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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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I’m so ready for these totally arbitrary and nonsensical covid rules to be over.  So a waterpark with no masks was fine all summer but they can’t run a coaster Or a Scrambler with a bunch of empt

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Someone at Six Flags must really like the look of the red track. I don't think it looks bad, but it's funny to me how this is a 100% wooden coaster but to most people it'll be virtually indistinguishable from NTG-style track, which is steel. Kind of complicates the whole wood vs. hybrid vs. steel debate.

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Someone at Six Flags must really like the look of the red track. I don't think it looks bad, but it's funny to me how this is a 100% wooden coaster but to most people it'll be virtually indistinguishable from NTG-style track, which is steel. Kind of complicates the whole wood vs. hybrid vs. steel debate.

 

I believe the red is some sort of tape/tarp that's on the track. If you look at the rest of the topper track, it is the normal grey/brown.

 

I may be wrong, but it's just my guess. They could be painting it red for all I know.

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The animated pictures and videos show an orange-red track. I remember asking myself when I first saw the POV the morning it was released if it was a hybrid because of the color. Personally I don't mind but I wish Six Flags would switch it up a bit.

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^But then in that picture the colour of the track (kind of orange with a brown touch) doesn't really contrast with the wood structure and looks more natural unlike the nearly red track in the real picture.

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Hi All -

 

I just got back from SFGAm -- TPR and Six Flags were kind enough to let us stomp around the construction site for a while, take pictures, and answer a lot of questions. I'll attach a few pictures here, but first wanted to capture what I remember about the questions we asked:

 

* The track is four layers of wood (instead of the usual six) and the orange part is 2 layers of steel

* The wheels on this ride will be polyurethane, where Outlaw Runs are steel. This isn't because of noise, it's because of speed and the particulars of the ride

* The structure should be complete by April

* RMC is handling construction with a lot of the same people who built Outlaw Run, plus some locals

* There will be two trains, one with red and one with orange fiberglass seats

* No verdict on seat belts - for now there aren't any - just the lap bars with the ankle holders (horseshoe shaped). RMC is building the trains

* Trains are not on-site yet

* The station is going to be Roman themed, white columns. There's a really cool looking entry arch as well.

* No opening date yet, they're aiming for memorial day

* There are big circular discs attached to the footers. A metal ring mates to that and includes some arms that are vertical. The bents are attached to that (so the structure, in a sense, is bolted wholesale into the ground. Wood doesn't actually get embedded in the footers)

* WGN news was there and a bunch of us taped a segment with them that will appear on the WGN morning news next Monday at 9

* It was awesome

* The ride is in a VERY compact footprint (not much bigger than Iron Wolf was) -- given its height, the turns are going to be tight and very very intense.

* Being in an empty theme park in winter with lots of snow on the ground is very unusual

 

Thanks, Robb, TPR, Brandon, Katy, and Six Flags for the opportunity. It was spectacular.

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Here we are walking backstage after meeting Brandon and Katy in the SF offices

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The group, both cold and awe-stricken, watch workers on the structure at the turnaround.

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Here's the (very deep, very scary) tunnel, and behind it the two super-airtime-bunny-hills-of-crazy. Bunnies beware.

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Here's the turnaround from the show stadium. The show today wasn't as good as normal, I admit. Since all the footers are already down, the excavator is presumably looking for Jimmy Hoffa.

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There's going to be a steep drop from the station. I love it when rides do this.

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Here you can see the big concrete slab where the lift motor will go, and the lift hill will be going away from where we are. On the right, the return bunny hills. The track on the left is the return into the station (at a pretty steep angle)

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(Scroll up for even more photos!)

 

Some more pictures from this morning..

 

First the very necessary thanks to Six Flags, Brandon, and TPR for the opportunity to cover the ride during construction. There is still a lot of work to do, but it is already seriously impressive. Now remember that I'm an old man, and I don't like anything - but Goliath genuinely looks like it's shaping up to be awesome; a definite several-changes-of-underpants ride. Really appreciative of the enormous amounts of time that Brandon and Six Flags have given to us to follow construction. Everyone involved is clearly very excited about this, and with good reason.

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It was cold! Now to be honest, the cold doesn't bother me too much, but my phone wasn't having any of it! The poor thing shut down several times while we were walking around, and I ended up using hand-warmers in my pockets to keep the phone warm - sacrificing my fingers in the process (you don't want to know what I'm using to type..)

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Our group of weary travelers..

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And here we go .. I know it's stupid, but there's something oddly cool about being lead past "Keep Out" and/or "Employee Only" signs.

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This large space in the structure allows for the "service road" to pass beneath the ride. The service road is necessary so that trucks, vans and emergency vehicles can access different areas of the park.

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Now these are real men! Seriously, the RMC guys are out in 0-degree temperatures all day - kudos to them! I'll be inside, by the fire, with some sweet pink alcoholic beverage (with a little umbrella, of course :) ).

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Close up of one of the construction guys. It's a little difficult to see in the pic, but he's outfit in climbing gear.

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Brandon **assures** me that the snow will be removed from the tracks before running trains.

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You can really see the profile of a lovely hill there. We're are all going to be screaming over that!

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The "bents" are mostly constructed on the ground, and then lifted into place to be bolted up to the ride. It's such a manual process, but RMC is really kicking ass.

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It's an odd feeling seeing this ride - it is at the same time a pretty small foot-print, but also an imposing structure .. and it's not even finished yet!

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Bulldozers are cool.

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When we arrived, this bulldozer was smashing against the (frozen) ground - probably trying to loosen it up a bit. Brandon wasn't sure exactly what is being dug out there, possibly utilities or other mechanical components.

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One cannot under-estimate the size of the tunnel .. it's actually more like a cavern. It's huge!

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What is probably one of several little work stations for trimming and shaping wood.

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Work hasn't progressed too far on the station, but the renderings show how great it will look once complete. Only the framing will be kept from the old station, other than that it's going to get extensively remodeled.

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Tromping through the snow!

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Marcus Leshock from WGN came by to talk to us .. he was mildly interested in Goliath, but really just wanted to say "hi".... Joking aside, Marcus is a big-time coaster enthusiast, and is also staggeringly excited about this ride. (He's current number 1 is Outlaw Run).

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A random salt truck.

Edited by robbalvey
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The existing station has already been expanded and is going to be refaced and remodeled. It won't look like the old station when they're done with it.

you say the station has already been expanded. Any pictures of it?

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I don't see any pictures/ angles different than what I took but as soon as my camera thaws out I'll take a look.

I would certainly echo what others have said.....The footprint of this ride is very compact but with all the promised elements it should be a very " busy " ride, in a good way.

 

Just watching the workers, it looks like RMC really has this process down. Seems like a well thought out process of building sections on a platform on the ground and then hoisting and bolting them into place. As an example, this is so much different than what I saw when Boss was being built at SFStL a bunch years ago.

 

As an older guy ( if you call 57 old) , wood coaster technology seems to be changing as rapidly as everything else. Thinking back to my first carnival ride coaster in the 60's , to bigger coasters with buzz bars, to my first ride on the Beast, to Hades, The Voyage and Outlaw Run, it's been quite the progression. Can't wait to see what Goliath brings us,

 

More after I look at the pics I took.

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Had a great time at the Goliath construction tour today. Thanks to Robb/TPR and Six Flags Great America for making it happen. What an awesome privilege! I got a few shots (other than Goliath) that we don't normally see, so I'm posting them too.

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As I was pulling into the employee lot, I could smell fresh cut wood (in my closed and warm car!)

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Building a cathedral of bents; these 2 were very close together.

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Snow whizzing (as in Whizzer) past.

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Former Z-Force and Iron Wolf station. I have a feeling this will be home to Goliath for a long time. The station will be elongated to accomodate the longer trains.

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Hinges where track will be fastened. (As a big Anton Schwarzkopf fan... these hinges remind me of Anton's coasters!)

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You can keep your coaster nerd card if you like this...

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and this.

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We took a quick shortcut through the maintenance building, twice. The first time, people got pictures of various cool things. The second time, we were asked to move quickly as to not disturb the guys working. I got these pictures the first time through.

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Sentimental favorite for me! But black train is the best...

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I'm so happy Great America has spent the time and money to take care of many classic rides so we can enjoy them for a long time.

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Eagle and deep snow.

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There were aerial pictures of the park along the office hallways, seemingly from every year. I figured some folks would like to see this view of Shockwave. Who misses it? I do!

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And one of Tidal Wave. Great America had two "wave" coasters before another park had to "streak" coasters. hmmmm.... If you look near the front spike, you can see the Yukon Yahoo - an Anton Bayern Kurve.

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Someone was playing in the snow.

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Can't wait.

 

But I have a question about the polyurethane wheels, what's the difference those and steel wheels? Do they add to the speed or what?

 

BTW, that floater hill looks fantastic.

Edited by sfgam#1
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Great reports, guys! Loving all the coverage you've given the tour and all the reports are slightly different, even though you guys were all in the same place!

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* The track is four layers of wood (instead of the usual six) and the orange part is 2 layers of steel

 

I was confused by that as well; I'm thinking Brandon may have been mistaken on a couple finer points of the track. The wood stack is 6 high; on top of that is the steel "box track*" (where a traditional woodie would have the top 2 layers of wood). All this is reinforced with clamps from the top steel layer to the track ties. On top of that coaster track sandwich sits a wide steel rail where the coaster wheels roll. I heard this top steel rail will be painted orange (or has that been confused with an orange tarp? I think someone from the park said that rail will be orange.)

 

*This box track is filled with a composite material. Check out the RMC site: http://www.rockymtnconstruction.com/

 

You can see the detail in this now "classic" shot of Outlaw Run (before the top steel running rail was added):

(note the "Anton-like" hinges!)

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