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Alton Towers Discussion Thread


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Sad news indeed

 

I hope that Alton Towers will be true to their word in being as generous as possible with compensation so that they can both have the best prosthetics, best rehabilitation and best support so that they can live as normal a life as possible. I don't doubt that this will be the case.

 

Me too, I think in terms of how the park has come across in the handling of this 'aftercare' it seems very good so far. I guess they don't really have a choice given whatever the outcome of the investigation they are ultimately responsible for guests safety, but the fact that there haven't really been loads of negative headlines about that sort of thing shows I think they're doing as best as they really can.

 

I always see the multi million pound compensation headlines which sounds a lot, but then lets face it, if thats what it costs to support these people for the rest of their lives, thats what they deserve.

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Merlin reported profits of £311 million in the last financial year, so it's not as if they can't afford it. It's in their interest to maintain the generally positive public opinion of them in relation to how they've handled the incident.

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If faced with the choice of more surgeries that likely would never restore my leg to even some level of walking normalcy, and starting over with a prosthetic that would allow me to run and or be active at a level much closer to the real thing, I'd choose amputation in a heart beat. Sure I would try, as she and her doctors did, to save my leg, but if the end result was going to be a greatly diminished quality of life, off it goes.

 

Granted, this accident should have never occurred in the first place, but it did, so it has to be dealt with in the most positive light.

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I have to say, I'm still amazing by the level of injuries... I would have thought that the bumpers below the trains would cause the seating area to stay relatively clear... I wonder what changes we will see in trains moving forward, I'm sure we will see advancements for the extended safely... And I'm sure it will be on every companies mind. Hopefully we will see some new advancements at IAAPA.

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^I honestly can't imagine there will be huge changes made to the design of trains. The rarity of something like this happening has never required them to crash test the ride vehicles at speed and even after this I just can't see them modifying the trains just on the small chance this happens again.

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Merlin reported profits of £311 million in the last financial year, so it's not as if they can't afford it. It's in their interest to maintain the generally positive public opinion of them in relation to how they've handled the incident.

 

To be fair though (and i talk from first hand experience here, and NOT AT ALL related to this incident), They are a grand plus down this year after they acknowledged a complaint of mine last year, and then didnt bother with a reply, even after i prompted them. I was fobbed off - so fought back in the only way i could and didnt renew season passes for the entire family (8 of us). not that they would care. Didnt worry me - After 4 years of annual passes i fancied a rest of a year or two, it was just the final straw...

 

Their customer support so far has been #1 in this instance, however i genuinely dont think they had much of a choice (plus, interestingly, this was reported as the "first insurance payment" - so maybe it wasnt from them, but their insurers...)

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Their customer support so far has been #1 in this instance, however i genuinely dont think they had much of a choice (plus, interestingly, this was reported as the "first insurance payment" - so maybe it wasnt from them, but their insurers...)

 

If I am right in my understanding of public liability insurance they will pay out a determined amount to the people involved/who have made claims. The moment the park admitted liability they really had to pay out. Nothing says the park won't top up whatever payment the insurers pay out if they so wish to do so though.

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I went to alton towers last sunday and the atmosphere was rather gloomy. But what i most noted was the amount of people there. Bearing in mind its a sunday in june, i was expecting big queues but the park seemed quite vacant. It felt like the march crowd as there were not a lot of people. The biggest ride time was thirteen with only 25 mins. The terrible accident at the park as had a massive impact on the amount of customes coming to towers.

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Sundays are quieter than Saturdays, but yes - I do think the accident has had an effect on numbers,

 

I always visit Alton on a sunday due to the above reason,but I went on the same sunday and have to agree the incident has definitely affected visitor numbers!

Looking at ridetimes.co.uk on Saturday when the weather was fantastic the q-times rarely got above 30 minutes even for Rita which usually hits 60 minutes at the very least. I think this will be the case for the foreseeable future which is a real shame for the park.

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^I honestly can't imagine there will be huge changes made to the design of trains. The rarity of something like this happening has never required them to crash test the ride vehicles at speed and even after this I just can't see them modifying the trains just on the small chance this happens again.

 

If anything it seems the design of the track needs to be changed to avoid the ride from valleying (which from I read had problems before this incident) in and out of the cobra roll. IMO the track should have been changed when they knew the cobra roll element was troublesome, and I think that could have aided in avoiding this problem in the first place.

 

However rare, it would be interesting if trains began to be designed to "absorb" impact in the instance of a crash. I know they have the "bumpers" on the front and back of the trains, but those don't seem to be intended for high speed impact, more in case they're swapping trains and there's an accident in maintenance mode. A hydraulic bumper or something that could avoid serious collision and injury to riders could easily be incorporated into the trains.

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However rare, it would be interesting if trains began to be designed to "absorb" impact in the instance of a crash. I know they have the "bumpers" on the front and back of the trains, but those don't seem to be intended for high speed impact, more in case they're swapping trains and there's an accident in maintenance mode. A hydraulic bumper or something that could avoid serious collision and injury to riders could easily be incorporated into the trains.

 

^^ This is the equivalent of asking an automobile manufacturer to design a car that can absorb all of the impact of a front-end or rear collision and sustain no damage.

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I do not trust Gerstlauer right now, I will try and steer clear of their rides.

This statement though.

 

That would be like someone having a car wreck in a Chevy, so you want to steer clear of all Chevy's. If it were a Gerstlauer problem I'm pretty sure all Gerstlauer roller coaster would be closed till the investigation was over. Like what happened with Intamin Drop Towers after the Superman accident.

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^I was actually surprised that as an immediate action more Eurofighters/infinity coasters were not shut down temporarily even if it was just for a couple of days.

 

I understand Saw is still closed at Thorpe Park but I believe that is most likely more a Merlin decision than a HSE requirement.

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Even though this type of accident should have never happened, I think the manufacturers should start designing trains to absorb an impact like this. I think in the end we are going to find out this was operator error.

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I do not trust Gerstlauer right now, I will try and steer clear of their rides.

This statement though.

 

That would be like someone having a car wreck in a Chevy, so you want to steer clear of all Chevy's. If it were a Gerstlauer problem I'm pretty sure all Gerstlauer roller coaster would be closed till the investigation was over. Like what happened with Intamin Drop Towers after the Superman accident.

 

I simply don't feel safe on there coasters at the time being. Until all the kinks are worked out with the Smiler, I will pursue other coasters. I still do like Gerstlauer, I just don't trust them with my life for the time being. With more investigation and details, I will be able to make a more informed decision. My choice, my life. You can at least respect that, as it won't affect anyone's life but my own.

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I think the manufacturers should start designing trains to absorb an impact like this

 

No more floorless, no more inverted, no more lap-bars... This is ridiculous, you can't barely do anything except maing sure that a collision doesn't happen again.

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^I don't thing such extreme measures would be needed. Had this same accident taken place on a train with a zero car, the most severe injuries would have been avoided. There would definitely be minor (by comparison, at least) injuries such as bruising and whiplash, but I doubt any injuries would be life threatening or life changing.

 

However, that said, the priority should definitely be making sure trains don't collide.

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http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/world-news/alton-towers-air-rollercoaster-breaks-5985495

"Air rollercoaster breaks down leaving dozens stranded hanging face down in midair" (Just stuck on a lift hill, how awful).

 

Ok, the whole article is making a big, big, BIG deal out of this again. It's not good press for Alton Towers right now. It reads very awful, but what alse did I expect.

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I do not trust Gerstlauer right now, I will try and steer clear of their rides.

Seriously? Do you even know all of the kinds of roller coasters and flat rides that Gerstlauer makes and has made earlier in their history? You could be riding a Gerstlauer ride and not even realize it! The last thing that that company needs right now is people refusing to ride their attractions!

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This is a freak accident. I expect Gerstlauer to bounce back much like RMC and Intamin did after their incidents. Things happen sometimes for reasons unknown. But we can not shove the manufacturer under the bus, that like blaming a house for falling down in a tornado.

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I do not trust Gerstlauer right now, I will try and steer clear of their rides.

Seriously? Do you even know all of the kinds of roller coasters and flat rides that Gerstlauer makes and has made earlier in their history? You could be riding a Gerstlauer ride and not even realize it! The last thing that that company needs right now is people refusing to ride their attractions!

 

I know most of the rides in the parks that I visit don't have / don't have many Gerstlauer rides. So this shouldn't be much of a problem for me.

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