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RailBlazer

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Everything posted by RailBlazer

  1. I don't mean to suggest it's a GCI "issue", but it's something that I only notice on their trains and don't on PTC trains for example. I think some parks know how to avoid the issue and some don't, for lack of a better way of putting it.
  2. I definitely think that the rough riding "flat wheels" thing on Prowler is related to maintenance. It's possible that is has something to do with the wheel bearings, but I'm not sure. I have felt the same thing on a few other GCI coasters too. I don't think I have ever felt it on the fairly few rides I've taken on American Thunder and same goes for some rides I had on Renegade a few years ago. I did notice a minor version of it on Mystic Timbers when I was there recently, but it was only on one of the rides I took. It's strange how it can be bad in some seats/cars and not in others, which is why some people have have crappy rides and others aren't bad. Prowler has had A LOT of trouble with this over the years, which is a shame as when it's running fast and smooth, it's such a good ride. As for Timber Wolf, most of the trouble with it has been due to track which was in need of replacement and/or a few other things. A significant amount of the ride was re-engineered by GCI and rebuilt and/or retracked starting before the 2015 season up until before this season. The park did some of the work I believe, at least on a short section this year. Overall, the ride is FAR smoother than it was for many years. I do not like to ride in the back seats of the cars, so I can't speak for how those seats feel, but it's way smoother than it was overall. They did skip over a few sections in the last half, mostly near the end of the ride, so those may get rough again. But the work GCI smoothed out the track to make it way more rider and maintenance friendly. It also is mostly a much tamer ride. Unfortunately, there are trim brakes in three spots, though they vary as to how hard they are on. One hill in particular still gives a lot of airtime, even with the brakes, so I do not see the brakes easing up until that hill changes. And the helix was removed, so there is less track to use up the energy.
  3. I think it's likely that some cars on one or both trains have wheels which are riding rougher than others. That said, both trains have been on during all of my visits.
  4. OK, so Prowler is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde roller coaster (I've had many rides like you describe and some really great ones too) and I am still trying to figure out exactly why and how it can change, in some cases very quickly. Here are some of my experiences on it this season and a bit from last. They did some re-tracking before last season and some the year before. After that work, the track was in good shape and I had some of the best rides I'd had on it in awhile, last season. The track overall has been in good shape this season too, other than a little spot near the end of the ride, I noticed last time I was there. This season, I've had mostly "square wheel" feeling rides on the few times I was out there this summer. Then I went to the park on a Friday night for Haunt maybe three or four weekends back and... WOW! Completely different ride! It was flying and smooth! The main difference that was obvious is the track had been freshly greased. It was so good and smooth, no square wheels that is and it was excellent! People were very enthusiastic that night when the trains were coming back in. I met a friend out there late Sunday before they closed, just two days later, expecting the ride to be at least good and it was back to square wheels and average. I was amazed how different it was and my friend was skeptical that it had been so good on Friday. I went again the following two Friday nights and had mostly the same experience with greased track and fast, but a minor amount of square wheels, mostly on the final turn into the brakes. My friend met me out there on the second Friday and experienced Prowler like it CAN run, but often doesn't. We rode several times that night. And the thing just seemed to get faster, especially after the turnaround and really flew into the brakes, which was so great and like it used to do when it was new. Friday nights during Haunt *might* be the time to give it a try as that has been the time to ride lately. Of course, it's hard to say if it will be like that each time. Another odd thing, was during Winterfest the three years we had it, the ride flew around the track and was smooth, at least in the seats I rode in. I do think sometimes the square wheel thing can be worse in some seats more than others. It doesn't seem like just greasing the track would make it change so drastically, but in my experience it has. The square wheel thing is something that GCI coasters do and PTC coaster don't. I've felt it a bit on a few other GCI rides. I so wish WOF could get this figured out and get it running like that all the time as it is a great ride when it runs like that.
  5. I'm curious when you started riding Prowler as it did develop the wheel issue you describe, but it mostly didn't start doing that until roughly five seasons in, give or take. I'll comment more on a later post.
  6. I have voted for the Golden Ticket Awards and have never been instructed to vote for any specific ride or park, etc. Contrary to popular belief here, that is not how the Golden Tickets work.
  7. They have already GCI'ed roughly seventy percent of Timber Wolf. The only parts of the ride which haven't been done are the hill after the new turn which replaced the helix (this hill still has a lot of airtime), the hill just before the mostly flat 180 degree turn, the 180 degree turn to the brakes. The worst part of the ride at the moment is the section that leads to the brakes after the right hand 90 degree turn. That section has been bouncing and jack-hammering really badly lately. The last I heard the work was to take two more seasons. As for Prowler, the valley in the turnaround is probably the worst spot and the two right hand turns shortly after that are probably needing some work too. I hope they will be working on those sections soon. I think one problem is they do accelerometer testing at least once a year, if not more, but the rides don't always perform the same all the time. The last hills on Timber Wolf were fine at the beginning of last season, but shortly after they were awful again. It's as if the structure and track were more solid early on, but as the train and the heat worked on it, it softened up and it was bad again. So if they tested it early, they wouldn't have the readings from the rougher rides. Prowler got IPE wood on the outside of the first drop this year and I think the turns in the back would benefit from that wood as well.
  8. Just curious if this was just a joke or you didn't think Prowler had a major malfunction.
  9. Prowler's roughness has been very strange in that it can be rough in one seat or maybe row and then not so in another. It often seems to be related to the trains, more than the track. And I am not really sure what the issue is that can cause it to feel the way it can feel. It feels like there are flat spots on the wheels or like the wheels aren't spinning freely, maybe an issue with wheel bearings? And it seems like the roughness can vary from somewhat mild to really unpleasant. This is something I only feel on GCI trains and not on PTC trains. I recently rode Invadr at Busch Gardens and noticed a mild version of the same type of train roughness or flat spots on the wheels feeling that Prowler has. Invadr is still new, so it's definitely not track related. I believe they are using parts of trains from Gwazi, so that might explain why the trains don't feel like GCI's do when they are new. I have not felt this odd feeling on American Thunder at SFStL or Mystic Timbers. I first felt it on Thunderhead several years ago, but the ride was down when I was there recently, so I didn't get a chance to see how it feels now. I did get a ride on Prowler in late Sunday and noticed two turns on the back end had some minor track work done that also helped to smooth them out a bit as they had been getting pretty ragged recently. It's also worth mentioning that we all ride these coasters on different days, different times of day, in different rows, etc. Many coasters don't give the same ride every day and Prowler is a good example. I've had really unpleasant rides on it this year, some slow rides (yesterday was very slow middle of the ride to the end without a full train), but I have also had some really great rides that were mostly smooth and very fast. Sometimes when the track is freshly greased or oiled, the trains seems to run more smoothly and fast. I think many of us have different experiences on coasters due to several factors, so keep this in mind when you see other reports that don't match with your experiences.
  10. And just to clarify, I was referring to the original version of Texas Giant when I mentioned the incident, but the new one has a brake run pretty similar to the original I believe.
  11. I am just stating observations I've made after nearly forty years of riding roller coasters and seeing things that didn't always work out for one reason or another. I don't claim be an engineer or to know more than engineers, but sometimes my guesses play out as I suspected. One of the most obvious mistakes I have seen and knew it wouldn't work was on Viper at Magic Mountain. I saw photos of the ride being built and the 180 degree turn after the first loop only had vertical supports. It looked really nice, but I knew from looking at it, it wasn't going to be enough. And it wasn't as they added a lot of extra support to that turn after the ride had been running for awhile. As for Steel Vengeance, the brake run looks pretty tight from what I have seen online and will hopefully see in person in a few days. I would guess they are wishing they had a little more room to work with.
  12. I thought the brake run to the station looked awfully short/tight to have all three trains on and give them some breathing room. I've wondered if extending the brake run a bit might happen down the road/during the off season if they feel the need for it. Timber Wolf's accident wasn't because it had a short brake run. A train stopped in the first set of brakes and wouldn't move. The lift didn't stop the second train from going over the lift, so there was nothing to stop the train after it left the chain. One coaster that had a minor collision early in its life was Texas Giant. It was raining when it happened and the train slid in the brakes a bit and hit the train in front of it. The odd thing about the brakes to the station on that ride was there was a big gap between the second train stopping point and the station, but very little room between the second train and the third train coming in behind it. After the incident, they moved the brakes forward for the second train (why it wasn't designed that way makes no sense) and added more brakes for the third train and even one in the valley before the brakes, to make sure the train would stop. Knowing about this made me wonder about the Steel Vengeance brake run.
  13. And that is basically my point. How comfortable can they do three train operation? Those blocks look pretty short or tight. I would think the drive tires were there to help expedite the trains moving forward to keep things moving quickly. Now that those are gone, it appears things will move more slowly. Realistically, I think the brake run needs to be longer to make it completely "comfortable". .
  14. As I see the before and after video of the brake run changes and other POV footage, I am wondering if the brake run is long enough for three train operation if the trains have to stop completely in the first brake. If that train hasn't cleared that brake before another gets to the mid-course brake, the mid-course would have to stop the train there. I guess they can slow the chain to remedy this to some extent, but that brake run looks pretty short. And what if all three trains have to be at the station at the same time?
  15. And this is a big problem, as some people are getting good rides on Prowler and some are getting bad rides. It seems that certain seats or rows or cars are having problems that cause a rough ride, but it's hard to say exactly what is causing it. I have tried bringing it to the park's attention for the last several years, but the roughness continues to happen. I have seen a growing number of comments about Prowler being rough and people not wanting to ride it, after getting some pretty awful rides and the roughness tends to fluctuate in severity. And I have experienced really good rides and really bad rides, so I know for a fact that this is happening. I've had some friends have the same experience as well. I had a bad ride in the next to the last car on one train recently, so I tried the same row in the other train. The other train in that row was totally fine. So that pretty much shows the issue is train related, as there was hardly anything on that second ride worth commenting on in regards to the track. I hope a cause and solution are found sooner than later.
  16. It appears they are only replacing the helix and not retracking the rest of the ride after that. You can see where the new track meets the old track on the small hill after the old helix. I am surprised they aren't finishing the ride as there are a few areas late in the ride that need some love, especially the last few hills before the brakes. Maybe they will do the rest of the ride next year? We shall see.
  17. All of the track from the top of the first drop to just before the helix was replaced in 2015 and 2016. The ride was also re-engineered, so it is much smoother, but also much tamer.
  18. I believe the park was wanting to get GCI trains for Timber Wolf at one point, if the money was available, but I don't know where that stands now. The restoration work also included re-engineering the ride to help make it more rider and maintenance friendly. The sections of track that were already replaced (first drop to just before the helix) are very different from what the original ride was like. The ride now is MUCH tamer, has considerably less airtime and eases into the turns, so it is definitely causing a lot less wear and tear than it did in its original state.
  19. GCI has been giving Timber Wolf a similar overhaul to GhostRider, but the work was to be spread over three or four seasons. The work to be done last off season, didn't happen, but with the helix now missing, it appears they are continuing with the project.
  20. Why do you say that? There still may be another one of these popping up elsewhere too. Cedar Fair has applied for trademark for Railblazer, so I'd bet one of their parks will be getting one of these as well.
  21. That is a ridiculously small amount of ice cream! I forwarded this to Worlds of Fun through facebook messenger and they thanked me for letting them know. Maybe you can contact someone and get another ice cream for free?
  22. I believe the plan was to keep the trim brakes on at least until the helix is redone. The last stretch of the ride, as it heads towards the brakes, is also in need of some work. Those last few valleys have some bouncing that is pretty off putting and I hope that is taken care of soon as well.
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