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The Intamin Woodie difference (pics)


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Well after my trip to SFGtAd last weekend and riding and seeing El Toro, I was very impressed by the ride but also Intamins approach to a wood design that has been working for well over 75 years. For thoses that have been on the others (Balder and Colossos) please add any differences these have over El Toro as far as design goes.

 

El Toro was just massive and runs right through the midway and Que line so one would imagine this coaster would be loud as hell going 65+ mph a few feet from you, Its Not!, it was actually just as quiet as a steel coaster.

 

Differences:

 

1. Polyurethane (sp?) wheels as opposed to all steel wheels. Judging by the sound the coaster makes going over the airtime hills, it seems like only the road wheels are poly. (check the attached video)

 

2. prefab. track seems very odd to me but it works (great)

 

3. No crossties! the first time I saw Colossos I could not believe it takes that diving turn with no crossties keeping the track gauge together (if you notice on each bent there are steel braces that keep the track gauge together.) but still it seems like the parts that have alot of lateral stress should have them.

 

4. Track design- approx. 15 layers stacked Vertically (compressed) then about 7 layers Horizontally for the upstop overhang.

 

If anybody has anything else to add about these rides please do, but I found El Toro just amazing as far as ride quality and durability (most noticably the structure barely moves)

 

I have heard that the first 2 prefab. woodies are still very smooth (opinions?) so it seems that the wheels make a big difference as far as wear and tear go.

 

If anybody has any other technical observations or pics of track cutout or trains please post them.

 

I just thought the design was fascinating and seems to be a great quality product that requires alot less maintenance and a far smoother ride than a traditional wood coaster.

But is it only a wood coaster by technical definition?

 

(If a mod could make the video streaming, it would be much appreciated)

 

JEFF

ETsound.zip

Raw video clip of El Toro cresting hills. Notice the difference in sound when the upstop wheels are in control.

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Polyurethane Road wheels

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no crossties!- notice the steel braces holding the track gauge in place on the bents

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underside of track. showing about 15 layers stacked vertically

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prefab. joint. riding it you cannot notice this

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Balder was incredibly smooth, smoother than most steel coasters I have ridden when I rode it last year. I was also surprised that the structure hardly moved at all. When it comes to ride experience, its definately a good ride, but I found it a bit too predictable. You pretty much know what each element is going to feel like before you hit it and every hill and turn is pretty much the same. Each element is also taken very smoothly, so you dont get any quick changes in G-forces. I can definately understand that many people love it for its airtime, headchoppers and comfort level, but for some people like me, its just not wild enough.

 

I would love to try El Toro though, because some parts, like the first drop and the RT hill looks far more extreme than Balder. It also has a much larger variety of elements.

 

 

Yngve "Give me Thundercoaster and some rain and I'll be happy" Oestbye

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Because the track is laser cut in a factory, it's far more mathematically precise than any human can produce with their own two hands, which is why the coasters have a smoothness to them unlike any other wooden coaster. When the coaster is produced, it is shipped to the park in pieces and the park put the ride together like a piece of IKEA furniture.

 

The reason that some purists don't consider it a "true" wooden coaster is the way that the ride is manufactured, as the methods used for the Intamin pre-fabs are more like those used to build steel coasters.

 

As far as I'm concerned, it's a coaster by the material used to build it, not the manufacture process. Balder is built from wood, therefore it's a wooden coaster.

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All credits should go to Werner Stengel in this case.

He invented and patented everything.

 

Two more things you haven't noticed:

 

1) The Stengel team always tries to use as much wood as possible. Even if a simple steel I-beam could be used, they'll rather use wood.

 

2) No support touches the footer / earth.

There's a gap of a few inches so water and little plants & fungi cannot get hold of the wood.

 

A photo showing both:

 

http://p2.rcdb.com/picmax/six-flags-great-adventure/el-toro30.jpg

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2) No support touches the footer / earth.

There's a gap of a few inches so water and little plants & fungi cannot get hold of the wood.

 

Stengel is def. the man when it comes to comes to coaster design. He was awarded an honorary PhD for his work.

 

I'm not sure how that gap would keep fungi off. Fungi seem to end up everywhere, as the spores travel through the air.

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What about the trains? It looks like theres no more bash bar divider...individual seating now which looks better and I'm sure it feels better too!

 

Balder's trains are very comfortable--single seating beats the hell out bench seats with butt-vise seat dividers. El Toro's look the same,

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Miraculously, I got a picture of the El Toro train without being hauled out of the park by security or forced to delete the picture like I was at other times throughout the day. Hopefully this answers anyone's question(s) about the seating situation... couldn't tell if there was a question back there or what.

 

Not sure about Balder's seats, but I was surprised these were hard plastic with no padding. Before riding I was a little worried given the obvious forces this coaster has. I was afraid it would be painful, but overall we didn't have any discomfort when all was said and done, mainly due to the fact that the ride was so smooth.

135295448_CAM_0017copy.jpg.9f4b7fa2f0052bd3f2d4997654f3955b.jpg

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I got a picture of the El Toro train without being hauled out of the park by security or forced to delete the picture like I was at other times throughout the day.

 

Geez. And SF wonders why they're halfway to bankruptcy. Is this some kind of posted policy at Great Adventure? I haven't been there in 10 years.

 

I can't understand why they would give a crap about taking pictures of the trains.

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I think it's situational. Other people have reported being harassed for taking pictures of just about anything in the park. Obviously it's not *really* prohibited or they wouldn't sell cameras in the park.

 

Just one of those annoying things about this place... but that discussion is for another thread.

 

The design of El Toro rocks, pictures or no pictures.

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How exactly is "pre-fab" track different from normal woodie track? Do they make and bend it before hand and ship it in as opposed to making and bending the track on site? And if so, why does that make it so much smoother? Is it becuase the computer is so much more precise as said earlier? Ive always wondered exactly how intamin pre-fab track worked, thanks for the find PKDcoaster.

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I think it's situational. Other people have reported being harassed for taking pictures of just about anything in the park. Obviously it's not *really* prohibited or they wouldn't sell cameras in the park.

 

Just one of those annoying things about this place... but that discussion is for another thread.

 

The design of El Toro rocks, pictures or no pictures.

 

Wow, when I was taking pictures inside the station of El Toro, they never said anything to me, even the Ride Operator asked me where I got my camera from.

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All credits should go to Werner Stengel in this case.

He invented and patented everything.

 

Two more things you haven't noticed:

 

1) The Stengel team always tries to use as much wood as possible. Even if a simple steel I-beam could be used, they'll rather use wood.

 

2) No support touches the footer / earth.

There's a gap of a few inches so water and little plants & fungi cannot get hold of the wood.

 

Wow very cool, I did not even notice that, I did not have any pics of this but my buddy Chris took a great shot of it (by mistake )

 

Thanks for everybody's input, it seems the only thing these woodies have in common with trad. woodies is wood.

 

Also does anybody know what type of wood is used? (doesn't seem like south. yellow pine)

 

JEFF

ETfooter.jpg.24a58aae194a2e3c0acc796e2e047989.jpg

photo credit: Mforce79

Notice how the wood is raised off the footer

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I think it's situational. Other people have reported being harassed for taking pictures of just about anything in the park. Obviously it's not *really* prohibited or they wouldn't sell cameras in the park.

 

Just one of those annoying things about this place... but that discussion is for another thread.

 

The design of El Toro rocks, pictures or no pictures.

 

If this is a topic for another thred. Could you put up a link? I'm just curious because I have tons of video inside and around the station with all the ride ops waving and stuff. No one ever even batted an eye. Even when I taped the ops walking the GP down the lift hill cause the cable stopped.

 

The fact that you got asked to delete pictures on a still camera boggles my mind.

 

Oh, Intimin should go back to chain lifts. The biggest reason for El T's downtime is due to the lift malfunctioning.

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Ive always wondered exactly how intamin pre-fab track worked, thanks for the find PKDcoaster.

 

I'll give it a try.

 

The track of a normal wooden coaster consists of layers of regular planks nailed in place on-site. This takes quite some time, is often very dangerous and/or difficult and you can't really guarantee 100% quality, stability, safety and ofcourse smoothness.

 

With a prefabricated Stengel track, the track segments are laser-cut beams/blocks of "Laminated Veneer Lumber", who are then fitted with a running strip (or whatever you want to call the steel layer where the wheels actually touch the track), steel connectors at both ends and all the other nuts and bolts needed.

 

The only thing left for the construction team on-site is to take those pieces and put them in place. The connectors make sure all segments correctly fit to each other and to the supports. Hence the nick name "plug'n'play".

 

The result:

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