Trust me this is worth your time reading......
So just had a great long 17hr day at Cedar Point and it started early at 8 in the morning going up on the transfer platform of Raptor, Valravn and going behind the scenes on Dragster and Sky Ride! We learned a lot of very interesting facts that I'd like to put out there to help diminish some coaster fallacies. We were given a very mechanical geared tour so everything is pretty accurate, led by their Manager of Maintenance. Thank you CP and our TPEG group for a great tour!
So the nylon/polyurethane wheel debate on what the purpose is goes on long enough. Here are the facts. The white colored wheels on any rollercoaster are nylon. These make the train go faster since the material is a harder, however one can argue that the jerk of a nylon wheel is a bit rougher than the much softer polyurethane...meaning nylon wheels can give a rougher ride depending on the coaster. If you see yellow wheels then you're seeing all polyurethane. These are softer and help the train safely go through the course since even the slightest speed change can alter how the forces react on the riders. If you think polyurethane wheels are a tad smoother you nailed it! Valravn uses strictly polyurethane wheels and other B&M's in the park such as Raptor, Rougarou, and Gatekeeper all use a combination of nylon and polyurethane to help it speed up but not too much...creating a balanced speed.
As you can see below Dragster's power room is absolutely massive. This is only one half of it as there is an identical room on the other side of the track. Fun fact it uses about 3x more electricity than your house does in an entire month just sitting idle without launching a car on any given day if turned on. So you can only imagine. I think I remembered hearing Maverick uses about 3/8 the electricity that Dragster does but don't quote me on that. Dragster's cable needs to be replaced about every 1/2 year to every 3/4 year so at least once maybe twice a full year it is replaced. The cable costs about $30,000 dollars to replace with all expenses. The cable team starts when the park closes and usually has it up and running the next day. The ride has over 600 sensors making it the most prone to down-time. Notice it's not because there is a problem with it, it is just a very complicated system where one of those sensor trips can cause a delay. The speed of the launch is actually calculated electronically. A sensor at the top of the tower is paired up with one at the first set of brakes. The time between the two is averaged to be 7s so if the timing is lower than 7s by any margin the next train will launch a little faster. If it is over 7s by any margin the train will slow down. So if the train ahead of you creeps over, you will likely fly over, and vice Versa if the one before you flys over you will go slow over (better rollback chance).
Other small facts...No magnetic brakes can fully stop a train on B&M coasters, the eddy-brakes are always creating an attractive magnetic field going opposite in direction of the train once fully slowed down. So that is why most declined brake runs are in existence so it can keep the train moving without a transportation motor. Sky Ride cable is hand woven together and wielded on the ends to create the most seamless continuously loop. Cedar Fair usually takes 3-5 years to plan out the entire rollercoaster (Valravn was in the works for 5 years). We also got to see them transfer a Valravn train on for morning testing!
If you have any questions or comments about rides I mentioned let me know cause I might be able to answer them. Didn't cover like 1/2 the stuff we got to see. I took some pictures without trying to be rude to the tour guide...and then other from the day!
Good morning sunshine
Heading up the Raptor maintenance stairs!
Aw did someone miss their wake up alarm?
Wheel bogie of Valravn. Pictures don't do it justice. It's as big as my torso
Is it wrong to look up a rollercoaster'a skirt?
Beautiful looking coaster, but to me ends at that.
Empty station means cool photos!
1/2 of the Dragster Hydraulic room
Standing underneath the top hat
So blue. So graceful.
Getting artsy. If you didn't notice it was a beautiful day
Nothing here to see except the slight over cast that set in
Just hanging at the Cedar Point train station
I love this photo. New header? Maybe. Much better coaster than Mantis
Another beautiful photo
I love restricted areas.
They could build a really nice train out of these tracks!