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Alton Towers Discussion Thread


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The Frowner: Sorry about the accident... Too Soon?

The Screamer. The Amputator. The Morphinator. The Block(head) Brakes Operator. The LineKiller. Professional Knee Remover. The "Stop this ****cking Ride-inator (see YouTube video, note that there is cursing) The Kevin Wardidator. So many evil, twisted names for this ride... none of them are funny...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYohlpFYhvI

This was a terrible accident (thoughts + prayers to the victims and families) and IMO this ride needs a serious overhaul or just flat-out removal. The fact that this ride is capable of such a malfunction scares the crap out of me.

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This was a terrible accident (thoughts + prayers to the victims and families) and IMO this ride needs a serious overhaul or just flat-out removal. The fact that this ride is capable of such a malfunction scares the crap out of me.

Any ride is capable of such a malfunction if not operated correctly, that is why Spinball, Dragon's Fury, Rattlesnake etc were closed. Even if that wasn't the case, why should it be removed because of a single accident? Should we also get rid of planes, cars and trains because they have crashed too?

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Yeah what a stupid post. What are you even doing on a theme park enthusiast site if you are that ignorant about amusement ride operations.

Any ride that has more than one car can have an accident like this, so best you find a new hobby.

 

 

Does anyone know how they've been operating Spinball with multiple cars?

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^ Personally I would think the best thing they could do would be to roll out new attractions to take the emphasis of this accident as soon as possible.

 

This year had been a quiet one at the Towers with just a new kiddie coaster so you would expect next year to be something reasonable with 2017 having the large investment. I would think if they do nothing next year except open a re-themed Smiler it will have a significant affect on attendance.

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DISCLAMIER* This accident is tragic and the victims and consequences need to be properly resolved. AT screwed up and must pay the consequences. I hate the US suing culture but this is a horrible drop in standards. I feel sorry for AT but they have to deal with it and thus far they have and I respect them for it.

 

But the new name for the Smiler; The Amputator......

 

Please go nuts saying how in appropriate that is. I wish Leah the best BTW.

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Alton Towers should not play that game. Smiler was, and still is safe.

 

 

Not that I want to nit pick.... but clearly, no; right now it is not safe, something went terribly wrong... until that malfunction is fixed, and the ability to have a train pass into a block that is not clear yet is corrected, its clearly not a safe ride.

 

I feel like a slew of comments are about to hit me for saying that, and the first thing that comes to mind if Robb's CNN conversation after the NTAG death, but that was human error, not mechanical error. This was a mechanical error that should not have let a train into the block if the empty train did not yet clear it...

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^I haven't been following this the last few days but has any conclusion been reached? I thought the chances were it was human error which would explain why they closed the whole park and not just the smiler. If that's the case then there doesn't need to be anything wrong with the ride. I guess you "can" take a lot of safe rides and make them crash if you put them in manual.

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Probably... it was probably human error, but if the block wasn't manually cleared then it's an unsafe ride. And nobody really knows what happened yet. We really need to wait for the investigation to run it's course on this one I think.

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Even if it was a human error, you have to ask the question if there is a gap in the system that allowed the accident to happen. You can never fully prevent human error, but you can design the system to make sure that when human error occurs it won't lead to any serious consequences.

 

It will for sure be very interesting to see what the outcome of the investigation will be...

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Even if it was a human error, you have to ask the question if there is a gap in the system that allowed the accident to happen. You can never fully prevent human error, but you can design the system to make sure that when human error occurs it won't lead to any serious consequences.

 

It will for sure be very interesting to see what the outcome of the investigation will be...

 

Can you really ever make anything that safe though and still use it on a very frequent basis? I agree with what you are saying but say for example you completely full-proofed a ride. What if the ride did malfunction and the car was evacuated, but it had been made so safe and fool-proof even maintenance can't over-rule it. The computer is still finding things it doesn't like, then you could be really stuck until the manufacturers came out which could take a long time.

 

I guess there has to be a point where you have to trust humans to know what they are doing. For some examples look at Hong Kong Disneyland and Grizzly mine cars, they dispatch with restraints unlocked without the computers kicking up a fuss which means quicker dispatches when the lines are really empty. I realize it's not exactly a ride that will eject you but I mean it's a ride that trusts the operators to know to check the lapbars of people riding.

 

If you want another example of something that could be an issue in the rarest of situations, I've seen a gyro-drop drop the carriage with all the restraints up before. I'm assuming that was in some sort of maintenance mode but again if a lot of mistakes were made, somehow someone was sitting in a chair when it lifted up that way. You just have to trust in the training of the operators and that they will follow the instructions set out by the park and manufacturers, I don't think you can ever 100% fool-proof a ride to the point where it won't interfere with other parts of the rides life e.g. maintenance/testing

 

This argument in a way, kind of reminds me of a Top Gear episode where they discussed self-driving cars. If you 100% fool-proof a self driving car to remove human error and leave no gaps in the system to prevent accidents from happening would you trust the car not to kill you off if something happened. If your brakes fail on a crowded street would the car drive on and take the risk of a few pedestrians dying hitting cars and killing people or would the computer deliberately crash the car to ensure only a few are injured.

 

The point I mean by that is you can only rely on a computer so much, you will always need a point where you can tell the computer no or at least work with it but I don't think any system could become 100% full proof without posing issues somewhere.

Edited by Garet
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^I totally get what you're saying, that's why I say you have to ask the question. The answer is a completely different story. It could be that it's not possible or practical to fool-proof the system 100%.

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It's exactly right though that we don't know th cause yet.

The ride may have be put into manual model and the lift simply started or jogged, sending the train on it's collision course.

 

There is nothing unsafe about the ride then. Rather just a policy that allows that.

 

It's really all don't to results of the investigation.

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Don't you just remove a piece of coaster then reinstall and the peeps will think it's a new coaster? That's how it worked in Roller Coaster Tycoon.

Why bother? Just shop around for a good deal on an ass-load of paint, slap some on-board audio onto the trains at the expense of some seats; this will result in longer lines, which is just another way of saying that your ride is popular and everyone wants to ride it. Don't worry about the actual content riders are treated to- once those restraints are locked you have their undivided attention (pro-tip: no need to throw money away for maintenance either, if it lasts longer than a few seasons, you're doing it wrong).

Lastly, the best way to let guests know that a super-lot of planning, time, and thought went into your design is by adding some flamethrowers along the course of the ride. No one will like you or your ride if you don't. I know for a fact that this is a big reason Son of Beast was torn down, and why Geauga's Big Dipper is still rotting away on-site instead of thrilling millions every day somewhere in Africa.

 

The cherry on top of this sundae? By following these steps, you leave the door open to reap even more publicity and ridership if you ever choose to bring the ride back to it's original state.

Edited by Ed Farmer
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Another update from one of the victims, this time Vicky Balch who was sat next to Leah Washington in the middle of the row. She is currently battling against also having an amputation. One sad thing is that her dad realised it was her from the TV coverage and that this was point he realised his daughter was involved.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33155853

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Been today, in terms of ride operations Spinball had 3 cars going round at once and more loading/unloading (not sure if this is less than normal, don't normally pay attention?). Oblivion had 3 or 4 trains on only using one half of the station, so they were stacking at the station as normal. Nemesis was dispatching as soon as the train in front got to the first set of brakes (when they were ready to, like when my last ride only had 3 people in it). So after reading last week about trains being held in the station on Nemesis until the first train was past the first set of brakes etc it seems now it's back to normal. Or at least what I recall as normal, it's been a while!

 

No Smiler branding anywhere, the only place I saw the name was on the parent swap pass. The metal grill which had the outline of the logo in the photo a couple of pages back has now gone completely.

 

Fun day in all, bit wet but good day nonetheless

 

Do people still do ride counts? I was counting for my own fun anyway so if it does interest anyone here you go. And yes I had a child with me before you judge my ride choices

 

Postman Pat 3

Tree Top Adventure 2

NumNum number cars thingy 2

Oblivion 3

Enterprise 1

Nemesis 4

Air 2

Octonoughts coaster 1

Rapids 2

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 1

Carousel 1

Spinball 1

Pie factory 1

Mine Train 1

Duel 1

 

We are back in tomorrow so looking forward to it all over again!

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^I think that sounds about right for Spinball from what I remember but it has been quite a while since I visited.

 

I think from what I have read the park have done well removing all The Smiler branding from the park in such a short time, of course it will be here and there on things such as parent swap passes but they have done a good job none the less. Have the park provided new maps around the park and paper ones for guests with The Smiler removed?

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