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Orphan Rocker Coaster at Scenic World


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I'm interested in this coaster since reading about it a few years ago.

 

http://www.roller-coaster.com.au/gallery.php?gid=11

 

This must be the most worked on coaster since it was started on 20 years ago.

 

Has anyone heard if this coaster will open soon or will it just be an internal project, which the public will not be able to ride?

 

Its best features are 30 degree tilting cars and a fly-by on a 700ft drop cliff.

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  • 6 years later...
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So firstly I am really sorry for reactivating an old thread but I found this one by doing a search an I didn't want to create a new one.

 

So this weekend I was at Scenic World. I wanted to revisit after the upgrade to the Scenic Railway. Anyway it always hurts to see the coaster not in use as you enter the property. I asked a staff member if they had any info on what happened. He advised me to talk to the guy operating the Skyway as it was his family who owned Scenic World. As luck would have it when we queued for the Skyway I was literally the first person at the gate and asked the attendant about the coaster. I asked specifically what happened the coaster and if all the rumours are true.

 

He laughed and said unfortunately the coasters story was not as colourful and was actually a little sad. He said that his grandfather was having a midlife crisis and instead of buying a car he decided to spend 10 million dollars (in the 1980's) on building this coaster. The family did not agree this was right for Scenic World.

 

When the coaster was finished it had some teething problems. Unfortunately the grandfather got ill before the coaster was fixed and the family took over the operations. They did not believe in the coaster and instead wanted to invest the money in repairing and improving the current rides in operation (the two cable cars and the scenic railway(steepest railway in the world)). The Railway has just now reopened after a $34 million upgrade.

 

He had to walk away to help other staff but I tried to shout after him to ask him if they had any plans on reopening it. He didn't hear me or maybe he chose to ignore me but the other staff member beside him heard everything and as I was boarding the cable car he said that it may reopen in 2017 now that the other improvements have been completed!

 

Fingers crossed this is true.

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Hmm--based on what I saw in 2011, I'm putting this in the "I'll believe it when I see it" category.

43.thumb.jpg.c0884cf08d4a135991d3e57ce837c93f.jpg

Getting this ride back in operation is going to be very difficult, not to mention expensive.

42.jpg.d9f04da9a5da8e80bb8a8b69e291d78b.jpg

Here's the train, tucked away in its barn.

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Wow $10 million in eighties money is helluva price for a mid-life crisis. I'm sure they enjoy this lawn ornament driving coaster nerds nuts. Would TPR have gone to Scenic World if there wasn't the Rocker to gawk at (though it is of value as a tourist destination), would it have attracted attention?

 

There's enough urban legends about this coaster to fill a year's worth of National Enquirer editions. There's some quite amusing reading on parkz about this. Even some who claims to have a ride on this when they were testing it.

 

I'm surprised they spent $34 million on upgrading the scenic railway, do they run a drug cartel on the side to fund this?

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Apparently it actually was functional a long time ago and they did ~500 circuits some with people on it according to this article.

Link

Where did it say "some with people", I didn't see that anywhere. Maybe I missed it?

 

I didn't see any mention of people riding those "500 circuits," either.

Edited by cfc
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From the last paragraph

The urban myth that David has passed on to you, is not correct of course, we have successfully completed about 500 circuits, in between many rebuilds of both track equipment and train parts.

 

I guess I got confused with the thing saying people rode it, I found that elsewhere

 

Here's a newspaper article from 1985 with a picture of people on it and the owner saying that all it needs is fine tuning of electronics and it will be open in the next few weeks.

1390438107_orphanrockerarticle.png.eb9aed709ed0dddd7b613ae6776c7aee.png

Article

Link

 

Also, here's another picture of people riding it.

Link

 

And here's where it said that it was ridden

The parks owner built the ride exclusively for his daughters, it was perfectly safe & they grew up riding it. Staff get to ride it whenever they want...

Link

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I've been fascinated by this one too. To me, the problem seems to be with the whole pivoting idea, but in that case why didn't they just commission cars that didn't pivot? As for the family members not really liking it, like it or not with as far as the project got, it couldn't have been THAT much more to complete it and get some sort of return on investment.

 

When everything went south, whatever it was, I don't get why they didn't hire someone like Vekoma or Arrow to come in and do something to try to salvage it. Even if they spent a little bit on consulting work, tossing away a $10 million investment (which with inflation is worth nearly $20 million) just seems really weird.

 

I feel like there is much more to the story, and I really do wish it was known. I think it would be a really neat way to see the scenery of a place like that, and honestly it seems to fit right in with the environment around it.

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I would take all these articles with a grain of salt. What source is it from? What publication was it in? I'm sure no one was fabricating anything in those articles at all to make it look like the ride was safe and almost ready to go - that's why it's running today. This is Australia after all; the country where Rupert Murdoch is from - who gave us Fox News (the most fair and balanced news reporting ever). Just sayin'!

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Plus isn't this picture:

 

 

Just the transfer area?

Yup. It absolutely is. I stood right there when I took this picture:

 

I don't believe that ride ever ran with people. I think all of those photos were fabricated for the press to make it *look* like people had ridden it and it was "safe."

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When everything went south, whatever it was, I don't get why they didn't hire someone like Vekoma or Arrow to come in and do something to try to salvage it. Even if they spent a little bit on consulting work, tossing away a $10 million investment (which with inflation is worth nearly $20 million) just seems really weird.

 

It not weird, that's how business works. Sometimes a project just reaches a stage where the owners/investors realize they made a mistake and they cut their losses.

 

Stupid business people keep investing in loser projects, successful people know when to get out. Similar to poker, you might have a very good hand, and know matter how much you have in the pot, you are not going to beat the straight flush the other guy is holding.

 

Why doesn't someone buy all the stalled hotel/retail projects in Vegas invest millions more and finish them?

Freestyle Park picked up HRP on the cheap and couldn't make it work. Why didn't someone pick up Freestyle Park on the cheap invest millions more and make it work?

Suppose your 16 year car breaks down. You paid $5,000 for it 8 years ago. It's only going to cost $3,000 to fix it. Do you fix it?

 

Some projects are just lost causes.

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He had to walk away to help other staff but I tried to shout after him to ask him if they had any plans on reopening it. He didn't hear me or maybe he chose to ignore me but the other staff member beside him heard everything and as I was boarding the cable car he said that it may reopen in 2017 after they Rocky Mountain it.

Fingers crossed this is true.

 

Edited for truth.

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That news article seems weird. Remote control? Is that just bad journalism or some weird system that they once had planned for this thing?

Also I had to laugh at "terrifying 12 metres per second", considering that's equal to 43kph (27mph).

 

 

They would 2 in their pants riding Road Runner Rollercoaster (It goes 28 btw) and that is publicity that not even Merlin would stoop too (I hope.)

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Sadly I'm old enough to remember that Just for the Record TV show mentioned in that LINK , and how it was played up as being 'The Scariest Rollercoaster in the World'.

While I doubt there's any footage of the show around today, I remember it showed its host, Gary Who, supposedly 'riding' the thing and hamming up a terrified face, but only showed him in the train moving along about 10 feet or so of track. They were shots which could have been set up just near the dock that Robb posted above, ensuring they never framed a context for where the section of 'operating' track was.

 

My point is, that I also doubt anyone's ever done successful 'laps' on the Orphan Rocker as implied by some of the above articles.

And from what I've read, my impression was it was never intended to be a high speed thrill ride, more like a powered coaster/motorized train running just a modest speed, but in a very scenic (and maybe precarious) setting.

 

Of course, after catching that mid-80's footage it inspired me to eventually make my way there and in 1988 I visited, only to find it in almost the same state of unfinished neglect as it is today! Just like everyone that's ever visited, I asked about it and was told one of their variable stories explaining why its not open, but 'may be soon'...25 years later, yeah right.

 

They would have made a better return by charging money for these stories!

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Yeah, so it definitley won't be opening any time soon. They have recently rebuilt the scenic railway that takes you down to the valley floor.

But check out the awesome kludge they did where one of the new railway supports intersected with the track:

orphansmall.jpg.ce3ea117f832d9f05c8fa56e3b23a324.jpg

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