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Posts posted by SeaWhippet

  1. This is kind of depressing for me, because I have been wanting to ride the Cyclone in its original state (just to say that I did) for several years now. I guess I need to get out there in May and ride the thing before all the track gets completely replaced.


    I think you missed the boat on that by about 40 years. The Cyclone has a completely steel structure, which I assume was done after it was condemned, refurbished and reopened in the early 70's.


    Actually, no, the Cyclone's support structure is NOT completely fashioned of steel. As with those other long-lost Coney legends –-- Thunderbolt and Tornado --- the Cyclone's taller uprights are indeed steel but wooden bents support many of the pullouts. Obviously, this is so the wood can absorb the tremendous forces generated by the heavy trains.

  2. Wasn't there a compact steel coaster so intense, it was moved to at least three different parks, each one deeming it too dangerous to operate? I'm having trouble remembering any other details.


    Bullet at Flamingoland had a history of being ferried around and not operating for very long at places because of the insane wear and tear on the launch mechanism (it had about 60 sets of drive tires), it ended up being partially rebuilt and totally overhauled simply because of the horrendous amount of noise it made, before it arrived at Flamingoland.


    Actually, that's not entirely true...


    The Wienerlooping (Schwarzkopf Shuttle loop Mk2a) worked fine- if you kept up with the motors. The biggest issues with the ride was noise- and quiet Wienerlooping most certainly was not. Weinerlooping has (had!) six pairs of drive tyres on each spike, and six sets in the station, making for 18 sets of rotary drive wheels that were used to push/pull the train out of the station. Most of the time these motors only gave some force to the train, as Schwarzkopf used gravity whenever possible on this, and for that matter all His designs.


    Still, the ride gave good overall performance across the board, and was a good reliable ride. However, the ride itself wasn't modified- save the addition of Mk2C trains with OTSR restraints- during the course of it's operational history.



    "TPR's Schwarzkopf Priest"




    Just to add a bit more to this discussion: Wiener Looping is one of my all-time fav Schwarzkopf/Stengel rides. I was fortunate to have to ridden it during its earlier incarnations: first at Circus World/B&B, and then at Oktoberfest 1989 in Munich. During its run in Florida (as well as at the Prater), it utilized a single lap bar per person and drive tires ONLY in the station and on the first spike. This meant that the launch down the first spike and through the station was extremely powerful so the train would have enough energy to return to the starting point. It was a phenomenally intense experience that I wish could have survived.


    When the ride showed up in 1989 on the Munich midway, it had been fitted with accordion OTSR (thanks to the infamous 1986 Edmonton Mindbender accident) and a second set of drive tires on the reverse spike. Though the added drive tires took some of the wear and tear off the structure and trains, they also lessened the force of the initial launch. Despite these alterations, it was still a good ride.


    I've heard that Wieland Schwarzkopf has rehabbed Wiener Looping and offered it for sale. It's my dream that some enterprising park owner recognizes the value of having a such a historic coaster in his collection and returns it to service. It literally is a one-of-a-kind thrill machine. I miss it.



  3. I'm curious if anyone has still shots or video of trains on BTMRR being moved from the main line onto the spur that leads across the tracks of the Walt Disney World Railroad to the ride' s maintenance shed ? On a recent trip to WDW, I noticed the switch and chain lift employed to bring BTMRR trains back up and over the tracks.



    It is an interesting setup - trains can only be moved when there is a stream train sitting in the Frontierland station otherwise it triggers an E-Stop for the steam trains. Unless there is maintenance reasons its rare to see it happen during the day as the ride usually runs the same number of trains for a better part of the day and there is room to store two trains between the station and the steam train tracks if they need to take one off. So usually one is removed and sits there waiting for the steam train to close for the night. BTMRR has one block between the storage shed and the steam trains, then two between the steam train tracks and the station. Worlds longest transfer track?


    It is a rather ingenious setup and probably DOES qualify as the world's longest transfer track. I find the operation quite fascinating. Might you have photos or videos of the process in action?

  4. I'm curious if anyone has still shots or video of trains on BTMRR being moved from the main line onto the spur that leads across the tracks of the Walt Disney World Railroad to the ride' s maintenance shed ? On a recent trip to WDW, I noticed the switch and chain lift employed to bring BTMRR trains back up and over the tracks.




    BTMRR's 'other' lift. The far turn leads to the maintenance shed


    The switch and crest of chain lift taken from the left side of the Walt Disney World Railroad

  5. Wildwood NJ actually featured TWO of these strange Schwarzkopf devices during the mid-80s, which is odd since so few were built. I rode both units and found them be just OK. They use the same propulsion system as the wonderful Wiener Looping, which I rode both at Circus World/B&B (with ONLY lapbar restraints) and at the Munich '89 Oktoberfest. The Katapults lacked the intensity and speed of The Wiener but they were interesting to watch. Hopefully, some operator will bring one back into service.



  6. Glad to see the Pippin successfully completed its maiden voyage. Congrats to the TGG and the Green Bay builders on their accomplishment.


    I'm must say I'm a bit surprised they used the Thunder Eagle's complete five-car train. As far as I know, the original ZP never used a train of this length. Not even when it ran the old NAD Century Flyers. I'm wondering how this added dynamic will affect the speed after the complete break-in period ...


    I only rode the TE a few times in Pigeon Forge, but every time I was aware of how it seemed to creep around its course, almost as if that fifth car might be holding it back. On the other hand, both KI's Racer and KD's Rebel Yell use five-car trains and they perform quite well while Carowinds' Thunder Road could only benefit from an added car.



  7. Great post, John. These wonderful pics brought back lots of memories. I was fortunate to have visited Idora numerous times during its last few years of operation. What a fantastic place this was. Though the Jack Rabbit was quirky and entertaining, the Wildcat was the real star. It was 'challenging' to ride in its last years but it was a perfect example of the hundreds of classic wooden coasters we've lost. I miss Idora ...

  8. I may not have been on it, but after a few BBW POV videos,......


    I'll try and add a little credibility here.


    * Dream Catcher - Bobbejaanland, I thought this was built by Arrow as Air Race, then modified by Vekoma to become Dream Catcher. (Someone can probably correct me on this, but for now, I'll include it.)



    Actually, Arrow didn't supply Bobbejaanland's ride. That is one of Vekoma's three 'Swinging Turns' installations, which "borrowed" heavily from Arrow's engineering.



  9. ^ I rode both rides...and Big Bad Wolf was WAY better than the Bat!


    I'm with you, Shane. I was fortunate to have ridden the Bat on several different occasions. It was extremely thrilling but even back then I knew there was something ... not quite right with it. The Arrow/HUSS guys HAD to be aware of the Alpen-Flug debacle a few ears earlier, but that's another thread ...


    Despite its flaws, I loved the Big Bad Wolf and I morn its loss. Like Arrow's quirky launched Shuttle Loops, the Suspended Coaster is a dying breed. I'm sure the GP and most coaster enthusiasts will love the hi-tech thriller that will eventually replace it but I'll always wish for one more chance to 'travel at the speed of fright'.


    I've mentioned this here before and thought I would share it again. During an interview with Werner Stengel (re: his involvement with Alpen-Flug) a few years ago I asked him if he thought the Suspended Coaster concept could be resurrected. His response: "Absolutely." He went on to say that his firm had successfully refined the calculations necessary to create a new line of Suspendeds that would be thrilling and safe. I would LOVE to see that happen. One can dream.


    Here's a parting shot of that VERY special moment on the BBW.




    Here's what we're missing ...

  10. Well, hello, Shane! Happy Holidays to you and all those who love old things amusement park-related. Though Scott's Coaster Closet has been on an extended hiatus, we're gearing up for an exciting 2011. Of course, there's plenty – both new and old – remaining in the depths of The Closet. In the meantime, here's a little teaser: can anybody I.D. this strangle little gem I came across during my travels ...




  11. The Blue Streak is rolling again. Great news! I was just there last week and saw first-hand the work that's being done on this historic ride. Along with the wonderful Lakeside Cyclone, this is the only remaining Ed Vettel coaster. It deserves to be operating and entertaining Conneaut guests (and drawing $$ to the region) as it did for so many seasons.


    Though the track is not being rebuilt to the exact Vettel specs, it will allow the ride to operate, which is the point. I've attached a few pics to illustrate the differences.


    I didn't get to ride the BS during my visit ** but did the Tumble Bug, Flying Scooter, Sky Diver, Tilt-a-Whirl, Tempest and train were all up and running well. It was great to see so many people queued up to purchase ride wristbands. Hopefully, the Blue Streak's rebirth will help return this classic park to its former glory. We've lost too many of these hallowed places; this one needs to be saved. I applaud the efforts of all those involved in making this happen.


    – Scott


    ** I have ridden Blue Streak many, many times. It is an amazing, intense ride. Back seat rides were among the most ... challenging in my riding experience. I hope to do it again in near future


    Original Blue Streak track


    Current rebuilt Blue Streak track

  12. My post/video of Carowinds' Hurler and its bottom-of-the-first-drop trims has prompted a similar discussion over at rec.roller-coaster. As I said there (and agreed with other posters), these trim brakes completely rob the minimal airtime both Hurlers once offered. Furthermore, the arrested velocity exacerbates the violent hunting the PTC trains have to endure. At least with more speed, the trains negotiated the problem areas faster. Now, they're just fighting their way around the course.


    It's sad that these ride's have come to this. I remember attending the media days for both coasters back in the day. Though the layout and profile is a bit less than imaginative, they were at least smooth, fast and somewhat entertaining. But today ... not so much.

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