffrey Thompson who wanted to change the park's image, bring in a new corporate identity and redevelop the park for the future. His management offspring Amanda and Nick are carrying out his wishes, not ruining the park with their own ideas as many people feel. I for one commend that and welcome change for the better..
  11. A lot has changed at the PB the last couple of years in terms of plans. And don't forget a lot happened in 2004 to change things forever - two major fires, the loss of Geoffrey and Doris Thompson, plus a third member of staff working in hospitality died later in the year who was highly valued. The company has since been shaken up and things are different, including plans for future attractions. Something may be coming to the North area of the park in the next few years but it won't be a record breaker, they've gone off that whole idea - they're going instead for better all round experiences rather than the gimmicks other parks go for. What this new mystery thing for the future is I don't however know.
  12. BPB's Big Dipper. He used it for three of his own attempts afterall.. and it's close to me.. and I love it. Just as long as the seat divider is removed (they have spare dividerless seats to put in) and the lapbar be left open, held up with a bit of rope. Oh and the tarpaulin over the car for rainy days, especially through the night (I'd probably be woken up by the return tunnel like he was). Well, those were his luxuries.. ..But in reality, I'd want to get off after a few hours. Infact, Rollercoaster would be better, since it already has no restraints (apart from the new belts this year) and no dividers, and is a smooth gentle ride. I'd last better on that in one of the deep spacious front seats than I would on the Dipper! Snuggle down nice and cosy..
  13. Which grove grows the best bananas?.. It's all subjective.
  14. LOL! BPB had one just like that, but it closed a little while ago - 1933. The HSE people would have heart attacks over here over the ride now, especially if operated like THAT! :shock:
  15. I use a Sanyo Xacti C1 (an old model now, there's a couple of updates - C4 and C5). It's small, light enough, is erganomically decent (pistol-like grip) and creates high quality MPEG4 video - 29.97fps VGA, I think about 3mbps. Is also takes decent 3.2 megapixel photos. It's not the best of the best, but is certainly good enough (better than most other solid-state digital cameras in terms of video!). The videos at my site (sig linky) were filmed with it (though compressed to VCD MPEG1), and my most recent photo collections were taken with it ("Flamingoland 18th March 2005" onwards and upwards). In short - there's better cameras out there, and there's many worse ones. What I've got serves me fine. I'll only get a new camera when this one packs up, and apart from a little cosmetic damage over time, it's otherwise fine. PS low light - yep unfortunately my camera's only fault is its lowlight performance, it's not good at all. I rarely have a need to use it in low light conditions however, so like I said, it won't be replaced for a while.
  16. The Pleasure Beach has no Vekoma rides - KumbaK made new cars and systems for Space Invader, which was a Zierer coaster. Also, they're supplying the new Grand National brakes and control system. Hopefully the computer won't foul up and keep the coaster closed all the time, though realistically it should be well tuned and prove reliable (afterall, that's the idea - take away the risks of a manual system while keeping the thing running!). Big leap though from a seventy year old coaster with wooden levers and simple sub-track rodding to old caliper brakes which you could leave wide open and walk off, to a seventy-one year old coaster with computer controlled magnetic and air brakes. Some of that is speculation on my part - it's highly likely there's a computer involved, and highly likely the holding brakes will be air-actuated. We'll see soon enough. I might even end up at the controls this year, though not when TPR is over here as I'll be in the US with the ECC. The irony! Hmm, KumbaK water coasters. Hmm, watercoaster planned for 2007 at the Pleasure Beach, in place of the flume. Hmm!
  17. Nope, it won't be breaking any records. I think the PB realise they can't compete in that way - they don't have the whole of Blackpool to build on afterall! (a little over the top maybe, but they just don't and won't have the space of say CP; SFMM etc.) Don't have to build big and record breaking to be good. The world's biggest coasters tend to be the worst..
  18. And the cars which those replaced on Cyclone, were themselves old Grand National cars. Looky here. . For the record, I love Cyclone as it is! It turns out the Dipper may not be getting belts afterall, but Rollercoaster is. There'll still be freedom with a belt, as it will presumably be a single one since the seats aren't divided (but please, don't abuse the freedom!). I won't be undoing my belt either on Rollercoaster or the Nash. I know they're not personally needed, but I'll respect them, I know what my favourite park faces and I don't want any trouble with them. They can't just take the belts off the new Nash cars - as they were fitted as a standard safety restraint by the manufacturer (speaking offically sounding here I know!), they mustn't remove them. Knoebels don't have to adhere to the same safety body the PB has to. In their eyes, removing the belts would be the same as removing the bars - may sound silly but it makes sense! I'm over the "can't mess with old coasters, adding new trains and restraints" etc. mentality. They have to operate to regulations in today's world, regulations which differ from place to place (in thise case country, and even state) or we can't have them at all. Think about that, and the addition of a seatbelt getting you all annoyed, seems a little trivial!
  19. Of the most "important" changes for enthusiasts, is the addition of seatbelts to Rollercoaster (ending its restraintless 72 years) and the Big Dipper (complimenting the lapbars it already has). The new Grand National cars (one being in my avatar, with me as a passenger) were ofcourse manufactured with belts, a matter on which PTC don't deviate. Rider containment is high on the Health & Safety Executive's priorities, with which the PB have no choice. Personally it's a non issue, belts don't alter my love for a ride! Also on the woodie front, the Grand National's new magnetic brakes are currently being installed - the station ones are already in place, with the pre final drop checks currently being worked on. On the non coaster front, Vikingar (water chute), Turtlechase (tumble bug) and the Whip (a whip!) are finally disappearing for future development. Vikingar is now mostly demolished, Turtlechase's station has gone, and the Whip is pretty much sitting in situ unaltered, after the controls and turnstyle were removed some time ago. Don't get pissy at new management for these removals - they were planned while Geoffrey Thompson was alive (his decisions, he was in charge), and had he not died they'd have taken place a year earlier. Some things have to change, and the PB won't stand still. If old rides hadn't made way for new, we'd have had no new rides at the park for several decades, and its popularity would have steadily decreased, to the point of becoming defunct. Think about it! So, no backwards riding on Rollercoaster for you guys next year (behave! ), and some vintage rides disappearing you might've wanted to ride. Still, there's more cosmetic improvements next year (as with this year, to a high standard too) and two new attractions (one thrill, one family). Also, with a watercoaster for 2007 and something BIG for 2010, the future is looking good. I'm certainly looking forward.
  20. I think people go over the top at times, over-romantacising truth. The only brakes added are the ones after the tunnel (the pre-loop ones were always there, just not used as hard) and the trains always crawled over the hills (hence the anti rollback sections) - footage from the 70s shows so (footage in the film Rollercoaster that is - you know some of the coaster footage used was even sped up 10% to make it more exciting!). I loved it when I was there this June. I also loved Pysclone however, which in most peoples minds makes me insane..
  21. As far as I know, it's both (why else would there be chain return channels corresponding perfectly with the anti-rollback rack? - CI's Thunderbolt had a second chain too, up onto the double-dip hill, but that's never mentioned). Now, who's for more circular hill propaganda ? - Magnum has some of the world's best airtime, yet all the hills are circular, apart from the first drop apex, which is a parabolic style multi-radius job. Wasn't that fun.
  22. Funny to think Racer has four lift chains too (the large pseudo-parabolic hill is slightly too high and has chains fitted to pull over the trains on occasion, atleast that's evident from any photos I've seen of the hill - a dead giveaway to someone yet to visit PKI is the chain return channels)! From personal experience (and something that has become a personal bias!) - older woodies give the best airtime, via circular hills. That's a strict single radius over the top, no hint of nasty parabola. John Miller knew best..!
  23. It's not worth getting excited about the "old school" PTC car - it's their kiddie car. I see they've not changed the appearance of that three-row mixed-bar car for a couple of years. I think it was the same at IAAPA 2003, I sat in the second row and got locked in at PTC in June last year, it was the same at last year's IAAPA and the same at this one. What I'm wondering, is if it's really worth showing off the buzzbar. It doesn't seem likely for any park to order them new these days (new with new cars I mean, I suppose they could continue to supply spares)! As much as I love the bespoke chunkyness of the BPB PTC cars, the new ones are a bit too "Americanised" for comfort (which we'll all find out next year - I've sat in one but didn't try the belt, and the car stayed stationary!). Some people were hoping for new trains with buzzbars, but that'll never happen at BPB. The retired Grand National cars and Big Dipper cars were originally supplied with buzzbars, and BPB decided they needed bulking up in the 80s - there's no way they'd go back to loose-sitting style buzzbar cars! (shame, even though I prefer the chunky look, the looser ones ride better.. the brand new Nash cars are cramped, not suitable for medium-large people upwards.. grr modern times) Grr me for going on about BPB and PTC again. Well if I'm "like Rainman" as Coasterforce's Carl Stratton drunkenly put it, but can't count spilt toothpicks and aren't too great with numbers, I need something to obsess about. One day I'll make it to IAAPAyyyy. Ok, it'll be when all the coaster cars displayed are built like prison cells, there's not a hint of wood anywhere and there'll be some tower ride taking you to the moon, but I'll get there..
  24. I don't have a copy myself, though there are a few park music sites out there. Ultimately it just depends on whether anyone's recorded it I suppose. Would this be for a custom RCT soundtrack? - that'd be quite good (I'm out of RCT myself now though). All I know for sure is that the Alice soundtrack is after many, many park visits, permanently etched in my mind! :shock:
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