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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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^I understand you point about SOB, but now with new techniques they are able to produce inversions with wooden tracks. In Hades 360, the steel is just for the trains to ride on, they added it after they had already shaped the wood to make the inversion.

800406470_NPNHADES360(8).thumb.JPG.ea99c101e9dd6c8ce0da67c5fbf253ac.JPG

Picture from New Plus Notes

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Is the wood essential in supporting the steel, like a traditions wooden coaster, or could the steel alone, is what I'm asking.

This is the whole question, and I'm glad I'm finally not the only person asking it. The steel is attached to the wood, so of course the steel "needs" the wood to be there. But ask yourself this. Common sense says inversions are only possible with steel track. It's the steel that makes topper track able to perform inversions. Therefor...

Hades 360 only uses a larger running plate so it is not the steel that allows inversions, plus they still have to be able to get the wood to twist enough to allow for the inversion.

Are inversions the elements that demand the most twisting from the track? There are many traditional wooden rides with very twisty bits, which sometimes probably twist the wood more than many inversions.

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^Could you perform inversions with traditional coaster track? No? Of course it's the steel that allows for inversions. Did you happen to notice what SOB's loop looked like?

 

Waht I'm saying is this: if you were to remove the wood stacks below the steel on either Outlaw Run or Goliath, would the steel itself be enough to support the coaster and the stress of the train, or does the wood play a large enough role in the structure that it is necessary? The steal used on these coasters is obviously different that that used in SOB's loop, and seems thinner. Yes, it is much larger than the thin strip used on traditional wooden coasters, but is it enough to completely support the coaster, meaning it is a steal coaster track that has a few layers of wood below it, or a wooden coaster with thicker steal?

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^No, it's not enough, the wood is crucial. If it weren't like that then the I-box track wouldn't need to be so large.

395096_10151285414613566_1614260270_n.jpg.eae20ad4abc6f70b37bdcbe0a986768d.jpg

Here the difference is clear: the layers of wood do what the bottom part of the I-box does, therefore being needed.

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^Awesome pic- thanks. That clears it up, I think Goliath and Outlaw Run are wooden coasters, based on that. I don't see how some are saying Goliath can't be wooden because it has a dive loop and steel lift supports, yet are saying Outlaw Run is a woodie with barrel rolls and the Voyage is with 100% steel supports.

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^Awesome pic- thanks. That clears it up, I think Goliath and Outlaw Run are wooden coasters, based on that. I don't see how some are saying Goliath can't be wooden because it has a dive loop and steel lift supports, yet are saying Outlaw Run is a woodie with barrel rolls and the Voyage is with 100% steel supports.

 

Why am I responding to this? Because I'm stupid, that's why.

 

First off, nobody is saying the lift structure has anything to do with what this coaster should be classified as. Nobody. Nobody. Please, for the love of god, could everybody get that thought out of their brains. You are arguing against somebody who doesn't exist. Yes, the lift structure sparked the discussion, but only because some people, myself included, were disappointed that it wasn't going to be more traditional-looking. NOT because it's suddenly a steel coaster because of the supports. My god, PLEASE could nobody say this again. The supports have nothing to do with it. The track is the issue.

 

Second off, the only difference between Goliath and Outlaw Run is that Outlaw Run has steel wheels. This has long been one of the differences between steel coasters (polyurethane wheels) and wooden (steel wheels). Yes, this line has been blurred before. No, never in conjunction with topper track.

 

Third off, I'm getting really tired of repeating myself.

 

Fourth off, there's still a question here that hasn't been answered. That picture beautifully illustrates the difference between Ibox and topper track. But as you can see, the actual running surface looks, and is shaped, exactly the same. Why would they ride any different? What is the point of topper track exactly? Does it "shake" more? Why is that desirable? The track on wooden coasters has a certain feel basically due to its "imperfections". Even the track on El Toro has warped over time, giving it a more distinctly "wooden" feel. Clearly you'll never have that here, since that big steel beam isn't going anywhere. That's part of the point of it. Sooooo... why not just use ibox track?

 

^I understand you point about SOB, but now with new techniques they are able to produce inversions with wooden tracks. In Hades 360, the steel is just for the trains to ride on, they added it after they had already shaped the wood to make the inversion.

 

Ok, but then why did they widen the running plate? If it's to help strengthen the track and endure the stress of the trains, then it is the steel making the inversion possible, isn't it? It isn't just the wood, or else they could have used 100% traditional track. And it isn't completely traditional, you can see on the POVs where one type of track ends and the other begins. I don't believe we've ever seen an inversion with 100% traditional track. Which means my original point would still stand. With RMC, you're talking coasters that invert, because of the steel involved. And are smoother, and will stay smooth forever, because of the steel involved. *cough* steel coaster *cough*

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^ No the Timberliners made the inversion possible. They had to use a thinner layers of wood to twist the wooden track to make the inversion happen. Since they had to use thinner layers of wood, and they were going upside down, they decided to go with the thicker steel to ensure everything was very strong and safe. It was more of a precaution than a necessity.

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I don't see how some are saying Goliath can't be wooden because it has a dive loop and steel lift supports, yet are saying Outlaw Run is a woodie

 

They are saying that because they are following what Alan Schilke said, that he consider the steel wheels to be what makes it a wooden coaster.

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^ No the Timberliners made the inversion possible. They had to use a thinner layers of wood to twist the wooden track to make the inversion happen. Since they had to use thinner layers of wood, and they were going upside down, they decided to go with the thicker steel to ensure everything was very strong and safe. It was more of a precaution than a necessity.

 

Ok, but it is to help strengthen the track, which is exactly what I said, so you're pretty much proving my point. Look this is really splitting hairs, and anyway the conversation is about RMC. I'm still pretty sure it's the steel in the track that allows them to do what they do. When a coaster is built with a dive loop using completely traditional track, no widened running plate, no nothing, then we'll talk, and I'm pretty confident that will be never.

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I dunno, maybe I'm weird, but I really don't see the point of all this debating of steel, wood, steel, wood, etc. If the coaster is great, fun, and runs well, then who cares what it's made of or should be categorized as?

 

With this design and these elements, I think Goliath looks freaking fantastic! And I'd still feel that way if it was made of nerf and aluminum!!

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^Awesome pic- thanks. That clears it up, I think Goliath and Outlaw Run are wooden coasters, based on that. I don't see how some are saying Goliath can't be wooden because it has a dive loop and steel lift supports, yet are saying Outlaw Run is a woodie with barrel rolls and the Voyage is with 100% steel supports.

 

Why am I responding to this? Because I'm stupid, that's why.

 

First off, nobody is saying the lift structure has anything to do with what this coaster should be classified as. Nobody. Nobody. Please, for the love of god, could everybody get that thought out of their brains. You are arguing against somebody who doesn't exist. Yes, the lift structure sparked the discussion, but only because some people, myself included, were disappointed that it wasn't going to be more traditional-looking. NOT because it's suddenly a steel coaster because of the supports. My god, PLEASE could nobody say this again. The supports have nothing to do with it. The track is the issue.

 

Second off, the only difference between Goliath and Outlaw Run is that Outlaw Run has steel wheels. This has long been one of the differences between steel coasters (polyurethane wheels) and wooden (steel wheels). Yes, this line has been blurred before. No, never in conjunction with topper track.

 

Third off, I'm getting really tired of repeating myself.

 

Fourth off, there's still a question here that hasn't been answered. That picture beautifully illustrates the difference between Ibox and topper track. But as you can see, the actual running surface looks, and is shaped, exactly the same. Why would they ride any different? What is the point of topper track exactly? Does it "shake" more? Why is that desirable? The track on wooden coasters has a certain feel basically due to its "imperfections". Even the track on El Toro has warped over time, giving it a more distinctly "wooden" feel. Clearly you'll never have that here, since that big steel beam isn't going anywhere. That's part of the point of it. Sooooo... why not just use ibox track?

 

^I understand you point about SOB, but now with new techniques they are able to produce inversions with wooden tracks. In Hades 360, the steel is just for the trains to ride on, they added it after they had already shaped the wood to make the inversion.

 

Ok, but then why did they widen the running plate? If it's to help strengthen the track and endure the stress of the trains, then it is the steel making the inversion possible, isn't it? It isn't just the wood, or else they could have used 100% traditional track. And it isn't completely traditional, you can see on the POVs where one type of track ends and the other begins. I don't believe we've ever seen an inversion with 100% traditional track. Which means my original point would still stand. With RMC, you're talking coasters that invert, because of the steel involved. And are smoother, and will stay smooth forever, because of the steel involved. *cough* steel coaster *cough*

 

Here's the last thing I'm going to say about this. First of all, here's why I think they use topper track.

In an interview on Youtube with Fred Grubb about Outlaw Run, he said that RMC is doing things with wood coasters that people once thought impossible. That says two things- one, Outlaw Run, to RMC, is a wooden coaster, and two, it wouldn't be as impressive or break records if it was a steel coaster. If Goliath was steel, it wouldn't be claiming these records or grabbing as much attention. There are countless steel coasters that reach 72 mph and have 2 inversions and a dive loop. The 85 degree drop is not unheard of at all on a steel coaster, but is a foreign thought for a wooden coaster. That, in my opinion, is why RMC uses topper track (I'm sure there are other reasons, but that is the main reason, in my opinion).

 

Don't call me out on this, because this might just be me thinking this, but you said that the reason there is debate is because its the first coaster to use polyurethane wheels and topper track, which is true, and is a big reason there's debate. However, I don't see why you can do one or the other without issue (meaning topper track or poly wheels, but not both), but suddenly combine them and its steel. You said the debate is on the track, no the supports, but them the trains/wheels are a big issue. I just don't see why combining these two suddenly makes it steel when doing them individually is fine.

 

Finally, what I was saying about the lift supports and dive loop, I'm not going to scroll through dozens of pages to look for a quote, because honestly we have the same opinion on this. My point on that was that the elements on a coaster don't make it wood or steel, yet people were saying that it inherently cannot be wooden because it has a dive loop. No need to go further into this, we both agreed that the elements don't make a difference.

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Since Outlaw Run had them added, it wouldn't surprise me to see them on Goliath for extra safety.

 

They added belts on Outlaw Run? Please tell me that's not true.

 

Yes, they added seat belts. From what I've heard, they don't effect the ride experience that much which is good. Here's the only photo I could find from this season (since the park just opened a couple days ago) that shows the new seat belts.

 

1175884668_ScreenShot2014-03-16at1_44_30PM.png.027cb4a5cb6cfe1569eb947b22ec0533.png

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I had heard about the seat belts on Outlaw Run but Hank Salemi did explicitly say that the ride will open without them, whether that actually holds up remains to be seen but I can't see the park adding them at this stage even though the ride is a fair way's away from opening.

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Why do people care whether or not there are seat belts? Outside of slowing dispatch times, I can't imagine seat belts making any difference at all on a ride where I'm sure you're already pinned down hard into your seat by the lap bar. It's not like on the Phoenix where you actually get an inch or two of clearance between your butt and the seat.

 

Here's the last thing I'm going to say about this. First of all, here's why I think they use topper track.

In an interview on Youtube with Fred Grubb about Outlaw Run, he said that RMC is doing things with wood coasters that people once thought impossible. That says two things- one, Outlaw Run, to RMC, is a wooden coaster, and two, it wouldn't be as impressive or break records if it was a steel coaster. If Goliath was steel, it wouldn't be claiming these records or grabbing as much attention. There are countless steel coasters that reach 72 mph and have 2 inversions and a dive loop. The 85 degree drop is not unheard of at all on a steel coaster, but is a foreign thought for a wooden coaster. That, in my opinion, is why RMC uses topper track (I'm sure there are other reasons, but that is the main reason, in my opinion).

 

I agree, that does seem like the most obvious reason, but it also illustrates how arbitrary this all is. Any way you look at it, I'd say it's a fact that the track itself is basically 50% wood, 50% steel, in terms of the roles the materials play in the structure. Is it true they're just using topper track so they can break records, not because topper track actually makes for a better ride? Does it make for a substantially different ride than ibox track? Because that is another way to look at it. That's why I'm not really saying for sure what I personally think until I ride it. I expect to get off knowing, instinctively, whether I just rode a steel or wooden coaster. If it's perfectly glass smooth, I'm going to have a really tough time classifying it as wooden. Because, like I've been arguing this whole time, when you just look at the materials, method of construction, and layout, you could easily go either way.

 

Don't call me out on this, because this might just be me thinking this, but you said that the reason there is debate is because its the first coaster to use polyurethane wheels and topper track, which is true, and is a big reason there's debate. However, I don't see why you can do one or the other without issue (meaning topper track or poly wheels, but not both), but suddenly combine them and its steel. You said the debate is on the track, no the supports, but them the trains/wheels are a big issue. I just don't see why combining these two suddenly makes it steel when doing them individually is fine.

 

If the wheels make a difference in the ride experience, which many people on here have implied, then I'd say yes, the wheels are also a big factor. A bigger factor on a ride that will stay glass smooth forever, as opposed to El Toro which has aged much more like a traditional wood coaster. But again, just personal opinion.

 

Finally, what I was saying about the lift supports and dive loop, I'm not going to scroll through dozens of pages to look for a quote, because honestly we have the same opinion on this. My point on that was that the elements on a coaster don't make it wood or steel, yet people were saying that it inherently cannot be wooden because it has a dive loop. No need to go further into this, we both agreed that the elements don't make a difference.

 

Let me put it this way. If RMC was making coasters with dive loops, and using 100% traditional track (which people are saying is possible, but I don't buy it), then there would be no debate to be had. It would be a wooden coaster with a dive loop. If they were making coasters with completely traditional layouts, like GCI-type rides, but using topper track to do it, I doubt many people would bother arguing that they aren't wooden. Because then you wouldn't have the classification issue in the polls, you wouldn't mind making the comparison between an RMC and a GCI because they're essentially the same type of ride. But the fact that they're making coasters, with track that is basically just as much steel as it is wood, AND giving them elements that are more strongly identified as steel coaster elements, that's really why there might be a problem. That's why the elements do make a difference. Have you ever heard the expression "if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck"? If you want to argue a coaster is a wooden coaster, then the less it has in common with all the rest of wooden coaster-dom, the tougher time you'll have making that argument.

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I dunno, maybe I'm weird, but I really don't see the point of all this debating of steel, wood, steel, wood, etc. If the coaster is great, fun, and runs well, then who cares what it's made of or should be categorized as?

 

With this design and these elements, I think Goliath looks freaking fantastic! And I'd still feel that way if it was made of nerf and aluminum!!

 

 

I second this.

 

I just cant wait to ride it.

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^ No the Timberliners made the inversion possible. They had to use a thinner layers of wood to twist the wooden track to make the inversion happen. Since they had to use thinner layers of wood, and they were going upside down, they decided to go with the thicker steel to ensure everything was very strong and safe. It was more of a precaution than a necessity.

 

Ok, but it is to help strengthen the track, which is exactly what I said, so you're pretty much proving my point. Look this is really splitting hairs, and anyway the conversation is about RMC. I'm still pretty sure it's the steel in the track that allows them to do what they do. When a coaster is built with a dive loop using completely traditional track, no widened running plate, no nothing, then we'll talk, and I'm pretty confident that will be never.

 

They only widened it to be absolutely sure that the trains running wheels don't loose contact with the steel. There is no structural strength benefit from this. Plus, most modern GG and GCI coasters have very wide running plates for the same reason when compared to older wooden coasters. It does not make them less wooden.

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